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Celebrate Baby’s First Christmas with a Personalized Ornament

custom christmas ornament with two snowmen

Ways to Welcome the Newest Family Member this Christmas

Everyone gets excited about a baby on the way! One of the best ways to celebrate this joyous life event is with a personalized Christmas ornament. Year after year, while decorating your Christmas tree, you will remember the time when your family grew. Custom Christmas ornaments can be personalized with all of baby’s important information. 

“Baby’s First Christmas” ornaments also make great holiday gifts and stocking stuffers from friends and family. Whether you are giving or receiving this gift, you will love the sentiment attached to it. 

Calliope Designs works to ensure our customized ornaments fit your special occasion. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can customize a “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament this year:

Pregnancy Announcements

If you or a loved one is expecting, we have just the right ornaments to celebrate. We especially love the pregnant snow couple, complete with personalized names on their hats, a special saying, and the year. Just imagine giving this to the future grandparents as a way to announce that their grandchild is on the way!

Our Calliope Designs customers have come up with some creative personalizations for their ornaments in the past — here are a few ideas for you this year:

  • Soon To Be… A family of Three!
  • We’re Expecting!
  • Mommy and Daddy to Be!
  • Grandparents-To-Be in May 2020!

Of course, you may compose any saying you like.  We’ll do a beautiful job with the lettering, and you’ll have a very unique ornament to keep or use as a gift.

Birth Announcements

Was baby born earlier this year? What better way to remember the occasion every year than with an ornament announcing the birth? This ornament says it all: the birth date, length, weight, and the name of your darling baby. 

Adoption Announcements

Similar to our Birth Announcement ornaments, we have crafted the perfect ways to announce adoptions with personalized Christmas ornaments. Here are a few ideas for phrases to personalize your own adoption ornament with:

  • First Christmas Home 2019
  • Adopted with Love
  • Born in Mommy’s Heart

Start a New Tradition with a Calliope Designs Baby’s First Christmas Ornament

Many families love seeing their ornament collections grow as more children and grandchild are born or adopted. In fact, you might already have a Calliope Designs personalized ornament from the past with your own child’s information on it! Whether you already partake in this holiday tradition or not, now is the perfect time to order your “Baby’s First Christmas” hand painted, personalized ornament.

Calliope Designs has ornaments for every special situation. Contact us today to get started on designing a personalized ornament that tells your unique story best.

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Your Guide to Personalized Christmas Ornaments

personalized christmas ornament with family of penguins

Things to Keep in Mind when Customizing Christmas Ornaments

Are you looking for personalized Christmas ornaments this holiday season? Christmas is fast approaching — in fact, it will be here before we know it. Get a head start on your Christmas tree decor or holiday shopping by placing your order for personalized ornaments sooner than later.

Wondering where to begin? We have a few things for you to keep in mind when designing your ornaments with Calliope Designs. 

Theme of Custom Christmas Ornament

There are many choices of personalized Christmas ornaments available from Calliope Designs. Some like to keep it classic with ornaments featuring the whole family around a tree. Family members can be featured standing together, or presented as penguins, bears, and other fun holiday characters. Many families make this a tradition, and delight in seeing the ornaments on their tree year after year.

It can also be fun to change up the theme of your ornament, depending on an event or milestone that took place during the year. Vacations, engagements, and new jobs are all themes available on CalliopeDesigns.com.

Number of Family Members

If you are hoping to fit everyone in on your personalized Christmas ornament, take a look at the different family member options Calliope Designs provides on our website:

We’ll make sure to recognize all of your loved ones within your personalized Christmas ornament. 

Names of Family Members

Once you nail down the number of people to be displayed on your ornament, don’t forget to double-check the spelling of their names! Names will be hand-painted onto your ornament, making it the perfect keepsake for years to come.

We often see parents using “Mom” and “Dad” instead of their names — it is up to you how you want to personalize your 2019 ornaments!

Don’t Forget the Date

After you have double checked the spelling of your family members’ names, don’t forget to include the year! Including the date is the perfect addition to your customized Christmas ornament, especially on “baby’s first Christmas” ornaments and those with a vacation theme. Every year you hang it on your tree, you will be taken back in time to that specific time and all of those wonderful memories.

Include a Photo in Your Custom Ornament

Another fantastic way to personalize your Calliope Designs custom Christmas ornament is with a photo frame. Not only will names and year be documented on your ornament, but you will have a visual element to include with it. 

Personalize Your Calliope Designs Ornament Today!

Well, what are you waiting for? September is almost over, meaning the holidays are just around the corner. It is time to nail down those details and get those personalized ornament orders in! Whether you are giving an ornament as a holiday gift or plan to hang them on your tree this year, getting started now is the way to go.
Spend some time looking through all of the different themes and options available for your ornaments, nail down the personalized details, and place your order today. You’ll soon discover why Calliope Designs has been a trusted resource for personalized Christmas ornaments for over 44 years!

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Turn Your Summer Vacation into a Christmas Ornament

Make Summer Vacation Memories Last for Years to Come

Whether you like it or not, the holidays are coming quicker than you think! The kids are back in school, Halloween is right around the corner, and then we all know what happens next — the rush of decorating, groceries, and gift giving begins. The summer season will turn into a distant memory and we’ll be on to a new year in no time.

If you aren’t ready to let summer memories slip away just yet, now is the perfect time to get started on personalized summer vacation-themed Christmas ornaments for your holiday tree. Calliope designs is known for custom ornament designs that memorialize all of life’s precious memories. 

A fantastic summer vacation should be remembered in more ways than just photos on our phones. With a wide array of vacation Christmas ornaments with many personalized options, your family is guaranteed to be reminded of their trip together, every holiday season.

Cruise Christmas Ornaments Featuring the Whole Family

customized cruise christmas ornament

Calliope Designs is the master of themed holiday ornaments. Did you and your family take off on a cruise this summer? Our cruise Christmas ornament will be the perfect addition to your tree. It features your family members floating on a cruise ship at sea! 

Personalized your cruise Christmas ornament with two to five family members’ names and the year of your adventure. This is no generic themed ornament. Calliope Designs customizes every ornament to order with your information.

Tropical Christmas Ornaments 

customized scuba diver christmas ornament

Tropical summer vacations that involve scuba diving are memories one never forgets, and our Scuba Diver Christmas ornament is also unforgettable! These ornaments can be customized with the diver wearing colorful diving gear and hanging out with different colored fish. Your name and the year of your scuba diving experience will be applied to their fins.

Personalized Road Trip Christmas Ornaments

custom road trip christmas ornament

Loading up the RV and taking off on the open road is another fabulous summer vacation idea. Commemorate your 2019 road trip with a motor home Christmas ornament for your holiday tree decorations. This ornament is perfect for couples, as it features two people in the front seat of the RV. Names and vacation year can be personalized with your information.

Calliope Makes Custom Christmas Ornaments for Your Vacation Scenario!

We love summer vacations here at Calliope — almost as much as we love Christmas! That is why we combine the two into memorable, personalized ornaments. 

If you are looking for the perfect gift for a friend or loved one, or would like to customize a summer vacation ornament for your own tree, head over to our selection of Vacation and Travel ornaments and peruse the possibilities! We are sure you will find one that will help you remember your summer vacation for years to come.

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Christmas in July: Thinking Ahead About Custom Ornaments

custom christmas ornament featuring girl holding surf board

Custom Christmas Ornaments for the 2019 Holiday Season

Are you already thinking ahead to the holidays? You are not alone! Summer is the ideal time to perfect those holiday plans. From parties to gifts, no one likes to be a last minute planner during the holiday season. 

If you are looking for a fantastic gift or stocking stuffer, a personalized ornament from Calliope Designs might be just what you are looking for. Custom ornaments add a special touch that will let your loved ones know how much you care. 

Your year has probably been full of memories and milestones, and we have ornaments for every occasion! Now is the perfect time to look back and start planning your custom Christmas ornaments.

Personalized Ornaments for Weddings, Anniversaries, and Proposals!

Was there an engagement or wedding in 2019? Whether they are a close friend or family member, a personalized couples’ ornament will be a reminder of their new life together, throughout the years. 

custom clay christmas ornament of two bears getting married in wedding outfits

A personalized ornament with customized names, year, and message is appropriate for engaged couples, newlyweds, and those married for several years. No matter what stage of life they are in with their loved one, a custom ornament will be the perfect gift and keepsake this Christmas.

…or maybe you are looking for the perfect way to pop the question to your fiance during the holiday season! In that case, customize one of our Marry Me personalized ornaments. The holidays are such a warm, romantic time — we can’t imagine a better way to propose.

Celebrate New Additions to the Family with Custom Ornaments

Calliope Designs carries a variety of custom ornaments celebrating new additions to the family. Births, adoptions, baby’s first Christmas…these are just a few of the milestones you can celebrate with a customized Christmas ornament.

clay ornament consisting of bear in stroller with customized wording on it

These ornaments are perfect for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles — you name it. Everyone loves celebrating a newborn or baby’s first Christmas! We especially love the photo frame ornaments, so you can really capture the moment in time. Every year the ornament is used, it will be a reminder of the sweet addition to your family.

Let’s not forget about our fur-babies, either! We have the perfect personalized pet ornaments to celebrate your new four-legged family members, as well. 

Capture Vacation Memories and Moments with Custom Ornaments

custom christmas ornament of family on cruise ship with personalized information

Did you take an exciting vacation in 2019? Cherish the memory every year with a personalized vacation ornament. With a wide selection of personalized ornaments, you are sure to find your vacation in the mix. Did you go on a cruise? Camping? Skiing? We are sure to have a vacation ornament just for you.

Get a Head Start on Your Calliope Designs Personalized Ornaments

It’s never too early to start thinking ahead to the holidays. We’re happy to help you start the personalization process before the holiday rush hits. No matter what you are celebrating this year, we are sure we have an ornament for you and your loved ones.

Start shopping on the Calliope Designs website to begin creating a custom Christmas ornaments for the people in your life. We suggest gathering names, dates, and other information that you will want to include in your design. Think about the little details that will make than ornament your own. This little gift will be a memory that lasts a lifetime!

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Great Emails from our Customers!

What Our Customers Have to Say About Calliope!

SOOOO good to hear from you. I just had a ball ordering the ornaments this year. Can’t believe we are now up to almost 30 people that count on getting one. And we had 2 babies and a wedding this year so it keeps on growing!!! I still remember how I first found you at Nordstrom and I think that was over 25 years ago!!! You were so sweet to fax your pages to the gift department so we could pick them out. How computers have changed everything. The website looks terrific. Tell Will he did a great job with the pictures. I SOOO hope he will continue the business. You guys are just THE BEST!!!

Our son is a senior this year. Just completed all his college applications (what an intense nightmare). He’s 6’8” so his whole life is basketball. His team was rated third in the state just prior to the season staring so there’s a lot of excitement and a lot of expectations.

It’s always a joy to connect with you each year. I consider myself your biggest cheerleader!!! We wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas. Thanks for the lovely work you do.

Janice


Stephanie

The ornaments are just adorable — I love them both. I’m so sorry that the
six for my friends and I didn’t work out for us, but I am so appreciative of
your honesty and commitment to providing a high-quality product that you
notified me immediately when you were less than pleased with the selection
that you had available.

I will definitely get in touch with you next year … much earlier … to
order my ornaments. I’ve been giving my niece and nephew an ornament for
the past 25 years … and am always trying to find a theme that fits with
their past years’ accomplishment. This year, I just started the tradition
with my girlfriends (the 6 of us), so I am planning on keeping this
tradition going also.


Do you make your own ornaments? If so, I’d love to talk to you about the
theme’s for my friends/niece/nephew — if so, perhaps we could get this
planned early in the year Let me know if that could potentially work out.

As for returning the check, I was totally caught off guard. It was totally
unexpected, and certainly not necessary — I love the 2 ornaments that I
received so much — I feel like I’m stealing!!! It was very generous of
you. Thank you.

I wish you and your family a very happy holiday season — let me know your
thoughts about your ability to “tailor” an ornament to fit the 3-4 theme(s)
understanding there is an associated cost for the design work, etc.
Looking forward to your response — and again, Thank You.

Happy Holidays,

Kathi


We usually have themes with our family trips every three years. This year
we are each hosting a holiday and my family has Christmas in Cape Cod.
These will be keepsakes that each family can take home. Your prices are
great and the ornament quality looks great as well. Good luck with your
website. I look forward to receiving the ornaments.
Allison W.


Stephanie,

The wedding went very well, thank you. The ornaments were a big hit, everyone loved them. Thank you so much for all of your hard work, we really appreciate it. You helped make the wedding one that everyone will remember.

Andrea


Dear Stephanie, Thank you for letting me know about the problem… It’s really not all that important which another one we choose, I would just like the brown hair. I think I’ll go with that new angel -the dough one holding the wreath, (brunette, of course) -sounds pretty! Thanks so much! My girls are going to love them! I will definitely keep you in mind for years to come. Every year I try to give both my parents and my inlaws ornaments from my kids, but it’s hard to find because I need one of them to be to both Grandma and Papa, and the other set I need separate. You are a great find!
Thanks!
Bethany
I just did an internet search (don’t remember if it was yahoo or google) for pregnancy or expecting ornaments. There’s not many out there and yours is by far the cutest one! I try to get one new ornament each year to represent our year and this was perfect! Thanks again!


Mary
Our new ornament arrived today safely. Thank you very much. We are excited
to present it at Christmas in anticipation of our baby granddaughter in
February–to be born to our baby, aged 30!! It will happen for you.
Karen

Thank you so much!


Dear Stephanie,

Well the Christmas rush is over and we are now into the quiet
January. We had so much snow this year, it made for a beautiful
Christmas. It was also very cold so we did a lot of staying home and
playing games. That was nice too.

The Tree ornaments were a success. Sentimental and meaningful was
what I was going for and with your help, it worked! If the ornaments
vary and change throughout the years, I will definitely be buying
more. I was very happy with the quality. Sturdy little buggers. I
have bought other homemade ornaments and they were not as solid as
yours. I was impressed. Thank you so much for being a part of our
Christmas and I hope you are doing well in one of my favorite cities
around.

Tiffany


We received the ornament and we loved it! It was exactly what I wanted. My son had surgery in San Francisco this year and that ornament was perfect. Thank you.

Happy Holidays!

Scotia B


I sent my son, his wife and new baby the Charismas ornament I ordered from your web site. They just LOVE it. My son’s words “Something we will keep forever!”

Thank you,

Lois


Hello,

I received an e-mail about your New Years Sale, but it doesn’t say how long the sale will last. When will it end, or has it already? I didn’t see the discounted prices on the web site, even on the day I received the e-mail.

Anyway, I will tell you your ornaments were particularly appreciated this year. I ordered one for my grandson’s first Christmas, which his parents loved. But especially appreciated was the two-snowperson “Just Married” ornament I ordered for my daughter and her new wife with their names on it. Her wife had been looking for a first Christmas ornament for them this year and had been discouraged because they always depicted a bride and a groom. Thanks for having so many choices for same-sex couples!

Another that was really appreciated I had made for my son and his new love, who moved in together this year with a total of 5 children, his and hers. You were able to put all 7 names on a cute snowman ornament that read “First Christmas Together.” This is the e-mail I got when they received the ornament: “I wanted to thank you for the lovely ornament. I was hoping to find something to celebrate the season for all of us and you captured exactly what I had in mind.”

I was amazed with the fast shipping and nice lettering on the ornaments – I’ve been a customer for years and will continue to be! Thank you!

Please let me know if the sale is over, or when it ends. Thanks again!

Julie B


Stephanie,

I just wanted to drop you a quick email to let you know how wonderfully delighted I am with the personalized ornaments (cruise ship)
We just received from you.

We’re going on a cruise in February and it’s a surprise for our tablemates (they don’t know we’re going) to be presented on the last night of the cruise.

I’m also a cruise agent and I’m certain you’ll be hearing from me again because these will make the perfect gifts for my clients.

Have a great New Year and again, many thanks for the wonderful customer service and quick shipping.


Kim L

Oh Stephanie! They LOVED the ornaments! What a great gift idea that I will
surely keep in mind for another special occasion.
Thanks so very much for your hard work and impressive follow up.


Kim L, ACC
Dare To Dream Cruises
I received the ornament today. It is so cute and just what I wanted. My daughter is in the Navy stationed in Okinawa. She and her boyfriend have been seeing each other for one year so I thought she would enjoy having something to commemorate the occasion. Thank you for shipping it so quickly.


Lynne Froelich
Came yesterday and they are beautiful. My husband really liked them, too. Of course, what do you expect from a Grandpa with two new granddaughters in one year – grandbabies # 8 & 9. We only have two sons. One has 8 children and no, they are not Catholic or Mormon. They just wanted a lot of kids. I thought you might like to see a picture of who you created something for, since I did this for our Christmas card. Margaret


Hi Stephanie,

Thank you so much!

I really wanted to get my partner a “our first Christmas” ornament this year as a gift, and am so happy that I found your website. Coincidentally, my partner and I received your “1st house Christmas ornament” as a gift last year, and loved it. So when I came upon your site today, I knew I struck gold!

Christmas is only a week away and I ordered the ornament only about 6 hours ago, so I’m THRILLED to have learned that the ornament has already shipped. That’s amazing! You can’t get a customized gift and expect it to ship the same day!! I was even plotting to tell my partner Christmas morning, “Now I ordered you something else, but it hasn’t come in yet.” But now I don’t have too!!

Thank you so much! I already know that she’ll love it, and that it will become a lifetime memory that we’ll pull out of the box for years to come!”

Thanks again,
Haley


Hi,
My brother got the bears to ornament in Barcelona. He loved it!
Sounds great! Thanks for getting back to me so quickly, and processing the order so fast. Emily P.

Hi, I just placed an order but I was also wanting to get a special one but couldn’t find it listed. Do you ever do Hannukah things? If so, where would I find that on your list? Thanks a lot! We love your ornaments. You’re so gifted and my mom treasures her that I bought at Nordstrom in Seattle YEARS ago! I now have stage IV breast to bone cancer and I am so glad I took the time to do that particular ornament that one year. We’re sorry they don’t have them at Nordstrom anymore. It was just this year that my mom looked at the back of the ornament and told me the name of your business so I could order more. Again, thanks so much.

Merry Christmas!
Katherine Johanson
Seattle,WA


Hi, I’ve been buying from you at Gump’s in SF since the early 90’s. I can’t get to SF this year so I was so excited to find your website. Thanks for filling my order. It keeps the family ornament tradition alive.

Thanks, Stephanie,
We buy an ornament for our family members every year and are never disappointed.
Shauna


Thank you again. I am so lucky to have found you. This is my 20th year(I think) of doing these ornaments for my family and friends. In the old days, there were Christmas fairs and craft shows everywhere and I always got them there, but alas, the world is big now. 🙁 Your ornaments still feel homemade and every year around October my friends and family start hinting that they are their favorite gift each year.
Thank you for helping us keep a little “old world” holiday tradition.
Have wonderful holidays and be safe.
Michelle N


Thank you so much for the adorable Santa bobblehead and super fast shipping! You truly have made me a loyal customer! Your designs are more beautiful each year and your customer service is impeccable!

Sincerely,
Katie S


Wanted to let you know that I received my order last week. AMAZING work!

Perhaps I might not want to be a distributor, however, I AM in a church that has MANY fundraisers during each year, do you work w/charitable organizations.

Thanks so much, I KNOW the people that get your ornaments will be thrilled!

Kathie


Hi Stephanie!
Thank you so much! Aren’t we lucky to live in such a beautiful part
of the world?!
I’m sure I’ll be placing more orders with you as lately, I’ve started
giving the
Our First Christmas ornaments as wedding presents. Everyone loves them!

Have a great day!
Shellie O.


Special thanks to the constant support and time of our customers! We are spoiled with the clientele we have for our custom ornaments!

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How to make your own Dough Ornaments at Home!

Personalized First Christmas Bear Ornaments

Often called salt dough or bread dough, we call our completely handcrafted Christmas tree decorations “Dough Ornaments”. There are many ways to make dough ornaments and many recipes. This is how we’ve been creating them for 37 years!

Calliope Designs recipe for Dough Ornaments

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup salt
½ cup water

For a natural color dough, mix these ingredients together, then knead the dough for at least 10 minutes. The desired consistency is a smooth dough, similar to real bread dough – not too sticky, not to dry. The exact portions of flour, salt and water are not as important as the consistency of the dough – so if it’s too sticky add more flour, if it’s too dry add more water.
Place the dough in a plastic bag and protect it from getting dried out.
If you like to work with the natural colored dough, after the ornaments are formed and baked, you can paint them with acrylic paints.

For colored dough, you can use liquid or paste food coloring which should be added to the liquid measurement, then mixed into the dry ingredients. If you have access to powered nontoxic paints such as the type school children use, mix the dry color into the flour and salt mixture before adding water.
Experiment with different amounts of color. In general, the wet dough will be the color of the finished ornament after it is baked and glazed.

There are many ways to form the ornaments, and many books have been written on the subject. Many common household tools are used to make dough ornaments. A kitchen knife, garlic press, toothpicks, and dough roller are a few.

When your dough ornaments have been formed we recommend you bake them in a 225-degree oven until they are completely hardened. Sometimes this can take all night! They will not burn at this temperature. They have to be thoroughly dried through and through in order to be preserved.
After the ornaments are baked/dried and cooled it is time to glaze them. We prefer a shiny coating and so we use a high gloss polyurethane, and we dip our ornaments. We give them at least 4 coats of polyurethane, letting them dry for at least 24 hrs. between each coating. We trim off the drips using a sharp knife or razor blade.

Always store your dough ornaments in an airtight container in a dry place inside your home. No attics or basements, please! You can personalize them too using a fine tip permanent marker.
By the way, we learned how to make dough ornaments at a Christmas party at the home of John and Kathleen Holmes, Mill Valley, California! It was a really fun evening!

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Ruth Azawa – Artist, Sculptor, & Inspiration

Ruth Azawa posing next to her creations

Ruth Azawa, an American artist, died on August 6, 2013. She was a woman who devoted her life to art and became very well known for her sculptures in wire and her public commissions, especially her fountains which are found all over the San Francisco Bay Area.  There is one in Santa Rosa in our town center depicting scenes from Santa Rosa, the surrounding wine country, and our local history.

Ruth Azawa’s Artistic Legacy – Left Behind for the World

Ms. Azawa was, unknowingly, an inspiring force in the development of our products for Calliope Designs.

She had completed her famous fountain sculpture of the streets of San Francisco which is located near Union Square at the side of the Hyatt Hotel.  It’s quite large, and shows all kinds of fun scenes – the Hills of San Francisco, the famous Winding Way of Lombard Street, the Palace Hotel, Legion of Honor, riding the cable car, and the Cliff House at the Beach are just a few of the many to find.  Tourists from all over the world come to see and photograph the fountain and enjoy its whimsicality.

I believe the fountain is made of cast metal which had been poured into a mold of the scenes just mentioned.  Then the pieces were put together to form the fountain. But the interesting thing to us was that the mold itself and everything and everyone on it was originally made of  “baker’s clay” or “bread dough”.  And following the installation of the fountain, a popular Home and Garden magazine, Sunset Magazine, did an article on Ruth making the fountain and using “baker’s clay” and then she gave her recipe for the clay/dough and showed how she made some of the figurines.

It was this article that inspired our friends, John, and Kathleen Holmes, to have a fun party at their home to make our own “sculptures”  – and since it was close to Christmas, we later thought of this as a way to make Christmas gifts!  The night we had the sculpture party was quite fun – half of the people there were artists, but even the less artistically gifted guests, such as myself, were able to form figures and create some pretty fun little items.

That year we made so many of these little figurines and gave them away at Christmas time. With the positive response, we received from family and friends we were encouraged the following year to join the Great Dickens Faire of San Francisco to sell the wares from a tiny cart. The Dickens Fair is still going on, 44 years later, and we’ve been to every single one. As well as having a business that sold to gift shops and department stores all over the world!

Still Remembered in Santa Rosa

Twenty years later the City of Santa Rosa commissioned Ruth Azawa to create a fountain for our downtown city center plaza.  She accepted saying she would like to have the children of Santa Rosa participate in making the baker’s clay figurines to be used in the fountain’s design.  For several months it was our delight to give boxes and boxes of our colored dough to the local schools that had been selected to participate.  We worked with the teachers giving tips and techniques so that the kids could have some practice in using the materials.  When Ms. Azawa came to Santa Rosa she had many willing and excited school children to help with her project.

The fountain is an integral part of our City and it’s lovely center plaza, and we are proud to have been an influence on her project.

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Part of Our Community for 40 Years

hands held high for community team spirit

Over the years Calliope Designs has had the opportunity to give back to our community in Santa Rosa, California and throughout Sonoma County. When a business becomes involved with the giving of time, products, or money it enlivens the spirit of the employees of the business as well and gives them the feeling of generosity and contribution.

Doing Our Part for the Community

For many holidays our employees conducted a food drive to create some lovely holiday dinners for our local women’s shelters. Most of our employees were women and most of them had families. They filled the baskets with pumpkin for pies, loaves of bread for turkey stuffing, cranberry sauce and applesauce, canned yams, and canned peas and other products too.  We always added a turkey at the end! This gift from each one of them became a beautiful tradition.  Calliope Designs accompanied the baskets of ingredients for a special meal with dozens of our handcrafted dough ornaments and sent special instructions and pens with each basket so the ornaments could be personalized for the children in the shelters.  Our employees were proud of their work and proud that their beautiful creations that were donated at Christmas time to someone less fortunate.

As a company, we became known as a destination tour for girl scout and boy scout troops, classrooms, art schools, and nursery schools throughout Sonoma County as well.  We often had two or three tours a week, especially during the Autumn and pre Thanksgiving. Groups would come to our business building and be carefully led through the “factory” where the dough was mixed in many colors. The children were each given a piece of dough to carry around and squeeze and roll!  They loved the tactile soft feel of the salt and flour dough.  Then they were taken to the tables were our talented employees formed the ornaments.  The kids were fascinated with the process and quietly watched as Santas, Snowmen, Penguins, and Teddy Bears were hand pieced into adorable ornaments.  After they were made the children loved seeing trays of ornaments placed in the huge pizza ovens we had which held over 2000 ornaments – a day’s production.

We toured the shipping department where ornaments were carefully packed for shipment to gift shops and department stores.  The children really loved our pellet dispenser which hung from the ceiling…. because we called it Big Bird!  They enjoyed seeing the boxes piled up at the back door, waiting for UPS to come and pick them up and send them on their way.

And the end of the tour there was always a box of bags of different colored “bread” dough for the teacher or troop leader to take back to class.  We imagined a wonderful art session the next day where everyone got to make a creation of their choice.

Continued Support & Giving

As the years went on the word went out to the teachers of Sonoma County that our company was happy to donate our leftover colored clay to schools for art projects.  We always made fresh dough every single day.  It kept the colors vibrant and kept yeast from developing in the flour causing distortions in baking the ornaments.  We had so many teachers calling to pick up leftover “dough” that we had to make a schedule.  It was really fun to make this contribution, and we still get calls from teachers asking for dough – unfortunately, we now make the ornaments from polymer clay!  But we pass out the recipe when anyone asks.

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Today’s a Good Day to Shop for Ornaments!

Cheerleader: Black Uniform, Personalized christmas Ornament

Why You Should Shop Today!

Today is  Sunday, October 6th, 2013, and it’s a good day to shop for your family’s personalized ornaments for the upcoming holiday season!  I’ve just been informed by the men in my family that there are 14 hours of televised professional football today.  And while there are probably lots of fun things the non-football viewing population can do other than shop, we at Calliope Designs notice that when the big football games come on TV the orders start coming in on our website. Maybe football means Fall and the holidays approaching.  Maybe it’s just having some free time.

I hesitate to make a general statement that’s gender-oriented – there are many women who love football and the games and parties!  And there are many men who like to shop for personalized ornaments!  Whoever sends in the orders is enjoying a nice relaxing session of online shopping, choosing just the perfect ornament for each family member, personalizing it with care, and getting absolutely the best selection available before the rush of the holiday season.  All of our new products are entered and pictured.

If you’re not ready to shop for Christmas perhaps you’d enjoy a project of making some ornaments with your kids.  Be sure and search our blog for How To Make Your Own Dough Ornaments at Home post.  What a fun project, inexpensive materials, great results…. and not too messy in the kitchen.  This means everyone’s having fun doing something they love on this Sunday afternoon.

Handmade Creations for a Great Cause

It’s a drop dead gorgeous day in California and I plan to attend the Calabash Festival in Forestville CA.  It’s a benefit for Face to Face, a food resource for HIV/AIDS patients in the county.  Over 100 artists have created beautiful items from gourds of all shapes and sizes.  Some are painted.  Some are carved.  Some are created into toys, others into beautiful decorative pieces.  There is jewelry and there are hats.  It’s amazing and fun and fanciful… and for a good cause.  So I’ll miss the football games today.

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A Grandparent’s Wreath Gift for Christmas

Favorite ornaments for Grandparents

The Perfect Creative Gift for Your Grandparents

We all know it can be hard to find just the right gift for Grandparents.  They seem to be at the time of life where they have “everything” and don’t really want more.  They say they “don’t need anything” and sometimes that’s true.  Yet when the holidays come around they are often high on our shopping lists because they have been so super all year long, helping with our children, inviting us for holiday meals, making cookies for the family, and in all ways loving and helpful.  We know they adore their grandchildren and spoil them to death.  And often, the children want to find their sweet Nana and Poppa something special as a gift.

Here’s an idea that came from a customer many years ago.  A Grandparent’s Wreath.  Purchase a nice quality artificial Christmas wreath suitable for hanging on a door or on a wall inside the home.  The size should be up to you, but be sure to purchase some pretty ribbon to make a bow, or purchase a pre-made bow that is large and pretty on the green wreath.  If you are adventurous, buy a strand of mini lights to wrap around the wreath and plugin for added brightness.

Now, spend some fun time with your children shopping online for some personalized Christmas ornaments for Grandma and Grandpa. We have lots of cute reasonably priced items at www.calliopedesigns.com.   Let each child pick one ornament that will have their name on it – and don’t forget the year.  When they arrive, have the children help you decide where to affix them onto the wreath.  Make it a strong permanent attachment so the ornaments can stay on the wreath year after year.

The first year the wreath might be sparse, but you can choose to add an ornament each year and soon the wreath will be a collection of memories of each child as they grow and experience new things.  For instance, if you have one child, a girl, you can start with a cute photo frame ornament of her first Christmas.  Then progress to Baby Girl’s First Steps and the next Christmas – She’s Potty Trained.  Yes, we have a cute ornament for that.  There’s one for losing the first tooth.  And the first day of school.  All sports and hobbies can be represented by an ornament, as well as special achievements and vacations.

Begin at Home & Grow your Holiday Tradition

Another way to start the wreath collection is to involve your siblings so that all of the grandchildren are represented on the wreath!

If you feel the wreath is getting too expensive, please read our blog on How to make your Own Dough Ornaments at home.  We give the recipe and tips to create fun designs.  Each child can create something that is special.

This will become a fun tradition that the children will look forward to and the Grandparents are sure to treasure.