Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hand-Painted Traditions

Sugar Plum Ornament ©2008
3" sq on point to 4 1/2"
The history of Christmas ornaments dates back to the 1800's and although I do not collect them myself, I am constantly drawn to them and find them fascinating. First of all, they are miniature and most of them are shiny and that is a double threat for me. I think females in general have those same 2 downfalls (most I know anyway). All that needs to be thrown in is a hidden compartment or box and the urge to possess said item is overwhelming.
My mother collects ornaments as do many of my friends. My children are forever scarred that I didn't save every single handmade "what is it?" that came home with them to hang on my tree. Before I get "how could you?" responses, I have saved specific items that touched my heart but being military, it just isn't practical to save it all. As a child I grew up with a Christmas tree full of the multi colored lights and ornaments full of memories. I am a very sentimental person but I had always been completely and utterly in love with the department store trees that were themed with just white lights. After 6-7 years of doing what I had grown up with, I decided that I could have my own tree and changed it to white lights and big and small poinsettia ornaments in deep reds....just what I had always dreamed of.

2006 Christmas Tree with "Las Flores de Amigas" © 2005 in the background

Last year I decided that even if I didn't collect ornaments, I could make them. My first ornament was the Sugar Plum ornament shown above. It is still my favorite but running a close second is the holly ornament shown below.
Both are hand-painted and finished by free motion stitching leaves in metallic thread across the surface. I enjoy the look of a traditional binding with beaded hang and tassles. They are a labor of love for what they cost and they are beautiful to me.

Holly Ornament ©2008 3" sq on point at 4 1/2"

This year I added lighthouses to the ever growing list of available ornaments. I started with Cape Lookout, NC since this was the 150th anniversary of it's lighting. I have added Bodie Island, NC and Cape Hatteras, NC. All are lighthouses on the Historic Outer Banks of NC. They are hand-inked, free motion stitched, and beaded.
To read more about the local lighthouse see my previous post here.

Cape Hatteras Ornament © 2009 3"sq on point to 4 1/2"
I sell these through a local gallery and also online. Today is the last day for orders to be delivered by Christmas. If you are not a collector, I bet you know one. These are miniature and shiny...sorry no hidden compartments. Maybe that should be my next ornament:)
Have a wonderful holiday season to my followers and online friends.


Lorri said...

Robin they are beautiful ..I love the delicate colors of the sugarplum one.

2 years ago My John and I bought a pre lit white Christmas tree and was very surprised when we lit it that the colors were so pastel it looked more like a Easter egg. so it was named the easter egg tree.

My daughter put it up last year , but this year she put up her 9 foot tall green monster...and it looks nice...with our vast collection of here and there ornaments.

Have a very Merry Christmas

ann said...

Those ornaments are lovely. I do know the time it would take me = many many hours. I made some cross stitch ornaments one year for a tiny tree. Now I don't even do that. I'm thinking a wire tree on the wall just to see the ornaments again.
Thanks for sharing,
PS. Last year I sent my daughter all of the handmade things that were made either by her or her brother [now deceased]. Christmas is a sentimental time for me too. I think it is the only time my daughter gets sentimental.

norma said...

Your ornaments are lovely. I,too , grew up with an "everything" tree and had one myself for many years with an ever growing collection of ornaments. Then I went to theme trees. I've done angels, Santa, Christmas geese (I know that sounds strange, but geese were very "in" for a few years and I had a large collection that went on my kitchen tree--very cute!)
Now in my smaller house I put up three trees, a tall very skinny one in my small living room with 1,200 lights and all white, gold and silver ornaments, very elegant and dazzling. A small tree in my family room/kitchen that is all Santas and a very small one outside my studio that has all sewing themed ornaments.
I have boxes of ornaments in my basement that I don't use anymore and some of them are very beautiful or special, but they just don't go on any of my trees.
Enjoy your beautiful tree and ornaments.

Jean Baardsen said...

Your ornaments are beautiful. Love them!

kathy said...

Your ornaments are lovely Robin...I don't think you said what size they were? And I love your tree...!