Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from Idyllwild!

After six days of unrelenting rain mixed with just a bit of snow—all melted now—today the sun came out bright and clear with a deep-blue sky and not one cloud to be seen. I've never been so grateful for sunshine! What a blessing for Christmas eve.
I took the photo above a while ago, before our dusting of snow had melted. Sparkle was basking in her bed by the window, but jumped down just before I could get a shot of her, so you'll just have to imagine a kitty in the window! All is beautifully warm and glowing now, and believe it or not the BEES are buzzing in my rosemary blossoms! I'm taking this beautiful winter/springlike day as a sign of hope, literally from the heavens. I'm hopeful that 2011 will be a much better year than 2010 was: a year full to bursting with creativity, possibilities, and loving friendships.
Tomorrow will be a very quiet Christmas day spent with my parents; Mom has already warned me that she hasn't managed to pick up any presents for me and I'm actually glad about that! While I love giving and receiving gifts throughout the year—for various occasions and for no reason at all—there is something about the overwhelming pressure to buy-buy-buy for Christmas that has me almost completely turned off to the holiday. It takes a real effort to turn off the pressure and focus on the beauty of the season.
This year my number-one goal is to focus on the small blessings in life that come and go so swiftly. The little moments are easily forgotten if I don't take the time to make a mental note, or sketch it out in my "idea book."
Yesterday I saw a pretty young mule deer walking down the hill above my driveway, and later in the afternoon I saw a coyote trotting down my driveway in search of a fat squirrel. The day before, while it was pouring rain I saw my bobcat (I consider him my bobcat), also crossing my driveway, looking rather sad and bedraggled in his soaking-wet fur! But what a beautiful winter coat. Such a funny tail, though! I wish my camera had been close to hand.
This year will also be a time of exploring more drawing and painting exercises. Just this week I found some time for my sketchbook and it's amazing how stimulating that was. In just a few hours as I was attempting to paint some florals the idea came to me that I might want to start incorporating silk flowers into my jewelry designs... which led to a brand-new silk-flower bangle with a newly designed clasp, a new ring design, and some cute earrings. I was not planning for that to happen, I just wanted to sketch and paint for fun! I also designed a new wire-woven cuff bracelet with vintage mother-of-pearl buttons. It took two days to make, but I just love it, and I'll be teaching similar items when I travel to Cortona, Italy this September for a week of flea-market shopping and jewelry making. More on that in a future post....
In the meantime, I want to wish you all a beautiful holiday and a year full of hope, creativity, time for family and friendships, and joyful self-expression.
Blessings and happy wrapping,
ps: My book, Arty Jewelry, is still on sale until Dec. 31, 2010. To get your $10 discount, use the following codes:
If shipping to the USA, type in CHEER.
If shipping to a UK address, type in CHEER1.
If shipping to Europe, type in CHEER2.
If shipping to Canada, type in CHEER3.
If shipping to Australia, type in CHEER4

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