Friday, December 28, 2012

A Bit Of Handmade...

{needle and thread}
 A bit of embellishment on a beautiful thrift shop dress for my wonderful Niece A...

{My niece picked her favorite embroidery floss colors - purple and pink!}
 The strawberry applique was from a two-piece baby outfit I wore as a kid. The ice cream cone fabric is a scrap from a pair of Son H's old shorts, and the purple and white stripe "ice cream" is fabric salvaged from a shirt worn by both Evie and Rosie. And before that the same shirt was worn by my cousin's daughter...

So much fun to find some time to make something special!


Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

{Reindeer illustration by Gyo Fujikawa}
Merry Christmas! I am awaiting the gifts, gazing at the lit Christmas tree, the meals shared with family... It's such a wonderful time of year. May the peace and wonderment of the holiday season wrap you up in joy.

{The Night Before Christmas illustrated by Gyo Fujikawa}
One holiday tradition we have in our house is wrapping up 24 Christmas books in newspaper and placing them under the tree December 1. (Yes, we get the tree up right after Thanksgiving!) I save last year's Christmas cards and tape a card to the top of each news-print wrapped book. So it all looks super-festive, but the book wrapping carefully reuses what we already have.

 Every night we unwrap and read one. The Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer book is the biggest, so that's usually known and opened first, but the rest are in disguise under the newspaper wrapping and we only know what we get once it's opened. Three of the books (like Jingle Bells) are simply the song lyrics with illustrations, so when we open those three Chrsitmas books, we get to sing them!

I adore the illustrations in these Christmas books, and many of them are vintage books. One of my favorites is a vintage version of The Night Before Christmas illustrated by Gyo Fujikawa.

{illustration by Gyo Fujikawa}
I know some folks love the wonderful 1998 Jan Brett version of The Night Before Christmas- and if you have been to nearby Stockbridge, Massachusetts, you'll see all the local landmarks in the town including the Red Lion Inn! But I am smitten with this vintage version of The Night Before Christmas and the delicate reindeer drawn by Gyo Fujikawa.

Ms. Fujikawa passed away at 90 in 1998, and was one of the first popular illustrators to include children of all different races in her illustrations.

What is you favorite book of the season? 

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Thank You!

THANK YOU to everyone who came out to my open studio this month... My friend Liz Vigoda (amazing ceramics!) and I hold this event once a year during the holidays at her home/studio, and we were able to make a very generous gift to the victims of Hurricane Sandy from proceeds of the sale.

It was so nice to see everyone who stopped by, and to be part of the fun of picking out the "perfect" holiday presents was so rewarding... Not to mention helping people pick the perfect piece of jewelry for themselves, too! It makes all the hard work worthwhile.

{Loretta Fontaine Jewelry sterling silver necklace on a piece of Liz Vigoda Pottery}
This year at our  Delmar Holiday Open Studios I purchased a new handcrafted black and white pottery plate from Liz - it will look perfect displayed in my living room once the new blue/gray paint goes up on the walls.

Once again, THANK YOU for everyone who came out and made the event a wonderful success!


Friday, December 7, 2012

Open Studios Sale This Weekend and Sandy Relief

{our poster and postcard design!}
 I cannot believe how December flies by. It seems like yesterday I was working on the postcard and poster design for this sale, and now the sale is tomorrow!

Are you in the Albany, New York area? You should stop by the sale - it's our fourth annual Holiday Delmar Open Studios - and it's this weekend Saturday December 8 and Sunday December 9 from 10am - 5pm. We hold the sale at my friend Liz's Vigoda's studio/home in Delmar, New York, and Liz and I have been updating information on the sale on our website ( and Facebook page (

{one-of-a-kind hand-built ceramics by Liz Vigoda}
Liz is a dear friend and creates the most unbelievably gorgeous ceramics and I can't wait to see what new pieces she's made. All her pieces are hand-built and one-of-a-kind, so many folks arrive as early in the weekend as they can to choose from the best selection. I'm spending my day finishing some new pieces of jewelry for the sale.
{custom Loretta Fontaine Jewelry sterling silver Maria ring}
This will be the last weekend to order any custom photo jewelry pieces for the holidays. I always have a bunch of these very special custom orders on my bench this time of year. This charming little pup on the photo is on the ring is named Domino!

{New! Loretta Fontaine blank recycled paper notecards}

..and brand new this year are my blank recycled notecards I had printed on recycled paper - all with images from my new book, Eco-Happy: Three Steps Towards An  Earth-friendly Life. I am SO pleased with how they came out and the quality of the cards.

Liz and I have decided to donate 10% of our sales to Hurricane Sandy Relief. Our area in New York was mostly spared from damage, but we know many others in the Northeast that have been affected by this tragic storm. My husband's family is in the New York City/New Jersey area and they were hard hit. Liz will donate to the Red Cross and I am writing a check to a downstate Long Island Habitat For Humanity chapter.

Happy Holidays!