Saturday, December 19, 2009

Carnival: My Best Christmas Present!

So many gifts came to mind as I read our topic for this blog. If I think back to my childhood, my first recollection would be my Madame Alexander doll. As I thought at the time I would grow up to be a ballerina, my grandparents gave me the Madame Alexander doll, “Elise” which was a ballerina. I have always treasured that doll and it still sits on a shelf in my room. My other most treasured Christmas presents were my “Eloise” books. I have the whole series, including a signed copy of the first one of the series by Kay Thompson, who wrote the books; and yes, I also have an Eloise doll, which sits with all my Eloise books. When my children were young, they would love to read them also. A special tradition which was always under our tree for as long as I can remember, were the many books that each year would be waiting to be read. Each year would be a new and special Christmas book, which were never wrapped, but stood so proudly to be the first gift to be seen, as my sister and I would sneak out at 5am to see if Santa arrived. We couldn’t open our presents right away, but when my family would awake, I would already be sitting in one of our fireside chairs reading my newest book. Since my children were born, it is a tradition which I carried on with them; a special Christmas book waiting under the tree for each one to find. Since I still have most of the books, one of which I think I got when I was about 2 years old (all having to do with Christmas), each year we bring out the past books received and place them around the tree, waiting for the newest book for Santa to bring. Although my 1st little grandson is just 2 months old, I have already bought his first Christmas book. Sorry I can’t reveal the title since my daughter reads my blogs! But you can guess that it will be quite special.
Although the many dolls and books which meant so much to me as a child and to my own children, I think nothing compares to the handmade little Christmas ornaments and decorations my children would make at school. Each one unique in their own creativity, they range from a tiny beaded wreath to a wreath made out of tissue paper and a paper plate, and of course those tiny framed handprints. One year my son Ryan’s (the artist in the family) class made little Christmas trees. They had to bring in little things to decorate their tree with, and of course Ryan being Ryan, his tree had to be unique. He managed to find tiny lights and hook them up to the tree with batteries attached. His little is still always placed on our coffee table with the lights still blinking. So each year when it is time to decorate the tree and take out the ornaments, there among them are my prized and favorite Christmas gifts – little gifts made with little fingers and a lot of love.

Monday, December 14, 2009

December Blogger of the Month: CalKat

Our Blogger of the Month Calkat – seems to be a combination of two very talented artists, Carrie & Kathy. Not only are they venturing in the selling of their OOAK pieces of jewelry in their shop Calkat: They have three other shops here on Etsy as well; Ametista; The Clay Shoppe; and YogaFairies. I choose these few pieces from their CalKat Jewelry Shop as an example of just some of their beautiful pieces.

Carrie and Kathy (CalKat) have spent the last five years designing and selling custom made, one of a kind (OOAK) jewelry using primarily Sterling Silver, Gemstones, and Swarovski crystals. During that time when they were creating their beautiful jewelry, they began experimenting in other realms, and discovered their love of polymer clay; as they say “and the rest is history”. So began “The Clay Shoppe” Looking through this shop, one will find some very unique and different clay designs made by their special modes. One of my favorites is the little “cherub angel” molded out of polymer clay. They are continuing experimenting with different clays and ideas, and soon hope to start working with precious metal clays.

Ametista is another one of their shops here on Etsy: I think this was one of my favorites. I love their apothecary bottles with their old-fashioned look. Again, another unique example of their craftsmanship.

Lastly, is their fourth shop “YogaFairies”, this name really intrigued me, so I couldn’t wait to visit this shop: There you will find a little polymer clay fairy sitting in a yoga position, imparting the Indian wish of “Namaste” to each of us. You will have tovisit this shop to learn about this very sacred part of Indian culture. Each Yoga Fairy is an original handcrafted piece, so no two will be created exactly alike.

Both artists love exploring new techniques and playing with fun ideas, as they invite you to come back often as there's always something new to see!