Tuesday, December 01, 2009

12 Days of Christmas - 31 Days of Art!

Every year for the past several years I've been part of a group of women-artist-internet friends who exchange handmade ornaments in a "12 Days of Christmas" swap. Last year I was unable to participate so the group invited another artist to take my place and this year I was invited to come back and join the fun, making the 12 days of Christmas a "13 Days" event!

Here is a group shot of all the packages waiting to be opened, minus three. I had not thought to wrap one of my own for this photo and there are still 2 ornaments due to arrive very soon.

The hard part: creating my ornaments, wrapping the ornaments, packing the ornaments to ship and getting them to the post office on time.

The fun part: opening my mailbox every day to find packages with my name on them, arranging all the packages, anticipating opening the packages, and finally December 1st arriving and getting to open a new present every day for 12, no, make that 13 days!

Before I show you what I got to open today I have a confession to make.

I am disorganized.

Terribly disorganized.

Of course you may have already guessed this from my infrequent blog posts or my sporadic art listings, but I have been convicted lately of just how disorganized my life has become and in light of my taking on a new part time job as a framer at Hobby Lobby, and my plans to begin working toward a degree hopefully this January, and noticing the date of my last blog post (an entire month ago!), and even more plans to begin teaching more workshops in 2010 and vending at more shows, I've decided it is time to address this issue and begin to develop better work and life habits.

~First order of business, post a new piece of art a day for the entire month of December~

This one is not titled yet, but I can feel the inner story teller whispering something about making the decision to go back to school. This time with a specific goal in mind. There is much fear and many doubts about the long term commitment and my abilities etc. etc.

But also many hopes and dreams and just the hint of possibility. Can I? Should I? Will I be able to?
One day. One day at a time. I won't look too far in the future. I will just take one class and then another one. I will just change one habit and then another one. And one day along the way it will start to feel more real. More comfortable.

And I know I will be able to look back and say I can. I should. I will be able to.

Okay but before all that, I won't keep you in suspense any longer.

♫ ♪ On the first Day of Christmas Danita gave to me ♪ ♫

I am sooooo excited about this one. When I dropped out of the group last year and found out Danita was joining in my place I was green with envy! Happy for the other members but I wanted to be on the receiving end of this fantastically talented artists gift giving!

I've been drooling over the brilliant way she wrapped her ornament since it arrived. And the little tag is to die for! Have I mentioned how much I adore Danita's work? She is a very talented painter, but doesn't stop there. She then turns her little characters into the cutest little creations. This tag is just one example. You really HAVE to stop by her blog and her Etsy shop and check everything out for yourself!

I carefully cut open the back of the package because I couldn't bear to tear it open, and this adorable little girl is what I found. And I have to say, this is, and I don't mean it in any way diminishing the other talented artists, but this really is one of my all time favorite ornaments I've ever received in the 12 days swap! I am gaa gaa over her tiny little painted face, pipe cleaner arms and legs, crepe paper skirt, and tiny little wreath! Now I just need to put up my Christmas tree and give her a special place on it (did I mention how disorganized I was?)

See you tomorrow~


  1. Thank you for all the wonderful comments about my art... and thank you for dropping the group last year... I was invited because of that! (And I thought I was going to get kicked out this year hehe... but instead it's now the 13 days of Christmas.. how wonderful is that?)

  2. i'm so glad you are back this year, crystal! and, so you don't feel alone, i'm terribly unorganized as well. i get overwhelmed by the madness in my studio so that i can't create the way i would like. then i remind myself to "eat the elephant one bite at a time." and i will start bit by bit to unravel my maze of messes. i hope that you find a way that works for you. be easy on yourself as anything new takes a lot of patience and effort. you can do it!

  3. Is she not the sweetest thing you've ever seen?! I'm so glad to have you back with us, Crystal.

  4. I have only been blogging for five months and one of the greatest pleasures is learning about other wonderful and fantastic artist outside of my universe.

    There are so many little collaborative projects out there, like yours that gives one hope that there is a better world out there that what is painted each night on the evening news.

    Thank you for sharing your wonders with us.

    Warmest regards and all the best this holiday season,

  5. OH, I'm sorry. I thought it was ME writing this post. It could have been. I'm disorganized, wanting to go back to school, trying to do some art everyday... I think you'll find we're all in the same boat. We each have our times of being on top of our games and other times... well... you get the idea. Love the new art. Love the little ornament you rec'd. I'm jealous.