Blogmas | Christmas Tree Projects

Hello!

This season I was inspired to do something a little bit different.

In September, when I was able to decorate my bedroom for autumn, I went on YouTube to find tutorials on how to make my moon phase garland together easier on my mom and I. As you now know, this still didn’t really help, all it really did was my parents wish we had done it all homemade like in the video. Anyways, as I continued to look for other helpful ways, I came across four DIYers that just seemed fun and genuine with their personalities. I watched all of them for basically a least a week and afterwards, I became inspired to do a little project myself.

I’m still shocked that I came up with this so quickly, because usually it happens within two days (or nights) to finally figure out how I want everything, but not for this one. I instantly knew what I wanted to do but asking for it proved to me a little scary, because I haven’t done anything as grand as this since I was a senior in high school! I still don’t think what I did was at the same scale considering the fact back then, I made six similar portraits on larger canvases within a week apart from each other. For these projects, there were only three items on slightly smaller surfaces, but the biggest difference is that instead of drawing with pencil, pen, and pastels. I only used pencil to start and eventually acrylic paint.

I am not a painter. I’ve never thought of myself as a painter but since the videos I was watching online were in that media, and that’s how my vision was coming to me, I thought I would take a crack at it.

There was something that my mom told me on the second day that stayed with me throughout the process and made me feel at ease once I started on it again. I wanted to share it here in case anyone reading this is like me, and needs some type of encouragement.

You’re not Picasso, and we don’t expect you to be.

If you want to copy what I did or make something similar, here are the materials you will need:

  • Canvas – ours are 12×6
  • Acrylic paint – we purchased the prime colors: red, blue & yellow
  • Assortment of paintbrushes – I used both thin brushes, one a little bigger than the other
  • Paper plates or handy palette
  • Ruler
  • Water

When I officially started on them, I forgot that I never told my dad about what everything was for, and after I asked where the ruler was, he showed me how to actually use one. Honestly, I’m thankful he did it because I’ve never really used them, I usually just estimate and go from there. And after he showed me where the middle was on the first canvas, you could still see my remints on the first time I made my lines and I was off by a couple of inches! My dad was pretty impressed by it and so was I!

So, we measured the border first, and with all of my patience, I did miss the mark a couple of times, but in order to make it more about fun, I had to tell my ego to shut up to make myself keep going, especially when I got to doing the measurements for the big item that all three will have and that was a large triangle or Christmas tree in the center of the canvas. Once I figured out everybody’s shapes, I took pictures for both proof and to show you the process as I continued on this artistic journey.

The next day, I went back to it and was utterly excited to get my toes dirty!

Despite knowing I’m not a painter, I still freaking love it! It’s like glitter but more liquid-y…

Anyways, I thought the best decision would be painting all three trees first and then move on. My mom poured out my blue and yellow onto my plate and I started mixing it with the end of the brush I was going to use first and I wasn’t necessarily happy with the color that appeared first, it was more blue-green and as pretty as it was, it obviously wasn’t the shade I was going for, so I grabbed the yellow again and undid the cap and put the container on its side and squeezed with all of the strength in my feet to get a small amount of paint. Once I got what I wanted, I mixed it all again and I ended up with a very green color and it still had a little blue but it wasn’t as noticeable as the first color, so that was good for me!

I got to painting the sides of the first, I used my homemade desk that my dad made for me back in October. However, everytime I went to turn it around I would end up with more paint on my toes than I liked because that meant, it wasn’t sticking and I would have to go back over it with a second coat. Well, as I let that one dry, I looked around my room to see if I had anything to help fix this problem. So, I have another, older foam box that I have used in previous DIYs and I really needed an easel and my thought was I could prop each one up so I could see everything and allow it to dry a little bit before turning it over. The only issue was, I didn’t have anything to put underneath the canvases to make sure I don’t make a bigger mess than I was, and I grabbed my sunflower rug and flipped it upside down so that I wasn’t ruining the pretty side and this turned out to the second best idea I had that day.

Once I got everybody arranged, I was moving pretty quickly but I have found my absolute weakness with painting: borders. It wasn’t the paint this time; since I made “proper” measurements with a pencil, staying within that area was a bit difficult, but I refused to let it get to me in the end. After all of the borders were a royal blue, I got to work on giving each tree a decoration of some sort with using ideas I found on both YouTube and Instagram.

The main objective to these projects was to make them as different as possible. So, the first one looked absolutely gorgeous! There were no mistakes at all, but the other two: well, the second has one side bigger than the other and the third actually looks like a tree with branches as I was running out of green paint and it turned out better than I expected it to be. This one is actually my mom’s favorite, so go figure! I left everybody to dry for the day before I moved on to the decorations!

For the most part, I used the pencil to create the star on the first project in the way I know how and even though the yellow we had was light, after splashing two coats in that small space, it covered up the guide. I pushed it to the side to dry before doing the trucks, and I did the next with ornaments. Now in my original idea, I was only going to put three in different sizes but once I grabbed the pencil, I knew that wasn’t going to happen. The first trick I found was using the back of a pencil (I got really creative and used the back of my red colored pencil!) or small lid and just coat the flat surface in whatever paint you’re using and pressing it like a stamp on your designated area. Well, if you know me, once I get going, there’s really no stopping me. I meant to do the tree but was having so much with this trick that I kept going all around the tree. Technically, everytime I look at it, it makes me think of an apple tree because of how many dots I laid on the tree.

For the second, I had my mom grab two Q-Tips from the bathroom and I took both in between my toes and held on tightly to both and just did the same motion with the pencil, expect for having individual dots, I took the gold color paint and dotted in a line from one side to the other to the paint where it looks like you wrapped tinsel all around the tree. After I was done, I told my mom that it was my favorite because it looked like what I was initially wanted and I think the lopsided part helped a lot because it meant I could make the tinsel look long and thicker like regular garland.

The final addition that was put on all three projects was some sort of truck; in my head, I just wanted something minimalist and for the most part I stuck to that idea and two of them ended up with a L shape at the bottom of each decorated tree. I used the last bit of brown that we had for it too. As for the third, I was going to put two little vertical lines showing you the outline of a trunk but never connecting the two, but I didn’t like what I had painted on the canvas so I just gave it a full trunk and leave it to me, to place it on the tree that has an odd shape already, so the trunk isn’t necessarily in the middle as the other two but by the time we figured it out, the paint had dried up and I just waved it off.

After they were all dried, I told my mom where I wanted to hang them. There is a mini hallway in between the spare bathroom, my room and Nolan’s playroom. There is a medium sized of wall space that has always looked dull and I thought these would be perfect to hang them and make the house a little more Christmassy! My parents are not the type to decorate every space in the house like I would, especially being that this house is still “brand new” to us and I feel like it needs that sort of vibe going on. So, my mom hung all three in the order I had already picked out and since they are all unique, I thought my last wish for them are three have the same meaning but it is translated in three different languages: the top is the star and this one is called, “Merry Christmas”. the middle is the gold tinsel and full trunk and it’s name is, “Feliz Navidad” for Spanish and the third with the pretty red ornaments is German’s way “Fröhliche Weihnachten”.

Overall, the projects were a success and I am very proud of myself for not only being strong throughout the whole process, but for being committed to doing something different and definitely out of my comfortable zone. Here are the rest of the photos I took of the whole thing.

When was the last time you did something that was out of your comfort zone, but that was bigger than you would normally do? If you create your own Christmas décor, what is your absolute favorite you have made for 2020?

snowflake

Blogs That I Love #25

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Hi 🙂

I’ve been noticing that I am following a lot of different artists and art blogs lately. I do have a weakness for it, because I still know a good amount of knowledge about art. I took as many classes for it as my sister did for weightlifting in high school! For this post, I only wanted to highlight the ones who draw or paint by hand. I don’t have anything against the ones who use the computer softwares, I just wanted to take it back old school, to what I used to be good at back in the day.

coolpeppermint – I’ve been following Lu for a year or so now. I don’t really comment on her posts, but I do read and browse around on her blog at her lovely drawings and photography every other day! I love the “Daily Art” series she has, most of the posts only have a few sentences but the real attraction is whatever she’s finished and releases to us. I often forget that photography is part of the “art” mediums, so it’s nice to be reminded that even I don’t draw or paint as much anymore, I still have a knack for getting the right and unique look to my subjects–which would be my cats! Trust me, when my nephew arrives, he’ll probably become my next guinea pig!

Favorite posts: Jar Of Hearts, City Dreaming, Rose All Day, Walkway, Let It Snow, and Rainy Daze.

Art We Wonderful – Marion has become one of my favorites! I found her or she found me, I still get confused! Somebody found the other first let’s just go with that! I want to say she’s the one who really inspired me to start painting. I’ve never liked painting! You needed a lot of patience to be able to do and enjoy it, and I didn’t have any of that while I was in school. Now as an adult, I’ve matured and gained a lot of patience in the last five or six years. I’m more into painting small things compared to what she does! Marion has a lot of cityscapes and buildings. I love all of the details she puts in them, they look so lifelike that I kind of get jealous of them!

Favorite posts: Lunchtime In The South Of France, Going Door-Crazy For The First Time, A Complete Mini Vacation To Italy’s Cinque Terre, and Where Art Thou, Internet Guy?

Holly Hearts Art – So I didn’t want to only talk about bloggers, even though this is what the series is all about, but it’s mine and I want to add Holly onto the post! Holly is very unique as I actually found her Booktuber channel first. She has a really great quality bookshelf tour she did last year that I think everyone should check out! I think I watched three book hauls before I found she had an art channel too! And every once in a while when I need a little push to doodle or like the other day attempt a perspective drawing–I haven’t done one those in probably seven years–she has all kinds of videos, like subscription boxes, drawing prompts, and testing out other art products! I just love her to pieces!

Favorite videos: Favorite Places To Draw, Quick and Easy Drawings To Do When You’re Bored, and 500 Drawing Prompts #11

With all of the beauty, fashion, lifestyle and mommy bloggers out there, what is your definition of a “unique” blogger? Do you follow many artists or art blogs? If not, why don’t you?

snowflake 

NYE Shenanigans!

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Hi 🙂

Before I was hit by the flu in early January, I actually had a mini getaway. I stayed with a friend of mine. Afterwards I had lot of plans to get back into blogging right away. Well, not at the moment I arrived home because even I know I need to let my body rest for a couple of days before I actually got started on anything! I just didn’t know my body needed three whole weeks to get settled back into my normal routine.

Over the NYE celebrations, I went to hang out with my friend Brittany. You might remember her as she and my family, plus a few close friends knew of the surprise of a lifetime. She’s the one who took me to see Shinedown and Five Finger Death Pinch in 2016. She invited me over to her house for the weekend, to hang out with her and her Great Dane Lizzy Lou and cat Gravy!

We did a lot in those two days. We went out to eat twice–both places we love! And we went to Lowe’s, which was absolutely hilarious! We started out with her pushing my wheelchair while I had a hold of the cart. We realized this wasn’t really working so she went on to pull the cart from the front and I grabbed the bottom rail that connects the wheels together. The only way I can explain to you what I was feeling was like surfing, just without water! It was fun, I almost hit a couple of displays but I didn’t fall out or break anything in the store!

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She knows I’m always looking for a good time, so she found an opening at Painting With A Twist that was $25 for one person, unfortunately it was too expensive for the both of us, and she said she didn’t want to do it, but honestly we cheated a bit because she had to help me a few times so I feel she participated too! I had never done this before, but I’ve seen it on TV and seen the many, many pictures on their Facebook page. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a place where you go to paint and drink wine. So if you go to these “parties” you have to over the age of 21, but the one we went to was providing coffee instead so we had younger girls in our group. One of the nice things about it is that everything is already there for you to use, you can wear an apron to protect your clothes, and they provide you with canvas, paint and brushes.

After we left Lowe’s, she called them to make sure they can accompany to my needs, because we were both worried about the height of the tables. I was very short in my wheelchair and I didn’t want to have her get me out of my chair and onto the floor–I didn’t feel like breaking her back! To say I was worried is a bit of an understatement. When we got there, they let me try out the smaller easels that they have laid out on the tables already, and this was too low to the ground for my foot. Luckily they had another option and brought over a bigger easel and this was a good fit. I felt like Goldilocks in a way, because I was trying many ways to be able to get this to work.

Our instructor was Ryan, he’s also the one who helped the two of us in the beginning. He was very nice and easy to mesh with because I used to go round and round with my old art teacher in high school, we hardly ever agreed on things. I liked him, he was one of my favorite teachers but I think even he would say I didn’t listen very well! Anyways, he explained the different hand motions we should be making to be able to cover the canvas with the paint. He said it didn’t matter if it was too dark or light, and to take a few steps back to make sure everything is to your liking.

The design that I did was a peace sign on a pink background. I was asked if I wanted to stick to the original background or if I wanted another color, I don’t know why I chose to stay with the pink but I did! There were like seven of us in the room and only two of us kept the pink, while most went with both turquoise and purple. We had only one yellow!

As we waited for the paint to dry after we put on our background color. We took a short break and played a game of guessing how many corks were in this giant wine glass! We were given a paper plate and I had said 36 because it looked less than it was, and Brittany suggested it could be like over 300 of them. Well, it ended up being around 600+ wine corks in this glass! We were all shocked and depressed at our math skills! The winner was allowed to pick out a painting from the display on the outside of the room. After she came back in with the one she liked out, we started on our actual peace sign.

I’m one of those people who have to go bigger than the normal person apparently. I can never do anything small and delicate. We put the random yellow swishes on the left side corner and apparently I had a little bit too much fun. One of the things that Ryan had mentioned before we started was this is an easier design because you’re freeforming it rather than painting in the lines of the subject as we were told were how the other paintings were created, which makes sense considering I’ve seen a LOT of good ones and its easy to forget that the people who were doing them could had a lot of wine at the same time.  I can’t use alcohol to my advantage for my craziness!

Once we drew the peace sign on there with our pieces of chalk, we started painting various dashes around our outline. Another example of my “go big or go home” mentality I had that day! After this, we left it to dry and then we moved on to the splattering effect and he told us to put our canvases down on the floor. He said to get the paint brush really wet with water and then put it into the black paint and constantly go back and forth until you get this runny paint on the bristles, and he said to tap on the handle of the brush on the areas where you want the splatters to go, but while I was trying to do this, my wheels kept moving at the same and I was close to running over my canvas three times! Brittany actually had to help me a bit because I was having a hard time staying straight in my wheelchair. I will be happy when I get my new chair! I will say her splatters were the bomb and everybody agreed too!

Brittany had to do the drying parts for me, because I bet I’d probably break a blow dryer! I’d either run over it or drop it on accident, either way I would have like crap. After she came in, we had another break and we played a new game too.

26234834_10215236147714826_1148270273_nThis one was interesting because we used the paper plates we were given before and we were asked to close our eyes and draw out different things that go with NYE like a party hat, wine bottle and a glass. I could reach the top of the stools that everybody sat on, so I put my plate up there so I could participate in the game. Next time when somebody suggests to help you hold things there, just do it! Don’t pull a Meghan and mess up. However, I did a decent wine glass! Ryan said once we were finished, that he tends to give out two prizes for this game: if you can tell what it is and the hot mess. We had a couple of hot messes, even the girl who won that category agreed with him, but I won the other one. Brittany and I had went around the whole place beforehand and she had already expressed which one she had liked and lucky for the both of us, I used my “winnings” to her advantage and she got to take it home! It goes great with her color scheme of her living room.

Once we were finished with the whole thing, the canvases got one last blow dry and we washed our hands of the acrylic paint. I didn’t make a big mess of myself or the floor! My nana would have been shocked about that! We were given these giant brown paper bags to pack our canvases into as we left, but first there was picture time! We had the group photo and then Brittany put me into between the two designs that had Ryan already did for the class.

Now every artist has to name their project. My Linkin Park drawings I did in 2010 are called “The 6” because it was six portraits with close to six different mediums. So I named mine a little bit later, after Brittany and I realized something different about mine, and I was going to share that part with you, but I think I’m just going to post the pictures and let you see it for yourselves.

Since we had so much fun that day and our hopes of taking a nap that afternoon never happened, we didn’t make it up to midnight. We were sort of dragging that Monday morning when she dropped me off, but we’re both in agreement though that we’re waiting until it gets a little warmer but we had a freaking blast! Hope you enjoyed this post!

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Have you ever done anything like Painting With A Twist? Even if you’re not a “painter” I still recommend that you go and check it out anyways!

snowflake

 

Still Coloring Easter Eggs!

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Hello!

When I wrote this post, for some odd reason I got confused and thought Easter was this coming Sunday. Thankfully, I caught my mistake early enough that I could change it beforehand!

Easter is no longer like a celebrated holiday in my household, mostly because my sister and I are grown up, she lives in her own apartment with her own fur babies and yeah, I’m just here. However, I do love being surprised with different candies, or like that one year, my mom just went and bought me a whole Easter basket that the three of us devoured in like a week and a half later! So the moral of the story is, we don’t usually do the normal things you do for the actual day like some families.

Every once in a while though, my mom and I get a hankering for hard boiled eggs (only a week after I publish my “veganism” post I write about this – sorry!) Easter is the one day of the year that having two cartons of fairly large decorated eggs is essential. She asked me two Sunday’s ago if nana and I would be interested in painting some eggs and since we’ve both had other projects going on, I just had her ask nana if she wanted to do it too. She agreed to do them as long as mom bought us some new dyes and hard boiled the eggs for us because she can’t, of course!

This isn’t going to be my regular DIY post either considering we didn’t make our own dyes!

I believe we had fun though! It was definitely easier putting them into each bowl of colors – which were pink, blue, yellow, orange and green. Towards the end though, my nana wanted to experiment and poured about half of the blue and yellow into an extra bowl we had in a drawer and so we had another darker shade of green to use, unfortunately at the time we had created this color we were running out of eggs! So we only got to decorate one egg in that color. It was a pretty though! My mom also forgot to only use water in the pink dye as that’s what the directions she had read only five seconds before pouring the vinegar into the bowl. The hue was a nice light color though, almost looks like maid-of-honor dress!

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Getting the eggs out of the bowls that my mom filled up basically to the top was difficult. I was the one putting them in until we realized that my feet were turning blue and green very quickly! So I gave the reins to nana, who could use both of her hands to lift them out safely! We were putting them into a small pan with a paper towel on top so they would be dry before laying them back into the cartons, but towards the end I just didn’t care that my toes were changing colors, despite having a shower the night before, I just started pulling them out and back into the carton.

I don’t think there is a real age where you should stop coloring Easter eggs! I find it cute when nursing homes have their residents do it. They could relive their memories of doing it with their families too! I think my nana got a real thrill for it even though we were both hoping (and praying) to God that nobody fell on the floor and cracked! Speaking about the two of us and the eggs!

Do you still color Easter eggs? Why or why don’t you?

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snowflake

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DIY: Little Turkeys!

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Hi 🙂

I think I should come out and say my nana has really surprised me on the fact that she’s been so creative throughout this season! After introducing her to all of the popsicle crafts on Pinterest, she’s really put in the effort in creating new things! I actually figured we’d stop for a month and wait until the last week of November to start on our Christmas crafts because you know those are coming soon!

So when she sent me a batch of different crafts for Thanksgiving, (a variation of turkeys popped into my inbox on Facebook one day! It was scary!) but I didn’t make fun because I was a bit worried on what we were going to do in the three to five hours I tend to stay with her on a weekly basis! She took care of that, but that does mean we are quickly running out of our brand new paints and bottles of glitter!

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What you will need for this:

  • Popsicle sticks
  • Glue
  • Paint
  • Brushes
  • Construction paper or cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Permanent Marker
  • Duct Tape (optional)
  • Glitter (optional)

My nana has these old coasters as we’re calling them, they are circular and have two different sides: one is shiny where the other has a grainy texture to it. The last time I tried painting on them, I used the shiny side and it took it forever to dry probably because of how many coats of paint I had to put on it, the one downfall of that side is that shiny texture makes the surface almost slippery, the paint didn’t want to stay where I had put it originally, so it was a pain in the butt! So when we were doing these, I decided to try out the other side and despite the fact I had to put two coats of brown on it, it actually worked a lot better for me!

Before I started painting though, I decided to make my job a lot easier and draw out a half an oval on the bottom of the circle going horizontal for the face of the turkey. After that, I painted big circles for the eyes with white in the upper part of the plain space and once that dried, I painted the surrounding around the eyes and in between with a lighter orange, as it mimicked the flap around its beak. I left that to dry for a bit before I took out the brown again and painted the rest of the area I had made for its face as I didn’t need it anymore. In case you don’t have a brush with tiny bristles, you can use a black Sharpie for the eyes! That’s what we had to use for them!

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As far as the back-end of the turkey, where its feathers are located at, we used our popsicle sticks and I tried to remember what a traditional turkey’s feathers would look like, so I chose both gray and orange, but again to make things easier on me, copying what I did with its body, I drew lines in different sections of the sticks of where to stop painting! This helped a lot for the gray! I added another coat of orange just before we glued them onto the turkey itself because I didn’t think the color went down enough, and I’m glad I did that because two didn’t have enough!

Anyways, after they were done drying completely, my nana took out her hot glue gun and put quite a bit of glue on the tops of the sticks and laid the body of the turkey on top of it. We had to weight it down with something heavu so they would all stick, but it looked really cute in the end!

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My nana actually didn’t use the coasters for hers, she cut up small circles of left over cardboard and used that as the body for the turkeys instead! Our methods were the basically the same past this point. We both started using popsicle sticks and the first one she created as painted in different colors that matched (or slightly) the glitter that we had left… Afterwards, she cut up a spoon-like shaped face for it with construction paper and used tiny parts of the paper for the mouth, she used white paint and the Sharpie for the eyes! She originally wanted the rest of the body to be covered in glitter, but when went cleaning in her office again, we found bend-y paper shavings and she glued those on it instead!

Her second turkey is mostly the same method as the other one, but the only difference was the body and “feathers” are covered in duct tape! And with using the duct tape too, she only had room for four sticks as to the original six we used for the other two! She had rainbow tape left over and used it instead of painting the areas. She did have to cut out another spoon shape for its face again, and everything about that is the same as the one above!

So what do you think? Would you want to re-create your own turkeys for Thanksgiving or fall in general? 

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snowflake

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