Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sometimes You Have To Go Backward, To Go Forward

When the Christmas items in my Etsy store started to expire last December with the rest done by about February of this year, I decided to just left them expire and rest for awhile. One of the few (and there are not many) nice gestures on Etsy is that the page you created remains the same and can be re-activated at any time unless the item is sold. Now if they would only let those same pages transfer to another store within Etsy universe.

Anyway, counting off the weeks, I have begun to renew those Christmas items and, pardon the bragging, but have become charmed by what I created and haven't sold. I always kept a few for sale to keep the category "alive" but the majority were resting so to speak.

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. While it has become grossly hyped with Black Friday stampedes, sales that start now well before Thanksgiving, with the sleigh chasing the witch on her broomstick, it still has a charm and does seem to bring out the best in many people. There is a charm about suspending the every day with decorations and best wishes for the holidays.

Several years ago, I happened on a Michaels the day after Christmas and there was a treasure trove of items drastically marked down. Those days seem long gone, and while I had bags and bags of blank treasures, I don't think I spent even $100.

One set of items were several wooden Christmas trees (shown on left) and similarly sized snowmen. They rattled around the garage for a year or so when I hit upon creating a scene that would grace the tree shape. I created a village down the face of the tree and then had to go on a hunt to match the 35 holes pre-drilled in each shape.

The snowman, I believe there is one left, had a snowmen skiing and rolling down similar hillsides but ending in an ice skating pond at the base. The two I did were given as gifts and while I had one more, I had done the original layout on it, I never came back to finish it.

There were three Christmas trees and while they used roughly the same layout and design, each one is quite different because they were sketched by hand, and each one painted by hand. Colors used on one were changed. It is true, it is very hard to replicate from piece to piece. However, each retained its charm and I was surprised they didn't sell. They make a great holiday, even winter decoration, and the lights are soft and cheerful during the dark winter months.

I have been trying a wide variety of styles, both craft and painting the past few month but find I still long for my beginnings and have been considering a return to the wonder and roots of my artistic beginnings, Pennsylvania Dutch motifs and similarly simple yet humble designs. It was a surprise to see chests, boxes and such in the museums of Virginia, Williamsburg and Washington, D.C. I realized how much I loved them and what they also meant to me.

I have been working on a birdhouse and a painting getting the artwork ready for my gallery show next month. However, the more I prepare the birdhouse the more I feel that I don't need new motifs or items, there are still plenty of wonderful ideas left from my German heritage. I urge you to look into your own past as well. There are so many great ideas out there.

Please visit my craft store at and my fine art store at Thank you for stopping by and reading!

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