As for me, I know of nothing else but miracles. - Walt Whitman

Monday, December 13, 2010


Hello, everyone! Yesterday, I was featured as the guest artist over at Cartwheels In My Mind online art magazine. I did a tutorial on my hand-painted Christmas ornaments, so I decided to give one of them away on my blog! If you are interested in entering the drawing, just leave me a comment below with your e-mail address (so I can notify you if you win).  I will randomly pick a winner on Wednesday, December 15. Below is a copy of the article where you can see pictures of the ornaments.

Guest Artist Tutorial :: Erica M.

Hello, everyone! My name is Erica, and I live in Ohio with my husband and four children, ages 9, 8, 6 and 4. We are also in the process of adopting a child (or two!) from Ethiopia! I am a stay-at-home mom, and because of my creative streak, love to bake, scrapbook, china paint, and decorate my home with various crafts I've made. Today I'm going to share my hand-painted Christmas ornaments with you!
 1. I start out with a plain china ornament:

2. Then I grab my paints! The paint starts out in a powder form, like this:
Then, I mix each paint with some oil until it looks like this:

3. Sometimes, I trace a design onto my ornament using graphite paper, but most of the time, I choose to just start painting free-hand. I paint very lightly, not adding any details at this time. I'm just trying to get the background image onto the ornament.
 4. Then, the ornament is ready to fire for the first time! So I place it in my trusty little kiln for 45 minutes.
 The kiln heats up to over 1000 degrees. This bakes the paint right into the glaze on the china, making it permanent. It will never come off, so I have to make sure that there are no paint smudges on the china anywhere! After the ornament cools completely, I paint over the image again, adding more details and deepening the colors. Usually each ornament requires anywhere from 3-6 firings.
5. Once the paint looks the way I want it to, I sign my name on the ornament and add the gold around the edges using my finger. I usually write a message on the back of the ornaments using the gold, too. It is actually either 18 or 24-carat gold, and comes in a liquid form. The tiny bottles of gold are quite expensive!
As you can see from the bottles, the gold is a dark brown liquid. It does not change to the shiny gold color that we're all familiar with until it is fired. 
6. After the ornament is fired for the last time, I tie on a piece of gold cording. Voila!


Thanks for inviting me over, Cartwheels! Have a wonderful Christmas season, everyone!

There you have it! Just leave a comment below if you're interested in participating in the giveaway, and I'll reveal the winner on Wednesday! Thanks!


  1. Oohh, Ooohhh, Me, Me!! How cool that Cheryl had you do a tutorial on these!

  2. Erica....Mom and Katie both commented this weekend that one of their very favorite ornaments on my tree is the one you painted for me years's so beautiful! You are so very talented, and how fun that you were featured by Cheryl! :)

  3. Erica you are a very special person. God's fingerprints are all over you!

  4. Hey, Erica, this is Mom. A give-away on your birthday, huh? Don't count me in, give it to someone else, because you could ALWAYS paint me one, right?!?

  5. Hey Erica! I would LOVE to win one of your ornaments! If I don't win I would be interested in purchasing some! Let me know if that is possible! Karen

  6. Erica, these are gorgeous!!! You are so talented!!

  7. great article! and your ornaments are just BEAUTIFUL!!!! aheritagefromthelord at gmail