Merry Christmas Eve!
I hope your packages are wrapped and your stockings are hung by the chimney with care!
The Christmas Album is done!
You can stream it HERE right now!
We worked SO hard on this album. I started selecting songs and getting the sheet music printed out in September and we recorded for a few hours a week for the last three months. It was a group effort; my boyfriend Alex put tons of time, energy and talent into this project, and our dear friend Justin swept in at the last minute and recorded magical mandolin solos and bass parts and added all the bells and whistles.
(A little look at our studio...)
We're really happy with how the album turned out, it's definitely more eclectic than the 2015 album. (Which you can stream in the same place as the new CD and read about HERE.) This is due to more Alex participation this year, I gave him more creative control this time and you can definitely hear his influence.
Here are a couple pictures of the guys, hard at work.
Unfortunatley due to the MASSIVE amount of time a project like this takes to create, we will not be making a 2017 Christmas album. We are taking the year off! Alex and I were definitely feeling a little burnt out after finishing a project of this magnitude so we decided to give ourselves a break. Besides, the reason we started making Christmas Albums in the first place was to cut down on time consuming gift making (I used to knit or sew 30 gifts every year, starting in July) but it turns out, making an album=Even More Work!!! So, enjoy this masterpiece and cross your fingers that a 2018 Christmas album is in the future
Listen to the finished project and let us know what you think!!! We would love to hear some feedback!
In the meantime, here's a little sample of the new material in action, Enjoy!
Thanks for stopping by!
I hope your Holiday Season is Merry and Bright!
I received such an overwhelming response to the clay "knitted" ornaments I posted on Instagram recently, I decided to go ahead and create a tutorial for them!
Just to be clear; this is NOT an original idea. I was following this brooch tutorial HERE.
My ornaments are created the same way the brooch in the Russian tutorial is. The hardware is a little different, and I think mine calls for different Clay. (I'm not entirely sure since I can't read the original post.) Regardless, this is a fun, easy technique that yields beautiful results. C'mon, I'll show you!
Let's get started!
First of all, you'll need to collect your materials.
*Sculpey (Use as many or as few colors as you want)
*Screw Eye Rings (not pictured)
*Rolling Pin (or Jar)
*Painters Tape to secure your Wax Paper to your work surface (not pictured)
*Oven and Baking Sheet (not pictured)
(Ps. I would not recommend using Knives/Cookie Cutters/Baking Sheets that you would use for cooking. Sculpey is not foodsafe.)
Start by laying down your wax/parchment paper and taping it to your work surface with painters tape.
Grab your Sculpey and start rolling out ropes for your braids. Make each rope twice the length of the Cookie Cutter you're going to use. Each "knitted braid" consists of two of these ropes twisted towards each other. (This will make more sense in a minute!)
You'll want to twist your ropes in towards each other. Twist one rope to the left and one rope to the right. These will make up your "braids."
Line your twisted ropes up side by side, making sure they create a V formation in the middle.
Once you have enough braids to span the width of your Cookie Cutter you'll want to roll out a thin sheet of clay to act as the back of your Ornament. Roll a big ball of clay in your palms, then use your rolling pin/jar to get it nice and thin. (This might be my favorite picture ever...)
Place your rope braids on top of your sheet of clay in the order you want them to appear. Make sure they're nice and pushed together like little sardines.
Press down lightly to secure your braids to the clay base (don't smoosh them!) Then grab your Cookie Cutter and press through all layers.
Now, roll out two long ropes for the edges of your Ornament.
Place your first rope around the bottom perimeter of your Ornament making sure to press the rope into the nooks and crannies of your image. Once you work all the way around the edge, squish the ends together so your rope appears seamless.
Now, place your second rope on top of the first rope, retracing the perimeter of your Ornament. Make sure both of your ropes are touching all the way around the edges.
Once both the ropes are secured and smooth, I like to flip the Ornament over and carve the date into the back. It's up to you though.
At this point you'll want to screw in your hook. (You can leave this in while you bake it, but make sure you glue it in afterwards or it'll pop out!)
Bake at 275° degrees for 30 minutes. (You might want to designate a specific baking sheet for clay projects, if you don't have a spare one available, make sure to lay parchment paper on your baking surface before cooking.)
After your new treasure has cooled, you can coat it with Mod Podge (or any polymer clay glaze you prefer.) I like to do two coats of Mod Podge, making sure to get sealant in all the crevices.
Once this dries, superglue in your hook and you are ready for action!
This guy doesn't have to be an Ornament, you can always forgo the hook and turn it into a brooch, or a charm, or whatever! The power is yours!
Now go forth and make many, many "knitted" clay crafts! Christmas is almost upon us and it's time to make magic!
Thanks for reading!
I know it's super last minute but if you're in Portland this Sunday you should check out my work at the Triada Art Holiday Makers Faire!
It is located at 222 N. Freemont Street, 97227
Check out their Event Page Here for a list of more of the participating vendors.
Every Item available in my Etsy shop will be onsite (some items at reduced prices!)
Unfortunately I will not be able to attend the event myself but my friends Nel and Justin will be manning my booth and they're nice and friendly so don't be shy! Say Hello!
Ps. I apologise for being MIA lately! We have been so busy working on the 2016 Ashley&Alex Christmas Album that we haven't done anything except practice and record for the past few weeks! Plus the Art Faire was super last minute so I've been busy creating garment tags and inventory lists and getting stuff display ready. Not to mention holiday baking, decorating and entertaining! It has been a hectic holiday season so far. Part of me loves being a busy Christmas elf, but the other part of me just wants a nap!
I'll bring you more updates on my Christmas Elf shenanigans next week; sock progress, baking, new sweater ideas, album progress! I've got tons to share, I just need to find the time to do it!
Here's a little sneak peak of my next knitting project...
It's just so pretty!
See you soon!
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