I think this is an interesting and personal way that we've commemorated our holidays and it's something I've done since Cameron and I spent our first Christmas together.
When you buy a live Christmas tree you are supposed to remove the bottom 1" of the trunk so the tree will draw water and live throughout the season without becoming a fire hazard. We always buy a live tree and we always take off the inch. My idea was to use the stump to commemorate our first Christmas together. That first year I grabbed a Sharpie and wrote on it, "Cameron and David, Our First Christmas, 1992." The decoration on the discs of pine have become more "designed" as time has passed. This is one of the many things I do that causes my friends to call me "Martha".
Every year I've wrestled with a way to display these keepsakes. They've draped the back kitchen door for the last several years as a "garland" of sorts, but that arrangement has always left something to be desired, aesthetically. This year I found some old pine garland in a plastic storage box that we haven't used in years. It isn't as totally disgusting and fake looking as some other types of artificial garland. It even has tiny, real pine cones on it. During the process of figuring out how to construct this display, I also figured out how to make my wirework Christmas card holders, purchased during a clearance sale on Martha Stewart's online store, more functional -- so, bonus!
So the photos show how all this worked out. I was preparing to send these images of what I consider a "Good Thing" to "Martha, The Martha Stewart Show." As instructed in my new issue of Martha Stewart Living, I went to marthastewart.com. As I was reading about the ways in which to submit ideas, recipes, etc., to Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia the legalese instantly turned me off and ultimately changed my mind about sending them.
"All tapes, photographs, creative suggestions, ideas, notes or concepts or other materials (collectively, "Material") submitted to The Martha Stewart Show, whether through a solicitation by The Martha Stewart Show or unsolicited, become the property of The Martha Stewart Show and will not be returned. Submission of Materials shall constitute an assignment to The Martha Stewart Show and its corporate parent, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (“MSO”) of all worldwide rights, titles, and interests in all copyrights and other intellectual property rights in such Materials. MSO is and shall be under no obligation to: (1) maintain any of your Material in confidence; (2) pay to you any compensation for any Material; or (3) respond to any of your Material. Due to the volume of submissions, all tapes and photographs submitted cannot be returned. By submitting a tape or photo, you agree to let the The Martha Stewart Show use such tape or photo in any media, including on-air and online, and all submitted tapes and photos become the property of The Martha Stewart Show."
While I didn't expect to be compensated for my idea, I do expect to keep ownership of my ideas and my work. My clients have to pay a significant price above normal fees for me to give up ownership of my commercial work. My idea -- my work -- I own it. I've decided to keep this "good thing" to myself.