Christmas Crafting

I never professed to be an artist, but every Christmas I make my gifts. Little do I know of what becomes of my crafts, but I want to make my friends and coworkers smile. Here, I post pictures from tonight’s project.

I began by asking my coworker to send me a picture of her new puppy. She found this question odd, but proceeded to text me the image.

I began by asking my coworker to send me a picture of her new puppy. She found this question odd, but proceeded to text me the image.

So I am not the best drawer, or painter. Ask me to draw a cat and I couldn’t do it with my own head. After my coworker sent me a picture of her puppy, I used a sketch effect on an online photo editing program, just so I could get something more clear-cut to copy with a pen and notebook paper.

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I tried my best in drawing Bear, with the little art lessons I’ve had in sixth grade. Most can tell Bear’s a dog, so I moved on to the next step.

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On my Etsy shop, you’ll notice that all my goods are made with magazine paper and Mod Podge. In October of 2013, I won a drawing for two years’ worth of magazines. Not only do I get the news and politics that I genuinely enjoy reading, but I get those glossy Vogues, Elles, and Luckys. Cosmopolitan too. While these are worth laughing at, they take up a lot of space. Currently, I have three large cardboard boxes completely filled with fashion magazines. My ultimate goal is to use all that paper for arts and crafts. Thank you, Holiday Season.

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As you can see, I’ve got tons of paper, and I do take time to make creative confetti as my roommates watch whatever entertaining show that runs at eleven thirty at night. I also have all these slabs of wood, and other scraps that I can’t bear to throw away. I am not a hoarder. My coworker disagrees.

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Mod Podge is essentially fortified white glue (there are different varieties though, and you may have a preference for one over the other. I personally use the original for adhering paper onto wood and ceramics, the glossy for a nice finish that doesn’t necessarily call for a spray sealant or resin, and the antique type when I want to make three dimensional Instagrams). Here, I’ve pasted the confetti onto this slab of wood. I wasn’t particular about the directions these were pasted in, but I wanted to include a predominance of certain colors.

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I had originally planned to take some scrapbook paper, use the dog I sketched on college-ruled paper as a stencil, and draw in details on the nicer paper. I chose not to do this. I attempted to paint what I simply slabbed on with Mod Podge.

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Let me reiterate: I am no painter. Those brushstrokes we associate with Van Gogh? I don’t think I could ever replicate those. What happened was a poor simulation of Crayola scribbling, made better by smudging the paint with my fingers. Bear still looks like a dog. My coworker won’t be too disappointed, I hope.

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Ah, Antique Mod Podge. The effect it leaves on your piece depends on how many layers you apply. I only opted for two layers. I really just wanted to bring out the color and outlines of Bear on Wood.

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An hour later, and my gift is dry enough to handle. My roommates have given their nod of approval, though tomorrow morning, I will take the time to find a suitable picture frame. Bear is a new addition to my coworker’s family. He’s growing quite fast.

Today is December 22nd. Tomorrow I continue with holiday crafting, thankful that friends and coworkers all live within a ten minute radius.

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