The holidays are all about gratitude, spending valuable time with friends and family, and giving gifts that are filled with special significance. That’s why we dedicated the November/December 2017 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors to creating holiday gifts with meaning. What better way to celebrate this festive time?
It’s no exaggeration to say that art, in all its forms, gives my life meaning—creating it, thinking about it, looking at it, talking about it. That meaning gets infused in everything I create, consciously or unconsciously. When I create gifts for people I care about, it’s not just to make me happy, but to bring them joy as well. The meaningfulness is expressed in the piece itself and the sentiment behind it, and also by incorporating the recipient’s favorite colors, textures, and elements, such as photographs and vintage textiles.
There is no better way to strengthen connections with friends and family and let them know how much you care than to create something that is part you and part them. I hope the projects, ideas, and techniques in this issue inspire you to take a little extra time and truly imbue your presents with personality, affection, and gratitude.
So many projects in this issue translate into great gifts for the holidays. For the artists on your list, try Blair Stocker’s hand-stitched paintbrush/tool roll up. She incorporates much-loved textiles and clothing, and uses boro stitching to create a one-of-a-kind piece that’s both functional and beautiful (page 74). Incorporate Danielle Donaldson’s incredible watercolor techniques to paint a mixed-media illustration that holds special significance (page 80). Even the simplest flower or shape (think stars, a moon) work wonderfully for her method of layering watercolor for stunning effects. Danielle also has a fantastic trick for framing the piece that you won’t want to miss.
Food is such an integral part of the holidays, and we celebrate special dishes with a gallery of mixed-media illustrated recipes (page 60). These make wonderful gifts, too—think about rendering that coveted recipe in your favorite supplies, then setting it into a frame or shadowbox.
If ornaments are a special part of your holidays, check out Doreen Kassel’s dimensional polymer clay decorations that can be personalized to suit anyone. As we say on the cover, you won’t believe these are made out of polymer clay. Doreen has developed a clever method for achieving luminous, rich color—and it’s easy! (these are featured on the cover, and the instructions start on page 48). Or try Rebekah Meier’s techniques for creating a holiday-themed mandala that can be personalized with pages from a favorite book or poem (page 54).
Also in this issue, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer shows you why an electronic die cutter is a mixed-media artist’s best friend—you won’t believe all the art tools you can make with one machine (page 66). We know from our reader survey last year that you’re interested in what you can do with a die cut machine, and Julie delivers with amazing projects. Annie O’Brien Gonzales takes you step-by-step through the process of making a painted and collaged holiday triptych that will look gorgeous on your mantle, or even propped up against a wall (page 20).
There’s lots more in the November/December issue that you’ll want to check out: A profile of book artist Daniel Essig; Darlene Olivia McElroy’s explorations of mica sheets, powders, and flakes; the results from our Make It Shine reader challenge; quilled paper jewelry; a look at how neuroscience may be improving art museums; fun lettering techniques from Joanne Sharpe that you can use on cards and tags for the holidays; and a whimsical Paperology project from Dena Ann Adams that takes a new look at papier mâché. Grab your copy in our online shop, or subscribe to Cloth Paper Scissors so you never miss an issue.
Let the holidays begin! I wish you all a happy and peaceful season!
P.S. For even more holiday inspiration, check out this fun tutorial for making holiday cards and tags using a layered stencil technique!