Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Don't forget the EHAG Emporium.

That's right, we are back with another group of wondrous work on January 31st at 9 PM EST. If you live on the West Coast as I do that is 6:00 PM PST.


Here is a sneak peek of the piece that I will have in this months EHAG Emporium.


Click on this link to go over to the Emporium. Follow our blog and as soon as the Emporium opens its doors you will be able to purchase work .

This link will take you to our Facebook page. Like our Facebook page and you will have sneak peeks of the offerings available in this months Emporium.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Christmas decorations 2014 part 3

This is the last post showing the decorations that were up for Christmas last December.


On the right ledge of the mantle I had a group of boots, there were also some boots on the mantle as well, a net stocking with the original contents still in it, and a small Japanese net stocking with a clay Santa face on it.

The small net stocking was used for one our two cats when we were kids, the other stocking has gone missing. My dad was a butcher, he would bring home a kidney for each cat that my mum would wrap in wax paper and then place one kidney in each stocking. They enjoyed the kidneys immensely!


We have some ledges that I put up, don't get me on the topic of really bad builder decisions with three stupid skinny windows about three feet apart and not relating to each other or anything else for that matter... my apologies for that diversion.

As I was saying, I put up some ledges between three windows that usually have platters on them but with the party only days away and the number of people that would be in our small home I took the bottom platters down to avert any mishaps and put up the rest of the Christmas stockings and boots plus two old candy tins.


The triangular tin is British and held toffees. The tree on the tin is topped with a Christmas Fairy not an angel. The black stocking is my wife's favourite.


The red felt stocking between the clear plastic stocking and the one marked "Diana" is handmade with felt cutouts embroidered to the stocking, all accented with hand-sewn beads and sequins. The eyes on the lambs and teddy are a sequin at the base with a bugle/tube shaped bead and a seed bead at the end of the bugle bead. It looks quite odd, almost like the eyes of a slug, each eyeball on a stem. That is my favourite stocking, among many favourites.


"GOD SAVE THE QUEEN" two British paper lanterns, probably to celebrate the crowning of Princess Elizabeth on February 6, 1952.


Looking from the dining room into the living room. All of this down now; we only keep it up for about a month. I look forward to seeing it each year and I look forward to taking it down. The emptiness is refreshing and then on to the next holiday or bit of decorating.


I plunk all of my glass spikes into this green vase. One year I did feature them on the mantle. It was nice to see individual clusters of each style, have a look at that display here.

The spike in behind the brass deer is quite fantastic. It is one stem with three wires wrapped in gold plastic resembling fir branches each tipped with a gold glass bead. At the base of the gold stems are three cardboard three dimensional stars covered with white sand each with a gold glass bead in the centre of each star. All of the individual items are wired together and wrapped with silver foil covered paper. This spike is quite large as you can see.


I never know what I will be putting in our front door urn. If I can remember this was done the day before the party so time was of the essence. I gathered greenery from the garden to fill out the greenery that had been kindly given to me from a friend of my daughters that I had not seen in about twenty years.

When it was finished it looked so stuffy and ordinary that I decided to add the word balloons to lighten the mood.


I haven't done any displays in the hallway for a few years, it can be too tempting for a small child. Have a look at two other hallway displays that I did for Christmas here and here. This year I wanted some light in the hallway without turning the overhead lights on, all done on the wall in a small area.

This carpet was going to be used under the large feather tree but was too big so I used a smaller version of the same image under the tree. I grabbed the gold frame from the garage, a green metallic garland, some other greenery, two strands of mini-lights and a short section of bullion fringe that I made several years ago for a window display. It is not one of the best displays but it did the job of adding some light as well as a bit of festive greeting.

Now, I must get off to my studio and get to work.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Christmas decorations 2014 part 2

On to part two of last Christmas's decorations!


Every year the ceiling is hung with vintage paper garlands and vintage paper lanterns and honey comb decorations, it isn't Christmas without them.


Here is a view of the buffet in all of its finery.


This feather tree I made over twenty years ago; it is hung mainly with celluloid items. I cheat, not all are Christmas decorations, some are fairground prizes, some are tape measures, and some are party horns. The secret is out!

There are two blown eggs hanging on the tree that I traded some tinfoil covered newspaper icicles that I made in grade five. It really is quite amazing that they are still around.

The garland is finely cut cellophane and metallic tinsel. It is quite beautiful and quite tattered in spots.


The twin to the other feather tree that I made years ago is covered with chenille ornaments and my collection of cotton batting birds with thread wrapped wire legs and feet. I have not seen any of these older cotton birds for about fifteen years and last December found a bag of birds at Salvation Army. There were six of the birds that I collect in the bag along with some more recent birds that I gave back to them to resell.


This is the best picture of the two foot high goose feather tree that I have. Unfortunately all that is visible of the little hard plastic Christmas angel is her pink tarletan skirt.

This tree is decorated with the rest of my cotton batting decorations, ceramic Hudsons Bay Department store bells, an early metal sphere, my Victorian dancing couple, she needs a crepe-papier dress, and a 1940s(?) satin ribbon printed with pointsettas and holly. The Hudsons Bay came out with a new wish bell every Christmas in the 1950s.


This pressed cardboard manger takes pride of place on the buffet every year, although there is so much to look at I don't know if anyone sees it! I have no idea how old it is but I think my mum bought it in the 40s. There are also six small putz animals and trees, some homemade on either side of the manger scene.


Every year we would decorate the main part of the buffet with a Christmas village. Last year I purchased three velvet carpets with an image of polar bears in the snow and decided to do a more simple scene showing off the carpet. The forest of bottle brush trees was put in place and three small houses were put out along with a polar bear planter with Northern Lights designs on his fur and a penguin liquor bottle. This corner was quite dark so I added the string of mini-lights.


The feather tree is pre-wired with a set of eight lights. I decorated it with some early mini Christmas crackers, a card of red and silver parcel string, and a 1940s (?) red satin ribbon. Underneath the tree is a vintage English toffee tin and a vintage Christmas hanky.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Christmas decorations 2014 part 1

Well, Christmas has come and gone, New Years has come and gone, so if I don't post the decorations that were up for last Christmas then it just may be Hallowe'en before you know it!


Looking into the living room from the hallway, I love the mix of colours and textures, it is pure visual overload.


Our live Christmas tree is decorated with a mix of vintage and handmade decorations. In early December we hosted a party for our son and his wife, lots of our friends were there as well.

I was talking to one person and mentioned that the glass garlands on the tree were old. She and a few other people were quite surprised that they were glass, they were only aware of the plastic reproductions available today.


This year I decided to put up my collection of bell swags and wreaths. I had no idea that I had so many wreaths! There were enough wreaths to decorate two vases on the mantle as well as decorate my six and half  foot feather tree that I made years ago.


This is the left side of the mantle I am not a purist when it comes to decorating, those mirror balls are awesome. I wish that I had a light that would put a focused beam on them so that we could have spots of light around the room!

There are foil wreaths, foil and cellophane wreaths, and some of the smaller bell swags hanging from the branches in the vase.


 This picture shows the right side of the mantle with more cellophane wreaths, foil wreaths, and plastic wreaths. The large wreath on the wall is one of my favourites, it is covered with chalkware Santa faces, chenille guys, and cotton headed characters.


Here is a close-up of some of my favourite Santas and snowmen. The glittered little guy with the puffed up cheeks is a candy container. The snowman beside him is French. The little guy between the snowman and the skier is a wooden party whistle, unfortunately his nose is missing.  The tall skinny plastic Santa behind the gnome ringing the bell is a pop-up toy: push him down and his head shoots up about twelve inches on a paper tube and then settles back to rest on his shoulders.


In front of the Santas in sleighs is a salt Santa that belonged to my mum.


I came across two of these horse shoe wreaths several years ago and gave one to a collector friend for Christmas. The stars on either side are cardboard covered with glittery white sand.


Here is the bottom section of the feather tree, the large red wreath and the garlands are made from rice straw or the leaves I can't remember which. There are lots of bottle brush wreaths and cellophane wreaths as well.


The large red wreath at the top left hand side is the same as the finer rice leaves/straw roping and wreaths but it looks like it is made from very coarse but softish rice leaves.


The star at the top of the tree is wrapped in narrow rice straw roping as is the wreath at the bottom right side of the picture. There are fold out paper lanterns tucked in the tree that were a gift from a friend one Christmas.


In behind the feather tree I put out my collection of tree topper angels and stars, the large glass star lamp is there to stop kids from handling them. I have more tree toppers in boxes but no room to display them.


Here is a close-up of the ledge on the fireplace. There is a boxed cellophane wreath, I have other boxed wreaths but as I mentioned above I have no room to display them. In front of the wreath is a 1948 florists vase. The vase was bought for me as a new baby, my brother has one for his first Christmas as well. At the base of the vase are three pin-back buttons.


This was beside me at my computer. The piece of brown paper tape with the white piece of paper attached to it was from our daughter when she was very little. She drew a picture on the white paper and written on the brown paper tape is "Mare (merry) Christmas Dad", one of my more treasured pieces.


Tucked in behind the feather tree is my computer and chair, it was very crowded but cozy. The room was like an Aladdin's cave.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

WIP update "Winter Party"

Last November 19, 2014, I did a blog post about some small accessories for a sculpture that I have been working on.


In this photo from that blog post you can see that the clock case has been flipped upside down, a larger shelf screwed to the bottom,now the top, ready for the main scene to go on top shelf area, take a look at the rest of the items that will be used here.


I wanted to have a small scene in the opening where the clock would have originally gone but was uncertain as to what would go in there. This picture above and the others in this blog post were my inspiration images for possible vignettes.

The opening for the clock face and mechanism is only 3 inches in diameter inside and 2 5/8 inches front to back but the front area where the clock face would be placed is 2 5/8 inches in diameter with 3/4 inch deep lip. That is quite a small space to work in.


This image is from a blog post from last December. As I was scanning the book this illustration brought to mind the book illustrations from a hundred years ago; a large illustration at the top of the page or filling a large portion of the page with a small scene surrounding or filling the interior of the first letter of the opening word.

The small image gives an overall sense of place with the large image showing a detail of the story; ideas for the piece were starting to become more concrete.


Through November and December I kept looking for tiny bottle brush trees. The only ones that I came up with were these two trees that I ripped off of old ornaments that I purchased at Salvation Army. There were no bottle brush trees or anything similar that could be used at Michaels either. The small tree is 1 inch tall and the large tree is 2 inches tall.When I put them in the opening to see how they would look I realized for the opening size that they were too coarse looking and were unsuitable...


so I made my own trees. I also made about eleven small icicles as well out of fine wire wrapped in a fine layer of cotton batting. The trees are between 1 1/4 inches to 2 inches tall. The icicles are 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch long.


The scene is surrounded buy a sky painted onto the interior of a papier-mache dome made over an antique ceramic bocci ball. I added a 1 inch curved front shelf to the scene giving me more room to work. There will be better pictures once this sculpture is finished.

The bottom scene had to be done first before the top scene could be started. The bottom is complete, now onto the main scene at the top.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Where my inspiration comes from...

All of the Christmas decorations are down and put away for another year. I am going through the photos and will be putting a few posts together of 2014's Christmas decorations. Life is getting back to normal.

When I was getting the New Year's postcards together ready to scan I came across two antique Christmas cards that were the inspiration for "ilexander". I'll show him at the end of this post. You can have a look at the New Year's card and postcard blog posts here, here, and here.


I love this silly image of the holly berry guys popping a Christmas cracker.


The verse is delightful.


I had really only looked at the image on the front before and was very surprised when I turned it over after scanning the front to see that printed on the back is

Raphael Tuck & Sons Ltd.
Publishers to the King and Queen.
Copyright London.

and at the bottom

PRINTED IN ENGLAND

I had no idea that I owned a Raphael Tuck card.


This is another antique card that unfortunately has no information on it as to where it was printed but it does look English.

I had not looked at these two cards for many years and was very surprised that they were quite different from what I remembered.


Here is "ilexander" my candy container sculpture that grew out of the two cards. His head is definitely inspired by the first card. The second card inspired the holly staff and if you look at that card you will realize that the large holly leaves that little guy is carrying as well as his long pointed ears inspired the holly leaves at the base of his head. The leaves were definitely needed to show that he was a holly berry but they also create a collar for his jacket.

I had not looked at either of the Christmas cards for at least five years before or during the creation process; the two images morphed into one image in my mind and then evolved into the finished sculpture. I love the creation process!

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