International Seasons: CanisArtStudio – #CIJSeasons

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Spring Is The Favorite Season Of Przemila K from CanisArtStudio

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1. What is your favorite season and why?

My favorite season of the year is spring. I like it when the day is getting longer and nature wakes up. For me, this is the time when the best light for painting is. I paint with nature and I always look forward to painting flowers when they are in the greatest bloom. I love when birds sing because I also paint birds and I like to watch them.

2. What season is it now where you live? Have you seen a visible sign of the season changing?

I live in central Europe and I am currently in summer. This year is very hot and August is the time when there is a lot of fruit, and farmers harvest. This year there is a lot of fruit, especially apples and plums. This is the first sign of the coming autumn. Today, I also noticed a cold morning – it is also a sign that the end of summer is approaching.

3. What item in your shop represents your favorite season and the story behind it?

In my shop, there are many items representing different seasons, because I paint nature: animals, birds, flowers, etc. You can also find a lot of spring paintings and painted clocks with birds. But today I chose this pastel painting to tell the story of a little flower. This is the “Golden Lily” (Lilium Martagon). This plant is very rare and, in my country, it is under legal protection.
In the place where I live, are steep limestone rocks and on one of them is an old castle. There is also a legend. The owner of this castle hunted in this area together with his servant. This servant – a young knight candidate found the entrance to a cave full of treasures. The jealous ruler knocked him off the rock. When he came back home, a viper bit him. He could not be saved and after his death, the castle was ruined. No one else found the treasure…
One day, I was walking with my dogs in this forest and I found this little flower. This picture is my interpretation and illustration of the legend.
The painting was presented during my own exhibition and I attach to the parcel a catalog from this exhibition.

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4. What seasonal traditions are celebrated in your part of the world? 

I live in Poland and in my country, at this time of year, there are two traditional feasts: Our Lady of the Herb (15 August) and Harvest Festival.
On that day, people make bouquets of flowers and herbs. This day is an official celebration and a day off from work.

5. What are your social media sites?

Facebook: www.facebook.com/canisartstudio/
Twitter: twitter.com/przemilak
Tumblr: www.tumblr.com/blog/canisartstudio
Pinterest: pl.pinterest.com/canisart/
Google+: plus.google.com/u/0/b/101702500030425500831/+Canis-artBlogspot

International Seasons: CarolaBartz – #CIJSeasons

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Fall Is The Favorite Season Of Carola Bartz from CarolaBartz

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 1. What is your favorite season and why?

My favorite season is fall. I love how nature changes and the colorful display I enjoy every day. The light is warmer and not as harsh as in summer. I absolutely love the earthy color palette of fall. The fog returns and it’s not as hot anymore, but the days have lovely temperatures that still allow to walk around without a jacket and in sandals.

2. What season is it now where you live? Have you seen a visible sign of the season changing?

We have summer right now, but already I can see the first yellow, orange and red leaves on some of the Chinese Pistaches. They are usually the first to turn and in October they are spectacular.

3. What item in your shop represents your favorite season and the story behind it?

This journal represents the warm and earthy colors of fall. I personally love to journal and I especially like the smooth paper of composition books. Their sure are other people who share this and with them in mind I created this journal.

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4. What seasonal traditions are celebrated in your part of the world? 

There are two big celebrations in fall in my part of the world: Halloween and Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. Here, in wine country, the harvest of the grapes is also very important and often accompanied by small festivals with music, food and, of course, wine.

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5. What are your social media sites?

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CarolaBartzPhotoArt
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/carolabartz/
Instagram: www.instagram.com/carolabartz/
Google+: plus.google.com/u/0/+CarolaBartz

International Seasons: mairidesign – #CIJSeasons

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Summer Is The Favorite Season Of Mairi from mairidesign

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1. What is your favorite season and why?

Summer is my favourite season! At different times of my life, I’ve enjoyed each season. As a child, it was winter because playing in the snow was so much fun. At one time, it was Autumn because of the lovely colours of nature, but now, it makes me feel that time is slipping away and the dark nights are looming. For a while, spring made me happy and there was a freshness with new growth. But, summer, in Central Europe, is the best for me now. There’s little rain or wind and the sun shines for days on end, unlike in Scotland. For me, it’s a tonic.

2. What season is it now where you live? Have you seen a visible sign of the season changing?

We’re changing from summer to autumn and the leaves began to change colour, on some trees, at the end of July. The temperature has dropped and more leaves are browning. Other than a couple of rainy days, the sun is still shining.

3. What item in your shop represents your favorite season and the story behind it?

This surfer’s necklace, with a piece of industrial safety glass, which had found its way into the sea, was tumbled around by the waves for years, and then washed ashore in the surf, is a perfect symbol of summer. Walking along the beach, watching the surfers dance with the waves, whilst I collect sea glass in the sun, is my happy place.

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4. What seasonal traditions are celebrated in your part of the world? 

The 28th September is the feast day of Svaty Vaclav (St. Wenceslas), the patron saint of Bohemia, and is a national holiday, Statehood Day, in the Czech Republic. This is the same Good King Wenceslas, who is mentioned in the Christmas carol. Around this time, there are folklore festivals with traditional craft demonstrations and battle reenactments, grape harvest festivals and burcak drinking (partly fermented young wine). So much fun!

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5. What are your social media sites?

Facebook: www.facebook.com/mairidesign1
Instagram: www.instagram.com/mairidesign1/
Pinterest: cz.pinterest.com/mairidesign/
Twitter: twitter.com/mairidesign
Google+: plus.google.com/u/0/+MairiThompson

The Christmas Tree – #CIJParty 2018

Contributor post by Mairi from mairidesign

One cold winter’s night, Martin Luther was walking through a pine forest near his home in Wittenberg when he looked up and saw thousands of stars glinting jewel-like among the branches of the trees. This wondrous sight inspired him to set up a candle-lit fir tree in his house that Christmas.

Long before Christianity, however, people in the Northern Hemisphere used evergreen plants to decorate their homes to celebrate the Winter Solstice. This was celebrated by the Egyptians, the Celts, the Vikings and the Romans, who decorated their homes and temples with green palm rushes or evergreen boughs in honour of their gods and to symbolise everlasting life.

The modern tradition of decorating trees indoors began in Germany in the 16th century. Open-air plays, telling the story of creation, were performed on Adam and Eve day, where the Garden of Eden was symbolised by a ‘paradise tree’ hung with fruit. The church banned these practices, considering them acts of heathenry, so people collected evergreen branches or trees and brought them, secretly, into their homes. On these, families would hang lit candles, gingerbread, gold covered apples, roses made from coloured paper, wafers and sweets.

This eventually reached the shores of the United Kingdom, when Queen Charlotte, the German wife of George III, set up the first known British tree in 1800. She held a large Christmas party for the children of all the principal families in Windsor and set up a yew tree in the middle of the drawing-room, illuminated by small wax candles, and decorated with baubles, fruit and presents. Christmas trees then became fashionable in English upper-class circles, where they formed the focal point at children’s gatherings.

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It wasn’t until half a century later, that the tradition took hold. In 1840, Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, imported several spruce firs from his native Coburg. Each year, magazines would describe the royal Christmas tree and print illustrations of the Royal Family around it, popularising the custom of setting up trees, which became commonplace in British homes.

Over the Atlantic, in the 1880s, Woolworth brought the magic of Christmas tree decorating into American homes. After a visit to Europe, F.W. Woolworth began importing holiday ornaments from Lauscha, Germany, the small village where hand-blown glass ornaments originated.

Response to the affordable, miniature glass toys was tremendous. More than 250 million ornaments were being imported to the United States from Germany, Japan and Czechoslovakia. But, as war broke out, it became difficult to export ornaments from Germany. In 1939, the American company Corning began producing ornaments on a larger scale, using a machine originally designed to produce glass bulbs.
Nowadays, in the U.S.A., 35 million Christmas trees are sold annually, with an additional 10 million artificial trees, and 300 million Christmas trees are grown in farms around the world.

So, each Christmas, as you decorate your tree, you can recall the origins of this festive custom and delight your family with stories full of holiday spirit.

Sources:

https://www.zmescience.com

https://www.historytoday.com

https://www.whychristmas.com

http://www.peopleticker.com

What Makes Christmas Special: GoodThingsSmallBoxes – #EtsyCIJ 2018

Contributor post by Mairi from mairidesign

What makes Christmas special? – Arlene and Gabriel Pitts from GoodThingsSmallBoxes

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1. What makes Christmas special to you?

The majority of people’s Spirits are transformed for a little while. People are a little happier, lighter, more polite, generous, sharing, aware of each other, affectionate. (I’m not talking the crowded malls before Christmas, that’s an entirely different thing, but you CAN find it there.) Places are transformed and seem magical. Traditions and memories come alive.

2. How do you make Christmas as special to others?

I either know or find out what other’s ultimate Christmas wishes may be. I try to make one of them come true. I also work at embodying the Spirit of Christmas wherever I go. I look people in the eyes, wish them a Happy Holiday, hand out candy or other treats wherever I go. Buy a stranger coffee or a soda. Sometimes I even drop glitter where I walk just to make it a little brighter in a small way. (not in houses or stores, its a pain to clean up) Where ever I work or live, I decorate. Those I am around daily, I gift personal gifts. I try to make sure that people are not alone at Christmas. Be they close family, friends or someone in dire straits, They are welcomed into my home and celebrations.

3. What are three words that best describe Christmas to you?

Spirit, Giving, Christ

4. What are you most looking forward to for Christmas 2018?

Finding a new place to live where I can freely be that Spirit of Christmas, where my family feels comfortable, relaxed and happy to be there, and those who don’t care about the season will have no influence on how I celebrate.

5. What are your social media sites?

Facebook: facebook.com/mariepitts

Pinterest: pinterest.com/mariepitts

Instagram: instagram.com/carpediem5790

YouTube: youtube.com/carpediem5790

Linkin: linkin.com/arlenepitts

What Makes Christmas Special: AliciasFindings – #EtsyCIJ 2018

Contributor post by Mairi from mairidesign

What makes Christmas special? – Alicia from AliciasFindings 

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1. What makes Christmas special to you?

Spending time with family and friends is what makes Christmas special for me. I love to go out to eat with friends and share some time together as our gifts to each other.

2. How do you make Christmas as special to others?

I love to help my family with anything they need. I will help with food prep or even wrapping packages. I also try and get them gifts they have asked for.

3. What are three words that best describe Christmas to you?

Family, food and fun!

4. What are you most looking forward to for Christmas 2018?

I am hoping that my uncle can come for Christmas this year as he had to miss last year. I am also looking forward to all kinds of good food.

5. What are your social media sites?

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AliciasFindings

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/AliciasFindings

Twitter: www.twitter.com/AliciasFindings

Instagram: www.instagram.com/aliciasfindings

Easter Traditions and Crafts go hand in hand

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

With Easter coming up this weekend, I thought why not do a piece on the holiday, the traditions of our families and our crafts.

The stories reminded me of my childhood, as I believe they will for you.

Sarah Johnson of BellaBoutique23 says:

I remember dying Easter eggs the night before. The morning of Easter, my mom would hide big baskets full of goodies that we would search for and I remember one of the times that mine was hidden in the laundry closet! She was such an amazing gift giver. We would go to church that morning and after get together with family. It was so nice living so close to my grandparents and all the cousins would get together at my grandparents house and we would have a big Easter egg hunt. Lots of fun memories! 

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Karen Crisp of AParadisePaper told me about:

I remember spending Easter with my Grandmother (when I was very small, probably about 5 years old). She give them to my sister and I to draw patterns on with a candle. When we were done, they were boiled in water with food coloring and they came out pastel colors with white patterns. Just like the eggs on this treat box well, okay, not quite as pretty as these, but we liked them anyway!

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Carola Bartz of CarolaBartz explained her memories:

I lived in Germany for 40 years, and on Easter night (Saturday->Sunday, in some regions Sunday->Monday) it is a tradition to have a huge Easter fire. The wood for the fire would have been collected over several weeks and piled up high. On Easter night after dark, people would come together around the pile and the fire would be started. We watched and sang and just felt the magic of this special night. When Easter was early in the year, it was pretty cold!

I don’t have any special Easter items in my store, except for a few Easter cards.

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Kathy of KomebackKitsch lets me know:

I remember Sunrise service at church, my Mom being in the choir and my Dad taking on getting 4 little girls dressed in Easter finery and to church by 6am….quite a feat. Breakfast at the church, two services and a Sunday school, then home for the dreaded “Easter picture” – bonnets, corsages – the works. Finally, after the Easter picture, we could change into our play clothes, have lunch, an Easter egg hunt and dig into the candy in the Easter baskets! We always had one “special” egg which contained a $2 bill that my Uncle would provide. 

One later Easter, when I was about 12, on a whim, we all travelled to my Grandparents a couple hours south to spend Easter with them topped off with a fireworks show – of all things – in the evening. That whim turned out to be my last memory of my Grandpa, as he died in an accident before we could see him again, so we were all so glad that whim was acted upon.

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I hope you all have an amazingly blessed Easter surrounded by your friends, family and your craft.

Traveling To The Christmas Tree Farm And Picking A Tree

Here’s a very popular family tradition of traveling to the Christmas Tree farm and picking up our very own Christmas trees for the holiday season! Let’s read all about it with Jenn!

JENNIFER Me A Really Long Time Ago“Christmas traditions are something I look forward to every year, that and getting to find (or make) the perfect gifts for everyone. In fact, I am so obsessed with traditions that one of my brothers makes fun of me saying, “If we do it once, it’s a tradition.”

But the rituals of this time of the year bring back so many good memories for me and help me connect with the present and look forward to the future. I often find myself focusing on these types of things to cope with the different stresses and events of my life. The people I’ve lost, the distance between my family back home and where my husband, kids, and I live, and the realities of being a military wife.

One of my absolute favorite traditions is one started by my parents as newlyweds that has continued to the point that now their children are following the tradition with their families! We are from Minnesota, and so we all get bundled up and pick several Christmas cookies from a super-secret stash that has been in the freezer since Thanksgiving.

We then pile in cars and drive up to the same tree farm that they have always gone to and we pick out a tree for each family. This involves lots of running around in the snow (if there is any) playing catch, and discussing the merits of long and short needle trees. Once we find our trees we then use Dad’s saw to cut them down and throw them in the truck, and while the employees of the farm prep our trees for the ride home, we set to completing some other traditions.

JENNIFEROur First Tree In Our New House

Some of us take a look around the little shop they have for our yearly ornaments, while everyone else heads to a picnic table by a little pond with fish to feed. Then, we all sit around eating the first cookies of the season and drinking hot cocoa. Then we head home to put up and decorate our trees.


JENNIFER My Husband & Our First Tree

This was always the official start to the holidays for me growing up, and when I moved away from home to be with my husband, I vowed I would find a way for us to follow the same tradition, even if we couldn’t go to the farm with everyone else.

So we still pick one special day and save our cookies until then, and instead of going to a tree farm we set up and decorate several artificial trees around our home. I usually try to call some of my family. It’s hard to keep it together and not be too sad, but I am always grateful that my husband, kids, and I can be together and still have this tradition, albeit a little different than everyone else.

There is something comforting about knowing that even with miles separating me from my family (and sometimes my husband) that traditions like these still exist and keep us connected. And I suppose, that’s really what I like about traditions at the holidays, the connections we make to each other because of them.”

JENNIFER Baby Bry's First Christmas   JENNIFER Me, Very Excited About My Stocking

Happy Holidays!
From Jenn Fisher And Family

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Thank you so much for sharing your Christmas story with us, Jenn.

Go early for your Christmas Trees this year to get the best selection !

Please send some love to our fellow teammie and visit Jenn’s shop at :

https://www.etsy.com/shop/LovesYouStationeryCo

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Thank you for joining us today. Stay tuned for more Christmas stories to come!

See you next time! – by A Gift Of Nature
Air Plant Terrarium Christmas Ornament A Gift Of Nature

Starting an Heirloom – Christmas Family Traditions

Christmas in July
Heirlooms and Family Traditions

Do you want to start a family heirloom?  Here’s one idea.

Traditions within families for special holidays such as Christmas seem to come and go.  Some last, others fade with the year.  To kick off this blog, thought it would be fun to see what traditions within your family stayed the test of time.

One thing that comes to mind is for several years, my mother put out two white cotton sheets on the dining table.  The sheets would become tablecloths for my sister and me.  All the family and/or guests were required to draw on the sheets.  (If you do not know how to embroider, you can alter the idea using permanent ink pens.)

We each had a pen with blue ink and each drew something free hand, whatever we wanted. Everyone was included.  Then my mother took the sheets and embroidered them.

One sheet would be for my sister and one would be for me.  It was a labor of love and
we treasure our tablecloths.  Each year we would get to draw another of our drawings
and she would embroider those as well.  We accumulated many drawings and memories
of those who were not with us any longer, and watching the kids grow up, complete
with food stains that would not come out.  It brings a smile to see the love we had
around the table on Christmas Day.  Photos are from 1994.

I have a few snapshots of portions of the finished
tablecloths.  I’ll try to get one this Christmas of a bigger picture.
Right now, the dining room table is the craft table and in  no shape to display a lovely tablecloth.

What family tradition stays in your mind?  If you have children, what would
you like to create for a lasting memory?  I am interested in everyone’s ideas.
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