When I was a little girl, my mom decided to start a little Christmas tradition for me. Each Christmas, a new angel was hung up on the Christmas tree, a marker of how many Christmases I've seen in my lifetime.
When I had our eldest son, I decided to continue the tradition but I had no idea how. I wanted to do a play on his Chinese zodiac--the Dragon--but where in the world would I find dragon ornaments, let alone ones for Christmas?
By his third Christmas, I solved it. I'd been browsing various tutorials and tips on fun and educational activities to do with kids. Mostly for homeshooling moms but while I have no desire to homeschool my kids, I found great value in what these mothers shared. And there I found it: do-it-yourself white clay.
His blank, white clay ornaments have been waiting in a small box since last year. This year, I finally got around to painting them. I'm quite proud of my creations, to be honest, especially since it has been a very long time since I have done anything of this sort.
Kian is a little luckier than his big brother since I already figured out what to do for their ornaments by the time he was born. So here are the completed ornaments so far plus one work in progress. Kian, being born in the Year of the Sheep will have sheep-themed ornaments while Llew has his dragon-themed ornaments.
Since this is not my typical type of artwork, I give massive thanks to artists from DeviantArt for ideas on what to do for the ornaments. I'm still in the process of properly tracing the artist for each of these pieces. I kind of feel like those old time art students who would make multiple copies of their master's work in the attempt to learn their techniques.
From left to right:
This ram is based on the myth of the sheep with the golden-fleece. We thought it would be an appropriate introduction for Kian's first Christmas ornament.
Llew's first ornament is my take on the Apocalypse Dragon from the iOS game, Dragonvale. When Llew was born in 2012, talk of the coming apocalypse was all the rage and we thought it would make a great insider joke to include this dragon in his line up of dragon ornaments.
The second dragon is Toothless from "How to Train Your Dragon". He isn't so addicted to it yet but he enjoys the movie well enough.
Last is an artist's rendition of the literary version of Falkor from "The Neverending Story". Contrary to the movie version that looked more like a dog, Falkor is supposed to look somewhat like an Asian dragon with a long, snake-like body and an equally almost serpentine head. I have to put on the final washes and varnish before I can consider this one completed.
For the white clay, I can't remember anymore where I got the recipe from but here it is below. I'll edit when I find the source. ^_^
1 c baking soda
1/2 c corn starch
3/4 c warm water
Mix the dry ingredients together and stir in the water. Mix over medium heat until it starts to bubble and come away from the pan. When it has started to dry and resemble soft play dough, take it off the heat and let it cool. Knead to soften and make more pliable. Store in an air tight container.
It's supposed to be safe to bake but I just let my work air dry on a baking sheet.
Just to end my own story of Christmas tradition, I decided to hang up my last angel the year of Llew's first Christmas. And next I need to talk to my husband about something we can put up as our own marker for how many Christmases we've spent as husband and wife. ^_~