Stuck in a Time Warp

img_1240-version-2

This darling handmade angel was sent me by my customer Sandra who lives in Florida. I just love her.

A Christmas time warp.  Here it is, January 29th, and I have to confess to you that I have not taken down one lick of my Christmas decorations yet.  In my defense, I didn’t finish getting the house decorated until the night of December 23rd.  What about you?

I’m not quite tired of them yet but I think by the first week of February, they will be heading back to their little beds to sleep until next December.

There has been something inordinately cheery about having all these lovely things to look at during the dark days of the past month. I think we have seen the sun about 3 times. It gets wearing.  It’s nice to have a little cheer inside when the world outside is not so great.  Besides, last year, I did not get any decorating done with everything that had been going on.

But this year, we had a truly wonderful Christmas. No hospital stays (3 of the past 5 Christmases have been spent in the hospital with either my mom or the Mister).  We had so much to be grateful for. And at the very last minute, my sister and her 3 girls decided to come down here to spend Christmas with us. They rolled in about 3 in the afternoon on Christmas Day.  She even brought the turkey!  We had the most lovely time, our little family around the table for a superb dinner with all the trimmings. Then presents afterwards and a well-deserved good night’s sleep.  When they left on Boxing Day, the house seemed pretty empty for awhile.

On the spur of the moment, when they were leaving home to come down here, my sister went up into my parents’ attic and brought Mom’s snow babies with her so we could put them on the table.  My mother, who grew up in Baltimore County, MD, always loved the elaborate “Christmas garden” her family had under the tree.  Included in this set up were snow babies – the real ones. We have no idea what became of those but at some point Mom starting collecting the Department 56 repros and she put them on the dining room table where they scampered around doing whatever it is that snow babies do.  To have her collection with us this Christmas was the icing on the cake.  I put this little one on my tree.

img_1253

My mother’s snow baby, swinging on a star

Getting back to decorating, I managed to get 2 big trees up and decorated plus a feather tree for the Pleasure Dome (that’s the Mister’s music/reading/TV refuge).  Other than that, the decor is fairly minimal but I made sure there was a touch of the festive season in every room downstairs.   And Edward came by about a week before Christmas and we got the outside lights up!  It’s just not Christmas around here without them.  They are still up, too.

I thought I would share some photos with you.

This is the big tree.

img_1237-version-2

For the first time in my life, I had a fake tree for the main event.  I did not have anybody to help me wrestle a giant, heavy tree into place this year so I decided to go with a “permanent botanical.”  It was not a decision made lightly, I can attest to that. At first it was weird,  but as I kept going, I kinda started liking the way the ornaments went on – especially the big ones.  By the time it was finished, it was darn near impossible to tell that this is not a real Fraser fir. Can you tell?

Now that it is almost February, I can tell you unreservedly that it was pretty cool not to have to worry about watering.  Or having to vacuum up tons of dry needles all over the place.  Or burning the house down!

But the best thing of all is that I did not have to put those blasted LIGHTS on the tree!!!!  I hate lights!!!!

It took me bits of several days to do decorate this one but I had the absolute best time with it.  Every ornament I pulled out made me smile.  Christmas music was playing.  All was right in my world.

I put the other large tree in the garden room.  That’s the tree that has mostly vintage ornaments on it.  I like to sit out there late at night, with just the tree and candlelight, a glass of wine (or two) and listen to music. It’s glorious.

img_1341-version-2

From my vantage point, I can see the other tree in the next room.  Maybe you can see why I am so reluctant to let all this go.

Christmas came and went for me very quickly.  It’s only a month down the road but it seems so far away already.  Still I have plenty of reminders.

Including some wonderful gifts.  My friends totally get me. Here are a couple of the treasures I received from them.

I also got this adorable old elephant – the one with the red bow.  He is joining the rest of my herd of well-loved pachyderms under the tree.

img_1301

Earlier this month we had the most beautiful snowstorm. I love snow.  And I especially love it when I do not have to get out in it – as in to drive to work or something – which I didn’t.  I stayed put and gloried in it, spending a lot of time out in the garden room reading my new Christmas books and watching the snowflakes fall and then, later on, the birds flitting around (don’t worry, I kept the feeders well-stocked).

Emma loved it, too!

img_1354

Even the trees inside looked prettier once the sun came out.

I have unashamedly and without any guilt (well, almost none) not done much of anything this past month.  After the challenges of the past 2 years, it has been wonderful to kick back and just relax.  I needed a break.

But now it’s time to get back to reality.

After  great deal of thought, I have made the decision to back off from my show schedule this year to allow me to bring some balance back into my life. I have not made firm decisions yet about the second half of the year but I am going to pass on the spring shows this time around. There are many things I have neglected on the home front and I look forward to getting something accomplished there. These range from closets that desperately need cleaning out to doing some redecorating and getting back to gardening.  And traveling – I really want to do some traveling.

This most assuredly does NOT mean that I will not be working.  I will.

In fact, I intend to be back in the workshop in the next couple of weeks.  I still have people waiting for wreaths and centerpieces and I want to get more done early in the year so that I do not run out of product when the holidays roll around. That’s what happened in 2016.

I am looking very forward to getting the creative juices flowing again.  That not only makes me extremely happy but gives me a sense of purpose. We all need that.

There are signs of some life in the garden.  The so-called “stinking” hellebores are coming into bloom.  Whoever decided on that nickname maligned a wonderful workhorse of a plant.

img_1439

The hellebores are coming into bloom. This is helleborus foetidus

And I have beautiful hyacinths blooming in the kitchen.  Their fragrance is divine.

“If, of thy mortal goods, thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store two loaves
alone to thee are left,
Sell one & from the dole,
Buy Hyacinths to feed the soul”
– Muslihuddin Sadi,
13th Century Persian Poet

img_1490

I hope that you all are well and thriving in this new year.  I’ll be back soon with more. For now, I’ll leave you with a gratuitous dog picture.

img_1552

Really, you must admit she is adorable.   🙂

Oh, and I wanted to show you this collage from Instagram of the “9 best posts” for 2016.  I’d say wreaths were the winner, wouldn’t you?

img_1300

You can follow along with me here.  It’s not all about Christmas, I promise.

 

Inspiration

img_0409-version-2

I’m always going on about how wonderful a Glittermoon Vintage Christmas wreath would look hanging over top of a mirror.

Well, I just received this picture of Ding Dong Bell after it was hung in its new home.  Talk about a WOW factor!! Jan took the mirror thing a step further and hung it over this amazing round plaque which itself is on a mirror.  It looks fabulous! And, what a festive atmosphere; check out what else is in the photo.  Looks like its time to party! I love it.

Ding Dong Bell

Ding Dong Bell – this one has that fabulous bell music box on the bottom that plays Silent Night.

++++++++++++

12063512_1244086665616827_8823328698828285335_n

If you are near Richmond, this Saturday, November 19, is the Northside Artists Holiday Artwalk.  I’m back this year and will be located in the Atrium at the Ginter Place condos, 1350 Westwood Ave., Richmond 23227.  We will have 7 artists here alone! This is a terrific way to kick off your holiday shopping by walking the lovely streets of my own neighborhood, Laburnum Park and Sherwood Park in the beautiful Northside of town.

This year we have 48 artists representing a multitude of mediums: everything from artisanal chocolates to jewelry, pottery, painting, fiber arts, and much more. I hope you will join me. This is my last event in the RVA area for the year!

For more information, please click here to go to the Facebook page.

Hours are from 9-5.

16nahaposter

++++++++++++

In other news, I’m still totally swamped trying to get things made. At this point, I only have 1 wreath that is available, Blue Rocket. I’m still working feverishly to meet commitments and to have some inventory for you all to choose from so please don’t despair. As we get a bit into December, I hope to have more to choose from. I appreciate your everlasting patience!

blue-rocket-wreath

Blue Rocket Wreath $250

++++++++++++

And, finally, I am so honored that Brent and Josh, the Beekman 1802 Boys, invited me to once again be a part of their holiday website.  It went live this week. These are the 2 wreaths that are up first (though I have to tell you that the Santa one sold immediately).  I will keep making more for them as wreaths sell so please do visit their page, Beekman1802.com.  Their products are phenomenally good and are all artisanal.  If you are not familiar with them, they are 2 guys with a fantastic story, who work very, very hard, and who believe in giving back. I’ve written numerous posts about them and about their hometown of Sharon Springs, NY if you want to check them out. I’m incredibly proud to be one of their artisans.

santas-very-merry

Santa’s Very Merry, made for the Beekman 1802 Holiday website

 

greetings-from-paris

Greetings from Paris, featuring Polka Spot the Llama, made for the Beekman 1802 Holiday website

And just in case I don’t get back to you before then, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I have more things to be grateful for than I could ever count.  I hope you do, too. xo

Booty for Atlanta

I finally was able to photograph all the beauties I have been making to take to Atlanta’s Country Living Fair this week (don’t forget – it’s Oct. 21-23!).

So have a sneak peek at some of what I will be taking with me.  I’m on a mad tear trying to get everything together at the last minute since we take off early Wednesday morning.

Please come see me in person to see all the treasures I will have with me. I’m so excited to see everyone!  Remember, I’m in Booth D34-36 on Dogwood Trail (my usual spot in case you’ve visited before).

First are 2 new wreaths:dsc_0139-version-2 dsc_0110-version-2

Followed by 2 new topiary centerpieces:dsc_0297-version-2 dsc_0271-version-2

And, then there are a multitude of Tiny Topiaries. I had a blast making these – there are some that are just too cute for their own good!  These are just some of them. I’ve got lots more, too!

Have a great night everyone. See you soon, I hope!

Where Has the Summer Gone???

I’ve been up to my eyeballs this summer with a myriad of things demanding my attention – or so it seems.  And the time is just flying by!

I’m working on custom orders now and I have a huge list of them, probably the largest number ever and with deadlines looming, it is a scramble.  If you are already on my list, you are the most patient, kind people ever. Thank you so much for your forbearance…keep hanging on, I’ll be in touch when I get to yours.

These are snippets of a couple I’ve been working on lately.

IMG_0055IMG_0062

Has it been as hideously hot where you are as it is here? The workshop is not exactly  a comfortable paradise these days.  Though I’m of an age where I never want to wish time away, I am looking forward to more reasonable temps – soon, I hope.

++++++++++++

And, in a totally unrelated aside…I’ve been getting notifications from Pinterest that this topiary, “Christmas Fantasy,” is being pinned. Lots of notifications.

DSC_0239 - Version 2

I clicked on one of those notifications this morning and – oh my, I can’t believe it – it’s been pinned just shy of 32,000 times!!!

WOW

That boggles my mind, quite honestly.  I didn’t share this with you to pat myself on the back but because it is kind of mind-blowing in its magnitude.

A happy ending to the week for me.

++++++++++++

And for you, I wish you a happy end of summer.  September is right around the corner.  Scary, isn’t it?

In a little over 2 weeks, I will be heading north to Sharon Springs, NY for the Harvest Festival, September 17-18. I’m really looking forward to being back!  You can read about it here or here. I hope you can make it!

I’ll leave you with a photo that’s maybe not exactly depicting the dog days of summer but it does seem like a good thing to do on a hot Saturday afternoon.

Have a cat nap on me.

IMG_0065

Patriotic Parade

Patriotic Parade

I finished it!

Meet “Patriotic Parade.”  I think you can guess the reason for the name.  Anyway, July is the perfect time to fly our beautiful colors.

I’m taking it with me to the Golden Glow of Christmas Past convention in Rye, NY next week.  Perhaps I will see some of you there??  I hope so.

Here are a few more pictures for your viewing pleasure (as always, click on them to make them larger – so much better!).

Happy Friday, everyone! And try to stay safe and cool this weekend.  It’s going to be a scorcher.

One Horrifying Moment

IMG_6805 - Version 2

When this photo popped up on my phone, my heart almost stopped.

It looked as though an elephant had sat on it.

Two days prior, I had packed and shipped a wreath to a customer in Georgia via FedEx, my carrier of choice.  I was both horrifed and desolated when Nancy sent this to me.  I knew in my heart that this beautiful wreath was destroyed.  All those wonderfully old, cherished ornaments broken.  Not to mention all the hours I had put into the making of it.

The feeling did not improve as I scrolled through her pictures.

IMG_6806 - Version 2IMG_6807 - Version 2IMG_6803 2 - Version 2

But to my intense relief she shared one last photo.

IMG_6808 - Version 2This one little hole was miraculously the ONLY damage that occurred.

Now you know how very well I pack my babies before they leave the nest.  It takes me the better part of an hour to carefully wrap and package each one.  I am relieved beyond words that I can now say it is worth every effort I take.

Whew.

Springtime at Christmas

“Springtime at Christmas” is now happily ensconced in her new home.  Because that one ornament was a one-of-kind, we decided the best thing to do was merely to cover up the hole with something else. Problem solved.

++++++++++++++++++++

I’m getting ready to leave for the Golden Glow of Christmas Past Convention next week in Rye, NY.  This is my first time and I’m looking forward to meeting some of the people I have only met virtually through Facebook.

Yesterday I started on a new wreath with patriotic colors to take with me.  It will also have this amazing topper on it.

IMG_5937

If I have a chance before I go to share the finished product, I’ll do it.  Wish me luck!

Anyone else going to be there this year?