Friday, January 31, 2014

A baby seal and an extra

My younger son, Chris, loved seals as a child. For a long time he wanted to be a baby seal. When he figured out the impossibility of that he wanted to be a seal trainer. I attribute this fascination to a pregnancy incident. We are on a spring break trip to the coast. I was 5 months pregnant. We went to Sea Lion Caves in Florence. Ward and Pat hurried ahead into the cave;  I was moving more slowly. When I had almost reached the chain link fence they were standing next to I said "I don't see any sea lions." At just about that moment a huge bull sea lion right in front of me barked very loudly. I jumped and Chris in utero jumped. And thus an interest in marine mammals was born! I saw this vintage kit on etsy and knew we needed a seal on the tree. More pin pushing!

I finished that kit on Monday (my weeks start on Wednesday, the day New Year's was). I felt like more ornament making so I did a quick bonus project.

Lots of kits make multiple ornaments. I just want one for the tree - I enjoy the variety. I now have the materials for an extra seal and an extra tassel. I need to figure out how to have them put to good use. Let me know if you want one!

4 weeks, 5 ornaments! Not bad.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pushing Pins

My handmade ornament obsession started with my mom, Dorothy Prokop Wildman. She worked in a card and gift shop in North Brunswick, NJ where we lived. The shop also had costume jewelry which sometimes fell apart.

Mom started using beads from broken jewelry and supplies purchased at a little Christmas craft shop in New Jersey. Early ornaments were simple. Usually she used plain white styrofoam balls, often with pieces velvet ribbon around them. She pushed hundreds of pins into every ball, attaching beads and sequins.

As time went on the ornaments got more elaborate. She used more colorful satin colored shapes. She also had various shapes of styrofoam that she often covered completely with beads and sequins. 

For years, I have collected kits to make this type of ornament. Some of them are vintage kits I've found on etsy. Others are current kits. This week I made one of those. I don't remember Mom using any tool to push the pins in but I found my fingers couldn't deal with doing the pushing. I guess I'm more of a wimp than she was!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Week 2 - Some Beads

I was at the beach this weekend with my beading friends. Seemed a good time to break out the beautiful  Czech blown glass bead ornament kits. They were all jealous!

Here's the result:

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Weekly Ornament starts!

I took down my Christmas tree this weekend. It is decorated with all handmade ornaments - with just a few exceptions that were gifted to me.

Every year I collect kits, supplies and ideas for new ornaments. Usually I don't think about making them until I put the tree up - when of course I'm too busy baking and shopping and decorating to actually make them! So, I decided this is the year of the ornament! One a week from now until next Christmas. That should put a dent in the backlog.

I made my first ornament yesterday. I've collected several ideas for bottle cap snowmen. I looked for bottle caps lined in white and never found any. Instead I decided to make them with supplies from

Here's the result for week 1: