What is on your Christmas list this holiday season? Perhaps a new sweater? Could it be a new mug from your favourite local potter (wink, wink). Are you planning a tropical getaway to escape the harsh Canadian winter? Possibly, you are just looking forward to all the delicious home cooked meals and goodies that you will be indulging in when visiting friends and family over the holidays. Whatever is on your Christmas list this year I am sure you deserve it! And, I hope ALL your wishes come true!!
But let us step outside of our own worlds for a minute and consider the heartbreaking reality for many people in our community this time of year. What does a Christmas wish list look like for others? For many people in our community their list reflects a desperate need for basic necessities: food, warm clothes, a place to sleep; help paying rent and bills; someone to drive them to and from doctors appointments; diapers for newborns and formula to feed their growing infants. This list goes on and sometimes it is even hard to imagine, especially when we are coming from a place where we have all that we need, and we can make lists based on our wants and desires.
Let's make a difference this holiday season! Let's give to our community and help a person or family in need! Any gesture will go a long way and will be appreciated more than we know. So, when you visit shed this November & December bring your canned goods, gently used clothing, food and toys for children, and cash donations. Anything that you think could help, will help! I thank-you, Community Care thanks-you, and most importantly the people receiving your donations THANK-YOU!!
Wishing everyone an abundance of joy, good health and happiness this holiday season!
A message from Community Care:
This year we want Christmas wishes to come true! Community Care requires significant support to deliver the programs and services that will assist those in the community who struggle to make ends meet. As temperatures become colder and everyday tasks become more and more difficult we respectfully ask that you please consider giving. We can make sure everyone experiences a little joy this holiday season...
Have you ever visited Citrus Boutique?! If you haven't, you must! I am not exaggerating when I say it is the one and only place I shop for clothes, (clothes, that I can wear outside of my studio). It's a lovely little boutique located in the Ridley Plaza, on Fourth Ave, in St. Catharines. This wonderful shop is where I met Chloe, several years ago. Her mother, Caron, owns Citrus and Chloe helps her to run it.
Over the years I have enjoyed going into Citrus to talk with Caron and Chloe. I find their shop a sweet little spot for a burst of inspiration. Chloe and Caron have a natural flare for designing warm, creative, well-staged window displays, and they continue the vibe throughout their store. Recently, I noticed these beautifully woven dream catchers hanging in their windows. They were bold in detail and size, and soft in texture and hues. Some were adorned with vintage lace and others were strung with a beautiful web pattern.
I was absolutely inspired, and not at all surprised to learn Chloe was the artist behind these dreamy creations. I was, however, surprised to learn she wasn't planning on selling them, or turning this passion into a small business...not yet, anyway. They were so unique and well-made, who wouldn't want one!?
But Chloe was bashful and modest, not really certain what the next step was for her and her dream catchers. Eventually opportunity presented itself and the demand for her work was too overwhelming to ignore, and it was then, that Dreamt By Chloe was born.
I am excited for you to meet Chloe at the shed and Friends Open House in December. This is her first show! I have been following her obsessively on Instagram to see the progress of her pre-show prep and I encourage you to do the same!
Here's a pic of a small collaboration involving shed and Dreamt by Chloe. My mother commissioned Chloe to make a dream catcher for a new born baby girl.
Dream catchers are a Native American arts and crafts tradition believed to confuse and catch the bad dreams in its web, and let the good dreams pass, allowing us to follow the wisdom of our dreams and guide us through life.
A word from dream catcher artist, Chloe Leigh Blom:
I am so fortunate to have grown up in a creative and supportive family. Textiles, painting, pottery, graphic design, needlework, music, woodworking, fashion the list of what my family can do is endless. Everyone has their own distinctive style and I wasn’t sure what mine was until now. Dream catchers were not the plan, just a project to fill a window display at Citrus Boutique, the shop my family owns. My Mom suggested I create bohemian style dream catchers to fill the store for a spring display and next thing I knew people were trying to buy them. For months they weren’t for sale until I realized the organic opportunity that had presented itself to me. I had quite a bit of free time and was looking for a way to express myself creatively, Dreamt by Chloe was the answer.
I enjoy discovering materials that make my work unique. I search through craft shops, used clothing, handmade yarn, vintage lace & my grandparent’s homes. I’m also guilty of coming home from every walk with sticks and leaves to incorporate in my work. I am inspired by different techniques that help me evolve daily. Fiber art has always come naturally to me, I can pick up fabric or string and tie it into something beautiful. I have explored looming, embroidery & knitting. I am always learning.
My goal is to create things that make people stop and really appreciate the beauty around them. The longer you look at one of my dream catchers the more detail is revealed to you. When you take the time to create something, you pour your heart into it. As an artist you hope people appreciate that about your work and are inspired by it. There is no quick way to really appreciate art, it must be digested slowly or you will surely miss the very best parts.
The first thing I want to tell you about Hannelore, is that she gives the best hugs! When you become Hannelore's friend she will undoubtedly greet you with a long, comforting, embrace. You will feel safe and loved. She gives the kind of hugs that make the world seem like a peaceful place; free from all evil and inhumanity. If only Hannelore could hug the whole world right now, then just maybe, everything and everyone would be at peace.
Hannelore and I grew our friendship through our encounters as fellow artisans at the HandMade Market. We were drawn to each other's work. Hannelore would often find herself in my booth, cupping her favourite bowl, and I would find myself at her booth, lost in wanting and lusting over all her handbound and re-bound books.
My personal favourite of Hannelore's work is her re-bound books. They are wonderful repurposed treasures of our past. Hannelore will often incorporate pages from the original book between the pages of her newly hand-stitched creation. Like her hugs, so much love goes into each hand made book. She hand-rips each individual page, creating an untrimmed edge, revealing the fibres of her eco-friendly paper. She uses a variety of paper styles, depending on the book you choose, but all lend beautifully to writing and drawing with pen or pencil.
Currently I have 4 books made by Hannelore that I use almost daily. I have 1 for journaling; 1 for my glaze recipes and combinations; 1 for customer information, and 1 for my wood firing schedules and notes. I couldn't bare the thought of having to use any other book, other than one made by Hannelore.
Hannelore will be here with the rest of shed's friends on December 3rd & 4th for the Christmas Open House. I wish you luck in choosing your favourite book by Hannelore. You may end up like me, and take more than one book home in order to satisfy your desires.
Hannelore Sotzek is a Niagara Region talent whose passion has always been for all things books. Her background in book publishing, and then being crafty by nature, led her from creating text to making the physical book itself. Hannelore now creates beautiful and durable handbound books so that others might be inspired to capture their own story. She uses a dazzling array of cover options—from exquisite Japanese silk-screened paper, hand-marbled paper, vintage maps and sheet music to adorn her books. Most striking is Hannelore's elaborate hand-stitching, which binds the books together and also allows them to lay flat when open. The hand-ripped interior paper just adds to the luxury and practicality of these gorgeous books.
Hannelore's Story Works