Saturday, November 29, 2014

Mixing It Up for a Holiday Swap!

My ornaments - Photo by Jill Bradley

I belong to an online bead community called Bead Swap - USA. For the last couple years I have taken part in their annual "Christmas Ornament Swap". My partner this year was my good friend, Jill Bradley.

Jill sent me the most beautiful ornaments (and other goodies!) She had sent me a set of four ornaments so I was able to share with my three daughters. I love the idea of us having the very same ornament on each of our trees!

Goodies: Holiday towels and Tupperware

 Isn't it beauiful! 
I love the mix of the red crystal with the bright silver star!

Now it was my turn to create for Jill.

Over the past year I have moved away from my jewelry making to mixed media art. I needed to find a way to incorporate both of these into my ornaments. I went to my go-to for ideas - Pinterest!
I found a great ornament made by one of my favorite mixed media artists, Roberta Laliberte.

The design and the instructions are ALL Roberta's but I am presenting it by showing photos from my process. With that said - 

Here is the first ornament - 

First thing I did was make some of my pretty painted paper. I started with acrylic paint in a pretty palette of purples, yellow, blues, orange and lime green.

Next step is to cut out an outline of the bird from cardboard (2 per bird). Using masking tape I taped the cut-outs back to back.

Next, I stuffed the bird with crumbled paper. More masking tape, making sure to seal around the whole perimeter, closing up every opening.

I put together a small

string of beads (on wire). Added a loop on each end of the wire and then fed it through the body of the bird. I taped around the openings made by the wire. 

Next step was to coat the bird with some black gesso.

Now to dress the bird. I had cut out the painted papers and then I decoupaged them to the bird shape. Added a few more details using rubber and foam stamps, and some of my penwork.

Glued on some seam binding and a little metal doo-dad and done!

I also made up a couple extra ornaments. In my stash I had a few store-bought paper mache pieces from Michael's.


 I decoupaged on some torn pieces of my leftover deli paper. Stamped some more deli paper with the words "Merry" and "Joy" to give them festive messages.

I hope Jill loves them as much as I do hers! 

Happy Holidays everyone.

xxoOh! Shelley

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