Mixed Media Canvases for Christmas in July

Here we are on the last day of July ~ hard to believe, huh??  This summer has flown by at breakneck speed.  I thought about Christmas in July for months…and I really have no idea where the summer has gone!

For this last day, I wanted to show you a couple of canvases that I made to give as gifts.  And to share with you some ideas and resources for making your own canvases, or even Christmas cards.

The backgrounds for my canvases came out of my stash of ephemera.  I used bits of patterned paper, almanacs, and gift tags.  Even when I know that the background papers are going to be buried quite a bit under other layers of paint and papers, I still choose things that go with my theme.

For example, in this first canvas, I used a piece out of an old almanac for a page on December plantings.  You can’t really see at the end that it was a page out of almanac, and maybe no one will ever know that I did actually use the page from the season.  But I know.  I feel that the whole thing is more meaningful and, well, just more, because I used the page from the season.

I used round amethyst beads for the swag at the top of this canvas, and it can hang down on the canvas like in the picture, or it can also be used above the canvas as an actual hanger (I used the amethyst cuz the recipient of this canvas has a February birthday and an amethyst birthstone).  It’s hard to see in the pic, but this canvas has gold and silver paint to make the whole thing kind of shiny and sparkly.  The text is a lyric.

Another tidbit is that music paper that I use for Christmas projects is actually Christmas music.  I collect old sheet music from garage sales and thrift stores and used book stores, but I also get some sheet music from the inter webs.  You can find lots of music freely available by doing google searches.  Then I print the music, stain it with tea bags, tear out the piece I want to use, and finally singe the edges with a lighter.  The music will have an old and vintage look to it, adding to the overall piece.

Take a look at ChristmasCarolMusic.org for lots of free music and lyrics.

In this second canvas, I used the music paper to cut out snowflakes for the foreground of the canvas.  Now, if you’re like me, you can’t remember from your grade school days how the heck to cut out a snowflake that actually looks like a snowflake.  So, again, I hit the inter webs.  You can look at a quick tutorial on how to do the folding of the paper and then where to make your cuts so that you don’t cut the whole thing apart.  Another really fun, and super addictive snowflake website is Make-A-Flake, where you can make virtual snowflakes.  It’s a fun way to map out snowflakes and see how they’ll look before you try the real thing.  Only I got stuck there for a while, and every year that I go back, I get stuck again, lol.

The text on this canvas is made up of words and phrases that are meaningful to me.  You could use song lyrics, Christmas words in different languages, all the words for Santa, religious words, all kinds of things.  Make it meaningful for you or for the person with whom you’re sharing it.

I used vellum run through my laser printer for the words on both canvases.  Both of these canvases are 6″ X 12″ wrapped edge canvases and are painted around the edges so that they can be hung without a frame.

Closer to Christmas time, I will come back and share with you some Christmas cards…I am one of the crazy gals who makes a lot of cards…not for all of my business clients, or for every person I meet, but I do make them for the family and close friends to us.

Again, I know that not everyone is thinking about holidays in July, but hopefully these projects are things that you can stash away and inspire you when the time comes.

Shall I say Merry Christmas??  Or Happy End of Summer??  How ’bout both???


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