Travel and a change of scene often brings new images and ideas to life and experience.
There are many places in the world where making and selling holiday ornaments are a big event, lots of tradition and skill in making them by hand.
Do you have family ornaments and decorations that remind you of times past, people and places where you've traveled? I have friends who always bring home an ornament or decoration from every trip, to remember and commemorate them. I do that sometimes, when I remember to look for the ornament during the trip.
I especially like handmade ornaments, particularly those with a traditional and folk art feeling.
Things that are carved, stitched or otherwise hand created. Have you seen some of the straw ornaments, braided with colorful yarn hangers? Those type of decorations are my favorite. Or crocheted snowflakes, all stiffened with glue and delicately turning on their hangers.
So I started this week casting some designs in plaster, to give as gifts and to list in the Etsy shop. I don't think of them as beads, they're much too large, I believe, to be used for jewelry, at 4" long. But they are fun for hanging on the tree or a wreath, or putting on a garland. Or on a magnet stuck to the refrigerator with a favorite holiday card underneath.
They are all hand painted. I wanted to make them look worn and vintage, a little rough in the painting and very unique so that each one is special.
Father Christmas, or Saint Nickolas. Santa Claus. Many traditions, different in parts of the world, the familiar standards re-interpreted to tell their own special holiday story, as the days of the year wind down to the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice, when the days start to lengthen again in anticipation of the new year.
They have little brass wire hangers embedded in them so they can have a pretty ribbon or beaded chain attached to them. Sparkly and quaint in the light of a candle, decorating the room in the feeling of the holidays.
These little mittens and stockings can easily be customized with a name, for a Christmas gift, with the year written on the back - I have plans to make several for my family. If you'd like one customized for you, let me know - but it has to be a short name, there's not a lot of space on the little ornament!
What's your favorite kind of decoration, do you prefer the shiny round glass, the silvery tinsel? Or do you like the satin sheen and the pearly glow?
Or like me, do you like the quaint, folksy old fashioned style of ornament?
It's an icy morning here, with more predicted today. The winter winds are blowing hard, there's a good chance of snow.