Wednesday, December 25, 2019


On December 14, local members got together for our annual social and card exchange. Sandy V’s home was the venue. She always decorates her home beautifully so this has become part of our holiday season. Each of us brings finger food and it is on display in Sandy’s kitchen. For about an hour before the actual exchange, we eat, talk and laugh together. Everyone is invited to be there whether they participate in the exchange or not.

When we enter Sandy's home, we walk into the kitchen
 and proceed to fill the counter with finger foods.

Sandy's kitchen is so spacious that we have one counter area
 for savory dishes and one for sweet.

So much talk about food, but it is the center gathering place to eat and talk,
 catch up with those we haven't seen in a while and discuss our projects.

During most workshop meetings, we have the exchange books on a table, then settle ourselves at the tables for a brief business meeting and then on to the workshop. We don't usually have the time to just sit and chat together.

We are all comfortable in the living room getting excited about the exchange. The cards are put on tables seen through the walkway on the left.

The holiday exchange is different than our usual book exchange. It is not a one-to-one exchange. Instead, we sign up in October to participate, bringing one card for each participant and one for the NORBAG library. This year each of us made 32 cards. The theme is holiday, not Christmas. We had Christmas, Hanukkah (Chanukah), winter solstice, new year’s and nature cards.

While this may sound simple, it involves a bit of work. Local folk simply sign up and show up with their cards. Those of us who are out of town know that there are mailing deadlines.  Dolores sets up the exchange making sure that all the cards are set out and oversees the actual exchange. After the rest of us go home, she takes the remainder of the cards home, makes packages for all the members who could not attend and mails them. It is a big job. 

This is the general setup in the dining room. We had enough cards that we used two tables.

We had two tables this year.

When we are all ready, we get a bag with our name on it and fill it with one of each card.
After we gather our cards, we sit in a lovely room with views overlooking part of the forest and with a huge floor to ceiling fireplace and the fun begins. Each person takes their turn at showing their own card, discussing materials, themes and how the cards are made. The out-of-towners send colophons and one of us reads the colophon for the card.

The room is beautiful. We had about 20 people attending this year.

Those members that can attend show their cards
 and add more information than is in the colophons.

One of our local members reads the colophons from people not attending.
At the social and at many of our workshops, we hear a refrain about something. At a recent workshop, we did something that involved thread and the refrain was "and put a bead on it." At the social this year, the refrain was “and it lies flat so that mailing is so easy.” We have had some interesting three-dimensional cards involving twigs, origami boxes, stars or other dimensional items that are a real puzzle to mail. 

This year, we talked about the workshops that we would like to have in the upcoming year. A couple of people volunteered to give workshops. We also sent a “thank you” card to a local merchant who gives us a small discount. And then we went home with our bag of cards. What a delightful day. If the out-of-towners are ever planning on being in Eureka, give us a call. We’ll let you know what we are doing and invite you to attend. Happy holidays to you all.

Get your list of themes for the upcoming year ready. It will be fun! 

Note: All of the photos are going up on Flickr. The instructions for getting yourself to the holiday album are in the newsletter and in the column to the left of the blog posts. Tap the "Album" area on the banner and you will see each month's exchange grouped together. Please feel free to expand upon your colophons. Since we put them in Flickr instead of the newsletter, we have much more room. Use it if you like.

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