I have Gregg's sister to thank for sharing these ornaments today. They are ones I made for her and her family many years ago, and she sent me photos of them recently.
In the early 1980's a lady asked me if I would like to share a craft table with her. We were living in Northern California at the time. That little craft show evolved into 14 years of making ornaments, and a small business that kept me painting from dawn til dusk. While others were asking for jewelry on Christmas' and birthdays, I was asking for a bandsaw and a sander, I kid you not.
Those years were a lot of fun but they ended when I started having problems with my fingers and I wasn't able to paint any more. In the meantime I had given many ornaments to family and friends, and when I saw these hanging on my sister-in-law's tree, she gave me a lovely gift....
as I was very happy to learn than she was still enjoying them. To see them hanging on her tree was a joy.
I took tole painting lessons to learn a few techniques, which was a lot of fun in itself. Those first ornaments I made were rudimentary to say the least. I was inspired by illustrations in children's books and patterns from tole painting magazines. My little business kept me busy for every spare moment that I had.
Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night with ideas, and I would immediately have to get my sketch pad out before I forgot it. And then I would look through my books to see how to paint a penguin face! As I said, pretty rudimentary.
Uncle Sam was actually out of one of those tole painting books.
I haven't painted any ornaments in over ten years now. I miss it sometimes but Gregg looks at me with raised eye-brows when I suggest a new bandsaw for Christmas. I am joking really. He was very relieved when I got rid of the two I had, and the sander. I am not as steady as I once was and he fears for my fingers, and I doubt they would work as they once did. But it was lovely to see the ones on my Sister-in-Law's tree, and I send my thanks along with a hug for this special gift.