Monday, November 17, 2014

Ornaments -- I can't stop myself!

I'm having an Ornament-making Party in a few weeks.  I don't know why I've never thought of this before given that I make ornaments every year for teacher gifts, present toppers, and for my own enjoyment.  I'll post about all the party projects eventually but here are a few ornaments that I've made in anticipation of the Ladies Night Out shopping event that I'm participating in later this week.

These are tiny trees made from scraps of cashmere.  The base is a vintage thimble.  To make them, I first secured a wire in the bottom of the thimble.  Then, I filled in the thimble with some beads to act as a kind of tree skirt.  Once all that was dry, making these was a snap.  I cut some of my varied green cashmere scraps into 6 different sizes of squares.  I used a muffin tin to keep them all separated and then sat there stacking up the squares and threading them onto the wire.  A loop at the top and a little circle of gold wool to act as a star -- super cute and super easy once the gluing is done.  I also made some of these in shades of ivory but I'm using a white tree so the green looks better.  I'm actually using these as the party favor for my ornament party but I had a few extra so I'm putting them in my sale.  I know they're going to sell.  So cute.  Vintage thimbles can be found for about $1 each on Ebay.  I love the little brass-colored ones.

Next up is owls.  I have a giant stash of plaid wool from thrifted skirts.  As you remember from my penguin stocking, I like to mix and match and these little owls are so cute!  I modified a design I had seen on Pinterest and made myself a pattern.  It's all hand-sewn and stuffed with a little bit of my cashmere and wool scraps.  I can't bear to throw even a little bit of cashmere away...  I really love the black and white owl with the contrast red stitching.  The earth-toned owls look just like some of the color variations you find in nature, don't they?  These owls are one of the projects for the ornament party.

 Some of the women coming to my party don't sew.  Not even a button.  So, this will be a little bit of a stretch for them.  It's all done in one long thread.  First you sew on the belly, then continue up and around the outside.  When you reach the point, you add some extra stitches to act as a beak before continuing down the other side.  Just before finishing, you stuff a bit inside.  You don't use much stuffing because the final step is to fold down the point and secure it with 2 buttons.  I think the stitching on the buttons really makes it look like eyes.  I used twine as a hanging cord on these so they had a more rustic feel.  Super cute.

Finally, today, I'll showcase the cupcakes.  I had hoped to use this as a project for the party but there's just too many steps and too much glue.  Using Pinterest as a resource, I saw lots of options for these.  I ended up using a cut-up toilet paper tube as my interior structure.  I would have never thought of that.  Naturally, the ribbing from some cashmere sweaters makes the perfect "wrapper."  I glued a cashmere circle on the bottom of the tube and then hand stitched the ribbing onto the tube and around the circle.  After the glue dried, I cut out 5" circles of cashmere, ran a running stitch around the outside, and pulled to make a kind of yo-yo.  I stuffed that and the tube with cashmere/wool scraps and then glued the muffin top to the bottom.  Again, I let the glue dry.

After drying, I threaded a long doll-making needle with my cord and ran the cord all the way up from the bottom, through the top, and back down.  Knot and loop at the top and a knot at the bottom.  This also served to secure the entire structure top to bottom.  On some, I ran some trim around the join between top and bottom because I didn't love the way it looked.  After all of this, I got out my beads and sequins and embellished the top of the muffin.  Way more involved than I had hoped this project would be.  I scrapped the idea of using it for the party because we just can't be bothered with waiting for glue.

Next post I'll tell you all about my little Christmas sweaters.  I came up with a great way of making little tiny hangers for them!

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