Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas to each and everyone. Maybe with a tiny Holiday vignette frozen in a little glass we might always possess the possibility of having whatever we could wish.

Last year's card was so popular I wanted this year's to be as special as possible. I knew it should be handmade, duh, and an old-style folk toy. I was so nervous about it, I thought of what to make this year on December 26th, 2006 and have been mulling it over the entire year!

I kept searching for the right materials and trying different things that didn't end up working. Some things about this year's came out better than I'd hoped, other things I thought of doing I left off by the end batch in order to get to the real essence of what the cards were about; I wanted them to convey the unforgettable wonder and joy of Christmas morning when everything we could wish for is magically under the tree in the morning, ready to be torn into and enjoyed.

Folk Art Bottle Whimseys, (you know, like ships in a bottle and other puzzle scenes assembled inside old glass bottles?) was the concept this year. It, like so many other obscure things, lives large on the web. A little Googling turned up photos of fantastic examples of these works, by infirmed or otherwise isolated individuals, dating back as far as 1697! Who knew?!

If you haven't yet received your handmade Christmas Bottle Whimsey from us (and you should have by now), please let me know!

Six images that tell the story of how these Bottle Whimseys were made!

Here's how the trees fit into the bottles--Secrets Revealed!
Here's how I wrapped the tiniest present on Earth--Prove that wrong!


  1. Thank you so much for my card! I love it, and we got it in time to enjoy before we left to spend Christmas w/ my husbands family. It's incredible!

  2. Anonymous4:56 PM

    WOW How cool is that!?!?!?! Great videos showing the process.

    Hope you had a very merry christmas!! =)

  3. Aww, I'm so glad you guys! Thanks to everyone whose emailed to let me know they've received theirs. I wasn't sure they'd mail through the post office at busy Christmas.

    Anyone out here got last year's card but not this one yet?

  4. I got mine!!! Thank you, what a treat!!! I especially like the magnifying effect when you look through into that tiny little world you've crafted.

    ... And your voice sounds so.... Cute!!

  5. YAY! I'm so glad, Mikeee! [now I dun went and gone all shy and smiley]

  6. I waited until your Post to say how happy I was to recieve 18/100. When I left it on the living-room table to make a space for it Pride of Place! It went, they had put it on the family tree!, But it is MINE, ALL MINE! HaaaaHaaaaHaaa


  7. Oh! I'm so glad you got it, Ben! I hadn't heard from any of the overseas packages and wasn't sure they'd made it!

    Very sweet of you to wait until the cat was out of the bag, so considerate. I'm delighted that you like it.

  8. Like it!, I adore it and it is staying up all year round with my Grandmas Baubles (she noticed they are missing)!

  9. Just got mine Shelley!

    It's SOOO awesome! I love that everything is suuuper tiny :D

    And yeah, are you ever gettin old???, you sound like a 15 year old girl...totally cute

    Keep rockin and thanks again!

  10. Dearest Shelley ... I received mine, and gasped ... it is the most treasured thing! wonderful and innovative ... THANK YOU so very much for sharing this with me!

  11. fantastic Ale! So far you've gotten everything mailed to you! It's like magic!

    Kim, I'm so jazzed that you like the Whimsey so much, thank you thank you for the nice write up and gorgeous photos of it on your blog! (http://littlesomethings.blogspot.com/)

    By the way, I actually mailed out the remaining batch of these this morning! So past Christmas---YET SO INCREDIBLY PROMPT FOR NEXT YEAR!!!

    (CJ yours in in there!)


  12. aMAZing, shelley! you must have incredible amounts of patience. the photos & videos make me appreciate the process even more: i can't even -believe- you painted each "ornament" by hand! thanks so much for the special scarlet star edition of our bottle. happy new year!

  13. Thanks so much, gl! I'm so happy to hear it! Happy Happy New Year to The Scarlet Star Studios and your works there.

    May 2008 be an extraordinarily great year for all of us. A 2 and an 8, nice numbers, round numbers, happy numbers. Even.

  14. I've been carrying my bottle around with me for days (carefully) just so I could show people. Everybody I've shown loves it. Of all the handmade gifts I hand out this is the only one I received - so again Thank You so much

  15. Wow! Rachael, that's really something! Hooray! Thank you!

    I know what you mean about handmade... I threw out all the perfectly nice printed Christmas cards, except for the one card a friend made herself! I could not throw that one out--and won't! What IS that?!

  16. That's one of the coolest things I've ever seen. I love it. Also, how can I get your email? Can't find it.

  17. Hi Ryan, please email me:


    Send me a snail mailing address and you too can be on next year's handmade card list! All readers and friends fully welcome!

    (Paul and I have already decided on what next year's should be! hint: it'll be much lighter to mail)

  18. Shelly- Recieved a tube in the mail today! Now I have to ask permission to open it as it says for Christmas 2008 :) Umm..Please? to be honest don't think I have that kind of will power..LOL HAPPY NEW YEAR! =)

  19. Absolutely, CJ!~ I know you're kidding but just in case... I only marked it that way to hide the fact the last batch was mailed after Christmas--you know, as if it were really early for '08 instead!

    You know, I nearly made them all on time but getting sick near the end really set the schedule back.

    Thanks for letting me know you got it, so sweet of you.

    Happy New Year to you and your family!!

  20. Shelly that has got to be the neatest thing ever!! Even though I had seen the video clip nothing prepares you for just how wonderful this piece is! THANK YOU! Yet another wonderful item to be cherished for years.

  21. CJ, that is such a gracious thing to say, thank you. I'm truly touched! Yay!

    [Better get started on next years!]

  22. Even while seeing the clip I doubt I could do it. You are the master, mine would no way no how look as good.
    I love the gift you sent, I love the thought you put into it, and most of all the time and energy you gave in this gift.

  23. Hooray! This one made it to France! I'm so glad, Corey! You caught the essence perfectly, as you do.

    By the way, that is English husband heard for a moment in background of the 1st clip. (He asks me who I'm talking to and I answer that I'm making a video.)

  24. Hi Shelley,

    I am currently still in the land of the wurst (sausage, that is), so I just wanted to drop you a note to say that this creation of yours looks beautiful... I can't wait to get home and find mine waiting.

  25. You my dear, are a master of PERFECTION! I have to tell you how much I adore my little package, although this is a very very late THANK YOU!!! I am honored to have another Shelley Original!

  26. Thank you so much, Ulla! I love your artistry and taste so I am fully complimented by your remarks!

    Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the Whimsey!

  27. I just got back to Scotland, and what do I find waiting for me!? This absolutely beautiful miniature tree in a bottle. The photos on your blog are good, but can't fully do justice to this amazing little item you guys created! I am going to keep it on my mantle all January... and you can bet this will be a part of our Yuletide Decorations from this year forward! Thanks so much Shelley, you are a total star!


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