Sometimes, life gets in the way, especially during and after the holidays. That makes Valentine’s Day the perfect time of year to get together with girlfriends for that much needed girl time. We like to share our ideas with Department 56 enthusiasts to get the creativity going!
For Girlfriends, Friends and Daughters
Tea time shared between two friends is sacred. It’s special time filled with secrets, social updates and ways to solve the world’s problems. These times are spent with only the closest of friends.
Everyone loves chocolates! Chocolates are great gifts as a sweet token of love and affection. Hint..If you give chocolates please-oh-please don’t dare try to take a woman’s chocolates!
A real friend doesn’t ask if you need a hug. They just know you need one. A big bear hug from a loved one has the power to make any day brighter. This figurine features a popular winter trend-hand-knit stocking caps.
For the Village enthusiast or anyone looking for a clever idea
Spend time with your best friend; maybe that’s your husband, wife, or someone close to your heart. Remind them how much they mean to you with a few of these clever ideas for the Village collector in your life.
Well-known British artist Dante Rossetti has inspired this finely detailed accessory of the artist working at his craft. The ever-present muse is a model featured in many of his paintings. The accessory is hand painted and made of porcelain. The perfect gift for the artist!
Less than 2.5 inches in height, this couple is dressed in traditional Tyrolean costumes out for an afternoon of cross county skiing. Made of porcelain and hand painted for the Alpine Village series. Perfect for the outdoor enthusiast!
Mr. and Mrs. Mummy steal a kiss of death on this haunted hollow bench. But will it be their last?
For a Co-worker:
Give a token of appreciation to someone who makes the tough days in the office just a little brighter!
Give this special Snowbaby as a token of love and affection. Her halo, skirt and heart have been hand-glittered. A gift that reminds them everyday their loved!
This porcelain bisque figurine pair tells it all – “I’m Here For You”. Say “thanks” to that special co-worker with this sweet token of admiration.
The Arthur Huertly house was constructed in 1902 in Oak Park, Illinois. The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust details this iconic home by saying: “Solid and monolithic, the Heurtley house is one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s greatest residential designs. Located a short distance from Wright’s own Home and Studio in Oak Park, the house was commissioned by banker Arthur Heurtley. While the rectangular form and monumental massing of the building, evoke Wright’s earlier Winslow house of 1893, the design reflects the remarkable evolution of Wright’s work, and the emergence of his mature Prairie style design vocabulary.
Situated on an expansive lot, the house is anchored to its site by a substantial stone water table. A low-hipped roof with broad, overhanging eaves, shelters the residence. The horizontal form of the building is further emphasized by Wright’s use of two colors of Roman brick, laid in alternating, projecting bands. On the upper level of the house, in place of a decorative frieze, a continuous band of leaded glass casement windows extend across the façade.
Entrance to the house is via a heavy Romanesque arch. The ground floor is given over to a reception hall, a large reception room/playroom, guestrooms and a servant’s hall. Similar in concept to Wright’s Husser and Thomas houses, the principal rooms are elevated to the second story. In contrast to the darker lower level, the upstairs area is defined by airy, open and contiguous light-filled spaces. At the heart of the home, a substantial arched fireplace occupies a central position in the living room. In form and material, the fireplace echoes the prominent arch on the exterior of the building. Leaded glass windows that line the west side of the house, flood the main living spaces with light. An open air elevated porch, accessed via French doors in the living room, blurs the division between interior and exterior space.” For more information visit http://flwright.org/researchexplore/wrightbuildings/arthurheurtleyhouse
Sold to the Art institute of Chicago by the artist himself, Grant Wood, in November of 1930 the American Gothic painting transforms into a beautiful Village piece.
The Art Institute of Chicago writes “This familiar image was exhibited publicly for the first time at the Art Institute of Chicago, winning a three-hundred-dollar prize and instant fame for Grant Wood. The impetus for the painting came while Wood was visiting the small town of Eldon in his native Iowa. There he spotted a little wood farmhouse, with a single oversized window, made in a style called Carpenter Gothic. “I imagined American Gothic people with their faces stretched out long to go with this American Gothic house,” he said. He used his sister and his dentist as models for a farmer and his daughter, dressing them as if they were “tintypes from my old family album.” The highly detailed, polished style and the rigid frontality of the two figures were inspired by Flemish Renaissance art, which Wood studied during his travels to Europe between 1920 and 1926. After returning to settle in Iowa, he became increasingly appreciative of Midwestern traditions and culture, which he celebrated in works such as this. American Gothic, often understood as a satirical comment on the Midwestern character, quickly became one of America’s most famous paintings and is now firmly entrenched in the nation’s popular culture. Yet Wood intended it to be a positive statement about rural American values, an image of reassurance at a time of great dislocation and disillusionment. The man and woman, in their solid and well-crafted world, with all their strengths and weaknesses, represent survivors.” For more information visit http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/artwork/6565
Also in the Art & Architecture Series:
The Chrysler Building
The Chrysler Center is located on 42nd Street between Lexington and Third Avenue on the east side of Midtown Manhattan. Built in 1930, the building underwent purchase and renovation in 1998 with completion by mid-2000 creating a total rental area of 2,062,772 square feet. Amazing 360-degree views of Manhattan and the outlying area overlooking the East River, Central Park, Times Square, and Grand Central Terminal.
“Seven weeks after the death of King Ludwig II in 1886, Neuschwanstein was opened to the public. The shy king had built the castle in order to withdraw from public life – now vast numbers of people came to view his private refuge. Today Neuschwanstein is one of the most popular of all the palaces and castles in Europe. Every year 1.4 million people visit “the castle of the fairy-tale king”. In the summer around 6,000 visitors a day stream through rooms that were intended for a single inhabitant.”
As we reflect on an eventful year- thankfully celebrating our enthusiasts and retailers let’s talk with a few of our brand managers about our experiences in 2016 and what to look forward to in 2017!
Irena: Classic Brands
“We were really excited to partner with Girls Scouts of America to create a fun, unique and inclusive statement of ornaments and table top pieces. We love working with Girl Scouts because we believe and support their values of honesty, fairness, courage, compassion and character. Our collection of Girl Scouts ornaments depicts girls actively participating in activities to earn their badges. Of course, this collection wouldn’t be complete without a nod to Girls Scout cookies – 200 million boxes a year!”
“Jack Daniels is another brand that I absolutely love. A legend, a true American heritage brand with rich history and a bright future. 2016 celebrated 150 years since Jack Daniels birth. We wish this great brand prosperity and longevity. Our collection of ornaments and tabletop items exude the cool and collected vibe of the brand. Black and silver colors of this collection offer an adult perspective on decorating. We continue with this legendary collection into 2017.”
Ashley: Snowbabies and Snowpinions
“It’s hard to believe, but 2016 marked Snowbabies’ 30th anniversary! We commemorated this milestone with you, our loyal customers, at artist events around the country. Kristi had the opportunity to meet many new collectors as well as connect with some familiar ones.
“2016 was another sassy year for Snowpinions but just wait till you see what’s in store for 2017! There’s a dash of sweet and a pinch of snark along with some new, cuddly characters. We’ll even roll out a brand new, totally unique product type. It’s topic secret so be sure to check it out!”
“On behalf of the whole Village team here at Department 56, Happy New Year!
We had so much fun during 2016. Some of the best selling items were the Gazebos, offered in celebration of our 40th Anniversary. Buddy, along with his cast of friends from the movie “Elf”, made their debut, while Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story, Grinch, and Dairy Queen remained strong among our customers and fans. We can’t wait for you to see the newest additions to your favorite Village series, along with a few surprises.”
Please visit our Facebook page and let us know what you think.
Below are images from AmericasMart in Atlanta featuring some of the mentioned products so you can take a peek at how we’ve started 2017!
After the holidays, one of the most frequently asked questions is, “What is the best way to store my Department 56 Village pieces?” Before packing up your pieces, it’s important to make sure that your Village items are clean because it’s easy for dust, snow and glitter to collect on the surface. You can start with using a soft brush or feather duster to remove surface dust. Some collectors have shared using a hair dryer on a low, cool setting, or using canned air (used to clean computer components) is also effective at removing dust. DO NOT USE a liquid spray, water, or a soapy water solution to clean your buildings or accessories because it may damage the finish.
Once the surface dust is removed and you are ready to wrap up your items keep in mind a few things:
1.) Temperature. When storing your fine collectibles we recommend that the storage area be kept at a comfortable temperature that is, (between 50 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit). Do not subject the pieces to extreme heat or extreme cold. If you are unable to find a suitable location within your home (a spare walk-in closet or room), a dry basement is a good alternative. We do not recommend storage in a place that gets too warm or cold like an attic. The cords, electrical components, batteries, sisal trees, bushes, and animated portions are not designed to be stored in extreme temperatures and may be negatively affected by heat.
2.) Plastic containers. We suggest using large clear plastic containers that will prevent dampness and water from damaging the boxes and finishes of your collectibles. Keep in mind that labeling each plastic container you store your pieces in is extremely helpful.
3.) Proper packing. If you have kept your Village box with Styrofoam packaging you’re off to a great start. Unfortunately, we do not have extra boxes available. If your original box has become lost or damaged, we recommend storing your piece in a clean, sturdy cardboard box with adequate packaging material.
4.) Organization. The more organized you can be the easier it will be to set up your creation next Holiday season. ALWAYS store your cords and adapters with the correct pieces. Order your missing or spare parts even before packing away! By doing this you will be prepared to set up again next year without delay.