I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I'm terrible at self-promotion, and I know I should just be confident etc, but it's really one of the most difficult things for me to do. The truth is that I love making things, and these days, I am attempting to support myself and family through selling all of my various wares. So, if you are looking for gifts that are handmade and inspired by nature, look no further than Spring Bird!
I've been busy painting tin heart ornaments with animals, which we encounter as pets, in the woodland, and at neighboring farms. I drew and painted birds for blank, all occasion note cards, and there are still plenty of "You Are Here" tote bags. Also, Spring Bird's Woolgathering makes a great gift for the nature lovers in your life who enjoy reading about and contemplating the cycles of nature.
So, if you are interested in shopping Spring Bird, check out any of the following:
Website Store or Etsy Shop
or at Nido Art Studio
514 Terry Ave., Aurora, IL 60506
on Sunday, December 3rd 12:00-4:00!!!
Nido's Holiday Market will feature many local artisans and their handmade gifts!!! It's going to be warm and fuzzy!!
And, if Spring Bird Shop doesn't have what you are looking for, please consider buying handmade items from local artists, on Etsy, or other handmade marketplaces. Here's to a stress free, joyful holiday season! Cheers!
In my childhood home, a green ceramic cornucopia, stuffed with artificial fruits and vegetables, signified Thanksgiving season. It sat atop the elaborately carved, dining room buffet, spilling its plastic contents in a dramatic flourish. My brother Nick and I would pass by the decoration and pluck off its grapes to chew and suction on to our tongues. As a result the bounty diminished with each passing Thanksgiving.
I don't know why this memory has stuck with me, but I suppose it felt sneaky and fun to pilfer the grapes. Like puppies, the chewing was probably soothing in some basic way, but mostly, it was so silly to stick the grapes to our tongues. I'm so glad I had/have family with whom to be silly. What is life for if not to ridicule the existence of an artificial cornucopia--to dare it to usefulness -- to very literally taste its inedible bounty?
Happy Thanksgiving! May you find opportunity to be silly, sneaky, or at the very least chew a lot this holiday!!!
PS Thanks for all of your support to Spring Bird, this blog, the cottage, Woolgathering, my work for sale, memory quilts . . . all of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You're the tops!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My creative tree has many branches of varying interests, and this year, my creative tree grew another limb. I was looking for an innovative way to market Spring Bird's cottage. So, I decided to make simple stop-motion videos-- not because they'd be particularly successful in encouraging retreatants to come to Spring Bird, but because it was something I'd always wanted to do. This marketing things was just an excuse to finally make movies.
I used my kids' stop motion app: Videoshop. They gave me a quick tutorial, and I was set to make clumsy attempts at 2-D and then 3-D animation. It was immensely satisfying to figure out how to create the illusion of motion from static images--be they drawn or sculpted. Furthermore, the process scratches my storytelling itch --even if they are only five second stories that I'm telling. All in all, It's a delightful endeavor that has taken my creativity into a playful realm.
Then, one night, I woke with a vision of a diorama with two puppet versions of the main characters in a story that I have been writing. I call them Old Man and Old Woman. The scene was their bedroom, which was the first scene in their story. I knew I had to make them and the diorama--even if it all seemed ridiculous and childlike. I carved out time here and there to make bits and pieces, and eventually, when it was all complete, I made my first video of the couple in bed embracing. And as they say, a couple of stars were born. Since then, I've been making movies with these puppets and have made more dioramas. The diorama making is something that I want to explore more. I laugh at this because my grad-school colleagues could attest that every project idea I had, involved dioramas. I guess I really have a thing for dioramas. I think the appeal has something to do with manufacturing place. Creating place for films becomes set design, which is a whole other realm of illusion making-- of which I have a lot to learn.
What's most appealing of movie making is that movies are meant to be watched. I giggle to myself each time I put one out into the universe on Instagram @springbird_woolgathering or Facebook @SpringBirdwoolgathering. And finally, after some suggestions from friends, I've decided to start a YouTube channel: Spring Bird Studios, in order to have a place for all of the videos to exist together. Please check out the channel and subscribe so that you don't miss any future stories. I'm hoping to post at least one video a week and would love to make longer films. If I get very adept, I may graduate to real equipment and computer software beyond my humble app. BUT, if I'm being totally honest, I would love to animate the story that I've been writing, the one featuring the Old Couple. I realize that this dream sounds insane considering the fact that animated films require teams of experienced and educated people working through years of production and editing. I know, but it makes me giggle inside to think about it, and that's something, right?
Check out a recent movie about the Seasons which I made to advertise Woolgathering, Spring Bird's Quarterly Newsletter: a meditation on the seasons. Stay tuned for 2018 Woolgathering Packages and keep Woolgathering in mind as a holiday gift idea!
Clink Link Below for Movie:
Anna Lentz, artist, writer, and creativity coach who blogs about making a creative life connected with nature at Spring Bird.