Monday, December 23, 2013

Sex In the Workshop

Say hello to my Ornament of the Year, 2013 Edition.

For a long, long time now, I've upheld the tradition of gifting my family and friends with a Christmas ornament each year. Like many of the sweetest traditions, this one was not planned. I distinctly remember standing at the Old Orchard Crate & Barrel one year - I think the first year of my married life - and drooling over their collection of precious Scandinavian-style wooden ornaments. Originally intending to buy a few for my own tree, I quickly realized I could not narrow down my preferences to a reasonable number.

So I bought one of each, with a few duplicates, in the very noble but self-serving intention of giving myself more time to decide on my favorite, then gifting the rest to my newly doubled family.

And thus a tradition was born.

After the first few years, I upped the challenge by making homemade ornaments. Each year, I spend untold hours pondering my options and deciding upon what exactly I will make for the new Ornament of the Year. And each year's decision process tells a story, that's for sure.

This year, I thought I had figured it all out by midsummer. Oh yeah, I had a plan. Using a stockpile of old Christmas tree trunks that could be cut into slices, I would use a wood burner to decorate the wooden discs with snowflakes, topped off with a twist of baker's twine for hanging purposes.

As of December 20, 2013, that was still my plan.

Armed with all the supplies, I worked my way through a few prototypes. It always takes a while to smooth out the rhythm of a new project, but something just felt off. For lack of better words, my design felt flat, predictable, boring, and lacking of zing. I craved bold color and a geometric vibe. Looking back to last year's Ornament of the Year - sparkly silver mini baubles dipped in neon paint - I saw how clearly my current vision fell short. Not at all what I had in mind.

Frustrated, I cut my Friday night work session short and wandered around the internet instead, waiting for something - anything! - to jump start my creative juices.

And an idea popped into my head, all sex-in-the-kitchen-like. What if I did a mash-up between my last-year's paint dip model and my freshly hewn pine discs? Hmm. I liked that.

Right on cue, Blogland delivered up a DIY post from Young House Love with almost the exact same idea as I now envisioned. Consider it kismet, karma, or a simple case of great minds thinking alike. In any case, I grabbed my paintbrush and got quickly to work.

Forty-eight hours later, I was the proud owner of these spunky pops of woodsy color. The instant that the paint dried and the hanging hardware was twisted into place, the little gems were wrapped up and packed off to far-flung family, and this year's sexy little Ornament of the Year is recorded in history.

Which means I've already begun dreaming about my ornament for 2014.

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For more Ornament of the Year posts, check these out:

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Read more about my getting-ready-for-Christmas adventures:

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