Monday, February 8, 2016

2016 - thoughts on ornaments

Been getting this together for the first ornament exchange of the year. Going to try and make several more than the 2 needed for this exchange so that I can 'forget' about the other 2 quarterly exchanges. I will be using scrap from where I work to make the ornaments, just need to buy a few things such as alcohol inks and maybe some clay and metal bracket to use as hangers for the ornament.

Also have been thinking about plastic canvas ornaments. Most I have seen are flat 2-dimensional but the ones I have in mind are 3-dimensional. Have made a few over the years, but this last weekend I designed about 2 dozen.  The first one I did many years ago was similar to the 3 ring chandelier (directly below) but I had attached 3 inch fringe to each of the layers instead of the chain and beaded accents.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Do you want to make a snowman?

Most of my crafting supplies are boxed up and in storage so I am unsure if I will be participating in the ornaments exchange this quarter. That being said I have an ornament designed from recycled products, most of them I obtained from where I work. One of the lines of products we produce have holes punched through stainless steel sheets which are then made into the product - water recirculators for the welding industry. There are several sizes of circles, squares, rectangles which are produced as waste. Last year, I made a snowman out of 3 of these circles. Spot welding them together to produce the traditional snowman shape.

We also have expanded metal used to produce air-flow grates for these machines. In the past I used some to make icicles, and have other ideas for larger pieces, but I am thinking about using them to make stick arms for the snowman.

Another recycled aspect of the snowman will be the plastic 'sawdust' produced in another operation. We also manufacture plastic welding safety and cover lens for the welding industry which we cut to size with an industrial table saw. Even though the plastic is clear, the saw dust is white. I used the sawdust in making the icicles, so will use it along with flocking material to cover the metal discs. Thinking of adding some glitter on the top coating.

Finishing the details on the snowmen, I am thinking about making 'carrot' noses from air-dry clay, and use some yarn to form scarfs. Finally, I will use markers and stamping inks to add the finishing details such as faces, and buttons.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

2015 Ornament Exchange - the main exchanges

This year's major Exchange Ornaments have been sent out.  These are the major annual exchanges which I have to make multiple ornaments.  I try to make the same ornament for each member of the assigned group instead of separate ornament designs for each individual.

I was a member of two different groups who held handmade ornament exchange this year.  The first group, I needed to make a total of eight (8) ornaments, four in each group and I asked for two groups. Most (maybe missing one) have received their ornament so I feel better about posting a photo of the ornament at this time. I had a mother in one group and her daughter in the other group, who both live together, so I made the second ornament so they wouldn't have two ornaments the same on the tree.

Main ornament

Variant ornament

Many years ago, I had gone to the After Christmas sales looking at the various ornaments which were greatly discounted.  I happened upon several containers of miniature glass onion globe ornaments, three colors with eight ornaments per color in each container.  I picked up all they had (seven containers: 3 of white, red & green ornaments and 4 of bronze, gold & copper ornaments).  I had forgotten about them and discovered them again last year.  Still have many of them available for future ornaments, and will most likely use them for many personal gifts for this year.  The white is actually close to an antique pearly white which matched the pearl drops and pearl beads very close in color.  The smaller Delica beads I use on the arcs/arms were a close match as well.  If I decide to do these as my major design I can easily change the color the the Delica beads to match friend's individual likes such as one friend likes orange so I will do an orange and pearl and a friend's daughters like pink and purple while his will be deep red and his wife's will be classical pearl white.

The other exchange I was a member of this year, I had to make seven (7) identical ornaments, then send them to the coordinator who will redistribute them to the participants.  I like this concept as only the people who send in ornaments will receive ornaments in return and they come all at the same time.  For this exchange I created a beaded icicle with pearls, rhinestone rondells and bi-cones.  I have seen a similar ornament on Pinterest which I liked.  I changed a few things, deleting an additional embellishment of 'caging' the top pearl which additional pearls and bi-cones and adding additional spacer beads separating the individual elements.

Monday, May 4, 2015

2015 Second Qtr Exchange/May 2015 Recycled Exchange

The 2015 Second Quarter Ornament Exchange, along with the May 2015 Recycled Ornament Exchange, were basically the same.  Had several sets of the miniature spool snowflake ornaments left over from 2014 Christmas, so I re-worked them to include a snowflake charm dangle. 

The charms I had purchased in 2009 as part of a lot of costume Christmas bracelets/keychains which I disassembled.  The charms were varied, some simple snowflakes others were holly leaves, Santas, presents, stockings, etc. and simple beads.

The small spools had to have the central wire re-worked from a headpin and plain bottom to a eyepin which ran the entire way through the ornament and gave an attachment loop for the charm.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Getting into the Christmas Spirit (or at least trying to)

It is getting closer to Christmas and I am getting in the mood to start making ornaments.  Been looking at various pieces of jewelry on Pinterest.  As stated before, many of my ornament ideas come from pendants, earrings and other pieces of jewelry, especially if I am designing ornaments for a miniature tree.  Sometimes, the piece can be enlarged to “normal” ornament size just by increasing the size of the beads, other times not and the enlarged ornament will need to be re-worked to include the additional use of beads.  With an increase in the number of beads, also comes the increase in weight from the additional supplies.

Thinking about doing more of the wooden spool ornaments from last year, already have eight designs for people who are fans of the University of Alabama, and my godson will be ‘graduated’ from Mickey to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles which have been designed to make four different ornaments.

Over the years several people have received miniature trees from me and I have about four (4) 2-foot trees in storage that I thought about making with the possibility of selling.  Usually each tree has 80 to 130 mini lights on them mixing both battery-powered as well as outlet, usually will use white lights.  I will put about 100 miniature hand-made ornaments, 25 different styles with four ornaments placed around the tree.  Most of the ornaments will be between 0.5 inch and 2 inches in height so that the ornaments are in scale with the tree.  The first tree I made 10 years ago, had over 40 pairs of earrings mixed in with the miniature ornaments.  Since then, I have been on the look-out for earring designs which I can make as miniature ornaments.

Have many old designs of miniatures from past years which I already have extra ornaments hanging up and have ‘discovered’ several more that can easily be turned into miniature ornaments.  So the new trees would have enough variation of ornaments so each tree won’t look a-like.   I try to make four of each design so that one can be placed on each quarter of the tree with two of them placed on the top half and two on the bottom half.

The only thing on the tree I usually don’t make is the tree topper, I will purchase a pre-made miniature topper but will add elements to it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

First Exchange for 2015

With a New Year starts a new rotation of individual quarterly exchanges: February-April; May-July and August-October.  For this quarter’s exchange, I decided to use some of the ornaments left over from 2014 Christmas.  Many of the ornaments I made used wooden spools, painted with finger nail lacquer and I used scrap-booking paper (along with paper I designed).  I decided to add another element to the left over ornaments, to create a new design.  Several years ago, I purchased a gross of various Christmas jewelry which had lots of Christmas themed charms.

The tools I used to make the new ornaments.

Here’s a shot of the elements used in the ornaments.  Inside the spindle hole I used 6mm faux pearls to help stabilize the ornament, preventing it from sliding back and forth on the 20 gauge wire.  Went though and replace the head-pin with an eye-pin which allowed the dangle to be attached.  Had four different charms, with four different colored spools.

 All four finished re-purposed ornaments.

The ornaments will be mailed to Nova Scotia later this week.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Finally got the rest of the ornament photographs processed.  Here are the rest of the 2014 ornaments I gave for Christmas this past year.  These two beaded chandeliers went to a co-worker's daughters.  Each year they have received a Pink or Purple ornament.

Was getting tired of the pearl teardrops so I changed to fluted metal teardrops and switched to 3mm pearls in lieu of the metal beads.

Additional spools that I gave.  Large snowflake:

Small snowflake:


Additional 2 Mickey Mouse ornaments:

Small ornaments which were given as a set: