My grandmother made homemade Christmas ornaments every year for as long as I can remember. She had too many kids and grand kids to be able to buy presents for everyone. When a majority of the grand kids (we're all about the same age) were getting at that age where we didn't like anything anyone bought us (you know, that age), Grandma started making ornaments instead of buying cheap gifts. I know the first year or so, I didn't appreciate the handmade ornaments. I was too young to understand just how special they would become to me. As I got older, I learned how much love went into those ornaments. My grandmother died in February. I have every ornament she made me over the years. They are quite literally my most prized possession for the simple fact that I will never get another one. I have wanted to do a homemade Christmas for several years (it first came to mind the Christmas after Hurricane Katrina, when my family took toys to the kids since they weren't going to have much for Christmas) and when Grandma passed away, I decided to finally start doing it instead of wanting to do it.
So here we are. I am fairly crafty and enjoy artistic endeavors. I started some ornaments back in October, before the madness that is NaNo took over my life. I finished the first batch of ornaments last night. I'm attaching pictures below. These ornaments took hours of time and attention to detail. They will be gifts for my family and friends, children and adults alike. I cut out the ears and hats, made little bows out of tissue paper and beads, and painted details in with shaking hands that more often than not ended in me screwing it up. But, I think they look great.
These are for my mom. She collects the baker men stuff and it is all over her kitchen. I wasn't sure I could do these guys but I think they came out incredibly well!
These are my "blue cats" and I painted them first back in October. I like blue. They have little bow ties.
This is my horse and zebra. The zebra looks funny so I'm thinking I have the coloring wrong. A black muzzle maybe? I'll look it up. Anyways, they look adorable!
I worked the hardest on these Santa Clause ornaments and the snowmen below. The hats took hours to paint, dry, paint, dry over and over to get the color dark enough. The paper kept soaking the paint up. I wanted to make unique hats for each one so they didn't look cookie cutter. I think I succeeded.
These guys ended up having to be re-done yesterday. I stored the finished paintings during November, not thinking that the puffy paint I used for the eyes and mouth would stick to the wood on the back of other ornaments. When I pulled them apart, I had places where the puffy paint peeled off or lost its color so they needed touch-ups.
These are my "assorted critters" and I actually think they came out better than my cats. My penguin was just a whim and its adorable. The bee looks great with its little wings and antennae. The pig looks like it is missing something, but I can't quite figure it out. They are all very cute though.
My "yellow" cats came out really great too. I gave one of them a corsage instead of a collar just to mix it up.
These were the last ones made. This zebra looks a lot better than the one with the horse. My sister-in-law should like it. The deer is for my brother. The purple and pink cats are for L&E. The elephant (yes, I know it looks slightly phallic... I'm working on that) is for my dad.
So what do you think of my craftiness so far? I'm stoked. I'm switching gears to work on some angels using fabric, doll heads, and cotton balls. We'll see how that works out. I'm also in the planning stages of trying to make a set of the ornaments (like the ones above) with an Alice in Wonderland theme since I had so much fun making the hats. I have to figure out what ornaments are going where and put my mark on the back of each one. I'm thinking Dee'11 is what I'll be writing.
Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS