Thoughtful Thursday History of the Christmas Tree

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Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

For those of you celebrating Christmas, hopefully you’ve set up your tree by now. The tradition of Christmas trees began in Germany in the early 1600’s. When German and other European settlers immigrated to America in the early 19th century, they brought this beautiful tradition with them. Although Americans found this tradition a bit odd at first, it became popular.

The first trees were decorated with apples, candy canes, cookies and pastries in assorted shapes of flowers, hearts and stars. Dyed popcorn also became popular as pieces were strung together with nuts and berries into large strands and hung on the tree.

The trees were originally lighted with with candles but this presented problems like keeping the candles on the branches for starters, not to mention accidental fires. But in 1878, Frederick Artz invented a clip on candle holder. This worked well, but you still couldn’t leave the tree unattended or lit for a long time. Luckily with the introduction of electricity into homes, the candles were replaced with electric lights that could keep the trees glowing for days.

The first Christmas tree farm in America was opened in 1851 by a woodsman named Mark Carr. He cut down trees in the Catskill Mountains and sold them in New York City’s Washington Market.

This tradition of displaying and decorating a Christmas tree has grown in popularity over the years and has become a cherished tradition by many. I hope you enjoyed this little snippet of history. Wishing you all the best this holiday season!

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“Christmas is doing a little something extra for everyone.” ~ Charles Schulz

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Santa’s Workshop Joy to the World Christmas Wreath

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My latest canvas, Joy to the World Christmas Wreath. It’s painted on a 5×5 inch square canvas with acrylic paint and is accented with red glitter. It’s sealed with a matte finish and comes ready to hang.

Available for purchase in my Etsy Shop.

What do you think? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Have a super weekend!

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Santa’s Workshop OMG it’s Christmas already !?!#

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Most of you may recognize this little guy from my journal. He looks like he’s not quite ready for the holidays, sounds like me this year, lol.

I brought him to life on a 6×6 inch square canvas. He’s painted with acrylic paints and sealed with a matte finish. I added a little glitter for that Christmas magic and is is available for purchase in my Etsy Shop.

What do you think? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Have a super weekend!

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Abstract Art Happy

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I’m really loving abstract art more and more. This is my newest piece. It’s similar to my other one but painted with brighter and very happy colors. This piece is simply titled “Happy.” Would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for stopping by!!

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Thoughtful Thursday Halloween Decor

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I wanted to share with you some fun Halloween decorations that you can easily make. I love vintage images and had purchased these at a show I was at, but you can find tons online. Please read the instructions first before beginning so you have an idea of what you will be doing. The supply list is at the bottom of this post.

Instructions

  1. Decide how you want to hang your plaques. Based on the type of plaque you have you may want to attach a picture hook to the back or you can drill 2 small holes in the top corners and sand them if needed.
  2. Apply a good coat of gesso to each plaque, front and back.
  3. Find images online and print them on cardstock. Cut them out and set aside.
  4. Paint each plaque in a coordinating color. Let dry overnight. Sand edges for a worn look and wipe off dust.
  5. Steps 6, 7 and 8 are the instructions for hanging with wire. If you used a picture hook in the back of your plaque, skip steps 6, 7 and 8. Another alternative to the wire is to use a piece of fabric or yarn which you would also skip these 3 next steps.
  6. Cut 11 inches of the jewelry wire. From the back of the plaque, put one end through the hole, coming out of the front of the plaque and coil the end with the pliers to knot it.
  7. Slightly off center at the top of the wire, wrap the wire around a pencil, 3 times and slide the pencil out.
  8. Feed the other end of the wire through the second hole from the back of the plaque, coming out in the front. Cut off any excess wire and coil the end as in step 6.
  9. Glue your images on to the plaque with Aleene’s Tacky Glue.
  10. Add a piece of torn autumn fabric to the top of the wire and that’s it!

Supplies:

  • 3 Vintage Halloween Images
  • 3 Wood Plaques fitting your images
  • Gesso
  • Acrylic Paint: Black, Orange, Red or any of your choice
  • Black Copper Jewelry Wire
  • Drill for hanging
  • Picture hanging hook/bracket (optional)
  • Needle nose jewelry pliers
  • Harvest Fabric scraps
  • Aleene’s Tacky Glue

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

Thanks for stopping by!!

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True Love Art Journal Page (Part 2)

Last week I shared Page 1 of my journal with you. I had a lot of fun making these tiles using coffee as the background. This flower tile is slightly bigger than the other one as it’s a full 3″ square.

I loved creating with Shrinky Dinks when I was a kid. So I found this heart that I had made quite some time ago and thought it went well with the page as I made it part of the quote “True Love Always comes back.”

Supplies

  • Watercolor Paper, 140lb, Cold Press
  • Micron Sakura Pen 003
  • Assorted Bright Watercolor Pencils
  • Coordinating Acrylic Paints
  • 1 Cup of Coffee
  • Ephemera/Embellishments of your choice
  • Posca Pens: White and Black
  • Pencil for shading

Instructions

  1. Make a cup of really strong dark coffee.
  2. Cut your watercolor paper to the desired size.
  3. Using the Coffee, paint your watercolor paper. Let dry.
  4. Paint the pages in your journal with acrylic paints, let dry.
  5. Using your watercolor pencils, draw and color in your design. Activate the colors with a little water but try not to over mix the colors. Let dry.
  6. Using the Sakura Micron 003 Pen outline your design on your tile and glue it to your page.
  7. Add doodles, embellishments and ephemera to pages.
  8. Add shading with a pencil and highlights with the Posca pen.

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True Love Art Journal Page (Part 1)

I have a tendency to make little pieces of art, then put them away until I’m ready to use them. I read an article where they made art using coffee. I’m not a coffee drinker but I do love the smell of coffee so I decided to give it a whirl.

I used watercolor paper for my 2.75″ x 3.5″ tile so I could be heavy handed with the coffee and get a nice background color. The trick is to make really strong, dark coffee then paint your paper.

Once the coffee is dry, you can create your art. I used watercolor pencils to make my drawing and activated the colors with water. After the paint dried, I went back over my drawing with Sakura Micron Pen 03. As always, I couldn’t resist adding that little bit of sparkly magic with glitter to the tile. (Note: When painting your tile, don’t be afraid to go bold and bright with the watercolor paints because they become muted and toned down when the colors mix with the coffee.)

For this journal page I used my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8″ Mixed Media Journal. I started by putting a good coat of gesso on my page and let it dry. Next, I used assorted acrylic paints that blended with the tile but at the same time made it stand out. After I was happy with the page, I glued my tile in place, added a few doodles and that was it.

I’ll post the second page of this layout next week so stay tuned as the adventure continues!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Abstract Mixed Media

I participated in a free online class over the weekend in Art is Magic where they offer a year long mixed media course taught by 28 artists. This class was a preview of what is available in the full course.

Jodi Ohl a very talented artist, taught this class. I’ve tried abstract art before, thinking it was easy and it so wasn’t. Not to mention, I never liked what I created and would always just reuse that piece of art in other projects. This is the first abstract I created that I actually like and I’m happy to say it will not be recycled, lol.

Creating this was using new techniques was challenging and quite an adventure. So a BIG thank you to Jodi for making it so much fun!

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Thoughtful Thursday

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

Easter Family Traditions

Growing up, Easter was a fairly big day of celebration. I remember how excited I was to color Easter eggs with mom the night before. Easter morning we started our day with breakfast and then off to church we went. For us kids, the highlight was getting back home to the Easter baskets filled with all kinds of goodies.

Mom would always get us something new to wear. Whether it was a new shirt or swimsuit, it was always exciting. Then it was time for the infamous Easter Egg Hunt in the garden which was a thrilling event! I held on to these wonderful family traditions with my kids and we all have a lot of fond memories and more in the making!

My kids are grown now but I still make them some type of basket. I’ve switched it up and gotten pretty creative over the years. This year I was going to try making these cute wafer decorations which can be found at SmartSchoolHouse.com. My Pinterest Easter Board is full of inspiring ideas on celebrating this Easter holiday.

What are your Easter Traditions?

I wish you and your family a Joyous Easter!

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“Easter is the only time of the year when it’s safe to put all your eggs in one basket..” ~Unknown

Spooky Halloween Decoration

I found this wooden cut out in the Art and Craft store and thought it would be fun to make it into a Halloween Decoration. It’s fairly easy to make with minimal supplies and would be a great project to make with kids, supervised of course 😉

Supplies:

  • Wooden “Spooky” cut out with hanging wire
  • Gesso
  • Folkart Crackle Medium
  • Acrylic Paint: Red, Black
  • Acrylic Paint Pens: Red, White
  • Stickles: Xmas Red
  • Inkssentials Glossy Accents
  • 2 Black glitter pumpkin bell ornaments

Instructions:

  1. Paint the wooden cut out with gesso. Let dry.
  2. Paint cut out with red acrylic paint. Let dry.
  3. Paint cut out with Folkart Crackle Medium. Let dry.
  4. Paint cut out with black acrylic paint. Note: While this layer dries, the paint will start to crack and you’ll see the red paint underneath show through. Make sure to let this completely dry before moving on.
  5. Using the white and red acrylic paint pens, outline the letters a little to make them stand out more. Note: If you don’t have the pens, you can also use a liner brush dipped in white and red acrylic paint to make the thin lines.
  6. Add drops of blood to the letters with the red Stickles. Let dry.
  7. Using the Glossy Accents, go over the Stickles blood drops. Once dry, this will give the droplets a 3D effect.
  8. Last, tie on your pumpkin ornaments to the ends where the wires are and that’s it!