Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Art Gifts

I love sharing art gifts that I receive. This year, Jim gave me this beautiful blown glass bud vase. I can't wait to put something in it. I may look for a poinsettia just for a bloom to cut and put in it.
Amy and I almost always exchange original art. I made her a scrabble tile necklace for her original art this year.
Amy gave me this beautiful tile from a pottery shop on Orcas Island. I love the colors. She, also, gave me two cool items out of the Art-O-Mat, which I have a fascination with. There used to be one in the KY Center for the ARts. But, I don't know if they still have one. They are little pieces of art that come out of old cigarette vending machines. Talk about a great way to re-use. They are have to be the size of a cigarette box and the right weight to "work". I've considered trying to come up with something to send in for consideration. That has been several years ago.
The first is a little computer "bug" charm, which evidently is quite popular. The shop where she bought it said they are always seeking more. Right now he is handing in a window for New Year's Eve, but, he'll live in my office probably, to ward off evil computer bugs. Remember my computer woes of 2009? I like the green re-used Camel box. I'd love it if every cigarette box had art in it instead of cigarettes!
The second box is filled with sticky-backed wax seals. Nice variety along with a little history of wax seals. I loved sealing wax in the 60's and 70's and had quite a few colors and seals.
My last but best piece of original art (Amy won't mind) is this great golf ball art project from Ezra. I get original art from him every year, too. I haven't decided where to put it, but it may live above his Harry Potter Closet, the name for the little room under our stairs where glassware and his toys and books live. I had misplaced his "hand" Christmas tree from 2007 and found it two days ago. I bought fabric and a pillow form to make a pillow with it in early 2008, then the sewing machine didn't work, then I got a new one on Black Friday, then I couldn't locate the art and fabric, now I have everything all together. I think I'll have it ready for display next Christmas.
Always hopeful.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Reflections on Christmas

Christmas is never quite what I envision. I picture myself being organized enough with preparations of food, gifts, wrapping, house cleaning and decorating by December 20th to sit leisurely by a fire with tea in a teapot by my side and write newsy notes in my Christmas cards to friends and family I don't keep up with as often as I'd like. Even reflect on the whole meaning of Christmas a lot more than I do. But isn't there always one more thing one could do?
I had a great holiday, with more time off than I've ever had. And I took a more relaxed approach-fewer expectations, looser schedules, stayed at my own house all day. And it was the same lesson I learn over and over again. Change comes from changing myself.
I spent time with all of my children and their spouses and their children at some point between 24-26th, not all at the same time, but with all of them, which was most important. Thanks to my friend Sue, who shares chalkboard ideas all the time, we have enjoyed this great chalkboard table cloth all week and it has been fun to see the doodles made by everyone finding chalk on the table.
My mother who also saw the value of loosened schedules and expectations planned an open house the day after Christmas from 4-? which ended up being a great time to see not only all three of my children and most of their families, but also niece, nephews, aunt, and great-nephew, too. I loved seeing my children all together there and the chance for them to visit with their extended family. While I visited, too, I was more an observer that night. Some gifts were exchanged, but no awkward feeling of needing a gift for everyone there.
It was just so fun! I hope it will be an annual event, which my mother took as "high compliment". When she is unable to do it, I will for as long as they want, for whoever can come.
I've spent more time sleeping later, unheard of for a type A like myself, and more time in pjs than maybe ever in my life. I'm still in them at 12:50 and my daughter and a son, who dropped by, have just left. We chatted, surfed the web, read the paper, discussed some shopping plans and future travel plans, all around the dining room table, coffee or coke in hand.
I plan to take the Monday after Christmas off next year, too. Just letting things happen, having more food than I needed (I know I am blessed in that regard) which made me feel prepared for anything, made for a wonderful holiday, and a celebration of Christ in my heart.
I may light a fire and put on the kettle for tea. I have some Christmas cards I'd like to write today.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Day 13

Day thirteen is the gift we open on "our" gift day. So, on day 7 I opened this gift from Mary-Beth, our organizer for the swap.
This beautiful hanger is on my tree now but will stay out somewhere all year long. Lovely, eh? Wasn't this a fun swap leading up to Christmas? I'm grateful for all of my art friends and their generosity. I also received beautiful cards from two of my art buddies, too. I'll post them soon!

Day 12

This fantastic tea book was made by Kristy! i love the envelopes, tea, the closure on the front, the colors, just everything about this little book is special. I'll enjoy it every time I get it out to make tea.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Day 11

Today was Linda's day and I open up the gift of an art doll ornament! I think she is as cute as can be holding holly and a peppermint. I love her red and green striped skirt and clock torso. Very creative! Thanks, Linda!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Day 10!

My tree gets prettier everyday with the new additions it gets! I love this hanger from Carolyn. It has beautiful detail. Texture, a beautiful photo and embellishments. It is lovely!

Day 9

Two more gifts! This cute, wee ornament, which I could also use as a pendant. Isn't it sweet?? Suzanne is the owner of Quietfire Design , where I get all kinds of art supplies including many of the rubber stamps I use and the owner and moderator of the byhandartists yahoogroup that is such an inspiration to me.
This beautiful necklace from Joanne. She knows how much I love her altered head which she uses images of in a lot of art and to show off her beautiful, handmade knits. She made my beautiful beaded amulet bag with my initial on it, too. I love that she wrapped it in a napkin that I will use for napkin art!
I'll cherish both of them.

Thanks to both women for sharing their art with me! 3 Days to go!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Day 8

Another two gift day! Sue made this angel magnet. I think it is beautiful and so creative. She is proudly on my refrigerator!
Linda made this cute zipper bag. I have seen little wrist purses like this. I think it is so cute, love the colors and will probably find a lot of different uses for it!
Thanks for another wonderful day of art gifts! This is a blast. I encourage anyone who likes art and creating to join the byhandartists yahoogroup. Bunch of talent there!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 7

Well, this was my day! And I'll start with my short lament and move on. My choice of coatings after reading a tutorial was DG3. Someone preferred it to Diamond Glaze so I went with it. It never got completely hard. Days later if something touched the surface of the tile, it left an imprint. I had to correct several with another coat (more drying woes) and am concerned about how they traveled with all the manipulation in the mail.
But, when I made them I was pretty happy with their "look" at least. Another problem was the background paper curling after drying for a day before the gel was applied. I think as the gel dried and pulled the contact of the glue (tacky glue) So, all in all, I liked the concept but the execution was not the best.
Being the perfectionist I can be especially when it comes to something for others, it was a bit of a disappointment. But, that said, I plan to make more.
So, here was my offering to my dear art friends on the byhandartists yahoogroup.
Merry Christmas, and thanks for sharing your art with me.
PS:I got the sad report from our organizer, when asked, that it didn't travel well. Wahhh.

Day 6

Jane made these super coasters for the holiday season! They will come in handy when guests are here! I think they are sealed and painted canvas. Aren't they cute?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day 5

Kathleen made our Day 5 giftie! And a cutie it is! I love these Scrabble tile necklaces. And how did she know I like dragonflies? I wore it to work today and had several compliments. Thanks, Kathleen!

Day 4

Day 4 is a two giftie day! And I thought it was interesting that both people chose leather for their project.
Wanda's is a beautiful, green card holder with pretty quote cards. It is a wonderful shape and beautifully decorated. My business cards may fit in it also.
Daphne's lavender iphone, ipod holder, that also fits my flip video camera, is a treat! I love that I could wear it around my neck if I go to the park with my grandson. I don't like to carry anything and sometimes don't have clothes with pockets on. So, this is perfect.
Day 4 was another wonderful art gift day.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day 3

Isn't this a great way to start the day? I think we should open little art presents every day! Today's gift is a real treat, too, and I will use it most every day! I absolutely love this quilted sleeve for hot drinks. I've always hated throwing sleeves away and quite honestly don't remember to save them to reuse if I go out for a cup of coffee. But, this little one will go in my purse with me and fits my reusable mug, too. What a great gift and cool idea. Thanks, Wendy!!