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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Warm Winter Wishes on this Winter Solstice Day



Warm Winter Wishes on this lovely 
❤ Winter Solstice Day ❤

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Today is the day that I love to clean, organize and prepare for the cold winter months ahead. Tucking away the light summer comforters and bringing the warm down duvets out, organizing files, getting ready for the new year, new ideas, and new adventures ❤


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Sewing the signatures to an Antiques Spell Book



        
It's been a crazy busy season in my studio. Lots of orders, especially custom orders, and I had such a great time making each one.
A custom book mixing mermaids and a nautical theme

     










 
I especially love making my antiqued books. Each one is so special to me











Taking a break in my studio with some hot green tea



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But as Christmas Day approaches, usually around the Winter Solstice, things slow down in the studio and I can spend time with family and friends, shopping, wrapping gifts and baking with my kids.
Nothing is better than a cup of hot chocolate on a cold night

The beautiful birch tree in front of our home ♥











Birch: For New Beginnings
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If  you have a birch tree near your home or can find a birch candle at a shop (World Market has some lovely ones!) get some for the a Winter Solstice wish! Birch is perfect when you are involved with new beginnings and fresh starts and because the tree is sacred to the Earth Mother, it is said that she takes a personal interest in every request made beneath its branches. I love to take the fallen birch branches from the birch tree outside my studio window and make a small wreath by simply twisting the thin branches around each other. Make sure to only use fallen birch branches, as it is considered bad luck to break the branches from a birch tree. Sometimes I add a white winter flower to the top of the wreath or some other winter bloom. Once you’ve made your wreath you can make your wish! When making a wish under your birch wreath you must mention the Earth Mother’s name which will summon her help in any matter. I usually hang my wreath outside my studio door or by my nightstand, and I also make two for my boys to hang beside their beds. 


☆☆ Happy Winter Solstice ☆☆






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Courtney McNeil began studying painting and illustration in 1985 in London, England. Not one to stay in one place very long she continued perfecting her love of the arts while traveling the world studying painting and illustration in Europe, Hawaii, California, and Australia and eventually graduated cum laude with a BA in illustration and continued on to do her graduate work at the Royal College of Art in London, England.  A few years later she added to her creative interests and studied letterpress and bookmaking at the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. After receiving her undergraduate degree she began work at the Getty Museum in Malibu for almost a decade which allowed her to study and work among some of the most famous classic works of art in the world from Vincent Van Gogh to Manet. Teaching in the galleries of the Getty started her career in Art Education. She has been teaching painting and drawing to young artists and adults at the Davis Arts Center since 2006.