Monday, November 24, 2014

Christmas Decorations at Craft-Room Challenges!

For challenge #90 at the Craft-Room Challenge, Hazel has chosen to inspire us to make Christmas Decorations - no cards. I have been intending to make ornaments for the three cats that I had to let go last year (they all lived to a ripe old age; Baby was 19, Spike was 19 and Boo was 17) and I know I did what was needed to for their sake.  What made it so much harder was I lost Spike on December 5th and then Boo on December 6th.  I truly intended on making all 3 ornaments, but, I only got to make one ornament because I got just too emotional to make all three.  I chose to make one for Boo first (and you can read a bit about him here).  Letting go of my furbabies is the worst part of being a pet parent, but the unconditional love, joy and laughter I get from my pets is priceless to me. And, I do have a houseful of five cats, so I am certainly never lonely for cat company. 
Big fat, happy Boo :)

What I Used to Make my Project:
Chipboard Ornament, 2  (I can't for the life of me recall where I got these, but they are about 4" at their widest spot)
Folk Art Acrylic Paint in Metallic Champagne, #675
Ribbon (the metallic gold ribbon was about 1 1/2" wide)
3D Enamel Gel in Satin Gold  (Mine came from Globecraft & Piccolo)
Krylon 18kt Gold Leafing Pen
Bulldog Clips (to hold it together while drying)
Your choice of picture

When I bought these round ornaments, I bought 6 of them so I could make 3 ornaments.  My goal was to cut out a portion of the center on 3 of them, and then use the other three as the backs of the ornament.  That was a great plan, except I have a terrible time cutting in circles - just another one of those things.  I enlisted help and got 3 of the ornaments cut & left three intact.  It helped that they didn't need to be smoothly cut.
 Once they were cut, I picked a pair and brainstormed how I was going to cover the chipboard - I wanted to use paper initially, but after conferring with my teamies, I chose to use ribbon.  So I cut a length of ribbon about as long as my arm (I never measure those kinds of things) and began wrapping it around the ornament with the hole in the center (I'm going to call that ornament the front piece and the back the back piece).  I liked the way the wrapped ribbon came out, and I did try some other ribbons on the other front pieces I had, but the gold looked the best to me. 
The Ribbon I used
I did have to re-wrap the end, up by the hanging piece a few times, but all in all I am satisfied with the results.   Before I glued the ribbon to the front, I colored the area where you put the hook with the Krylon Leafing Pen in case any of it showed.  Then I decided to use the 3D gel on the very top just to give some pop to it.  Once the 3D gel dried (I left it overnight) I glued the ribbon and moved on.

While the ribbon was drying I decided to paint the back portion in a nice, soft gold - Metallic champagne is the perfect name for this color - so the ornament would look finished, plus I think I am going to write a bit about Boo eventually on the back.  I edged the back piece with the Krylon Leafing Pen so all of the chipboard was now covered with something.  I set the back aside to dry.
It dried nicer than this - all the brush marks settled in.

Deciding what picture to use was another issue.  I have no children and I take LOTS of pictures of my cats.  But I found one where Boo is on "his table" (it really wasn't his table, but he adopted it and it became his table), where he'd hang out with me in Connecticut while I was in my art room.  He is fat and healthy in the picture and I felt it was a beautiful representation of him.  I printed out the picture on 4" x 6" photo paper, cut it to size, and sandwiched the 2 pieces of the ornament around the picture.  A bit of glue has seeped onto the top of his picture, and I am sure it would have been fine IF I left it alone, but no - I had to try to wipe it off. 
The red circle shows were the glue is peeking out
I found out what happens when you use a baby wipe on a photo printed picture - it takes the color off.  Yup.  I tried to color in where the color was rubbed off, but the photo paper kept resisting every marker I tried to use.  Mortified that the ornament wasn't going to be perfect, I ripped it apart and printed another picture.  Glued that picture over the ruined picture and sandwiched the ornament again.  I found that the back piece warped a bit so I needed to use some bulldog clips, spaced around the circle, to hold the ornament all together while it dried.

Lastly, I took an old embellishment from my stash (I think it is a part of an earring) and placed that at the top of the ornament.  All the emotion and trouble was worth it because I adore this creation of mine.  I think Boo looks like the handsome kitty he was and this was a fantastic way to remember him.  Maybe I'll be able to make the other 2 ornaments after all.  We'll see. 
Another view - this one is a bit more sparkly

Thank you SO much for reading all of this - I know I over shared, but sometimes that's what I have to do.  I hope you will share your creations with us at Craft-Room Challenge (PLEASE read our pesky rules!) – you have two whole weeks to enter, so get going!  Fondly, Christi

I would like to enter my ornament in the following challenges: 
Crafty Ribbons (w) - Challenge #107,  Animals at Christmas plus Ribbon
CCEE Stampers (w) - Photos & Photography 
The Mirror Crack'd (m) - #3, Christmas Decorations
Unruly PaperArts (m) - RAQ - Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Naughty or Nice Challenges (November) - #9, Festive Furballs
Fairy Tale Challenge - #105, Animal Christmas

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