The Elves and Mrs. Santa

have been busy in my art room! The Christmas season is one of my favourite times of the year. I truly enjoy getting out my glues, paints, inks, ribbon, lace and sewing machine and making a big mess LOL at this time of the year for me!

These past couple of weeks have gone by in a blur. Mrs. Santa's workshop has been in full swing working overtime creating all sorts of goodies for the upcoming holidays.

Many of the "creations" I had set aside for the arts and craft fair last week ended up being sold before the craft fair began to friends and folks who check in with me to see what I have been up to lately! So it was back to the art table to make "more stuff"!

The cozy arts and craft fair I participated in was the first one I have done in years! The atmosphere was great, the room was filled to brimming with all manner of luscious goodies and the women who participated were hilarious to be with. We shared many a good laugh over the course of eight hours.

It was delightful and fun chatting with the shoppers who stopped by my table. How lovely it is to hear comments like "Oh, that is just gorgeous. How creative you are!" or "I just have to have that!" or "My goodness where do you get all of your ideas? I don't have a creative bone in my body. Your things are absolutely wonderful. " or "Oh look at that! Isn't it cute?"

Even though I do my "work" from a place of love and would do it regardless of what others think of it, there is something wonderfully gratifying and empowering to hear words of praise and appreciation from others. The proof of their words is definitely in the pudding when they purchase something that really speaks to them. That's the most gratifying and in a strange way, humbling part... knowing you have created something that they want to purchase as a gift to themselves or for someone special.

Do you participate in Christmas "art swaps"?

I do. They are a favourite Christmas activity for me. Last year, my time was fully consumed with tracking down long lost ancestors and putting the finishing touches on my family genealogy project. Writing the family stories, finishing the digital art work, putting all the pieces together and getting it published kept me busy well into the night for about seven months. Once that was accomplished I was off to San Francisco to spend ten days in early December with my favourite aunt.

She had no knowledge of the project (boy did all of our family members keep that secret well) so it was a complete surprise. I wanted to deliver her copy of the book, which I had dedicated to her, in person. It was very timely. The day that I arrived in S.F. she was diagnosed with cancer. I am certain to this day that the timing of my being there and the book being published was divine intervention. My lovely auntie died this past May. However she died in peace and the comforting knowledge that she finally knew her roots. It was something that she had wondered about (and sometimes agonized over) her whole life.

Needless to say, I didn't get to participate in any swaps last year. But I shall not be "swap deprived" this year!

Over at The Latest Trends yahoo art group, we currently have two swaps going. One is for Christmas charms and the other is for Christmas ornaments. I am also in a couple of "secret buddy" swaps but to tell you any more than that would be to give the secret away!

This week, I finally got to making some of my "stuff". Here's a photo of both the charms and a few of the ornaments for the Latest Trends swaps. I'd appreciate hearing what you think of them. Your comments are always appreciated!

With company coming for Christmas this year, I have also been sorting through all my projects stored in the guest bedroom! I must admit I was rather amazed at just how much I have done this year. My gosh I even found some things I had forgotten I created when I started pulling out the boxes.

A number of my online (and offline) friends have been pushing me (albeit gentle, but persistent nudges) towards opening up an "etsy" shop. Looking at all that I have accumulated over the past year, I am now seriously considering it. I am running out of space to put it all and next year is right around the corner.

So who better to ponder this question over with than those of you who visit my blog! If you have an etsy or other online shop and would be willing to share your expertise and experience with me about selling online, I'd love to hear from you. I am open to all suggestions and ideas. I'd like to hear both the pros and the cons. Click here for my email address to write to me privately.

Here are a few photos of some of "ma' favourite things" that I pulled out of the boxes and have been thinking might be suitable for an online shop...

Add some pizazz to the back of your bathroom or bedroom door! Store your bras, socks, pantyhose, tights, nightie or p, j's in style in a lace, pearls and satin Victorian Corset Bag! Oh la! la!

Fun and funky "Daytimer" game piece earrings There is a second set of earrings "The Numbers Game" that have numbers of them so you can "mix and match" with this set!

"Strategies 4 the Road" License plate key chain.

"Dare 2B You - Who You Are Counts"

The idea for these key chains originated in a personal development workshop series I wrote and conducted in my coaching practice called "Strategies 4 the Road". This is just one "plate" out of the series. Clients loved them especially because they got to pick the one that had the most meaning for them!

"Show me the money" T-shirt earrings made from a U.S. dollar bill.

You'll never be short a buck again with these on! They are... uhh... priceless!

For all those hockey fans in your life... a "Pond Hockey" T-shirt made from a $5.00 Canadian bill. Did you know that Wayne Gretzky, one of Canada's most beloved hockey players, learned to play hockey on a pond? Hubby is going to get one of these in his stocking this year!

Hope you have enjoyed this week's "picture show". I'd love your feedback on these projects and your opinion as to their suitability for an online store. Just email me your comments. Gracias! Vielen Dank! Merci! Dankjewel! Tack! Grazie! Arigatou! Tak! Kiitos! Thanks bunches!

Time to get back to my art table. See you all next week.