Saturday, December 3, 2016

Christmas Ornament 2016

If you have been reading this blog, you know that every year I participate in a Christmas ornament exchange within a yahoo group I am a member of. This year was no different and as usual, I had to plot and plan about what I was going to make.

It isn’t easy. Once I get an idea, I have to scrounge to make sure I have the proper pieces to make whatever it is I am going to do. Sometimes I get the idea from something that happens. Like in 2013 when I made this angel. 
I had bought some lace that turned out to be dry rotted and I wanted to figure out a way to use it. 

Or how about the year I found a Zweigart tablecloth in Germany that just said "cut me up and make me something!".

The last two years it has been about using things normally thrown out to make something. In this case it was the foil covers from yogurt containers:

But this year it is all about the buttons. Those utility ones I found in first Berlin and then here in France. I don’t know what it is about them, I just think they are too fun not to buy and play with. If needed I also had the standby mother-of-pearl buttons as well. For the top tie I needed some hemp.

Also this year was the year of the broken rosaries. In Provence I ran across so many broken rosaries that I had to buy a couple. Once I had them, what was I going to do with them?

Here is one of them. I separated the Our Father metal pieces from the Hail Mary beads.
The other broken rosary that needed to be used on the ornament was made up of just small metal beads no Our Father metals. The rosary had broken apart and the cross was missing. 

I have been collecting wool felt and have wanted to work with it. I found some nice ones at the quilt show in Saint Marie Aux Mines France earlier this year and I really wanted to play. 

I have a Pinterest board called Felt Fun where I collected, am still collecting, wool ornaments for inspiration. There are so many really neat ideas out there. Now how do I make an idea my own?

Finally I had the wool, the embroidery threads, some hemp thread, the buttons and the broken rosaries.

 Oh I almost forgot, it has to have some old lace bits. I had some that were crying to be cut up. 
The idea soon followed.

But there was a petite problem.  I had found some really nice ribbon that said Noel on it. The problem was that it is either lost or misplaced. Either way I can not find it. I have a friend here that owns a Bernina that has two styles of lettering. I ran out and bought some plain ribbon and as luck would have it, one of the two styles fit perfectly.
When I work on a project, I use a glasses case to store everything that I might need for the particular project. Since I had so many comments about the contents of my glasses case, I thought it fun to show it to you what it looked like at the height of working the ornaments:
It looks like a mess, but it is not. Here is another view:
Some buttons and pins, a couple imodiums left from travels in China as well as something for a headache. You never know when you will need them. A thimble comes in handy and the nail clippers are there rather than scissors when I am traveling by plane somewhere.

Well enough talk. Here are the ornaments. You can see where the Noel ribbon went as well as the rosary pieces. The ornament is one layer of wool felt and is two sided.
Here is the other side of the ornaments:

I made as many as I could until I needed to move on to something new. I found them really fun to make.

Here are two of them close up:

The deadline to mail them is 3 December. Mine are going to be late. I sent my group an email about this a couple weeks ago. The reason is I am concerned about them going over the pond after I had this happen to some of the buttons:
Oh not good! I am going to mail them in the US where they will have less handling as they get to each recipient. I never thought these buttons as fragile, but they are porcelain.


  1. So beautiful, so creative, so thoughtful. I enjoy your process stories. djh

  2. Love your ornaments-great job as always!! Merry Christmas

  3. Very pretty and you are very creative.

  4. Jean, these ornaments are beautiful! You are so creative and I always enjoy seeing things you create. Have a safe trip back to the US.