Friday, December 24, 2010

Nutcracker Aftermath: 12-24-10

Colin and his Clara

Colin and his Spanish Princess
Merry Christmas to you all. It is Christmas Eve and it will be Christmas Day by the time I actually post this.  I am sitting here now reflecting on my 2010 Nutcracker experience and still seeing visions of Sugar Plums.....  These last two weeks have been all about the Nutcracker, as they have been for a good 10 years.  I have told friends that I felt as if I was watching the events unfold hovering from above.  I never felt really present but rather floating through each performance.  The culmination of three months of rehearsals ended with the Tech week at the Woodstock Opera House (December 7-10).  Those four long nights of rehearsals went surprising well.  Colin and Claire even got their homework done.  And then came the first weekend of performances followed by a week of rest and then the second weekend (Dec 18 and 19) of performances.  As I am the proud mother of two very talented dancers, my opinion is very biased.  However, to put it mildly, I was blown away...yes blown away by the quality of dancing, the quality of the performance, and the high energy that the Nutcracker held for me this 2010.  Colin and Claire just get better and better.   I received many compliments from parents and relatives etc.. Many of the people that literally grabbed me, I did not know.  How they knew that I was Colin and Claire's Mother is beyond me but I have to say I enjoyed basking in their light, even for just a few moments. 

Colin and Claire as Chinese
Colin was the Nutcracker Prince this year.  He was also the Spanish Chocolate Cavalier soloist and the Chinese Tea soloist.  Claire was in the snow scene as a snowflake and she was the Chinese tea soloist, partnering with her brother.  When I saw Colin for the first time,he came on the stage as the nephew of Uncle Drosselmeyer.  He was as tall as Uncle Drosselmeyer (about 6 ft).  Tears welled in my eyes as I realized that my precious boy was now a young man.  I just never realized how tall he had grown in just a few short months (he was 5' 10" in July).  So here was this young man playing the part of the nephew, soon to be the Nutcracker prince.  At that moment, I knew that these shows would be marvelous.  And my Claire, she stepped up to the plate in her first solo appearance.  To see them both dance together was one of my happiest and proudest moments as a Mother. Their performance was something I will never forget.  After two weekends of nothing but Nutcracker  (yes I saw every performance) I realized that even though these past weeks, many weeks of preparation for these performances, were full of stress, it was worth every minute and yes, I would do it again in a heart beat.  Thank you Colin and Claire for the best Christmas gift ever. 

As a final note, all the pictures on this page are courtesy of Dan Swinson.  His website,
A final Kiss.  I cried like a baby., is full of beautiful shots of the JSSB (Judith Svalander School of Ballet) Nutcracker performances.  These were pinched from his facebook photo album.  Thank you Dan for being such a generous artist.  These pictures are awesome.

And so it is that Christmas has arrived.  I do hope you have created many memories this holiday and that 2011 brings many more.


The cast

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Update: Paper Packets and Christmas Cards Arrived

I have been remiss in posting Paper Packet photos from The Studio.  Tami, thank you for sending me photos these last couple of weeks.  Time has just escaped me but now that I have surfaced from my Nutcracker fog...I can get back to reality (more on the Nutcracker in the next post).  So here is how they are looking.  Lucy hung the packets in various places outside her studio in an enclosed patio of sorts.  The space is surrounded by four brick walls of the adjacent buildings.  It is a cute space and perfect for the exposing the packets to the elements.  I will share with you a few photos so you can get an idea of how this project is proceeding.  In February, we will meet to open the packets up, dry the papers, and begin the creative process.
The papers have been exposed to sun, rain, snow and ice.  I have said it before, but I can't wait to take a look at some of these packets once they have been opened. 

As a side note, my Christmas cards from Vista Print arrived 14 business days after I ordered them. I received an email from the company that they were to arrive on Dec 7th.  I received them on Dec. 13th.  Needless to say, I was not happy at all.  Let me say once again, a lot of my artist Internet friends use Vista Print.  However, it only takes one bad experience for me and I simply won't use them again.  The quality of the cards was nice, nothing spectacular though.  I just now got the last of the cards mailed.  I hate working up to the last minute like this but at least they are on their way.  No, I did not call to complain although I suppose I should have.  I have the product, the cards are out, my form of protest will be never to use them again.






Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Merry Christmas: A Christmas card for 2010

Christmas 2010       

I started this work just before Thanksgiving getting the idea from the current issue of Somerset Studio.  Unfortunately I do not remember the name of the artist who showcased this project.  She did her Christmas collage on wood, I choose a portion of a game board that I had.  I never throw anything out and just happened to have a chess board that was used for a Sesame Street version of the game.  The board measured 16 by 16 and I divided into four pieces.  It was coated with a plastic like material which I promptly sanded off and the rest is history.  The final collage is being turned into Christmas cards at Vista Print.  It was due to arrive yesterday and I still have not seen the package so I hope it comes tomorrow or Vista Print will be getting a serious email from me.  Let me just say while I thought it would be charming to turn an original work into cards for all on my Christmas list, it was no cheap undertaking.  I could have bought two or three boxes of the most expensive Hallmark Christmas cards and come out ahead.  What was I thinking?  

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Paper Packetts update: 12-4-10

More than a month since I shot a picture of my at home packet.  And it is just 3 months till we reveal the artistry of Mother Nature.  I am so excited about this project and can't wait to get my hands on those papers.  I have yet to get to The Studio to take shots there of the numerous packets we have hanging.  So I will definitely get there before the big holiday (Lucy, I did get cards made of my Christmas collage and I want to hand deliver one)Here are some shots of my packet from home.  It is hanging on a 30 foot white pine :)  And here is a flash---We have snow today so the packet is almost entirely covered!!!!  You go Mother Nature!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The Crystal Lake Christmas Parade: 11-26-10

Colin, the Nutcracker and his Clara
 The day after Thanksgiving is always a Christmas decorating day for our family.  We pulled out the Santa's, the nutcrackers, the holly and pine cones, the wreath and greenery, the linens, the tree, the get the idea.  Of course half of that stuff is sitting on my living room carpet but we did manage to get a good portion of the works up and in place.  It will take me another couple of days to finish the tree.  Oh and then I have pointe shoes to sew (the dastardly Gaynor-Mindens), and Colin's canvas ballet slippers as well. I really need to stop dreaming about getting back into my studio, even though the need is strong.  Preparations for the Nutcracker have barely begun.  My son and daughter have had several "guest" appearances in and around the area with one of the first being the Christmas parade.  I did not get many pictures but these two will give you an idea of the motley crew that participated.  Everyone froze.  I guess that is a tradition around here.  It wouldn't be the same if one could feel their hands and feet during the parade.  And so, onward to the craziness.  Even though I cease to exist in December, I would not have it any other way!  Happy December first!

the motley crew:  Colin, the rat king (AKA Rachel), to the right of the rat king is
my Claire (Colin's twin) as a caroler, Emily, is Clara, on the other side of the rat king, her twin
Jenny (next to my Claire),Sugar Plum Fairy (AKA Fabi) and another caroler
(AKA Helen- far right).