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Archive for December, 2010

So it’s a yearly tradition for me to make a wreath for the door.  Okay fine, I don’t really make the wreath.  The evergreen wreath part I buy from our neighborhood boy scout.  The decorating of the wreath, that’s what I like to do.

Years ago, I worked for a couple of seasons at a garden shop.  It was one of those open-air garden centers with a couple of greenhouses and small outbuildings.  It was a pleasure to work at in the warm months, but come November when my fingers were too numb to work a pair of shears, I was wishing for some warmer employment.  The owner made a decent holiday business selling trees, greenery and Christmas wreaths.  That’s where the story gets good.  She let me have a go at the wreath making (ahem, wreath decorating) one day.  I was nestled in the sunny, warm greenhouse with a whole bunch of wreaths and beautiful greenery and left to my own creative devices.  It was heaven!  I’d layer on various and lovely combinations of cedar and juniper, holly and pepper berries, white pine and hemlock.  I had barrels of different types of pine cones to choose from and a whole wall full of ribbon choices.  I was teased by the other employees as they would dip into the greenhouse now and then as a respite from freezing fingers and toes, ” Oh, so you’re a deeesigner now”.  Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed my new status and wreath making has since become a favorite seasonal activity.  My choices might be a bit more limited now that I don’t have a garden center’s worth of inventory, but every year I find a nice smattering of natural goodies.  And every year my holiday wreath proudly adorns our front door.

This year all of my wreath findings came right from our yard.  I pruned a few boughs off our arborvitae, gathered up copious amounts of black haw berries from our bushes, clipped those pretty pink flowers off our front hedges (I feel slightly sheepish to admit that I’ve lived here for five years and still haven’t looked up the type of shrubbery we have.  If anyone recognizes it, please feel free to enlighten me…) and trimmed plenty of dried-up hydrangea blossoms off the plants that never got their fall clean up.

The end result pleases me immensely.  There’s enough color to be festive and interesting (and compliment our cranberry-colored door), but the wreath still looks natural.  I was feeling mighty high on my wreath-making talents when I hung the finished product and then shut (okay fine, slammed) the front door and half of my goodies fell off onto the doorstep.  Just a humble little reminder that there’s always room for improvement.  Even for a deesigner….

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My little friend Sam is a muse of mine.  He’s a 2 1/2 year old bundle of creative energy.  He feels things deeply, interprets his day through dance and is a beautiful budding artist.  Not so long ago, Sam’s mom, Jessica, shared one of his latest works with me.  I was so inspired by Sam’s happy-dancing-smiling person and I wanted Sam to experience his art in a whole new way.

It had been awhile since I busted out my EZ Screenprint materials.  I love that screen printing is such a straight-forward process with EZ.  You just need to expose your image to sunlight for a few minutes and let the magic happen.

Once the printing was complete,  I most certainly had to make up some special little tags for the shirts for Sam and his dad (both Hanukkah presents from Jessica).  I’m such a big fan of a little handmade tag.  Tags make everything extra special, don’t they?.  Plus, I wanted Sam to feel sort of famous (Jessica said he already does.  Well naturally, he’s 2 1/2).  By seeing his drawing on a shirt, I wanted him to feel the importance of his art.  And it’s an added bonus that now his exuberant artwork can be shared with everyone who sees him while he’s wearing his happy t-shirt.

The post Hanukkah report from Jessica shared that Sam was a little surprised to see his drawing take on another medium.  He kept saying, “That’s my smiley face!  That’s my smiley face!”  I’d make him 100 t-shirts just to hear that out loud.

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{this moment}

…taking inspiration from SouleMama in celebrating {this moment}.    There are no words to this Friday ritual.  Just a sweet and simple moment from the week to remember, cherish and absorb just a little bit longer.

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My friend Lisa got married this past weekend on a sunny beach in Mexico.  Sadly, I was not able to be there in person, though I did have the delight of making her wedding invitations.

Lisa wanted to continue on with the travel theme that had permeated her save the dates and shower invitations and mused with me over the idea of them resembling passport or boarding passes.   I  decided to give the boarding passes a go.  A web search informed me that not only had they been done before, boarding pass invitations were a well established thing for destination weddings.  I was sort of bummed about that.  It’s always nice to feel that your approach is innovative, you know?  But I soothed myself with the knowledge that boarding pass invitations had never been done by me and this was a nice opportunity to take a popular idea and make it fresh, unique and related to my friend’s established wedding theme.  I like the opportunity to rise to a challenge.

The sunset-beach-with-palm-trees design made its way into all of Lisa’s invitations in one form or another.  We kept the same color scheme and fonts throughout each piece.  In the end, each part was unique unto itself, but fit nicely into a collection.

I might not have been at the wedding in the flesh, but a whole lot of me was fused into these invitations.   Somehow that eases the sting of the December wind on my face while my childhood friend celebrates a new beginning within the rich, warm air of Mexico.

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{this moment}

…taking inspiration from SouleMama in celebrating {this moment}.    There are no words to this Friday ritual.  Just a sweet and simple moment from the week to remember, cherish and absorb just a little bit longer.

Read Full Post »