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December 2005
Letter From The Editor

With the Holiday Season upon us, we are busy polishing up our web site with new and updated information about Limited Edition Collectibles. We want our site to be the best resource on the web, where our vistors can find whatever they are looking for easily and quickly. We know how frustrating it can be to find that one special, perfect gift and how frustrating it can be to have to search through mountains of data to find it.

That is why we work so hard to constantly update our site and find ways to make it better. Never hesitate to drop us an e-mail when you have suggestions about how we can improve our site or even just to ask a question. We love hearing from our visitors and we are never too busy to make new friends.

We hope you will enjoy reading our Newsletter and will find the articles relevant. We will be including an Artist's Profile in every Newsletter. This month the featured artist is Thaddeus Krumeich. We will also be searching for articles of interest to art collectors and gift shoppers, so that we can be of even greater service to our web site visitors.

We also included an intersting article about Native-American Art. In our Gallery pages we feature two of the most prominent artists of our time who paint Native-American subjects. Jonnie Chardonne's wonderful art depicts scenes that include Native-American men and women; and Gregory Perillo's compelling art includes portraits of Native-American children, Chieftains, and horses. Click on the links above to be transported through time by these artists, to the wonder of a period in history that is gone, but not forgotten.

We hope your Holidays are wonderful and filled with all the people and things that you cherish..We've included a few articles in this Newsletter that might help you get more out of the season. One is about how to make the Holidays less stressful, another is about the history of gift giving, and the last one is about how to host a tree-trimming party for family and friends.

No matter how busy you are this season, trying to make your Holidays as perfect as possible, remember to enjoy yourself as you spend time with friends and family. Love doesn't come in a box that is tied up with a beautiful ribbon, it comes from the heart.

Happy Holidays from the staff of The Plate Lady
™ ® of Tampa Bay!!

Artist's Profile: Thaddeus Krumeich

Thaddeus Krumeich, born in 1930, is a master of the style he calls Magic Realism.

He studied art at the New York University and Columbia University. He has created illustrations for publications such as Readers Digest, Time Life, and Family Circle. His work was also selected for UNICEF Greeting Cards in 1981 & 1982 .

Thaddeus' art has been shown throughout the United States, but some of his most beloved work is represented in the 'Uncle Tads Cats' Limited Edition collectible plate series. The series was manufactured by Anna-Perenna, from the original art works, with pure metallic oxide colors.

Other popular series that were based on the art work of Thaddeus Krumeich are 'Uncle Tad's Golden Oldies', 'Uncle Tad's Holdiay Cats', and 'Tick Tock Clock' by Anna-Perenna..

Thaddeus' work is displayed at the Bradford Exchange Museum near Chicago.
Native American Art: Thunderbird
Written by Clint Leung

Tuesday, 26 July 2005 The thunderbird has been one of the most dominant icons in Native American art and legends. In fact, the concept of the thunderbird has been so popular that it has been used in the non-Native world to name a classic automobile, liquor, a 1960's children's adventure television show (and subsequent recent movie), a US Air Force squadron and is referenced in pop music (remember the word 't-bird' in 1950's rock and roll?). The thunderbird is one of the few cross-cultural characters in Native American mythology since it is found in legends of Pacific Northwest, Plains, and Northeastern tribes.

The Native Indians of the Pacific Northwest Coast always lived along the shores and never ventured inland to the mountains. Legend has it that the thunderbird, a mighty God in the form of a giant, supernatural bird lives in the mountains. The Quileute tribe of Washington state considered a cave on Mount Olympus as the home of the thunderbird while the Coast Salish believed it is located on the Black Tusk peak in British Columbia. It is thought that the thunderbird never wants anyone to come near its home. If Native hunters get too close, the thunderbird will smell them and make a thunder sound by flapping its wings. It would also roll ice out of its cave and down the mountain with chunks breaking up into many smaller pieces.

Some tribes such as the Kwakwaka'wakw believe that their people once made a deal with the thunderbird for its help during a food crisis and in return, the tribe agreed to honor the thunderbird for all time by making its image prominent in their Northwest Native American art. This is why West Coast art totem poles are often carved with thunderbirds with outstretched wings at the top.

The wingspan of the thunderbird was described to be twice as long as a Native Indian war canoe. Underneath its wings are lightning snakes which the thunderbird uses as weapons. Lightning is created when the thunderbird throws these lighting snakes or when he blinks his eyes that glow like fire. Sometimes these lightning snakes are depicted in Native American art as having wolf or dog-like heads with serpent tongues. They are occasionally referred to as the thunderbird's dogs. Native American art portrays the thunderbird with a huge curving beak and prominent ears or horns.

The thunderbird is large and strong enough to hunt its favorite food, which is the killer whale. The lightning snakes of the thunderbird are used during hunts out at sea for the killer whale. After capture, the thunderbird carries the killer whale back to the mountain to eat. According to legend, the thunderbird and killer whale once battled so hard that entire trees were uprooted. This was the explanation why there are treeless prairie regions near the Pacific Northwest Coast mountains. The thunderbird and killer whale are often depicted together in Northwest Native American art. A large example is one by reknowned Northwest Native American art carver Richard Hunt at one of the Northwest Native American art exhibits at the Vancouver International Airport.

The Squamish Nation in British Columbia, Canada has a thunderbird as their symbol. Their thunderbird is portrayed as one of the special messengers of the Creator. The Squamish thunderbird is a symbol for strength as well as change with the three tail feathers representing the past, present and future. In the talons of this thunderbird is a face of a lizard which represents spiritual protection for the people of the Squamish Nation.

For many people, Natives and non-Natives alike, the thunderbird has become a symbol of power, strength and nobility. Even the classic automobile of the same name was reintroduced as a contemporary version.

Article Source:

About The Author: Clint Leung is owner of Free Spirit Gallery, an online gallery specializing in Inuit Eskimo and Northwest Native American art including carvings, sculpture and prints. Free Spirit Gallery has numerous information resource articles with photos of authentic Inuit and Native Indian art as well as free eCards.

It's the Most Wonderful Gift of the Year
By Joy Fisher-Sykes

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. As we deck the halls and fill the malls, we’re filled with anticipation, joy, and excitement. The holiday season is upon us, and it’s a special time we choose to show our appreciation and share our love with the special people in our lives. However, with all of the joy the holidays bring, this still tends to be one of the most stressful times of the year. Why?

Could it be because it’s intoxicating to buy loved ones whatever their hearts desire – and we’re willing to rise in the dark of night to shop in the pre-dawn hours for the “gift of the year”? Ah, yes, the mad dash to the 5 a.m. sale where you’re guaranteed to be pushed, run over, stepped on, and after a long wait told “Sorry sold out;” only to then have the pleasure of standing in a check out line as long as the east coast.


Do you ever question the sanity of a day like this in a life that seems to have so little time, and a world that’s filled with job insecurity, war, and economic ups and downs? If so, why do you still feel so torn? Could it be because we’ve allowed marketers, advertisers, manufacturers, and retailers to shape our outlook and convince us to buy into their vision of the perfect life? This life where you shop to create the perfect body, so you can be with the perfect partner, live in the perfect house, and drive the perfect car to the perfect job so we can afford the perfect lotions and potions to forever live the perfect life. Wake up and smell the perfect hype! The holidays are not about being manipulated into believing in some artificially created image that drives sales; it’s about your vision of giving and sharing the joy you choose to create.

Stress of the season happens when we fret about how our gift will be received. A disconnect exists when we fear if our gift is disliked, then somehow we too will be rejected and denied the friendship, affection or acceptance we so desire. Although intellectually, we know nothing could be further from the truth, we may still feel the need to explain away or apologize for our gifts of love. I say if you hold this to be your truth and also believe that the worth of your relationships is based on the monetary value of gifts exchanged, then I strongly urge you to re-examine and re-evaluate your relationships.

At a time when many feel compelled to spend more money (perhaps more than they can afford) yet feel they have less time, it’s important to focus on the deeper meaning and spirit of the holidays. Now and in the days to come, regroup and refocus your energies to give the most priceless gift you always have to offer – YOU. Truly the most wonderful gifts of the year are heartfelt, so here are a few you can offer the whole year through.

1. Create A Moment. Moments are magical times when someone later turns and says, “Remember the time we…” Moments don’t just happen; they’re created. Moments are the gifts that keep on giving and that can be relived at any time over and over again.

2. Unconditional Love and Friendship. No judging, no gossiping, no criticizing – No Kidding!

3. A Random Act of Kindness. Give of yourself daily. Acts both small and large count - choose to donate your time, energy, or money. You can experience even greater gratification if you don’t tell a soul.

4. The Gift of Time
* Time with yourself to reflect and grow
* Time with others to develop and build powerful relationships
* Time given to others that empowers them to expand their greatness

5. The Gift of Respect. Respect for yourself and others empowers you to value beauty inside and out. Value the beauty of your relationships by infusing them with respect and honoring them with your time.

I encourage you to start today - share any or all of these gifts with yourself, family, friends, or colleagues. Remember, the most wonderful gift of all is the gift that keeps on giving!

Joy Fisher-Sykes is a professional speaker, author, and success coach in the areas of leadership, motivation, stress management, customer service, and team building. You can e-mail her at, or call her at (757) 427-7032. Go to her web site, and signup for the newsletter, OnPoint, and receive the free ebook, "Empowerment and Stress Secrets for the Busy Professional."

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Why Does Santa Bring Gifts?
By Jessica Cander

The history of Christmas and in particular the reasons for the giving of gifts are not known for certain, but several things are known for a fact. The traditions of Santa Claus and giving presents at Christmas time began long before the birth of Jesus Christ, although it really depends on where in the world you live as to how you believe the whole tradition started.

The giving of presents at Christmas time actually dates back over 4000 years to the Mesopotamians. They believed that every year in winter their primary god Marduk would do battle with the evil spirits of chaos. Upon Marduk's return it was necessary for the king to then pledge his allegiance to the God and he would die at the end of the year. The Mesopotamians obviously cottoned on to the fact that they were going through kings quicker than they could produce them, so they would dress a convict up as the king and treat him as though he were a king for one day. At the end of the new year festival they would kill him.

On this day they would present gifts to one another to mark the beginning of the new year and the success that Marduk had yet again bestowed on them. This is where the giving of Christmas gifts began.

St Nicholas is believed to have been born around 300 A.D and lived in what is now Turkey. He was a widely revered and loved monk due to his overwhelming kindness. His most famous act of kindness was to save three sisters from slavery by providing them with a dowry in order that they could be married.

As such a popular character he soon became the patron saint of many different groups of people, eventually resting on children and sailors. Traditionally St. Nicholas day was celebrated and remembered on December 6th, although his role as patron saint of children has seen his special day moved to coincide with Christmas.

So one thing that is certain is that Santa Claus visits us on the wrong day every single year. Celebration of Saint Nicholas should in fact be on December 6th, although the moving of St. Nicholas day to the 25th was presumably done to combine his special day with the Christian festival. If the large superstores and toy manufacturers were given the choice I'm quite sure they would rather celebrate them separately, so be warned for next year.

Born in Vancouver, BC Jessica Cander is a professional freelance writer who currently calls the Southern tip of Ireland home. You can read more of her writing on all things Christmas gifts related at the Christmas Gift Center.

Article Source:

Tips On Hosting a Christmas Tree Trimming Party
By Adam Lenk

Do you remember when the Christmas season was less of a hassle and more of a joyous time spent with family and friends? Back in the day, families just seemed to have enough time to sit back and enjoy the holiday season. Today, on the other hand, many people get harried, rushed and basically stressed out during the Christmas holiday. There just seems to be no time to enjoy any of life's simple pleasures when there is so much shopping and entertaining to squeeze in during a short period of time.

Take trimming the tree for instance. As a kid, I can remember the whole family gathered around the tree, Christmas music blaring in the background, warm home-baked cookies and cool milk in our tummies, as each of us took a turn to place our most precious and beloved ornaments on the tree. And when we got done trimming our Christmas tree, we loaded up and went to Grandma's and started the whole thing over. It was a time of being together, a time of love, laughter and celebration that the whole family slowed down to enjoy and appreciate.

Now, fast forward… I'm not going to say how many years; that would be too revealing. Let's just say to today. In many households the act of trimming the tree has evolved into more of a hectic holiday task than a chance to enjoy and celebrate the season. I've even heard many moan and groan about having to put up the Christmas tree when they got home from work. If this is the way things are at your house around the holidays, maybe you should think about hosting a tree trimming party to recapture that holiday spirit.

A Christmas tree trimming party can turn what was once viewed as a tedious chore into a joyous holiday gathering with your closest friends and loved ones. All you need is a tree, decorations, a few appetizers and your favorite people.

Here's how you can host a tree trimming party at your home during this Christmas season.

· Invitations. With so many competing functions to attend, even your closest relatives can forget an event if you only invite them informally. By sending out invitations, you can formally invite your closest family and friends and give them the sense that this is something worth attending. Invitations do not have to be expensive. You can pick up simple cookie-cutter invitations at the dollar store or party supply store. You can also print invitations up on your computer.

· Ornaments. Ask each of your guests to bring an inexpensive or homemade ornament to hang on your tree. In years to come, when you unpack these ornaments, you will be reminded of the special people who attended your tree trimming party and the memories that you created.

· Appetizers. While you do not need to plan a lavish banquet to serve your guests, you should serve a wide variety of appetizers which include hot and cold entrees and a little bit of the sweet stuff. If you have family members or friends who are health conscious or follow specific diets, keep them in mind also while you're preparing the menu.

· Setup. Place beverages and appetizers on several tables or counters, in a room separate from the tree, in a way that guests can flow freely around the buffet to choose their favorite munchies. Nobody likes to have to fight or squeeze their way through a tight crowd to refill their drink or get a little something to nibble on. The same thing goes for the "tree trimming room." Place ornaments openly on tables so that guests can move about freely and their special touch to the tree at will. Also make sure that there is plenty of space for guests to mingle and move throughout the house.

As you can see, a tree trimming party can be a great way to get a holiday chore done while enjoying precious time with your family and friends in a casual atmosphere. If you do not want to host a Christmas tree trimming party in your home every year, you can pass the torch on to other family members so that you can trim a tree at a different home each year but still get to spend quality time together.

By Adam Lenk

For more christmas tips and articles visit Christmas Visions

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