Monday, December 29, 2008

A Very Handmade Christmas

Like most people who make things, I come from a long tradition of do-it-yourselfers, particularly on my Mom's side of the family, where we have been exchanging homemade gifts for as long as I can remember. My grandpa makes maple syrup on the same land he was born on. My grandma painted beautiful oils when I was young and now, she makes stunning quilts. My mom can draw and paint and embroider anything she wants, even if years have passed since last worked in the medium. My sisters and I all grew up loving and making lots and lots of art.

My homemade gift wasn't an all-out artathon this year (I framed an old trade card of Colorado Springs for my Brother-in-Law who went to college there) I did receive something absolutely stunning from my grandpa, who had my name.

This meticulously created cutting board was the result of carefully fitting together small pieces of wood from trees on their land. I could have received nothing else for Christmas and been totally and completely happy with just this. Its a symbol of where I come from, both physically and figuratively. Its perfect and I will cherish it always and be sure to pass it down. Tonight I cut up a few potatoes and I couldn't even bear to use it!

Most of the handmade work I made this holiday season looked a little something like this:

Tomorrow night the store's holiday decor comes down-- which we made almost entirely and painstakingly by hand this year. Each of the ceiling ornaments is two-sided, hand painted on black foamboard. There are around 40 of them throughout the store, along with a giant painted tree, endcaps that look like gift tags, and and entire wall of falling snow.

I don't know who I was kidding about starting new prints in the midst of all of this-- I finally made a whole slew of thumbnail sketches tonight and after a little research, will be starting some new work by the weekend. I consider myself lucky to be in the company of so many creative individuals-- and I look forward to another year of continued inspiration fueled by their influence, love and friendship.

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