My California bestie, Susie, recently signed off a holiday email with,
Jana…remember only do the holiday stuff that brings you joy!
She knows me all too well…how I can exhaust myself with over-the-top holiday prep, usually ending up sick. Well I did have bronchitis early December as a result of business travel, BUT this year I made a conscious effort to continue to simplify my holiday in order to enjoy it more. I cut my gift giving in half, got my family more involved in baking and card sending, and was better organized with all I wanted to accomplish and share (big kudos to Sarah my project manager). At the studio, Sarah and I discussed the JOY question Susie posed. On the top of our JOY list was making gifts, and hosting our annual Merry Making Party, a raucous ornament fete in it’s 11th year. My heart grows a size when I revisit these party pics.
This same week, I had a wreath making how-to article published in Westchester Home Magazine Click for a fun step by step tutorial.
Since our Trim Queen mission is to share embellishment as a creative form of self-expression and MAKING was on our holiday JOY agenda, we decided to host an Embellished Wreath Workshop. It was a quieter, hands-on experience, as we wanted to focus on facilitating this project, a few people at a time. Here’s a peek at how we organized this workshop, come on into the studio! (volume is at bottom right of video image once you hit play):
We knew this workshop would be great, but this workshop of co-creation was spectacular – full of JOY and the divine spirit of creativity!! Sarah put it succinctly, “it was like we were creativity ambassadors!” We were blown away by the incredible work that our Fringe Friends came and made. Each beautifully crafted wreath was individual to the maker, expressive of her style. It was such a joy being a part of this creative process and seeing these works progress. We’d gather additional trim and material options from our archives for each maker to have at her fingertips once we saw a design direction, and make fabrication suggestions but totally leave the decision to their fancy. Thank you Jessica, Caryn, Kimberle, Kelly, MJ, Annie, Angelica, and Celeste!! This whole process was so deeply satisfying, and joyful, that one of my 2019 goals is to facilitate more workshops and perhaps develop a community art project based upon this experience. #GOALS !! Check out the finished projects I posted in this Facebook album, click the icon.
After we put our workshop to bed, with the studio in complete chaos, Sarah and I finally had the bandwidth, and inspiration, to work on some of our own pieces. It was a total pleasure to work/play with our beautiful materials, to create something for ourselves. When people participate in our workshops, they often express how energizing “making” is, and as we worked on our wreaths, we both felt a sense of this rejuvenation. I had the chance to incorporate some new techniques that our guests unsuspectingly taught me as they fabricated and used materials differently than I would. One of the joys of teaching, I have come to realize, is learning.
As we closed the studio for the year-end, I packed some of my favorite trimmings and materials for a family visit to South Carolina. We were going to celebrate Christmas and also my mom’s 70th birthday! Four out of my five aunts (her sisters) were going to be there. Late one evening, with everyone a little pooped out, gathered around the dinner table, I set up my materials and my aunties, my mom, and Giovanna my daughter, were game to create. I’m gushing about these beauties, and memory-making, slide on through to see them all.
We had a very special Payne family reunion! My mom, also named Jana, is to my left, she is vivacious, gregarious, and a beyond-wonderful mom and grandmother. We are so blessed by her. My uncle Eric tie dyed all these shirts by hand and gifted them to us, they are so vibrant, just like my colorful family.
So I’m wrapping up 2018, my JOY meter overfloweth. A reminder to myself to focus on what lights me up in life, as therein lies my strength and how I must evolve my business. I am so grateful to my team, and to you, my community of #FringeFriends, for the inspiration and support you have given this last year, helping our business grow.