Friday, December 30, 2011

Year End Review

2011 has been a quiet year for me as far as having work to show. I opted out of all of my exhibition invitations and external projects in 2011 with plans to FOCUS on my Legend of Hare Terra project. Somehow I (irrationally) decided it was necessary to complete the Exalted Beauty Empress Medallion collection first, I have this thing where I hate to leave projects hanging. Anyway, what I didn’t know was that the months of January, February, March, April and part of May would be consumed with completing the new medallions. It was dreadful. I’m thinking that the Empress collection might rank as one of my top ten most grueling experiences ever. At the end of May when the 300 Empress pieces were finally beaded, cataloged, and boxed, I was so over the whole medallion thing that I also opted not to do any medallion parties or promotions of any kind. Instead of doing something practical with my new fabulous inventory, I went straight to work on The Legend of Hare Terra project. I have been blissfully working on that ever since, dedicating hundreds upon hundreds of hours to this one project and quietly keeping it to myself. I may even be in the midst of a life changing experience. Of course, not all of my time was spent in the studio; I did have minor interruptions in the creative time line for the multitude of other things I shared here on the blog. For instance I shared many delightful moments with my family, Caden’s sports, the gardening and house projects, vacations, Caden’s Birthday, Caden’s Halloween costume, lots of floral photography and of course Caden’s crafting. I will have art to share in 2012, I promise, I’ll post a more in-depth elucidation of Hare Terra in the near future. In the meantime, I have some serious baking and last minute wrapping to do. We have two more holiday events scheduled and then I’ll be back in the studio on January 2nd. Have a Happy Happy Wonderful New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Caden’s Bluebird Frames

Here are Caden’s Bluebird Frames:







Artist: Caden Fraser Perkins (Age 8)

Date: December 2011
Size: 7 ¾” x 7 ¾”
Medium: Acrylic on Wooden Frame Blanks

I loved the Bluebirds from Caden’s Masterpieces
so much I asked him if he could come up with a design for some frames. I am so incredibly thrilled with how they came out! OMG! Adorable! I think Caden could make a killing on Etsy! Not that I would ever… In fact these charming little gems will also be given to the Grandparents. I really hate to see them go but we needed to make a choice and Caden was unwilling to give up any of his Christmas Ornaments. That’s okay; it’s hard not to get attached, and I completely understand how difficult it is to give away something you worked so hard on. But that’s where the love and sacrifice come in, the true meaning and importance of a handmade gift. Besides, I think they will like these Bluebird frames even better because they can be used all year. I can’t wait to see what they think of Caden’s work!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Caden’s Masterpieces

Here are the “Masterpieces” Caden created as Christmas gifts for his Grandparents this year:







Artist: Caden Fraser Perkins (Age 8)
Date: December 2011

Size: 10” x 13”
Medium: Colored Pencil and Acrylic on Watercolor paper

Here’s a look back at the 2010 Christmas “Masterpieces”:







Artist: Caden Fraser Perkins (Age 7)
Date: December 2010

Size: 11” x 14”
Medium: Acrylic on Watercolor paper

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Morning

Here’s what it’s really about, the pleasure of watching your child open all those presents on Christmas Morning. Ready, Set, Open!















Okay, I’m mostly kidding. While we do love to see him this ecstatic over presents, we most like to see that he appreciates everything we give him, whether it’s monster Lego projects or books or even gum, he seems to react to each and every one with the same sincere enthusiasm. It’s not ALL about the gifts, we do also teach Caden about the joy of giving and the importance of spending time with family during this time of year. Caden is very excited about a special Christmas event that’s happening with his grandparents this coming weekend, mostly just because they are coming to see him. It’s certainly not because he feels a need for any more presents! I think a big part of it is also because we’ve been working diligently on this year’s Masterpieces and he is looking forward to seeing how they respond to his latest works of art. I will share the 2011 Caden Christmas Masterpieces soon! Stay Tuned!

Christmas Ornaments

Here is another Caden and Mama Collaboration, the 2011 Christmas Ornament collection:








These fabulous Christmas Ornaments created by Caden Fraser Perkins and Amy E. Fraser are ¼” polymer clay shapes cut with cookie cutters, hand painted in acrylics, then triple coated in industrial strength varnish. I love how they turned out but they ended up being our most time consuming batch yet! So much for keeping it simple!

Here’s what they look like on the tree:





Here are our Christmas Ornaments from years past:


2010 Christmas Ornaments
2009 Christmas Ornaments
2008 Christmas Ornaments
2007 Christmas Ornaments

Christmas Tree

Here is a look at this year’s Christmas Tree:



I think it’s our best tree yet!

Here is a closer look at the 2011 Christmas Tree Topper:



Here is a look at Christmas Trees from years past:

2010 Christmas Tree

2009 Christmas Tree
2008 Christmas Tree
2007 Christmas Tree
2006 Christmas Tree

Christmas Card

Here is this year’s Christmas card by Caden:



This card features “The Christmas Snowman” ornament created by Caden Fraser Perkins (age 8) against a backdrop of various wrapping papers used to create this year’s red green Christmas wrapping theme.

This Snowman was Caden’s favorite ornament made during this years ornament craft fest. I’ll share the entire Christmas Ornament collection soon, but first let’s take a look at some more of Caden’s delightful Christmas Cards from years past…

“Christmas Penguin” 2010:



“Rudolph” 2009:


Christmas Cat

Christmas is Tonka’s favorite holiday, he loves the tree, the lights, the fuzzy hat and stockings but he especially enjoys eating Christmas ribbons and knocking ornaments off the tree. Here he is at his most charming:



Gingerbread House

Caden really wanted to do a Gingerbread House this year. It all started because I was burning some Gingerbread scented candles one afternoon. He came home from school smelling the Gingerbread goodness and was seriously disappointed to discover that I hadn’t actually made real Gingerbread cookies. I knew we were already going to be on overload with our lengthy craft project list so I thought it would be best if we didn’t add another big project to the heap, so instead, for the sake of time and my sanity, we purchased a pre-baked kit (ugh). Despite my opinions about the kit and wishing I was somehow able to scrape up the time and energy to do a Gingerbread masterpiece from scratch; Caden had an absolutely fantastic time and made what he referred to as a blibbity blob motif. Here’s a look at Caden’s solo Gingerbread project:





Caden was super happy with the end result and had fun in the making so I’m even happier because I didn’t foolishly add to the Holiday Stress! Good all around. Yes, I’m working on “Letting Go” and attempting to allow Caden more opportunities to be *just be a kid* and not impose my controlling type A drill sergeant routine on those moments that are just supposed to be fun. See, growing, learning, there’s hope for me yet!

Dirty Snowman

Here’s a look at Caden’s Dirty Snowman:



I bet you were expecting something different when you read the title “Dirty Snowman”. Caden does have a bit of a naughty sense of humor but so far it hasn’t translated to snow art! What we have here is a brief snowstorm in what has been an unseasonably warm December. Our biggest snowfall so far this year happened in October! Not that I am complaining, but my son is a huge fan of snow and he made the most of it last Friday with his “Best Snowman Ever”. We are probably going to wonder what that big mound of dirt is come spring, but so far the Dirty Snowman is holding his own.

The Tractor

Here are the Mr.’s with their new Tractor:


The Mantle Project

Finally, without further ado, here is a look at our recent Window and Fireplace Mantle Project:











When I went to pick out the do-dads for the Mantle, the Home Depot *molding specialist* said I was combining my Frank Lloyd Wright with a Victorian motif. I think I also threw in some Colonial and Country details just for kicks. It was met with quiet disapproval but I told her it was the new infusion style, completely Amyesque, a 100% Fraser Original. I’m not sure if she bought it but whatever the case we are very happy with the finished result. And our carpenter, a soft spoken, calm and contemplative man declared it “A Thing of Beauty”. I'm going to go with what he said. :)

Hockey Picture

Here is Caden’s 2011-2012 Season Hockey Picture:


School Photo

Here is Caden’s Second Grade School Photo:

Turkeys

The Turkeys are all grown up and roaming the yard on a daily basis. We currently have a flock of 40:






Deer

KUA has been logging the land next to our house the past few months and I was afraid we had lost our Deer friends to quieter woodlands, but happily they were nice enough to come back and visit recently:


November and December

Wow, November and December flew by! We have had a lot going on these past few months. Most of it good, nothing too horribly awful to report, just so unbelievably busy!

One major catastrophe was that my computer died on November 4th. That led to a mad panic for a brief while, however, all was recovered and I was oddly blessed with a week or so without technology. I discovered that I was insanely productive! I know that sounds terrible, especially since I believe I’m not really on the computer that much, but… I guess I must have been? Anyway, I’m not sure how to explain it; but that little misfortune helped me to really get back to the basics and focus in a whole new way. Work on my Legend of Hare Terra project has been progressing fabulously (I’ll post a more in depth Hare Terra Update in the near future). I might also mention that my camera was severely injured this fall, Caden dropped it repeatedly (don’t ask), and while the camera is not completely dead, the photos taken only have a 50-50 chance of coming out. Attempting photography has been frustrating and understandably not at the top of my list. However, the lack of photos has messed with my ability to produce interesting blog fodder (admit it; you only come here for the pictures). However I do hope to get around to purchasing a new camera very soon and perhaps becoming a little less sporadic about the blogging.

So what else happened in November and December? Caden and Jody started Hockey in November and as most of you know, Hockey is a 4-5 day a week commitment (to be continued into March), very consuming for all of us, even if some of us (Me) do not go to all of the practices and away games. There’s lots of prep work behind the scenes to make Hockey happen smoothly, trust me; I’m busy with Hockey in my own way! In-between Hockey, of course there were many school appointments, events and happenings. Caden also seemed to have had an overload of homework assignments for November and December, namely the Family Heritage project, so that also kept us quite busy in our down time. And of course the Holidays! We had a wonderfully quiet and relaxing Thanksgiving here at the house with excessive feasting, and of course the past week or so has been filled with the usual list of Christmas crafty goodness (to be shared soon).

In other news, I finally got the mantle area painted! That was a major pain; I spent over a week of picking at Victorian carved moldings with a size 8 brush, OMG dreadful! But the results are fairly fantastic, if I must say so myself. Our carpenter Dick Eastman did an amazing job (photos coming soon). The Mr. has been having fun with his new toys; he recently purchased his dream bike (and is now working out on a regular basis in what Caden and I have dubbed his Captain America suit) and he also got a fancy new tractor that has been giving him hours of fun. Apparently we “needed” the tractor for the driveway maintenance, plowing and grading and so forth. There are an endless assortment of *must have* attachments that I see happening in the near future as well. Oh my. I never imagined I would be married to a man who loves tractors, but have discovered that it is a not so secret obsession of most of my friend’s husbands. Who knew? When Jody and I first got together 15 years ago he was all about race cars, he worked on a Race crew, our summers were filled with racing, even traveling to Nashville for a Racing Banquet and all things NASCAR and now… the Tractor (BTW - max speed 12 miles an hour). Funny stuff! Caden was so excited about our new tractor he couldn’t wait to report that his dad let him “drive it” in The Weekend News at school.

Well, that’s about it. Not a whole lot of exciting things to report I guess, we live a pretty quiet life up here on the mountain. My most scandalous moment, which was completely out of character, was when I suddenly developed an on-line shopping addiction and purchased everything from furniture to new wardrobes for the boys, as well as a disgusting overabundance of Christmas gifts for my beloved child. I should have purchased that new camera during my shopping binge but I have since regained my sanity and seem to be on the road to recovery, I blame the Holiday stress.

I’ll post photos from the above mentioned happenings next. I know some of you are very excited to see Caden’s pictures and the Christmas crafts. Regular life and The Legend of Hare Terra project will resume January 2. In the meantime, please join us in this, our wondrous Winter Holiday Break limbo, and peruse the fresh abundance of blog posts after a record dry spell. Enjoy!