Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas Hanji .....

Wow!  Where has the time gone!!  Since retiring from teaching ESL here in the UAE I thought I'd have so much more time for writing on my blog and researching for my book  but although these things are important to me it seems that my time has been spent in more creative, hands on pursuits, and it's been great. 

I've been working steadily at setting up and running my Hanji classes, designing worksheets for more complex Hanji projects as well as creating ideas for and making new items of my own design.


These last few weeks I've been putting together some items for a  'Christmas' Craft stall.  I say that tongue in cheek because for anyone living in the Middle East we all know that Christmas isn't celebrated over here but because the UAE population is made up of 80%  expats from all over the world  it's  an important time for us to think of family and friends back home. It's a time for sending off our Christmas cards and presents at least a month earlier than we had to when we lived at home. A Christmas gift received after the day is never quite the same is it.

For the stall I made these cute coasters and added a Christmas touch to some of them. They're always handy to have during the festive season or to give as a set of 4 as a gift. I've also used them as small dishes for sweets and treats so they're quite versatile.
I also had pots, boxes of different shapes and sizes, lamps, trays, a set of drawers, handmade Christmas cards, pictures with Hanji cutouts and  some of my large framed photographs.

 It was a lovely evening  in a wonderful  outdoor  setting down by the Marina. There was a cool breeze blowing off the water and the atmosphere was expectant as people started trickling in from the surrounding residences. Over a period of 4 to 5 hours I met with  many people from different walks of life, I sold some things and more importantly  many were interested in coming to classes and learning how to do Hanji in the future so it looks like I'm going to be even busier come next year !!

This is the first time I've sold my Hanji pieces at a stall so it was a huge learning experience for me to see what reactions I'd get from people who'd never seen this craft before. Many people couldn't believe the items had been hand made and others were just out for an evening stroll in the fresh air whilst someone  asked if they'd been mass produced in China !!

Only a few of them realised the amount of work that goes into making things by hand. This led me to remember this saying. I don't know who wrote it  but I think this says it all.