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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving & Christmas Quilling

Happy Thanksgiving & Christmas Quilling

Well, here it is the week of Thanksgiving and I think this is supposed to mark the beginning of the Christmas season (although I’ve been noticing Christmas stuff in the stores since before Halloween). Oh well, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, none of the “hoopla” or “commercialization” (is that really a word?) that seems to come with Christmas. It’s a time for friends, family, fellowship and food . . . just a nice easy relaxing day. We each bring a different part of the dinner so it doesn’t end up being a monster job for any one person and we spend the whole day visiting.

However, when it comes to quilling . . . Christmas is queen! There is no end to the Christmas quilling ideas and they just keep coming. Over the years, especially when I sold my work at craft fairs, I made all kinds of Christmas ornaments. I think my first quilling was a snowflake; I still enjoy making them and hang them in the little windows on my front door. Now I make them with the gilded paper (silver on white or blue edge on white), but when I first started there was just plain old white strips and they were still beautiful. I also did free hanging ornaments like stockings, candy canes, poinsettias, and wreaths, then I started putting them on 3” circles of mat board so they wouldn’t get “lost” in the tree branches.

Somewhere along the way, I saw some of the Quill Art little dimensional figures, I thought they were adorable. (They were nowhere near as elaborate as the Jinisans I’ve talked about previously.) So I made tiny toy soldiers, Santas, angels, and Christmas mice. I put them inside of empty egg shells which I coated with diamond dust. Some I hung and others I put on little filigree stands. Everyone in my family knew that if you used an egg, you were to open it carefully, wash it out, and leave it to drain until I cut out the oval for one of my figures. Some years, I used the eggs as place cards, each egg would have the appropriate character inside and there was a little tag with a printed name. They were fun and some of my family members still have them from years ago.

Malinda Johnston used to write a newsletter called the Lake City Gazette which she sent out to her customers. One year, it had directions for a wreath made from quilled poinsettias, I loved it. It was probably about 8’ in diameter. I used it for years.

One year I got really ambitious and made dimensional Christmas trees (my original tree is pictured here on the blog and on the web site). I had no idea how I was going to make it, I just did. I will post the general instructions I wrote up for it. The fun part was decorating that little tree (it’s about 7” tall), I made little bells, ornaments, candles, stars, and roses. The one I made for my Mom (which she keeps out all year long) was decorated with Victorian fans, bows, candles, roses, and of course a tiny angel at the top.

Another year, I made a gingerbread house. I used the same pattern I used for my real gingerbread houses. (It was a family tradition while my kids were growing up, we would bake gingerbread houses and then all of my kids and their friends would decorate them . . . we would give them as gifts) I made the house out of card stock and then covered it with quilling. I don’t have a picture of it here on the blog but it is in the picture gallery of the web site and in Malinda Johnston’s Book of paper quilling. (If I were doing one today, I would use mat board as a base; it is much sturdier than card stock, but my first one was prior to our getting involved with framing and matting). Well I guess I’ve rattled on long enough about Christmas quilling. I will have to see if I have any pictures I can post (of course these were all done long before digital cameras). I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgivng and take the time to enjoy the holiday season.

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