Friday, 26 December 2014

Christmas Time: The Gift of Giving

So it's been quite a few months since my last post as I've been busy with work and the lead up to Christmas. I'm always excited for Christmas time and especially this year as I did decide to make my friends and loved ones gifts this year; not only to save money but to make them something special that was unique to them :)

For my friend's presents, I wanted to create a series of items that were fundamentally similar in structure but that showed the personalities of each of them. It was a fairly hard task, but I settled on unique framed canvases, each representing them and their interests. I won't explain exactly why I chose each theme as some are self explanatory, however I'll give a quick rundown of how I made them.

The materials and supplies I used were:
  • 4 mini canvases with easels 
  • A length of wooden moulding
  • A cutting mat
  • A hack saw
  • Saw guide
  • 2 clamps
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Black ink pens
  • A sponge
  • Craft Foam
  • PVA glue 
  • Paint brushes
And here is roughly how I made them:
  1.  I started off with a rough idea as a couple of sketches (like the one above) to figure out what components I wanted in each and where I wanted to place them.
  2.  After that I measured the width and length of the canvases and used that to cut out the separate pieces of my frame from the wooden moulding.
  3. I used clamps and a hack saw with a guide to cut the frame pieces at a 45degree angle so that they would slot together.
  4. Once all the frame pieces were done I stuck them down as complete frames on each canvas with PVA and once dried, covered them with several coats of white acrylic paint as a base.
  5. From there I painted, with either a sponge or brush, the individual colours of each canvas.
  6. I cut out craft foam pieces for things such as the signs, teapot, snowman etc. and painted them.
  7. I attached the foam pieces on with PVA and once dry added the pen ink designs over them and the rest of the canvas.
  8. The canvases are now done! :)
For my parents present I decided to make a compilation of all the videos we took when we went to New York back in 2012 and make a DVD of that.

For Ben's parents I used my new watercolours for the first time to make a painting of their wonderful pets; Kali and Dolly :)

And last but not least, for Ben's present I wanted to make something that was artistic but functional (as I know he has a lot of stuff!). He is a massive fan of Gravity Falls and it took a surprising amount of time for me to realise this and think of the idea. I got a pre-made book box from HobbyCraft and then painted a design of the fantasy characters that represent us, in the style of the Gravity Falls cartoon :)

Overall it was a fantastic Christmas! and I couldn't have asked for anything more :) I have much more to tell you all so stay tuned for my next Christmas blog: Fantastical Models!

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