Monday, November 27, 2006
Beginning on November 1st all the way through the middle of January, the sweet sounds of Christmas music can be heard throughout our home. I love listening to the old holiday classics, and I always seem to find a new collection of melodies from a favorite artist to add to my music library.
Normally, when I purchase a new Cd, I love to peruse the booklet enclosed inside the case that contains the musical lyrics, album credits and artwork. On the last page of the booklet for Jim Brickman's newest holiday Cd, there is a most eloquent message which starts out by asking readers what does Christmas mean to them.
After reading these words, I became quite captivated by this question.....WHAT DOES Christmas mean to me?
My answer, like almost anyone's answer, can hardly be summed up in one word, or even a single sentence. It is, in fact, a long and lengthy list of thoughts, and feelings that are celebrated amid the traditions I keep, some being new among the others that are old. I celebrate life by spending time reminiscing about happy memories interminged with discussing my plans and dreams for the future.
As we embark upon this magical season of renewed hope, faith and goodwill toward all men, I ask.. "What does Christmas mean to you?"
May your days be filled with those special moments that will make this joyous time of the year a meaningful and memorable experience.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Every year in November, I love to decorate my office with the picture of this funny little character. Made from simple construction paper and elmer's glue, this is one of my favorite art pieces to hang on the wall near my desk.
Mr. Tom, as I affectionately call him, is an endearing reminder of the first Thanksgiving holiday I celebrated at my sister's home. Because of life circumstances, the relationship between my sister and I had slowly drifted apart. After many years, we both came to a point in our lives where we each began to reach out for the other. And, the precious moments of this particular holiday gave us the opportunity to reconnect, and rekindle our bonds of love, friendship, and sisterhood.
My two incredible nieces were quite young when I visited that first year. I remember my sister commenting during a phone conversation before the trip that the girls thought their Aunt Tracie was VERY COOL because I was an artist.
WELL...not wanting to disappoint my adoring fans, I dragged along some art supplies, and whipped together a few ideas so they could enjoy making some art of their own. The first project I shared with them was constructing festive holiday placemats for everyone at the Thanksgiving table.
OH, what FUN, we had making our table art. We all looked like mad scientists with the furrowed brow that matched our intense concentration as we created our masterpieces. There were sounds of scissor snipping, pieces of construction paper flying about, and glue everywhere. My nieces pulled out every crayon they could find, along with all their glitter, and more markers than I had ever seen in order to help with our decorating efforts.
My brother-in-law even joined in the crafting session, and made a placemat for himself. Maybe, he was worried that he might not have a place to sit if he did not mark his spot at the table with a custom piece of art.
It was only by some miracle that my art placemat did not have one stain or unsightly food remnant on it after our delicious meal. So while I was helping with the clean up, I removed my art piece from the table, and carefully tucked it in my suitcase.
Once I returned home, I took it straight over to my nearest office supply store to have it laminated. And, after all these years, Mr. Tom continues to be a most cherished keepsake from a holiday of wonderful memories and Thankfulness.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Monday, November 13, 2006
As the chilly north wind carries away the remaining leaves from the trees and the days grow short, I find myself pondering over the forthcoming Thanksgiving holiday. There are so many wonderful people and special moments in my life for which I am grateful. One very special relationship I have is my friendship with artist Julie Madsen.
Julie and I met over six years ago at the very first Artfest. We became acquainted with each other during meal time when we shared a table. Ever since our meeting, Julie and I have always made a point to reconnect every year during this retreat. And, as our friendship has grown, we have been able to continue to stay in contact via email throughout the year.
During the summer, I happened to be browsing a particular blog out on the web. The artist, whose blog I was reading, was recalling her contribution in a collaborative in which she was involved. A collaborative was something I had also wanted be a part of, but had not had an opportunity. After giving it some thought, I approached my dear friend and asked if she might like to participate. It would be an initmate collaboration between just the two of us. And, she kindly accepted my offer.
So in early August, Julie and I started our adventure. We each constructed journals from vintage photo albums and currently exchange them twice a month.
Although I enjoy participating, there have been times in the hurry scurry of preparing for an upcoming event, or trying to meet a looming deadline, or even having my mind just cluttered with thoughts of the everyday to-do's that I have felt gulity spending time to play. But working on my page amidst our past artistic efforts has been very therapeutic. These albums have provided opportunities for me to stop... slow down... explore.... try a new idea, and dream. The artwork created becomes a captured moment of my inner self, and reveals glimpses of a life that is passing by so quickly.
This collaboration has been a most cherished experience. Everytime I work in one of our books, I realize more and more how precious my dear friend is, and how special these creative moments are to me.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
I returned home from a fanastic weekend in Omaha. The Friday night Silver Bella Bouquet was a HUGH SUCCESS!!! I am so honored and grateful for the overwhelming response I had to all of my work. I received the warmest welcome from Teresa McFayden, and all the Silver Bella teachers. This was quite a memorable experience!!!
Here are a few photos from the evening.
To the left is a picture of some of the other Silver Bella Boutique Vendors. At the top is Sara from MantoFev, then Pam Garrison, Jill Assman, Amanda Willey, and Cari Kraft. Each of them brought delightful goodies to sell. I really enjoyed meeting them, as well as shopping for wonderful treasures to take home with me.
Below is a picture of the center of my Boutique table. All of my original hand-made holiday ornaments and garlands are shown draped across a vintage quilt.
Pam is browsing through my vintage ledger papers and French letters.
Kelly, who is on the left, is picking out her favorite ornaments and garlands. She was also a vendor at the Bella Boutique, and was selling the most beautiful vintage jewelry.
And, for anyone interested in purchasing one of my holiday treasures. I will be loading the very few remaining ornaments and garlands to The Red Door Studio On-Line Shop. Each piece is handmade using one of a kind vintage elements.
I am also taking special orders on the ornament pictured below. All of my glittery stars sold very quickly on Friday night, and I have had several requests to purchase additional pieces.
So, I will accept orders up to December 5th for this treasure. Each ornament will come with its own unique holiday saying, and packaged in a gift box ready for you to wrap and tuck under the tree for someone special or maybe as a present for yourself.
If you are interested in purchasing one, please contact me at TheRedDoorStudio@yahoo.com. I will email you with a price that includes shipping, and other payment information.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Just in time for your holiday shopping, I have loaded lots of new goodies to The Red Door Studio On-Line Shop. There are some endearing collage pieces constructed with beautiful vintage elements. They make a perfect gift to give a friend, family member, or yourself. Recipients are sure to be delighted with such heart-warming original works of art!
AND... BE SURE... to check back next week because I will have gorgeous vintage holiday ornaments, gift tags, and garlands for sales that you... WON'T WANT TO MISS!!!