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Jim Shore has become a world reknown name in the figurine and home decor field. His Heartwood Creek products decorate millions of homes and offices around the world. Have you ever wondered about his background or how he achieved his award winning status? Jim Shore speaks about his early years in the video below.

Jim attributes a lot of his success to being raised in an enviroment that encouraged creativity. Both his parents and his grandmother were creative people and encouraged him and his siblings in this area. From just a boy his parents incorporated in conversations with him how artistic something was or how well a project was put together, this helped to mold who he would become.

Jim doesnt mention it in this particular video clip but in other sources he talks about how his grandmother also impacting him. Her quilting skill and love for quilting was another piece of jim’s past that shaped him into the artist he is today. His folk art quilt pattern style decor has found a special place in many of our homes.

All too soon the beauty of autumn is past, and once again we invade the Décor Dungeon in the corner of the basement to drag out all the décor ghosts of Christmas past. Boxes with import stamps from Taiwan, China, India and such like, lie decaying in the corner. Peeling back the tattered top we discover, the contents have not survived the year as well as we had hoped.

Cheap aluminum frames have sagged and lost their form, low-grade fabrics have begun to fray, inferior plastic has become brittle and cracked, poor workmanship shows as seams have begun to separate, colors that a year ago where charming no look gaudy… The substandard quality of last year’s bargain seems to disappoint us every year. Do you ever get tired of it all? You are not alone!
Byers' Choice - Dickens "A Christmas Carol" Caroler
It was the late 1960′s and Joyce Byers, an amateur artist with a degree in fashion design, was disappointed in what she was seeing in the stores: aluminum tinsel trees with garish blue lights. She was looking for holiday decorations with warmth that showed respect for timeless traditions and her own memories of Christmas.

Joyce pressed her husband, Bob, and their two sons into service to help produce the figures each autumn. It wasn’t long before the Carolers overwhelmed the dining room table, where the family gathered to work together. “Every year the house would be a total wreck, and I’d say that we’re never doing this again!” remembers Joyce.

But when a downturn in the economy hurt his construction business, Bob looked around and saw some potential in the Carolers. He decided to devote more of his energies to the fledgling business, and in 1978, the couple hired their first employee, and turned the garage into a workshop.

The unique appearance and handcrafted quality of the Carolers quickly gained a following. Each year, Bob & Joyce would work with their crew of trained artisans up until Christmas Eve putting the finishing touches on Carolers. Read More…

Why not invest in Christmas holiday décor that looks so good you can leave it up year round, or if you put it in storage it looks as good when you get it out as when you stowed it away? Byers’ Choice carolers may be today’s Christmas holiday decor but they will likely be tommorrow’s heirlooms.

From Santa’s to Historical Characters Byers’ Choice has something to fit every holiday décor style. Be sure to check out the “12 Days of Christmas” carolers or Dickens “Christmas Carol” collection to add some traditional décor for the holidays.

Each Byers’ Choice caroler is carefully handcrafted in Chalfont, Pennsylvania then shipped to your local Gift Shop or Collectibles Store to be sold. This assures the, Byers’ Choice LTD, high quality standards are maintained throughout the process, giving you a superior product. Visit your local Byers’ Choice dealer to add some “Hometown” décor to you Christmas decorations. Can’t find the Byers’ caroler you want locally? Purchase Byers’ Choice online.

Jim Shore Potsley Family Teapot FigurineEnesco the parent company of Jim Shore Heartwood Creek has rolled back the pricing on a number of their figurines by Jim Shore. Currently you can save as much as 70% off the original issue price on some of his most popular pieces.

For instance the Potsley Family Teapot Figurine featuring Jim Shore signature colors and folk-art design, while the Potsley family sits inside drinking tea. Teapot includes removable lid and dangling rope attachment with climbing bear, hanging birdhouse attachment, and removable Potsley family. This piece was originally issued at $134.00 and is now available for $44.95 for a limited time.

Jim Shore Bear Boat FigurineAnother one of his stunning pieces, the Adventure At Sea, Bear Pulling Cart Boat Figurine by Jim Shore is drastically reduced. Drake and Cameron with Hopsley, Bearstone figurine features a bear pulling friends in a toy boat on wheels. Jim Shore’s signature folk art designs and colors decorate clothing and the boat. Originally this figurine was issued at $39.00 for a limited time it is available for $12.95.

Many of the Jim Shore nursery rhyme series are now deeply discounted. Humpty Dumpty, Mother Goose, Hey Diddle Diddle, Old Woman In A Shoe and others are all currently 50% off the original cost. Hurry to complete your collection of these fine figurines, these prices can’t last very long.

Just The Right Shoe collectibles by Lorraine Vail are the perfect collectible gift. Each miniature collectible shoe is designed around the anatomy of the foot giving these unique collectibles the illusion of actually having been worn. Every Just The Right Shoe new release is designed in step with the latest fashion trends assuring you the collector that you will always be in style. These award winning 4” mini collectible resin shoes make a great gift for women of all ages.Just The Right Shoe

With the transition to Evergreen Enterprises Inc. it appears like there will be no signing events for Lorraine Vail and Just The Right Shoe in 2010. According to Vails website she is working on some type of artist signing arrangement for the future. Hopefully this can be worked out in the near future so collectors will be able to get hand signed Just The Right Shoe collectibles.

The new limited edition metal shoe for 2010 is “Spring Fling”, item #91214 with a total of 1296 pieces produced. Each limited edition collectible shoe is numbered and comes with its certificate of authenticity. This limited quantity Just The Right Shoe is in high demand and will sell out quickly.

Also new for 2010 are a number of exquisite designs including:

  • Starlet – When does a starlet become a full-fledged star? From the screen sirens of the forties to the Scarlet Johannson’s of today, it just might be when she takes to wearing these inspired candy apple red, glittering  pumps. A star is born every time. Lorraine Vail…
     
  • Entanglements – Shiny, dangerous black patent leather pumps balanced atop the towering openwork web of the silver heel. The most delicate of gossamer threads of her deadly web encircle a single crystal on the toe, and threaten to entangle anyone who ventures too close.
     
  • Flip Side – You could have just any old shoe, or you could rock the walk in this playful platform. With flirty cutouts topped with an ankle chain; a towering stiletto and a feisty fabric flip, you just can’t resist.
     
  • Eye Candy – Your future’s so bright you gotta wear shades! And with this hot bright lime green number you’re gonna need’em, but you also get to wear them. Raine’s original Shades of Cool sunglasses charm is ready to wear, just hang from a necklace chain. Now that’s some real eye candy. Charm color may vary.
     
  • Faithful – This year’s annual floral themed Breast Cancer Awareness shoe features cornflowers, beautiful and very resilient, hardy meadow flowers that not only get by on minimum care and water, but also somehow thrive. A perfect symbol for all the resilient women and those that love them that we pay tribute to.

Each Just The Right Shoe miniature shoe comes packaged in its own shoe box with a  small catalog and an official ‘Certificate of Authenticity’ verifying  that you have purchased a genuine Just the Right Shoe sculpture by Lorraine Vail.

As collectible figurines continue gaining popularity across the country, collectors are searching for ways to add value to their collections. Certain factors add to a figurines collectability and perceived value: artist popularity, limited editions, low edition numbers, figurines that have been retired, figurines that have been hand signed by the artist.

Charming Tails Artist Signed Pieces

Charming Tails Artist Signed Pieces

Artist Popularity – An artist who is unheard of naturally will have little or no demand for their work, while one who has national exposure is more likely to have a perceived value among collectors. However do not rule out up and coming artists who a just beginning to make their mark in the collectibles market.

Hand Signed Collectibles – Having your collectible signed by the artist always adds perceived and sentimental value. As an artist grows in popularity it may become more difficult to obtain signed pieces from them but it is certainly worth the effort. Watch local retailers for artist signing events or visit artist website for information on artist signing events. Take the time to meet the artist and have them sign a collectible figurine for your collection; this is one of the best ways to add value to your collection.

Purchase Charming Tails collectibles signed by Dean Griff

Limited Editions – Producing collectible figurines in a limited edition helps to establish perceived value in collectible. For example, a nationally known artist may come out with a new piece in a limited addition, if the production quantity is lower than the demand for the product the price begins to be driven up almost immediately as collectors try to obtain one of these limited edition pieces before the y are sold out.

Retired Figurines – Since retired figurines are no longer being produced they sometimes will begin to increase in value as the supply chain dries up. Sometimes this may take several months or even several years but popular collectibles that have been out of production have a tendency to increase in value.

Low Edition Numbers – Some collectible figurines have an edition number stamped on them, these collectibles are coveted by some collectors. The perception is that if they can find a low edition number such as 5 in the 1st edition, this figurine has increased value over one that is marked 10,001 in the 1st edition. Often time’s years down the road collectibles with low edition numbers tend to sell for more than their counterparts with higher edition number.

Charming Tails FigurineCharming Tails collectible figurines are a collection of resin figurines created by artist Dean Griff. This collection of woodland animals has been a favorite among collectors for over 15 years. On April 21 of 2009 Enesco acquired the Charming Tails brand from Fitz and Floyd Inc. This gives Dean an excellent opportunity to increase market share and grow his brand of charming animal figurines.

Enesco has been putting together a strong portfolio of brands that appeal to consumers worldwide. Dean Griff and his Charming Tails are sure to be a hit with household collectors around the world.  “Dean’s wit, charm, and endless creativity have helped Charming Tails build an enviable collection of dedicated followers,” said Matt Bousquette, Executive Chairman of Enesco, LLC.

Dean Griff, the artist of Charming Tails, grew up on a family farm. He expresses his love, for nature and woodland animals, through his world of “Charming Tails”. He is a rising star and has been honored with industry awards in the U.S. and Canada, as well as several Artist of the Year Awards. Dean now resides in Florida, where he continues his passion.

Dean enjoys meeting his Charming Tails collectors and does several artist signing events each year. Charity is important to Dean and he tries to give back to the local communities by linking his signing events to local charities. There are several artist signings currently scheduled including Shady Maple on August 28th.That day the Water Street Ministries in Lancaster, PA will be the benefactor.

Drop by Shady Maple Gift Shop on Augsut 28th between 10 AM and 2 PM and meet Dean. If you feel led to donate a canned good or other non-perishable item at the signing, it will be warmly welcomed. If you prefer to give a monetary donation, the Shady Maple will have a matching fund of up to $1,000. Water Street Ministries will receive 100% of the collected goods and funds. A representative of the ministry will be present at the signing for any questions.

Dean Griff will sign any purchases of the Charming Tail collection that are bought between August 1, and August 28, 2010 with a receipt from Shady Maple Gift Shop. Why not own a one of a kind Charming Tails collectible autographed by Dean Griff?

For the serious collector Charming Tails has a collectors club called “The Leaf & Acorn Club”, membership in this club will entitle you to purchase special “Members Only” Charming Tails figurines. These figurines can not be purchased at your local retailers or gift shops. They must be special ordered through the club or with proper identification can be ordered from your local Charming Tails retailer. If you have further questions about becoming a club member you can contact Enesco at 1-800-4-ENESCO.

See All Charming Tails Figurines.

Webkinz are a collectible plush toy with an access code that unlocks a virtual pet on Webkinz World. In April of 2005 Ganz released its first Webkinz pets to retailers across the world. The phenomenon which followed is nothing short of amazing, people would stand in line at their local retail store in the coming months for an opportunity to purchase the latest Webkinz release. Then rush home to see what new adventures they would experience with their new access code. 

Webkinz Signature Clouded Leopard

Webkinz Signature Clouded Leopard

The Webkinz product is a unique collectible in the fact that it is an everyday plush toy for your child with new outfits and clothing available for purchase. This pet also offers unlimited hours of fun online as your child explores Webkinz World or earns points to be spent at the Webkinz online store. For the serious collector select Webkinz with unused codes can escalate in value rather quickly.  

As Ganz rolls out Webkinz new product lines or new editions to existing lines they retire some of their existing models drying up the supply chain which in turn drives up the prices on the more sought after pets. It is not uncommon for Webkinz pets which sold for $12.95 when they were originally released to be retired and later be sold for $40 or more. Some extremely popular Webkinz like Peace Puppy whose issue price is $12.95 are currently retailing for $200 and have yet to be retired by Ganz.  

As you can see the sheer demand for this collectible is over whelming and select pets bring investors a healthy return in just a few months. Ganz has been issuing Webkinz Signature and Webkinz Endangered Species pets in limited editions which naturally maintains value in these products.  

The Webkinz Zumbuddy line has been out for several months with the 3rd release just hitting the stores in July. The demand for this Webkinz creature has been high and prices escalate very quickly after release. In July the brand new Webkinz Mazin Hamsters were released with brisk sales at retailers. This latest Webkinz character will gain you access to what other than “Mazin Hamsters” a world full of mazes and challenges for you to enjoy. For the creative adventurer, you can create your own mazes and then share them with your friends.  

Webkinz product lines include Webkinz JR., Lil Kinz, Webkinz, Signature Series, Signature Series Small, Endangered Species, Mazin Hamsters, Zumbuddy and more. What Webkinz pet will start the next Webkinz craze? Visit your local Webkinz retailer after the 10th of each month to see the latest release or shop for Webkinz at ShadyMapleGiftShop.com

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