a quick reminder that this is the last chance to make any orders before the holidays. anything purchased after tomorrow (the 18th) will not ship out until after the new year. a special thank you also to holly becker from decor8 for featuring my mushroom on her etsy holiday gift guide this week. it was in such lovely company on an always lovely blog. thanks!!
i went to a beautiful swedish st. lucia (sankta lucia) festival last friday (not my photos). it was ion a lovely church on the meory campus... so beautifully decorated for christmas. it was a local volunteer choir, it's memebers of mostly swedish descent. the songs were in swedish and english... but i prefered the swedish, especially a beautiful rendition of "o holy night" by the director maria lindberg-kransmo, and also the traditional sankta maria song. wonderful! if christmas was just moments like that, it would be enough for me.
there was also a swedish christmas market yesterday, where i got to enjoy more singing while drinking coffee and eating ginger cookies... again, heaven. very nice swedish market as well. i bought a lovely st. lucia image made from bobbin lace, a traditional lace making practice. i have never heard of this technique? the artist, susanne howard was there and nicely explained it to us. add this to my list of textile art i would love to learn.
as you can probably guess i am a little bit obsessed with all things swedish... having to do with christmas, especially! watching the lucia festival and hearing the director talk about being picked as lucia herself as a child, made me wish i had grown up with more traditions like this. my family is primarily of german background... my grandmother grew up in a house with german speaking parents, but all this has been lost. i really know very little about the customs that would have been so important to my family before me, which is a little bit sad. i'm glad to see others holding onto these traditions and passing them down. what about you? do you have celebrations you hold dear and still practice each year? or have you made your own?
i'm working on a pair of pigeons for a client in brooklyn. this is my second attempt at a pattern... the first didn't work out to well. i really love making new patterns, though it can turn into a long and frustrating process. mostly, for me, this occurs because i have so little time to focus. the title to this post refers not only to the pigeons but myself. i feel like such a constant work in progress. i am in awe of the artists i know who have small children... some smaller than mine... who are able to accomplish so much more than i do. yes, this is the first year of homeschooling my older son, and carting the younger to preschool three mornings a week. i haven't been able to find the right balance yet between meeting my childrens needs and my own needs/wants. i find myself wanting to work more, but wonder if the timing is just not right. i have mostly been working with vintage patterns, which i love to do and are good for improving my technical and creative skills. I really want to start making more of my own patterns... like i have done with my birds. i have so many ideas but i am hesitant i guess to really work on them. maybe that has nothing to do with time, but my own insecurities as an artist? the same thing that keeps me from really promoting my work? it's hard to say becasue i have not been doing this very long and have never really had that freedom with time. hopefully in the next year i will start to figure these things out. that's what new years are for right? new beginnings for a work in progress like me.
well, you know the rest. i'm sure a lot of you who celebrate christmas are busy doing the same thing. i couldn't resist sharing some christmas tinkering going on at my house. this little-ish elf is working slowly by herself... the other big elf in the house prefers to bah humbug as i go merrily along, while the two littlest elves like to rearrange everything behind me. like i said, slow going. we will get our tree soon though!
i also wanted to share another crafty little project with you. i made the mosaic over the fire place for the holidays. it is another super easy project that brings much glee (at least to me)... thanks to miss "dottie angel" for the inspiration! she is truly the master of bringing crafty glee into the home. i used a bunch of canvas frames from the art store, some of my favorite fabrics and felt (i hoard in my stash and never want to actually use), my vintage doilies, my ever (not so) trusty glue gun (lot's of very un-merry words usually involved), and a staple gun. voila. that sound like a lot, but if you are the crafty sort, you probably have most of this (i had it all already). if not i'm sure you can get creative. i simply stapled the fabrics to the frame, glued on some doilies, or felt in holiday patterns, and added a vintage painting i found for 4 dollars and painted the frame white. hurray for crafty holiday goodness!
if you have fun holiday decor or projects to share, please do! my comment section is looking a bit spare these days, and i'm wondering if everyone has vanished? hello?
p.s. you might want to measure before hanging, or you can just go willy nilly like i do. i swear it doesn't look so crooked in person:) i'm sure i will add more to it next year to even things out... i ran out of canvas.. i guess you never know what "gleeful" objects may show up though!
just a quick update to let you know i relisted a camel and donkey in the shop. this will be the last grey donkey... sadly, since it was recycled, i only had enough of this lovely material for one more. i will list some more mushrooms and some trees as well this week. the holidays are coming fast! i'm not really doing custom orders right now, but i'm always happy to take suggestions (especially while i'm looking for ideas for the shop). just let me know if there is something you have had your heart set on.
i surprised my children this morning with a little holiday craftiness... an advent garland. i have been planning this for a while now, but if you know me, you know that means i didn't do one bit of work on it until last night. i tend to plan things out in my brain forever, but put off the actual work until necessary. luckily, it was a pretty easy project (that doesn't mean it wasn't a late night though). it is made from simple bags with a solid front and patterned back. the solid color is stamped with a number, and the bag holds a treat for each day. once it has been emptied, the bag is turned from the number side to the patterned side... making a pretty garland!
i should have gotten this together and posted it last week as a tutorial, but if you are interested, here are the basics...
gather your materials. i used mostly scraps i already have for the backing pieces, along with some inexpensive dish towels i had bought from ikea. i also use material from ikea for the red colored solid side... they are actually red curtains they had on sale for hardly anything! you can buy fabric or be clever with recycling what you already have. i cut my squares to be 5 1/2 inches squares, to make it easy to match up front and back.
then, i simply folded the top edge of each square down slightly, pinned it and sewed across the top to make a neat edge (i only folded once to make it easy). i then pinned two squares together, right sides facing in and sewed around the edge...
once the edge is sewn up, you simply turn them inside out and you have a bag (you could make yours drawstring if you want to get fancier;)...
i then stamped each one with number stamps i purchased, using a permanent ink pen (martha stewart) to make it neater, instead of a stamp pad...
then it's just a matter of hanging some clothes line, and using some clothes pins to hang them up...
and of course filling them with goodies for your little ones (mine share a bag each day that has two treats in it, including mini candy canes, chocolate coins and chocolate santas for christmas eve)!
i told you it was easy!
... look for mushroom ornaments in the shop later today, and more goodies as the week goes on.