Hi friends! Remember me? The blogger who went MIA almost 2 weeks ago? I certainly had not intended on taking such a long hiatus from blogland, but alas, sometimes life happens and time slips away from us. We spent the first weekend in December traveling to visit some out-of-state family, meeting our new sweet baby niece, and driving home 7 hours in one heckuva blizzard. Then the crud hit our house, and hit it hard. Me and 2 of my kids came down with a cold & flu bug that is still somewhat lingering in our midst…hoping we can stop the leftover hacking and endless blowing of noses in time for Christmas.
But, through it all, life is good. The Christmas season is upon us! We spent this last weekend getting into the spirit by going to see a local rendition of the play, A Christmas Carol. This is such a timeless story, that dates back to 1843, when its original author, Charles Dickens, first published the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and his quest to uncover the true meaning of Christmas.
Of course, there are many different versions of this story that have been presented in film, play form, etc. over the years. I’ll admit, one of my favorite versions is Jim Henson’s The Muppet Christmas Carol, which came out in 1992, when I was 11 years old! Even to this day, I still love watching this movie with my kids this time of year. Gonzo, Miss Piggy, Kermit and the gang offer a lot of comic relief to this somewhat sobering tale.
When I think back to my own childhood at Christmastime, I remember so many vivid, magical things that stay with me still today. I was fortunate to have a very happy childhood, filled with many people who loved me and allowed me to stretch my imagination and creative wings growing up. For this, among many other things, I am grateful.
I wanted to somehow work that childlike wonder message into my Christmas decor this season. So, before all the crummy colds hit us, I started working on a piece of artwork that I could display on our fireplace mantle. It was a quote from The Christmas Carol – “For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.”
I thought I’d share with you a bit about how I created this DIY piece of artwork. It started with a trip to Goodwill – as most of my projects do – where I found this lovely – ahem – canvas artwork for $6.
I brought it home and gave it 2 coats of white paint, but I was going for a somewhat rustic look, so I made sure some of my streaks and paint lines were still visible.
Then I designed how I wanted the quote to look on the canvas by putting it together online and saving the artwork to my computer. I use a free program called PicMonkey for this and it works great.
Then I measured the size of the canvas and matched that to a custom sized document on my computer that I printed out on tiled sheets. I taped them together to create the image I wanted to transfer onto my canvas, then secured it in place with some clear tape along the top edges, allowing me to flip up and down in the transferring process.
Next, take a pencil and heavily shade the back of the lettering on the printout until all the letters have been covered in lead.
Then flip the printout back down onto the canvas and start to trace your letters along the outer edges, leaving the lead imprint behind on the white canvas.
The tape along the top will allow you to flip up and down as needed, while you finish this process.
Once all the letters were transferred, I removed the tape and the printout, and started filling in each outlined word with a black sharpie. You could also use a paint pen.
This method was a surefire way for me to create a custom look without the added cost of expensive vinyl lettering or purchasing artwork that was already made. Yes, it did take a few days to complete, but I worked on it a little at a time, when I could, until it was finished.
I really love the way it turned out and speaks to the message I wanted to highlight this Christmas. I like to take my time decorating our family’s home in a way that will inspire creativity, even in my own children. And I do take them in mind when I create pieces like this one. I want them to savor that childlike wonder that so many of us as adults have lost or forgotten.
To me, Christmas will always be a time when I remember the past, try to make the most of the present, and look to the future with great anticipation.
I hope you’ll continue to stop by the blog in these next few weeks leading up to Christmas, as I continue to feature our holiday home and a few other meaningful projects I’ve been working on to celebrate this special time of year.
And in the words of Tiny Tim, “God bless us, everyone!”