Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Snapshots From Christmas Past and a Free Download

For the past few years we haven't bothered to put up a tree. I am typically out of town for several weeks before Christmas and after Christmas we head to Little Gasparilla Island to ring in the New Year. 
All in all, it makes no sense to put up a tree for the two days that I could enjoy it. Also, if you have ever been here when I put up the tree, you know that it takes the whole evening. Not because the tree is so large or because we have so much to put on it, but because I have a story for EVERY SINGLE ORNAMENT that goes on the tree. I love this about both me, and the tree. It's a little bit like sitting through a slide show (for those of you who remember what that is). 

While I can't remember what I had for lunch, I can remember where almost every ornament and bauble on the tree came from.

For fun, I thought I would share a few of my most favorites and the story that goes with it. Oh and if you sign up for my newsletter, you get a free ornament download. It appeared in Family Circle Magazine back in the 1960's and I happened to find it in an old scrapbook that I bought.

Ok, here we go.......The upper left angel was made by me when I was a Brownie. My mom and our neighbor Jewell were the troop leaders. Jewell's daughter, Denise was my first best friend. 
The string angel was made by my grandmothers best friend, Dori Simmons, who I adored. Dori made us something every year for Christmas. When she died, my grandmother gave me all of her old ornaments while saying something like "I was going to throw these out but thought you might want them". My grandmother didn't care for old things and could never figure out why I did. I think, secretly, she was glad this once that I loved vintage things as I am sure it would have killed her to throw out Dori's ornaments. 
The glass ornament bears Dori's name. She made one for herself and one for her husband Jim. Jim ended up leaving her for a younger woman but she still had the ornament and I would put it on the tree alongside hers. 

The Gingerbread girl is store bought and was given to me by my mother. I can still remember how excited I was when I opened it. It is one of my most treasured possessions and I wire it to the tree to the point that it could withstand a hurricane. What makes it even more special is that I got the pink one and my younger sister got the blue one. When we received similar gifts there was always an issue over who got the more desired color. She usually did, but this time I was the victor. I am sure that every year when she unpacks the blue one it still stings a little.

We had two trees when I was a kid. The one in the "forbidden" living room and one in the family room. This one was referred to as the "kid's tree" and was one of those pink tinsel jobs. I think the "kids tree" was put up to keep us out of the living room. It was just my sister and I and I can't imagine what they thought we were going to do to the living room but that's how it was then. Anyway....the little red Santa's were the only ornaments we had on that tree and there were dozens of them. My mother would also string lights on the tree which you weren't supposed to do back then. Every now and then you would get a shock if you touched the tree and there happened to be a problem with the lights. 
The baby in the cradle was my first ornament and I believe it was made by Dori. 

Are you starting to understand why it takes so long to put up our tree?

The stocking and guest towels were made by my mother. My sister has the same stocking but with the snowman image. I am assuming that my mother made these while pregnant with my sister because if you look closely at my sisters stocking you can see where there was a question mark embroidered where the name would later be. She and I used to point that out to all who would listen.

These are the ornaments that my mother made for the tree one year. I posted them on my Instagram page yesterday but just had to include them here. I am so happy that I still have them. I was thrilled to find the original magazine article from Family Circle Magazine.
It's fun to see how my mom interpreted the original patterns and colors.
These are also your free download.

Thanks for stopping by and letting me share my memories of Christmas past. Please share your favorite Holiday memories in the comment section.
Whatever you celebrate I hope it is filled with love, happiness and that you make some wonderful memories!

Your download
While I realize that it's a little late to be making Christmas ornaments I think these would be really cute for Spring. Once you sign up you will receive a conformation email with a link to the download. It is a three page pdf and includes the directions and patterns and two pages of photos. 
The patterns are meant to be transferred to graph paper but you can simply enlarge the page to whatever size you want.
If you have a problem just email me and I will send you the pdf via email.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Handmade Goodness and Barbie's Dirty Laundry

 This past week on Instagram, I decided to do "A Week of Red". I like red and it seemed fitting for the approach of Christmas. As I started looking around the house for a variety of red things I remembered that I had my old Barbie clothes stashed away somewhere. There had to be something red in there-right? Well, I unearthed a treasure trove of memories and handmade goodness. 

I was quickly whisked back to a time when people gave handmade items as gifts and people (even kids) LIKED it. My mom made most of these but some were made by our dear neighbor and sitter, Penny Taylor. Sadly both left this world way too early but my memories of them live on through these gifts they made for me. I cherish these items that were stitched and knitted with love. The other store bought doll clothes......not so much.

I was so inspired by finding these that I decided to post photos of things that were handmade by me on my Instagram page for the week of December 14. Check it out and feel free to follow me!

Also, I would love to hear your stories of handmade gifts that you cherish. Leave your memories in the comment section or post them on my Facebook page.

Hope you enjoy the photos!

Paula Joerling
These were all made by my mom. She was very fashionable and made most of her own clothing. The Barbie clothes were made out of leftover material scraps.  

Paula Joerling
The brocade "cape/skirt" was made by my me (I made a lot of "cape/skirts"). My mom made the red strapless dress which was coveted by my friends. Penny Taylor made the 
co-ordinating red and white dress for my Skipper doll. If memory serves, my sister and I had Christmas dresses made from the red velvet with daisy trim around the sleeves and hem.

Paula Joerling
I think it should go without saying, but the fringe vest and little polka dot crop top were two of my favorites. My sister and I also had vests exactly like this one. Yes, it's true........

This fur coat was, hands down, was the number one favorite in the whole wardrobe. The fur was trim from a muff I had as a little girl. I LOVED that thing and thought it was a pet.

Paula Joerling
 The knitted clothing needed to be cleaned and drying it on cookie racks worked great. I need to do a little damage control as a result of moths. I think, at some point, I may frame all of these and hang them in the bedroom.

Paula Joerling
 Not too long ago I purchased this knitting book on etsy. I may have to brush up on my knitting skills and make some more pant suits-ha ha ha.

Paula Joerling
Detail of one of the cardigans. I am dying here, I mean......seriously.

I can't help but wonder if gifts like these would be appreciated now. I sure hope so. Do you make and give handmade items? Do you like receiving them? Although I work in an industry geared to manufacturing my heart is still in making handmade items and I plan to get back to it in 2016.
So stay tuned..........

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Story Behind the Art-Petra Kern

Hello and welcome to the third installation of 

If you are new to my blog, The Story Behind the Art will take you on a little journey into the STORY behind a particular piece of art created by one of my talented friends from around the globe. The stories are posted on the first Wednesday of each month.

This month I am very happy to introduce you to my dear friend Petra Kern from Ljubljana, Slovenia. Petra and I met online while taking Kelly Rae Roberts "Flying Lessons" e-course. I can't remember exactly how it all happened but I think it had something to do with me being enamored with her beautiful florals. We emailed, we Skyped and finally met in person at Surtex two years ago. We became fast friends and a year later, my husband and I were on our way to Slovenia for an unforgettable visit. Please read on to discover what inspires my talented friend from across the pond.
Petra Kern
The 2 P's in Slovenia


The Story Behind the Art-Petra Kern

I have always been surrounded by nature. I live in a green country surrounded with Alps and sea and the eyes are always caught in a beauty of nature. Since I was a little girl, I love to observe the small world around me even if that means picking flowers from my mothers garden. This love stayed strong and I guess will go with me to the end. I ALWAYS find my inspiration outside and mostly surrounded with beautiful mountains - they have a great vibe for me and am drawn to their flora and fauna in every season .
Now as I work as designer I married the love for nature and it’s flora with the occasions I love working for - weddings and Christmas, which is another great love of mine. 

Petra Kern
 Me at age 2 in my mothers garden playing with tulips and probably not knowing my mum is capturing the moment as evidence.

This October - the first snow in October above my fave spot. Lots of pines, foliage and striking views - who wouldn’t go home and paint her heart out?

Petra Kern
Watercolor Delight - wedding invite for Minted
This card was inspired by the perfect chaos and layering that can always be found in nature. I wanted the invite to be gentle, yet powerful and dynamic. 

Petra Kern
Crafty Floral - photo card for Minted
I don’t see winter as a dull place to be. There are always evergreens, berries and dried flowers around us, you just have to find them. I love how this one turned out with the hint of festive gold. 

Petra Kern
Christmas Foliage for CVS
I work for a licensing studio A Fresh Bunch and this year we designed a lot of Christmas photo cards for CVS. This assignment was a little different but as always when I am in doubt I go sketching foliage and buds - they almost always landed somewhere.

If you want to see more of Petra's beautiful work just follow the links.