Saturday, November 21, 2009

Best of Studio Saturday-Countless Blessing

Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.

This week's very lucky winner is PeacockFairy! Congratulations! You win 3 Pendants from Melanie's new line, Now Showing. Please send your postal address to the Melanie at Earthenwood!

Originally Posted by Lynn Davis

December 6, 2008

Swapping Blessings and Stories on Studio Saturday

Today we're in the studio of Lynn Davis, who just finished a group project of an engaging, exchanging kind!

In this season and time of the year, it's quite easy to get distracted with the 'doing' of things, going places and enjoying events. It's been such a good year for me in so many ways, and challenging in others, that I want to be sure to remember to count my blessings and not let them slip away unnoticed.

So I offered to do a charm / clasp / bead swap even though I've never done it before, and some very talented and lovely people joined in with me.

I want to share the wealth of the art beads and charms created and the beautiful and clever results with you here.
The theme was 'Counting Your Blessings' and the swap item could be a clasp, a charm or a bead, but it had to be handmade and in the spirit of the theme. The packaging was as lovely as the beads inside!

These little Humblebeads are from Heather Powers. The colors on the bead are so beautiful and seasonal, and the owl charm seems so knowing and wise. The card says 'Wisdom is the beginning of all blessings. Wear this little owl as a reminder' - isn't that wonderful?

The skeleton key charms with stamped copper tags that say 'HOME' were made by Lorelei Eurto, with a beautiful dangle on each one. They are so tiny and special, a unique remembrance of the warmth and coziness of the hearth and home anytime, but especially at this time of year.

Mary Harding created several different charms and beads, with a natural world theme and such beautiful colors. I was fortunate to see all the unique charms in the swap before they went to their new homes. On my blog I'll put more photos of all the different ones, I don't want to take too much space here. This sneak peek will give you a good idea of the variety and beauty of the swap items.

If you've never done a swap you should give it a try, it's a great way to get to know some people better and make new friends. And oh! the goodies!

It was interesting that many of the swap items used words as well as images to tell the story of counting blessings. These little beads and charms were made by Cristi Clothier. She used the words 'Be Blessed' and number circles, very clever and colorful.

Others used only symbols of blessed icons, these lovely raku hearts were made by Gaea Cannaday. I love the rustic and organic look of them, under the smooth shiny surface glaze. Sometimes blessings do appear rough on the outside but have wonderful things to bring to a life! With a heart icon you can tell your own story, make up your personal meaning. I like that about them.

Another organic, natural world symbol was used by Erin Siegel, in her glazed leaf shapes. As the leaves fall from the trees in the circle of the seasons, we count ourselves fortunate in this world to be able to sense the changes in life. The colors are so glorious and each one so unique, just like real natural world leaves. Just like each one of us, too.

The images used in the art beads and charms weren't coordinated by me in any way, but there were recurring symbols, icons and words. About home. Leaves. Hearts.

These charming houses were made by Lisa Harrington. The colors are harmonious with the other swap items, and the little house shape goes well with Lorelei's key charm and has a similar message. We treasure our family, our homes and hearths, at this season. There's a tiny beautiful butterfly inside, the most colorful and transient creatures in nature, to remind us that time is fleeting. And the dangle under the little house charm with the word 'HOME' on the roof is a tiny puppy dog - the most faithful and entertaining of creatures that share our hearths.

My own charms have some of the same ideas and spirit. I made a fused glass heart connector because the heart connects us all, a leaf charm to show the constancy of change, and a small corked glass vial filled with golden flakes with the words 'GOOD' and 'BLISS', 'PEACE' and 'MERCY' on them.

I want make a single wearable piece like a necklace or charm bracelet that includes everything from the swap, to remind me through all next year to count my blessings daily.

Maybe you count these end of year days using an advent calendar, or celebrate with special family events. Or perhaps there's certain music, a book or tradition that you re-visit every year, to close out the special days every winter as each year wanes away.

In the meantime, here's the question for you to ponder! Reply to this post and you will win a suprise prize!

How do you creatively count your blessings at this time of year? and what special words or symbols remind you of your most treasured memories, events and celebrations? 
Family and friends, home and hearth, traditions and customs across time, boundaries and cultures, share how they influence your ideas and creativity.

Post your answer, share your story, join with us in counting our blessings!


Alice said...

Each year we purchase a dated ornament, and over the years have collected so many. It's fun to decorate the tree with these (we have a special tree just for them) and talk about 'remember when...' as we're decorating.

Also, we have an Advent centerpiece where we light a new candle each week during Advent, and say a prayer of thanks for our many blessings.

Thanks for sharing your treasured words with us!

Chrissy said...

One of the ways I count my blessings is by looking at my kids and seeing how well they have turned out... We've had some loss in our lives and I am amazed at how well they have come to terms w/it... Also, I see how mature they can handle situations. As far s traditions, their Dad taught them to give of themselves not only to each other but to others that come into their lives... We raised our kids to be very open and willing to give everyone a fair chance and not be judgmental w/out just reason... He would be proud. Holiday time if they know someone has no place to go they will invite them to spend it w/them.

quiltingjewel39 said...

I am so thankful for my family but wish my son, daughter-in-law and my grandchildren weren't so far away but I am lucky that my daughter is 10 minutes away. We try to get together during the holidays and now I try to simplify the things and concentrate on spending quality time with them. They are so wonderful.

sharon said...

This time of year is always the best reminder to never take our health or family for granted....and we really try to be TOGETHER as much as possible. We have a custom of making fruit pomanders with cloves , cinnamon and oranges, lemons, and limes to fill the house with a beautiful scent for the holidays.

TesoriTrovati said...

What a wonderful group of very talented artisans. Such wonderful charms! Thank you for sharing...
I am so blessed to have found this caring creative community. I love how very close knit we have become, how giving we are, how open it feels. I am so glad that I "know" all of you in this inspirational interconnectedness. It is exactly what I was hoping for, no, wait, it is better than I was hoping for when I jumped in with both feet a year ago. Thanks so much for sharing Lynn! Enjoy the day! Erin

Connie said...

Every year I create something personal for my family. Last year I made icicle angel photo dolls, the year before family ancestors picture CD's, this year it's a cookbook from my moms recipe book. My favorite "blessings" symbol is a heart with a heart in it....i carry your my heart.... - from a poem by ee cummings.

Gail W. said...

Each year,I buy a special angel for my tree,and make about 10 more to be given to close family members.I make them from stainglass,each different.I also collect crosses,make some of them also out of stained glass.We remember where we bought each angel,which ones the cat got,which the small children broke.At the time,it broke my heart,but we laugh about it now!Perhaps time does heal all wounds.

Jennifer said...

I am counting my blessing differently this year. I just received a necklace with the initials and birthstones of my two children on it with a heart charm in the middle. It's beautiful and I am reminded to count my blessings every time I feel or see it.
cspmom at gmail dot com

Kate said...

What a wonderful exchange of inspirations, ideas and feelings!
I think that blessing should be counted on a daily basis, not just at a certain time of year. :) That said, as the seasons wind down, and the earth settles in for its rest certain blessing come to mind, that of shelter from the cold, food for the winter, friends and family to still be able to connect with through modern technology that would not be feasible in times past until Spring. The Typical American Thanksgiving is a second Thanksgiving for the Harvest for us and we celebrate the traditional way, with Turkey, Pumpkin Pie and all the trimmings. Lights are a symbol of this time of year for me, light in the darkness, and I actually keep mine up year round, draped over garlands of green vines, or just across the bare walls. It's like having beautiful candlelight and warmth in the winter and in the summer time like the stars in the heavens or the fireflies dancing in the warm summer night breezes. For us coming up is the Season of Light and Miracles. I look for blessings everyday and expect miracles! Special words, Chai! Life! , Light, a week of having parties and sharing time with family and friends, reacquainting oneself with others in this special season, lighting candles more and more each night until the house and all in it glow from the light!

Susan Z said...

Counting your blessings should be done all year long. I value my family, friends, health and job. Over 85 people from my work were just furloughed (and I always think, but for the grace of God it could have been me). So hard to loose a job anytime but during the holidays it's worse. My daughter is out of work right now too. I hope the new year brings jobs for all who need them. Susan Z

Pamela said...

Every year, so far, we have all been able to get together for the Christmas holidays. I am talking about a huuuuuuuuuge group!! We each have the things that we bring every year, that our grandmothers did before us. Each year I make something different for my siblings that features a family member of the past. And then the fun with the kids; big and little alike begins!

*~tabby~* crooked heart art said...

for me its family and friends that i am most grateful for at this time of year, as always~
the small things that make being together a treasure
the familiar traditions that we look forward to each year (my #1 favorite? mince meat squares and fighting over them with my 76 yr old dad :)
the beauty of new england in late autumn~there is such beauty in its starkness..
and knowing in my heart that i am truly truly blessed
enjoy your thanksgiving and loved ones
many thanks

Mel Mel said...

This year our family has a newborn to remind us of generations past, present and future. We are reminded that children do grow quickly and they learn life lessons as well family history from those around them. When I was a child I didn't understand the old saying,"give them roots and wings", it sounded very strange to me. I now fully understand it's meaning. Our family has both, solid roots and strong wings, very strong wings. So there you have it, wings are a symbol that remind me of not only wings to fly but they also remind me of the gauardian angels who watch over us from above. That to me is truly a blessing. Joy to all, Melanie