One of these wreaths is not like the other — because I made it. These are only some of the wreaths at my art-museum workplace we staffers create to fill in the blank spaces around our annual Christmas trees exhibit. At the beginning of November, we pull out a few fake trees and a bunch of ornaments and ribbons and bags of color-coordinated — well, I’m not sure what the technical term is but it’s basically wreath stuff — and we all stake out our favorite spots and for two days all you hear is “Has anybody seen more of the shiny red ribbon?” or “Hey, who took my sparkly hydrangeas?” But eventually it all comes together. And when you remember that the other staff members are trained and talented artists and I’m … not, then it’s easy to identify my wreathly effort.
And now we pause for a commercial break from your local museum gift-shop: Go shopping there! These photos are from the art museum in my town (Full disclosure: I work there! But still.) but I bet your museum — big or small — has a gift shop that’s stocked full of goodies to make your Christmas shopping a one-stop breeze. And it’s win-win-win: You’ll be able to buy creative and imaginative gifts that I guarantee will be different from anything else under your tree, you’ll be helping out a worthy cause that needs you and you will not end up with the dreaded I’ve-been-in-the-mall-for-four-hours-and-I-still-can’t-find-anything headache. Plus, you’ll look really cool and smart when you’re asked “Where did you find this?” and you can shrug nonchalantly and say, “Oh, at the art museum.” And isn’t that what Christmas-gift-giving all about???!!!
Have I told y’all that I’ve got a new job? Well, I use the term “job” loosely because it’s really just fun that I get paid for. And I’m using the phrase “get paid for” loosely, too. I’m the new marketing director for a local arts association that oversees an art museum and a renovated historic theatre. It’s part-time — only a few hours a week — and of course it’s non-profit, so you can see that this is not the path to great personal wealth and riches. Of the money kind, at least. Because in terms of great personal satisfaction, this job rocks. The staff offices are in the museum, so we’re surrounded by creativity, talent and general wonderfulness every day. And the folks on the staff are exactly the type of people you want to work with: Dedicated, enthusiastic, generous and fun. Plus, I get to do what I love doing: Write. My prime responsibility is writing press releases and public service announcements and getting the word out about our exhibits, theatrical productions, concerts, workshops, tours, openings, etc. I’ve been building a media-contact list, talking to artists and newspaper and magazine folks and generally learning my way around the art world — which, by the way, is a fascinating place. Fascinating. One thing I’ve been thrilled to discover is that my work clothes from two years ago when I “retired” from fulltime newspaper-newsroom room still fit — but only because all those low-waisted skirts I borrowed from my daughters now sort of hang out around my waist since there seems to be some sort of impediment in my middle zone. But it’s OK, since I now have some spare cash I can put toward a new wardrobe the electric bill. (Oh, hi, Dear Husband! I didn’t see you reading here.) Read more about tackling a new job in my latest newspaper column. And Younger Daughter sent me off to my new job in style the other morning with broiled fresh peaches served with a dollop of creamy Greek yogurt. Oh, yum.