There is still no snow. Just the quiet gray and black lined limbs of trees waiting to hold the white dust like vintage Christmas cards. I'll need to be patient. Shake my snow globe and visit the glittered, white fabric holding our little village of houses and snowmen. Tip toe past the beaded glass garland and pinecone band of elves playing their flutes and trombones on my kitchen counter.
We lifted the tree from the top of the car this morning after the boys scattered through the door and waved their goodbyes. There is always a moment, the moment when the tree is released, the twine once holding all of its soft white pine, cut, branches falling into place, waiting for the hands to decorate it. And it is in this moment, when true shape is revealed, when the gift opened, the bow torn, this faint line of love outlining the very meaning of these days.
The boys will come home and rummage through boxes of handmade ornaments and I will teeter over the box marked FRAGILE, gently craning to place each glass globe out of harms way.
There are these words, To and From, gracing the cardboard and paper creations. The sweet scribe of his four year old hands, the jagged outline of fingers and thumbs turned magically into trees.
And I think of his heart and the way it poured out onto the page. The way he reached and wished for this way to reveal this tender place inside of him. And the excitement bubbling and churning inside his stomach as he thought of the secret gift he would place into my open hands when he got into the car.
And his eyes watched as I opened his gift, the tapping foot, the leap and kick of his toes, his arms swirling in the air, "Open it! Open it!"
And the anticipation of this love opened like a closed flower blooming under the soft backdrop of white snow falling, melting on the car's warm windshield.
"I love it so much. It's beautiful."
And the shoulder up to the ear and his arms reaching to pull me in.
We made our own gifts this week in the studio. A papercut version of this love, a gift to hold behind our backs until the moment is just right, when our hearts can take it no more and this creation must be given and our heart and eyes seen.
So we brought all of the festive we could find, the cheer and merry, the happy and holy, and carried it all into the studio. The moments we made and gave, held and shared, and poured them all into one handmade poinsettia vase for a very special To and From.
And there was the imagining, the wondering, the waiting. The anticipation building for the glue and the cut that would come together to create a moment. To. From.
And the certainty given to this moment, extending into the heart of another, the hands unwrapping, the toe tapping, the hands wringing, the heart waiting. And the string cut, revealing the true shape of love, held tight in these eyes and hearts.
Poinsettia Vases How To:
Several pieces of tag paper or a sturdy cardstock in any color.
Green Paper in three various shades (dark, medium, light)
Red Paper in three various shades (dark, medium, light)
Liquitex Matte Gel or a simple glue stick will suffice
19-20 guage wire
Needle nose pliers
One thrifted milk glass vase (Goodwill, Salvation Army)
Hot glue gun and glue
Use your medium colored red paper to cut 5 large petals.
Use your light colored red paper to cut 5 small petals. The light petals will be the interior flower inside the larger flower.
Use your dark red paper to cut long stems for each flower petal. The dark stems will go on both the medium and light petals. Use your glue (either gluestick or matte medium) to secure the stems in place.
You will end up with 5 large petals and 5 small petals, all ten with dark red stems.
Now, cut our two to three leaves for the flower. Start by cutting out the large petals with the medium colored paper. Then use the darker colored paper to create an interior petal that will be glued inside to create shading.
Once you are finished with the leaves and petals, you can begin assembling the flower. Start with a sturdy piece of white paper. I use a nice tag paper. Start with your leaves. Placing a small amount of glue on your paper, begin creating a star, moving around in a circle. Follow the shape of your stems to create the star.
It is important to note: Do not glue the entire petal down onto the paper. It will create difficulty when you go to cut it off of the paper. Just glue under the center if possible.
Once your flower is dry, you can cut it out. Be sure to cut from behind the flower, so the paper it is adhered to is left unseen.
Take your wire and cut a size appropriate for the vase you are using. It will act as your stem. Give yourself a bit extra to create the coiled area the flower will be glued onto. Using your needle nose plier, wrap the wire around the nose of the plier until it looks like a small coil or nest. At this point I use the palm of my hand or the top of the pliers to flatten the coil.
Use hot glue to attach the coil to the bottom of the flower. I sometimes place an additional piece of paper over the glue when it is hot to give extra reinforcement. At this point you can place your poinsettia inside the vase!
Use ribbon of your choice and make a special handmade tag of your design with words of love and merry wishes.
Your very own To and From.