Christmas at Laurel Hill

Laurel Hill Mansion in Fairmont Park is all decked out for the holidays.  This year’s theme is “Celebrating 250 Years of Designing Women.”  The Christmas Tree in the main room is decorated with ornaments showing women’s fashion plated from Godey’s Lady’s Book.  If you never heard of Godey’s Lady’s Book, you are in for a surprise.  Godey’s was the premier woman’s fashion magazine in the United States from  1837 to 1898.   But it  was more than a magazine.  Women relied on it for information and articles on everything from cooking to housekeeping to health to etiquette.  It contained sheet music, short stories, book reviews, etchings and essays by the leading intellectuals of the day.    Its female editor, Sarah J.  Hale, wrote “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and convinced President Lincoln to make Thanksgiving a national holiday.   Hale was also a trend setter who knew what her readers wanted. In 1850, she started a fad when she introduced the American public to the Christmas tree when she published a picture of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert  and their family gathered around their holiday tree.  

Here are some pictures of Laurel Hill.

If you want to take a look at Godey’s Lady’s Book,  press here.  You can download articles and other materials here. And enjoy your holiday.


The Menorah . . . and Boris

I made a menorah for my stepson and his family to welcome them into their new home.  The shape of the menorah was inspired by a vase I was working on (still unfinished) and I used the tar paper technique of hand building ceramic shapes that I described earlier in the year.  

Here are some construction pictures.  The menorah is hollow.

And here is a picture of the final product after bisque firing and glazing.


Ever wonder what happens if you give a cat a dreidel?  If he’s Boris he’ll play for treats and clean you out.


Happy Holidays!

Ornaments and Other Good Stuff at Handmade For The Holidays

Fleisher Art Memorial is hosting the annual Handmade for the Holidays craft show on December 9, Noon to 5:00 in Fleisher’s Sanctuary, 719 Catharine Street in Philadelphia.  For complete information, press here.


In addition to a Small Press Faire and Make and Take classes,  thirty vendors will be offering handmade goods at reasonable prices and you are sure to find something for everyone on your list.  


I am sharing a table with the Mighty Open Studio Potters of Fleisher and will have plenty of tree and window ornaments and some brightly-glazed, functional earthenware trinket holders, butter dishes and funky bowls.  My colleagues will have beautiful vases,  mugs, bowls and maybe even some terra cotta flutes that really play music!


There are two other craft shows in the vicinity on December 9th.  The Philly Handmade Brigade will be at the 1241 Carpenter Studios  and Crafty Balboa will be at 1901 South 9th Street (former Bok School).  For more information, press here  and here.