Monday, November 19, 2012

Gingerbread Men Christmas Ornaments

by Kelly

Since we usually put up our Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving, I went back to a project I had put aside: small gingerbread men.

Of course, for the last couple of years we've used a live tree, so our Christmas decorating might be slightly delayed. Artificial trees can go up any time, but real ones don't age well, and I'm pretty soft-hearted, so that bugs me. I always feel a little twinge of sorrow when I'm vacuuming up loads of pine needles around the poor tree hacked down in its prime and dragged from its clean scented woodland home to suffer indignities of tinsel and garish lights in its dying days.

Anyway, back to the gingerbread men ornaments. These poor guys have suffered many crafting setbacks.

First, I couldn't get a nice outline with my chalk pencil. I have never had much luck with chalk pencils, and a long discussion with my mom has convinced me that I'm  not alone in my troubles. She showed me her large collection of unsatisfactory chalk bits and pieces, gathered over five decades of sewing, and said that she has never understood why she couldn't get the hang of drawing on fabric with the stuff. Maybe it's genetic. I eventually settled on using a black Sharpie instead. To heck with tradition, anyway.

My second problem with these ornaments was that I couldn't get the crisp fabric edge that I was looking for. The frayed linen edges made me pretty unhappy. I solved that problem with iron-on fusible webbing.

And then, for some reason, I had trouble with the embroidered faces. The early ones had 'creepy doll eyes syndrome', even though I wasn't using buttons. I may eventually specialize in creepy eyed dolls, since I seem to be able to produce them with very little effort.

At any rate, I'm pretty satisfied with them now. I think they'll look very nice on our Christmas tree. Which will actually come from a Christmas tree farm, by the way, and whoever owns that farm will be really grateful for an influx of cash so he can keep the lights on and put a turkey dinner on the table for his family.

There, that makes me feel better. First wave of Christmas guilt successfully battled!  'Tis the season.

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