Holiday Ornament Swap On The Crazy Gathering List

Kimber Pekora © 2005

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In the spirit of the Holiday Season I hosted a Secret Ornament Swap on the Yahoo Crazy Gathering list. Each Participant was to make an ornament of her choice and send it to another participant.  The secret was the receiver didn't know who was making her ornament until she received it in the mail. To keep things fair, I had my twin boys pull names from a hat to determine who each swapper's recipient would be. The results of this swap are quite breathtaking, creative and unique. The following is what the ladies have to say about how they made their ornaments. I hope seeing the lovely creations might inspire you to join a swap for next holiday season. It's never too early to start!


Jean Bowman created this lovely hat ornament and I was the lucky recipient. Jean writes, "I drew the outline of the crocheted doily onto Timtex, decreasing the size of the outer edge slightly to take up for the ball. Then, after cutting out the Timtex form, mark the center, draw a 1 1/2 in circle in the center. Cut out the center 1/4 in inside the circle then clip to the 1 1/2 in. line. Next, slide the Styrofoam ball into the center of the Timtex and glue in place. You may want to use a few straight pins also. When the glue is dry, position the doilies in place, and trim the outer edges of the Timtex if needed (you want it to fit snuggly but not have to be stretched too tightly). Hand stitch the outer edges of the doilies together. Then hand stitch again through all layers close to the edges of the Styrofoam ball. Decorate to your heart's desire. I only put the ribbon on one side, but did beads on both sides."


Julie Yonge writes, "I asked Gwen Frazier and Barbara Blankenship about BarbETX, to get an idea of what she might like as they are acquainted with her and actually refer to her affectionately as 'Mom.' I then browsed the internet to look at Victorian style ornaments to get some ideas. I decided upon a shape for my ornament and then went about designing a pattern as I wanted to sew it together and stuff it with polyfil so it would be light weight. I happened to have some cobalt blue dupioni silk which was the base for the ornament. Barbara Engells likes Christmas, Santas, and lots of sparkle. I decided to go through my collection of Christmas graphics and found one of a vintage Christmas card with a Santa and a small child that I really liked. I then edited the graphic to include a personal note to Barbara on it and printed the graphic on silk. I burned the edges of the silk print and then stitched it to the front of the ornament with a small fly stitch using gold metallic Yenmet thread. I gathered up several lace motifs I had on-hand and dyed them to add to the other three sides of the ornament and added a few of the Swarovski crystals for some highlights that you glue down with the hot-fix tool. I added some gold trim to the edges of the ornament and the top and then topped that trim with some trim of sparkle crystals. I added a gold tassel to the bottom of the ornament to look a little more Victorian. It seemed to need a little something else, so I made a small bouquet of Hanah silk rolled ribbon roses at the base of the ornament front. I then braided a piece of gold yard to make the 'hanger' at the top and added a vintage crystal button to the very top for some more glitz and sparkle. The ornament turned out a little larger than I had planned, but I am hopeful that it will be enjoyed by Barbara. It was my very first ornament to ever make and my very first Christmas ornament swap to be involved in (which I immensely enjoyed) since I am fairly new to the CQ scene. It has been wonderful to see the beautiful ornaments and ideas everyone has come up with for this swap and I think we are all hoping it will become a 'regular' for our group. "
Pat  Pat Winter writes, "when I learned my Ornie recipient was Barbara Blankenship, I knew I had to make something with an angel. I transferred a cherub to bridal satin and cut it into an oval. After ironing fusible medium weight interfacing to the back, I used wire to form an oval shape so I could bead it. After sewing the cherub print using whip stitches to the wire, I started wrapping the wire in beads using beading thread, I added some gold beads in a spiral design around the edge too before adding some beaded fringe and some tiny bells to dangle at the bottom. I also attached a brass 'Believe' charm and titled it, 'Every time a bell rings, an angel gets her wings.' It turned out to be delicate and vintage looking I think." 
Sandra  Sandra Roy writes, "It's an adaptation of a pattern in the Embroidery and Cross stitch magazine." Carol Lindberg was the receiver of this beautiful Angel. 
Nora  Nora Creeach writes, "I hand pieced a gold, purple and black 5" block. These were listed as Karen's favorite colors. Turned it on point and added an angel. The angel is just the head, wings and crossed arms. I used fine glitter on her halo and along the top of her spread wings, gave her a hair band of bead flowers and attached organza roses along just under her hands. I added a lavender/blue butterfly dusted with purple glitter just below the angel. The block fits into the well of an acrylic frame and the frame is decorated with black beaded trim on the bottom 2 sides overlaid by a black and gold trim anchored by Gold and black metal flower shaped buttons at the 2 sides and gold cherub buttons at top and bottom. The hanger is made of the same trim." Karen South received this beautiful ornament. 
Gwen   Gwen Frazier writes, 'I printed a Santa picture onto Printed Treasures material, cut it into an oval shape and then fused it with Wonder Under to a piece of Timtex. The Timtex was perfect to bead thru as it was stiff but the needle slid right thru it! I then glued down a 3/8" cord around the picture about 1/4" in from the outside edge. I then beaded over it with 11/0 seed beads. After that I did a lacy edging with Mill Hill Delicas that reminded me of snow flakes. I then added a row of small pearls between the two. After I finished the beading I made a hanger out of gold ribbon floss and glued it at the top. I then glued a piece of wool felt onto the back to cover the stitching." Pat Winter received Gwen's lovely ornament.  
Rita  Rita Brizendine writes, "you will need sequins and seed beads to put inside the ball.... then whatever kind of beads you want for the hanging ones. Take a long thread, knotted at one end (on a needle of course) From the inside of the ball, sew on a sequin and a seed bead to anchor the thread, taking it through a hole and then string however many beads you like...add a seed bead at the end and then run the thread back up into the ball. I prefer pearls or crystal beads for my hanging beads, but you can use anything you like. Start at the bottom of the ball and work up because you can catch your thread in the beads you've already made. Different shapes of tea balls give a different look. I have some heart shaped ones that I am going to try soon." Julie Yonge is the receiver of this ornament. 
Nancy  Nancy Combs writes, "I decided to make Nora Creeach something she could enjoy year round. Because blue is Nora's favorite color I used mostly that color. I used Mill hill beads, sequins, Swarovski Crystals, Blue Moon Beads, Butterfly lace applies and Silk ribbon." Nora Creeach is the lucky recipient of this lovely butterfly mobile ornament. 
Carol   Carol Lindberg writes, "it is about 6 1/2" - 7" tall, and is round like a full bell. I told her that it was large for a tree decoration but perhaps would hang with a sprig of mistletoe?? Or on her door. It is made of off/white pure silk with bronze beads and pearl trim as well as off/white vintage lace. Stuffed with Dacron. It was made completely by hand. No machine work." Judith Green is the receiver of this ornament.  
Karen  Karen South writes, "after looking through my books I decided to try doing some improvisational beading using the Robin Atkins method for this project. I cut out a piece of fabric and poured my beads into a bowl and started putting the beads on the fabric. No pattern just beading to my hearts content. It took about 14 hours to finish the small piece but I think I like it! It started out to be an ornament but after I finished it I decided to make a small pillow instead of figuring out how to make it into an ornament. Improvisational beading is fun and relaxing. You don't have to follow a pattern and you can't make a mistake! It's a great way to use up all the left over beads from other projects that seem to find there way into one bowl." Stephanie Novatski received Karen's beaded ornament. 
Eloise  Eloise Clark writes, "the ornament was made on a satin wrapped ball with foam center. Measuring to get the exact center takes time but is worth the end item. Notice one of the beads is not quite in line on the picture. I used pearls of different types, bugles, and rocailles with sequins to add glitz. They are fun to make once you have made a couple." Jean Bowman is the receiver of this pretty beaded ornament. 
Kimber  Kimber Pekora writes, "I really wanted to make a Temari ball for my ornament. I had made one at EGA last year but it was a pumpkin and not a ornament.. I didn't have any instructions but was able to figure out a way to make this ornament. I covered a Styrofoam ball with a spool of cotton thread. Then I marked the ball with pins to serve as guidelines. I then stitched designs on the ball with perle cotton thread. I finished it by adding a colored glass icicle off the bottom that I got from Terry at I have since then bought a book on Temari balls and hope to make some more this year. I think Eloise Clark will enjoy the Temari ball ornament I created for her." 
Barbara Blaankenship   Barbara Blankenship writes, "I did the white on white ornament using a damask background fabric. Using various lace motifs, I appliquéd these on one side being careful not to overlap. The embellishments were done with white, gold and ecru. I chose several sizes of pearls, gold beads, buttons and gold thread. The 7mm rolled roses were made with ecru silk ribbon. After embellishing one side, I stitch back and front of the stocking together. I made the lining using white silk dupioni and stitched that in place. I beaded a swag to finish the top of the stocking." Sandra Roy is the receiver of this lovely stocking ornament. 
Stephanie  Stephanie Novatski writes, "I cut out a 5 pointed star using the Betsy Ross method instructions can be found here I then cut it apart so I had 5 sections. I took one of those sections and added 1/4" seam allowance all around and cut out 10 from a base fabric. I picked 5 matching motifs out of pansy fabric, adhered fusible web to the back of them and cut them out. I adhered them to the centers of 5 base fabric star pieces then sewed the pieces together to form a star. I also sewed the back base pieces together leaving a 1 1/2" opening on one of the seams Sew the stars together right sides together and turn through the opening. Stuff through the opening and then stitch up. Bead the pansy motifs on the front of the star. I added a center beaded button and pulled it stitching through the back and put a small button there. I attached cording around the outside with beaded loops leaving a large loop at one of the points for hanging." Gwen Frazier is the lucky receiver of this Beaded beauty! 
Judith  Judith Green writes, "I used a Pattern to make my Beaded Ornament. I basically beaded over a glass ball ornament." Nancy Combs is the fortunate receiver of this beaded ornament. 
  Barb Engel's writes, "I started with a 3" metal 'gold' bangle bracelet. Worked the bobbin lace, attaching to the bangle as I worked. With a needle, added the little crystals, to cover visible thread on bangle. Then I tatted a little angel. It hangs from the top of the bangle. The pattern is an adaptation of one in Rebecca Jones' book "Complete Book of Tatting". A couple of bead berries and leaves. Voila! An ornament." Julia Camilleri is the receiver of this lovely little angel. 


Julia Camilleri was kind enough to write out in detail directions for making the round ornament shown in the picture. This is what she writes:

You will need:
3 different pieces of Christmas fabric, gold fabric looks especially good.
Plain Steel pins.
Gold braid to go around ball.
3" Polystyrene ball.
Ribbon for hanging and a bow.
2 gold sequins
Clear drying craft glue

Cut fabric into 2" x 2 1/2" pieces. Fold the larger 2 1/2 " side in half. Then fold to make a prairie point, press to hold it's shape. The ball I used had a halfway mark around it.

Starting at the base of the ball, using plain steel pins, pin right inside the tip of the prairie point to the ball.

Pin four points, tip to tip to meet each other around the base of the ball, place a few pins at the bottom of each prairie point to hold in place while you pin on the next row, you may need to leave some in place.

Next row eight points: Repeat overlapping the points so as to cover fabric, again pinning inside the points to hide pins.

Third row: The same, you may need to use 9-10 points to cover. This should take you to the half way mark up on the ball, adjust the points to make sure they do end up on the half way mark.

Now Start at the other end of the ball and do the same, meeting up to the other points at the half way mark .To cover the raw edges where the two rows of prairie points meet: Glue a nice wide gold braid around where the two rows of points meet at the half way mark.

Glue a piece of hanging ribbon and a pretty bow over the join of the braid to cover. Finish off by pinning a sequin at each end where the four prairie points meet.

So easy to make and looks great also as door knob decor. Rita Brizendine received Julia's lovely ornaments. 

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