Holiday Greetings! I hope this note of Christmas cheer finds you all in good health, high spirits and with only a box or two left to check off on your to do lists! I’m getting there! Let’s see. The tree is decorated, packages are mailed, cards sent, most of my wrapping is completed and the Christmas dinner menu is coming together. Isn’t it amazing what we can accomplish in just two short weeks? Whew! But wait! Christmas isn’t supposed to be all about rushing through the motions only to rise Christmas morning feeling exhausted, head spinning and your checkbook in the red. So, let’s slow things down a bit and pick up where we left off last time. Now where were we? Oh, yes! We were in the middle of MAKING Christmas! Come on in, Michael Buble Christmas is playing and the kettle is on!
There, that’s better…As I mentioned in my last post I was feeling inspired to create something with chicken wire. And I still hadn’t decided on what gifts I wanted to give my family. The wonderful thing about crafting is it takes your mind off of little problems you need to solve and plants you right in the moment where you can easily lose track of time! And that’s when inspiration will hit you and before you know it, your subconscious mind will roll out your gift list on an imaginary scroll right before your eyes! All you have to do is hurry quick and write it all down before it disappears! Now, back to my chicken wire project.
I needed something quick and clever to display vintage Christmas post cards and holiday hankies in my booth for the OPEN HOUSE celebration at the Antique Market Place and I didn’t want to spend money on a metal card display so I fashioned a Christmas tree of sorts out of chicken wire and a tomato cage! What else could you hang from it? One of my Dandelion House friends suggested tea bags for a holiday tea or gathering. I can picture paper flowers and birds perched on it for a FRESH spring and summer display too.
Here’s the particulars on how I put it all together!
First I went out behind the shed to gather a roll of left over chicken wire. Then I headed into the greenhouse to get a tomato cage.
I only used two tools. Wire cutters for cutting the chicken wire to size to wrap around the tomato cage and needle nose pliers for pinching the wires together after they were cut.
The process was pretty crude. What wires I couldn’t get secured with the needle nose pliers I simply pinched together with my fingers. I did some free -styling with forming the shape of the wire around the cage too! Once it was together I went digging in my stash of things to decorate it with. I found some antique lace, burlap garland, dried hydrangeas and clothespins to pin the post cards to the wire with. I fashioned a funky tree top out of the hydrangeas and some lace and tied small lace bows into the chicken wire randomly.
Ta da! Here it is on display out in front of my booth! What I love about this Chicken Wire tree is that I can use it year round for display when the holidays are over!
As I snipped, tucked, pinned and plucked it occurred to me that the greatest joy I know ( aside from the love of my family ) is creating and that’s what I wanted to give this year. The feeling of JOY, JOY, JOY! Each one of my family members will receive gifts from me that will enable them to go further on their creative paths in the coming year. I can’t say exactly what I got them, ( just in case they are reading this blog ) but I can guarantee you that there will be more music and art created and shared in the coming year! I can hardly wait to hear and see what they do with their creative gifts!
Christmas isn’t ( or at least it shouldn’t be) about how much we spend, but how much we love, laugh and share together. It’s the perfect time to re- connect with the spirit of creativity within ourselves and loved ones!
We all have creative people in our lives right? The friend who’s always changing the cloths she buys to fit her style better, or the guy who surprises people with a drawing, photograph or as in our case a recording of his latest work! They’re really not that hard to buy for if you think about it. Just give em more access to what they love!
Here are my top FIVE gift ideas for getting those creative juices flowing year round’ in your friends and loved ones!
1) Art classes for your budding Rembrandts! Pop into your local community art center and grab some info for upcoming art classes in 2014 and tuck it into the gift bag along with a gift card or gift certificate!
2) Share your creative skills! Teach someone to knit, paint a piece of furniture, start a blog, open an Etsy Shop wall paper, cook healthy, plant a flower or vegetable garden etc… Set up a class for a few of your closest creative friends and share the fun of creating together!
3) Ways to create with computers these days is as limitless as the universe it seems. Don’t rule out gift cards to Best Buy, Amazon, Musicians Friend, or Cash Credit Cards for specified amounts. The creative techies in your life will love you for it!
I love creating in Picasa web albums. Last week I was creating a new header for my blog and created the image below by using several settings together. The Pencil Sketch option makes any image look as if it was drawn. I added the sepia tone to that and fiddled around with a few other things and the end result is an image that looks as if it came out of a 100 year old magazine. Now I’m inspired to try more things along these lines!
4) Farmgirl gifts are some of the funnest to buy aren’t they? Tractor Supply Store is a favorite haunt and I’ll let you in on a little secret. I did a little shopping for my inner farmgirl there back in November just so she’s have a few things to unwrap for the coming year. What did I get her? New work gloves, polka dotted muck boots and two blouses, and one red and black checked flannel shirt. Sh… don’t tell anyone!
5) Last but certainly not least. What creative gal wouldn’t absolutely love a subscription to MaryJanesFarm Magazine? Even better still, a membership to the Farmgirl Sisterhood would surely inspire some creativity in the coming year. I gave my sister in law and my niece each one this year for Christmas. My sister in law hunts with my brother, gardens and cans. And, my niece is a brand new homemaker in her first home on half an acre with a little shed and greenhouse. She started her first garden last spring and she has her first two laying hens!
What fun they’ll have applying for badges throughout the coming year!
Well, sisters. It’s time for this farmgirl to get back to her elf activities. I’m so happy to be able to share the spirit of creativity and holiday cheer with you this year and in the coming years ahead. Thank you for reading and for checking in with me from time to time in the comments section! I always love hearing from you!
A Lobster Pot Tree in Plymouth Harbor. Now, THAT’S creative!!! And it’s a gathering spot for locals to donate toys, clothing items and household goods to the Salvation Army at the Harbormasters hut nearby. Read The Tale of Two Trees for the full story about how The Lobster Tree came to Plymouth!
I’ll meet you right here on the shorelines in 2014!
From my family to yours, BEACH BLESSINGS and holiday wishes for a Happy Christmas and a Creative New Year