Jewelry Artist Community – December 2012

Each month, some of the artists at Jewelry Artisans Community post on the same topic.  This month’s theme is “Holidays”.


This year has been very chaotic for me.  We’re in the process of moving out of our home of 17 years, and it has been a far from smooth transition.  In a burst of optimism, I rashly agreed to host my sorority alumnae holiday party early in December.  The only requirement is that the house has to be decorated, as the executive committee does all of the cooking.  They asked in August; I figured, of course I’d be ready.  Ha!


My evil plan was to rope my college-age daughter and her roommate into helping decorate the weekend after Thanksgiving.  Hubby was detailed to bring the decorations down from our old home, and he and my son hauled in a dozen boxes plus the tree box Friday morning.  I talked my son into setting up the tree while I sorted out the decorations.


To my dismay, none of the boxes contained either of the sets of decorations that we own.  Most of the boxes were half-empty and contained random ornaments, lights and supplies, but not enough of anything to decorate a wreath, much less a tree.  Bill swore he’d brought everything he could find.


With fear of party failure acting as a spur, I started my brain working on what the heck I was going to do, bearing in mind that I currently have a rather limited budget.  Okay.  Since I collect Christmas decorations, I always have some boxes of plain colored balls around, which I haven’t been able to use for years due to the fact that our cats either a) think they make great toys or b) knock them off when they try to climb the tree.  Mr. Climb the Tree is no longer with us, so I thought I could take a chance and use some of those.  I had several boxes of dark green balls that go with one set of the missing ornaments, as well as some gold ones, so I scooted to the store and bought a few more in various shades of green, including lime green.  Don’t know why, but I just love lime green.

shades of green

shades of green



I found that I had two miniature trees that I use in connection with a set of Advent calendar boxes that I made, plus all of the sets of ornaments that go with them.  My teen-aged son informed me loftily that he no longer cared about the Advent boxes, although he allowed as how I could just give him a bag of the chocolate that I used to fill them.  Dream on, buster!  But I took the trees, and created a couple of vignettes with them and some of the pieces from our Nativity set (of which I could only find a few).


Meanwhile, our large wreaths were a total wreck.  Bill hung one on the front door, but when I got a look at it, my heart sank.  I could not have people walking up to the door and seeing that.  Back to my ornament stash.  In a plastic shoebox, I found a set of orange and smoky blue pieces that I had bought one year, just because I liked them.  Probably I planned to make a small wreath but didn’t get around to it.  If I could find some co-ordinating balls, I could flesh it out enough to make a large one.

smoky blue bird

smoky blue bird


So back to Michael’s I scurried, box of small balls in hand, hoping to find a match.  Mind you, most crafters make their holiday supply purchases months in advance.  At the end of December, all you find is the dregs.  On the plus side, everything is on sale.  Anyway, I got lucky, and found a few lone picks in orange and blue that would work, along with a really cool spiky orange ornament.  Whoo-hoo wreath!

spiky orange ornament

spiky orange ornament

While there, I also picked up a package of neon pink balls, because my stand-in color scheme of greens and gold, while pretty, kind of faded into the tree, so it didn’t look very lively.  I will have my 18-month old niece here for Christmas, so there are standards.  Of course, I just happened to have in my ornament stash, some lime green and neon pink ornaments which I used to decorate my studio one year.  Don’t judge me, I already admitted I like lime reindeer

And here’s a picture of the finished wreath, which I hot-glued together in less than an hour.  It’s like riding a bicycle.

the finished wresath

the finished wreath

I got it all done in time to lounge on the front porch with the President (of the alumnae group) for an hour before everyone showed up.  Although it wasn’t as elaborate as the decorations at my old home, it was fine and a good time was had by all.


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