Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Christmas in July

Christmas in July? Really? It's barely turned summer. Should our thoughts be of snowflakes? Especially when one isn't all that fond of snow?


Well, two things prompted me to get on the bandwagon (or start one)! The first was a gorgeous post by Patty at Magpie Tales on her Christmas in July collage. Just about everything Patty does inspires me; her blog and technique are both wonderful.

Then I was invited by the folks over at Patience Brewster (they make the incredible cards and wonderful holiday ornaments) to join in on the Christmas and July celebration. I love the work of Patience Brewster and thought, "Well, I was already thinking of it..."After all, if you've followed me for any length of time you know I am a Christmas nut. I have to start preparations early just because if I don't, life gets in the way. I always do a show in November with friends which includes not only my regular card and gift inventory but Christmas-related items as well.

The trouble is... what to post about? And when, in my crazy July, do I get the time to do it?

The answer to the first was pretty simple. I've been trying my best to channel my inner Kristen Robinson and put into practice what I learned in her plastering class (see this post for more on that one!). I had decided that I wanted to include some of these boxes in my November sale. While I was using Kristen's techniques, I also wanted my work to reflect me and not be a copy of hers (which a: felt unethical and b:
who can copy Kristen?).

There are lots of sweet ideas for holiday-themed boxes. I decided to venture into the Christmas department of my basement (trust me, that's what it feels like -- about one quarter of the basement has all the Christmas trees, wrapping, ornaments, wreaths, decorative pieces, creches, candles... you get the idea. We don't photograph this area. If we were smart, we would declutter it. In fact, if we were really smart, we would actually put everything away from last year so next year it won't be so hard to find in December!). My mission: The bottlebrush tree collection!

Once you get the right elements, you are on your way with this project. I plastered my boxes, painted them and then started adding the embellishments.

The first of what I hope will be a series of holiday treasures!

And here are a couple of others that cross the seasons! The seaside is welcome at any time.

And who doesn't love a little love?

While I am at it, I am also making some flat pieces, which we also did in Kristen's class. Mine are leaning toward using natural objects and a nature theme -- at least so far. Here are a couple that are finished.

As former blogger Leann used to remind us early on, the time between now and the holidays really starts to fly. And while I'm not all for getting out the trees and tinsel this early, I know November and December are always on the crazy side and at least in terms of creating and planning ahead -- well, now is the time!

As for Lizzie, as long as she gets two square meals a day and her crunchies, a few toy tosses and lots of love, she's a happy camper any time of year!

Are you getting a head start on the holiday or is it just way too early to think about it?! Meanwhile, I'm headed back to the lake for art camp with Kate and more Christmas (and other) boxes! For my most recent "postcard from the lake" check it out here!


Lynda Shoup said...

Christmas in July!!! Oh no! I hear the wisdom of preparing before the fall begins, but I'm just settling in to breathing in Summer. The plaster and their transformation is really appealing. have awakened a new interest for me.

You won't see a Christmas in July post from me - it's August on Saturday - but you have prompted me to start thinking about it.

Sue Seibert said...

Cold can't come soon enough for me here in Texas. Love your plaster...especially the flat pieces. Hi, Lizzie!

Bella Rum said...

I am not getting a head start on the holidays, but you are inspiring. I have given some thought to my fireplace and how I will decorate it. Dose thinking about it count? Your boxes are beautiful. Maybe I'm more like Lizzie. Maybe I'll start browsing the holiday recipes. That's where my heart lies.

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

Beautiful creations any time of the year. You're way ahead of me; I can't keep up with July, lol.

Sharon said...

Australia has Christmas in july so we have an excuse to eat traditional hot Christmas food, our Christmas falls in our summer which is always stinking hot and so unlike what a traditional northern hemisphere Christmas is like.
Love the bottle bush trees and the natural boxes, especially the one with the bird eggs.
Lizzie looks like such a happy cat.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I think you are wise to get a head start on these projects before the busy holiday season is upon us. Plus, if time is flying as fast for you as it is for me, the holiday will be here before we know it (but I really wish that wasn't the case because I want time to slow the heck down!!!!). I love all of your creations and of course I love the picture of Lizzie! She sure does look like a happy cat!!

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Hi Jeanie,
I love all your creations. If I thought Christmas in July would bring the cold I would welcome it with open arms!
Thank you so much for visiting and your kind words.

Barb said...

Jeanne, I love seeing what YOU create, but it's way too early for me! I don't want to think about winter right now!

Marilyn Miller said...

I love the shadow boxes alot. I love all the artwork and definitely if you are to participate in the sale you need to start now. My little sailboats have me at least starting to think of the holidays and cards and decorations. Just a glimmer of thoughts at this point.

Kailani said...

I simply refuse to acknowledge Xmas until Sept. at least. :p

Marilyn Miller said...

PS - I love Patience Brewster. Thanks for the link.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh my goodness, this cat....she is making me LAUGH! You caught her at the right time with her mouth open...tehehehehhee

Christmas in July? Well......I'm not ready. We have no family here and for us, Christmas is a two week vacation from work and we simply CRASH, I put up a small tree, make a turkey breast for just the both of us, and I decorate my mantle...that's about it! OH, but I do have some bottlebrush trees that I enjoy putting in the back of a vintage toy pickup truck!

Lovely ideas sweet Jeanie! Anita

littleRamstudio said...

You do love Christmas!
We have started thinking of it here too.
There's lots of prints being created and more to be completed before the start of October.
Think I can hear bells!...
Heather :)

Kitty said...

Loved the postcard, love your inspiration in this post. I tried doing some embroidery this am and the machine just stuck its tongue out at me! Going to go back and slap it in a little while. My mom always swore that slapping machines is what it took to get them working again. She actually got my toaster to work while I was in the hospital having one of the boys and she was baby sitting! Any way, I love the plaster boxes. If you need something special to put in one check out my stash! Love you.

Janet said...

I wish I could say I've started thinking about the holidays but I haven't! Although I could use some holiday weather...that would be nice and cool.

Your little treasures are beautiful and I'm sure they will be a success.

shoreacres said...

I love Christmas, too, but my goodness! There's entirely too much year left between now and then to start thinking about it. If I were making cards and other decorative items to sell, that would be a different proposition. But now? I'd best be worried about my back to school posts, not Christmas! Heck, it's even too early for Thanksgiving... Halloween...Labor Day... August!

Victoria Zigler said...

I start thinking of it a little this early, but only enough to decide if I'm making something for anyone, and to start working on it if I am. I try not to think too much beyond that until after Halloween.

November is a busy month for us with preporations for Christmas, plus my birthday is in the middle of November. We send out the things to friends and family overseas at the end of November, and to friends and family in the UK in early December. Sometimes we'll get a visit from family members shortly before Christmas, but usually Christmas itself is just the two of us, since we don't live close to any of the family any more, ,and we can't go stay with someone for Christmas because of the rodent gang. Besides, where the family is scattered we'd have to pick just one person to spend Christmas with, and if we stayed with one person it would upset someone else, which isn't something we want to have to deal with... Especially not at Christmas.

Sally Wessely said...

Are you kidding? I never get ready early for Christmas. I wish I did, but I don't.

I love the ideas you came up with. It is fun to see others have fun with such ideas. I loved the bottle tree brush boxes. Have fun!

Tracy said...

Ooo... PRETTY snowflakes at the top!! :o) WOW... you have a Christmas Department in your basement??!! (Can you feel my eye popping as I write this?! LOL...) Your bottle-brush tree collection is sooo sweet... I love those! These vignette boxes are LOVELY, Jeanie! Such pretty embellishments and soft colors--my colors--pink, aqua... ;o) Christmas in July is hard for me. It is hard to think about the wrappings & trappings of secular Christmas: Living up here in the far north summer is precious, no wanna think about end of year with cold & snow... Bit I try to start thinking gifts about this time, and especially for gifties to be made. I send more e-greetings now, which help, but do try to still send cards snail mail--'tis but once a year! ;o) Have a SUPER time at this year's art camp... And so HAPPY to see Miss Lizzie! Charlier & I both send purrs... ;o) ((HUGS))

Joanne Huffman said...

Your boxes are beautiful. I'm not ready to do anything about Christmas yet, but thoughts are beginning to flow.

Anonymous said...

You are so creative and artistic.

Anonymous said...

Well, I wish I could start early for Christmas! I always mean too but don't get anything done. Lovely boxes and that kitty is so cute. Thanks for popping in to see me.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

The French Hutch said...

Hi Jeanie,
Christmas in July or anytime is fine with me. My favorite holiday I can't wait to pull out the little treasures to decorate. I love bottle brush trees and yours are so sweet and the bbt box is my favorite of all the sweet boxes. Very creative and you've inspired me to think about what I might do! Miss Lizzie is a great helper I'm sure. Is she telling you smart girl, getting all your readers inspired? Yes, time flies from now till Christmas!

~*~Patty S said...

Deary me I keep falling behind and I don't want to miss anything.
Aren't you too kind dear Jeanie!
Thank you so much for the shout out.
I must confess I did Christmas in July because I "had" to heehee.
That said looking at your wonderful plaster creations is such fun...both your Christmas and that seaside one are WOW!
There is some wisdom in focusing a bit on the holidays nice and early but I am enjoying summer so much I'm just not there yet.
Lovely to see so much creativity are on a roll.
Happy August!

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