Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Looking Back on 2013, and Lots of Hand-Made Gifts

It's the first day of a new year.  Nothing has changed but the number on the calendar, and yet we use this as a time to reflect and to look forward.  We use it to easily separate the memories and landmarks of our lives.  We use it as an opportunity for improvement.  However, I really don't think we need to wait for an arbitrary date on the calendar to make resolutions.  We are in control of ourselves the whole year round.  So I have no resolutions for this new year.  I'm currently embarking on a new and unknown path that brings me so many moments of joy, beauty, and good health.  Soon enough I hope to be able to share some of those experiences with others.

I will take this chance to reflect on my art life of this past year.  Note-worthy moments of 2013:

  • 'Cut It Out' solo exhibit at the Bay County Public Library
  • Published a book, "Heather Clements Art: Cut Paper'
  • Full-page article and images in Panama City Life Magazine
  • Artwork and article as the front page for 'First Cut' (international) magazine
  • 'Cut It Out' solo exhibit featured as an article in the News Herald
  • Gave an artist talk about my work at 'Cut It Out', with a professional video of it, too
  • Learned how to make paper out of my paper scraps, incorporated hand-made paper into my art
  • Started teaching adult semi-private art lessons
  • Taught a paper cutting workshop for Panama City Artists
  • Taught a paper cutting workshop for the Arts and Design Society of Fort Walton
  • Won 'Best of Show' for 'Embrace II' at the Central Panhandle Fair
  • Won a merit award and 2nd place in people's choice for 'Embrace I' at Central Panhandle Fair
  • My art was featured twice in the Guild of American Papercutters Annual
  • Won a cash merit award for 'Emerge' at the Visual Arts Center's Bay Annual
  • Volunteered for World Paddle for the Planet Day, held kids eco-art tent
  • More than doubled my Facebook page fans, now at 600
  • Made art that I am proud of

Now that the holidays are over, I think it's safe to share a couple of the commissions I was working on.

This is Charlie, (not my Charlie.)  He was commissioned by someone in Arizona who wanted a special gift of her best friend's dog to give to her for Christmas.

 This is Buddy.  He was a gift from a mother to a daughter, who is Buddy's owner.

This was a gift from a husband to his wife, of their two beautiful children, adorned with the things that they love.

And speaking of gifts, I thought I would share a few of the gifts that I made for the holidays.

This first one was actually for Madeline's birthday.  (Madeline is my step-daughter, for those of you who may not know.)

She loves little toys she can carry around, so I made her a little monster.  Look at that face when she opened it!  She soon named him 'Muscapeep' because he's purple like muscadine grapes, and peep because… he's small.

That wasn't the end of my monster sewing.  I made this guy below for my cousin's 2 1/2 year old son, Declan.  I couldn't have asked for a better reaction when he opened him, either.  He threw his arms up and said, "Pumpkin!" (because he's orange, duh) and then hugged and squeezed Pumpkin tight.

But wait, there's more sewing!  (All of which was done by hand, by the way.)  I saw on Pinterest a Harry Potter Kindle case and I knew Madeline was getting a Nook for Christmas… so I just had to make her this:

For my parents I made a drawing from our trip to Italy last year.  The reference was a photo I took from our hotel window in Florence.

And last, but not least, Mat and I both made several paper lanterns for gifts.  This is a photo of one that we made with a candle inside.  I didn't even need to edit the photo at all.

 Inspiration Source #21: You.  You're kind of amazing, aren't you?  You're awesome at one thing, at least.  If you're not awesome yet, I promise you, after enough hours of practice, you can be.  Be proud of that awesomeness.  Expand on it.  Share it.  It may sound corny, but it's important to recognize your own awesomeness.  Chances are, if you don't, nobody else will either.  If you love to do something, give it your all, including appreciating your own creations.  So write, draw, love, dance, fail, succeed, make something, sing, and play.  Be awesome!

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog.  Happy New Year!!!



  1. Hi Heather, A very Happy New Year to you and your family !! am sure 2014 will bring much more success and accolades for you !!

  2. your felt monsters are so adorable! and that nook cover is too cute! hand sewing...............I'm impressed :-)


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