Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Geeked out for Christmas

Having decided to make all my own ornaments this year, I realized I had the chance to really customize our tree to reflect our interests.
Our little plastic tree arrived on Saturday, and we set it up and strung it with lights before really getting down to the ornament making.
It was fairly inexpensive because it was on sale and it is just about the right size for our small apartment.  It is three feet tall and about a foot wide at the base.  It sits comfortably on the side tabe next to our couch.

When I was growing up, decorating the tree was a family affair.  It was a time when we could take out all the ornaments my parents had collected over the years and remember the times we all shared together.  Almost all the ornaments had a story.  We had either bought or made them and each one signified a time in our lives.  I love that idea, and since John and I are just starting our lives together, I want to make sure we have a way to look back too.  One year, when I was very young, my mother made cookie ornaments, and we each painted one (I think I was little enough that I "helped" to paint one).  I thought that would be an inexpensive way for us to make our own ornaments.  I looked it up, and found this recipe from allrecipes.com.  Mine didn't turn out particularly flat, I don't know what I was doing wrong, but a few turned out well. On Sunday, John, his mother, and I sat down and painted them.  It was a nice little family activity.  We turned on Pandora's Christmas channel and told stories about Christmas past.

John chose his favorite superhero, Batman, to immortalize in ornament.

His Batman symbol fit in really well with the Batmobile I had already transformed into an ornament.  He painted the body of the ornament black and added the yellow bat symbol after the black paint dried.

I went for Superman and Captain America myself.

I am really happy with the results and know that we can reuse these ornaments for years to come because I sprayed them with Krylon Crystal Clear, an acrylic coating that dries really fast and seals whatever you have sprayed.

Now we come to my favorite part of the tree, a Mario Star topper.
 I was not originally planning to go with the Mario Star.  My plan was to just make a star out of Sculpey and paint it metallic gold.  I made a disk of aluminum foil and added triangles of Sculpey, smoothing and adding extra clay until I had a white star.  I added a stem of foil wrapped in clay and used a mechanical pencil to make a hole the top of the tree could fit in.
Once I had the star, it was obvious I had to go with the Mario influence.  Everytime  I looked at it, I heard the little bing.  I painted it yellow, adding a darker orange around the edges and a white highlight to the edges.  I painted little black eyes with white highlights, and painted the stem green to blend with the tree.  I sprayed it with sealer and when it was dry I tried to attach it to the tree.  The top sprig on the tree was not sturdy enough to hold up the weight of this star.
I was worried until I realize I could pop that sprig off and slide the star down onto the top of the plastic trunk.  It fits perfectly and looks positively geeky.

How does your Christmas tree reflect your interests?

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