White and Gold Christmas Ornaments

Finishing school for the semester left me with a lot of free time that had previously been occupied with homework, so since I had so much fun making my Nutcracker ornaments I decided to do a bit more Christmas crafting. I again made something really easy, but I’m quite pleased with the way they turned out.

My crafting suppliesI started with some plain glass ball ornaments I bought at Michaels, some plain white paint, and a fine gold sharpie paint pen. The first step is to add some paint to the inside of the ball and swirl it around to make sure the inside is evenly coated. I used a teaspoon to spoon in the paint, but that was rather messy. I might use a turkey baster or something similar if I do this again. Thankfully the dripped paint cleaned off the glass really easily with a damp rag.

remove the metal hangers from the top of the glass balls

I then used an empty egg carton to hold the balls upside down to drain out the extra paint. Once your balls are painted leave them for at least 24 hrs to allow them to dry.turn the painted balls upside down to drain

Reattach the balls cap/hanger thingy and you’re ready for the final step. I set up my supplies in front of the TV and did this while watching the Holiday – one of my favourite Christmas movies. All you need to do is draw a pattern on the outside of your glass balls with the paint pen and then wait for the paint to dry. The pen I used was oil based so it took a few minutes to completely dry – be careful when you handle it – you don’t want to smudge your masterpiece.Decorate your balls with the metalic marker

I decided to use an art-deco inspired scalloped pattern on my balls, but you could draw anything you want. You could also use a couple of different coloured pens to change it up. I debated also using a silver pen, but in the end I liked the gold and white combo, and they worked well with my other white and gold Christmas ornaments from past years.Art DEco Chrsitmas Glass ball ornament

Art Deco Christmas Ball OrnamentArt Deco ball ornamentArt Deco Ball Ornament with nutcracker

My Christmas tree for 2013. I replaced some of my painted nutcrackers with the new glass balls.

My Christmas tree for 2013. I replaced some of my painted nutcrackers with the new glass balls.

What do you think? I quite like them, and I’m now imagining all sorts of other pattern and colour combinations to do for next year.

I’m a member of Para Paints blog crew, however this paint was received when I attended Blogpodium. the other supplies were purchased.

Painted Nutcracker Christmas Ornaments

For the past two years I’ve made my Christmas ornaments – in 2011 my tree was a simple bare branch with some mirrors and home-made felt doves, and in 2012 I pulled out my mini tree and strung a pompom garland and added some white snowflakes. This year I decided to again use my mini tree (although I seriously considered getting myself an adult sized tree – maybe I can find one for a huge discount after Christmas?) and rummaged around my storage locker for my ornament collection which has been steadily growing over the years. I was going to take the easy route and skip the DIYing this year and simply use what I had, but where’s the fun in that? All I needed was some inspiration.

One day I was roaming the aisles of my favourite craft store (aka Dollarama) when I spotted some plain wood nutcrackers in a couple of sizes and I knew what I was going to do. I bought a few packages in two sizes as well as a picture hanging kit and brought them home.Painted Nutcracker SuppliesMy first task was to attach hangers to the top of my nutcrackers. I used the eye screws from the picture hanging kit and screwed them into the top of each nutcracker after first drilling a pilot hole. That was honestly the hardest part of this project.Nutcrackers going for a swimAfter adding some temporary string I took my nutcrackers for a swim. Doesn’t the Para Paints Furby Fuzz (PF63) look a little like the Caribbean sea? I could have used a small paintbrush to paint the nutcrackers, but it seemed easier to simply dunk them, and then use the brush to remove the extra paint. Once they were thoroughly coated I hung them up to dry using some chopsticks wedged under some cookbooks which I think was a rather ingenious solution to figuring out how to dry them without the nutcrackers touching anything and ruining the paint.Drying my painted ornamentsOnce the nutcrackers were dry it was simply a matter of adding some silver string and then hanging them on my tree.Painted NutcrackerNutcrackers and some other ornamentsPainted Nutcracker and mirror ornamentClose up of my painted Nutcracker ornamentIt turns out I rather massively overestimated the number of nutcrackers that could fit on my wee little tree – while I put them all on for this shot I think the tree is better suited to about half as many. I guess I should take that as a sign I really need to get a ‘grown-up’ tree for next Christmas. My Decorated TreeAs a member of Para Paints Blog Crew I was supplied the paint in this project free of charge.

Monday Morning Love – Christmas Cards By Minted

The big C word is coming up, and it’s coming up sooner than I’d really like. Every year I promise myself that this is the year that I’m going to get it together and be one of those crazily organised people who has everything done by December 1st. Today is the 18th of November, and with work and school I haven’t really had time to think about what to get anyone for the big C word let alone brave the malls and pick it out.

One thing I try to do every year is mail out Christmas cards – in this world of email and text messaging I know the only thing I find in my mailbox on any regular day is bills or a new takeout menu, so I like the idea of an actual physical card arriving in my friends and family’s mailboxes to let them know I’m thinking of them. Buying this years cards have been on my mind for the past couple of weeks, but I just hadn’t gotten up the courage to brave the mall. Then the most magical thing happened – I remembered I could just buy them online (cue embarrassing happy dance).

I’d heard of Minted.com in the past, but usually for invitations for wedding and kids birthday parties. When I realised they had Christmas cards I assumed they were those cute ones that people send with pictures of their kids. I don’t have any kids, and I couldn’t really fathom the idea of sending a Christmas card with my face on it so I kinda figured I wouldn’t find anything I liked. I was wrong.

Minted has almost 600 holiday cards to choose from, and while they do offer a lot that can incorporate your favourite photo from the past year, they have a magic search filter, and when you click ‘no photo’ you’re left with 373 different cards to choose from.  A much better selection than the local department store where I usually get my boxed cards.

I was a bit overwhelmed at first, but once I realized I could favourite the ones I liked as I scrolled through the available cards it made easier. My first pass left me with 43 favourites and I whittled it down from there. Once I saw all the cards I had ‘favourited’ in one place it was easy to see that I gravitated to a certain ‘look’, however there were a few different styles that also caught my eye. Some of the cards were easy to eliminate, but some were hard.

I figured that in order for these card to be personalized I’d be able to modify the ‘from’ field.What I didn’t realize was that not only could I change the colour of the card and who it was from, but I could also modify all the text, and even the fonts on the cards. How cool is that?

Anyways,  As you can see I’ve whittled my original 43 favourites to just the six in this post, and they’re a rather eclectic bunch. I’ll take a look at them again in a day or so and make my final pick (although feel free to let me know which ones you like). What about you? Do you send Christmas cards? Have you ever bought personalized cards online, or do you buy the boxed ones like I normally do?

*I have been offered a credit on Minted.com, however all opinions shared in this post are mine.

EEPS! I’m getting old!

It’s my birthday on Friday. I’ll be turning 29 34, which can I just say is pretty weird. Wasn’t it just a few months ago that I was in my twenties? I’m pretty sure it was.  Does anyone else remember when they were kids that it felt like SO LONG between Christmas and March break? Or summer vacation and Christmas? Why does it seem like time is moving so much faster now that I’m an adult? And how do I slow time down? I’m not prepared to be nearing my mid-thirties. Ick – even typing that was scary.

Anyways, in an effort to cheer myself up I thought I’d put together a completely self-indulgent list of things I’d love to get for my birthday. These are things that I may have pinned, that I may need, or I just want but would never buy for myself (especially now since I have replacement windows to pay for)

I spotted this lovely scarf in Chapters the other day and I loved the colours – $38

I need a new pair of rain boots – mine sprung a leak which sort-of defeats their purpose. This time I’d like a lovely pair of Hunters – $160

I’m not a girl who wears a lot of jewellery, and then I do it tends to be pretty minimalist. I’ve loved this Dana Rebecca necklace for years – $275 USD

Lauren Joy Necklace - Dana Rebecca Designs

Lauren Joy Necklace – Dana Rebecca Designs

My brother got me some Molton Brown body washes a couple of Christmases ago and I’ve loved them ever since – $30USD

This guy is so ridiculous that I need him. Who doesn’t want a gold hatted gnome? – $65

Gold hatted Gnome Container - Black Rooster

Gold hatted Gnome Container – Black Rooster Decor

I’d love some art for my walls. I’ve had this small Elizabeth Lennie painting pinned forever. I really like her work, and would love to have one of her swimming paintings – $250

If you had a birthday coming up would you like to get any of the same things as I would? If not what’s on your dream list?