This is the twelfth year I have been included in the annual Ornament Issue...which doesn't even seem possible! If you would like to see all twelve of my contributions, you can visit the "Publications" tab on my website (my ornaments from the Christmas Ornament Preview Issues are shown there, as well). This magazine has gone through a lot of changes over the years (just like my design style), yet still continues to be a yearly fan favorite.
I remember getting my first designer invitation back in 2006 to be in the magazine - I was SUPER excited - it was an honor to get that invitation each year to be included. Over the last several years, I have read quite a bit of criticism regarding this issue - complaints that the ornaments seem too simple and/or without thought, complaints that favorite designers are missing, complaints the photography isn't good and the magazine is of lesser quality...even complaints that the holiday memories and recipes are in the back and not shown with the designer. As a designer and contributor (who puts a ton of thought and time into EVERY ornament design), this is quite discouraging. I can definitely agree with some of those statements...and, to be honest, I too have wrestled with myself for the last few years on whether or not I want to be involved. For me, the magazine has taken away quite a bit of the prestige and excitement that came along with being included in this publication. Let me clear - this issue has always been an unpaid assignment and designers do not receive any compensation for being included...years ago, it used to generate quite a bit of excitement and a designer had to receive a special invitation to be included - back then, it was always a treat to be involved - but that excitement has changed and now designers receive an invitation to "submit a design idea" (which let's face it, takes away most of the incentive, especially when there is no payment)...also, in years past, the included designers would receive a handful of copies of the magazine (which I would give away in contests to my readers and social media followers) - now we get one copy (and somehow, mine always arrives bent and damaged)...these may be just a few of the reasons you aren't seeing some of your favorite designers in the more recent issues. The needlework industry continues to go through growing pains and is constantly changing, who knows what the future holds - but I have been proud to be a part of this special publication for the past twelve years! I can't wait to sit down with my issue (when it finally arrives) and look through each page - at quick glance of the digital issue, I see quite a diverse selection of designs from some very talented creators...these designers love needlework so much they contributed/donated their time and talent...so, while each and every ornament might not be your cup of tea, I hope you will still be able to find a few to stitch up for your tree!
I would love to hear your comments on this year's issue - what are your favorite ornaments??
Simmering Seasonal Potpourri
1 qt. apple juice
1 qt. pineapple juice
1 qt. water
2 tablespoons allspice
3 cinnamon sticks
16 – 20 cloves (a handful)
3 tablespoons pickling spice
Mix all ingredients in a large saucepan or crockpot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Continue to simmer uncovered for an inviting citrus spice holiday fragrance!
While it may be a little too early to get in the Christmas spirit - I hope this post will inspire you for the upcoming holiday season! Time to start stitching those ornaments and gifts...