The Making of the Christmas Pic

As we approach the date to our one way tickets to China we are trying to soak up all of the inevitable lasts, or at least "this isn't going to happen again for a long time." Over the Thanksgiving break some of my husband's family made the long drive up from Texas to cement the occasion and no family gathering would be complete without family pictures. Such extended family pictures are taken about every two years with a specific color theme. Such family pictures have never been taken in mine and Kelli's family. I'm not sure if we are too lazy, non sentimental, or just color coordination resistant. Regardless, this year's color theme for my husband's family was black and white. Thankfully my husband already had a nice black sweater and a 20 minute trip to Target found me a blousy, but not balloony black top to help hid the middle "I just look fat" pregnancy stage for me. That left the two kids.

For my daughter I did a simple shift jumper that took about 2 1/2 hours. I did make the mistake of not taking the print into consideration the first time I cut the front piece, so it became the back and I cut a new visually symmetrical front.
You wouldn't believe the trouble I had finding a plain white, long sleeve, T-shirt for my son. I went to 4 stores before I found one. I started at Walmart, but they apparently feel that a turtleneck is perfectly acceptable on a little boy, while my husband is absolutely sure they are not (I say it depends on the outfit). So, once again Target came to the rescue. I am sorry to say that there are no Targets in China that I am aware of and you wouldn't recognise the Walmart from the inside. Once the desired T was purchased I went about freezer-paper stenciling it with a tie. The directions follow:

Step 1 tape down your freezer paper, shiny side down (if I am making an image I think I will use again I will tape down 3 layers of freezer paper, it's just as easy to cut through, if your exacto knife is sharp)
Step 2 draw your picture or trace an image on the freezer paper
Step 3 cut out your image, it goes faster than you would think, so be careful (as you can see I use a self healing mat, I have a big one for fabric and a small one for paper crafting)
Step 4 iron your stencil, shiny side down to your fabric. you want to use the heat setting appropriate for the fabric you are using. I hold it down for about 10 seconds and then overlap onto the next section. when it is done there will be a tight seal, no bubbles, around the edges. Make sure you do NOT use any steam. My iron automatically adds steam to a cotton setting so I have to empty all the water out of my iron first.
Step 5 insert a layer of newspaper, etc.., in between fabric layers so the paint wont transfer to the other layers of your garment
Step 6 paint. I go back over it at least twice as the cotton soaks some of the paint in
Step 7 let dry according to the fabric paint manufactures instrustions
Step 8 peal off your stencil and enjoy!
I machine wash my painted garments inside-out and hang dry them to avoid cracking and fading.
Any questions? Hope you enjoy my new head shot. It is cropped from this same photo session. My lovely olive toned in-laws joked that I am so pale I could be a Cullen. Anyone know the casting agents for Breaking Dawn?


  1. i think we were roommate in Taichung. you still look so pretty. I can't remember how i found this blog, and I just realize it's you.
    my family blog

  2. Thanks for the tutorial on the stencil!

  3. That tie stencil is so adorable. I like the striped detail.

  4. You've got cute kids! I love the pattern placement on the front of your daughter's dress. Where is the fabric from?

  5. The fabric came from Joann's and thanks, I think my kids are pretty cute too. I'll be posting a pdf of the stencil tie I made some time soon. Stay tuned.

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