Thursday, October 10, 2019

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas Ornaments!

(Above:  Some of the recently finished Christmas Ornaments that will be going to the upcoming Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

For weeks and weeks, I've been in the process of making Christmas ornaments for my booth at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, November 8 - 10.  It is a real production.  I do not make them one-at-a-time but step-by-step.  First, any old thread is removed and then the wooden spool is wrapped with yarn.  I get my yarn from yard sales, auctions, thrift stores, and because there are so many wonderful people who donate to my stash.  That's also where I get all my embroidery floss, lace, and beads.  The only thing I purchase new is the hanging ribbon (and even some of that was gifted to me!)

After the wooden spools are wrapped in yarn, I buttonhole stitch the edges ... top and bottom.  Then, I embroider patterns into the yarn.  When that's all finished, I am ready to turn them into Christmas ornaments.  To do this, I  transformed our living room into "Ornament Central"! LOL!  The tile-topped table is generally outside near our grill.  Now, it is arranged with containers of buttons, a glue gun, and waxed linen thread.  The two smaller storage containers are filled with beads.  For the past two weeks, I've spent evenings making Christmas ornaments.  It's fun and colorful.  I hope people like them, buy them, and hang them for years to come.

The picture above shows how many I've made so far.  I'm now on the "home stretch".  There's only one more fiber basket of spools left for me to turn into more ornaments.  I'm right on schedule ... which is a good thing.  The coming weeks are really busy!  On Tuesday Steve and I head to northern Ontario, Canada where I'll conduct two, back-to-back, two-day workshops for the Espanola Fibre Festival.  On Halloween, we are taking several of my art garments made from recycled materials to a "Trashion Show" in Fort Myers, Florida.  Then, we go to Philadelphia!  Busy, busy, busy!

I'm really happy that all the super, gigantic wooden spools are finished.  They were donated to me and really great to use.  Snippets of lace, exotic beads, elaborate trim and beads were used to embellish each one ... plus ...

... the ends were collaged with canceled stamps from my childhood collection!

I'm fairly sure that every one of the wrapped spools will become an ornament before the Philadelphia Show despite the upcoming busy schedule!

Talk about travel!  Last Friday, Steve and I decided to leave the opening reception for my solo installation Last Words at the Caldwell Arts Council and drive to Columbus, Ohio instead of going directly home!  It was homecoming at The Ohio State University.

We walked around the newly revitalized Mirror Lake, visited the historical objects on view inside the Main Library, reminisced how the campus has changed and not changed, and posed for a photo outside Ohio Stadium ... the place where we met ... at the 1977 OSV vs. Oklahoma football game ... in the student cheering/flashcard section called Block O.

Then we went to a campus bar called Threes Above High and to a Block O reunion.  We brought with us a bunch of memorabilia, including a hardly worn Block O t-shirt from 1977, my 1977 student game ticket, out 1986 South Carolina vanity license plate reading Block O, and plenty of photos taken from when Steve and I were officers in this organization that now has an impressive website.  They was no website when we were part of the Block. Of course, there was no Internet either.  It was wonderful to meet these young people carrying on a tradition that brought Steve and me together ... even though it was a bit strange to think, "I could be their grandmother!"  After all, when I was eighteen and sitting in Block O, my mother was thirty-eight and my grandmother was fifty-eight.  I'm sixty years old ... so ... yes ... these are "my grandchildren" and happily, they really liked meeting Steve and me!  It was great.

One of the things that has definitely changed on campus is the addition of the Wexner Center for the Arts ... a multidisciplinary arts laboratory/exhibition space for contemporary art.  It is really strange to realize that the place is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary.  It really isn't new at all, just new to Steve and me!  The current exhibition is WONDERFUL, featuring three, world famous, Ohio-born female artists:  Ann Hamilton, Jenny Holzer and Maya Lin.

I should have taken more photos but I was so entranced with each and every installation.  There was so much to take in, appreciate, and think about.  I truly love thought-provoking work.  Now ... back to the Christmas ornaments!


Ann Scott said...

Oh, those spools are fantastic! May I ask what adhesive you use to apply the stamps? Thanks.

Meanqueen said...

Now look what you've done. I see your spools, they are fab, and I want to make some. I have only got three spools though, so what to use instead. I have lots of plastic bottle tops, so I stuck two together with a band of tape. I hadn't realised that you wrapped your spools in yarn, (wool) so I have made a sleeve of felt for mine. Embroider onto it before I put it on the spool. I will make a few more for the Christmas Fair, not as many as you though, ha ha. Thanks for the idea.