Ornament design 101 - how I come up with new designs (or rather, how they come to me)

Many of my ornament designs have come to me while I'm driving. Others develop in my sleep and I wake up thinking about a new design.


But I never write them down immediately (especially when I'm driving!) I mull them over for a while. I work out the intricate details in my mind for a few days until I'm satisfied with the design in my head. Then - and only then - am I willing to sketch the design into my notebook. 


My thought process pays extra attention to adding special details to each new design. To me, those finishing touches make all the difference. My favorite extra-special detail? The tiny crystal I add to the center of the North Star in my nighttime forest ornaments.

Then I paint a prototype. Sometimes those prototypes don't go how I expect... and my designs need some adjustments before I put them into my shop. Almost always I make a small batch of a new design first to sell at local events. The feedback I get from those samples, and how well my customers respond to the design, tell me whether to make more.


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