Merry Christmas

As an art teacher, I’m constantly telling students to push their value contrasts – the areas of dark and light that make their drawings more interesting. This year has been one of contrasts; moments of light and shadows of darkness.

The HIGHLIGHTS include:

  • Tim graduating from the University of Utah with a BS degree in Economics.
  • Andrew, Annie and Ender returning from a 3 – year deployment in Italy, Andrew now working as an Army recruiter in Bakersfield.
  • A family reunion in St. George to visit see the grandparents and hike Zion Nat’l Park.
  • Pam teaching art at Layton High and doing radio spots for BYU Sirius XM Radio 143
  • Getting buttery smooth new carpet in our house – it’s like walking on a teddy bear.
  • A great vacation in Newport Beach; seeing a Bouguereau exhibit at the San Diego Museum of art and Manet at the Getty. We visited with 5 of our 7 children and most of our grandkiddos.
  • Looking for a site to build a house on.
  • Welcoming “Grandma Great” Nixon Lawrence  into our household as she needs more companionship and care and Cindy and Dave move to St. George, UT.
  • Newell planning to retire in less than 2 years and getting ready to do instructional videos about science and creativity.

The SHADOWS were saying goodbye to some of our favorite people as they wrapped up their time on earth – Pam’s Dad Larry Layton and Uncle Dave Roberts. These 2 good men served their country in the army and communities as Elementary School Principal in Oceanside and Fire Captain in Santa Barbara.

Now as we look through the lenses of 2020, we see more light with shadows to complete the experience.  We wish you a wonderful year filled with love and those that bring you JOY.

                       The Nutcracker

        Charcoal drawing by Pam McMurtry

Merry Christmas from the McMurtrys!

Open House to be rescheduled. Because of a family emergency, we need to cancel this event. Our apologies for any inconvenience this causes you and we encourage you to continue to support Katie’s campaign. Thank you for your understanding.

Our civic-minded friend and neighbor Katie Witt has agreed to serve the people of Northern Utah as a congresswoman and is now running for the 1st Congressional District seat held by Representative Rob Bishop. Congressman Bishop is retiring after many years of faithful service and with his departure there is a need for strong conciliatory leadership in Washington. Katie is a vetted, capable candidate who has been involved in public service for many years and is serving as the mayor of Kaysville, Utah.

We are hosting an open house and fund-raiser for Mrs. Witt on Monday December 16 from 7:00 to 9:00 in the evening. We invite you to come meet Katie, talk about your hopes and concerns for our country, donate if you wish and share some delicious homemade artisan desserts and treats. Flex your patriotic muscles and participate in the democratic process on a personal level!

Don’t forget to tune in to BYU SiriusXM Radio 143 Friday, December 13th at 6:40 a.m. for a lively conversation about one of Salt Lake’s favorite holiday traditions – the candy windows at Macy’s City Creek. As a 2-time participant, I’ve been invited by host Lisa Valentine to share the backstory and process involved in these confectionery community greetings!

Over 80 hours of planning and labor and 120 pounds of candy go into the creation of each giant ornament.

The process starts with a concept. I thought a vintage-looking Santa with a bag filled with toys on his back would be a fun way to honor holiday traditions and my ancestors who were early pioneers in Utah. My great…great grandfather Christopher Layton was the president of the department store where the windows were displayed when they moved to Main Street in 1876.

My design was approved by Chad in Salt Lake and sent with a couple of dozen others to Macy’s Corporate Headquarters in New York City. The head of display for Macy’s and Chad selected my concept because “Macy’s needs a Santa in the window at Christmas.”

The supplies started arriving. I set up my work area in the kitchen/dining area because I didn’t want to work in the cold garage.

I carved some dimensional details from the packing material surrounding the 42″ diameter foam sphere.

In came 6 cases of candy and 1 case of silicone caulking. We set up the candy like a palette of paints.

My team and I worked for several weeks gluing candy to the sphere. Macy’s picked up the ornament and placed it in the windows of the store for staging. Here are behind the scene shots before the unveiling.

Yeah, it was overdone, but when have I not overdone anything holiday-related?

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And 3 years later, we did it again!

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Image result for macys city creek holiday windows, mcmurtry
Image result for macys city creek holiday windows, mcmurtry

Here’s a link to the original article and a KSL interview on television.