Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Merry Makings - DIY Ornaments by Nancy Curry

M  E R R Y        M  A  K  I  N  G  S
I adore the magic of the holiday season, even the wrapping, but most of all, I enjoy putting my own diy stamp on our home decor that blends well with my favorite motifs that are part of my life story.  I've been making alcohol ink ornaments for a few years now and really enjoy the happenstance of them all.  I hadn't planned to do an ornament project until I walked into my studio and saw some ornaments at the ready.  That's when the idea of melding my process with stencil design was hatched.  In the tutorial video above, I talk through the process, but there are a few specifics I'll add here.  

I chose to use 3" white glass orbs but you could use clear and drop some diluted white in the middle to create the contrast layer or use metallic colored glass balls.  I love the look of alcohol ink on the metallics.  What I won't recommend are the powder coated ornaments.  The alcohol ink eats right through the powder coat and you are usually left with a silver undercoat.  It makes for a choppy application.  There is no prep that needs to happen with these ornaments.  I love that convenience.  You can find them at Michael's or Hobby Lobby early in the season. 

The rest of the products I used are in the flat lay photo below that includes a view of the finished orbs.  I used Ranger and Jacquard on this project.  Nothing tops Jacquard's Real Gold for me.  Any alcohol ink could be substituted except for Ranger's Alcohol Pearls.  The Pearls would not move as well over the surface in this process.  The bottle of 91% is rubbing alcohol.  As for the acrylic, I would use the most pigmented, smooth black you have so that it stands out well against the prior layer.  Cosmetic sponges are great to use because you can cut them to fit smaller stencils.  Last but not least, I chose a few abstract stencils:  The smaller scale stencils were from ( L792) Rae Missigman's ATC Mixup#1Art Marks, the mainly organic circles were a StencilClub  1/2019  by Mary Beth Shaw and Seth Apter, Cecilia Swatton's Ornamental Curls (S462) challenged me to use narrow lines,  and Daniella Woolf's Fez Medina Wall (S749) gave me the chunky coverage I was looking for.  What I would say about stencil choice is that abstract is the easiest to use because if you miss a little coverage pouncing on the orb, no one will know. Staying in the abstract genre also follows the random, abstract application of the bottom layer. 
Once the orbs are dry, it's your choice to add a spray sealant layer.  They really don't need it but if you do, you will need an isolation layer or two of Kamar Varnish and then your choice of a final coat, matte, satin or gloss spray.  Always give the layers time to dry before adding another spray.  All choices give a different look.  

As always, it is my pleasure and privilege to be on this blog.  I'll back in February with something new.  Follow me on FBK and Nancy Curry Art and  IG at Nancy Curry Art or browse my galleries on my site. I'll have a sale coming up shortly so sign up here if you want notice (very low volume).

Merrily On High,



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