Hey friends! Hoping your week is off to a great start. Yesterday I did my best to keep a handful of things all going at once...orders, house stuff, and a little Springtime or anytime project. I've been in love with feather trees for as long as I can remember. Im' sure that any Folk Art collectors reading this share my love. Feather trees were created in Germany in the 1880's and were originally made with dyed goose feathers attached to wire branches. These days they are available in all different colors and sizes. There are multi-colored, Valentine trees, Easter trees, even black Halloween trees. I had a black one, which I sadly lost to hurricane Sandy, but we are keeping this a happy post!
This tree here isn't a traditional feather tree, but for me it works just the same...it's actually made of paper! The branches are festooned with a fringe of super vintagey looking book pages. I love how sepia looking it is, and it is the perfect backdrop base for all holidays. In keeping with the Everyday is a Holiday palette, tan works as instant age, toning down candy colors. I found this tree on ebay a few months back and I was thrilled. I had seen the same one go for around a hundred dollars, which I could never ever do. I got this one for a great deal! I love this tree. And inspiration for making ornaments comes a bit easier to you when you've got a great place to hang them.
It was a grey day yesterday, and the house was really quiet, so after I checked some work off our checklist, I gathered up some supplies for the purpose of making ornaments for my Spring tree. I'm really happy with these sweet little girl ornaments. They are on egg shaped wood disks. So they can pull off an Eastery feel if paired with Springy things, and if not, they're perfect for year round display.
I gathered up some supplies without really knowing what I was going to do. Papers, paint, ink, string, and some favorite stamp sets. This part of the project is always the most fun.
One of my favorite artists is Ashley G. She is so incredibly talented! We were so happy to finally meet her in person at CHA where she debuted her line of stamps based on her original drawings. By far, our favorite thing at CHA! Above are the two sets I used for this project. You can find them in Ashley's etsy shop.
I started out by painting the "eggs" with acrylic craft paint.
Next, a Jenny trademark here...speckling! It's so hard for me not to speckle...it just makes everything I create feel right. To speckle these all I did was water down the left over paint on my palette, and then I dipped my brush into the color wash and tapped the front end of the brush with my finger, spattering each egg. The speckling is totally fitting being that real eggs are actually speckled.
I really wanted these to have a very "loose" and whimsical feel. I didn't want them to be perfect...just perfectly imperfect. Of course if you are a neat freak, you could stamp your girls and color them in clean and neat with Copic markers. But what I did here is soft and casual, and I think really goes well with Ashley's loose drawings. I just traced the basic outline of each girl on white card stock and with my finger tip or brush I blocked in the areas. I did this knowing that when finally stamped, the colors would be outside of the lines in some spots or not perfectly filling the lines in others.
You can see what I mean here, how the color just seems to almost accidentally fall into place. I stamped right over the dry paint using black StazOn ink.
Next I speckled some red paint to take the whimsy and fun further. Anything but perfect.
I did graphics for each of the "eggs" and cut them out, then paired them with whichever egg contrasted best.
I adhered each graphic using matte finish mod podge. I then stamped some hearts over some color that I brushed onto card stock.
I cut out the hearts and added them to each ornament. After that I made sure to apply a topcoat of the Mod Podge to seal them and let dry. I used a blow dryer to speed things up. Next, using a brown paint that I watered down, I applied an antiquing wash. I just brushed it loosely around my girl and hearts. Then, with a piece of clean dry paper towel I blotted the wash away, just leaving a bit around the girls and hearts.
You can see how much of the wash I left here. It just adds another layer. You can also see that I added little pink cheeks to each girl.
Next with my finger tip, I just rubbed a bit of paint in contrasting colors around the edges of each ornament. again, my whole point is to be imperfect and uneven.
Next, I roughly cut a backing paper for each egg, and lengths of striped bakers twine. I found this adorable aqua twine in the dollar bins at Target around Christmas time.
I brushed an even coat of Mod Podge over the back, then laid the ends of the strings down, then laid the paper over, sandwiching the ends of string between the wood disk and the paper. At this point you should wait before brushing a topcoat of the Mod Podge over the paper. Give it a minute to adhere while using your fingertips to press out any air bubbles. Make sure to pay attention to the top where the string is sandwiched between. At this part press hard and make sure the string is sealed between. Then let dry. Once dry then trim the excess paper from the edges. Our trick is to sand the extra paper off with a piece of sandpaper or a sanding block...you could even use a emory board. It's super fast and easy. Now seal the back with a light even coat of mod podge and let dry.
Now to finish the ornaments, add some of your antiquing wash to the backs. Brush it on and blot it off using dry paper towel same way you did earlier. And that's it! They are ready to hang!
This little gal kills me! She has a kitten in her pocket!
I love how "sketchy" this gal is! And her shirt is so fun! yellow with pink speckles!
This may be my favorite. hmm
How sweet are these little friends?
This girl is so Mod looking.
And our sweet little kitty! Meow!
It was a fun little afternoon project. And there are so many possibilities! I love them for Spring, but I'm pretty sure they will be on display all year! They'd also be adorable tied to gifts.
Hope you enjoyed this little tutorial! Now if Spring would just hurry it up and get here! Thanks for popping in!
xo Jenny...and Aaron says hi!