Anyone else overwhelmed yet with the current and upcoming December holiday happenings?  It’s mostly all good, but it’s also impossible to do everything you’d like.  The most important thing to remember is to relax and try to enjoy every moment you’re allowed to share with others.

My favorite part about Christmas is the tree.  I love the smell of pine, homemade ornaments and the way the tree twinkles in the evening light.  My mom’s tree is always my favorite as she’s kept so many interesting ornaments over the years.  The funniest ones are from when we were kids…the best were the cookies that eventually dwindled down to crumbs dangling from a hook.  At least I think they were once cookies, I guess it could have been something else that lost complete recognition.  When I was a kid I would just sit under the tree and stare at it for hours.  It was a symbol of magic and happiness for me.  Still is to this day, actually.

This past weekend James and I worked on our first collaborative pieces together for a We&Co holiday project that they plan to give to their employees as end of the year gifts.  Our word assignment was service, which is an important concept to remember during the holiday season.  James was nice enough to include me in the project, because honestly his word art can stand alone.  I did a watercolor base in the company colors with a distressed texture, then he did his xerox transfers on top.  We spent the better part of Sunday creating 35 unique pieces for them, which I was really proud of in the end.  I think they all turned out beautiful.  We are going to put the money we earned into our travel jar which will hopefully help fund our big trip  next fall to Portland and Seattle.  It was so much fun to pick up a paintbrush again, I’m looking forward to doing more projects like this one in the future.

The concept of collaboration is an interesting one.  I am usually super protective of my personal creative work until it is close to being finished.  The idea of a first impression was always really important to me…so if someone saw my work incomplete it made me feel very vulnerable.  That’s one amazing thing that I’ve learned from James, the concept of letting another person in on the process.  To let them see my mistakes as I go along and be ok with it.  He has been very open with me from the very beginning, and it’s one of the things I love most about him.  Crush was also a successful collaboration between me and another director – Rebecca Pugh.  Working intimately with another person isn’t without it’s own unique challenges, but the rewards are two-fold when you get to share the success with a partner who has been along for the same journey.

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Carrie Beth & Charles at his book signing for Fading Ads of Birmingham!

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Fading Ads of Birmingham book signing!

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Lily watching me paint.

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A sneak peek at one of our finished pieces…