December 22, 2011
The winter solstice marks the very middle of winter, and whilst it is the shortest day and the longest night of the year, it is also a symbol of hope, and we are reassured that from now on the days will get longer and lighter and the nights will get shorter. Warm yourself by fires, light candles and create symbols of the growing sunshine to encourage its path. As we step into the spring in the coming months, right now we can appreciate the initial sparks of this exciting time with the waning of the winter season.
Above is a photograph taken during last winter’s snow, when I was working on my altered dolls from my Models from Childhood project.
December 13, 2011
With the Christmas season upon us, it’s time to deck the halls. It’s been many years since I’ve put up any decorations, because I’m not overly fond of the artificiality of tinsel, plastic baubles and synthetic trees, and I’ve never liked the idea of cutting down a tree for the holiday season. But this year I’ve made an early resolution – all the decorations will be handmade, thus saving our house from a plastic makeover and celebrating the creative coming together of loved ones.
I started this venture by constructing a driftwood Christmas tree, drawing inspiration from a few I’ve been ogling in the past month or so. It took under an hour to actually assemble, but finding and sorting the driftwood took considerably longer. I was lucky enough to have a box of driftwood in the shed, left over from a driftwood mirror project my mother was working on last year. We had spent many months combing British beaches for the materials, beautifully sculpted by the sea and sand, which cut out so much time from the process of making the Christmas tree. I only had to spend an afternoon sorting the wood into size order and then dividing it into two rough piles, so I could make two of the trees. (One for myself, and one as a thank you for using the materials!) After this, it was a simple matter of drilling holes in each piece of wood and threading them on a metal pole. I came across two rather sturdy pieces of curved wood for the bottom branches, which made a stable base, but this was sheer luck, and would recommend further research on the bases of driftwood trees for those who would like to try their hand at making one!