Three fun holiday projects!

ReindeerHappy Monday! How are you?  It’s turned numbingly, bitingly cold since my last post, and we had our first flurries of snow on Sunday (the perfect day for a picturesque but entirely unproblematic snowfall).  Harry and I finished making our annual Christmas cards, this time with a beautiful and cheery reindeer, painted by Harry. We were inspired by the work of amazing illustrator Catherine Rayner, who paints gorgeous animals and also shows children how to draw them for themselves (this giraffe!).  Harry sketched out his reindeer and then we mixed up some watercolours for him to use.  He outlined it in a black water-resist pen which made all the difference to his finished painting…

Harrys reindeerI scanned the picture and printed off a set of cards for us to fill in (if you’re wondering – he added the holiday lights two days after the rest of the painting, and after I’d printed out the pictures below; an artist never stops iterating…).  For the cards that we can hand-deliver, we’re sealing them with big red and wooden buttons from the button box for a final fun accent.

Reindeer cards We’ve also made some simple but vibrant tags to go on gifts, by taking inexpensive bulk-buy white tags and glueing on a mass of tiny pom-poms; we simply rolled a glue-stick over the last couple of inches of each tag and then pressed a handful of pompoms onto the glue, leaving in place until they dried..

DIY PomPom Gift TagsAnd then my third and rather more understated project; silver-sprayed giant gift sacks made from the same paper potato sacks I used for this project;

Silver-sprayed paper bags for holiday gift sacksTo make these, simply spray your paper sacks silver (or any colour – but do it outside given the fumes and the mess!).  Whilst the paint dried, I printed out giant name-tags onto watercolour paper (using this font), cut them into shape and then used a brown marker pen to line the edges in dashes to mimic stitching, adding a wooden star to each tip.  I glued the tags under the turned-over rim of each sack, and they’re now ready to stuff with gifts….

Making holiday gift sacks…like this olive tree! olive treeIMG_9865Have a wonderful – warm! – week, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.  In the evenings after work we’re slowly decorating the house for Christmas, building this year’s Fir Lady and taking a rather Nordic approach to winter decor, with stars, greenery and wooden accents dotted around; more to follow on this next time!

handbag logo

p.s. One from the archives;  rather more elaborate heirloom sacks for those with the time and dedication…

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On being messy (what’s on your desk?)

What’s on your desk right now?  Or your kitchen or bedside table…whatever space you consider most yours? Mine is messy.  Always. Occasionally artfully messy, but more often cluttered with cups of half-drunk tea, pots of paintbrushes in water (or sometimes, I confess; paintbrushes in half-drunk tea), papers and scribbles and lost toys and lists and(…)

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