Saturday, March 18, 2017

Thyme to tell you about the 12 Days of Christmas

Today I wanted to show you  a project
The Twelve Days of Christmas

Design can be found in
 Lynne Andrews Book
Christmas Blessings

This was a HUGE project full of detail. 
I worked on it as time allowed over the course of a whole year!
I set a goal of trying to complete at least one ornament a month.

Let's step inside my STUDIO and begin!

The original patterns were done in 
DELTA Ceramcoat 
but you can easily convert the colors to 
 using the conversion charts found 

My Palette

Antique Gold, Buttermilk, Olive Green, Pineapple, Deep Burgundy, Cerulean Blue, Deep Midnight Blue, Light Cinnamon, Dark Chocolate, Blue Chiffon, Green Mist, Berry Red, Cherry Red, Midnite Green, Plantation Pine, Hauser Medium Green, Golden Straw, Black, Traditional Raw Sienna, Dove Grey, Calypso Blue, Desert Turquoise, Bluegrass Green, Bittersweet Chocolate, Admiral Blue, Williamsburg Blue, Spa Blue, Light French Blue, Terra Cotta, Burnt Orange, Titanium White, Hauser Light Green, Neutral Grey, Flesh Tone, Celery Green, Jade, Baby Blue, Golden Straw, Lemon Yellow, Summer Lilac, Orchid, Wild Orchid, Desert Sand 

My surfaces were bevel cut frame ornaments 
purchased from 
Sheila Landry Designs

You can purchase the surfaces

It took about three thinned coats of Buttermilk to base coat the surfaces.

The backgrounds are painted using a #2 Lowell Cornell Ultra Round. 

layered my washes to build up depth of color. 
For added softness I mopped immediately after applying the wash with a Duster Stippler

Duster Stippler

You must dry completely between each layer or else you will lift the paint.
I keep a small blow dryer by my paint table.

On The FIRST Day of Christmas ....

Painting the partridge and pears

Adding the ribbon and snow

I used Dazzling Metallics Splendid Gold on the outer edges of the ornaments

On The FIRST Day of Christmas .... My true love gave to me .... A partridge and a pear tree

I base coated the finial Lamp Black

I used a Silver Micron Mini Lettering brush to do the stripes on the finial.

I used a GOLD DecoColor marker to do the inner and outside edges of the ornaments.

**** To do this easily I held the tip and applied enough pressure on it to create a V shape indentation on tip. I then proceeded to run the marker around the edges of the ornaments. The result is a beautiful gold line. This is an oil base marker. It matched the DecoArt Splendid Gold paint perfectly. 

Working on days 1 & 2 along with the finial.

I designed a tree to hang my ornaments on.

The tin pear finial is galvanized and has no rust. 

I lightly sanded it, then sealed it 

I used my scumbler to stipple on Antique Gold.

Once I had finished painting the pear finial I dry brushed some 

Finial with PEAR topper

Days 1 & 2

lettering and checks 
can be done with either 

or a 
Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph Pen

I experimented with BOTH pens when doing the lettering and checks. I found they both produce pretty much the same results. 
The Rapidograph is great when it works but it can be frustrating when it clogs. 
It also requires some maintenance to keep it clean so it won't clog!
The most important thing to remember when using these pens is to spray
FIXATIVE on your piece 
BEFORE you varnish. 

*** This is an important step to prevent your ink from smearing! ***

Backs of days 1 & 2

Days 1 & 2 are complete!

On The Second Day of Christmas...My True Love gave to me..... Two Turtle Doves

On the Third Day of Christmas ......

Day 3 ....... Painting the french hen

Front of Day 3

Days 1 , 2 & 3

On The Third Day of Christmas .... My True Love gave to me .... Three French Hens

Day 4 ...... painting the birdhouse

There is incredible DETAIL in these ornaments !

Day 4 ...... painting the calling birds 

On The Fourth Day of Christmas .... My True Love gave to me .... Four Calling Birds

There were many components of this project!

The ornaments, tree, finial, base of tree.

Day 5...... Floating the background using a wash technique.

Painting five golden rings

On The Fifth Day of Christmas .... My True Love gave to me .... Five Golden Rings

Days 1 - 5 are complete! 

Day 6..... painting the geese

Each ornament is like a small portrait!

Both the fronts and backs are painted and lettered.

Front of Day 6

Back of Day 6

On The Sixth Day of Christmas .... My True Love gave to me .... Six Geese A- Laying

Day 7 painting the swan

Back of Day 7

On The Seventh Day of Christmas .... My True Love gave to me .... Seven Swans - A - Swimming

Front and Back of Day 7

Days 6 and 7 complete!

Day 8 ..... I had to adjust the line drawing some to fit my surface, 

I cut the line drawing to make it fit my surface.

When Lynne Andrews originally designed this series she used bisque ornaments.

Day 8 ......painting the maid and cow

Day 8 adding the checks

Day 8 lettering complete

On The Eighth Day of Christmas .... My True Love gave to me .... Eight Maids - A - Milking

Four more ornaments to go!

Days 1 - 8 are complete!

Day 9 front

Day 9 lettering

On The Ninth Day of Christmas .... My True Love gave to me .... Nine Ladies Dancing

Back of Day 9

Day 10 front

Day 10 lettering

On The Tenth Day of Christmas .... My True Love gave to me .... Ten Lords - A - Leaping ....

Day 11 background wash

Day 11 painting the piper

Day 11 adding the checks and gold trim

On The Eleventh Day of Christmas .... My True Love gave to me .... Eleven Pipers piping

Day 12!!!!!

Day 12 painting the drummer

Day 12 painting the face

Day 12 adding the gold trim around edges

Day 12 adding the checks

On The Twelfth Day of Christmas .... My True Love gave to me .... Twelve Drummers Drumming 

A golden nest!

As I mentioned earlier I sprayed all my ornaments 
Krylon Fixative 
before varnishing to prevent the ink from smearing.

 I then varnished my the outer ring of the ornaments 
with a  coat 

I sprayed the inner circles of the ornaments

 before applying a light coat of 

I then painted the outside and inner edges of the outer part of the ornaments 
the outer edges of the small circle 
Splendid Gold

Once the Splendid Gold had dried 
I went over all the above areas with a light coat
Deco Art Gold Craft Twinkles

I let my ornaments dry completely before gluing the centers and adding the hanging tassels.

I found a very large old bakers tin in a thrift shop. 
I thought it would make a perfect base for the tree that I designed.

I began by cleaning the tin well, I sprayed it with grey metal primer.

I used a press and lift method to apply the Black base coat.
I used a sponge brush to do this.

I base coated the cover in the same manner

I base coated over the black with Rookwood Red.
I added the lines for the diamond pattern.

I taped off the diamonds before painting them with Camel

The tin became a bit of a trial and error project until I decided exactly on a look that I liked!

I originally painted the lid like this.

I later changed my mind on the lid color and painted it all Black.

I used an adhesive measuring tape to painted the dotted lines Black.

Close up view of side of tin.

I made a template for the lid lettering and printed it out on vellum.

I them painted the lettering with Splendid Gold.

I cut a hole where you see the small air holes for my tree trunk.

The lid says ....

On the first day of Christmas , my true love gave to me .... a partridge and a pear tree.

Once the lettering was dry on the lid
 I varnished it 
then added a coat of DecoArt Craft Twinkles

I am now painting the design on the front of the tin.

I have painted in the tree now I am working on the pears.

I am now working on the partridge and the pot the tree is in.

Working on shading the pot for the tree. I've added the birds and the ice on the tree.

I've added the checks on the outer edge of the design.

I have added the checks to the pot. I'm starting the vines.

I'm now adding the snowflakes.

Lots of progress!

I've painted the partridge and the birds on the vine.

Close up of tin.

Another close up!

Now for the tree!

I used a large empty tin coffee can for the inside of my tin.  
I secured the tree in the can
filled it with Plaster of Paris
I inserted my tree trunk with lid.
I had to let this "set up " for several days.

Here we have a partridge GOURD!

I have base coated the partridge with Buttermilk

Working on the feathers

Painting the eyes.

I added some Metallic Lustre to the wings.

Close up view

Now for some tail feathers!
I used a spray glue lightly on the feathers them sprinkle on some Deco Art Glamour Dust

I then glued the tail feathers on.

A partridge in a PEAR tree!

I found some beautiful ribbon for my tin and made a large bow.

I added all my gold tassels to my ornaments.

I hung all my ornaments.

I glued wood balls that I had painted with Splendid Gold to the ends of each dowel.

Rosemary Reynolds and DecoArt
 provided me with the paints to complete this project 
as part of their 
Helping Artist and Blogger Outreach Programs

Thank you DecoArt!

I hope you have enjoyed watching me paint 

The 12 Days of Christmas!

Happy Painting !



  1. I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E ....absolutely beautiful! A heirloom to be for sure!

  2. Wonderful project. You are gifted with not only talent but patience as well. Enjoyed the step by step blog.

  3. Absolutely awesome

  4. Lynn, this is a beautiful project and beautifully done. I love all the extra details: the tree, base, nest, gourd partridge, wonder it took a year.

  5. You definitely took this and ran with it I am in awe! Absolutely Amazing! I do have a question.. Did you make the pear puffed tin?

    1. Thank you Tracy! No the pear came from Della and Company. The ordering info for the pear comes in the pattern book

  6. I absolutely LOVE your blog on this! Every step is amazing to see! Thank you so much for sharing with us and also thank you for all of your help on our Facebook page. You are a true friend and inspiration! What a lovely keepsake you have made! <3

    1. Thank YOU Sheila for not only the wonderful surfaces but creating the FB group to motivate so many to paint this amazing project. It was a wonderful project to paint!

  7. Absolutely wonderful project, and sucj beautiful painting on all the ornaments. You Rock Girl!


Keep those brushes flying!
Lynn Barbadora @ Painting Thyme Needfuls

"Life is a great BIG canvas and you should throw all the paint you can on it!"
~ Danny Kaye