Monday, December 31, 2007

FATE Grabs My Hand

How quickly these last days of 2007 have passed. Can it really be that we are at the end of another year? With the Christmas holiday come and gone in a flurry of excitement, we stand on the threshold of 2008.

Even though I pride myself in thinking I am quite organized and always with a plan, despite my best intentions there never seems to be enough hours to do all I wish.

It is funny... no matter how much you map out a path in life or even the events for a day, there are twists and turns that inevitably arise from nowhere to grab hold and beckon for you to rush off in an entirely different direction. However, I have often found that fate takes us on these detours, to inspire and change our course for the better.

Such was one diversion that began on the Friday after Thanksgiving, when I happened to be in a small town outside Kansas City enjoying an afternoon of holiday shopping. My mother-in-law, Marylin, and I were wandering main street, popping in and out of stores, searching for Christmas gifts when we passed a used bookstore.

A book, displayed in the front window at the far corner on the top shelf, captured my attention. I stopped to take a closer look and minutes later found myself standing at the register inside asking if I could, perhaps, see the item that had caught my eye.

The clerk gave me a wide smile and her response was... "Oh YES... that is such a charming book filled with the loveliest drawings and poetry".

My heart nearly stopped as I carefully opened the cover and turned the pages... for what I had discovered was "The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady".

The store clerk was entirely wrong. It was Not JUST Charming..., but Enchanting..., Awe-Inspiring, AND INDEED, MESMERIZING. I could barely bring myself to let go of this treasure long enough to pay for it.

Over the next several weeks, I fell in love with the diary of Edith Holden. Not only were these pages abundant with the most beautiful drawings from her days of exploring nature, but she had also paired her illustrations with verses from some of her favorite poets.

And after further investigation, I even found that there was a companion book to this diary called "The Nature Notes of An Edwardian Lady" which happened to contain additional pages not published from the first work.

I knew, deep in my heart, that finding these pieces of literature was a beginning. But I was never so sure of this feeling until I ran across a series of four vintage books with the most inviting titles, "Nature Rambles from Winter to Spring- Spring to Summer- Summer to Autumn- Autumn to Winter", while browsing a local antique store only two weeks later. This flea market find coupled with the inspiration I found from Edith's diaries sent my creativity whirling with the most delicious thoughts of art, poetry, and journaling.

So, I begin 2008 by not really saying goodbye to my beloved fiber journal, but instead, allowing myself a chance to grow, change, and tweak this idea of journaling for the New Year.

I will be taking these vintage books and creating four altered journals that explore and revel in the offerings of nature's four seasons.

I intend to fill each cover with an overflowing of lush fiber pages, more painted illustrations on fabric, more original poetry, and bits of preserved natural elements, pattern, and papers that can all be neatly gathered in an accordion style binding contained within their proper corresponding title. This binding technique will make it easy to add pages on a daily, weekly, or whenever basis.

I dream of broaden my horizons by capturing more wildlife, flora, and fauna, as well as my beloved birds among my journal entries.

My heart pounds with excitement as I think about these new works, this new challenge, this glorious adventure... this declaration to make art.

I invite you, dear friends, to come along with me on this journey. I promise to share my pages with you as 2008 unfolds before us.

But before the clock strikes midnight with the start of a new year, I want to leave you with a view from my studio. I call this my wall of inspiration from my 2007 fiber artworks.Wishing you and yours a Very Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sharing a Journey.. The Year Unfolded

these are the joys life gives
keen the quiet moments prevailing,

to sing the song of days unfolded,
crowned by yet another year passing,

where do the precious hours go,
swift and fleeting to become what was,

we cast our eyes with great longing
hoping to know a full heart's bounty.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Glad Tidings

The world waits with bated breath as we move closer towards the day of JOY and all it brings...a celebration of hope eternal.... trusting tomorrow will be better and brighter.

I have a copy of Maya Angelou's small book, "Amazing Peace, A Christmas Poem". It is literature that I find myself drawn too, over and over again.... not just at the holidays, but all year long.... such an inspiring reminder of our deep desire for a world where there is Peace & Goodwill Toward All Men.

'Tis christmas time
the christ child born,

repeat the noise
of sounding joys,

a chilly morn
a world of white,

all is calm
all is bright.

A winter sky
in shades of gray,

peace to you
upon this day,

the bells ring out
to humble hearts,

give thanks,
give praise,
and celebrate.

From the bottom of my heart... Many THANKS for visiting this blog of mine. I ADORE hearing from each and every one of you. Your beautiful comments always fill me with such happiness... I truly hold your words close to my heart.

Wishing you and yours Glad Tidings of Great JOY!

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Sojourn to Christmas

These moments before Christmas are such a sacred journey. Every year, the world makes a pilgrimage to this most wonderful of days... participating in rituals and traditions that weave magic and fill our hearts with all the beautiful things about life, love, and family.

I thought I would share with you a few treasured jewels of the season from my sojourn to Christmas...
Hearth and Home,
A Thoughtful Handmade Gift from Neighbors of Fresh Holly and Roses,
The Incredible Art of Friend, Lisa Engelbrecht,

Cherished Gifts From Nature,

Holiday Vignettes to Delight,

A Winter Wonderland of Spinning Snowflakes Gently Drifting Toward the Earth

A Choir of Little Angels Caroling at Our Door,

Winter Artworks to Inspire Me in My Studio
Holiday Greetings from Friends Near and Far,
And Finally... A Cup of Christmas Cheer.

I have more painted fabrics to show you, dear friends, but have decided to wait until after the 25th to do just that... it will be a nice ending to what has been a most glorious year, and a great prelude to a new adventure I plan to embark upon, and am eager to tell you about...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Sharing a Journey Continues.. Treasured Company

Winter weather has arrived with a vengeance, here in Kansas, veiling the landscape of long since harvested fields and the remaining fall colored foliage with a blanket of ice. It is quite beautiful to see everything glisten like polished crystals under this frozen glaze.

The inclement conditions have also made for a good excuse to stay in inside, allowing time perhaps, to cook a thick hearty soup or stew to eat, wrap gifts in bright shiny paper, finish stuffing and addressing envelopes with Christmas cards, sipping an occasional hot mug of coco with whip cream on top, and spending all day in pajamas watching every holiday movie we own.

Although this Season of Joy is in full swing with the snowy days lending an air of authenticity to our happy moods, I find myself reminiscing about those moments spent over the summer when we were so fortunate to entertain some very unexpected guests.

Remembering when a pair of Robins became our delight... discovering they had decided to build a nest and raise their family in the Lace Elm tree in our front yard.
I will never forget the time I spent with them and their fledglings. It was truly a gift from nature, and a most treasured memory.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Sharing a Journey

The last half of this year has been a whirlwind of activity. I have been living life, at times, quite fast and furiously.

These have been INCREDIBLE experiences and GREAT opportunities of being in the moment, soaking up everything possible the day has had to offer.

Traveling far and wide has, unfortunately, left me sporadic time to share with you, dear friends, my treasured artworks from this quest or journey I had set forth for myself way back in January.

I find it so hard to believe this many months have passed, as I can vividly remember rambling around in my studio on cold, snowy, gray sky days at the beginning of the year... feeling, much like I do after the holidays, a little sad that the festivities had passed.

I was searching for inspiration and an outlet... a mere fancy to pour this overflowing ebb of creative energy into.... anything... where I could express all these deep feelings of longing, wishes, hopes, dreams... aspirations that were bottled up inside and which were, in fact, nearing a point where they might just come bursting forth in some sort of tangled mish-mash.

I was looking for an excuse, ANY excuse to make art.... that was meaningful.... that was beautiful... that would continually remind me of the precious minutes of my days.

And so it was, that I started on an adventure of a fiber journal, not knowing or even suspecting that this journey would lead me down a path that would forever change me. Never dreaming that I would be sharing these creative outbursts, so to speak, with anyone.

But, alas, here we are... coming to end of 2007, and I find myself wanting to take your hand in mine, to show you what you might have missed from my wondrous year of art and poetry. Inviting you to revisit cherished moments with me.
" these moments become memories
tossed about in the blowing breeze,
fading in the sun drenched day
like garments left on the line.

moments that are left to ripen
until they have collected
all the sweet smells of summer,
so we may carefully tuck them away."

Monday, December 03, 2007

From the Bottom of my HEART...

Thank You... THANK YOU!

I have enjoyed EVERY MINUTE of hosting this GRAND OPEN HOUSE!

These last two weeks have been filled with SUCH JOY for me... packing boxes of special gifts and decorations to brighten your holidays. I have received the most INCREDIBLE and HEART-WARMING comments and messages, not only from friends that have purchased treasures from me this year, but also from years past.

Since the first day, I have worn a grin on my face that spans from ear to ear. The only thing that would have made these moments any better would have been to have you all gathered here in my home, where I could share a cup or two of Christmas tea, and a plate of iced sugar cookies in festive shapes with bright colored sprinkles. And of course, I would have been able to give everyone a BIG hug to show my sincere appreciation for visiting this blog of mine and my little shop.

Although, the holiday ornaments are no longer available, there are still copies of my little book of poetry and art, Small Glimpses, that will continue to be for sale. These make wonderful gifts for friends and come wrapped and ready for giving.

So, without further adieu... I would like to announce the winners of my Vintage JOY Garlands Giveaway. The two lovely recipients are Cindy (Rella) Gauthier and Erin Kayler. I will be mailing your treasures to you by Tuesday, December 4th.

And I invite you to come back and see The Red Door Studio Etsy Shop starting in January. I will be offering some NEW items that I know you will LOVE!

I look forward to sharing more poetry and artwork from my 2007 Fiber Journal over the next several weeks. I have also been working on the details of an EXCITING NEW project for 2008 that I can wait to tell you about, so be sure to continue stopping by to visit.

Happy Christmas to one to ALL!

"It's JOY-in-the-air time, love-everywhere TIME...good-FUN-TO-SHARE time... it's CHRISTMAS time...twinkling LIGHTS, FESTIVE sights, presents, TREES, Life's Cares Decrease, HOLD Hope, Feel PEACE, Wishing you happy, happy MEMORIES!"

-Hallmark Cards