Thursday, November 22, 2018
Frustration over Christmas / thankful at Thanksgiving
Later this year than ever in the past, I have started grappling with the specifics of my Christmas ornaments. I've had the general idea for the ornaments for several weeks, but in the flurry of activity of teaching, getting a solo show launched, and being sick for a week, I haven't actually sat down to work on them until Tuesday. And it was a frustrating day.
First off, I couldn't buy mat board in any of the colors I had in mind, such as pale sage green, pale gray or pale yellow. Settled for a gold, which is perfectly lovely, but not what I had in mind. Couldn't decide which kind of glue to use -- YES! paste or glue stick. Neither of them called out "Use me!!" Made a bunch of each one and waited to let them dry properly.
The last time I made ornaments using mat board I had a terrible time getting a hole punched through for the hanging cord. I think I ended up using my industrial-strength hole punch and really leaning on it, which worked but gave me holes a lot bigger than I had wanted. After that experience I purchased a set of heavy-duty paper punches which are supposed to drill neat little holes in three different sizes. I forgot all about them, until miraculously a couple of days ago I came across them in a drawer while looking for something else. Wow! Serendipity! Synchronicity!
So Tuesday I whipped out my new punches, found the right size, followed the directions and whapped them two or three times with hammer blows -- and the punch went through about half of the mat board. Whapped some more with very little result. Rooted around in a drawer and found a hole punch about the same size, which got me through the remaining layers, but "about the same size" also means "messy around the edges." Futzed around with the punch for a while and got it a bit neater.
Wednesday was a slightly better day. I figured out how to make the punch work better -- the very low-tech solution of positioning the board directly over the table leg so the table doesn't bend away from the blade when hit. On the other hand, Wednesday was when I spilled a glass of water over my large uncut mat board. Two steps forward, one step back.
I worked for a while on Wednesday while thinking about the issues yet to be resolved. What size? I had cut some two-inch squares and they seemed too small. Then I cut some three-inch squares and they seemed too big. Maybe two-and-a-half inches? Maybe I need to incorporate paint into this process. Beads? Wire? Linoleum printing? If I didn't have to produce Thanksgiving dinner for nine people I could sit down and make a lot of progress today.
As I do every year, I'd love to add one or two of my blog readers to the ornament list. Leave a comment before Monday midnight and you might be the winner this year. Trust me, by the time you get your ornament in the mail I will have figured out how to do it.