As you can see from this winter wonderland of fairies, when I plan a class, I make a TON of the pieces before I teach them. These fairies are from Birdsong 4. And not only was I trying to work out the kinks in the project before sharing the steps, I got hooked. I loved making them.
There were also plenty of sprites to add to the silver tree on the kitchen buffet. (on the right)
I tend to go over board with kit making too.
I whipped up dozens of holiday ornament kits for our small gathering, knowing that they would be great for gift giving and for adding to my online shops.
Our day in the studio was so much fun! I enjoyed having a reason to get the room into its full on holiday glory and then to spend time out there with nice people, listening to Christmas music, and making sparkly creations for our trees.
We also made these stuffed, felted stocking with vintage lace.
Laurie's was Tiffany Blue. She was my inspiration for making up kits in that color too. (I also had red, white, and pink)
Beth added glittered ballerinas to hers and made one for each of her little nieces.
The kits contain everything you need to make the pretties, but I also had a big table full of extras.
With lots of little embellishments, wallpaper, ribbons, and lace.
Once we had finished the three kits, and had some lunch, we spent the afternoon "freestylin"
Everyone had plenty of supplies and inspiratins to make all sorts of pieces.
From tags, to garlands, to embellished little trees.
(once the glue dries on this one, it will be a glittery masterpiece)
I like the way Rebecca made this paper mache ornie into a mosaic of sparkling papers.
The third project for the day was, "On Gilded Wings" this angel on the left. ( Her skirt is netting I tore from a 1940s bride gown, included in all of the kits.)
One thing we talked about while we glued and glittered, was one of my favorite topics. No, not the grand fairies, although I probably blathered on too much about them, too.
No, we talked about Using the Good Stuff.
I can't emphathize enough, that a project worth your time is worth your best materials. Why save them for something better? Just by using the vintage bridal gown lace, or the soft, old flowers, you have made THIS project better.
I am a big believer in using the good stuff in every day life too. And that doesn't mean it is top of the line expensive stuff either. My china is from an auction for $10. My vintage napkins are from a toss away bag of stuff Beth didn't want. The vases are from garage sales.
And the layered tablecloths (which don't really show here) were hand made by my Great Aunt Caroline and my Great Grandma Nellie. Why keep those things in a drawer, never to be seen? I like to get them out and use them. I added sheet music and a vintage, new stock doily under each plate to protect the cloths, but I figured if they get spilled on, I can always soak out a stain. Or set a vase over the spot next time if can't get the spot out.
But stuck away in a drawer, never being enjoyed and used? That would be too sad.
I feel the same way about my stash of vintage supplies. Why would I buy them to use as supplies if I just decide to hoard them away and not enjoy them???
That is why the tiny crystals on the Santa hats I made for my guests are vintage old stock from the 30s. And the felted wool is hand dyed. The trim is wool roving, not just dacron, and all of those ingredients make the piece just a little more special, even though it is a simple little, silly thing.
Another way to look at it, is that Using the Good Stuff is a gift to ourselves. Women tend to think of everyone else during the holidays. Maybe you need to stop and think of yourself, take the time to open your stash of special items, and make something wonderful for yourself or as a gift. The act of just using the Good Stuff is such a happy feeling, and making presents with your beloved goodies is even better.
This is the season to thing about sharing the bounty.
Don't be a Scrooge, hoarding it all away! Take that special button out of the glass jar, or cut away a hunk from the back of an old gown, or slice into that butter soft velvet and USE IT!