Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Card For You

I would have loved to send each of you a card this year, but since I didn't, I'll share it here. 

Wishing you all lots of love, rest, and joy in the coming days

Friday, December 17, 2010

Book Trees Tutorial

We've been making a few new holiday decorations to replace the ones we lost, and these are my new favorite—trees made from old books. Here's how to do it:

Start with a paperback book and tear off the cover as well as any paper on the binding. You can make your tree as tall or short as you want, but be sure to keep the bottom of it flat, by not cutting the bottom edge of the book. This way, your tree will stand up and be sturdy. Draw your tree with a marker.

With a craft knife, begin cutting away the pages along the marker line.

You don't need to bear down too hard, just cut away a few at a time, until you have gone through the thickness of the book.

You can color the edges of the tree or leave them white. If you want to add some color, hold the book closed tightly with your hand, and press an ink pad onto the book. Crayon or marker would work just as well. (Do not use paint, as the pages will stick together once the paint is dry)

Now, the fun part—fan all the pages out. This may take a few minutes, and you might have to work on a few places where the pages want to hold together. Use a paper clip to fasten the front and back pages together. (note: There is a chance the binding will crack (as you can see in the photo below, tree in the foreground). If it does, just handle the tree gingerly. Isn't likely to break off all the way)

These are so easy to make, why stop at trees? Snowmen, Santas, and so many other shapes could be made...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Why I Had An Art Attack

My booth at SoWa
Something didn't feel right. Fidgeting in my bed, I tossed and turned. My breathing was rapid, my toes were twitching, and my belly was churning. I had just returned home from the most successful weekend ever of selling my jewelry. Shoppers showed up in droves, I got to meet lots of sweet customers in person, and hear many kind words about my work. So why did I have such an uneasy feeling?

I finally got out of bed and, without making a conscious decision, grabbed my sketchbook and started drawing. Ideas poured out of me—some were influenced by all the beautiful things I had seen over the weekend, others were my own concepts, born from the renewed motivation I had just gained. In essence, I was having some sort of art attack. A physical reaction to my stirred soul. An actual burst of artistic energy.

I was a vendor at the 7th annual SoWa Holiday Market this weekend. Eighty artists and independent designers, including a good handful of jewelers—every one of them talented, friendly, supportive, and creative. Neither shoppers nor makers could roam the aisles without being tempted and stimulated.

Being counted among so much talent and energy made me humble. I left bursting—with the ideas that swirled madly in my head, with gratitude for the extra income earned, and with a sense of connection to a community of people I can learn so much from.

Here's a shout out to some of my amazing SoWa neighbors:
Gorgeous neck pieces made from vintage ties at Lillian Asterfeld
Adorable felt items and hand spun yarns at Migration Goods
Bold jewelry from Amy Casher
Ceramic and wood creations by Firewood Furniture
Sewn goodness from Fisherman's Daughter

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Great Christmas Caper

How does a family lose a giant box full of Christmas decorations?
Well, I'm not really sure, but we did.

I don't imagine it's an easy thing to do. I mean, a giant blue rectangular storage bin doesn't just get swept under the rug. All I do know is that it's gone. Our little treasure trove of every Christmas tree decoration we owned, every light, garland, you get the picture...

This leaves us with a tree that looks like this:

And it means have some serious making to do (as if we are not already doing some serious making?)

So we started with some of the classics—popcorn string and paper garland—and the tree is already starting to take shape. I bought some lights, and a kind friend is dropping off some unwanted ornaments tomorrow.

Although I am disappointed by the loss of some very special ornaments—some that the kids made when they were tiny, and others that were brought back from far away places— I am really enjoying the ornament-making frenzy we have begun. Each day when the girls get home from school, we start a new project. Before long, it will look a lot like Christmas again in our home. 

And the mystery of the disappearing bin? I think I figured out. I suspect it was mistakenly carted off by the charity that picks up our donations. That's what I get for being lazy and putting the Christmas bin in the front porch instead of back in the basement where it belongs. humph. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Yay! A Giveaway!

AND THE WINNER IS...Erin, at Tiny Twist Creative. Yay!

First things first: I'm having a sale. Take 15% off everything in my shop through December 10th. Just use coupon code EDEC10 at checkout.

Now to the giveaway: I'm offering up a feather bookmark to one lucky winner!

sterling silver feather bookmark

To enter to win, just leave a comment here. For more chances to win, you can "like" AG Ambroult on Facebook, tweet about this giveaway, or mention the giveaway on your blog. (Be sure and stop back here to let me know you've mentioned it in other places) 
I'll announce the winner here on Wednesday, Dec 8th. Good luck! 
Speaking of giveaways, there's a fabulous one going on over at the Rhythm of the Home blog. Click over for a chance to win one of the many incredible offerings.