Cotton Christmas

Cotton Christmas (1)

Cotton Christmas

Continuing along, here is wreath #3 for the Country Living Fair and it is called Cotton Christmas for the darling cotton Santa who is in residence on the right side of the wreath.

I actually bought him this past summer at the Golden Glow Convention in Asheville, NC.  What I do not know is if he was made in Japan or if he was handmade by somebody stateside for their own Christmas decor. I suspect it was the second scenario. At any rate, his body is all cotton (it’s sort of flat), and he has a cool sparkly belt and a wonderful decorated candy cane. His face is a scrap featuring a very jolly looking Santa.  I simply could not resist bringing him home with me. Here he is nestled among a few of the other treasures I bought:

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Cotton Christmas has some other very cool things. The top, for example. I used a foil reflector with a special Poland indent on it (kind of like the sun, I think) and then placed 3 teardrop-shaped ornies directly to the right which give a real sense of movement. Directly under the green teardrop is a fabulous old corsage.  That all then segues into a Shiny Brite top and a poppy green P_E_A_C_E ball (I really sweated which letters would show – such a drag you can’t see the whole thing).  Take a peek below to see it all close up.

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Moving on around the wreath you will find plenty of great ornaments: Polands and Shiny Brites galore; a Jewelbrite diorama on the bottom left, right underneath a poinsettia ball; and a pretty green and silver topper slashing its way across the middle.  The whole is accented with some vintage curly gold garland and finished off with red beaded garland.

Here are a few more pictures so you can see close-up.

For me, this guy spells Christmas in a big way. I hope you love him, too.

Have a great night, everyone!

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Holiday Glamour

Holiday Glamour Wreath

I’ve been holed up in Santa’s Workshop, Southern Branch, feverishly working to have things ready for the Country Living Fair which is (😳) next week!!!! Things are going pretty smoothly (so far) and if the weather cooperates and the Mr. is feeling pretty good, then everything will be ok.

I thought I would try to write a post about each of the 5 wreaths I’m planning on taking with me. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to show you what I make in any detail and I figured it was about time!

First up is a very special one I’ve dubbed “Holiday Glamour.”

The reason I think it’s special is not only because it’s got some pretty fabulous stuff in it but the color palette is scrumptiously poppy. The huge Japan celluloid/plastic reindeer (he’s about 12″ tall) and the gorgeously flashy enormous white and gold package decoration on top are the tip of the iceberg.  There’s also a lovely double-decker indented blue topper slashing its way across the center for one.  Other items of note are 2 huge Shiny Brite stencilled balls; 2 Jewelbrite plastic dioramas (the angel and the yellow one on the bottom); a vintage corsage with bells and red ribbon; beautiful indented ornaments; and a host of bells, Shiny Brites, and other lovelies.  The colors are hot pinks and golds with shots of white, blue, green and silver.  There are swags of silver beaded garland on the bottom as a final elegant touch.

Here are some photos so you can see all the details. Be sure to click on them to see them full size – so much better!

I’ll try to get back tomorrow with the next one so stay tuned!

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I hope you’ve gotten your tickets already to the Fair.  Even better is an Early Bird ticket that gets you in an hour-and-a-half before everybody else does!  That means you get first dibs on everything!  You can go here to get yours (you can get regular tickets here, too!)

I will be in my usual spot, Booth 34-36 on D-Loop, Dogwood Path. It’s just above where Azalea Circle (A Loop) meets Dogwood at D-Leg (and between D22 and D50 as seen on the map below).

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Back to Work!

Just a little quickie to let you know that I finally made it out to the workshop today and got started on what I think is going to be a real charmer.

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I’ll be back to post some pictures of the Golden Glow of Christmas Past convention – it was fabulous! If you go their Facebook page, you’ll see all sorts of photos people took – both of their treasures and the convention in general.

Stay tuned….

Stuck in a Time Warp

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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?

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

 

Inspiration

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

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Blue Rocket Wreath $250

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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.

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

 

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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!