December 13, 2009

Fueled by the fun I had helping Diane decorate her tree, I make some tree jewelry.
WoodOrnament8698 Left: My first attempt at a beaded-bead ornament using white wood beads in a right-angle weave ball, with additional beads added (blue glass) between strings of maroon triangle beads. I used sterling silver for the wire except for the hanger, which I made from soft craft wire so it could be adjusted in length. (Sorry for the dull lighting and yes, I have very odd ancient wallpaper left from Dick's Grandmother!)

Something else happens when a Panthesist decorates a Christmas tree, especially if she likes to bead and make jewelry.

After helping Diane decorate her tree I came home eager to make some ornaments but didn't have "stuff" to do it with, until I realized some of the really large wood beads I had could make a really large beaded-bead that would be an ornament for the tree.

I grabbed some wood beads and some Irish Linen thread and whipped up this first sample, added extra beads to create more color and interest. Then I added the 3 blue beads at the base by putting them on eyepins with a wrapped loop at the top that attached them to the base of the ball. At the top I created a two loop link with a blue bead in the middle. A string can be attached here, or the soft wire hook I made (with decorative spirals) can be used (the hook is not wrapped closed on the ornament's top loop so it can easily be removed.)

ResinOrnament8692 Right: My second attempted at a beaded-bead ornament. I used 24-gauge brass wire to "sew" it all up. I also used resin beads for lightweight qualities and for transparency and reflectivity. The heavier weight hook wire was difficult to bend!

I found working with the wire to "sew" it all together much faster and more satisfying. If I were to make more I would do them in wire. I also think the exposed wire adds a bit of sparkle to the ornament. And you don't have to knot off!

So if you get the ornament bug and don't have any braid, trimmings, satin, velour, and Styrofoam balls but you make jewelry think about making some jewelry for a tree!

Other things I have around the house that could be used for this activity:

Paper Clay, the resultant balls could be texturized, colored; you could embed things into it. You could press it into molds and make light but large tile type ornaments.

Wool roving, I could felt balls and use them plain or add beads to them.

Polymer clay, I could make balls or clay tiles as with the Paper Clay. They would be a little heavier but there would be some interesting possibilities with the color mixing techniques available with Polymer clay. Additionally I could use transfers of images to make picture ornaments.

I recently picked up some retangular shapes to hold pictures and resin for jewelry making. These could be used for ornaments. 

I could dig out those glass slides and soldering supplies I used to make some pendants—I found them too heavy for my neck, but they would be great dangling from a tree branch.

I've got tons of fabric I could stitch together into soft ornaments that I could leave plain or bead.

The possibilities are endless. It's a good thing I'm a pantheist and don't decorate a tree!

If you do put up holiday decorations of any sort I hope you have a great and wild time making them. You'll be creating memories of your creative interests over the years. Kind of like a vertical, 3-D collage journal! Think metallic and shiny to reflect the light!

    • karen
    • December 13, 2009

    These are really pretty, unusual and fun! Think of poducing multiples and selling them!

    • Roz
    • December 13, 2009

    Thanks Karen, I know I’ll make more of these (with a variety of beads) but I don’t think could do production on them. I would get distracted and bored now that I’ve worked out the how of it. And then I’d have to find a venue to sell them, and since I’m not into the Christmas thing…

    So it goes. But I’m glad you enjoy them!

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