The holidays are upon us. There are Christmas carols blaring through the speakers at the mall and on almost every station on the radio. We cut down a little spruce tree from down the street and decorated it with lights (and then we realized we were missing a topper, so I made a star out of cardboard and glitter…super fancy, I know). I love this time of year but there is always so. much. to. do. I decided that this year I am going to make the majority of the gifts on my list and have been planning out ideas for the past few weeks. Slowly but surely I am checking things off my list. There are also a lot of birthdays this time of year! Who knew?

I still have several more large projects to start on but earlier this morning I finished creating, packaging and mailing out a gift for another artist I am doing a Secret Santa present for. It is part of a swap on atcsforall.com (the artist trading card site I am a part of) called The Calm After the Holidaze. It was a lot of fun to think up gifts that would be hardy enough to withstand being mailed in a bubble envelope but still exciting to receive. I decided upon a bunch of little gifts wrapped in interesting ways. I found a metal tin with a blank accordion book inside at Michael’s (my all time favorite place to shop these days) that I figured would be fun to alter in different ways. I ended up using Tenseconds Studio Verday Paints and Patina to turn the tin from silver in color to copper and patina. It was a two step process that took an overnight waiting period, and I typically hate to wait but the results were worth it. You can check out the before and after pictures below. I painted a flying fish on the cover which added a little whimsy!

I also made three wooden magnets out of birch tree rounds. I first gessoed the surface, and then painted over with a bright color in acrylic paint. Next I added details in white with a tiny brush…either a repeating pattern or a mandala. I used E6000 glue to attach the ceramic magnets to the back (though I’m not entirely sold on this type of glue. I think wood glue has worked better in the past…the verdict is still out to see if they last….) I then added a coat of glitter (who can resist?) and packaged them up in a resealable bag with a stamped background insert.

For the other gifts, I packaged up a variety of patterned paper, book text, and other ephemera with ribbon and twine and then I painted a small abstract 2×2 inch canvas. I tile stamped the bubble mailer with a hand carved stamp and ink that I hadn’t used in a while just to spice things up on the outside. I really hope she enjoys opening the package as much as I had making it!

If you are still in need of gifts for family and friends and are looking for something “different” or with an artistic flair, let me know…I would love to help you out! 🙂