Listening To Your Art–Gifting Creativity

Here on the island we have a community center, branded as ‘the hall’, that hosts the teen youth club, various sports practices, Irish dancing lessons, parties/celebrations, fund raisers, veterinary clinics, dramas, orchestras, movie viewings, ceili dances, public meetings, wedding receptions, and probably a few more things I haven’t thought of.  It’s definitely the islands all-purpose space.


A view of the ocean from the island community center.

For the second year in a row, my daughter Margaret Maeve and her friend Tanya rented a table at the island’s annual Christmas Fair held at the hall.  There are about 12 to 14 tables offering a variety of gift items for sale and holding raffles for a huge range of things.  For the few weeks before, the girls busily create everything they sell.  

Their entrepreneurial partnership began by their running an iced tea, snack, and gift stand at the top of our shared drive in the summers for the passing island visitors.  They quickly learned how to make money doing something they really love.  It started with the goal of one getting a phone and the other a new dress– no long term vision. They met those goals and it continued from there.

As parents, both households have been supportive by donating baking supplies, craft materials, and precious time.  This year the girls pitched in a bit of their own money and, since beginning, we’ve explained to them about considerations such as the cost of time and all the bits and bobs they get for free, helping them to understand a few of the realities of running a business.

Another successful year– they have much to be proud of.

The Island Crafters, a group that meets one evening a week, organized craft project tables at this years children’s Christmas party, also held at the hall.  I really enjoy the company of these ladies.  It’s a nice night out of the house doing something we all enjoy away from the many distractions of home.   

I think the pictures speak for themselves.  Children are natural crafters.  The sparkle in their eyes as they create is the real magic of Christmas.   

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.”

–Peg Bracken

I’m so grateful for the connections made this year through my blog and facebook page.  The personal visits, comments and conversation, private messages, letters and photographs, the gifts of advice and support, seeds and cuttings, sewing patterns, fabric, special packages from the States, Europe, UK, and Asia for the garden, craftroom, the kitchen, the children, and my family– that you took the time to show such generosity and love is a wonderful feeling.  To those who leave comments and converse, and those who’ve shared my writing with others, thank you.  Also to those on the island who have verbally encouraged me, a warm thanks from the bottom of my heart for your support.  There have been days that these simple gestures have made an immeasurable difference.  I think, I hope, you all know how wonderful that feels!

Star The brightest stars are those who shine for the benefit of others.Star

Wishing everyone adventures as unique as snowflakes, now and throughout the new year!  

Melissa Xx


  1. Beautiful and uplifting post Melissa 😀
    Kids are so honest in their happiness for crafting, so much joy. Great that the kids learn about working and how to earn their own money, so good to learn early.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    What a lovely post Mellisa. And what a lovely view from your community centre! Ours holds similar events but looks no way as cosy as yours. And how enterprising of your daughter and her friend! We do a ladybird and brownie group each Monday at our community centre (part of the Irish girl guides) and we do lots of crafts with the girls and you are right they are natural crafters – love all the photos. Have a wonderful Christmas with your family. K

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wonderful community to be part of, Melissa. I think this makes such a difference in the growing of children…to be surrounded not only by a loving family, but a community that embraces the importance of that ‘extended’ family. These are days your children will never forget ( or you as well). We have an old Grange here in Montville that has always served as our meeting place…, meetings, the annual Christmas craft fair, and the potluck lunch during town meeting. The kids all have fond memories of attending different gatherings there…..seeing and visiting with their neighbors. It makes me happy to think of your lovely family being such an integral part of that special island community……and they are SO lucky to have you! Merry, Merry Christmas to you all!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The non essential gatherings are when the heartbeat of the community beats strongest– united by common interest and a sense of togetherness rather than urgency or problem solving. I see and feel the effects of these educational, recreational and community strengthening activities within my own family long after they are over. I like to think my children are making their own fond memories.

      I hope you had wonderful holidays. Very warm I heard, but looks a bit colder these days according to the news forecast. Looking forward to becoming even better friends with you in 2016! Xx

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks very much Deirdre! The holidays were wonderful and back to school starts tomorrow. Spring is around the corner and I’m looking forward to much in 2016. Have you any trips to Ireland planned? Would be lovely to meet up next visit. 🙂 Wishing you joy and happiness in everything you do!


  4. Mama Cormier says:

    I remember when my children were little and I was home with them I seemed to find the time to make crafts and sell them at community craft fairs. Now that their grown up and all have places of their own I barely find the time to do art for myself, never mind make things to sell. Wonderful collection of photos and what a great experience for your daughter. Wishing you and your family all the best for the new year. Carol

    Liked by 1 person

    • But you do such wonderfully creative art with your students! That is a real credit to you as it is slowly disappearing in many schools.

      I hope your holidays were wonderful…mine are back to school tomorrow. Summer break not too far off now 😉 !!!

      Liked by 1 person


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