‘Tis the season, isn’t it?  For some this is a time to start thinking about whether they are on the naughty or nice list.  For others it’s a time of celebration.  A time for giving.  A time for sharing.  For many though, it is a time for creating.  In homes all over the world creative and/or crafty folk put their skills to work creating gifts, decorations and fabulous feasts.  In our home over the last several years the approach of Christmas is marked by the frantic production of Christmas Bags and Santa Sacs.

Jen started creating the Christmas Bags for friends in 2007 followed the next year by the creation of the Santa Sacs for our wonderful friends, the Cordys.  Ever since, there has been a huge demand for these custom bags and sacs around this time of year.  Every year, by the time Jen has finished she says “Enough.  I’m never making another bag!”  haha. Yeah right.  I smile lovingly and nod.  Then a friend asks.  And Jen goes back into production.

It’s actually been a bit different this year as Jen has written up the instructions, developed patterns for a bunch of different designs, made the patterns available for sale and is even teaching a class on the Santa Sacs at Simcoe Sew and Quilt in December.  Of course, our Aussie friends all know about the bags and sacs so a few orders came in and have to be put together too, including one jumbo stocking.

Needless to say Quilts by Jen is a bit busy right now!

What does this have to do with film-making?  [Hit the jump for more and pictures of some of Jen’s bags…]Well, not a lot really, I suppose, it’s more coincidental.  Jen and I have been talking about video in relation to Houlden Studios on and off over the summer and how the worlds of motion and still are rapidly melding into an incredibly exciting opportunity.  To be honest, most of the discussion was along the lines of “OMG!  Video!?!  We have our hands full with still photography!  This isn’t for us.”  Seriously.  Like, can you say sticking our heads in the sand, much?  There is no doubt that video and still photography are destined for each other.  After seeing some of the fusion works of other artists this year, I’m pretty stoked with what’s possible.

When an invitation arrived to attend the Get In Motion Tour when it passed through Toronto, we hemmed and hawed a bit and then decided that we didn’t have anything to lose by having a closer look.  And thus, last Thurday saw us trekking down to the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto for the workshop.  After 4.5 hours with Jeff and Ross, we headed back home pretty keyed up about what we’d just seen.

Take-aways?  Well, for one, film-making is a much different from videography as it is from photography.  Film-making is about using motion to tell a story, whereas videography is recording what’s in front of the camera and photography is providing an image for the viewer to develop the story.  Both easier and harder than it seems, film-making is pretty exciting stuff for us here at Houlden Studios, and yes, my Christmas Wishlist has a few tools that have just been added to it.  (Please Santa?  I promise I’ve been good this year.)

Hmmm, so maybe there is a connection between the Santa Sacs and film-making after all?

Oh wait!  Yes indeed.  The connection.  The next morning I awoke keen as mustard to have a go at practising some of what we’d learned at the workshop and it just happened that Jen was working on her Santa Sacs.  Perfect subject! Hence, Part 1 of the Making of a Santa Sac at the head of this post is our very first effort at film-making.  Part 2 is in the making, no worries.

With that, I leave you with a few images of Santa Sacs and Christmas Bags from years gone by…