Thursday, December 20, 2007

Love is in the air

Around here, Christmas is year round. Whether I'm creating Santas or coming up with something new, most of my creations are geared towards Christmas. I loved creating this little bear as he can also be used to give as a Valentines gift. I can see an anxious suitor giving this to his sweetheart with a diamond ring and a proposal tucked inside. The little paper mache box is useable to tuck all sorts of tiny treasures and has a pillow inside to keep those baubles nice and shiny. Now I'm off to play tag.......

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Angels we have heard on high.....

An angel is anyone who gives of themselves. Do you know an angel in your life that has made your days or weeks better? There are many people we may look at as angels, such as the dear sweet lady who was my..
attendant on the train I took to see my daughter and family this Fall. She was a Katrina victim who had lost all and had to move from New Orleans to Chicago to make a fresh start. She has worked for Amtrak for 28 years, seeing to other peoples comfort. She is sweet, and gentle, and attentive and I think her presence gave me inspiration to create this joyful angel above. I did this while on the train, trying to use my time to play with my colored pencils and pastels. I love Victorian ephemera so I used a picture I had as a model for this sweet face. I never try to make my faces exactly like my models as I want each piece to be my own, that is unless I'm doing a portrait for someone. This angel I will name Paulette, after my dear new friend who gave more than she needed to while doing her job. I hope to hear from her as I promised to do a couple of portraits for her. Well it's off to get some cards finished so I can get to the post office and to work.....have a wonderful, joyful day!

Friday, December 14, 2007

The First Day of Christmas.....really!

Okay, so I jumped the is really the first day of Christmas. You would think that since I work at a school I would know how to count So we really are on our way now to that very special day we all anticipate each year. A time of gathering with family and friends, sharing gifts, food, love and hopefully much laughter.
As promised in the previous post, here is how I display my small but growing Santa collection. Most of them I've created myself, but I am starting to add some very cool Santas, such as the tall gourd Santa in the middle that I got from Linda Kennon of Natchez, MS. You can find her creations on ebay by searching "gourdqueen". She has some fabulous creations so I feel lucky to have one for my collection.

In the next photo you can see a tall Santa with a fluffy beard

and fur ruff. He is also sporting hand made snowshoes, and a real lightable coleman lantern. He was made by a very dear friend from North Pole, AK and I got him as a gift when I opened my Anchorage apartment up for the North Pole ladies from church, who came down to the Anchorage temple one weekend. We had such a good time and this was a wonderful thank you gift.
The skinny red Santa was made at a church craft night, the framed Santa is done with a brown bag cookie mold and paper. I hand painted him and the backround he is mounted on. The birch Santa I will detail later in this post.

Here is a better look at the gourd Santa, who is surrounded by a fencerail Santa I hand painted, plus my little textile bobbin Santa, and a driftwood Santa. Don't you just lvoe the sunflower and long flowing beard on the gourd Santa?

The textile bobbin Santa was created using paperclay on a bobbin, hand painted and antiqued.
The driftwood Santa is one I created last year and couldn't part with as I really love how his bag of toys turned out looking all lumpy and full. This next set of Santas were all created by me. There is a scrapwood Santa, tall and funky.
My first paper mache Santa and a counted cross stitch Santa.

Well, I can't seem to add any more pictures for now
as there seems to be som technical difficulties here.

This little green Santa was created from egg cartons, paper and flour over a vanilla bottle. He is so cute I couldn't let him go. He was my first paper mache Santa. You can see another Santa with a blanket and lantern that I call "Sleepytime Santa". He was a lot of fun to do.

Well I'm off to the post office since I can't put up more photos right now. Thanks for stopping by. I hope your real first day of Christmas has been wonderful!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

On the first day of Christmas......

Here it is, the first day of Christmas and I'm still waiting for my partridge in a pear A pear tree would be very nice for our home in Oregon. It would go well with the plum and apple tree we already have. I have most of my decorations up, and almost all the gifts ready to send. Now it's on to cards, and perhaps the staff gifts for hubby. We got a beautiful grand fir tree this year and the house smells wonderful. I finally, after 20 some years, made a manger for my nativity set. I'm posting some pictures to share some of our Christmas decor.

I took the plunge and tried my hand at making an angel tree topper this year. It must be the year of "finally" for my decorations. She was created using paper clay over a styrofoam ball. The hair was stitched onto a piece of nylon and then glued in place. The dress was added over a paper mache cone with wire through it for the arms. The arms have tiny clay hands. She was fun to do and I look forward to making more next year for sale.

Here is a Nativity set I hand painted. I bought pieces at a ceramic shop in North Pole, AK way back in the late 80's. I cleaned and smoothed them for firing; then had them fired to the bisque stage and tried to get them painted right away.

Well it took me until 2 years ago to finally finish all the pieces. I still didn't have a manger so last Saturday I got out some scrap lumber and tried my hand at construction. It's nice and rustic as the larger pieces were nicely weathered cedar fencing scraps. The roof is a temporary one made out of cardboard and dried moss but you can't tell the difference by looking at it. I love
how it turned out and can't wait for the extended family to see it. The set sits on a buffet in our tiny living room. I tried to get good pictures of the whole set up and will have to retry later.

Here is a gathering of Santas I have created over the years, at least all except the one on the far left which was a gift from it's creator and some friends at church. I have more and will post tomorrow. I got on the Santa kick in North Pole and haven't stopped.

While you are here take a peek at my new Christmas youtube video I've posted.

I hope your first day of Christmas is pleasant and enjoyable!

Warm Christmas Greetings!