Today was my day to take down Christmas decorations. They came down more slowly than they went up, when our kids were home. It was a good time to organize and reflect. So many of the ornaments that came off of our tree have such specific memories connected with them. It made me think about how we use decorative objects to commemorate, or even just remember, events in our lives.
Two felt ornaments I embroidered when I was about 10 or 12 years old. I'm happy they've stayed with me though many moves and life changes.
A beautiful little hand-stitched heart I bought from a group of Hmong women at an art fair many years ago. We have a pale pink one too, that used to hang on a wall; now it's a Christmas ornament as well.
A little clay pitcher (about 2" tall) that we received as a pair on a trip to Mexico in 1993. It came filled with tequila. I love the pitcher; I don't love tequila. One of the pitchers must have gone out with the Christmas tree years ago. But we still have one, and it always makes me smile.
A pair of polka-dot hearts that were attached to a baby shower gift I received 20+ years ago, before our daughter was born. They're a lot like the Pantone colors for 2016...
Today also got me thinking about ornaments I've created that I've given to family and friends or sold at art fairs. My dad has the turtle ornament hanging in his home office :).
And I made this large, stuffed ornament for my grandparents.
I love helping other people create ornamental remembrancers as well. I design ornaments and create kits for others to stitch in class and on their own. Some are used as Christmas ornaments. Some are finished and framed. Some are hung in a special place year-round. At least one has topped a wedding cake. Some adorn handbags or are made into pins. All have given both me and their stitchers a quiet little space in our lives to work slowly with our hands, create beauty, and then share that beauty with at least some portion of the world.
I posted pictures of my new "Joyful Leaf" ornament design in early November. This is "Eastern Star"--my most recent ornament design. I hope that, for others, it will be the source of hours of peace-filled stitching time as well as a part of new and happy memories, created and shared.