MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 
MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Thanks to all of you for your readership and support. I have been a little MIA for the past few months as I have worked on a big illustration project that I am very excited about. I will be posting more frequently in 2014 and get back into the swing of things.
 
I want to wish you all a wonderful, peaceful Christmas and a New Year full of blessings and true joy.
I have so much to be thankful for this year, many happy changes in my life, new opportunities and challenges. Most of all I am thankful that God sent His Son as a humble, helpless baby to bring light into this dark world, healing to our hearts and hope for us all as our Saviour and best friend throughout our lives and beyond.
Here is one of my most favorite pieces of music that tells it all!
Love, Anne

NEW CHRISTMAS CARD!



It has become a tradition now for me to create a new holiday card each year. I have already been bombarded with loyal clients asking me when this year's cards would be available, so today marks the debut of my 2011 Holiday card on my Etsy site. These are also available with personalized printing. For more info on personalization, feel free to contact me here. Also, the cards from previous years (below) will be available as well, so order now and get a jump on the Season!
Have a wonderful weekend, Everyone!




MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Rembrandt

As I celebrate Christmas, I am reminded, once again, what it's all about. The music, the food, the decorations, the sales, the times with family and friends - all are a great part of life. I hope to take away something much more, though. I want to remember what I was put on earth for, and why my Saviour humbled Himself to become a baby. It's a time to forgive the people who abuse and take more than their share, to extend grace to the unloveable and weak, to live giving out unselfishly to others and to embrace deeply the people who have loved us. In short, to exist for a purpose much greater than ourselves and our own ends. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for reading this blog and being a very important part of my life. May the Source of Christmas be a reality in your life and may this Season make a lasting impression on your hearts!!

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)

YA'LLTIDE


I spotted this wreath in Living, Etc. and thought it was refreshingly different hung horizontally. I like. I also dig the weathered green table and antique bird cage with candles. What is your take on it?

BLING FROM BALTIMORE......and A SALE AT ANNECHOVIE!


Thanks to fellow blogger Nelle Somerville, my little Christmas tree now has some dignity. The bare stand is gone, and a little bling is definitely increasing the holiday cheer factor. Nelle wrote and offered to send some silver lame' fabric to dress up the base. Goes with my flashy pink tinsel tree perfectly. Aren't fellow bloggers the best? Enjoy 20% off all items in my shop today with the code: TREE20
Enjoy your last weekend before Christmas and I'll see you back here on Monday!!

IF CHARLIE BROWN WAS A GIRL......


the tree might look something like this......I can't decide whether to cover the base of my little tree with a blanket - Linus-style - or to leave it alone to enhance the pitiful effect.....what do you think? Cast your vote!!
HAVE A COZY WEEKEND!

NEW CHRISTMAS CARDS



I started a holiday tradition last year of debuting at least one new set of Christmas cards a year.  My new "Merry Christmas" cards are available now in my store. The new card features a classic French chest topped with a marble bust, rose bouquet and gift packages. Above it, an old-fashioned banner reads "Merry Christmas".
They come blank inside, but custom printed messages are available for an additional fee. Contact me here for details.


Also available is last year's design that remains a classic Annechovie favorite. Both are available here.



I'd also like to thank my friend and fellow blogger, the ever-gracious Courtney Barnes for her mention and post last Friday.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Christmas 1982 - Ta-daaaaa!! Me, my brothers and cousins usually provided the after-dinner entertainment for the family gathering, jacked up on some sugary dessert, no doubt. (that's me - crazy girl with the braids)

This was an especially memorable Christmas (1976) because my grandfather made me my own mini stove and refrigerator in a dazzling varnish-coated plywood, long before Pottery Barn Kids' more souped-up versions. The doll was named "Pumpkin".

This is me and my little brother, Josh, circa 1978. Dig the bedhead? I got my first pair of roller skates and he got a shiny new tricycle, so we were definitely happy campers.

I want to wish each and everyone of you a very Merry Christmas!
Christmas is a very special time for me and always has a way of stirring a lot of different emotions. It's a time to reflect on not only the year past, but the years past as well. To remember all that I've been blessed with, but also to remember the loved ones who are no longer with me and all of the special Christmases I spent with them. When I was little, there was the rush of expectation and euphoria associated with what presents I would receive. I could never eat or sleep very well because I was so excited. That's not quite the case any longer, but as I think about why I celebrate my Saviour's birth, deeper feelings leave more of a lasting impression on my heart than the fleeting excitement of what was under the tree for me. I am truly blessed and no matter what the future holds or what tough times I have faced in the past, I have a lasting hope and peace that transcends time and circumstances. I always think about that scene from "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" where the Grinch is poised looking over "Who-ville", gleefully anticipating the devastation that will inevitably result in their community because he has done everything in his power to steal everything that he thinks holds value for them. Much to his surprise, his gloating is met with the sound of joyful, grateful, overcoming voices. Voices demonstrating the fact that celebrating Christmas has so much more to do with where your heart is, than what you may have or do to celebrate it. That kind of joy can't be stolen by anyone or anything.

I am so grateful for each of you (readers, clients and fellow bloggers) and wish you a very Merry Christmas. For my wonderful friends who don't celebrate Christmas, a very Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanza - you guys get to spread out the fun!

THE PERFECT SETTING FOR SLOWING DOWN

This cozy and elegant room was designed by the legendary John Stefanidis
Posting may be a bit light this week as I take a much-needed breather and celebrate Christmas with my loved ones. I thought this room provided a very cozy backdrop for a holiday get-together in these warm red tones. Sitting by the fire, listening to some Christmas music, sipping something hot while relaxing with friends and family, it all sounds very attractive to me right now. What are you most looking forward to this week?

BRAINDEAD CREATIVE SEEKS RESPITE

Although using luminaries to decorate is not a new concept, it never fails to look festive and beautiful!

I really love it when unconventional colors are used for Christmas wrappings - these are luscious color combinations.

Something about cut paper holds such appeal for me. Aren't these wreaths pretty? Reminds me a bit of Tord Boontje's work.

No mantel for your stockings? Here's a clever solution.
Right-brained me was feeling a little depleted in the creative department. I LOVE what I do, but once in a while, when I've been working a lot, I know I don't have it in me to cook up another creative thing. That's when it's better to just shut off my brain and go look at what someone else has done. That exercise never fails to refresh and inspire me. This time I went to Living, Etc. where I swiped these lovely photos. Where do you go to get inspired creatively?

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS?



Can you believe it's December today? Where did 2008 go?
Yesterday was a rare rainy day here in South Florida, so it was a perfect afternoon to get some Christmas decorations up and get into the Christmas mood a little. I am never one to want to rush holidays or jump the gun, but, for some reason, this year I am more eager to get into it.
Putting up the tree just isn't as festive without a great soundtrack, so this year it had to be one of my favorite classic standbys, Vince Guaraldi's "A Charlie Brown Christmas". I am a total sentimental sap and I grew up watching "A Charlie Brown Christmas" every year on TV. Seeing it when I was little, I was moved by it's poignancy and I used to cry and try to hide my tears from my parents. So that, coupled with the fact that I am a real jazz lover, makes this a winning pick. It's mellow and comforting and festive all at the same time. I also love this little replica of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree that is available here. There's something so winsome about it, it's sparseness standing in stark contrast to other trees. Just makes me smile. Has anyone else done any holiday decorating yet? What is your favorite holiday soundtrack?

FROM MY HOUSE TO YOURS



My alternative Christmas in the tropics. Yes, my tree IS made of PINK tinsel and surrounded at the base by coral and sea shells. Hey, cut me a little slack, I am an artist, after all.

Here in Florida, all the traditional Christmas trimmings are present, but fake snow and hot cocoa seem a bit seasonally anti-climactic when it's still in the 80's. The funny and beautiful thing about celebrating for the first time in a tropical climate, is that you begin to realize that much of what Christmas is made out to be is not at all important. Living here and celebrating Christmas just serves to accentuate and deepen the real reason for Christmas. Don't get me wrong - I am all for Christmas and even the more kitschy and traditional trappings that go with it - they're fun. However, for me personally, there is something so much more precious and sacred about this day I celebrate. If you take away all the gifts, the decorations, the traditions, the music and the food, there is really nothing left TO "celebrate". Unless, of course, you are celebrating because the essence of Christmas to you is a very real person and not things. I am celebrating the day my Saviour set aside all that He had in heaven with God and humbled Himself to come to this earth as a tiny, dependent baby and live a very difficult life that had at it's end a most torturous and humiliating death, followed by a glorious resurrection. All because He loved and valued all of us enough to want to give us this gift of being restored to a relationship with our Father and Creator and have a real purpose in life greater than just living our lives for ourselves. So, here in Florida, even amongst all the non-traditional Christmas beauty, I am reminded that there is a greater gift I possess. If you take everything else away, the fact that Jesus has come to be not only my Saviour, but my best friend, comfort, purpose and joy, everyday of the year AND throughout my entire life is the real reason I celebrate Christmas. Regardless of whatever reasons you have for celebrating or not celebrating Christmas, I wish you ALL love, joy and enduring peace this Christmas and in the New Year!