Mrs. Parks goes to Washington

PLATTSBURGH - The road to the White House can come from many directions, including the North Country.

Plattsburgh resident Linda Parks found that out when she was chosen by U.S. Rep. John M. McHugh, R-Pierrepont Manor, to design an ornament for the White House Christmas tree. The congressman, she said, asked her to create the ornament as a representation of the 23rd Congressional District. So, when coming up with the ornament's design, Parks thought of the district's many mountains and lakes.

"Our Congressional district is so wide and large, geographically ... you could probably interpret [the design] any way you want," she said. "It could be Lake Placid; it could be any number of lakes in the region, and definitely any of the Adirondack Mountains. Those are the only things I thought would really strike a chord with our area, so that's what I did."

The whole process to create the ornament took approximately 12 hours, said Parks, who is a former art teacher. It involved using a glue and water solution to layer tissue paper around a plastic-chrome ball that was sent to her for the project, which she first spray-painted with white paint.

"I cut and I tore and I overlapped and I created this sense of the mountains and the little pine trees off in the distance," she explained. "Then, I covered the whole ornament with a sparkly material so it just glistens."

"It's a real nice effect and a lot of it is very haphazard as opposed to painting it," she continued. "It just sort of happens, which is what I like."

Though she wasn't required to write on the ornament where it came from, Parks said she wanted to help give her artwork some identity. So, in small lettering, she wrote, "From the icy crystals of Lake Champlain to the purple majesty of the Adirondacks - winter in the 23rd Congressional District of New York."

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