If it's Christmas in July . . . did I MISS the Halloween Candy??!!

I certainly hope not! 

Because that seems to be the only time of year the candy gods see fit to bless us with so-called "Fun Size" almond Snickers bars by the bag.  I use the word "Fun Size" in quotes, because since they now make them about half as big as they used to be, I personally believe they have sucked all the "Fun" out of them.  But not to worry . . . now they've started making "King Size" in two halves.  So one half is a little bigger than classic "Fun Size" but not as big as regular size.  I can eat one and feel quite good about myself.  Until I eat the other half an hour or so later . . . because the first one I ate was smaller than a regular candy bar, right?  But I digress...

 I am at a loss to explain why anyone would want to hold a Christmas in July event.  The last thing a Minnesotan wants to think about in July is Christmas (even though we are fully aware that winter is coming . . . have you noticed the days already seem to be getting shorter?!)

But it is a reality in the life of a craft professional 
that Christmas usually falls in July.

In all of my years working for magazines, July was the month of Christmas photo shoots, and therefore July was the month of making all-things-merry-and-bright.  (And good luck finding the Christmas supplies you need in July -- however, in a depressing merchandizing jump-the-gun, you begin to find Halloween in July.  But not yet Halloween candy! Anyway . . .)

All of this constitutes a lengthy introduction to the topic:

"What's Up at Small Works These Days?"

I can tell you there has been a deplorable lack of Snickers bars (almond or otherwise) but there's plenty of Christmas.  That's because I'm working on the artwork for a cd of Christmas music that is due out this fall.  And it needs to be done by August 1.  Which means I should probably have been celebrating Christmas in April or May, but because it's me and I work ONLY under pressure, I'm having Christmas now.

I'm working on a Nativity scene!

I've made Nativity scenes in just about every medium imaginable over the years --
it's long been a favorite subject in my work.

 Nativity Triptych, collage, Susan M. Hinckley, 2000

But I've never made one in wool, so when asked I was absolutely delighted to have an excuse to try my hand!

It's going to be loosely based on this painting from a few years ago, except with Joseph, and a few other things going on. 

I had a terrible time choosing fabrics -- my longest deliberation ever!  Then I finally settled on the fabric I picked out in the beginning . . . and the stable arrived looking like this:

A few guests have joined me so far, including the guest of honor who arrived this morning:

Don't be alarmed -- I know it looks like Baby Jesus is wearing a space helmet, but I assure you there's a whole lot in the details in my work.  At least, let's hope so . . . (and if someone else wants to volunteer to do the faces for me, I'm open to it.)

So think of me . . .sing a carol for me, 
but please don't send any snowstorms or other Christmas-related paraphernalia.  I noticed a lovely cardinal perched in the tree just outside my window this morning, for instance, and hoped it was just stopping to say hello and not to pose for a Christmas card.

If any of you are baking Christmas cookies, however, I would appreciate some of those.  Just to inspire me -- sort of get me in the spirit.  (And to hold me until the "Fun Size" candy bars arrive.)





luanne said...

Your title & first paragraph made me laugh out loud. I love (& can relate to) how your brain works.

Your new piece is off to a beautiful start! Thought of you yesterday when I stopped by a quilt shop that features a small stash of pretty & feltable (?) wool pieces for penny rugs etc. I was tempted to buy some, but realized my craft room would surely explode if I bring home any more stuff.

Then I thought of you again when I went to a new-to-me candy warehouse shop in Chandler. It has all kinds of old-fashioned candy --even Bonomo Turkish Taffy, a sweet blast from my past that I haven't seen for 50 or so years. I actually left empty-handed, but now know where to find the rare stuff, if you need me to scout on your behalf...

susan m hinckley said...

You had me at the words "Candy Warehouse" . . .

luanne said...


Amelia Poll said...

Just another reason to go visit Arizona... Candy Warehouse! Of course, make sure you visit while we are there :)

Leenie said...

NOOOO! No Christmas in July. Even in December I have a tough time surviving the weather. And you already know I'm Bah, Humbug about a lot of that music. And, no Snickers! You're just full of bad news.

However, your Christmas Creations are wondrous and wonderful and give me a little bit of a hallelujah buzz even in July. Looking forward to seeing the finished product.

Allie said...

I could never do this - the inspiration doesn't hit six months in advance, lol! I love your piece Susan, and I think you are more than capable of doing the faces. Your faces are one of my favorite parts of any of your pieces, especially that donkey.

susan m hinckley said...

Thanks, Allie! I'm just delighted you could tell it is meant to be a donkey . . .

aveens11 said...

Have you sold Indispensible Household Robot#5 yet?

susan m hinckley said...

No...and I still haven't! Which is unbelievable, actually. But I never saw this comment, unfortunately...if the internet gods are with us, and this message ever finds you...please take my robot home with you! :)

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