Daisy bauble

This bauble began with the thought that it would be cool to cover a bauble in daisies. I had previously made a daisy swatch and used it in my embellished wall hanging. The swatch was made by sewing a daisy and attaching it to the nearest one. This worked for an organic shape but I had no idea how to make it work to cover a bauble.

Then at one of my beading groups, there were some magazines being given away and among the things that caught my eye was a necklace, where a cotton rope had been covered with daisies. For this necklace the daisies had been stitched in a chain and then the chain swirled around the rope and fixed. And there was my method of covering a bauble.

I started beading the daisy chain with a bead mix I had already made up. I still separated out the beads so each daisy is an individual colour. However I was then running low on the mix so I made up another one, and I made much more of the new one than I had of the original – oops.

To ensure I had a mixture of the old bead mix and new mix and not a gradient from one to the other I made a whole load of chains before starting to attach them.

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Halfway

The attaching stage was dull and tricksy. There is a reasonable amount of thread (fireline) showing but you have to look fairly closely for it to be distracting.

It took three rounds of making chains and attaching them. By some magic the last batch of chains exactly fitted the gap I had left. I have no idea how it happened but I am so glad the chains weren’t too long and I didn’t have to cut any off.

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Finished

I’m really pleased with the effect but I wont be doing another anytime soon.

 

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Christmas cards

I’ve been making Christmas cards for a few years now and I really enjoy the process. I have a few tricks to make it an easy and enjoyable task:

  1.  I only make a few, typically around 20 and my list is ordered by importance so if I dont make as many that year then some people can get shop bought ones
  2. I try and start early i.e. September
  3. I look for patterns that require materials I already have.
  4. About half are a simple pattern that can be repeated in different combinations (I have a tree template that gets cracked out every year)
  5. I try and pick patterns that require a little prep and then I can complete in the evenings while watching tv
  6. I add in some more complicated patterns to keep it interesting
  7. It’s absolutely ok if they look handmade. They are

And for the moment this works for me.

 

Christmas decorations

I bought and decorated my first tree this year. Its the first time I’ve had the space and time to bother having a real tree.

I’ve been collecting ornaments for a few years now and have displayed them in some way or another. I’ve also made myself an ornament (or two) each year, so I have a lovely collection. And yet they still look a little sparse on a real tree, but I’m trying to build a collection of special pieces so I can live with that for now.

However this year, I wasnt feeling up to starting Christmas crafting in the autumn and as most stuff I do is fairly time consuming, I resigned myself to not having any new handmaded ones this year.

But actually between finishing something from last year, reapproriating old pieces, returned makes, some shopping and some grand plans which where scuppered by buying the wrong thing, I’ve ended up with 6 new ornaments this year.

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5 point star

I started this one as a four pointed star, two years ago and all it needed was the last piece to be zipped up. However when I tried, it just didn’t work. So I whipped up another square and now its a five pointed star.

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Ponsietta ornament

This ponsietta began life as a decoration for a hat for a friend’s wedding, but as it no longer lives there, I decided I needed some more colour on the tree.

These two snowflakes were made last year to help my sister do some fundraising. Unfortunately she only sold about half so she returned the others to me. I’ve been giving them away but we kept our favourite two.

I love the bath Christmas markets and this year I took a day off work to go and play. Going on a weekday was perfect as wwe had much more space to walk and lok at stuff. I like to buy a hand crafter ornament every year and the markets are a perfect place to look for things. This year I splashed out and bought two.

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Sequined bauble

I’ve been considering doing some sort of bead covered bauble ornuament for several years but never bought baubles to do it with. I finally ordered some, thinking that if nothing else I could take some of my random bits of beading and hang them inside. What I forgot to consider was the size of the opening, so of course nothing fit. I’ve since Google it and you can get baubles that clip open so I may purchase them next year. This won’t stop me doing the fancy beading but I was disappointed that I wouldn’t have a quick new bauble. So instead I searched for things that would fit inside the bauble, and found some sequins. With the addition of some pva and some time spent twirling the bauble while it dried, I have a sparkly bauble. My collection is low on actual baubles so I’m glad to have another one.

There is still one more week to Christmas and I have packed a lot of beads so who knows what might happen.

Christmas spirit

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Hanging Stars

I’ve done a lot of christmas beading recently. I started with some five point stars from Diane Fitzgerald’s ‘Shaped Beadwork’. First I made an extra large one for myself and then I made a series of increasing size. The twisted squares are so easy to do while watching tv, having a conversation. Just a way to keep my hands busy. The stars are then joined with invisible thread which I’m hoping will be well invisible when the stars are hung on a tree. I’m planning on gifting this set probabaly to my (not yet) in-laws.

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Five Point Star

I then wanted to make a 4 point star in the style of the star of Bethlehem. I searched high and wide for a pattern and then put out a call on the fb group. We only managed to find one other pattern,from thread a bead, which while stunning wasn’t quite what I wanted. So I put my thinking cap on and had a go a trying to come up with a pattern myself. I was attempted to add spine beads to just one side of a twisted square. This worked quite well, I initially just added spine beads on two different occasions. Then I decided to add rows over two of the 4 sides, to alter the shape a little. And then I had to try and repeat what I had done. I think I definately need to make notes next time I try and make something up. This ornament has already found a home with my grandma. It was diwali this week, and I think the colours work for both celebrations, so I gifted it early

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Star of Bethlehem ornament

When I was adding jump hoops to these ornaments, I remembered a couple of other ornaments I had made previously and sort of forgotten. The first was a christmas tree I had last year, which was also my own design I just added increase to create a peyote cone. The fact I have started making things without following a pattern or trying to copy a picture makes me feel quite accomplished.

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I might still add a star to the top, we’ll see if I have time

And the final ornament is adapted from ‘shaped beadwork’. I beaded it during my Easter break, which feels like a long time ago. I love the blue/grey beads, I often accidentally buy more of that colour despite the fact I have plenty at home.

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