Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Creche Festival and A Zentangled Christmas Ornament Party

One of the Magi displayed at Mepkin Abbey's Creche Festival

This past Wednesday, our family went to the "Creche" Festival at Mepkin Abbey in Moncks Corner. The Creche Festival is a walking tour through the gardens and the library of Mepkin Abbey in Moncks Corner, SC. Artistic representations of the Nativity are displayed by artists from all around the world.  These representations are made with a variety of media and range in size from the teeny tiny to the extremely large. What a great field trip!  The week before that, the girls and I made a trip upstate to be a part of another creative endeavor.  Lately, it seems that the Lord has been reawakening our family's love of art.

                       It was a cool and murky day, but even that could not hide the beauty of                                Mepkin Abbey. Love this picture of Sammy!  

Mepkin Abbey is where my oldest daughter's home school graduation class had their senior pictures taken a couple years ago.  Here, Joey looks a little left out!  One of the highlights for my girls was visiting the old cemetary.  Hayden jots interesting names from old headstones into her notebook for future stories.

After our tour, we had a wonderful picnic in the gardens.

    I have been blessed to be surrounded by a group of extremely creative ladies in my life.  They cook, they sew, and they make stuff. My sister-in-law, Patty Lamar, as well as other ladies in the Wand family tree, have taken up a new art form. Zentangle is a method of creating artistic designs from repetitive patterns. In a nutshell, it is structured doodling. The art form in its pure sense, however, does have some guidelines: It is supposed to be abstract, be accomplished in fifteen minutes, and can be viewed in any direction, to list a few. ZIA or Zentangle inspired art uses repetitive patterns however you choose. The reason it is called Zentangle is because it is supposed to be relaxing, and the designs are somewhat tangled in appearance.  I don't endorse "Zen" anything, or claim this art to have meditative benefits as some of its Online supporters may claim.  What I will say is that "tangling" is as relaxing as any other creative endeavor, is fun, and pretty to boot!
    Patty shared several books of designs and ideas. She and my other sister-in-law, Robin, provided "blank"ornaments, pens and markers, beads, ribbons, hot glue, and whatever else they managed to carry.  iPads were also used to search for ideas as well.


The girls and I practice our designs while my Mother-in-law, Pat, watches in the background.  There are no mistakes in true "tangling", but we like to plan!
                               Sunday On the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat

     Zentangled inspired art reminds me of two other art forms: pointillism and quilting.  Like pointillism, where one can focus closely at the individual dots and then back up to see the "big picture", ZIA looks like a variety of squiggles, curls, arrows, etc. up close, but then come together to make a larger design.  In true Zentangle art, the picture isn't of any specific thing.  In Zentangle inspired art, however, the designs can be used to create a specific form or "fill in" the outline of something else.

Hayden was inspired by Christmas Carols.  This first ornament represents "Silver Bells".

"I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In"

 "The Holly and the Ivy"

Most of our ornaments were created by using Sharpie type markers on ceramic tile and then baking them at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.  This ornament by Emily was made with a marker on a glass ornament.  No baking was involved for this one.

Emily was inspired by Scripture.  Here are two sides of the same ornament.  Emily also loves candy canes in her decorating (and in her coffee!).

Emily loves shades of blue and green.  It is difficult to see those shades in this picture.  She also added some violet.

I only made two.  I saw one like this on the Internet and made a few changes. Patty had beads to string onto fishing line as an option for hanging our ornaments.

I saw this snowman in a book of Patty's.  My son, Joey loves this one.  I wish you could see the snowflakes better in this picture.  They are made with tiny little arrows.

     Like a quilt, ZIA designs, colors, or patterns may seem unrelated in their separate components, but come together to make a beautiful final product.  It has been a long time since I sat still quietly creating something pretty just for fun.  It has also been a long time since I actually tried to draw something.  In spite of my bifocals, I still had to use a magnifying glass to more closely focus on my work!

Some of Patty's previous creations:

     The best part of our get-together was spending time enjoying the company, joy, and laughter of the special ladies in my life.  Even the ride up to Columbia was memorable.  The hour and a half trip with my sister-in-law, Donna, my girls, Hayden and Emily, and my mother-in-law, Pat, was a special time of fellowship.

     In addition to a fun day of Christmas crafting, we were also provided with a yummy lunch and treats.  What a special day! Thank you, Patty!

Impressionism in the heavens?

He commands the the sun and it does not rise; He seals off the stars; He alone spreads out the heavens, And treads on the waves of the sea; He made the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades......
Job 9:7-9


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