artsy fartsy,  crazy stuff,  raving lunatic rant,  the laundry,  the sticks

It’s Ornamental, Watson

pink candy-cane kitty, the other side

I’m not making excuses but I have not been blogging much. Maybe that’s okay since it is DECEMBER and NOT November. Man, when did December get to be such a busy month? And I’m not even talking about holiday plans. We haven’t even gotten to those yet.

I’ve been busy with the shop. Hooray for the shop! I had no idea that was going to keep me so busy. I’ve also been out at my Mom’s and if you know anything about hanging out at my Mom’s, you know there’s always something going on. Never a dull moment out at the sticks.

Unfortunately, it’s been rather cold out here so I’m not taking pictures outside. Also, my mom’s house is so dark and unphotogenic, it’s impossible to take pictures inside. So if you were judging my business by activity on my blog or flickr account, you would think it was nothing but dullsville.

Not so! NOT SO!

I’ve been busy busy busy. We started things off with five hundred loads of laundry and then there was the giant task of reorganizing the complete and extended collection of outgrown clothes that my mom houses in her garage. That would be seven or eleven or so giant Rubbermaid totes full of clothes from my nieces and Baby Bug. We never throw anything out. Baby Bug and any other kid I might ever have after her will have hand-me-downs until the end of time. I wish I had pictures…

After the Olympic clothes-sorting event, I decided to take on an ornament-painting project. This was a journey to failure and back. Long ago in November I decided it would be fun to be part of OMSH’s super-fun swaparooni project. For the month of December it’s an ornament swap instead of the usual color-coordinated loot. I figured it wasn’t that much of a commitment. Surely I could manage to get one ornament in the mail before a deadline. How hard could that be?

Obviously this was before I opened up the world’s most popular flash card shop and before I was struck down by the flu. The deadline came and went and I got squat in the mail. Boo-hiss for me and my internal over-achiever. It was really hard to take actually. I hate missing deadlines, even though I do it nearly every day.

I decided it would be very fun and exciting to paint an ornament. Paint! Let’s paint! My mom never needs to be talked into going to Michaels. You say, let’s go, and she says, “How high?” or something like that. My mom loves crafting as much as I do. So off we went Michaels. I don’t know why I am drawn to that crazy store. It’s jam-packed with so much tacky awful stuff. (Sorry, not talking about anything you bought there of course!) Maybe I go there because there is nowhere else to get supplies around here.

Of course I had to walk down every aisle and get sucked into every little pre-packaged idea of how to amuse myself with stuff that I probably already have. But hey! It’s right here in a box so maybe I should just buy it and not bother looking for it when I get home! I hate that trap. Thankfully, I wised up and put most everything back before I got to the check-out counter but I did manage to buy two baskets (to hold all my crafting crap of course!) that WERE NOT fifty percent off like they said they were.

I hate it when that happens. Since when do baskets cost 50 bucks each? I had to turn right around and take them back the minute the receipt finished printing. What a hassle.

Michaels is totally guilty of up-marking stuff so they can discount it later. I know. I priced them way back when I was buying up canvasses for my Dog Days of Summer project.

winter bear

But anyway, I was talking about the ornament painting. It didn’t go so well. At least not to my standards. Now that I’m lurking around Etsy all the time these days, I’m starting to think I’m some kind of professional crafter or something. I was sorely disappointed with my painting strokes. The paint we bought (that is specifically for glass) was messy and goopy and showed every stroke like nail polish. I think it was nail polish, actually. If you put on more than one coat at a time, it would pick up the layer underneath.

It was just a mess and a headache and definitely not a project for someone with a toddler who gets into everything and/or wants to “help” all the time. I barely got two ornaments painted that I’m happy with and I still have a whole table full of paint and brushes and glass ornaments that need to be filled with paint on the inside (because I don’t like them when they are clear for some strange reason). I’m just over it.

So I moved onto something I’m a little more comfortable with:

paper transfer ornaments!

Iron-on transfer paper! I’ll have to share pictures of the results tomorrow.


  • lynne

    Yippee more SAJ crafty projects. Inbetween trying to finish this kid’s series I have been trying to make some homemade decorations for the family tree. I’ve made some gingerbread men out of felt and odds and ends of felt and ribbon. Even though I used to be a stopmotion model maker I am a bit embaressed at how hokey they have turned out. Ah well the next batch will be better I expect.

    Don’t beat yourself up over your baubles, I think they are very cute painting on glass is exceptionally difficult in my experience the paint runs everywhere. Sending you holiday cheer from my desk :)

  • kathryn

    I’m glad you are keeping busy with your business! I have to say, I ordered me a set of the babybug cards, and I love them. I am xmas gifting them to our good friends who just had a baby girl two weeks ago. They just look so awesome; they are truly a gift that I am proud to give!

    Just wanted to add: I love hearing about your adventures with your mom and extended family. Its really clear how much love and friendship you all share. You are all very lucky!

    Enjoy your holidays!

    p.s. I’m 100% in your corner re. the banners. Ive started and stopped blogs so many times, and what a gift it is to have an inspired, professionally designed banner! Maybe you could make this a more formal aspect of your cottage industry- you are so talented, its only fair that your talents bring you some financial reward!

  • OMSH

    Ooooh! I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings – ESPECIALLY as I’m looking for crafts to do with the girls and Kenny next week when they are out of school! :)

  • Louise

    Painted ornaments! Why didnt I think of that? You inspire my creative side SAJ, and I can’t wait to find out what you are doing with iron on transfers. I got a few Christmas gifts I would love to add something personal to.

  • Elizabeth

    I’m interested in seeing your iron-ons! I bought some transfer paper, but I’m still not sure what to do with it. Always looking for inspiration!

    p.s.- those ornaments are cute!

  • familymclean

    If you still have ornaments kicking around that are clear i have an idea for you.
    Take regular old crafters acrylic paint and drip it down into the ornament…..crap this is not going well to type it…I will draw you what I mean and e-mail it…so nevermind this rubbish babble….and the ornaments you did are really cute!

  • nicole

    I did “ornament-making” in collage … forget paint and brushes … pant pens all the way. They are so much easier to handle and no dripping. Listen to me … pretending to be oh-so-crafty! I have drawers full of crafts that still eat at me. I have ideas bursting out of my head. I just wish I actually am as crafty as I want to be. Well … I think the ornaments are cute anyways!

  • Mrs. Wilson

    I love Michaels as well. I got a job there once in a town that I once lived in. I moved 2 days before I was supposed to start work. They were not happy with me.

    I like the ornaments! They look great, even though the paint seems to suck. You’re an amazing artist!