Many of you know how much I love and respect other designers and hand made items. Be it painted, wood, glass or just about anything in between, I have always been drawn to others who love to create finished projects to sell. One of the (many) wonderful things that I find in my daily travels on the internet and on Facebook is that there certainly is no shortage of talent in our world, and no matter what taste you have or which season you are shopping for, there is a great wealth of styles and designers to choose from.
One of my weaknesses is what I will refer to as "pretties." These are both seasonal and non-seasonal items, and they may or may not be functional. For lack of a better description, I will just call them "things that I like to look at" and they range from an ornament, a picture, a piece of jewelry, a sculpture or anything else you can imagine. The one thing that they all have in common is that they are truly hand created – usually by a single person. To me that makes them even more special because I feel that they hold a small part of the artist's soul. You can't get that from China.
I find myself 'collecting' these things along my path of life. I don't have a large collection, but I very carefully consider each piece that I add to it. No matter how many times I gaze upon a particular piece, I fondly think of the creator and how they put such care in making it and it makes me smile. (For example, I have a coffee scoop that I was given by a friend from the Lumberjocks.com site several years ago and I still think of him fondly every time I use it. His kindness in sending it to me just makes me smile and reminds me that there are many wonderful people in this world.)
As we enter into the last weekend of September and the first weekend of autumn, I realize that the holidays will soon be upon us. Many of you will soon be scrambling to get gifts for your loved ones or make them yourself. I began my autumn decorating yesterday – finally taking down the sea themed decorations from my all season tree and the few things scattered around the house. While we have a very small place here, I like to tuck a few pieces here and there to depict the season and bring some cheer and yes – to make me smile.
I was looking through my containers of autumn decorations and I realize that I have too many to all display at once. While I give many away, I still have many pieces that I created throughout the year as samples that I made when creating patterns, and I know it is time once again for me to send them to good homes, where they will be appreciated. I am going to spend the weekend working on some things for my own home here, as all of my orders are safely shipped and on their way to their destinations. I am going to try to take a break for a couple of days to work on things here, as I had intended to do last weekend, and then I will begin fresh on Monday with my next design. It will be good to have a break.
But as I looked at all the beautiful pieces that I am 'collecting', I decided that I want to showcase them, one at a time, on Saturdays for you all to enjoy. I want to encourage you all to look not only to these artists, but your own local artists when you are buying holiday gifts – or any gifts and decorations for that matter – so that we can support these very talented people so that they can continue making beautiful things.
So many times we think to ourselves "I have too much already". I have been there myself, with piles of junky "decorations" that I bought very cheaply from the dollar store or other similar places. These things look cheesy and don't last and wind up filling up the land fills quicker than we can blink an eye. When I moved here to Canada and downsized, I realized just how wasteful these things were, as most of them were falling apart or just looked – well – tacky. Since then, I try to think a bit more before I buy something. I won't say I never get anything from the dollar store, but I certainly get a lot less than I used to and I try to get things that will at least last a while or perhaps be used to make something nice. I try to think "quality not quantity".
With that said, I will begin my Saturday Showcase by showing you something that I recently purchased from Wendy Young of Olde Moonlane Primitives. Wendy is a very talented sculptor and painter and she mixes her sculpting with things like gourds to make some beautiful and wonderfully detailed creations. When I saw this adorable autumn spider tea light candle holder that she created using an upside-down margarita glass, I knew I just HAD to have it! It was so fun and cute and I just loved all the detail in it!
It is all hand-sculpted and sparkly and is so adorable in person!
You can see all the details on his little face:
His body is all shiny, and there is a sculpted pumpkin on his back:
There are even some little spiders crawling on the pumpkin. And look at his shoes! :)
And at the top, there is a place to put a little tea light candle.
Overall, he stands about 10" tall. He is quite substantial and beautifully made!
You can see many other of Wendy's creations at her website - http://www.oldemoonlane.com/ and I am sure you will be delighted. I know though that Wendy is busy, as each piece is hand made and she teaches her techniques in sculpting as well as working, but there are usually some wonderful pieces to choose from including ornaments, which would make lovely gifts any time of year. Wendy also has a Facebook page here if you would like to see what she is up to: https://www.facebook.com/OldeMoonlane/info . That way you could see her new items as they are completed. Whether you are looking to purchase or not, it is wonderfully inspirational to see her work.
I hope you enjoy seeing a little bit of what others do. As I said, my intentions are to introduce you to a new designer/artist each Saturday for the time being. I hope that it will not only bring them new followers, but also inspire you all to look at your own local talent and consider buying from them this upcoming holiday season. It could make a huge difference to them and you will be giving something that you know is a quality gift. Everyone wins.
I am going to spend my weekend having a good time doing some things around here, as I said. It is another beautiful autumn day here in Nova Scotia and there isn't a cloud in the sky. Perhaps I will get out to take a walk and get some photos. Our trees are just beginning to turn colors and it looks to be a beautiful few weeks ahead.
Have a wonderful weekend!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"