Happy almost-Christmas to everyone! As we count down the days to a weekend of family festivities, food, and (hopefully) relaxation, I was able to work in my craft room a little bit today. It was a much needed break from work, wrapping presents, and all of the million other things that need to get done. The latest Frilly & Funkie challenge was the perfect excuse to hide out in my craft room and emerge wearing some homemade glitter and glue!
The final Frilly & Funkie challenge for 2017 inspired us to create a project on our most memorable gift. I’m so glad that I was able to pull together a project for the challenge as I haven’t been able to join in as much as I would like. The challenge is graciously sponsored by Linda at the Funkie Junkie Boutique.
While I have received many lovely gifts over the years, today’s project was inspired by a gift that my mom made for me each Christmas when I was little. Of course, at the time I thought it was Mrs. Claus who made the gift and it was delivered by Santa when he came to the house in late November/early December to put up the Christmas tree. At our house, each year Santa would visit twice – once to set up the Christmas tree and then on Christmas Eve to deliver our presents. On the first visit, Santa would leave one gift for my sister and one for me that we could open. The first gift of the season was a homemade holiday dress and my dress was usually red or cranberry velvet. My sister’s dress was usually a muted Christmas green or a dusty blue. I loved getting my “fancy” dress each year from Santa and if I could have it my way I would have worn it every day in December but it was reserved for special occasions like Christmas Eve service at church. It always amazed me that Mrs. Claus always got the sizing right and it wasn’t until years later that I learned that my mom would make our dresses in the middle of the night after we went to sleep.
While the challenge it about a memorable gift, mine is about a series of memorable gifts – my homemade, little red velvet Christmas dress that came each year. Instead of making a red velvet dress, I decided to make a top hat. I thought it was another type of “fancy” dress and one that I could get done with the time I had. I incorporated the velvet in the poinsettia. I also kept in mind that my mom loved to decorate at Christmas so we also had tinsel (remember that stuff!?), glitter, and her Christmas village (which was completely decked out with trains, snow, and a mirrored lake).
My first thing was to figure out how to make the velvet a bit stiffer so it could hold the shape of a flower. I decided to cut the velvet flower using the Tim Holtz Tattered Poinsettia Bigz die and then also cut it in Taylored Expressed Cranberry felt. I used some small wire and lined the velvet flower and then glued the felt on the back of the velvet. This allowed me to shape and bend the poinsettia leaves and still use the not-so-stiff velvet fabric.
I then went to work on creating my top hat out of chipboard. I wrapped the chipboard shape with Maya Designs paper (A Gift For Christmas). I used a Tim Holtz mini layering stencil and Wendy Vecchi Gold Embossing paste to add the flourish on the hat. The “ribbon” around the hat is with Tim Holtz metallic Gold paper. Once I attached my poinsettia to the hat, I surrounded it with Prima holly leaves and berries (I think from Victorian Christmas but I’m not positive about that) and Petaloo frosted berries.
I then decided I wanted to add a deer – a bit late but I made it work! I cut out a chipboard deer using the Tim Holtz Sizzix Thinlit Winter Wonderland. I covered the deer in Distress Grit Paste and when it dried I painted it with Tea Dye, Walnut Stain, and Ground Espresso Distress Paint. I am lamenting that the dauber tops were discontinued because this is a great example of how they can be used. I reluctantly pulled out the Distress Glitter Dust to cover the deer’s antlers. That stuff gets everywhere no matter how careful you are but the end product looks lovely. And, hey, it’s Christmas – everyone needs a little bit of glitter!
I also tracked down some jingle bells that I ordered from Pottery Barn (they were supposed to be for a centerpiece for the table) and added them to the brim of the hat. I used some of the same wire for the poinsettia leaves to make some little twirly springs that I added to the berries and leaves. On my craft table I found a Tim Holtz pearl that I previously colored using Tim Holtz Alcohol Ink (Caramel) and glued it to the center of the poinsettia. In finished off the project but die cutting Christmas using the Tim Holtz Retro Christmas Thinlit and inking it with Tea Dye Distress Ink. Next time I think I would back it with chipboard.
As I am older and I no longer receive my little red velvet Christmas dress, it is a fond memory of my childhood and a lovely gift that I received from my parents each year. The red poinsettia on today’s project reminds me of my dress but also the velvet poinsettias my mom would put on the wreath for the door. I hope my holiday project has inspired you to walk down memory lane and think about your most memorable gift.
Happy Christmas and happy Boxing Day. I’m off to go check on the Christmas cake – the British version…