It has been 11 years since my father died and this will be the first year I actually feel like putting up a tree for Christmas. He didn't die around Christmas (died in May just before my birthday), but the winter holidays always make me think of him and I miss him. I got a super easy tree to put up (pull it out of the box and all the branches fall into place) and was going to go with all red ornaments when I had an idea inspired by Alisa Burke (link to her blog on the left - she is so creative definitely check out her blog!) and decided to make a few ornaments for my tree. I started with cotton fabric and dyed it very subtly with Dyna-Flow (available at Dharma Trading Company). The front piece I died with a very diluted Brown (wanted it to look aged) and the back piece was dyed with a very diluted Magenta. Once they were dry, I ironed them to freezer paper and used a pen and wrote all over the fabric pieces - I wrote my hopes for the season and new year (i.e., I wish you joy and peace and love, etc. - just random Christmas/seasonal stuff). You could write the lyrics of a favorite song, your thoughts this time of year, or even just fake write stuff in loopy letters! On the back I wrote in giant loopy letters Merry Christmas over and over.
I took some scraps from another project and laid them on the fabric until I liked the way it looked. Great project to use up scraps. Then I set my sewing machine to a decorative stitch I liked - the more random, the better and sat and sewed and sewed and sewed until I started to really love it! I cut random heart shapes out of freezer paper until I had one I liked, then cut a few more out. I used one of the pieces of freezer paper from which I had cut a heart as a viewer to select specific areas I wanted to include on my hearts. I ironed the freezer paper hearts to the fabric, backed it with my second fabric and sewed around the freezer paper leaving an opening for stuffing (I liked the raw edged look but you could certainly turn these inside out if you want a more finished look). Once the fabric was filled with sewn hearts, I cut them out, stuffed them and then sewed around them again (no hand sewing - yeah!). They are so random but I love them. My niece (12) wants to come over and learn to use the sewing machine so she can made these as gifts for her friends! Very cool. Well, you have waited long enough, here they are:
I'm going to make a bunch more this weekend. Unfortunately, the next two months are going to be very crazy! Ordered new kitchen cabinets and countertops and have to get the old ones out and the walls painted and ready to go before the new ones get here! I also need to get a new slide in range and dishwasher - thankfully Black Friday is in 2 days so yeah for me and with me luck finding what I want at a price I can afford! This weekend I will be packing up my kitchen and getting ready but I think some time in the studio tonight might be just what I need - I have 3 days to get the kitchen ready, today I will play!
I'll take more photos while I am working on the new ornaments so you can see the step-by-step photos! Happy Giraffe! Belinda