There is nothing in the world more beautiful than the forest clothed to its very hollows in snow. It is the still ecstasy of nature, wherein every spray, every blade of grass, every spire of reed, every intricacy of twig, is clad with radiance.
When Cara popped into my DM a few weeks ago to ask me if I was up for joining CRAFTMAS this year I was equal parts really grateful that she reached out to ask and really scared to say yes. It has been 3 months since we lost Paul and the heartbreak and grief has not gotten easier. Grieving and healing are not linear experiences. One minute I find myself standing an inch outside of the devastation and I can breathe again, maybe write a grocery list, return a few emails, make a phone call. The next minute I am down for the count. I call these minutes “the smackdown”. When Cara reached out I was standing just one little micro-inch outside of the grief and there was a little voice that snuck in through the crack and whispered, you should say yes. Even if you have to pretend, this could be good for you. So I listened to that voice because I have not heard anything that kind or gentle inside of my head or heart in months. Can you guys guess where this is going? Cut to: all the days after that minute. Me in the studio, staring off into space. Feeling not a shred of inspiration. Then picture me attempting to maybe cut some paper or move some paint around, or pet some felt.. waiting for the spark.. only to find that there is no spark. Then picture me feeling really angry that the thing that has always been my salvation..drawing, painting, making, creating feels so far away. A few days after Paul died I could not remember how to tie a hanging loop. I was at my mother’s dining table in tears because this thing that I had done a million times before was suddenly complex code. Grief Brain. That is what I call it. A fog, a numb, a barrier.. probably some amazing biologic function that is designed to keep the grieving steady and upright that happens to also make it impossible to read a book, remember a pin number, stick with a decision, or even think about starting a holiday art project. So I sat in the discomfort for days and then I shared my dilemma with Riley who is the world's oldest, wisest, kindest, brainiest 7th grader, and she said, we can do this, I will help you. The idea for this project was born from love. Love in the form of two helping hands and love for my December birthday girl and her love of washy watercolor and magic, and miniatures, and snow and foxes and reindeer (check out her watercolor galaxy reindeer) and our mutual love of scarves (we have A LOT of scarves). I will confess that there were flickering moments of lightness that occurred in the making of these magical little shadowboxes. They gave me hope.
Have you read this far only to think: what the heck is CRAFTMAS? Craftmas is the brainchild of my friend Laura from Little Button Diaries. It’s a bunch of creative ladies from all over the globe who band together in the first two weeks of December to share some fun holiday makes. You might remember Laura’s guest post from last year. Or our NO-SEW garland? Well it’s back this year and bigger and better than ever. You should definitely go follow the #CRAFTMAS hashtag so that you don’t miss anything.
Now for our Craftmas project! This is one of those projects that looks a lot more fancy and complex than it actually is. It can also be modified many different ways to meet the age and interest of the maker. You can draw your own animal silhouettes. You can collage magazine pictures of animals. You can cut out photographs of your favorite little people and place them in the snowy scene to create a little keepsake. You can skip the animals all together and draw an igloo or a snowy village. You get the idea…follow our recipe or swap out some ingredients and make it your own!
woodland animal template (scroll down to subscribe)
white card stock
watercolor paint brush + water
watercolor or mixed media paper
hot glue gun
school glue or glue stick
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