This is a closeup of the box and the blocks that I painted. It isn't hard to paint this way, it's very similar to paint by numbers. You fill in the spaces and with washes of color, you lay in the highlights and shadows.
I really enjoyed this exchange a lot because Snowmen are my favorite winter icons. They never fail to bring a smile to my face. They are happy and just remind me of childhood. You can't be sad when there's a snowman around!
I got an opportunity to go all out with this exchange cause I didn't feel rushed. I had a lot of time to think about what I wanted to stitch and how I wanted to finish it. I've had the block idea for quite a long time but the box was serendipity. I was rummaging around in my craft closet looking for something else and came across a bunch of these boxes stuffed behind a bag of polyfill. I was very pleased to find a 5" X 5" box that was perfect to store the blocks because they fit so nicely. And then, the whole exchange idea just came together.
I was on vacation when I stitched and painted the box. I stitched the snowman during my Thanksgiving break. I painted the paper mache box during my Christmas vacation. I also painted a Santa cookie plate during that time for the Cadet's Jenna's Mom. I haven't painted in a long time and it was great to spend time with a paintbrush.
I have to confess that yes, I did paint for a living until the Cadet was about 5 years old. My business was called Homespun Hearts. I used to do house shows, you know, like Tupperware. I set up what I wanted to sell, took orders and turned the items around in 6 weeks. I'd book 2-3 parties for each show that I did. I did very well but honestly, I painted 16 hours a day for weeks on end. David would cut wood for me in the evenings until he got burned out. He worked full time, would play with Mike, and then would go into the basement and cut wood until it was time to go to bed. The holidays were brutal, so many orders and you couldn't slip cause most of them were gifts for someone. Finally, David had enough and bailed. For awhile, I bought my wood. But because I could not buy in LARGE quantities, I was paying full price for wood blanks. Add that to the time that I missed with Mike and David, and well, it was time to give up the painting business.
But now, I am toying with the idea of putting some of my painted items into an Etsy shop. I wonder how things would sell. I could control the number of pieces that I painted and I don't think it would impact my life as much as house parties. The question is how to build up a clientelle. I would love to hear your thoughts.
But really, stitching is my main squeeze because I love the fibers and fabric. Stitching allows me to spend time with my family cause I'm not holed up in my craft room or at the kitchen table. And David has threatened to bury me with a needle in one hand and a sampler in the other. LOL!!!