Saturday, January 30, 2010

Christmas Earring Gifts...6 Pairs!

Piece Names: Christmas Earring Gifts

Every Christmas I usually make earrings for a few family members to give them as gifts. The usual recipients are my sisters Cindy and Shona and my sister Cindy's mother-in-law Mrs. Garland.

I made the above earrings as inspired by instructions that can be found in the book Earrings by Helen. They are made with Argentium Sterling Silver Wire, Swarovski Bicone Crystals, Sterling Silver Beads, and Faceted Amythest Beads. They were made for my sister Shona. The swirled wire moves freely. They came out exactly as I had hoped!

These earrings were also made for Shona. They are made with Argentium Sterling Silver Wire, Sterling Silver Starfish Charms, and Frosted Glass Beads. The charms and beads were purchased in a bead store in Duck, NC. The earrings are supposed to remind her of sea glass and childhood family vacations to OBX, NC. These were my own design.

Much like the above earrings were meant to remind Shona of the beach, this pair was made for my other sister Cindy for the same reason. The beads and charms were purchased in that same bead store in Duck, NC. They are made with Argentium Sterling Silver Wire, Sterling Silver Flip Flop Charms, and Frosted Glass Beads. These were my own design.

These earrings were also made for my sister Cindy and are probably my favorite pair that I made of the six earrings in this blog post. They were inspired by another Jewelry Artist named Szarka. She made a pair of Labradorite Ruby Swirl Earrings. I saw them on her blog, loved them, knew I would make my sister a pair for Christmas inspired by Szarka's, left a comment on her blog telling her I was going to do this, and then made them! I was totalllly pleased with the results. My sister hasn't taken them off since Christmas so I must have gotten them right! Thank you for the inspiration Szarka! Mine are made with Argentium Sterling Silver Wire and Glass Beads (also purchased in Duck, NC). The center beads spin freely (something my sister loves)!

These were made for Mrs. Garland. She loves turtles and frogs and bright colors. These were made with Argentium Sterling Silver Wire, Amythest Beads, and Sterling Silver Tortoise Charms. These were my own design.

Following the same theme as above for Mrs. Garland, these were made with Argentium Sterling Silver, Dyed Mother of Pearl, and Sterling Silver Frog Charms. These were my own design.

This last picture is not of earrings of course, but instead is of a repair job on a bracelet of my sister Shona's that my mom bought for her. The original very thin string holding the heart broke and frayed. My mom asked me to fix it using some leather rattail she provided. This is the result. The rattail is secured with Argentium Sterling Silver. I replaced the original flimsy clasp with this sturdy Sterling Silver one. My sister is glad to be able to wear it again. So is my mom!

Completed: Christmas 2009

Amish Puzzle Balls...A LOT of Them!

Piece Name: Amish Puzzle Balls

If you've been reading my blog for awhile or are related to me you know I do a yearly craft to give as Christmas gifts. I've done all sorts of different techniques and crafts over the years. The last two years I did wire items and wanted to get back to a fabric item. I did a lot of Googling and came across Amish Puzzle Balls. There are many different techniques to do these. I even have a few books with patterns in them, but I ended up making these by looking at various pictures online and figuring out how to do them using fabric intially cut into circles.

I dug into my stash and ended up making 15 of these balls!!! Each one was a different pair of fabrics. I tried to pair the color of the ball with the person receiving it. Thankfully I started in the fall and other than a few last minute balls I had most of them done far in advance (not usual for me).

I did some all by hand and some mostly by machine depending on whether I wanted to sit up in my studio or sit downstairs watching TV with my husband.

They are actually puzzle balls as they are formed by three units that are put together to make the ball. The challenge for the people that received them was to figure out how to take them apart and then how to put them back together again.

I enjoyed making these so much I taught a Love Apple Quilters workshop to my fellow guild members in November 2009.

If you'd like to see ALLLLLLLLLL the puzzle balls that I made please follow this link.

Completed: Holidays 2009

Warren's Christmas Cards...Continued!

Piece Name: Warren's 2009 Christmas Countdown Book

If you are a reader of my blog you will remember this post where I made Christmas Countdown cards for my nephew Warren. Knowing that my sister and my nephew would want to keep these as keepsakes I decided they needed something special to hold them all. So this soft sided book was born. I spent a Saturday combining my quilting/sewing skills with my scrapbooking skills and created this.

I wrapped it up and gave it to him as a Christmas gift. He had a good time putting the cards in all their right spots. My sister was glad that I came up with something as she was going to hole punch them and put them all on a metal ring. Much more durable (and cute) this way! This was my own design.

Completed: Christmas 2009