Posts Tagged With: handcrafted

O (Kentucky Crafted) Christmas tree!

Each Christmas tree is special. There’s so much love shared around it. They help light up the season and put an extra twinkle in our eyes.

When I think of Christmas trees, I’m reminded by the one my family would put up year after year, adorned with what seemed like hundreds of ornaments. See, my mom is a teacher in southern Kentucky, and receives dozens of ornaments before each Christmas break. No branch is without a treasure from a past student. It seems like she kept every single one of them and they all carry a special message, picture or memory. We would always put up the tree while Elvis, Nat King Cole or Amy Grant serenaded us in the background. We would tell crazy stories, re-ignited by each ornament, of my mother’s tenure, like the time a kid came to school with a living, breathing bat in his backpack. Yeah. That happened.

One of my favorite things about Christmas trees is they hold different meaning for every family. Hopefully, each ornament is as unique and memorable as some of the stories shared around it.

I also remember having the privilege of putting my own ornament on the tree each year. The ornament was of Gus, the goofy mouse from Disney’s Cinderella. It was such an honor for me, especially being somewhat shy and suffering severely from what can only be described as middle child syndrome.


Everyone say hi to Gus.

We have a wonderfully witty blog series here at the Kentucky Arts Council by the talented Sarah Schmitt called Good Food Deserves Better. She talks about serving food on better-than-average dinnerware like Kentucky Crafted items for the kitchen and dining room. Your Christmas tree deserves better than generic pieces many of us buy on impulse, usually because they’re marked down. Your tree is a centerpiece for Christmastime and the season’s traditions.

To help you out, below are just some handcrafted ornaments from here in Kentucky. I urge you to start your own traditions with them. For instance, you could buy one each year and give it to a specific person, like the matriarch of the family, or a new member you’d like to welcome. You could even do an annual ornament exchange, like a Secret Santa where everyone buys an ornament. Make these new traditions your own.

Gourdament from SnP CraftsReImagined ornamentJudyGeagley owl ornament

There’s more where those came from…literally. We have a directory for holiday decor on our Give a Gift Kentucky holiday décor site, which includes more ornaments to start (or continue) your collection. I challenge ya’ll to find some one-of-a-kind ornaments made in Kentucky this Christmas and to carry on that tradition year after year, filling up each and every branch on your tree.

I would love to see what you find! If you don’t mind, post a picture of you and your handcrafted ornaments new and old on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest and tag us in the picture. Don’t forget to use #giveagiftky. Your pictures would absolutely make our hearts sparkle here at the Arts Council.

Megan Williamson Fields, communications assistant

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There’s only six months until Christmas!

Aside from Santa Claus, most people aren’t thinking about Christmas in July. However, my mother is the hardest person to buy Christmas gifts for in my family, so I have to start really early. She has almost everything, and she won’t wait around until Christmas to get what she doesn’t have. Two years ago, it was only a few days before Christmas, and I still hadn’t found anything for her. I had been looking all over Lexington and Louisville.  I had picked things up and put them back. I had even bought one item and returned it, deciding it was inadequate.

My final hope was at a local store that sells only Kentucky-made, handcrafted gifts. I searched frantically, and then a pearl caught my eye. It was a literal pearl on a silver necklace with an organic swirl design by Josephine Lamb Williams of Mayapple Creations. It was perfect, but because of the fine materials I just assumed I couldn’t afford it. I was ecstatic when I looked at the price tag. I also felt good about purchasing an eco-friendly, 100 percent-recycled silver product.

My mother's Mayapple Creation necklace.

My mother loved it. I liked it so much that I went back and bought a similar piece for myself. If you have someone in your life that is hard to buy for or if they have expensive taste beyond your budget, you can browse Mayapple Creations on her website or on the arts council’s Kentucky Crafted Directory.

Sarah Schmitt, arts access director

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There’s Only Six Months Until Christmas!

Categories: Visual Arts | Tags: , , , , , , ,

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