Yesterday…

I started on a topiary centerpiece.IMG_1827

To be continued….

Ta Da! Sneak Peek at the New Stuff!

As you know, I am off to Rhinebeck, NY for the Country Living Fair which will be held June 7, 8, and 9 in the beautiful Hudson River Valley.  I have finally emerged from Santa’s Workshop, Southern Branch, but only long enough for me to post quick pictures of what I am taking with me.  All of these are new to you except for “Little Pinky” and the “Little Angel” Topiary which I have reworked a bit.

I am bringing 8 wreaths and 3 topiaries with me to the Fair.  I hope you can make it!  When I can, I will post more about each one with details.

Here is a link to more info about the Fair in case you have forgotten.

Without further ado, here they are.  I hope you like them!

Reindeer Razzle Dazzle

Reindeer Razzle Dazzle

The Little Choirboy

The Little Choirboy

Old-Time Christmas

Old-Time Christmas

Ice Dance

Ice Dance

Dream of a Child

Dream of a Child

Ice Angel The angel is an old topper - she lights up!

Ice Angel
The angel is an old topper – she lights up!

Susan's Pink Memories

Susan’s Pink Memories

Little Pinky

Little Pinky

Sugar Santa Topiary

Sugar Santa Topiary

Christmas Jewels Topiary

Christmas Jewels Topiary

Little Angel Topiary

Little Angel Topiary

A Different Point of View

If you read my last post, “I Really Hate It When I Hate It”, you will remember the angst that the so-called Topiary From Hell was giving me.

I am pleased to report that the story has a happy ending.

I took a break for a few days and went home to visit my Mom.  It was a nice interlude.  When I got back to Richmond, I went out to the workshop to put my eyes on the topiary and see if I still disliked it so terribly.  Guess what?  To my pleasant surprise, I found that I kind of liked it!  Yay.

Here is the finished Topiary.  It is  just a smidge over 18 inches tall.

A view of another side:

And here is yet another:

In the end, I started wondering it if might not look even better if it is resting on a larger base.  So I experimented with placing it on this gold-rimmed plate and added a few loose red balls. 

I threw this together very quickly but I think it would be a great idea for whoever takes it home.  I could see it on a nice tray on a dining table with a bunch of stuff arranged around the base.  Like Santas, greenery, or ornaments.  There are lots of possibilities.

Here are some close-up detail views.

I love that old “Merry” ball – it has “Christmas” on the other side.  I had a hard time deciding which side should face out.I think the red and green Pin Art ball is fun.

Some more traditional holiday color and a great gold bell tucked in.

I guess sometimes you really have to step away from something that is troubling you and take a breather.  It worked for me this time.

Oh, and here’s the really great news.  As I was writing this, I received word from somebody who saw the previous post that she wants to buy it!  A happy ending indeed.

I Really Hate It When I Hate It

I’ve been working on making a new Glittermoon Vintage Christmas Topiary.

It’s not going well.  In fact, I’m hating it.  The idea was to try something a little different and come up with something that would be less pricey, too. I started with this vintage USA green glass vase, a topiary form, and some vintage garland.  So far so good.Then I started adding ornaments in a traditional Christmas palette of red, green, gold, and silver.  And I have added a couple of little Santa’s and tiny bottlebrush trees, too.  

Not too bad but I’m not feeling the love, honestly.

Several hours, a bunch of ornies, and gold beaded garland later, I should be finished.  But I hate it.

It’s.  Just.  Not.  Good.

I’m a card-carrying perfectionist and I despise turning out work that does not come up to scratch.  My super-ego is kicking in and kicking my butt. I go off and leave it for a while hoping that when I come back it will look better.  I come back.  It doesn’t.  I fiddle some more, add some more stuff, and leave it again.  Over and over.  I take a break for a couple of days and design some new cards.  It still doesn’t look good.  By now, I have enough time and $$ invested that my original idea of a less pricey piece is pretty well shot to hell.  But how can I charge a lot of money for something so….bad?

This is honestly the first Vintage Christmas piece that has given me this kind of a fit.  All the other ones have been creations that excited me as they went along and I loved them.  Like the one I made for Scott in Texas.  I would certainly hit rough patches when I felt that I had taken a wrong turn but by the time I had put the cherry on the top I loved them.  That’s important to me.  Before I put my name on anything – be it a card, photograph, or one of these – I like to be proud of it.

But you know, it finally occurred to me that this is one of those little life challenges where you need to decide if it is worth all the angst – or not.  I’m thinking that if I try to let go of my attachment to a perfect outcome things may just fall into place.  (My yoga teacher would be so proud of me.)

I believe I’m going to put this one on the back burner for a bit and start on a new wreath.  I’ll let you know when or if I finish the Topiary from Hell.

Behind the curtain

Remember the climactic scene in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy and the gang finally got to see the Wizard?  And there were all those scary special effects and banging noises and smoke that were meant to put everyone in awe of the Great Oz?  But then we found out, thanks to brave Toto the dog , that it was all just an illusion.  That behind the curtain, there was just a man running a bunch of machinery.  “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!,” Oz bellowed to us.

For some reason all this  popped into my head when I was photographing this just-completed topiary yesterday evening.   That when you “look behind the curtain” as it were,  when I am set up to shoot pictures of my product, things sure look a lot differently.  

So here is a peek of what is behind the curtain.  Not terribly romantic, is it?  But, you know, somebody has to be back there pulling all the levers, don’t they?

Can you spy the Wizard?