I’m Averyl Hill, a New England antique “picker” who has been collecting vintage and antique Christmas cards from estate sales, flea markets and rummage sales since the 1990s. My late beautiful Nana, Elaine made Christmas a magical time for me when I was a little girl. As an adult I was inspired by her treasured collection of Victorian and vintage Christmas greeting cards and decided to continue the family tradition of collecting which was the beginning of the Hillstock Collection, an archive of thousands of old holiday cards.
In graduate school during the early 1990s in Vermont I studied art therapy as part of my degree in Counseling and discovered the healing effects of calming, peaceful imagery from vintage sources, in particular Christmas. Maybe it’s because I love Jesus and Santa Claus! In the early 2000s I started my business, Hillstock, specializing in vintage Christmas imagery, Maine made reproduction cards and now in 2021, luminaries! The idea for my card luminaries dawned on me one quiet, colorful autumn afternoon while contemplating my love of light as the daylight grew shorter. I could create an enlightened window into a peaceful scene created through the eyes and heart of an artist of the time! Illuminations of Christmas Past™ was born.
My Christmas luminaries are hand-fashioned in my old cottage studio on the coast of Maine. I carefully select each card for artwork that a flameless light source will compliment and marry it with brand new tree-free cotton rag cardstock to repurpose it into a special one-of-a-kind luminary. It’s important to stress that the paper luminaries are flammable so they should never be used with a real candle but only a “flameless” LED lantern or tea light!
Retro Christmas Luminaries: My line of retro Christmas luminaries are faithfully reproduced from original vintage card art sources contained within the Hillstock Collection. The curated images are digitized, then printed onto new premium archival art paper.
Vintage Christmas Luminaries: Unlike my retro luminaries which are nostalgic reproductions, my line of Vintage Illuminations of Christmas Past™ are handmade luminaries fashioned from authentic vintage cards–they are NOT made from reproductions but actual relics of Christmas from the 1930s, 40s and 50s! Because of this my vintage luminaries are more scarce, delicate to assemble and expensive to create, thus the higher pricing.