View the rest of this series here.
View the rest of this series here.
As a child, my relationship with Santa was laced with trepidation. I can ignore some of the facts; that he invaded my home while I was asleep and helped himself to my cookies. That he followed a barter system which, at his discretion, created an equal exchange rate of cookies to coal. That he sat there and monitored my choices 364 days a year. I could bare these experiences without complaint, and since he always left presents behind I assumed there was a fleck kindness in his heart. But none of these frightened the bells out of my 8 year old self quite like:
♦ taking pictures on Santa’s lap.
Here was this complete stranger (equipped with a beard I wasn’t allowed to tug on), who would only pay attention to my desired material superfluousness and not the dagger of pure FEAR IN MY EYES.
This horrid experience was documented on film. Every. Single. Year.
Here are a few of the Christmas cards I handmade this year. This overwhelmingly ambitious project developed like Gremlins in a pool. I had the intention of making ten cards for family members. Forty cards later I wasn’t even close to satisfied. A healthy mix of tediousness and therapy. A self inflicted craft obligation.
Everything was made from scrapbook paper and scrap paper. I used cookie cutters to trace many of the shapes. The greetings are quotes and jokes that I collected from the internet.
©Erica Wolfling 2014
I wish I invented this abstract painting technique, but I did not. I stole it (with consent) from a brilliant friend of mine who created many stylistically similar pieces in order to cure “plain white wall syndrome.” When I saw his artwork I knew I had to try it out for myself.
What you’ll need:
STEP 1: Cover the canvas with a thick layer of acrylic paint. I decided to make simple blocks of color and then blended them without rinsing my brush.
STEP 2: Pour water over canvas. Use as little water as possible. I’m talking 2 tablespoons worth.
STEP 3: Lay canvas down flat in a well ventilated area. Gently shake canvas to move the water around (you will want to have a few pools of water to experiment with at first, you can always add more later.)
STEP 4: Add spray paint. I tried two different approaches: spraying the paint directly onto the canvas in short bursts, and spraying the paint into the cap so I could precisely drip the paint exactly where I wanted. You will see the paint interact with the water in different ways; so experiment with it! I used both spray paint techniques on each painting. I even tried adding droplets of water on top of the spray paint.
STEP 5: Allow to dry completely. This took about 7 hours due to the thickness of the paint and the addition of water. Be patient, it is totally worth it. Make sure your drying surface is level or else the paint will slowly drip off the canvas.
STEP 6: Display your beautiful masterpiece, you – artsy connoisseur – you! Fantastic job!!
This was another Christmas gift/DIY project. I made it by decoupaging pages of a vintage atlas onto an old, beat-up lampshade. With some artistic license I followed the instructions over at Pretty Handy Girl.
This is a great DIY project for the intermediate craft-aficionado, and it takes about 5 crafting hours. Next time I will cut the atlas pages so they do not overlap, but I am very satisfied with the finished result.
“Amidst the rush of worldly comings and goings,
observe how endings become beginnings.”
Tao Te Ching – 16th verse
2013 was a dirt path winding, barely visible, crooked through the woods. Step by step I ventured further into fragile self-awareness and awe drenched mindfulness. I tore my way past difficult terrain and stood broad even after my feet caught hold of sycamore roots. I dodged the falling flecks of granite and leering boulders; obstructions sent to lead me astray. I climbed until I reached the inevitable descent. I hit rock bottom to soak my feet in the icy stream and continued onward. I reached each peak with fiery grace and fury. Stopping in the earthly silence to meditate on my travel.
When I reflect on the year behind I see mountains; I see a scared little girl trapped inside her own delusions. I see her reach out from swelling, unforgiving mother nature and latch on to therapeutic creativity. I see someone who found the glitter in the black. Who grasped the opportunity to rebuild from ashes and lit herself like the phoenix. She has created beginnings from endings. She is an enigma.