Saturday, December 24, 2016

Is It Christmas Yet?


Confession: Unlike Sally Brown, with her constant fear, I have a secret wish that one year Christmas will come, and I won't know about it! I have been known to struggle just a wee bit, more than once, with our culture's hyperbolic holiday frenzy and consumerism.

Tradition: For more years than not, one way I have embraced Christmas is to craft an annual ornament to give to friends and family. The gifts to myself are, first, that I make these ornaments by hand and, second, that I do so in the calm of January or February, often on a day when life has come to a delicious halt because of snow.

Inspiration: Last year I received a simple wooden ornament from a student.



Ironically, plain and flat as it is, it evoked one of my earliest Christmas memories of a shiny colorful painted glass sphere with my name written in glitter.

I decided I'd paint paper ornaments for 2016, and I created a prototype in my sketchbook.



Action: In January I started blocking out 24 drawings on watercolor paper. A bit at a time, I painted fronts and backs. Soon, I cut them all out.

Precipitation: In January we had a snow day. No exercising at the gym! No students! No going anywhere! In complete contentment I drew the black ink lines on my ornaments and used my sparkle pens to mimic glitter.

Supplies: I took great pleasure in using cording that was donated to me about 15 years ago. I had just exactly the colors I wanted! Very satisfying.

2016 ornaments

Finale: In February, on another snow day, this time up in Maine, I 'wrapped' the ornaments in clear plastic. Ta da—project completed! 

Gratitude: Good thing Christmas didn't come without my knowing about it this year!

8 comments:

  1. Merry Christmas!!! Your message really touched a cord. I have always suffered from "holiday stress" especially on the major holidays of Rosh Ha Shana and Pesach. The shopping and holiday frenzy and consumerism is at it's highest. At times I was close to panic attacks. Chanukah is a more fun time... Beautiful gifts!!!!

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    1. Thanks for your comments, Carol. Sounds like you and I could chew the fat a bit about holiday traumatic stress! Dark days don't agree with me. Consumerism doesn't agree with me. Bad combo, these final weeks of each year!!

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  2. Dotty, these are spectacular! Next year I will be making ornaments to sell at the neighborhood craft fair. I am hopeful, to do a little at a time, and have them done early. I am also hoping 2017 will be the year I finally make my own Christmas cards. Time will tell.
    Your gifts are so special, and will be treasured year after year! So glad you found joy throughout your project :)

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    1. Sheila, thanks for your comments and enthusiasm for my painted ornaments project. What type of ornaments are you hoping to make? And, how many folks are on your Christmas card list?—perhaps you could use a 30-in-30 to make major headway … ???

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    2. Only two months later. LOL. I have an idea for using a tile and alcohol inks. saw it on your tube and it really looks like fun. As for cards, I'm not sure but I have a large family.

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    3. oooo, eager to see what you come up with! Better get going!!!

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    4. Dotty! I still have a lovely handmade snowflake ornament you made for us so many years ago... maybe 40??? We love the memories evoked as we hang it on the tree each year.

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    5. Carolyn, Merry Christmas! Totally awesome that you still have and enjoy that (crocheted, I'm guessing) snowflake ornament. Um, yeah, probably about 40 years ago. How crazy is THAT number?! Thanks for taking a moment to comment here.

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