Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Holidays are on the horizon!

After finishing my piece and getting it sent off for the exhibit, I felt a sense of loss.  It was as if there was nothing to look forward to with the completion of that piece.  I wandered about the flat trying to think of something that would provide a challenge and be interesting to work on.  It was not long before I thought about trying to submit a piece to a magazine to see if it had a chance of being used and then I realized that the holidays were not that far off and it would be wise to start prepping cards, gifts, and other tokens of appreciation along with pulling together the magazine submission.

With all this in mind, I set about putting the studio back in order and tried to put all the items I had been using, back into their rightful places.  Making progress, I had some table tops cleared and a working area designated as well as an area where pieces would hopefully be safely left to dry.  Molly Cat has a bad habit of thinking that she can roam at will where ever and when ever she wishes.  While I am generally an easy going person, I do get a tad worked up when Molly starts moving my artwork around, especially if it has not completely dried.  I am trying to break her of the habit, but it is going to take some time.

Truthfully, I really am not sure what I plan to make.  At this point, I know that I will make holiday cards as well as a stash of generic ones that will fit almost any occasion.  I feel comforted knowing that I can reach for a card at any time and write a brief message in it and send it off to a friend.  So, between making the generic cards along with a few special birthday ones since I know of a few birthdays in the not so distant future, I will go full force and get the holiday cards designed and with a little luck, get the envelopes addressed.  I got the idea that I would like to make some special cards out of chip board which would make them more of a keepsake.  With that in mind, I found some interesting tri fold pieces that are reminiscent of an altar or little shrine.  I have done one up with a generic theme, one that could be sent to a woman on her birthday.

The small shrine has been painted a light shade of blue and has some floral accents added to the front two pieces which open up to reveal the stamped images of ladies from years gone by accented with bottle green washi tape and stamped images of flowers on either side of the main image of the women.  The caption at the top reads "To an amazing woman."  I can think of many women that this would apply to and think it wise to make up several of these cards.

In addition to the cards, I have also been working on the template for a calendar to be given as part of a holiday gift.  I do not have a completed one, but have included a picture of the calendar blank that I will be using.  I have a stamp of a calendar page which I will use on the lower portion of the page and then stamp an appropriate image on the top page to coordinate with a holiday during that month or something seasonal.  While the one I am showing you is made up of blue and green shades of card stock, I also have some blanks put together of more vibrant citrus colours, shades of pink, spring colours and one of reds, oranges and yellows that I hope to tie in with an Asian theme.  I forsee a lot of work over the next month or two, but it will be time well spent and will hopefully get me in a position of being ahead of the game come the early days of December.

I have already tucked away a few gifts for the holidays, ones that I happened across unexpectedly, but knew that they would be perfect for the individuals for whom they are intended.  I am gathering some recipes together that I will put together a little closer to the big day.  Once again, I will do a few days of intense baking that will not only fill gift tins for friends, but fill up some containers for me to keep in the freezer and brought out when I hear of friends coming over for a visit.  With all this in mind, it would be wise to start picking up items needed for these recipes, so best I go through the cupboards, organizing as I go and making note of what items I am going to need.  I would like to make shortbread, but find that it is easier to purchase it.  None of my recipes yield the perfect shortbread cookie and that is what I really long for during the holidays.  The other treats are fine, but a shortbread cookie along with a cup of tea just makes the day seem more festive.

What are you working on artistically right now?  Are you prepping for a church bazaar or charity sale?  Will you be making something crafty or will you do some baking?  We would all love to hear what you are up to as it will jump start our own thought process and hopefully bring to mind something that we can make.  I will put up pictures of my own creative attempts to show you where I am heading artistically.  Gift tags, cards, calendars and decorative place setting markers will all be in production over the next month.  Hopefully, I will have enough of each item made that will carry me through the holidays with a few to spare.  It never hurts to have a few extra items in the cupboard for an unexpected guest who arrives along with the ones you had planned for to attend an evening's festivities.  The more the merrier and since I generally bake more items than necessary, the refreshment table will not suffer from a shortage of goodies.  Suddenly, I feel much better about the impending season now that I have plans in place.  Now, as long as I hold firm on my resolve to stay on top of things, not only will I get my submission ready for the magazine, I will have the freezer stocked with sweet treats and little gifts wrapped and ready to disperse.  Now, that is a good thing!  Even Martha Stewart would have to agree.  ;)

Have a great week!

Sincerely, Rutheemac


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