Today is my day. As usual I have a long story to tell and little time to write it all down. Youngest son is home with a sore throat today. So I am running to catch up on what was already so overdue. Still, I love how things come together and hope my other artist friends do, too. So I will tell you about my ornies and how I came to make them.
For the last couple years now (whew, that long!) I have been in a funk. I've let my art making dwindle to almost extinction. This is a terrible thing to do when you actually have a task at hand. At least for me, it is so difficult to get back into the rhythm because my hands feel clumsy, I am easily discouraged, and I am critical in ways I never am when I am working in a regular routine.
So as I began way back in early fall to work on ideas for my ornament, I was having a terrible time. I decided I would start early because I so hate feeling overwhelmed against the deadline as I have the past couple years. And I did start early. But none of my ideas worked out. I went through at least three designs. All were deemed unfit for one reason or another. I tend to come up with a labor intensive idea. And, after felting all those little dogs last year I knew I couldn't do it again. My wrist is so easily injured I was afraid to work metal, which is to what I am always pulled. I hate sewing but I love sewn and stitched things. But I knew my frustration would be so high it wasn't worth it. I tried and I tried and eventually even thought about dropping out for this year.
Then, quite randomly, I came across this tiny picture one day.
Look at them. Their wistful faces. Their beautiful hands and detailed dresses. It is easy to see from their faces that they are sisters. I think about my own sister all the time. She is on the other side of the country from me. And as our father died this summer, I think of her even more. I miss her. She is my very first friend. And that was what I thought when I found this picture. I thought Sister Friends. And, in that thought, I knew I wanted to work with this image and build a little house for them to hang on the tree of all my artist friends, my soul sisters, for this year's exchange. So I aged their image and built little houses for these Sister Friends.
In past years I have gone out and bought all new materials to work in a medium previously unknown to me. This year, I knew it was time to use what I have and do what I love. I have plenty of materials here. It is silly to always be adding more, more, more. I wanted to keep the little house in the style I love, colorful and whimsical but with a bit more white and sparkle.I wanted them to be simple like something I would have made when I was girl.
Also, I wanted the ornaments to look old, to feel loved and worn, but, again, simple. I'm not sure I accomplished all that, but it was my purpose.
It's too boring. So I pulled out my treasures, like these very, very old white ceramic letters, 60 year old stamps, subway tokens,
I tore into the cardboard on the back layer. I wanted them to look like a worn out house that is still standing through years of a well-lived life.
That's sort of how I am feeling these days. And gilded and loved. And I wrote some of the lyrics to one of my VERY favorite Christmas carols on each one. Also, I added a beautiful stamp from the 1950's given to me by my sweet sister friend, Mija.
For this house, amid the golden mica lives a little bunny.
So those are my ornies this year. I hope the girls do love them and I hope you all enjoyed them, too. I'll try to get a tutorial up this week for you. And, please leave a comment if you have one. I adore hearing from you all!