artist advent calendar : lisa solomon

Hello, my name is Lisa Solomon and I'm a mixed media artist who lives with her husband, daughter, 2 cats and 2 dogs in the Bay Area in California, USA.

I'm excited as this is our first holiday season with our baby girl. Growing up I got the best of both worlds - a bit of Hannukah and a bit of Christmas and I'm really curious to see how we form new traditions and rituals as a new family.

When I was a kid we didn't have a fireplace so my parents made up this elaborate scheme about how they'd leave the door open a crack for Santa to come in. I'd sometimes leave him cookies and then go to the door and make sure it was open a bit. Good thing we lived in Los Angeles where it didn't get too cold. And good thing my parents could just shut the door after I went to sleep. I remember thinking how great and smart my parents were making sure that Santa could still get in without a fireplace. I wonder if my husband and I will be so clever.

I have a thing for vintage holiday items and I was fortunate enough to inherit an amazing collection of vintage ornaments, a cardboard village, and a bunch of reindeer/nativity animals from a dear friend. Some of the ornaments are from when she was a child in the 30's.

The glass ornaments even came in their original shiny bright boxes [which I adore].

Every year I try to do something a little bit different with the decorating. Although in a pinch just give me some holiday lights for me to squint at and I'm totally happy.

My FAVORITE thing to do though is to wrap presents. Sometimes I wish I could just be a "professional wrapper". Seriously. I can get obsessed about it. I tend to pick a theme for the year and then everything gets done up that way - in lean years I even incorporated newspaper and other "free" papers. My husband one year made amazing spray paint stenciled wrapping paper.

Ikea is also a great resource. I like using their ornaments and "stuff" as extra decorations on packages.

Sometimes I wish the holidays weren't so jam packed so that I could spend even more time wrapping.

Of course the other great thing about the holidays is all the eating. Latkes, pies, cookies..... Mmmmmm.

I hope everyone has a lovely lovely holiday season. It's been such a treat to see what people do all over the world... Thanks for asking me to join in the advent fun Stephanie!

Thanks so much Lisa! Your photographs are lovely, and I know your daughter will love your Christmas traditions :)