Thursday, October 27, 2011

Spiral Ornament Hooks

Lime Green and Red
How fun are these? The next variation of the ornament hook is a curvy style. I'm itching to put up a Christmas tree just to see how these look with little swirls of colour appearing below the branches to hold the ornaments.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Eureka! Beaded Ornament Hangers

Beaded Ornament Hangers in Red, White and Lime Green
Since I started making ornaments a few months ago with beaded hangers, I've been contemplating how I could possibly get to all of my packed away Christmas ornaments to add customized beaded hangers. I never did quite figure that out!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Santa's turn today

Jolly little Santa's were next on the agenda while all the card making gear is out. I must say, I have memories of Mr. Dress-Up as I open the lid on my 'tickle trunk' of 'Christmas bits' and ponder one by one what to do with the various treasures inside.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Snowmen take over the dining room

I've taken over the dining room table today because I'm hoping this week to make some time for some serious card making. I have oodles of things to play with and they need a lot of space - it can be a little overwhelming - but this first project in the stash busting is nice and simple.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sparkle Snowflakes with Glass Bead & Rondelles

Looooook at these beads - aren't they pretty? The turquoise glass beads are about 18mm and have interesting flecks of other colours. The squishy looking Rondelles that I have recently discovered are perfect for an ornament feature as they catch the light from so many angles.

Friday, October 14, 2011

All that Glitters

It's back to the fun stuff - and this time it's snowflakes! Clearing out some of the drawers I came across a pack of snowflakes left over from last year. These guys were hiding, so they didn't get worked up into the Magic Snowflakes that I did in the Spring.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Relaxing with Wool

It's very crafty around here right now. Beads everywhere and I'm pretty sure I swallowed a sequin yesterday. Oh well, probably not the first and likely not the last, but I thought I'd have a change and enjoy the relaxation of wool (ignoring the fact that there is also wool everywhere).

Mum recently brought back to me several large bags of wool that I had passed along many years ago when clearing out the cupboards. One of the bags was all Patons Astra wool that I had been once using to make little dolls and ornaments - translation - only one ball of each colour. So, I'm crocheting that up into a childs play blanket. When I'm finished it will be a good size for playing on the floor, or for a child's snuggle blanket.

It would be a little intense for a baby blanket I think, but hey, I bet they learn their colours early! I have a few more colours to add into the sequence, and then I will be repeating. It's a very simple pattern: worked on 5.0 mm crochet hook it's two rows of double crochet. I recently learned a new technique for changing colours - pulling up the new colour with the last stitch rather than finishing the row and then joining - and it works very neatly.

One more thing - so I don't forget - the Patons Astra wool is gorgeous to work with! Welcome back lovely wool.

Over on the knitting needles - I'm experimenting again with the Bernat Baby Jacquards. I did try crocheting this, and although it was pretty and looked a bit like the sky, it seemed a waste for the Jacquard wool. The knitting - especially with 'striping' - really brings out the pattern which is rather subtle in this Boo Berries colour wave.

This - if I ever finish it because I really don't enjoy knitting with tiny (anything under 5.0 mm) needles - will be a small blanket for a premature baby. Because the wool pattern is so interesting I'm working up with a simple striping of gartar stitch and stocking stitch. A border of gartar stitch on top, bottom and sides helps it keep a nice shape.

You can find this pattern as well as a multi-colour and basket weave variation at Little Blankets by Nancy Hearne.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A New Venture: The Craft Kit

Hooray, the first batch of my first lot of Christmas Tree Ornament kits are done and up and running on Etsy, and I'm already filled with lots of ideas for more craft kit options. I'm very happy with how the packaging has turned out and they are nice and neat for having bulky gems inside. My listings were being 'favourited' as I was creating them, so I'm hoping that this will be a good omen!

These ornaments are super simple and don't take long at all to complete making them, I think, ideal for the novice as well as convenient for the more seasoned crafter. The end result is really lovely, and you don't need to purchase a bunch of different beads when you only need one or a few.

I've been making ornaments for the Christmas Tree (I now have 4 Christmas Trees) for more than four decades now, and there's something extra special about seeing each year the ornaments that you made yourself, or others that friends and family have made for you - they're just full of happy memories.

So if you're not a crafter, but think these are pretty, I encourage you to jump in and make your own. It'll be something really special! If you are a crafter, these are convenient and fun with a lovely end result.

My Etsy shop is now offering individual kits or a set price for 3 - which you can choose three of the same or an assortment. As for me, I've quite enjoyed the craft kit assembly process. This was an afterthought having made these ornaments, but I'm already looking forward to working up the next little kit. And the subject of Christmas Tree ornaments - a fabulous place to start.

Pattern: Pear for the Partridge Christmas Ornament

This is the pattern for the third of the set of 3 sparkle gem Christmas Ornaments that I'm working up into kits - the Pear for the Partridge. The golden green colour and shape of the acrylic gem, combined with cream and lime green accents, work up to look like a pretty sparkly pear.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pattern: Emerald Green Angel

This is the pattern for the second of the Christmas Ornaments that I'm working up into kits - the Emerald Green Angel. The smaller diamond acylics work really well to make up the angel's body and wings.

Visit my Etsy shop to purchase a kit for this ornament with all the materials you need.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pattern: Lime Green Diamond Christmas Ornament

Visit my Etsy shop to purchase a kit for this ornament with all the materials you need.

This is the pattern I've written out for the Lime Green Diamond Christmas Ornament which I'm putting together with all the materials you need as a craft kit, but if you don't get the kit you can of course use any variations of your own ideas.

Little Tube of Happiness

Little things make me happy. This little thing, for instance, made me really happy indeed. Recently I was very excited to discover these tubes of "Sparkling Gems". While green wouldn't have been my first choice of colour, it was the only choice available and I knew I had to have them to work into something magical. I'm still scoping for more colour choices.

Well, I think these are a 'big find' indeed, because after adding some other beads from my collection, I was able to come up with a variety of styes of Christmas ornament. They're very light - which is great for a tree ornament - and they'll sparkle like mad with the tree lights on.

We have these Marie Antoinette inspired large lime green diamonds. Can't you just picture Marie having a huge tree glowing green with diamonds? And they go perfectly with the opaque lime green seed beads which are among my many favourite things.

The next style is a very yellow green which I've capitalized on with cream coloured accents. They remind me of the 12 Days of Christmas - specifically "a partridge in a pear tree".

And the last of the little bits in the tube worked up perfectly to make these sweet little emerald green angels. A gold pony bead acts as the halo. When they're hanging - as opposed to laying flat in the photo - they look even more like little angels.

I've tied them together with a pretty matching bow to make sets of 3 - as that's the way I like things - but I am planning to make these up into individual Christmas Ornament kits that you can make yourself. Seems like a good starter project to experiment with ... stay tuned as it's well underway!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

And now we have hats & scarves

Another mission on the great crafting "to do list" (which isn't actually written down, as that would be too overwhelming) is to work up some hats to turn the myriad scarves I have made into "Hat & Scarf sets". The scarves are crocheted and the hats are knit.

I actually prefer the 'co-ordinating' approach to a matchy-matchy set, and these first few versions have worked out pretty well. I love the softness of the Charisma wool in this hat, and think there will be many more of these to come.

Another job done today, the first batch of these sets is now available in the new 'Hats & Scarves' section of my Etsy site. Many more to come ....

Pretty Little Butterflies

Another item 'catalogued' today were these pretty little butterfly earrings. Being a natural subject, I thought I'd keep them in soft and neutral shades.

Christmas Earrings

A quick scan through the blogs I follow tells me I've got some catching up to do! Goodness me, another month rolls by and I can't believe it's October. Definitely time to get a push on with Christmas things and I've been doing some catching up with photography and posting things on Etsy today.

These were the first Christmas earrings I made after finding these lovely stirling silver charms. Struck me they wanted to be long dangly so I've worked them up with 3 feature beads - crystal for the snowflakes and emerald green for the Christmas trees - and no question they wanted to be sparkly.

And this is the second batch - an antique bronze look Christmas charm which I've done a little less dangly in options of red, gold, green or snowy white.

The coloured feature beads are among my favourites - miracle beads for the red and gold (and they are so much nicer than they will photograph for me), the lime green beads are an interesting shape and come from a vintage piece I'm recycling, and the milky white beads were a surprise which I will definitely be getting more of. I'm not sure which colour I'd choose.