I chose to make this year's design of the Spirit of Sir John A 1095 Train firstly to celebrate our First Prime Minister's 200th birthday and secondly to celebrate the great men and women of Kingston who worked so hard to bring her home. The Kingston chapter of Jaycee's and Jaycette's (now JCI Canada) ran the project to create a landmark in Confederation Park with the old steam engine. The 1095 Train was built in 1913 and ran the rails until 1960. The train has become an icon of our great city and a reminder of the dedication of Sir. john A. MacDonald to link each province of Canada by a railroad. The railway is still the best way to explore our great land, full of great vistas, running through small rural towns and many major cities.
I've always loved driving by Victoria Park on a late Winter's Eve. The park is flooded as well as the rink for neighborhood families and shinny hockey enthusiasts to enjoy time on the ice. It's always ti join in and navigate around the treed rink and make new friends but my favourite time to view the park is after everyone has gone home to warm up, it's a serene and peaceful vignette of our beautiful Kingston.
I was on the Wolfe Island Ferry heading to the Corn Maze when I designed this one. As I watched the skyline of Kingston expand in front of us, I gazed across at the beauty of our little place in the world. I felt such a strong sense of gratitude and pride. I've always loved to travel and soak up the gorgeousness of far off lands but it's even better to take time out to notice and appreciate the beauty, culture and scenery of HOME. I think anyone who's ever lived here or even has just visited Downtown Kingston on a calm, moonlit night understands the feeling this ornament is meant to evoke.
The design idea for this one also came from childhood memories. I recall my sister and I taking turns running around the house with the Mistletoe and trying to get anyone and everyone to kiss. I didn't know the lore behind this tradition so I researched and included it in the box with the ornament. I also sold a version that came with a small bag of chocolate kisses with the Mistletoe. I think it's important to take a minute out of your busyness to stop and embrace a loved one and give 'em a smooch once in awhile. I hope this year's ornament inspired a lot of people to do just that. MUAH!
I spent most of 2011 feeding and soothing a baby all hours of the day and night. I don't recall much of the details of the design process for this one, perhaps I was feeling "Cracked" like a nut?
Interestingly enough, this ornament was partly inspired by last year's bear for the babies. In March of 2010, we found out we were expecting too! I struggled to come up with a design as I also struggled to waddle around most of the year. That summer, we found out we would be welcoming a little girl into our lives and thus, the image of a little "Chick" came to mind. We brought "wee one" home from the hospital, happy and healthy, just a few weeks before the ornament was launched for sale.
A cute, cuddly Teddy Bear in bare feet was inspired by all of the babies born to friends and loved ones this year. We were at the cottage when our nephew was born in January of 2009 and my partner was so excited he decided to cut a block of ice out of the lake and try to sculpt a Teddy Bear out of it with a chain saw. It was pretty good and sat on the lake for a few weeks before the rains came. Welcome to the world Matthias, Amelia and Noah and all the other precious little ones born this year!
I had visions of a design with Santa and all of his Reindeer but couldn't seem to fit in all of the details into be ornament. I decided to choose one reindeer and created a modern stylized sculpture of Prancer, in my opinion, the most graceful of the 8 reindeer. Sorry Rudolph...
When I was a child, it was always a family affair to gather and decorate the Christmas tree together. We would break out our Christmas vinyl record collection and blare music and sip warm apple cider; " Blue Christmas" by Elvis was always my favourite. This years' design was inspired by my memories of hanging the ornaments on the tree with my family and dancing around the house pretending to be Elvis.
This ornament design was created in memory of a customer who had begun an ornament collection for each of her children when they were young and continued the tradition well into their adulthood. She championed against her cancer diagnosis for many of those years and I would always look forward to her visits and updates. She passed away shortly before the ornament design was due; an Angel was my instant choice in memory of her.
This ornament depicts a polar bear on the ice gazing up at a star resembling the Star of Bethlehem. The inspiration for this design came from the awe of staring up at the bright sky, full of stars at our cottage on a crisp, cool December evening. I took some design liberties on this one as there are no polar bears in Tamworth, but we do have black bears around lately!
The original ornament collection began at Kinnear d'Esterre Jewellers in 1978 with a "Partridge in a Pear Tree". When the owners announced they were closing the store, many customers who were loyal collectors wanted to be sure the collection would continue. I decided to begin my continuation of the Annual Christmas Ornament with " Two Turtle Doves" to pay homage to the 92 year history of goldsmithing and jewellery design by the d'Esterre Family.