Am I ready for Christmas? Well.... no not really, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it will arrive whether I'm prepared or not.
I had grand plans... lots of baking, decorating, creating gifts with my daughter, preparation for a big family dinner. But we all know how it goes. Often the best laid plans just don't eventuate.
But, I do have some exciting news. After many, many weeks of designing, writing and editing, I have completed the patterns for my new Block of the Month, "Thankful" and they have been sent out to stores in the last few days. "Thankful" is a set of 6 block patterns, including a "technique booklet" filled with photographs and illustrations of the many dimensional methods featured. But, more about that next week, when I'll be having a "Thankful" giveaway to celebrate the New Year!! There will be 2 full pattern sets to give away... so if you're ready for some "new year stitching", make sure you come back to get your entry in.
But for now, I'd like to take a moment to thank you... for reading, for your generous and kind comments and for sharing your creativity with me. 2011 has been a wonderful year. I couldn't have dreamed of being more welcomed and encouraged with my new range of patterns. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
I thought today, I would share my very, very small collection of vintage, Christmas ephemera with you. I only began collecting over the past 12 months, and I don't really go looking for new pieces. I just stumble upon them.
This one is my absolute favourite ( well, until I discover another favourite ). It is an American postcard from 1924. I really like the dove on the top of the tree and the candles remind me of a Christmas I spent in Germany, many Christmases ago. I found this and the next card on etsy earlier this year.
This card is from Christmas 1912... that's 99 Christmases ago!!
It is signed, "your old chum, Magnus"!
These two tiny gift tags found me in the last few weeks at Tangerine Vintage. They were just 50 cents each and I love their character and mostly muted tones. They definitely had to come home with me.
Isn't this donkey sweet with his burden of festive surprises?
But, it's not just vintage Christmas greetings that I am treasuring today. This week, I received the loveliest of Christmas cards in the mail from a very special reader, Jenny S. She hand made this card and I adore all of it's dimension and detail, right down to the ric-rac trim, (I think Jenny has shaded it with ink... but I'm just guessing). Isn't it lovely. I was really feeling quite... well... worn out, after what had felt like a "pattern writing marathon" and Jenny's words couldn't have been more timely. I am so touched Jenny. Thank you x.
If that wasn't enough to spark my Christmas spirit, just look at what I found inside.... 3 gorgeous polyclay ornaments that will have a special place on my tree for years to come.
Merry Christmas to you Jenny... may it be filled with joy!
And indeed, to all of you, (a little vintage looking creation of my own)
May every blessing find you this Christmas and New Year. xx
For those of you, who like me, are still preparing and wrapping... I've uploaded a blank version of this little tag.
Simply right click on the image and save it to your computer. Insert the image into a Word document and re-size to suit your needs. In Word, you can also experiment with "formatting the picture" by right clicking on it. Have a play with contrast, brightness and more, to personalise your tags. Duplicate several tags across the page and print on cardstock. Cut out each shape, holepunch each tag in one corner and hang from a ribbon, cord or string. Write your greeting in the centre and attach to your gift. If you are all organised for this year (I'm really quite envious), save to your picture files for next year.
Remembering God's love and most precious gift at this special time of year,
Inspiration comes from so many varied places... it can come from a feeling, from artwork created across the centuries, from the incredible form of leaves and flowers or from a combination of colour that catches your eye. Some days it can almost seem like everything I see fills me with the desire to create.
Today is all about colour for me... again I have been drawn to soft and subtle tones. I tend to collect images that have colour combinations that appeal to me. Photos can be a wonderful source of inspiration. If I like the way the colours work together in an image, I figure that choosing a similar palette in fabric could work equally as well for a future project.
(Please note that each image is linked to it's source where possible... some links are to very talented artists. Please take a moment to check out their work. Click on the image to be directed to its source. I have been unable to find the source of the last image.)
Imagine all these different greens and white and grey together. So soft and fresh...
This is one of my favourite images for colour, with it's many pastel tones and the additional hint of bold pink and darker green...
More white here, with lilac of every shade and a beautiful sage green...
I find this deep blue so beautiful together with the jade green, white and the tiniest hint of pink...
Lots of grey, white and green here, but the almost black of the branches and black of this little chap's face add a depth to the overall colour combination, that would otherwise be lacking...
It doesn't have to be nature inspired, to get my imagination ticking. Just look at this beautiful blue, beige, brown and cream...
I also find vintage ephemera great for colour inspiration, like these Good Housekeeping covers, illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith. (I adore how she captured these sweet little faces... sigh... such a talent) The muddy red and green together with the soft skin tones are absolutely gorgeous, when dreaming of an Autumn themed project. I equally love the reddy-orange, white and retro-green of the 2nd cover.
I've always found this postcard an interesting one. Putting a deep burgundy purple together with a soft yellow would never usually cross my mind... but just look at how well they compliment each other here. My husband tells me they are opposites on the colour wheel, which is why they work so well together.
Often we can look at the fabrics we have, and have no idea what to do with them or how to draw them all together in a project. Maybe you have a favourite photo, book cover or treasured card from a loved one, from which you can draw colour inspiration. I know that it helps me look at some of my older fabrics in a whole new light.
I collect and store many images for colour inspiration and other interesting things on Pinterest. Do you pin? It's like having a collection of pin-boards where you can store all your favourite links. You can follow friends and make new connections, allowing you enjoy others collections/boards too. Beware, it's quite addictive!
Until next time,