Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Decorations From The Craft Shows

I can spend hour after hour just walking around a craft show. I just love looking at all the marvelous handmade creations. I find I'm always amazed at the creativity of the artist or crafter and wonder just how they made this or that.

Many, many years ago I tried making some of the  items I'd seen that I liked at some of the craft shows I'd visited.  At the time I couldn't afford to decorate my home so I figured I'd make some things myself.  Well, I have to tell you that they never came out as well as the original or even came out at all. So, I decided years ago to stop re-creating some of the beautiful objects I'd see at craft shows and just buy the original. It's a win-win for everyone. I get a beautiful handmade object, signed by the artisan themselves, and they get a sale.

As I walk around the craft shows I also like talking to the different booth owners. Usually it's the artist or crafter themselves and I find they always have wonderful stories to tell or tips to offer. If the booth is really crowded I don't try to talk to the owner, but if it's not I try to compliment the artist or crafter on their work.

From time to time I find that some objects are just so beautiful and there is so much creativity involved in them that they just take your breath away. I always walk away amazed by this particular artist or crafter's talent.

So, I thought you might like to see some of the Christmas objects either my Mother and I, my sister and I, my sister-in-law and I, my brother and I, or my nieces and I have found from time to time at the craft shows.

I saw the painted wood wall clock pictured at the beginning of this post at a craft show in Sturbridge that my Mother and I went to one year and wanted to buy it. However, it looked really heavy and I knew my car was parked far away so my Mother and I decided that I shouldn't buy it. There was just no way we would be able to carry that to my car.  I quickly regretted not doing so and hoped that the crafter would be at that show again next year.

Well, the next year I decided to ask hubby to come along to see if the crafter was there. If they were then we could buy the clock when we were leaving the show and I could wait for him outside while he went to get the car. To my delight the crafter was there and we bought the wall clock. I was glad we hadn't bought the wall clock the first year as it really was quite heavy.

What I loved about this clock was that it had three little shelves that you could put handmade seasonal items on and change with the seasons - which every season I do. And, of course, at every craft show I look to see if there are any other miniature handmade seasonal items that I can add to my collection.

So, I thought I'd create a collage of some of the craft show items that are being displayed this holiday season. With several decades of attending craft shows I have bought quite a few items.  It would be impossible to display all of them so every season I have to decide which ones will be shown that season.  Here's the lucky objects we're showing this holiday season:

The first picture in the collage is a wooden hand carved doll that I bought at a craft show with my Mother. The artist was in the last booth in the hall and we almost didn't notice him. Well, I was glad we did as he made the most wonderful hand carved wooden dolls. You know how much I love dolls.  So, I decided to buy two pilgrims dressed in black outfits. Then I spotted the woodsman and thought he was adorable. Of course my Mother told me with the two dolls I had already bought that I had enough. Well, obviously I didn't listen to that advice as he sits atop one of our cabinets every Christmas season. And, one season my Mother told me she loved him. Secretly I think she was glad I had bought him.

At another craft show with hubby one year we bought the Victorian Santa picture that is the 2nd picture in the collage. I just loved the fact that he was Victorian and loved the blue colors. I knew it would be perfect for one of our walls. When it came time to take the Christmas decorations down that year I decided I liked the picture just where it was and have him hanging up all year.  He's still there.

The 3rd picture is a cute little reindeer flower stand that hubby and I found at a local school craft show. I like to add the silk floral poinsettia to the back of him for color.

In the second row are three pictures of painted miniature wood houses. The artist at this craft show that my husband and I attended was personalizing the buildings so we decided to make the toy store "Linda's" toy shoppe and the pizza shop "Jerry's Pizza." The church I just loved and thought my Mother would enjoy.

In the 3rd row the first picture is a painted seashell.  My Mother and I found this at another craft show one Fall and just loved this artist's work.  She used real seashells and added painted paper collages in the middle of the seashells for a 3 dimensional effect.  I hadn't seen anyone do that with seashells before and just loved it.

The last two pictures in the collage are some very simple, but elegant ornaments that my Mother and I found at a silversmith's booth one year. Both my Mother and I just loved the simplicity of the ornaments and thought they'd look lovely on my tree - and they do.

So, of course, this year when hubby and I attended a local craft show I just had to buy a new handmade ornament for our tree and choose the hand-painted wood ornament shown in the picture below.  I just love hand-painted decorations as I wish I could paint like that and create such beautiful pieces.

While the following two Christmas decorations weren't purchased at a craft show they were new additions to our caroler's scene this year.  We saw them at a local Hallmark Store and thought they'd be cute new additions.   The tree was put on one of the shelves of our carolers scene and the snowman was added to the fireplace mantle above the carolers scene display.  We thought they were great additions and hope you do too.

Next year we'll create another collage.  It will be fun to see which Christmas decorations from the craft shows that we decide to display. Stay tuned.

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