I have a handful of dilemmas on the ornament front, those of you who are interested in giving feedback, it's time to peek
As most of you know, I make a huge pile of ornaments, on a yearly basis, primarily for Secret Satan party. (I usually make about 50) I honestly obsess about this from the minute the party ends every year, until the moment I've decided on the design, and get the materials. I look for designs pretty much year-round. I have books. I look for materials at all the year-end clearance sales at all the craft stores.
And, I'm picky.
I've got a large set of (likely ridiculous) self-imposed rules/guidelines and standards. The list starts at "I will not make anything that reminds me of something you might buy from the oldest woman at the church bazaar." You know what I'm talking about. No crocheted cats with pom-pom paws in colors of green and orange. Nothing that fell out of fashion 'bout the time of the first Christmas tree. Given the recepients of the ornaments, they can't be too overly religious. And, I don't want to make anything I've seen on 1000 Christmas trees. I'm looking for things that are unique. I strive for classy and timeless. And, given the numbers, I try to find things that can be easily mass produced.
It's not as easy as it sounds.
I've been in denial about this year's ornament. I have a bunch of "backup" ideas, for emergency use, but, I decided to make one last-ditch effort to find something -- anything better than one of the backup ideas. I went to Hobby Lobby this weekend to see what I could find.
I found an ornament idea that I loved. Gorgeous, really. I started looking at the instructions. These things are really, really complicated. But they're gorgeous. I looked closer at the instructions, and then, realized, the models were based upon the 12 Days of Christmas, one model for each day. Crap. I mean, I could make 5 sets and let people pick, but, then, people would probably want a full set, right? I left the book at the store. I decided I'd think about it.
They're really complicated. They're gorgeous. They're a set of 12. But, have you seen them? They're lovely, really.
Then my sister suggested that I could do one per year for the next 12. Excellent! Granted, it's too late to do one this year (remember the complicated? That also equals time-consuming). SO, I'll use a fall-back ornament this year, and then, bam! No worrying about what ornament to do for 12-whole years! Awesome! Terrific!
So, today I went back and got the book. It was even 50% off it's original price! It was meant to be!
Hobby Lobby doesn't sell the blank ornaments, but, no worries, the book has a detailed list of supplies with their websites. I start with the most important item on the list. It's a blank, paint-able porcelain. They've got a website. I start worrying when I look at the URL in detail. It's someone's basement business. Not a good sign. I get there. The website is awful. It's clearly not done by anyone who's got a clue. It's functional in the "Stone knives and bear-skins" fashion. I find the lovely porcelain. And that's when I nearly wept.
No kidding, the ornaments are $5.50. Each. Not $5.50/dozen. Nor even $5.50/pkg of 5. Nope. EACH. That's $66 a SET, before we get to the paint, or any of the other tools. OUCH. Considering I don't usually spend that much for a year's ornament production, this nearly stopped my heart. Seriously? If I had that kind of dough, I'd fork it over to my sweatshop army of workers to make them.
Have I mentioned they're lovely?
I keep trying to talk myself out of them. My brain is thinking "Well, I could buy a few a month, over the year, to produce them, so that the cost was spread out. Of course, it'll take me a year to produce the final total of each style. It''ll be worth it!" I then think, "But they're going to take ages to make. I've got a million other projects to do! I don't even know if I could produce results that are as satisfactory as the ones in the pictures, and if I make ugly ones, I'll be very disappointed in the whole thing."
Since this is what my brain is doing, I've decided to poll the audience. Any ideas? Do you even want me to attempt these well-hyped but as yet unseen ornaments? I must say, the more I look at this year's "Fall-back" ornament, the more they look clumsy and ugly to me. I admit, I'm insane and biased. HELP!