Monday, July 16, 2018

Who we are - Albirg creations

    The below submission was written when this Blog was created  in July 2018, it was basically summing up 20 years of Albirg creations creative history.
    It is now December 17, 2019 and we have been the a proud owners of a store called Birgie and friends at 4343 Queen St. , Niagara Falls, Ontario since June 16, 2019.  It's a Gallery Gift Shop Studio Workshop where all our work is displayed and sold.
As well we will be offering Drop in  Workshops or by Appointment.  It's been a dream come true to finally be able to have all our  creations in one place and folks come to us. We are close to the bus terminal and train station, so we count on the tourist traffic on Queen St. If you're in Niagara Falls please drop by and say or check us out on facebook.

“Dreams are meant to be shared. Too often we lock them up for safekeeping. Give the key to someone and release your ”secret dreams”. Only then will you be able to truly live.” Birgie Stoll ©1993 

    Al & I have been together working as Albirg creations since February 1998 travelling the streets of our past creating marketable items from our photo findings. So many memories.

    Our goal was to complete 100 Albirg Reflections of Ontario Image selections. We had passed the 130 mark striving for the 150 mark before our milestone birthdays in 2012.

    By partaking in craft shows, we are able to share our items, custom designed and made ourselves in our home. As a professional artist since 1966 it also afforded me the luxury of selling my Birgie Artwerkz and art cards of more than fifty years.
The friendliness of the craft show atmosphere makes it all worthwhile. Yes it's hard work but at as long as we both still have the strength and desire we'll continue designing, selling and sharing our images. It’s all the wonderful volunteers, organizations and visitors to the shows that we owe a big debt of gratitude to, for they are what motivate us to continue. A big Thank You to you all. Hopefully your fundraisers have all been successful through the years? We've really enjoyed partaking.

   We have designed and made custom trivets (Looking Back) for people, churches and towns as fundraisers. 

   In 2003 we designed and made trivets and coasters for Innerkip to celebrate their 150th Homecoming our first major challenge in mass producing our handmade trivets.We also photographed, designed and made trivets for Stoney Creek United Church, Streetsville United Church and the Dutch Mill in Waterdown in 2002 and 2003. 

   In 2004 we created trivets for Burkholder United Church in Hamilton. 
   In 2007 we had the honour of helping Otterville celebrate their bicentennial by producing trivets of that town utilizing their design and photos. 
   In 2008 to help the Welland Museum, we were commissioned to design Welland 150th Anniversary Trivets and Coasters to commemorate the event. 
   In 2008 the Niagara Conservation Authority chose three of my pressed flower designs for Custom Christmas cards. Cayuga chose to have us design items for their 150th in 2009 and in year 2010 we helped Dunnville celebrate their 150th with Trivets, coasters and magnets. 
   In 2009 we were  honored to design Trivets and Coasters of Niagara Falls using our photographs, custom made especially for the Niagara Falls Mayors’ Office at the time of the Olympic Marathon in December of 2009 incorporating the Innukshuk sculpture into the designs. We made up gift boxes especially for them. Orders were ongoing for a few years, we were thrilled. This was a wonderful undertaking for us, one we were very proud of. 

   Our post cards, photo cards and trivets of Port Dalhousie, Niagara Falls, Niagara on the Lake  and St. Catharines have found a home in the For-get-me Not gift shop in St. Catharines. 

   In 2010 we worked on 165th Anniversary Trivets and calendars for St. John’s Anglican Church, South Cayuga, it was an ongoing project throughout 2011, its’ anniversary year. Al took all the photos inside and out of this lovely little church, I in turn did the design work from which he made custom made items.

   In the past we have been fortunate to find gift shops that honoured us by selling our Albirg creations, some outright and some consignment.

   The towns which have sold some our items are Oakville, Chippawa, Mississauga, Coburg, Dundas, Waterdown, Streetsville, Bronte, St. Catharines, Dunnville, Gravenhurst, Welland, Cayuga Port Dalhousie, Niagara Falls, Niagara on the Lake, Vineland and Thorold.

   We have also designed Post Cards utilizing some of our photos of the 180 towns we have captured. These we sell at craft shows sometimes as well.

    On our first date in 1998 to visit the butterflies in Niagara Falls, I felt my Butterfly cards and Greetings from Canada cards belonged there, especially since they were made in Canada.It was a matter of perfecting our creations.

   In 2012 our biggest challenge and dream came true, to have my Birgie pressed flower designs accepted by the Niagara Parks Commission as cards, coasters and trivets in 3 Niagara Parkway Gift Shops. All these items are designed and custom made by Al & I, we are truly proud that for 7 years we continued to fill orders. We are so honored our Greetings from Canada items have been so well received by the world.  

   When Nick Wolenda walked across Niagara Falls in June 2012 , he was fulfilling his grandfather's dream. For myself to see Table Rock Gift Shop lit up that night as he approached the end of his tight rope walk, I was proud I too had fulfilled my parents dream by having our Albirg creations there in that shop. So proud, the tears rolled down my cheeks, mission accomplished. Al & I made it together.

    In 2016 and 2017 we helped Grace United Church in Brampton celebrate their 150th as well as Woodburn Anglican Christ Church in Binbrook celebrate their 180th. All photos and designs were created by Al and I. We are proud and thankful to all the organizations who ask us to create for them.

    Looking Back Trivets and Coasters too allow us to help others share their precious memories at a reasonable price. Thank you to all of our past clients, we have loved to help you share your memories.This is one of the most fulfilling things we like to do.

    Al is a good sport to help me collect flowers, feathers and stones for my custom Birgie original works another side of Albirg creations as well he dresses up and finishes off much of my work.
I am so thankful we found each other in 1997 and were able to share our lives.

    After 22 years of doing this together we are so blessed to have each other and a common goal. To think that at our ages we're still hustling, doing exactly what we want, when we want to. Age is only a number, as long as we're healthy we will continue.  

    Living in the Niagara Area gives us a chance to be permanent tourists enjoying all it has to offer as well. Now isn't that what life's all about? Looking forward to many more productive years. Birgie is presently working on six books which will probably wind up being one big book with chapters. We'll see? 

    Our dreams aren't completely fulfilled yet. As long as we keep our love and good health alive anything is possible. We will continue to aspire to inspire until we expire.