Posts Tagged ‘gifts’« Older Entries
Thursday, May 12th, 2011
One of the things that inspires our work at Carruth Studio is the feedback you provide; the stories, the pictures and the suggestions we get from all of you. Last year, a little girl’s comment about the moon inspired me to sculpt “A Child’s View of the Moon”, which has become one of my favorite pieces.
Earlier in the month I asked you to post your stories about Mother’s Day on our Facebook page and we enjoyed reading each of them. I have shared a few of those stories below. We were so moved by Wendy Weldon’s story about holding her daughter on Mother’s Day, that we have chosen her as the recipient of a $30 gift certificate for a Carruth piece.
I’m always looking for sources of inspiration for new pieces and am particularly interested in finding new verses that resonate with you. I’m also interested in the way young children, like Megan, who provided the inspiration for the moon piece, describe the world around them. Especially their views of the natural world and family members.
Do you have any verses you’d like us to consider using? Any things your children have said that you think we would find inspiring? Post them here or on our Facebook wall and we will review them and may even decide to use them in the future.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to share your Mother’s Days story. We enjoyed your contributions.
Your Thoughts on Mother’s Day:
Here is my Mother’s Day story. On April 27, 1990 I went into early labor with our daughter. She was not only 5 weeks premature, but she was also born with Spina Bifida. We had no idea what Spina Bifida was until the doctor explained she had an opening at the bottom of her spine which was allowing her spinal cord to be exposed. They took her away for care immediately after she was born. Meanwhile the pediatrician was trying to locate a Neurosurgeon in Toledo as she had to have a surgery to close her back. He later told me the nearest one was at Children’s Hospital in Columbus.
When the ambulance came to get her in the middle of the night, that’s when I got to hold her for the first time for about 5 minutes. Then she was swept away to have surgery the next day all by herself. Three days later I finally was released from the hospital and traveled to Columbus. A few days later I was told she would need another surgery for a shunt because she had hydrocephelous or water on the brain. She made it through that ok and she was finally released from the hospital on……Mother’s Day. The day I finally got to bond with and hold my baby girl in my arms at home. I always cherish that day! Wendy Weldon
Okay, here’s one on how we surprised my Mom on Mother’s Day last year. My folks live halfway across the country from us, so we planned a little surprise. On the day before Mother’s Day, we called her from my cell, told her we had plans on Sunday so were calling a day early. All the while we’re parked in her driveway, and were trying to sneak past her kitchen window without her seeing us. We rang the doorbell, and I said, “I heard your doorbell ring, go ahead and answer, we can wait.” So she opens the door and there’s my husband with a big bouquet in front of his face like a delivery guy. Then he lowers it and I pop around the corner, and I think it was the first time in my life I saw my Mom speechless. She’d had a hard past couple of years with health issues and other things, and we just wanted to give her something to put all that aside. It worked! Carolyn Dreiling Hammerschmidt
What I have become, what my daughter has become, and what her daughters are becoming, has come down from one mother to another throughout time. I’m thankful that I came from a long line of strong , loving women. Paula Schrickel Renfro
I lost my mother to Cancer after a long, hard fought battle. She showed me what a True Hero is with her grace and love of life. Mothers day has been a particularly hard holiday for me since her passing. My heart aches to feel her comforting arms around me but I thank God for blessing me with a mother so loving and kind. Don’t ever miss an opportunity to hug your momma! Paula Stapleton Gossman
As my mom progresses in age I become a mom to her. So glad she taught me well. Do blessed to have a Godly example. Becky McIlroy Brown
One of the Carruth pieces I bought for my Mom was Hope. It is such a beautiful angel piece and makes a nice piece for Mom’s or anyone to have. My Mom was the one that told me about the Roots of a Family Tree piece (the older version one) when it came out and went with me to buy it The new design of it is beautiful as well. Deb Cameron
Mothers Day makes me think of my Momma. She passed away in 2008 and not a day goes by that I don’t think of her. She had Alzheimers and it was so hard to see what that terrible disease did to her. I am a Busia now, as she was to my kids and I feel she lives on through me and my children as well as her beautiful great granddaughter Emma. Mary Smigielski Toth
My mom was my best friend. I would tell her everything. She and I would laugh until we couldn’t breathe. She never said a bad word about anybody or gossiped. She read her Bible every night and helped me have a great faith in God. She was a wonderful mom. Ann Teatsorth Broughton
I don’t have a great story, but I do have many great memories and pictures from lots of mothers days gone by…and I appreciate so much that I am able to hold on to those we’ve lost with those memories and pictures! Emily Stover Barnes
Thursday, May 5th, 2011
As Mother’s Day approaches I find myself thinking of the many people whose loved ones have passed away. Bereavement can be hard to talk about and especially painful during holidays. My mother is no longer with us and and we miss her terribly. I think of her often and imagine her reaction to the new designs and new colors we’re introducing now.
Over the years my work has been used to commemorate and pay tribute. Every day, at Carruth Studio and at our store, Garden Smiles, we help our customers choose designs that will be given as sympathy gifts. Some are used at the grave site, some are added to floral arrangements and some are just given, with love.
I’ve come to understand that a bereavement gift can be more than a card or a floral arrangement. Some sympathy gifts are whimsical, some reflect an aspect of the loved one’s personality and some just resonate with the person who is giving the gift. It is different for each individual.
I feel very honored that someone would choose my work as a bereavement gift or memorial tribute. I hope that my designs offer comfort and perhaps even bring a smile or two.
Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
Mother’s Day is in the wind. The day when families everywhere take their mothers to brunch to remind them of how special they are, offering gifts of baby handprints and homemade cards from school where the alphabet has been practiced and sweet little drawings of the family appear made in crayola by little hands.
In our case Mother’s Day spans three generations honoring both the living and the dead. It is a time to honor Deb’s Mom, who at 89 continues to embrace life with vigor and joy, and a time to honor George’s Mom who is no longer with us but whom we adore and miss dearly. Deb who mothered three beautiful children and our daughter Libby who is a magnificent mother to our beautiful grandson.
We wish you all a wonderful Mother’s Day everyday!
I put together this short video showcasing a few of the designs I think make special Mother’s day gifts.
Finally, we take so much pleasure in hearing your stories about how you enjoy and celebrate the special days and holidays so we are again launching a Mother’s day contest on Facebook. Post your thoughts, stories, images and videos related to Mother’s Day and we will pick on person at random to receive a free Carruth design as a Mother’s Day gift.
Questions? post them here or on Facebook or send them to us in an email. We appreciate your input and value your support.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Friday, April 8th, 2011
We’ve been working hard to develop a new patina for my designs. We will be introducing the new look at my Spring artist signing on April 16. I think the new patina highlights the details in each of my pieces. In the past directional lighting was crucial for detail to “pop”, but with this new finish the sculpture comes to life in any environment. We posted some images of the new patina on our Facebook wall and received an amazing number of positive comments. People that have enjoyed the content of my plaques are now blown away as they discover all of the subtle details I include. I’m pleased with the dimension the new patina adds to my designs.
If you look at my sculptures, they almost have a children’s book quality. Every piece has a little story going on. Look closely for added details. Insects, tiny flowers, tiny objects and most of all, eye contact and body language. With all of these subtle images, most people are drawn into the scene by something THEY can relate to. I’m not choosing an audience. I’m piecing together images that tell a story. Sort of a snapshot, or starting point. Now it is up to the audience to dig into their memory bank and imagine what the rest of the story might be.
What do I hope to communicate? My goal is to share stories and images that make me smile. As I said earlier, my sculptures have a storybook quality to them. The viewer can observe all of the subtle clues sculpted into a scene, and feel as though they can relate to what is happening. It reminds them of something they might have seen or experienced. I’m sure you noticed that animals, nature and folklore are the themes that turn up in most of my sculptures. I guess I’m still a small child at heart…in awe of nature.
I’d love to invite you to join us for the artist signing. The event will be held at Garden Smiles, in Waterville, from 10:00 AM-5:00 PM on April 16. Call 419-878-5412 or click here for more information or to get directions to Garden Smiles. Hope to see you there!
Monday, March 28th, 2011
Since spring is, finally, here I’m getting out and walking around the neighborhood. Every now and then I’ll spot a Carruth sculpture peeking out from someone’s flower bed. I do mean peeking. Often it is barely visible under a pile of matted down leaves from last autumn.
While passing by, I can’t help but wonder if the home owner remembers placing the stone there, or will re-discover it when raking and tidying up the yard.
Does this sound familiar to anyone?
I’m also aware of the vibrant chatter coming from all the birds. Although we hear them all winter, you can almost feel a different level of excitement with the warmer air and radiant sunshine.
Several years ago, while sitting on our porch, there were several birds on the roof, hopping around on the gutters, probably hunting for bugs or seeds. With the angle of the sun that morning, shadows of these birds were cast on the ground in front of me.
The silhouette shadows of these little fellows hopping around, had the same jerky motion and energy of a puppet show. While they jumped around full of what I perceived as playful energy, I imagined a medieval puppet master using high pitched funny voices, entertaining a gathering of children, synchronizing his voices to the motion of the bird shadows.
What are you discovering as Spring approaches?
Share your stories with me. Who knows what they might inspire? I never know what I’ll be working on next.
Monday, March 14th, 2011
Here’s a new video by Toledo.com. I often have a hard time being in front of the camera but I think they did a nice job and this video really works. In the video I talk about how Deb and I got started with Carruth Studio and Garden Smiles and I also talk about some of the things that motivate me to sculpt. We shot it in inside of Garden Smiles so it gives you a real feel for the store and for the Carruth designs we sell-at Garden Smiles and online.
Do you like it? Let me know or just click “like” below. And, please share it with your friends. We appreciate your support.
Monday, February 28th, 2011
Inspiration for new designs seem to come when you least expect them. Friends share their ideas, time is spent browsing art and sculpture on the computer and I explore galleries and museums.
While Deb and I were in New York city exhibiting at the International Gift Show last month, we saw an incredible variety of designs from around the world. After being surrounded by all of this art for a week, I couldn’t wait to start sketching on the flight home.
At home the next morning I was sitting near the window trying to figure out what direction to take. I had a dozen or so sketches inspired from everything I had seen in New York. Eventually I noticed hundreds of footprints on the snow covering the hill behind our home. While we were gone, the neighborhood kids had been sledding and enjoying the deep snow and sunshine.
That’s when it happened! I was suddenly taken back to when I was one of those kids braving the cold and sledding with my friends. With fond winter memories spinning in my brain, this is what I sculpted, something cold, exciting and full of childhood joy.
After experiencing all of the great art in New York city, inspiration was found where I least expected it, right outside my own window.
Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011
Happy Groundhog Day to everyone! According to the news, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning and we will have an early Spring. I write this from snowy New York City, where Deb and I have been participating in a trade show for the gift industry. We see no sign of early Spring here in NYC, and the news from Ohio sounds wintery too. It doesn’t happen often, but Carruth Studio is closed today as Waterville digs out from last night’s storm.
Our own Gordy Groundhog did his best, but there was no sun to be seen until well after Noon, and that for only a short time. Looks like more winter for us. Poor Gordy Groundhog is hunkering down with the rest of Northwest Ohio and dreaming of Spring warmth and flowers. Gordy is not alone, according to Wikipedia, 6 of 15 groundhogs polled today, predict a longer winter. Of course, the other groundhogs disagree and are predicting an early Spring.
We marvel at the weather we’re seeing here and at what people are experiencing all over the country right now. Storms throughout the Midwest and East Coast and cold with rolling power blackouts in Texas. Deb and I are staying warm and enjoying our visit to the Big Apple but we’re looking forward to heading home soon. I’ve got ideas for new designs and am eager to get back to work.
So stay warm and hang in there, wherever you are. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! If you’re looking for entertainment while you’re snowed in, visit our Facebook page and post an entry to our Valentine’s Day contest. You could win a signed, numbered and hand painted “Froggy Dreams” or “Love Mini Stone”! Or, you could just visit us online and purchase your own. Not to toot our own horn, but Carruth designs make wonderful gifts for just about everyone.
Thursday, December 30th, 2010
Some of the new directions for 2010 included the History of Motorcycles # 1183 and A Child’s View of the Moon # 1186.
On the motorcycle piece I tried to capture the raw thrill of motorcycles by creating a dust cloud and executing a looser ”sketchy” surface technique. By adding more texture and not defining every detail, the essence of the scene feels stronger.
On the moon plaque, the sculpting technique is similar. But the wonderful verse, ” The Moon is so full he must have eaten all the stars”, is the trigger for our imaginations. The quote came from a 4 year old girl named Megan. I really can’t express how much I enjoyed sculpting Megan’s observation of the moon. Since many Carruth sculptures already have a children’s book feeling, the quote from Megan made the sculpture complete. In 2011, I hope to receive a few more observations of nature in the form of children’s quotes.
Over the holidays I’ve been working on a sculpture that is influenced by how much people love and look forward to their morning coffee. Again, the sculpting technique is a little looser, but the scene is full of delightful details. Naturally, I’ve included some family pets in the composition. Anyway, the characters are coming along nicely and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds. Because so many people display their sculptures indoors, I’m more comfortable choosing topics that are not garden related. Plus, people who post comments and photographs on our Facebook page, allow me to better understand how the sculptures are displayed.
2010 was full of new experiences and subject matter. It seems fitting to mark this passage with The Birthday Fairy, a new design we introduced only weeks ago. Because of the internet connection to our customers, 2011 should be just as exciting.
So, thank you for another good year! Everyone at Carruth Studio will be busily creating and shipping original new designs that serve as fun and meaningful gifts.
Tags: A child's view of the moon, American Artisan, American crafts, American made, artist signing, Carruth Studio, George Carruth, gifts, hand cast stone, History of motorcycles, sculpture, The Birthday Fairy
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Thursday, December 23rd, 2010
As Christmas and the end of the year approach I find myself thinking about both. One aspect of the holidays I particularly enjoy is rediscovering decorations that have been packed away all year. Specifically the hand made ornaments and drawings our children have gifted us over the years. I love sitting and reminiscing, while surrounded by hand made decorations that say ” to Mom and Dad”.
And somehow, another year has come and gone at our little company. Everyone at Carruth Studio (all 19 of us) has worked extra hard and feels especially grateful to do what we do. We appreciate the conversations with people that have used our sculptures as fun or meaningful gifts. Whether they are used as a ”Thank You” or “Thinking of You” gift, it feels good to know that our images are used for more than just decorative accents. Certainly we have fun making light hearted sculptures that make people smile, but it’s the meaningful gifts and stories that stick in our memories.
From dogs and cats in cars to angel sculptures–it has been a wonderful year. Who knows what sculpted images will emerge from the studio in 2011? Facebook has allowed me to listen to stories and see photographs from around the country. In the past, I quietly strolled our Garden Smiles gallery, listening to people discover and talk about how they intended to use the sculptures. But now I can go to my computer, while still at my desk, and enjoy the same experience. The wonderful quote from 4 year old Megan, about the moon eating all of the stars, is a perfect example of this.
Another satisfying project this year was the 1000 lb limestone sculpture of St. Clare of Assisi now placed in a memorial garden near Cleveland. Although I don’t carve stone as often as the early years, it felt great to use a hammer and chisels again.
So thank you for taking an interest in Carruth Studio. We truly do appreciate the support of our valued customers. To everyone we’ve come in contact with over the years, have a wonderful Holiday and Happy New Year!
George, Deb and everyone at Carruth Studio
Tags: American Artisan, American crafts, American made, art, artist, Carruth Studio, Christmas, Facebook page, Garden Smiles, George Carruth, gifts, Grateful, hand cast stone, Moon, New Year, Saint Clare of Assisi, Sculptor George Carruth
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