Welcome to this year's advent calendar!
As announced yesterday, it will be different from the last one.
Throughout the year I took some time from my regular creating to make Christmas and winter items and I will share one every day.
There will be no stories or traditions unless an item has been inspired by one in which case it will be told, and if I chose to try out a tutorial, I will of course share that, too.
I hope you will enjoy my crafty advent calendar.
Let's start this!
Stars - they are always there, but play a special role at Christmas.
This little star was supposed to be a break from the puffy stars. It's definitely flat! ;-)
I used a shimmering transparent purple for the five brick stitch rays. As you can imagine, the shape wasn't holding up very well by itself, so I spontaneously glued and sewed it to some embroidery base and added Ultrasuede backing.
Still the star looked too simple, so I gave it a small shiny edging as well.
Isn't it cute now?
Having known him for almost 2 1/2 years now, I must be a special kind of fool to put up my Christmas tree, him of course being der Dekan.
Last year I didn't, but I missed it so much, and maybe he would be nice and not destroy it? Well, at the moment der Dekan is leading with at least 2 points (Christmas tree 0 and it's hard to imagine it'll score eventually) by pulling down two of my pineapple slice ornaments after ten seconds.
This year, the tree didn't go in its usual spot on the Stairs to Nowhere because I didn't like the idea of it falling down a few stairs, so now it's where I can see it better.
Since checking last, I saw it shivering - in fear, no doubt - and I even saw it trying to run away. Have I ever mentioned that der Dekan loves to pull things (the reason not to put the ball chain on the tree this year)? After that, I heard some sounds, so I wouldn't be surprised if there were some more ornaments on the floor now.
Of course, I was smart enough not to put any glass baubles on the tree. It's mostly the pineapple slices which I stuck on the branches as that is not as tempting (haha!) as having them dangle, some of my first wire crochet baubles, and some wood and metal. I didn't even put my Santa Jack Skellington on the top this year, let's see how things go and maybe I'll change my mind.
And in case you wonder, Gundel checked out the tree as well. She had one look, turned around and left again.
Sorry for the bad pictures, but it was already too dark to take a picture without flash and with flash is not that great, either. You get the idea, I'm sure.
I also couldn't put any of my new ornaments on the tree.
Yes, I made new ornaments because there will be an advent calendar again this year.
This time it will not be about traditions, however, but it will be crafty. I hope you will be following it - my success AND my fails!
Eulalia was not like the other chickens. If they did one thing, Eulalia did another, just to show it could be done.
One thing of those was that she absolutely refused to build her nest inside the coop. She needed something for herself, something different, something that was just hers, and she found it.
It was a very comfortable little basket, as if it were made especially for her and there was even some nice hay in it for extra comfort.
The others began to eye her a bit jealously ... I wouldn't be surprised if more of them follow suit, but what will Eulalia say to that?
The first snow has begun dusting the land ... and the little cardinal sitting on a branch ...
Actually we don't have snow here yet which makes me very happy.
Also, we don't have cardinals here in Europe and yet we know that the cardinal is as much a part of Christmas imagery as our European robin.
In 2015, I wrote a post about Christmas birds telling a bit about the legends around the robin and cardinal if you are interested.
Both had been on the infamous list in my mind ever since, but I had never managed to actually make one of them.
Only when I found a piece of beading foundation that had already a bird outline drawn on for another design, I thought of the cardinal again and it juuuust fit.
I couldn't resist using the silver lined red instead of a "real" red because it is so Christmassy.
So here he is now on his little branch nibbling on his berries :-)
Robin next? We'll see.
While der Dekan tried to steal him out of my hand (which obviously speaks for the incredible lifelike look ;-)), Gundel was not so sure about him, I guess, and she absolutely refused to let me take a proper picture of him against her fur!
Some years ago, I fell in love with the tiny Miyuki cubes. I got a whole bunch of colors and used some in wire crochet, some in bead looming and peyote rings.
When I put some bead tubes back into my stash drawers, I noticed tubes with cubes in a silver lined light blue and a matte green with AB finish which vaguely made me think of ocean (possibly having the Moana movie run for background noise influenced that). The green had been around for a long time and the blue was from one of my surprise bead orders.
At first, I didn't think there would be enough beads for earrings and I tried a pendant that I kind of half liked which was not sufficient to keep it, though. I ripped it up again and thought that if I made the folded peyote one bead slimmer than the last pieces, I would have more beads to get to a length which I could bend comfortably for earrings. That was important because the cubes made the strips a bit less flexible than if I had made them with Delicas.
Next I thought about a pattern - one layer or side green, one blue ... checkered ... striped ... but in the end I opted for a random mix for the "ocean waves", waves because the folded and twisted peyote results in a wave shape if you look at it from the side. Also I had less green than blue, so mixing them would help to get long enough peyote strips. In the end I had three blue beads left!
I actually like the contrast between the very shiny blue and the matte green, the effect in light is so pretty, but I wanted more, so I randomly added metallic silver seed beads.
A mermaid - and I just can't help thinking mermaid when thinking of ocean, probably because Andersen's fairy tale has been a (sad) favorite of mine since childhood - could well wear long earrings in her flowing hair.
If that wasn't an excuse to add pearls, I didn't know what would be, and now I feel the earrings have turned boho.
Therefore my question, can a mermaid have a boho style?
"You may use any materials you wish and interpret the theme in a way that makes you think of a Fall Harvest."
That's what our Jewelry Artisans Community challenge mistress wrote.
I had a plan almost right away, but was stopped in action because I couldn't find the essential item for said plan.
It's so embarrassing, I started looking for it on August 22 which was when the challenge was posted, I nagged about not finding it on August 27, then again on September 20 announcing that it was driving me nuts, and I found it on September 29 - IN EXACTLY THE PLACE I HAD LOOKED FOR IT THE FIRST DAY AND AT LEAST FIVE TIMES AFTER THAT!! Not mentioning all the other possible spots.
I had been looking for a box in my drawer, but I had already taken the baggie out of the box and thought it was something else.
I know that you can't wait to hear about my plan now.
It includes one of my little wire crochet baskets. No, don't leave! I'm not harvesting yarn.
The mystery item is a cute little Halloween pumpkin from clay (actually there are two, but I only used one).
Sounds like an easy challenge, doesn't it? I harvested a pumpkin from the haunted garden, put him in a little basket and took it home. What will happen there, no one knows yet.
Not that easy, actually. The pumpkin is not a bead, but a charm with a little loop at the top. How was I supposed to attach the little one in the basket if I didn't want to glue him in (which I obviously didn't)?
The only way to do it was to attach him to the handle.
So first I had to work out what size to make the basket, so I could fit the pumpkin in without hiding his face, but also without him slipping out. Then I started wrapping my handle as usual, but added the pumpkin in the last two wrapping cycles. So far, so good.
Now all I needed were some green wire tendrils. If you wonder how a harvested pumpkin manages to wrap all his tendrils around the basket handle, you have obviously forgotten that he comes from the haunted garden.
Next up was the basket filling. I couldn't just let the pumpkin dangle from his tendrils in there, it didn't look right.
After trying it with wire at first, I settled for a nice dark green needle felt cushion instead. You can only see that a little in the picture, but it's actually very important for my little pumpkin to sit on very comfortably.
He sure looks very happy with it :-)