I have been spending lots of sweet hours in my studio this December. Shipping. Making. Writing. Thinking. Rethinking. So many thoughts. But one keeps rising to the top.
Simplicity. Less is more so much more this holiday season for me.
Each day I capture a bit of this simplicity at my studio.
As you read on, know coffee is brewing, candles are in the fireplace and a Charlie Brown Christmas is playing in the back room.
My studio Christmas tree is tiny and all white. My mom always put up two Christmas trees in our house and one was all white. That tree was "hers" and she spent weeks decorating it. I spent weeks playing under her feet with all the pieces of her village. These two weeks every year are some of my sweetest memories. Ever.
This little tree honors her.
One little angel on top. And peace resting on the branches.
I leave messages for me on a salvaged picture frame painted over with chalkboard paint. Yes. Gentle. My favorite word right now.
I am thinking about being gentle with everyone around me, and especially myself.
I really love the notes and words taped to my studio wall from faraway friends that encourage me daily...from left to right, words sent in an email from Jessika, a tiny mixed media from Kelli and a Squam Christmas card form Elizabeth.
See the paint on my wall switch. It is all part of the story.
Before I ship out custom word orders, I love to photograph them outside on the farm. These three words below are for a little boy from his grandparents.
I surprise close friends with hand-scripted words. One sweet and talented friend is focusing on forgiveness this year. She loved this.
As I photograph these words, I never lose sight of the beauty and stillness around me on the farm.
When I leave my studio at night, it glows.
And those snowy chairs remind me to stop and sit in them more when the weather is warm. I didn't sit in them enough this past summer. But I will come spring.
I have done a bunch of recycled flower box installations lately and just had a few salvaged flowers leftover to put in my own flower box. But they were just enough. This is a lesson I am learning over and over again these days. I am enough and what I have to give is truly enough.
I think I love my recycled flowers best in the winter when they peek through the snow.
They just seem more surprising. More unexpected.
Inside I have been making little altered journals. This is pure fun for me. Love the process and the layers. And of course the words.
I bring these to shows. And do custom orders when asked. My pleasure.
I have been sewing gift tags for orders out of holiday catalogs. I think these gift tags are as special as the handmade items they are shipped with.
A big love of mine...decorating the boxes shipping out with old magazine pages. We have so much at our fingertips to create with. It is more fun to reuse, recycle and rethink.
It means more to others too.
My studio has been open every Saturday in December.
It has been really fun to have people come in to my space to shop for special gifts and see what I am working on.
Conversation over hot chocolate. Just right.
I am considering having one day a week every week when I am there for four to five hours. Although I am usually there daily, my hours are not consistent.
Isn't that tree silly looking? It took me about a year in to realize that the deer were eating all the lower branches.
This season I am thinking so much more about the giving. Sending gifts to people who touch my heart over the year.
Placing unexpected packages in the mail.
Feeling "merry" in the quietest, most hopeful way.
I want to leave you with a simple "merry" this season and beyond.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my words. And for looking into my studio at Christmas time.
Thank you for showing up here. Showing up is one of the most important things we do.
My wish for you is that your heart gets filled up in the most unexpected ways this holiday.
That you know what you have to give is enough. More than enough.
And that "merry" stays with you long after the snow has melted.
ps. If "simple" is a big part of your holiday too, tell me more...