Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Snowmen and Trees

I am slowly (but surely) playing catch-up with some oldish photos which've been sitting in our camera. I've just started learning about our new photo-editing software so I expect that my photos will look a bit weird as I try different things and figure out how to balance color and brightness and such. 

There are many, many others I took longer ago while my photo-editing system was in limbo which I'm going to let go of because they go too far back to have any relevance now. A few of those projects still made it to the blog because I happened to also take some back-up shots with my cellphone. But some simply didn't, and that's OK. Life is more than just photos and projects we did or didn't document - some are meant to be enjoyed in the moment and not recorded, is how I see it.  

Anyway, here are some wooden things I painted over this past holiday season. The first is more of these familiar Christmas trees, which have become a sort of Advent tradition in recent years (see here) and here ). I love how it's meditative and forces me to slow down in the midst of the busyness and focus on the smallness of the details, the symmetry and to wait for the different layers of paint and varnish to dry before I can add the next one.

Last fall, I facilitated a grief support group which was a lovely healing experience for me (and for the participants also, I hope). As we headed toward Thanksgiving and Christmas, some of us expressed apprehension about the coming holidays and the uncertainties therein. Like not knowing if we we would even put up a Christmas tree, for instance - grief is fraught with tension: while we have the desire (or the desire for the desire) for it, we often don't have the wherewithal to do something that's previously brought us joy or comfort. 

So I thought I'd paint these little Christmas trees for the participants so they might have a symbolic tree of sorts to observe the season, if celebrating wasn't quite accessible that year.

I took photos because with each year's batch, new designs emerge among which I discover new favorites even as I'm giving them away.

With the photos, I'll have records I can return to in subsequent years to recreate them if I want.

Here's another wooden project: snowmen. 

I must've had these blanks forever, and although I began painting them a couple of Christmasses ago, I finished them only this January. Initially, I intended them to be just regular snowmen, with generic scarves and hats and lump-of-coal buttons but they eventually became my family, and I've tried to capture the activities and hobbies with which each member identifies at this moment in time.

Like a snapshot, but 3D, you know? I did a similar thing with Kate over a decade ago, when she was in her princess phase and I'd wanted to remember all her  dress-up personas.

This is Emily with her lavender sprigs and Goldfish crackers.

her trusty trombone,

her books and paint brushes.

This is Jenna who plays the piano, 


and bakes up a storm. Anyone want to guess what the TS is on her red scarf?

This is Kate (and Bunny), 

her goggles and Shrek-ear crocs, buttons-of-cheese,

and her alto sax. 

This is my husband who loves photography, baseball, growing his native plants


and our cat Milo who loves being outside as much as he does.

Finally, this is me, with pineapple tart buttons, saddle-stitched hat and my two defining crocheted projects - the scarf I miraculously finished 

and the infernal millstone stitch afghan that I fear I never will. 

Here it is, incidentally - it hasn't grown much since I took that photo a year ago.

And here's our other cat Maisy, who follows me around constantly.

It feels strange posting about Christmas trees and snowmen this late into the new year . . .  then again, maybe not snowmen, since this is Minnesota after all and the snow is ours for keeps till who knows when. Hope you're getting some good sunshine where you are, and seeing the occasional bird or two. Be well, friends!


  1. Hi LiEr,
    So lovely to see your name back in my in box. I often see projects of yours on Pinterest, mostly credited back to you. You are still an inspiration, keep up the good work and thank you for sharing it
    Ann in Cornwall England

  2. They are all so cute! The teeny candles on the trees, the famliy portrait of snowpeople :) We've done this with Lego minifigs and random themed ornaments, but the hand-painted ones are so adorable.

  3. What a lovely thing to do for people in need. You have a big heart.

  4. I love the snowmen especially! Just catching up on your blog; haven't been getting the feed but will resubscribe.


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