Can you believe it, this Friday marks December 1! It also starts the first day of the Advent Calendar! As a kid I always had the chocolate candy filled Advent Calendars. Peeling back that perforated door for a piece of candy was a highlight of my holiday season.
Did you know that the first Advent Calendars were used by German Lutherans in the 19th and 20th Centuries, but are now ubiquitous among groups of all faiths and beliefs.
This year as part of my family’s holiday season celebration I decided to create an “Activity Advent Calendar” instead of a "treat" calendar (although, I do like treats too!). I brainstormed 25 activities that could be done in the evening/weekend for 25 days of December. They range from the super simple activities like “Eat dinner by the light of the Christmas Tree” or “Drink Hot Cocoa for dessert” to things like “Take a walk/drive around the neighborhood to look at Christmas Lights” or “Take 2 books to the free library at the park”.
I gathered inspiration for our activities by perusing Pinterest. Here are some of my favorite lists (click on the image to see it larger).
Since this is the first year of doing an Advent Calendar I went with simple little numbered sacks that I bought post-Christmas last year. I hung them with some washi tape and ribbon on a large mirror we have in our entry way.
However, I am soaking up some major inspiration for our Advent Calendar 2.0! I mean, just look at these gorgeous examples!
How do you celebrate the holiday season? Have you made an Avent Calendar? Will you be keeping a December Daily/Memory Album? Reminder: there is still time to sign up for the Daily Memory Album for December with Brandi workshop tomorrow evening. Details and registration link are here!
Do you love to create? Do you like to paint? Do you love to make mixed media canvases? Do you enjoy creating chalkboard art? Have you made a scrapbook layout that brings a smile to your face? If you are reading this, you probably answered yes to at least one of these questions! What do you do with your creations though?
It is always nice to create items to give as gifts, but do you ever gift something to yourself?
Today we are sharing some ways to incorporate your artwork and creations into your home decor. After all, surrounding yourself with things that make you happy will lead to more happiness!
Creating a "gallery wall" in your home is a great way to incorporate pieces of your artwork along with other store bought items. If you artwork can be framed you could keep the frame consistent on your wall, but swap out the artwork it holds as you create new and exciting things (Dina Wakley does this in her home. She has a few large IKEA frames that she fills with her art).
A tip for creating a cohesive gallery wall is to have "repeating elements". Like you can see with the examples below the pops of white in the top wall and the overall rustic theme of the second picture are great examples of this.
If a full gallery wall is too much for your tastes, try a "gallery shelf" or a similar look can be achieved on a fireplace mantel.
If you don't have a full wall to decorate, nestle your creations into a corner.
Don't forget, your scrapbook layouts are frame worthy too! If you want to keep the original in your album make a colored copy to frame. You could keep it the 12x12" format or scale it down (or up!). You can pick up 12x12" frames at most places that sell frames.
If you love the idea of a gallery wall, but aren't thrilled about the number of nail holes it will require have no fear! Check out these great Command Brand hanging tabs. Click here for more details on how to use them.
If don't want to commit to set frames and want flexibility with your gallery wall, use clipboards! You can clip up creations, including smaller scale cards and tags along with larger items (plus it will give you the P&P Studio vibe like our clipboard calendar).
If you are looking for some more art to include in your gallery wall, don't forget to sign up for Ken Oliver's Reverse Painting class coming up in June. All the details for this class and his two other classes are here.
The most important take away from today's blog post is your creations are important! They bring happiness to you, the creator, which brings happiness to those around you. Share your art with the world (or at least your family and friends).
When the Tim Holtz “Curiosities” Ephemera came into the shoppe, I just knew I had to do something with it. The pack was filled with 97 pieces of vintage and creepy ephemera for only $5! I usually use packs like this on cards that I send to friends and family or in my planner and traveler’s notebook. I knew this time though that I wanted to use the ephemera in a way that I could see it more and enjoy it this Halloween Season.
I decided to create some Halloween décor for our living room. I started by buying three 4 x 6” frames from the dollar store. The color of the frames didn’t matter because I was planning to give them a coat of my favorite Art Basics Heavy Black Gesso. I love the black, chalky finish this gesso provides. I opted to add a little metallic finish to the frames using a little Viva Décor Inka Gold in Copper and Platinum. This tied the project nicely to the mirror I showed in last week’s blog.
Next, I cut three pieces of 4 x 6” paper from the Carta Bella “Haunted Collection”. Not only does this paper pack have great designs, but the texture of the paper is wonderful. I cut the one B and two Os using my Silhouette Machine. You can use a die cut machine, hand cut, or buy large letter stickers to achieve a similar look.
Since I removed the glass from my picture frames I decided to use small 3D Foam Squares (217 for $3!) to mount the letters on the paper rectangles to give some dimension before framing them. A pair of tweezers is so helpful when removing the backing to these little dots (definitely get a pair and keep them in your craft bag, $3).
In addition to the Tim Holtz Curiosities Ephemera I grabbed a few more Tim Goodies, including a pack of bones, brooms, skeleton cameos and small apothecary jars (I filled them with a mix of sequins and beads). I used these items to decorate the outsides of the frames.
I love the finished look of these dimensional frames, and I know these will be displayed during the month of October for years to come.
For more Halloween Paper Craft Inspiration be sure to check out our Pinterest Board!
This blog post was provided by Creative Team member, Kimberly Eaton.
I love the fall season and decorating for Halloween. A couple of weeks ago, I was at Dollar Tree and saw this fun skeleton mirror. It was large enough to hang on our gallery wall above the fireplace, but a little cheap looking (not surprising given it's price point).
I decided to go ahead and buy it, but planned to give it a mini makeover! I prepped the frame by painting it with black gesso. The black gesso gave the frame a nice matte black look with an almost chalkboard-like finish.
I waited for the gesso to dry and then moved on to the next step of adding some color. I knew I wanted to use Viva Decor's Inka-Gold for this step. I am a huge fan of Inka-Gold. It has a gorgeous metallic finish and the product is so easy to use!
I decided to use Inka Gold in Copper, Platinum and Violet. I started with the Copper - a rich metallic orange color and simply dry brushed the Inka Gold on the high points of the scrolled frame. Next, I added the Platinum and Violet on other areas of the frame.
For the last step, I dry brushed a bit more of the Platinum Inka Gold on the mirror to give it a streaky, vintage look.
And Voila! For a $1 and some products that I already had on hand I made a fun, new piece of Halloween Decor.
What have you been making this Fall season?
This blog post was provided by Creative Team member, Kimberly Eaton.
Palette & Paper's blog is written by various creative team members.
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