Tuesday 10 November 2020

2020 Topic #20 Encouragement Jar with Hot Picks (by Keren Baker)

  2020 Topic 20: Mason Jars

Hi everyone, it's Keren Baker with you today, and I'd like to share with you a little whitewashed Jar Of Encouragement. I made something basically like this a few years ago, and my daughter gifted me something similar to this last year which is one of my all time favourite presents.

When I saw the Mason Jar topic, I knew I'd got some Kilner jars stashed away that I use at Christmas as they're decorated with holly tops. I wanted the rim and tops separate as this would make creating the butterflies much easier.

To begin with, I needed to create a decorative lid. I painted the lid with Dusty Teal, which ended up entirely unnecessary as I ended up adhering the lid to the rim, but it's all about the learning isn't it!

I chose an image for the lid. Flowers go so perfectly with butterflies and so I picked HP13101, HP1109, HP1506EZ, 

Once I'd stamped, die-cut and watercoloured the image, it just looked too bright (not a judgement I often have!) so decided to knock it back with a wash of Chalk Fresco Finish Acrylic.

After colouring the butterflies in using alcohol markers, I had the same issue. A wash over watercolours needed a deft touch, but the alcohol marker colours were easy to subdue as the ink is obviously permanent.

I had the idea of butterflies bursting forth. I think that encouraging words can really lift people's day and the butterflies in flight are a representation of this idea. I punched holes into the centres of the flowers and then inserted pieces of different coloured folded wire into each hole, securing on the underside using some strong double sided tape.

You can see in that photo, that I added some more thinned down Chalk paint as the gold just looked too brassy. Once I'd trimmed out all the butterflies, I just wrapped the ends of the wire around the centres of each butterfly, shaping them with my hands to make them look more life like.

Using the larger butterflies in the HP1506 set, I stamped them in different colours to act as the 'notes', so I could write a little quote or encouraging message on each one.

Due to lockdown, I wasn't able to go out and purchase some natural raffia type packaging, so some gaudy glittery silver had to do! To decorate the outside of the jar, I had some handmade twine that I'd learned how to make from scraps of fabric in a recent zoom workshop, so I thought this might make the perfect addition to help soften all those hard edges.

All that's needed now is to write on each one, thinking of ways of communicating my love and appreciation and adding some quotes that I know will really encourage my recipient. It is such an inexpensive and thoughtful way of showing someone that you care, and I highly recommend making one (particularly for those people who have 'everything'!)

The moth and '67' tag was a little finishing touch to put onto the twine. Maybe I should put 67 butterfly messages in the jar? That will take some fussy cutting!!

I'd love to hear of ideas of how you gift 'encouragement' to others. I don't think we can ever be too supportive or too kind, so maybe going the way of handmade gifts is a good idea for this upcoming Christmas season. Now I've just got to work out how to transport it without getting all the wire wrecked!!

Thanks for being with me today,

Keren x

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Miriam said...

Such a wonderful project Keren. And such a beautiful thought, especially in 2020.
I've sent loads of handmade gifts and notes this year, more than ever, just to spread kindness and to encourage others to pay it forward.

Etsuko said...

Beautiful jar project Keren and I love the butterfly idea of flying from the flower on the lid. xx

Lucy Edmondson said...

Oh how enchanting Keren! Such a beautiful and well thought through project!x

Jenny Marples said...

Such a thoughtful idea so beautifully executed Karen. Those butterflies look wonderful bursting forth from the flower garden lid. We could all do with messages of love and hope in these times x

PaperArtsy said...

What a gorgeous idea!!

A Pink said...

Totally love your encouragement Jar, Keren that you have created so thoughtfully and beautifully. An uplifting gift for whoever the lucky recipient may be.