Monday, November 1, 2010

Redux: What is A Catskill Christmas?

[Editor's note: This post first appeared at A Catskill Christmas in November 2007 and is repeated here for the 2010 Christmas season]

I've started this blog as a way of documenting the creative process. I probably should have been writing back in June during the conceptualization of A Catskill Christmas but I didn't. So you may see quite a bit of backtracking or flashbacks.

A Catskill Christmas is a private, not-for-sale, line of Christmas decorations. I am not sure if I want to pursue this as a side enterprise or eventually make the items public and for sale. In the meantime, I am returning to an endeavor that I pursued almost 15 years ago when one year I made all my own decorations for Christmas.

The name A Catskill Christmas is a tribute to the part of the country where I grew up. The Catskills are nestled between the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania and the Hudson River. For the most part it comprises the counties of Greene, Delaware, Ulster and Sullivan. The Catskill region contains breathtaking mountain vistas, large amounts of trees and wildlife, and was (and still is) a refuge for people from New York City during the summer months.

Part of living in "the country" as it was called, was being resourceful and using items that nature seemed to provide for free. I know nothing is free, even in nature - you have to be its caretaker - that is the price for nature to keep providing for your needs. Growing up it was easy to find flowers and leave for drying, nuts and seeds, twigs and vines.

Here are the concepts behind the items of A Catskill Christmas:

  • Items are individually hand-crafted.
  • Emphasis on plant, mineral and animal based items (dried flowers, moss, twigs, gold, bronze, copper, nuts, feathers).
  • Absolutely no use of plastic.
  • No modern day or religious iconograhy (no Disney, no Nativity, etc.) but more secular icons (St. Nicholas or angels) is permitted.
  • Emphasis on sense of smell - use of cinnamon, nutmeg, beeswax.
  • Colors used will be greens, golds, coppers, browns predominantly. Avoid use of purples, yellow, oranges and reds.
  • Create hang tags with info on item, name of website, etc.

© 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

No comments: