Thursday, July 24, 2014

Creating Thank You Gifts

One of the good things (or bad things depending on your point of view) is that after you visit someone you always have a "thank you" gift in your arsenal or have the means to create one. However, I have also discovered that what you think is the perfect gift may not be. I have never forgotten a clever Federal styled birdhouse in the shape of an old fashioned mailbox that hasn't been seen at a friends after receiving it as a Christmas gift. I never did that again.
Nightlight or Birdhouse?
The dilemma for me was what to create for a relative. I could do a birdhouse in the purples that she loves or after stumbling around in the dark at their house wondered if they wouldn't enjoy a winter styled night light.

I had a ready source of almost three dimensional trees (I loaded up in San Diego) so after some discussion decided to use pretty much the same colors and motifs but on two very different items. Then after looking at them decide what she might enjoy more.

I wanted a simple "forest" look. I used two shaped trees on each piece but while the colors were pretty much the same and they were decorated more or less, they also were shown in a winter scene with mountains and snow and used differently!

All of the painted trees and background where done working in this case from the sky down. Lightest colors on top and increasingly darker colors moving to the front while the extra trees were painted and decorated but not glued on until the background was pretty much in place. It did look strange and after they were glued into place, the trees became two of the four legs on the birdhouse, additional work was needed to make them fit in.

While creating them I worried about what I was creating. Half done anything looks considerably worse and unfinished compared to the final item. For me, using a scene like this, it is creating the depth and while stylized, giving a sense of what the scene is about. I also wanted a bit of flash so used glitter glue and a variety of paints in varying thicknesses giving yet more dimensionality. If the carved trees had depth, I felt that some of the painted trees needed more as well. Photos don't capture the effect but it is far removed from merely a smooth, painted object. The snowflakes, in white and iridescent purples also added a bit of flash and color. I have a bag of them so....

Can you guess what the winner was? The "loser" has been put up on my Etsy store.

Please visit for these items and many more as well as where I am migrating all of my paintings. Thank you for visiting my blog!

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