Tuesday, December 9, 2014

New Ornament Style - Wooden Spools

I have lots of variations on the decorating the wooden thread spools over the past year, so I thought I would do some for Christmas 2014.  I used finger nail lacquer to paint the spools, usually it took three coats, so it isn’t an ornament to make in an evening, but you can ‘assembly line’ the process by having several spools being made at a time.  I used both the medium and large wooden spools available through many craft stores.

I was also able to customize the spools using both scrap-booking paper and searching images on the internet.  I few I had to use my Graphic Design background by taking a couple of elements, such as the houndstooth background and over laying the Alabama “A”.  Still have a few to go, but here are the ones which have been photographed and edited.

The Alabama ornaments will be going to several friends who are fans.








The Mickey Mouse ornaments will be going to my latest god-child who just turned 2.  Have four (4) but need to re-take the red spool as well as the white spool.



 The Minions will be going to another friend who loves them.








The red spool with the musical notes on pine colored paper were sent out to one of the ornament exchange groups I am a member of.  Original was going to send the holographic gold large spools, but I forgot them at the office so I substituted the red spools.  I also have green spool with crimson paper.



The Ren & Stimpy ornaments are going to the mother of my god-child while his father will be one set of the Alabama spools.



The Doctor Who spools are for a friend who enjoys the Matt Smith years.




Still to go are some snowflake spools, both large and small.  These will be done on spools painted white and light blue.  The metal connectors will be silver-toned and I have some small snowflakes which will dangle from the bottom.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Exchange ornaments

This year I had three (3) different handmade ornament exchanges from two different Yahoo groups.  I have been involved in ornament exchanges for almost 20 years.

I had two exchanges which were from the Yearly Ornament Exchange group.  Those that are signed-up are assigned to groups of (usually) four others and everyone makes an ornament for each person.  And if everything works out, you will receive four handmade ornaments.  No style or medium is set so you can (and usually) get four different ornaments.  In past years, I have received ornaments made from beads, polymer clay, wire, cross-stitch, plastic canvas, paper, cloth, wood, and puzzle pieces.  These have been both religious and secular in nature.  I will do the same ornament for each exchange partner unless they are duplicated in both groups, then I will make another ornament, usually same designed but a different color or different focal element.

The third exchange group is from the Christmas All Year group.  This group you sign-up and the co-ordinator instructions have many ornaments you need to make.  One rule is that the ornaments which you make all have to be the same. So that when the ornaments are re-packaged, everyone in the exchange will receive the same ornament from you.  This the magic number was eight (8).  Trying a new ornament design for this group and hope everyone likes it.

Will be posting photos of both ornaments I send out after Thanksgiving, along with instructional photos of the new design and variations on the theme.

On the personal gift/ornaments front,   I usually joke with people that I have several lists I make at Christmas, an “A” list, a “B” list and a “C” list.  The C-list gets a card, the B-list I will buy something for and the “A”-list will get an ornament or a set of ornaments. 

The lists are not set in stone as this year I found a ceramic Krampus head I bought for a friend, and my soon-to-be step daughter and husband, I have Egyptian glass ornaments which will go with the set I gave them last year.  They married last year and I gave them a group of four blown ornaments as a way to start their own ornaments.  They had a baby in February of this year so I will be making her a little commemorative ornament with her name and birthday date on it.  I am planning on making 2 of these, one for the tree and the other sealed to be given to her when she moves out on her own, so she will have her own set of personal Christmas ornaments.

I have many ornaments in various stages of creation.  Many people will be receiving personal ornaments this year.  I have one person who loves the Minion characters from the “Despicable Me” movies, another enjoys “Doctor Who”, several who pull for Alabama, UNC or NC State, and another who loves Mickey Mouse (okay he is only 2 years old).  I have either found pre-printed fabric and scrap-booking paper in these themes, but I always have had to create copy to use.  Luckily, I have a very nice commercial laser printer available to me through work, as well as the programmes (Adobe Creative Suite Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign) and knowledge to make my own compositions.  Sometime my job does come n handy outside of work.  So Deb will get four Minion theme ornaments, Matt will get two Doctor Who theme ornaments.  Chuck and Little Jimmy will received four Alabama ornaments each, Ayden - two (maybe four) Mickey Mouse.  Robert a new set of UNC ornaments, Roger and (another little) Jimmy will receive NC State ornaments.  Others like a specific color, I’ve got an Orange person, a Pink person, a Purple person, and a Dark Blue person, another person likes the color combination of White, Black and Gold.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The latest ornament plus visions of future ornaments

Have started on the ornaments for this year's exchanges.  Making the teardrop dangles currently, then will start the actual construction of the individual ornaments.  Will make at least 12 of these, then I'll start on the individual ornaments.  Have a few 'special' ornaments to make such as an Irish flag version; plus several rainbow; a black seed bead, pearl accent & teardrops, and gold version; and several non-beaded ornaments.


I used this ornament as the 2nd Quarter Exchange and liked it so much that for the Annual Ornament Exchanges I am making extra.  It is different enough from last year's ornament design that I thought about using it for many of the people I give to at Christmas. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Getting back in the saddle

Aside from making the recycled icicles (previous post), I was finishing my "Pay It Forward" gifts, each person who agreed to "Pay It Forward" received a set of miniature dangles made with rhinestone rondelles, glass teardrops, metal beads and beadcaps.


There were ten colors of rondelles and I was lucky enough to find seed beads in a close match to the rhinestones.  Small and delicate enough for a miniature tree, the over all length was around 3 inches.

I also had a contest to name the person portraying Santa in the photo I am using as my Facebook cover photo.  The first person to correctly identify him would receive something during the year.  The received a set of pearl dangles which were around 5 inches tall.  Another good size for a miniature tree or could be used on a regular sized tree.








Tuesday, May 27, 2014

It has been awhile, but I have been busy: ICICLES and dangles



One of the Ornament Exchanges for this quarter was "Recycled".  Here are images of my final ornaments.  Where I work we have expanded stainless steel grating which we use as protective covers for the Water Recirculators we make.  There are pieces of scrap which I have de-burred and fashioned into various lengths.  I bent the top of each to form a hanging hook.

The base coating is another recycled product from work.  Another part of the company I work for in cutting protective lens from plastic sheeting, Polycarbonate and PET-G.  When cut on the saw, the resulting sawdust is a nice snowy white.  Using E6000 epoxy, I glued the plastics sawdust to both sides of the metal, allowed to dry and then using spray adhesive I applied large flake glitter, regular glitter and then micro-fine glitter to the surface.

This is a piece of the mesh.  I had one of the mechanist to shear the initial pieces into long wavy strips.  I then used the grinding stone to take any sharped metal off.


I had other ornaments I needed to make for other commitments.  Each year, I will do a "Pay It Forward" campaign on Facebook.  People sign up and commit to also "pay it forward" in that sometime in the year, you will make something hand-made and send to the person along with a handwritten note.  This year, the people will receive miniature Christmas ornaments made from glass teardrops, rhinestone rondelles, bead caps, metal beads, wire and Delica beads.  I had 10 different colors of the rondelles: Clear AB, Red, Lime Green, Emerald Green, Aqua Blue, Medium Blue, Sapphire Blue, Purple, Root Beer and Smoke Topaz.


There was another 'contest' on my Facebook page to identify the person dressed in the Santa outfit.  The image came from the up coming movie "I Am Santa Claus" which stars WWE wrestler Mick Foley.  The person who correctly identified him will be receiving the four dangles pictured below.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Been a while

It has been some time since I last posted.  During the time away, I took a class on How to run a small arts/crafts business through one of the local colleges on-line.  I have made several miniature ornaments (but haven't gotten any of them photographed).  Hoping to get back into the rhythm this week now the class is almost over.


Thinking of one of these as this year's Exchange Ornament.  Have 24 of each color (plus 4 other colors).  The finial onion shaped ornaments are blown-glass.  I picked them up seven or eight years ago in an After Christmas mark down sale.  I may decide to assign the white to one group and the red to the other group and that way if I have any duplicates between the group, I won't have to quickly make any additional ornaments.


I can also make extra to have in my car in case I get caught without a needed gift, I can raid the gift/ornament stash.  Luckily, I had several in my trunk last year, as I had been invited to Christmas dinner (no one told me until an hour before hand) and needed 2 gifts.

Have been already making my lists for ornaments.  Have one person who will receive a set of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle ornaments, another who I will make a set of Minion ornaments, have several Alabama, Georgia, Duke and UNC (Carolina) ornaments which need to be made.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ornaments 5 through 12, plus 4 more of the same design

Had a case of 'ho-hums', was unmotivated and didn't have any creative spirit.  I am fairly sure it was based on the fact to I had a co-worker staying with me.  Was supposed to have been for one week, turned into 3 weeks and each night when we got home I would go to my bedroom and read.  Got him to move on and that seems to have re-started things flowing again.  On the weekend of February 22nd-23rd, I started a Ornament Suite of seven ornaments.  One each of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple and an ornament with a spoke in each color.  Finished the seven on March 1st, and on the next day started on colors, Gold, Silver, Black and White.