Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.

Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.
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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Don't lick the tree!

Last year's Christmas tree was a freshly cut, quirkily spindly spruce, decorated in a rustic, natural simplicity.  It was beautiful and peaceful, and I loved it.  This year however, with the outside of the house covered in frosting and candy, I had to do something sweet inside, as well, so the tree is a sugar-saturated confection.  Well, actually, it's mostly paint and glitter, though the cookies and candy canes are real.  Kinda wish I'd used a real tree this year too, as the fresh balsam would have smelled heavenly with the scent that wafts from the cookies...sigh.

Sugar coated Christmas Tree

Cupcakes in rainbow hues mingle with...
Ice cream cones in five different flavors, and...
chocolates, intermingled with...
Classic gingerbread hearts.
Of course, I always have to have a few words with my visuals!

Here's a peek at what's marauding as edibles:

Cupcakes are made by removing the satin thread covering those ubiquitous unbreakable ornaments.  These are always nearly free at most any thrift store, and waaaaay less expensive than buying new Styro balls.  Be cheap and green and recycle!  The frosting is created with cotton-type pads.  Quilt batting will work, but these thin little pads (I think they came from an industrial supply place) look amazingly real when stretched and hot glued to the ball.  The ball is glued into a cupcake paper, and then the "frosting" is tinted with a wash of thinned acrylic craft paint and sprinkled with iridescent fairy dust glitter, while still wet.  A dark pink pom-pom "cherry" was glued on top for a finishing touch.

Ice cream cones also start with those satin covered balls, though for these, you needn't remove the satin threads.  The ice cream is created with Sculptamold, which is a coarse plaster/paper mache material, available at nearly any craft store.  Just glop it on the top 2/3 of the ball, leaving a little lip to overhang the cone, like all the best ice cream parlours do.  Instant paper mache will also work, as will most air dry clays.   Once dry, paint with thinned acrylic paints, and sprinkle with fairy dust while wet.   The waffle cone is made from a quarter circle of tag board, covered in a lace doily, or scraps of old tablecloth or curtain lace.  Use a heavy coat of Mod Podge or white glue to stick the lace to the tag board, then saturate the top of the lace, too.  Without waiting for it to dry, paint this in caramel and brown tones of acrylic paint, and curve gently into shape.  Once dry, hot glue the quarter circles into cone shapes, trim the top edge a bit if desired, and hot glue the ice cream into the cone.  

Close-up of how the "ice cream" looks.  No need to be fussy, and in fact, they looked more real when I quit trying so hard to sculpt them.

The chocolates are simply brown pom-poms (made from thrift store yarn), some trimmed square, with snippets of ribbon, mini-gimp, and ribbon roses icing their tops.  I applied Minwax Polycrylic to both sides of candy papers to stiffen them, them coated the edge in gold paint, immediately dipped into gold micro-glitter, then hot glued the pom-pom chocolate in the center, with a hanging ribbon tucked under one edge. 

All of these are easy enough for pre-teens to create, and Artgirl helped with some.  Others I worked on at Friday Open Studio, at Maureen Carlson's Center for Creative Arts, though I had to guard them closely from my so-called friends, who were like kids ogling the cookie jar before dinner.  Click the link to Maureen's for Open Studio info.  If you're in the metro area, come join us!

However you decorate, however (and whatever!) you celebrate at this time of year, may your holidays be filled with sweetness and light!

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