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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas is a-comin'

In keeping with my promise to myself that I will spend a great deal of time doing creative things, I've been surfing Pinterest, collecting ideas for paintings, Christmas gifts, home decor and renovations, gluten free recipes, and much more.  In my pintravels I came across a number of posts showing ceramic items decorated with Sharpie permanent markers. I like things to be practical AND beautiful, so the idea of decorating dinnerware with something so accessible and easy to use as office supplies was hard to resist.  I've been experimenting with this, and after hitting the local Goodwill for some white mugs, & Staples for a mixed pack of Sharpies, a couple of items for seasonal gift exchanges have resulted.

The ridges in this mug at first posed a challenge.  Then I noticed that some sticker letters I had left over from some some other project fit rather nicely between the ridges.  There weren't a lot of letters left to choose from, but one 'H', and one 'O' were all I needed.  I traced them over and over, alternately, with a black pen, then colored them in, alternately, with red and green.  Added a few golden bells and silver snowflakes, let everything dry and 'cure' for 24 hours, then 'fired' the mug for 30 minutes in my oven. I gave it a good rub as I washed it to be sure the color would stay put.  It then went into a gift bag with some gourmet coffee, hot chocolate, home made gingerbread cookies and candy.
This one was for a gift exchange @ the library where I work part time. I drew the name of a lady who had recently lost her husband to cancer.  My first thought when I saw I had got her name, was that what I wish for her, more than anything, is joy.  The needful letters were on the aforementioned sticker letter gleanings, so I stuck them randomly in 3 places around the mug.  Then I began to doodle - a circle around the word, another, larger circle outside that.... hmmm .... could be a flower..... and this is what grew from the first seeds.  The photo was taken late at night in poor light, with a flash, so the colors are not as vivid as the original item, but it's a fair representation. It went, wrapped in tissue paper with 'joy' printed all over it,  in a gift bag.  I dumped a package of Werther's toffee and one of chocolate almonds over top, tucked a few packages of gourmet hot chocolate around it all, and tied a bright ribbon bow on the bag's handle. 

Also found at Goodwill, a mess of little festive boxes and tins for home made cookies and truffles. The first batch of gingerbread is iced and ready for packaging. I found this best of all gingerbread recipes, which calls for fresh ginger and fresh lemon, in Canadian Living Magazine nearly 40 years ago and it's become a family seasonal mainstay. 

It's beginning to feel like Christmas.


susan said...

Welcome back to Blogtopia.

I love these cups you've decorated. I'm sure the friends who've received them as gifts have been very pleased.

Hmmm. We do have a Goodwill store nearby but this may be something I'll have to try after the holidays rather than before. Crow might enjoy having his picture on a cup.

linda said...

i say with susan, welcome back... i have missed you and wondered if you were so busy gardening and b&b tending perhaps...

anyway i am sure you are knee deep in the white stuff now. you touched my heart with your idea for your friend who had recently lost her husband. how tender of you...

i wouldn't have thought you could use sharpie pens and it wouldn't come off by "firing" it in the oven. very cool... and i want that gingerbread-gf of course, recipe, please? :)

Cicero Sings said...

Yes, good to see a log post but I can't really talk! You have been creative - the good thing about winter! Time to let the creative juices flow.

gfid said...

Susan - thanks, it feels good to be back, and to have the signs of a semblance of order coming to my life. I've missed my ether-real friends. the gifts' recipients did seem pleased.... i hope it wasn't just good manners. Goodwill is my VERY favorite store. i'm collecting old parfait & sundae glasses, as well as old linens, laces and fabrics for quilts for the B&B from there. huge fun.

Linda - thanks for the warm welcome. Though i've gone by occasionally, i haven't posted much in the past year or so. yes, busy with sorting out my new responsibilities... we're into year 2 of the 5 year plan; hope to have the B&B running in 2017. Snowing heavily today, and for several days. Close to waist deep, in fact, if you go off the beaten trail. So beautiful. i could like winter if it weren't for the rotten cold. we just came out of a spell of temps in the -40 range.... it's a balmy -20 now.
the lady who got the 'joy' mug is a very old (not in years) and dear friend - one of the first people to befriend me when I moved there almost 25 years ago
The first batch of gingerbread wasn't gf, but i'm going to try the recipe gf. will let you know how it turns out.

Cicero - yes, winter is the time for curling up inside with our 'hand' work. I recently re-joined the local art guild, so have show deadlines to motivate me to create art now. seems to be working :0)

clairesgarden said...

lovely, hope you have a good Christmas! xx

gfid said...

Claire - merry Christmas to you too! and wishes for a new year filled with good things.

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Sounds as if you were enjoying your gifting experience and pleased to hear order is coming back into your life.
I trust that optimism continues into the New Year for it to be a very happy one for you and your family, with plenty of enjoyable Gig’s and continued good health.
Best wishes

Chintan Brahmbhatt said...

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Lindsay Byrnes said...

Trust you’re keeping well as seems to be evident in the prodigious offerings of quits and artwork creations on online here.
Best wishes

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