Blogmas: Wooden + Dots Ornaments

Hello!

As you may have noticed, and I still don’t know what happened because I had plans, but we didn’t put out any pumpkins this fall. My sister did, she decorated her entire front porch with various sizes of pumpkins, but we did not. I found it very surreal, because that’s my favorite thing to do in September and October is paint pumpkins. After that, I think my body was like, “okay, we need to find an alternative fast!” because this project came out of nowhere, but it ended up becoming a new favorite of mine.

In mid-October, I started looking for birthday gifts that weren’t books (I know it’s shocking!) and I found these wooden shapes and I sort of fell in love with them and then I found ones that were Christmas related and then all hell broke loose in my brain!

In the last year and a half, I’ve been watching a lot of reels and regular videos on YouTube of dot art. I still don’t remember what inspired the find in general, but I’m forever glad it came into my life. I used it in my 3 projects last Christmas. It was only a simple red dot here and there with a Q-Tip but it was still a new thing for me and I loved it. I have been working on it throughout 2021 and I finally felt comfortable enough to use the technique in my new project: the Christmas ornaments!


What you will need for this DIY:

  • Wood cut outs – it’s important for them to be “unfinished”
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Dotting tools
  • Damp washcloth
  • Paint palette or paper plate(s)

Before we get too into this part of the post, I wanted to show you how the ornaments came in the mail.

They were perfectly stuffed into this cute Santa Claus box. I was originally going to get the 160 pieces but I’m glad I switched to the 40 pieces because I would still be painting right now! Anyways, they were four traditional Christmas characters: a snowflake, bell, tree and baubles. You get 10 in each stack, so you have multiple designs you’d like to trade off, you are welcome to do it evenly. If you would like to purchase this set or the others, click here for the Amazon page. You also get clusters of string for each of the ornaments, plus a small bag of metallic beads, but I did not use them.

Raining Dots

I started with the Christmas trees, and I copied the same color scheme I did with my last project, so I mixed my green with a tiny bit of blue and I love how they all came out. After finishing all 10 trees with their base coats, I moved on to the trunk and I poured a small amount of brown into my palette, and I used one layer of paint for that part. I am a lover of DecoArt acrylic paints, (thanks to Lydia May on YouTube!) I usually don’t need more than two coats depending on the shade, and I was very happy with my color choices this time around, including the yellow!

Once everyone was in the process of drying, I switched my attention on my design ideas for a few of my baubles. I knew I wanted to create a series of animals, but I’m not really good at it so I went looking on Pinterest and found a great step-by-step guide of the Fox for my friend Brittany. She was the one who really inspired this part in the first place. I continued to search for guides of the Cow and Pig, but I wasn’t able to find anything, so they were basically all free-foot sketches. After that, I stopped for the day, and came right back to it the next day.

A couple of weeks ago, I was finally able to add another selection of dotting tools. I have the smaller sizes, and I’ve been using them for about a year now and they are very nice for me to grip my toes around and make my dots, but the others are various sizes and I have been wanting to get them for a while now because I wanted to try my foot at the larger dots. I am having issues how to grip them, but I expected that to happen. I knew I wasn’t going to go all out with my designs (honestly, I had the phrase, “less is more” in my mind the whole time!) and I tried to keep it that way.

When I came back to my trees, I was ready to decorate everybody, and I used two colors: yellow and a light gray (I mixed my gray with a tiny bit of white!) and I painted the stars with those colors and would switch the yellow star with silver garland. I was smart with this; I drew out a zig-zag design on most of them and would follow the lines with my dotting tool and I really loved it! Some look like traditional Christmas trees, but there are five of them with the “walking technique” which is coating your desired tool with paint and dotting down the canvas, I love this so much I did it to my Bonsai pot in the spring! My parents saw the final tree with this design, and they love it. Honestly, everyone I’ve shared it to, has expressed the same thoughts too!

So, here are how the trees turned out.

There Goes Rudolph!

The second (or third) shape were the bells. I wasn’t impressed with the bells at all, they were very boring even without paint on them…

My thinking behind them was the golden bells you normally see on pictures, but I could not get the yellow to turn to a pretty gold and I tried like three different times and was only successful after finishing with them. I was so mad at that point, but I moved on though. Since I had 10 of these bells, I was influenced by a fragment of a carol “with silver bells ringing” I kept hearing while doing the base colors and I created the silver hue again for the rest of my bells and I thought they looked so adorable!

I left to dry overnight and I was really worried about how boring they looked, so that night I thought about adding a reindeer face on it and in my dreams they looked so cute and I was over the moon when I started sketching out how I wanted the antlers to go, but once I started doing my dots I got a little worried because the design started to look a little bit like a pair of balls and by my second bell, I became terrified at what was appearing but thankfully my mom thought they were great, especially after I put the eyes and big red nose at the end.

The reindeer/bells are definitely my favorite, even with the cock and balls antlers, they still look amazing! I did a good job on them and that’s something I rarely do when it comes to painting, is enjoy what I am creating, and lately it’s been so fulfilling to believe in my artwork for the first time.

Let It…

For the third ornament, we have snowflakes.

I think both the trees and snowflakes were the easiest to do because they required a small set of skill. You can free hand your designs to make things simple and they would still end up being very beautiful. When I began on the snowflakes though, I thought I would be able to play with my various sizes of tools, but I rarely got away from the blue tool, which is a little bit bigger than the purple tool. I basically treated the flakes like the trees when it came to their designs and used the walking technique quite a bit throughout the process.

And like the trees, I kept my color scheme pretty limited, I only used white for the base and used two different blues, but my favorite shade was the bright, neon like because it reminded me of the Frozen films. I’ll be honest, I had Queen Elsa and Princess Anna (and of course, Olaf too!) in my head all while I was working on these and I’m glad I did because it got me out of my head, and I allowed myself to make mistakes with them because I mean every snowflake is one of a kind so I just left them the way they were… well, some of them! There were 3 that definitely had to be fixed but after I was done, I basically pushed them as far away as possible, so I wasn’t able to add more dots!

The Cast of Characters

Lastly, the bauble balls were my least favorite because I knew what I wanted to do with a few of them and it scared the living daylights out of me! I got through in one piece thank God, but not without psyching myself out in the first round.

So, like I explained above while I was waiting for my trees to dry, I got started on figuring out what I wanted for three of my baubles, the rest was pretty much left until I did the base coats. I treated the baubles like the bells, as I split them up as they were painted in traditional Christmas colors: green and red. I was so worried the red would be too dark for my animal baubles, but thankfully they design held up great against the paint, and I was still able see every part.

My biggest worry now was, do I have a brush that was small enough to paint the character without creating a big mess around it, and I was thoroughly surprised as I found a tiny brush that was not only perfect for the designs, but it quickly became a favorite of mine because it allowed me to gain back some of the control as far as what I wanted to bring into each animal. I didn’t stop using my dotting tools though as I had made the eyes and noses with a small tool, and they turned out as adorable as my Rudolph/reindeers in the end.

When I was done with them, I was fairly tempted to leave the rest of the baubles plain, but I thought they looked too boring for that, and I started experimenting and I made array of different ones but I did one that spells the word “Woof” for a family friend, they have a Pittie and they recently got a Beagle puppy so as my mom told me, “it fits” for them, and then I surprised myself again but creating two baubles in a Ugly Christmas Sweater design and I’m still upset I did just do that with the rest but it was just a beautiful disaster that I need to remember for next Christmas!

Bring Me the Rainbow

My final bauble is very special because it is my nephew’s. Nolan has become obsessed with the moon and rainbows, and since I already got him a Moon phase garland for his room, I figured I needed to bring out his love for the rainbow too, so I reserved a bauble ornament for him. I don’t know why I didn’t do this with my nana’s ornament since she too is obsessed with the rainbow! Oh well, I will make a note of this for next year!

I was thrilled to do this for Nolan but I was also terrified too because I had to use the ruler to create a series of lines for each color, and honestly, this was a doozy! I was having a hard time making six, somewhat equal, lines for each dot and it was a hard task at first but once I got it all figured out, I poured out my paint on my palette and got to work on the actual dots.

This media has also become a favorite of my nephew too. He currently had two or three CDs I’ve made in the last year or so, the first one he just took home and the others I gave him because he kept holding onto them. I think in the new year, I will try to teach him how to do it so he can be excited about his own creations too! Anyways, I used my pink tool, which is the middle size and honestly, it was actually perfect for this design. I was going to use the tiny brush again to remove the empty spaces in between the dots but I stopped myself from doing it and messing the entire ornament up. Nolan was very excited to get his ornament. I don’t think he understood at first why I had given him a different design compared to his mommy’s pink reindeer, but I know he will cherish it nonetheless!

It is strange when a small thought that can appear in the middle of a sleepless night, can grow into such a huge project and yet bring so much good to a slice of the world. Homemade gifts are good for the soul. I give kudos to anyone who has a small business and fix up orders every day, because that is no small feat! As I told my nana the other day, now that I am done painting and the cards were shipped out and people are receiving their ornaments, I still feel like I need to be doing something, and I really hope it was finishing this post.

I really hope you have enjoyed reading my process with this project. It was fun while it lasted, and now I can relax for the rest of this break. If you celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a lovely time with your family, friends and/or pets. For anyone else, have a wonderful weekend!

Blogmas | Christmas Tree Ornaments

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Howdy!

Before I start on this, I am leaving my previous Blogmas post about my Christmas tree because if you haven’t read it yet or this is your first time on here, you can get caught up on why I have adopted a very interesting way to do my tree this year.

For today though, I am discussing my process of both the ornaments and the way I took the pictures, because that in itself was a big production that some people might find enjoyable! Fun fact: I am one of those people! 

  The Ornaments  

I feel the need to mention that the day I finished writing my previous post about my tree, my whole original theme of white lights, purple bulbs, and a star on top, kind of went out the window since my mom could not find anything to match that scheme. However, my dad did say something about going to Dollar General and getting things there. So, one morning I went on the DG website and looked over their very limited holiday decorations and found two that I actually loved, and they were: a pair of angel wings that came in two colors on the site, gold and red. I really fell in love with the red ones. The other one I just couldn’t get over was the crown. If you know me well, you know I need anything royalty and I thought for this reason would be no different!

Later that day, my mom went to the store and came home with an interesting sort of things for me. She got me a box of array silver ornaments. There are the normal shiny ones but my favorites are really the glittery and matte bulbs the most. Unfortunately, they didn’t have their hooks on them already so that was a bummer, but I managed to put two of them on the tree myself before letting mom take over! Now, you’re probably wondering about the two I found online. Did we have any luck in that department? Well, I’m happy to say, she found both of them! There was a setback though, she found the wings only in silver.

This wasn’t what freaked us out though. When I saw them online, they looked pretty smell, almost the same size of the other ones she got me. No… The wings and crown are huge! We couldn’t believe it! Honestly the crown is the perfect size but the wings just look obnoxious! This wasn’t the funny thing though, because both of my parents thought it would look great as the topper, but every time I look at it, I think it looks like a vagina! I literally thought of the episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, when Marie takes an art class and the sculpture she presents to her family, looks just like a vagina. The wings are basically in the same shape but with a bigger opening in the middle, so when my mom placed it at the top of my tree, it just looked very wrong. I mean, I’m all for my Christmas tree being non-traditional, but I have to draw the line somewhere!

I managed to talk my mom into putting the wings lower on the tree, but as much as I had my heart on a star on the top, I kind of thought the crown would look better there instead. It took some convincing on my part because my mom was very adamant about the vagina–I mean, the wings on top–but it does fit on there nicely. As far as decorations on my tree, this is about it. My mom did find me some lights too, but the cord was white and since the tree isn’t as full like others, it looked a bit chaotic but all is not lost, because my mom came up with another idea for them. I don’t even know what prompt this, but she just started wrapping them around my curtain rod on both sides and it actually looks amazing with my sunflower curtain! Thankfully, the lights don’t generate too much heat that I can actually leave them on all day and night. They make my room look really cozy!

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  The Process Of The Pictures  

Now that we have that part out of the way, I can talk to you about how I managed to take the photos for this blog post. I will say, it was not easy, but honestly any post that requires a lot of pictures is usually pretty difficult anyways! Between the fact that I am always adjusting myself to get the ‘perfect’ shot and basically trying not to pop out of my wheelchair and land butt (or worse, back) first on the hardwood floor, isn’t the best thing in the world. Thankfully, I can say I did not hurt myself too awful that day – I did sleep like a baby that night so I took that as a good sign!

For the first round of photos, I used my Kodak digital camera I got last Christmas. I thought the pictures turned out really good the last time so I tried it out for this part, but since I was working with higher angles, I was having a lot of difficulty keeping the camera steady enough. I was able to get a few of the ornaments in their places, so that was nice, but for the rest I switched to my tablet.

Now, I will say that I would only use this as a last resort, because they weren’t in the best quality. I think the culprit for this was because it was too dark in my room. I have become dependent on the flash and since I didn’t have enough lighting, they might not look the greatest but I honestly loved how they turned out for some odd reason. Besides this, I used something else to help make everything easier for me. My nana and papaw had this foot stool that they inherited from the aunts, and I use this to prop up my tablet to color and read. However, I hadn’t thought about using it as a tripod until that day. It took me a good hour and a half to arrange it in certain ways to get the shots I wanted, because when it comes to blog photography, I am incredibly picky! We were successful though, or at least I’ll found out if any of you send me comments about them after reading this post.

The last thing I would like to do, is find this large bag of classic Christmas heirlooms my nana gave me a couple of years ago. I think they would look awesome surrounding the tree. It would complete the whole thing I think. If we find them, I’ll update you about it on Instagram and Facebook!

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What was the meaning for your Christmas tree theme? Do you have any funny ornament stories you would like to share with me? For anybody with a disability, does it normally take you a while to get everything just right? What do you use to make things easier?

snowflake

Blogmas | Christmas Decor Ideas

Howdy!

Merry Christmas Eve!

For this post, I wanted to discuss some of my early Christmas decor ideas for 2019! Yeah, I know I’m going backwards for this, but there’s a reason for it. We recently got a new house, and I’ve been trying to figure out how I want everything arranged in my new bedroom. We have an idea of where the bed and TV will be placed, but everything else is a bit up in the air right now. So, I only have a blurry video imprint in my mind of what it looks like and how I’d like for everything to go!


Whenever we’d move to a different house, my room has always had white walls. After so many years, it can get very boring looking and you just feel like you need a change and what I do is add as many posters as I possibly can! I even have some of my old artwork hanging up in my current room as well, and despite the fact that it makes the room more lively, it can still look pretty plain.

Over the years, I’ve wanted to decorate the crap out of my room for various holidays–mostly for Halloween and Christmas! A recent dream of mine is that I’ve been wanting to get a Christmas tree for my bedroom. I think I might be watching Zoe Sugg’s vlogmases a little too much because she makes me want to do stuff that I wouldn’t normally do! A part of me is torn between if this is a good or bad thing!

This month I’ve been inspired to create a Pinterest board of what I like about Christmas, the pines of the trees, bright glitter-y snow, and apparently the color red in all its glory! Later on in the year I’ll be posting some of my favorite ornaments and that’ll just add to my personality, because as most of you know, I’m a very eclectic person with many, many interests. Anyways, if you’d like to check it out, click here!

I’d like a semi-tall tree, I’m thinking maybe a 4′ tree so that I can put it up and take it down by myself. I can already picture explaining that to my parents! I originally wanted a normal looking tree, but after scrolling through my Facebook last week, a friend shared an article about the newest trend of black Christmas trees! After seeing this, I suddenly wanted one and thought that big royal purple ornaments with white snowflakes would be so pretty! I think I’d feel happy about not only myself but my new surroundings of being able to have that freedom that comes with decorating, you know?

So what about you? Do you wish you had an extra room where you could decorate it to the way you want it to, without having any judgement from others? 

Blogmas | Routine Or Nostalgic?

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Howdy!

Last year I was heavily inspired by one of my Facebook friends Lori, to create both this post and last week’s about the Christmas movies I haven’t seen yet. For this one, I got the idea to write about it after she posted a status about whether or not she and her husband should put up their Christmas tree. The reason why she asked is because both of her children are older now and the eldest doesn’t even live with them anymore. So, she posed the question are putting up Christmas trees part of the holiday routine or wanting to be nostalgic?

When Blondie began to date Brandon, our parents really started to wonder if it would be worth it to put ours up too. Despite the fact that I am still living in the family home, my mom still suggested the idea of just forgoing the big tree and using my little purple tree instead. I ended up getting very angry with my parents about this and they decided to invite the two goofballs, who now usually have their tree up a day or two after Thanksgiving, over to get the 20 year old tree up and decorated in our living room.

I think at that point of time, it was a bit of a routine. My mom always likes to complain that since we only have it up for like two weeks, she’s the one taking it all down in the end. I think my nana can vouch for me when I say that I could help her taking down Christmas trees, since the last tree she had, we took down like three months after we probably should have, and nobody fell out of their wheelchairs or hurt themselves either!

While I was growing up, my grandparents always put up their tree, even though they relativity lived alone. I mean, their dog Casey would knock it down every once in a while, but it would go up on Black Friday and most times it would be taken down by the end of the first week of January. They absolutely loved having their tree up. I remember hearing a story that papaw would stop in his wheelchair and just look up at it in the middle of the day. It always brought out a lot of memories; some of the ornaments were originally the aunts, we had his favorite lights and tinsel draped around it as well. After he died, my nana didn’t stop putting it up because she was the only one there. She knew that the family would be there for that day in some form and it would be worth it in the end.

I’m glad that my parents never stopped putting it up, I love looking at it when it’s lit in those rainbow colors. The sparkles are hypnotizing. I never like getting stabbed by the branches but I love putting the family “relics” at the end of each one. And this year, we have a new member that gets to be a part of the chaos. Little Nolan watched his mommy and daddy put up theirs, and I think he’ll enjoy being close to the mess and you know mom will want to get a couple of pictures of him under the Christmas tree too!

I don’t think it matters if you live alone or have a whole house full of people, you should have some kind of tree up. Everybody deserves to feel festive in some way and to me, this is what usually does the trick.

What about you, do you put up some kind of Christmas tree in your house, apartment, or even dorm room? Do you think it’s part of our routine of the coming season? Or do you think we have them to feel nostalgic?

snowflake

Tis’ Not A Naked Tree!

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Hey guys!

Last week, I posted about how my nana and I got her Christmas tree up finally! It wasn’t really a challenge (for me) but it did make me realize how much stuff my parents never let me do whenever we put up our tree. Well today, I have the second day of decorating the tree and I’m happy to say I did a lot more than I thought I would, between taking pictures of basically everything in sight, I helped put on tinsel and bulbs. It was pretty interesting to say the least!

Before I got there, my mom had to buy new lights for the tree since the others nana tried didn’t work all the way. She got three boxes of 100 mini lights. I think we had more than enough lights, what do you think? I think lights are my favorite thing about decorating the tree. It’s strange how both the “red” and “yellow” are actually really “pink” and “gold” once they’re lit up. The blue has always been my favorite! We were a little worried on how we were going to put the lights on as we really couldn’t move the tree out of the space in the living room and mess up her rug and nativity scene completely. So I thought of the idea of just throwing them up and into different directions, like we had planned on doing with the tinsel. We realized we had a big batch on top that was empty! Oops! My mom had to go and fix that later!

My nana had told me that while she was attempting to put on the lights to take pictures. When she was just about to put them on the bottom half of the tree, I snapped one and the flash went off and scared the crap out of both of my grandparents! My papaw didn’t really help, but then again between the two wheelchairs we were already blocking a big section of the entrance to the room, he really couldn’t help. He did managed to play “O Christmas Tree” on the piano which boosted my mood up a little now we were getting into the Christmas spirit. After the lights were done, then came my second favorite part: the ornaments! I think last year I had done a blog post about what WE put on our tree, my sister and I’s old kiddy decorations we had made in school and whatnot. So I got to do a similar post with hers!

The difference with her tree is that there’s no ornaments that us grandchildren have made specifically for them. I mean, there’s like two different ornaments from my mom (preschool and high school!) and a random picture of my sister from grade school! The rest of the ornaments are very old (which I like!) and some were made by my great-grandmother I think. She’s got these very decorative bulbs that remind me of India on how much detail and color they all seem to have, they’ve always been my favorites of course! And then you have these slightly clear ones. Very Christmas-y, full of baby Jesus and the Hollies. The first two we pulled out of the bag were these very delicate ornaments. The one of a train was very sturdy but the other was some kind of carriage. and it felt like it was made of paper so I had to be extra careful with it!

The second picture is obviously my papaw’s. It is a silver elf and it has a long chain on it. We put it down at the bottom so it could dangle. It was from where my papaw used to work and the date of that year, 1988! Yikes My nana also has her own special ornaments. She has her Adam Lambert picture locket type of ornament and then she has an Elvis Presley bulb that took me about seven tries and three different props to get a decent picture! And to the finish it all of, she had one little modernized ornament. She has the same Garfield in a football helmet like we do as the second to last recent ornament added to the tree! We honest to God had a lot of bulbs to put on. She had to put mostly the ones with hooks on the tree as I got the same job I get at home with putting the ones withe sting on it.

After successfully finishing that part of the decorations. My mom put the angel on top of the tree! She left to go do errands and we continued on, this time putting on the tinsel. We did the same thing we did with the lights but had better throws, each tinsel was in like little strands so throwing it up on the tree wasn’t that bad, until it fell off and landed back on the floor… During this time I kept getting stuck in my wheelchair. I could lean my body to pull my legs up in the air but straightening myself out on my own wasn’t working out very well. My nana had to hold down my foot like five times during the whole thing just so I could fix myself! At least nobody landed on the floor!

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This was probably the most fun and excercise I usually get in one week alone! Just trying to move yourself into the living room that is pretty difficult as to the rest of the house. My nana and papaw go into it like twice a day and the carpet is STILL not used to wheelchairs rolling around on it. 😛 When we were finally complete with the tree I had to take pictures of our finished work, but still managed to crop out the angel on top! I tried to back up enough like three times, I should have known to go for the fourth time. Oh well, it’s pretty the way it is!

What do you think?