Monday, January 9, 2012

Gallery: making gifts

So many gifts given (and received) were handmade this year, and I've been waiting until they've been opened to share some glimpses of the ones we worked together on.  First, though, Eliza made her sister a journal - a cloth-covered book that she found instructions for in the Daring Book for Girls. She did a beautiful job, sequestered in our bedroom while she created.
A long week (that fell waaaaaay too close to Solstice and Christmas for comfort!) was spent as a family making stencils for shirts, scarves and a bag! Phew! It was luckily also a lot of fun to do.  The girls mostly designed the shirts, while Dan and I did the cutting and ironing of the stencils, and everyone painted.
Dan and Ani discussing a tricky design
Ironing freezer paper designs to the shirts
Dan and Ani drove to West Virginia to the closest mini-metropolis for supplies while I was sick. Yes, they saved Christmas around here. One of my requests was for some cotton jersey knit for making simple scarves. Cut the swath, create the design, and voila - a scarf.
The designs were mostly of dragons. Or birds. With the exception of this little alien that Dan duplicated from an old shirt advertising his brother's band from the early 90's.
Waiting for paint to dry before removing the paper
Stencil in place, waiting for paint
A scarf for my mama
Oh yes, and there was this giant, fire-breathing chicken, which is probably my favorite design of all, made by Dan for his Dad. The train tracks are a nod to his Dad's love of trains...
 Most of my photos are pretty lousy - the light in the art room is great for working in but not so great for photography, but we wanted a record of what we created!
Chickens by Ani

 There are many tutorials on how to do this available on the internet; just google "freezer paper stencils" and you'll find dozens.  There was a bit of trial and error for us - we used paint we hadn't used before and found that the new colors were not as "fast" as the plain black, and some of it washed away.  Live and learn for the next time.
One of Ani's dragons with some wintry details added by me

a bag for a lucky cousin

Um...a groove-billed Ani. Look it up. It's unique, right? One of a kind?
I think the best part was that it was like a little elf factory in our art room and even though one of the four of us was sick (we rotated), everyone pitched in and added another coat of paint, helped iron on designs, or wrapped and wrote cards.  Making, together.


alissa said...

I wore my groove billed ani today! spreading the word. love it.

merry said...

I've got my hummingbird shirt on right now down in Mexico!!! Love it!!