The time of the year is here when Angelenos open up old boxes in search of their holiday decorations. Some of those items are faithful pieces that adorn homes year in and year out, and yet others have reached their expiration dates. When it is time to create, or purchase, new holiday decorations, consider the craft, the talent and the inspiration that outstanding local artists can provide. These L.A. artists understand the need for that special touch and have shared their secrets just for you.
Carolyn Garris has a knack for turning paper, fabric and food into pretty and unique pieces. One of her season’s favorites is her holiday house place card, which is a lovely way to dress up a table for the holiday dinners. With just cardboard, glue and salt, this name card will definitely be a first conversation topic. With similar ingredients, her little frosted trees would be an adorable addition to the house décor or even as cake toppers. To build expectation for the holidays, she also created an advent calendar out of small red envelopes inside of which hides a daily treat. Use any of these right off of the shelf, or as inspiration for your own creations.
Debi Tricerri’s The Cluttered Craftroom
“My favorite season to craft for is Christmas,” says Debi Tricerri, who began The Cluttered Craftroom “out of a necessity to bring in some income and turned it into a loving passion.” She works on wood, canvas and windows, and with acrylic paints, makes items that look vintage, including nativity scenes, snowmen and signs. She also uses her work as a fabulous way to recycle — she is currently making faith and encouragement signs from the wood of a torn-down fence, an easy project for any crafter to use as inspiration or snag to nestle in among her own.
Related: Best Local Los Angeles Artists
Erika Walvoord’s She’s Crafty
Erika Walvoord, through her small business She’s Crafty, turns a 12-by-4-inch piece of wood into something that can beautify a home during the holidays or be given to a friend as a delightful present. Painted and accessorized, her boards become jewelry organizers, key holders and kids’ artwork display boards. Walvoord also creates lovely custom wooden block sets — two or three colorful blocks arranged together and held by a bow that read seasonal messages like “Give Thanks” or allow a family to count down the days until Christmas.
Marci Forest’s Candle Studio
Marci Forest creates the most gorgeous flowers with beeswax. “My candles are different than what people are used to seeing in the stores,” says Forest. “Most of mine are hand built and not poured or molded.” Because of that, “No two candles look exactly the same.” Perfect for most any recipient, handmade candles fit any home. Using original techniques and designs, she shapes each candle from many thin layers of pure beeswax and then rubs organic cinnamon and cloves into its outer layer to create a delicate scent and soft texture. Some are further adorned with air-dried roses, organic lavender buds and glitter. Her red rose candle gift set, for example, is breathtaking and would make an impressive holiday present or decoration.
Traci Bixby Illustrations
Traci Bixby delivers the loveliest cards with her illustrations. One of her favorites for the holidays is her Mistletoe Angel greeting card, which pictures an angel of large blue eyes and pink wings holding a mistletoe branch. The angel’s little pink mouth seems to be throwing a kiss to the reader. “I love mistletoe at Christmas,” says Traci. “It reminds me of having my large extended family all around me during the holidays when there was always mistletoe hanging in the doorways to the kitchen. Many happy kisses and many happy memories.” Give your family that reminder with a quick trip to the craft store and illustrations of your own.
Dena Burroughs is a freelance writer living in Azusa, CA. She is a CSULA graduate with specialties in Creative Writing and Communications. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.