Tuesday, December 04, 2007

On The Second Day of Christmas

On the second day of the swap it was my turn to present my gift to the group.

This caused no small amount of headaches...sweat...grief...tears of frustration...and finally resignation to the fact that the ornament I had envisioned (when I was finally able to envision one!) was not the ornament that I was going to produce.

First of all, that WAY COOL graffiti like background effect? A complete accident.

I painstakingly clipped each of the bird images from an antique dictionary and attached them to the glass. Then glued the glass down to an antique sheet music cover.

Gorgeous colors on that cover and the effect with the bird was so pretty, until the colors began to run all over the place from the glue!

I hurridly peeled the first piece off, but part of the cover came with it!

The result was this way cool graffiti like effect.


Now I do have to confess that I wanted to play this off as intentional.

Yeah, I meant to do that.

So totally intended for that to happen.

I even came up with a name for the "technique".

"Color Lifting"

But in the spirit of Christmas (and all that is moral and right), I couldn't bring myself to do it.


It was an accident.

One I like to call a happy accident, or accident #1.

Which brings me to happy accident (or maybe just, okay I can live with it accident) #2.

The group has been oohing and ahhing (I think they are just being nice) over the faux rusty vintage copper patina of the sides and back of the piece that so nicely matches the chain.

But it was not supposed to be RUSTY COPPER!

It was supposed to be SHINEY AND BRIGHT!

But for the life of me I could not find my soldering skills! As a matter of fact I haven't been able to find them for a long long while. But that's a story for another post.

After ruining 2 ornaments (and the tip of my soldering iron with them) I was very nearly in tears.

It was a Sunday night, 2 days AFTER the final mailing date and here I sat with a bunch of unfinished ornaments and an uncooperative soldering iron!

After pacing the house, crying and, er, praying out loud, my eyes finally landed on the bottle of copper paint and green patina sitting in my studio.

Was that a choir of angels I heard?

I swear a beam of light shone down from the ceiling to illuminate the inconspicous little bottles of faux finish, barely used because I am not a fan of patina in a can (or plastic bottle). I just prefer the beauty of naturally aged pieces.
But there was no time for Natural Beauty! I had a deadline I'd already missed!

Finally the pieces are finished, and I've wrapped them all up with buttons and mica flakes inside for good measure.
The buttons represent the marbles I lost over this project, and the mica flakes represent the tears!

Now, I know I had stashed something around the house to use for my number on my tags. Where did I put them?
Argh! Accident #3 was not so happy.
I must have lost one too many marbles that day and could not remember what I was planning on using for my number on the tag so I had to hurridly write a #2 on the box and get them out in the mail.
But all is well, the group seems to like them.
Next year I won't wait so long. As a matter of fact I've seriously been considering making next years ornaments this year on Christmas Day....


  1. kelly snelling9:22 PM

    oh my goodness! what a story! it sounds just like something i would have done. i wing along and have way too many accidents for my liking but you really can learn some cool things that way. and i DO love my ornament!

  2. Anonymous12:04 PM

    !!!Crystal!!! I had no idea you struggled so much over these! They're absolutely gorgeous and it all looks like it was done on purpose...every bit of it!