Alabama Chanin Christmas Dress

Years ago I made this skirt (you can read more about it here , scroll down to the end of the post).

I've always loved the way the painted and cut burgundy fabric reminds me of velvet. Tucked away in the back of my mind was the idea to make a dress using the negative reverse applique technique in burgundy and apple to mimic this look. This summer I stenciled a number of projects, including my new Alabama Chanin Factory dress. You can read more about the stenciling process here.

It's the perfect Christmas dress. The princess seams are very pretty.

I'm keeping the embellishment simple, as I'd like to rotate this dress into my year-round wardrobe and not keep it exclusively for the holidays. I was tempted to apply the reverse applique technique to make for a warmer garment, but I stayed true to my idea that negative reverse applique would have more cut edges, thus achieving the look I was after.

I used the rosebud stitch to apply the binding. The smaller, more delicate stitch compliments the larger scale new leaves stencil. My options were stitching with burgundy or red thread. I chose the burgundy thread to keep the garment more tone on tone.

I added a French knot in red at each rosebud for a little pop.

I'm indecisive whether I'll keep this extra pop or not. This photo really shows the detail, but when you look at the dress overall it's not as noticeable.

I'll leave it for now, but may pick it out after the holidays. Here is the final dress, just in the Saint Nick of time!

Encaustic Wax Christmas Cards

I do enjoy making my own Christmas cards now and again. This year I used a photo that my husband took while we were snow shoeing and cross country skiing to Tumalo Falls on New Years Day 2017. You can read the whole story here. I was looking for a peaceful, snowy photo. This scene fit the bill perfectly.

Of course I wanted to add a little something something to it, so I got out my encaustic wax and went to work....or play I should say.

I don't have room and proper ventilation for a full blown encaustic wax setup just yet, but I have this really cool set by Encaustic Art. It's a stylus, iron, and waxes. I've added things here and there, but there is so much you can do with these two tiny tools. If you get the starter kit, it's all included with a DVD which explains things brilliantly. To purchase U.S. compatible tools, go to Ischer Wax Art.

I emailed my photo to our local FedEx store. The really nice lady made a 4-up of my photo and printed them out in black and white. I like the look of torn edges, so I painstakingly (this probably took almost as long as painting the card) tore all the edges.

I mounted the photo onto special paper that I received in my starter kit. To do this, first I heated up the special paper and painted it with a thin coat of clear encaustic medium.

I placed the copy of the picture on top of the coated paper and used the iron to "melt" it into the wax, thus adhering the two papers together, and allowing any painted wax embellishments to properly bond to the picture.

I wanted to make the frozen waterfall and stream pop, so I mixed up a pale, milky blue color and added this to all the water. I put red ornaments on one tree and scattered a few white snowflakes.

The last touch was using metallic silver wax to edge the card and top the tree with a star.

If you gently set the tip of the stylus at the top of the corner and pull the stylus down in a slow, smooth motion, you'll get a nice bead of hot wax. The tip will automatically run along the ragged edges.

I tried to use a different photo the first around in a number of different ways.

I don't like the way it turned out. It's too busy. I was happy to find my alternate photo.

My message inside the cards this year, "May the magic of the season elicit deep awe, inspire hope, and fill you with Love." This is also my hope for all of you dear readers as well.

Happy Holidays and Happy 2019!

                                                                          2017 cards

Thanksgiving Tradition

A few decades ago my mother began the tradition of adorning each place setting at our Thanksgiving table with an extra special Christmas ornament. This year I am continuing that tradition by making each guest their own ornament to take home.

We have an abundance of lichen covered branches, pine cones, interesting grasses and twigs to forage on our ranch. Add to that beautiful ribbons, miniature deer and woodland creatures, raw cotton, and perhaps just a touch of sparkle with frosty glitter and crystals. 

I don't know what is more enjoyable, making these sweet gifts or giving them!

Here they are. By using mostly found objects and what's in my stash, they were very inexpensive.

With glue gun in hand, I think you'll find they're very simple to make if you feel the urge. 

Another family member couldn't help but having a go.

They are quite fragile, so I've found some little boxes to store them in.

I hope you and yours had a most enjoyable and thankful Thanksgiving.