Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Give-away to start the New Year

I hope everyone's holidays were good ones and you're getting ready to see the new year in. For myself, I'm keen on de-cluttering and organizing my home and studio for 2010. To help me keep on task I use plenty of lists and calendars. I thought it might be nice to give one of my art calendars to one of my readers or fans so that they too, could start planning 2010 away.

The rules are pretty simple:

comment below for one entry
become a fan on Facebook and comment on that post for a second entry
You must be 18 yrs. or older to enter

I will draw the winner on January 8th and send them out this great art calendar.
Good luck to everyone.
NB. Facebook no longer allows the promoting of give-aways on it's pages so I will be collecting all comments on this blog instead. I will honor all second enteries.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas time is my favorite time

Well Christmas is almost here. Although it's a hectic time, it's also one of my most favorite times of the year. While I enjoy the music, the abundance of yummy dinners and the excitement on my children's faces, it's the two months of creating that I enjoy the most. Every year for Christmas I make most of the gifts for my family and friends and I like the chance to make new things to give. Christmas is my permission to bake, craft and decorate to my hearts content. What more can a girl ask for?
Here are a few photos of some of the projects the family and I worked on.
Mini cupcake bath fizzies Homemade baclava
Winnie the Pooh gingerbread house
Paper Mache Max and the Grinch
Bouche de Noel

What were you creating this Christmas?

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Origami Christmas Ornaments

A while back, one Christmas saw my husband and I with a large fresh tree and not very many ornaments to decorate it with. I wasn't able to buy a whole bunch of ornaments so I decided to make them instead. I'm known as a pack rat and I had accumulated years worth of used wrapping paper that I either liked the print or color of. ( I almost like getting nice wrapping paper more than the actual gift) So I set out to create a whole slew of origami ornaments to decorate my tree. I researched and taught myself some rather basic folding patterns and was able to create a glittery and festive tree at no cost other than my time.

Over the years I have kept those ornaments and created more. Each one is gently folded down and put away for the next year, those that are showing wear are thrown away . My daughter has learned to make some too and makes like a kitten with a new found ball every time we create a "water-bomb".

Below are photos of the designs I have made for my tree. I've linked each one with a site that gives directions on making the ornament. I used to thread string into each one to hang on the tree but I find them so light that I just place them into the tree instead. So if you're looking for something a little different and low cost to hang on the tree, save that wrapping paper and re-use it for next years tree trimming.

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

New ways in gift-giving

Now that we're fully into the Christmas shopping season, maybe some of you feel a little like myself and question whether we should be spending all this money on things we may not need. Now I know that as an artist that I shouldn't really be talking about needs versus wants for X-mas presents because most people don't consider putting good art on the wall as a necessity. However, I think that it we're going to participate in this mass consumerism, we should buy meaningful well thought-out gifts. Perhaps we could even buy items that do double-duty by being enjoyed by the recipient and the world at large. This is one of the many reasons why some people have made the "Handmade Pledge". By supporting small and independent artisans who create meaningful, well crafted, and small editioned pieces, we support processes that pose less of an impact on the earth and hopefully more of an impact on the recipient. I believe people appreciate the effort that they can see that has been made by someone's hand.

If you would like to take this idea a little further and ensure your gift is meaningful then I would like to suggest a couple sites for your online shopping.

The first site is Ten Thousand Villages which promotes fair trade craft items from people all over the world. Their site boasts numerous beautifully hand-crafted items for on the tree and under the tree. Last year I bought a beautifully decorated paper weight from Indonesia.

The second site is World Vision which has done a fantastic job of actually creating a Christmas catalogue to order from. While there are no items for under the tree here, the buyer does get to supply families in the third world with life-saving gifts such as medicine , books and live-stock. I love how the print catalogue has presented items to appeal to children. You may buy "The Three Little Pigs" or "Billy Goats Gruff" for a family and change their world for the better. You can pick the items yourself or you can give "gift cards" to the recipient and they can choose what items they want to donate.

So if this year you're beginning to wonder if you should really purchase the latest gadget that will be thrown out next year , maybe giving a few gifts from these sites might appeal to you. Happy X-mas shopping!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Say "Hello" with some art

Writing Christmas cards to family and friends is a time honored tradition that has seemed to persevere even with the introduction of e-mailing and text messaging. A card filled with warm thoughts and notes of the year's family events seems so much more appealing written by someone's hand. I had hoped to create a few Christmas card designs myself but there just wasn't the time to do them properly. There are so many lovely cards available now that Christmas card writing is just one great excuse to buy some beautiful stationary. Below are some of my own cards that I've released into my Etsy shop. Not necessarily holiday themed but the blank format gives you the opportunity to use them for any occasion you see fit.

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