Monday, December 31, 2018

Christmas Traditions, Christmas Creatures

We all have traditions, especially when it comes to celebrations. When my husband and I married, a BIG bunch of years ago, I began giving him a ski related ornament (he LOVES to ski) for Christmas. Each year I would try and find something truly special. And, each year as I would lay out all of his ornaments, I would ask which was his favorite. Without thinking, he would always choose a crazy little skier that had been made with clothespins. I will admit that it is very cute. But...it had been given to him by an old girlfriend, and I felt the need to trump her gift. I finally realized that what he loved was the quirky, handmade aspect of the ornament. So began a new tradition.

I love seeds of any kind, and have quite the collection. Whenever I am out in the woods, my eyes are always on the lookout for something I don't have, or have never seen before. I like to take the seeds and make balls that I then decorate with them during the fall.  

The first ornament I made was the crazy guy with the red hat in the picture below. Since I already have quite the collection of seeds and seed pods, he came together very easily. When my husband opened the package, he was elated! I had finally trumped the clothespin ornament :) And so began a new tradition. 

Below is the gang. What's interesting to me is that although they are all made from basically the same thing, they all are so very different. What I also find interesting is how they come together, it's as if they tell me what they want to be. 

This year, I ended up doing 2. 

This guy holds a lot of memories for me. He's quite large. Before my aunt died, she and I were out for a drive. I saw all of these huge pinecones laying in a yard. I jumped out of the car and raced over to pick up a bunch. My aunt was yelling at me to "get-back-in-the-car!!!" Obviously, I didn't listen ;) The big "horns" on his head, and his skis were found at a roadside park where my husband and I had stopped to walk the dogs while on a road trip. I don't know if he is a moose, or a cow, or what. I guess he's just a creature :) 

When my husband opened up his package and saw this guy, he was so very happy. He could not believe how it all came together. 

This is the second little guy. I had found the pinecone that I used for his head while on a hike in Colorado. What struck me was how the cone had opened. The back had stayed together and the top portion had formed kind of a nose. The branch was also still attached and I saw it to be a neck. 

Here are the 2 together. You can see how large the moose/cow guy is. They will now happily join the rest of the gang :)

Each year as I pull out my seeds and seed pods, I always feel that there is nothing new that I will be able to create. And then, as if by magic, a new little creature comes to life. 

I was asked by the owner of an art shop in Colorado to create a line of these creatures. What an honor it was to have someone see the art of the creatures, but I declined. They are one of a kind little creatures, all made with love :)

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  1. These are awesome!! So fun! Love the second to last picture . . . great movement in that figure with the ski poles in the back position. It says "weeeeeee . . .!!" :o)

  2. Our Christmas tradition is a bit different. It's Soldier Duff Pudding, a recipe handed down from my grandmother from WWI. It's made with molasses and only 3 TBSP of sugar. It's steamed and served with a sauce similar to a hard sauce. My maiden name is Lewis, and in our family if you are a born "Lewis," you love it; if you are an import (married Lewis), you either sort of like it or hate it and some just love it, but very few! My great niece once did a report on the Pudding as a school project and one of my grandsons actually made the pudding in the school kitchen to share with his class as a tradition.
    I made three of them this year for family get-togethers. It seems to be the one thing that I am always asked to bring, even though there members of the family who actually make it sometimes.
    And now I hope to get back to sewing and knitting. First on the agenda is to finish a pair of socks that were supposed to be a Christmas present but didn't quite make it.
    Happy New Year!

  3. You are obviously a gal who keeps her eyes open for possibilities -- in seeds, cones and nice husbands.

  4. Oh, I think you outdid yourself with these two new ones!

  5. These are so precious. It is quite interesting what can inspire our creativity at times, isn't it. I'd say you more than succeeded in your goal. These are darling and such treasures. Happy New Year, Rhonda!

  6. I was looking for this post! I know you make these each year. What wonderful creations you have made! Those "horns" look like locust tree or mesquite tree pods.

    1. Thx :)
      I think we found the "horns" in a roadside park in Nebraska, so I have no idea what tree the pods are from.
      I found a quirky cabinet that I had refitted with glass shelves, and a glass door, so the little creatures will now have a secure home.