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Christmastime is Here

Deer are congregating on the fireplace.

Brass Christmas Deer

Some garland found its way to the stairs.

Garland on the Stairs for Christmas
(I had a bunch of the fake stuff from IKEA last year. It’s skimpy, so I tripled it up, and it’s still skimpy. Maybe we’ll get fresh greenery next year instead to do these stairs justice.)

And the table is a mini forest.

Christmas Dining Room

The Christmas tree got a few welcome additions from the kids.

Kids' Christmas Ornaments 2013

We have a couple of extra little trees around too, made and decorated by the kids.

Victorian Paper Christmas Advent Tree

Paper Cone Christmas Tree

Presents are present.

Christmas Presents

And my fancy blogger tree is looking festive.

Festive Fiddle Leaf Fig

Soon the children will be nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of Plants vs. Zombies dance in their heads.

Playing Plants vs. Zombies

Merry Christmas!

Watercolor Painting Inspiration

I went to Michael’s a few days ago to pick up some Christmas picks to spruce up a so-so garland on the stairs. (I was going for simple and tasteful, but pro tip: what’s left of the 70% off Christmas decorations, a week or so before the holiday, is probably not going to be simple and tasteful.) While I was there, I picked up a pad of watercolor paper and a $5 palette of paint.

I used to paint and draw throughout high school, and I liked doing architectural renderings in college. And of course I had my whole stationery business, which was a combination of my illustrations and graphic design. I haven’t done much drawing or painting lately though, aside from the tote bag illustrations and layout that I did for West Elm a couple of months ago. I miss making art for its own sake! I figured that having some paint and paper on hand was a good start, at least.

Then Patricia Zapata posted this inspiring video yesterday, on Facebook.


• Fawn and Flora ~ work in progress from Oana Befort on Vimeo.

I watched it, and then I started sketching. I’m not concerning myself with original compositions at this point; I’m drawing flowers and floral arrangements that I’ve pinned. I’m not making anything to sell, or creating free desktop wallpaper downloads. I’m doing this because I miss it, and drawing, coloring, and painting (whether with crayons, pencils, markers, or paint) is fun.

Even when I fancied myself an artist as a teenager, I didn’t work with watercolors much. Thankfully, Oana Befort, the artist from the video above, wrote last year about her favorite art supplies.

Oana Befort's Favorite Art Supplies
• Oana Befort’s Art Supplies

I’m going to play around with my cheapie watercolor set as a beginner/hobbyist, but that Schmincke set looks intriguing, doesn’t it? I found myself rewatching and pausing the beginning of that video to see what brand she was using, and it looks like that’s the one.

Little tubes of watercolor always catch my eye too. The colors are so beautiful.

Eva Juliet's Watercolor Palette
• Eva Juliet’s Watercolor Palette

* Update * Here’s my first attempt. Not a bad way to spend a little time this morning! The one on the left was first, and it got a bit muddied up. The one on the right, I like better. And once I got started, I kept on going.

DIY Wood Slice Holiday Party Invitations

These are special invitations — ones that you might make for a handful of close friends. They’ll either need to be hand-delivered or mailed in a small box, but the impact they’ll have is worth the extra effort. Similar to my DIY wood Valentines earlier in the year, the painted wood slice can be reused by the recipient as a photo/note holder through the rest of the year.

DIY Wood Slice Holiday Party Invitations

Supplies

Wood Slice Invitation Supplies

Instructions

  • Begin by taping off a section of your wood slice to be painted. I sectioned off about a third of each circle and filled in with gold paint. If your tape is wide (like mine), you can rip it down the middle, since only one straight side is needed. Be sure to press down firmly to keep paint from getting under.

Making Wood Slice Invitations

  • Acrylic craft paint dries quickly, and you’ll be ready to peel off your tape and start on another section in as little as 20 minutes.

Taping Off

Peeling Off the Tape

  • I tore my tape down the center again, then used the straight sides to make skinny stripes. I made sure to overlap one or both of the other colors with each stripe.

Making Wood Slice Invitations

  • The mini clothespins can be attached with a thin layer of white glue. Let them dry, then clip your invitation to each wood slice and you’re done.

Finished Wood Slice Invitations

Wood Slice Invitations: We're Going on a Sleigh Ride!

This would be such a delightful invitation to receive! And long after the party is over, the recipient could reuse the wood slice to display photos, notes, or holiday cards.

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This post is a collaboration with ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape, but all words and opinions are my own.

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