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Merry Christmas to All!

nativity, Merry Christmas, the artyologist

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.”

Isaiah 9:6-7 

Hello dear Readers! I am going to be taking a break for Christmas so this will be my last post until sometime in the New Year. I’m really looking forward to some time to relax, recharge and spend time with family, doing all those lovely Christmas things that only happen once a year. Thank- you for following along with me this year, and I hope that each and every one of you have a very Merry Christmas, as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ!

Craft Sale Recap

Craft Sale Recap, Table Display, the artyologist

Whew! As fun as that was, I am glad that the craft sale madness is over! Saturday (Dec. 3rd) was the last sale I was taking part in and I’m not too sorry, as I needed a little break from thinking, obsessing about it. I am definitely a “details” person, and I tend to be over-prepared for things, as being under-prepared stresses me out. But then being prepared stresses me too. . . there is no winning 😉 I spent a lot of time during the months of October and November crafting, and creating, and ordering, and planning and working out all the little details I needed to put in order for the craft sales. It was a great experience, but now I can put it to the side now, in order to focus on other things. . . like Christmas! I cannot believe that Christmas is less than three weeks away. By focusing on the sales, I kind of forgot that Christmas is almost here (despite the fact that they were Christmas craft sales!) I’ve also not posted here for a while as I’ve been so busy, (and am getting sick again now. Noo!! I just got over being sick)

I have shared a few pictures of the sale on instagram, but for those of you who don’t follow me there, here are some more pictures of the table set up. It was kind of hard to get a picture of the entire table, as both times there were other tables in the background, so I mostly have pictures of just the table top. My sister and I had a lot of fun coming up with our display, though we did end up changing it between the two sales.

Craft Sale Recap- the artyologist

One thing we learned at the first craft sale, is that people tend to look right at the top of your table and they don’t really look “up”. For the first table, we had placed my dress mannequin on the end of the table to display jewelry, but people didn’t notice it, as it was white, and it was vertical rather than horizontal. So, for the second sale, we used the suitcase, which was red and black and at eye level. That way people noticed it, and it showed off the jewelry rather nicely, while still giving us some vertical display space. Also, for some reason, people didn’t notice the things we had scattered in trays, so for the second sale, almost everything was placed simply on the table. Not as creative, but people noticed it and really that is all that mattered!

Also, we found it was really nice to have a variety of products. We were selling hair accessories, jewelry and artwork. We got a lot of men stopping by to look through my photography, and because of that a lot of their wives, daughters etc. would stop by too, to look at the jewelry, or vice versa. If we had been selling only the jewelry and hair stuff, we wouldn’t have had so many people stopping by 😉  I don’t know as though it made a different sales wise, but it was still great to meet so many people.

I was so glad that my sister first enquired about having a table at the local farmer’s market back in August. She asked me, after that first sale, whether I wanted to share a table with her, and so that is how I ended up selling at the market too. I have thought about selling at farmer’s markets and craft sales before, but for various reasons never ended up doing it. I was so glad that she decided to, as it was just the push that I needed! I was also really glad that she was there selling too, as it would be a loooong day by oneself. (Set was up at 8:30am and take down was at 4:00pm for the one sale) It wasn’t the best sales wise, but it was a lovely community event and we met so many people. Also, we spoke with a few people who expressed interest in us showing our work in April at the art show. I didn’t even know there was a local art show!  Getting such good feedback on our work was such an encouragement, and now I am really looking forward to the new year and perhaps exhibiting at a few art shows. It will be a different audience (of people looking for artwork, not baking!) so I think that it may go better.

So, there are my few thoughts on what it was like to be a part of the sales. It was definitely a learning experience, but I really enjoyed it, and I think that I am going to actively start looking out for more local shows in the future as well. Do you like to shop at Christmas sales? Have you ever sold at a craft sale before? If you have sold at a craft sale before, do you have any clever display ideas?

Ps. I would also like to say “Hello and Welcome” to anyone who has found my blog from the sales last week! I’m so glad you are here! 

Craft Sale table display, the artyologist

Craft Sale table top, the artyologist

craft sale table display, the artyologist

craft sale recap, display, the artyologist

Craft Sale, table top display, the artyologist

The Beginnings of a Collection: Blue and White Ceramics

The Beginnings of a Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

My Grandma recently downsized to a new apartment, and wanted to pass on some things she doesn’t use anymore, and no longer had the space for in her new place. She asked if my sister and I would like some of her blue and white ceramics- and we both immediately said yes!

I have always loved blue and white ceramics. They are a popular style, and come from such far flung places around the world including Holland (Delft Tile) all the way to Vietnam. I love hand painted ceramics and am always drawn to crisp blue and white colours. I am always so amazed at the talent and detail that goes into them. I took a pottery course once. Suffice it to say, we will not be handing those pieces down through the generations. 🙁

I already owned this pitcher, which I purchased from Ten Thousand Villages last year, so I was very happy to add these beautiful new pieces, to create a small collection.

In my family we didn’t get much handed down in the way of clothes, like many vintage lovers I know, who have gotten dresses, hats and jewelry from past relatives. However, from both sides of my family, I have gotten dishes. Not all of them are antique, but they are each special, because they are a part of our family history. They will become heirlooms, even if they aren’t very old right now, like these pieces. Really, if you think about it, everything that is antique and old today, was at some point brand new. However, someone thought it was special enough to preserve. And so it will be with these. They will always remind us of our Grandma, and they will be preserved and passed down. And maybe someday, my distant great-great-granddaughter will be using this very same pitcher, or candy dish herself, getting ready to pass it down to the next generation too. It’s a nice thought anyways 🙂

Do you have any special collections? Do you have any pieces (of anything – not just dishes!) passed down from your family? If not, have you ever thought of starting a new collection of heirlooms yourself?

The Beginnings of a Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

The blue teapot is my sisters, and the white one is mine.

The Beginnings of a Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

Such a neat design for the candy dish. 

The Beginnings of a Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

I use this pitcher often, not as a pitcher, but as a vase! It makes a lovely vase for weedy roadside bouquets like the ones I picked here, or for pussy willow branches in the spring. It’ll probably be lovely for some evergreen boughs this winter too! And, on the right is the beautiful lattice design bowl of my sister’s.

The Beginnings of A Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

The little teapot is a tiny little knick-knack that my Grandma gave me years ago. It is a favour that Red Rose used to include in their teas years ago!

The Beginnings of A Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

The Beginnings of A Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

The entire “collection”, (to date!)

The Ladies Garden Tea, Part 2

Ladies Garden Tea Party, Part 2 The Artyologist

So continuing with the second instalment of the Ladies Garden Afternoon Tea party.

I’ve always loved pretty dishes, and silverware and fine china teacups. I’m pretty sure I get this from my mom, who I’m sure learned it from her mother. When my Grandma was a young lady, living in a farm community, once a month the ladies would get together for a tea party.  It was a way for the farmwives, some of whom were probably fairly isolated, to get out and see each other. Each month was hosted at a different farm, and each lady would bring her own teacup.

A few years ago, my Grandma downsized, and passed on her teacups to us- and a collection was born! With that humble start, I’ve started picking up pretty teacups at thrift stores, or antique sales, and I’ve been able to form quite a collection. I love to throw parties, and as my collection of fancy dishes has grown, I have tried to come up with ways to use them, rather than relegating them to the china cabinet. A few years ago, continuing in the tradition of my Grandma, the Ladies Afternoon Tea was born. It gives us a chance to use all the fancy dishes, and is a way for the ladies in my church to get together for an afternoon treat.

teacups the artyologist

As I mentioned on Tuesday, we got rained out and we were forced to bring the party indoors this year. It was too bad that the party couldn’t be outside, as there is something so lovely about enjoying tea and sweets out of doors, but at least we do have a large living room, where we were able to spread out several tables and chairs for everyone to sit at.

When we were planning for this party, we counted up my cups, my moms, and my sisters and came up with 29 teacups! Needless to say, the ladies didn’t need to bring their own to this party! We did end up borrowing some cups from another lady, just in case we ran short, but fortunately we didn’t.

invite and teacups the artyologist

Every good party starts with an invitation. There is something so personal about an physical paper invitation, even if it isn’t handwritten, and I think it reminds people of the party more than a verbal invitation or email, which can be easily lost or overlooked. Also it is a great place to write the address or location of the party, because unless everyone is very familiar with the area, they might get lost en route!

teacups and chocolate the artyologist

silverware tea party, the artyologist

plates and tea service the artyologist

For the party, the food was set up on the kitchen table, and the tea was set up on the kitchen counter, which was dressed up with a lace edged tablecloth, so it wouldn’t look so “kitcheny”. The peonies were blooming in full force the day of the party, so we had a gorgeous bouquet on the dessert table, and a weedy little bouquet of daisies and alfalfa collected from an “obliging field” for the tea table.

chocolate muffins the artyologist

menu and silver service for ladies tea party the artyologist

desserts at the tea party the artyologist

For food, we served a variety of desserts: Coconut Macaroons, Ganache Topped Chocolate Cakes, Lemon Drizzle Loaf, Coconut Cream and Dark Chocolate Squares, Pineapple and Pecan Cheesecake Tarts, and Toasted Almonds and Pecans. We chose such a large variety of desserts, including chocolate and non-chocolate, as we wanted to make sure there was something everyone would enjoy. (I mean, l love chocolate, and the entire menu could’ve consisted of different varieties of chocolate, but something I find hard to comprehend is that some people don’t like it 🙁 so we wanted to make sure everyone enjoyed the desserts!) Also, it was very fortunate that my best friend was visiting that week, so the day before the tea party, when we were baking, baking, baking, she was there to lend a hand 🙂

party preparation the artyologist

lemon loaf the artyologist

Overall, the party was quite the success- even though hours and days of work was consumed and destroyed in the space of an hour 😉 Ah that’s the best thing about parties right? It was a lovely time, spent with some very lovely ladies! As people were leaving, we had a lot of requests to do it again. Don’t worry I’ve already started planning for next year’s tea party!

macaroons and desserts the artyologist

teacups for ladies tea party the artyologist