Sunday, January 3, 2016

Season of Giving and Making

I hope that everyone reading this blog has had a wonderful holiday season! And my best wishes to everyone for happiness, health and prosperity in 2016!

Because it was such a busy month preparing for the Christmas holiday in my home, and making gifts, I didn't get time to create a new piece for the PCAGOE January challenge. Luckily, I had an older piece that suited the theme, which is 50 Shades of Gray... no, not associated with the infamous book, but a study in value! I chose an older necklace that I had created with my silk fabric dye transfer. Here are a few shots of that piece:

 So, what was I so busy doing that I couldn't create a new piece for the challenge? Making gifts for family and friends. First on the list was a stocking that my hubby had asked me to make for him... which, at the moment, I do not have a photo. Basically it's a red stocking edged with candy striped trim, super simple.

The second project was a pair of slippers that I made for my mother-in-law. She loves these slippers that I make, and she will wear them until they have holes in the soles all the way through to her toes!  So I decided it was time she get another brand new pair. This pair is triple reinforced on the soles and upper is made of neoprene, so hopefully they will last a lot longer than her previous pairs have! Here's what they look like:

 About a week before Christmas I decided that I would make and send out origami stars, which I made out of our Land's End holiday catalogs, to my family and some friends. I generally skip sending Christmas cards because of the thousands of trees that are destroyed to make all of the paper for them. But my traditionalist hubby grumbles every year that I send out a Christmas email in lieu of Christmas cards. So this year I decided to compromise with the origami stars, getting the last minute idea to upcycle my holiday catalogs, which was an added bonus! I made about 70 (give or take a few) stars. And here's a sampling of what those looked like:

Last, but not least came the polymer gifts. I needed a little gift to give to my personal trainer, who gives me the gift of her creativity twice a week, to create challenging and always varied workouts that keep me wanting to return and wishing I could work out with her daily(which is a miracle in and of itself!). And I wanted another special gift for my friend and soul sister, with whom I knew I'd be spending New Year's Eve. In addition, I wanted to create a special gift for my parents. A month beforehand, I had the foresight to start a homemade lavender essential oil, by steeping a jar full of lavender buds in carrier oils for a month long, this was the idea behind the 2 gifts that followed, for my trainer and my friend. I created for Angel, my trainer, this polymer covered bottle which I then filled with my homemade lavender oil:

I created an inro necklace for my dear friend, Susan. Inros are small vessels, this one was created from a perfume sampler bottle, complete with the wand attached to the lid. After the polymer for this piece was cured, I then filled it with my homemade lavender oil:

And finally, I upcycled a chandelier light bulb into a cardinal tree ornament for my parents. My mom has always loved birds, but especially birds on her Christmas tree. As a matter of fact, her parent's always had the old-fashioned glass birds on their tree. As such, my mom has gifted her children and her siblings a glass bird ornament every year at Christmas. The glass bird she gifted me this year was this sweet owl:

Here are two of my other favorite bird ornaments that my parents have given me over the years:

These bird ornaments, with their fibrous and feathery tails, were the inspiration for the cardinal ornament that I created for my parents. He is quite large though, I'd estimate that he measures about 7" from beak to tail, and about 5" tall. I created him with the red glitter Premo accent polymer, with some black and a little bit of an orange mixture. The legs were made by covering an armature of wire with polymer and baking separately before inserting them into the body of the cardinal. And the plume of tail feathers and comb feathers was created by integrating some sheer red fabric strips into the polymer at those points. My parents both loved him. My only wish is that he were lighter in weight. The bulb was a pretty heavy glass to begin with, but then there was about 2 to 3 ounces of polymer added to him. Here he is:

I also created some polymer gifts for 3 of my PCAGOE guild mates, using my handmade texture plate from a previous PCAGOE challenge, for the the gift exchange the guild offers every year. I forgot to take my own photos of the pieces, but these are the photos my guild mates took of the pieces I made for them:

Here are the lovely gifts I received in exchange, from my talented guild mates (in order, from Linda Riopel of NKDesigns, Susan O'Neill of 11BOLDstret, and Jackie Sieben of JAE Jewelry and The Pleasant Pheasant)

So, with making all these gifts, getting my house decorated for Christmas and baking a couple batches of cookies, I did not have any time left to make my challenge piece, thus the older piece that I've entered for this month (above). For anyone who might be interested, that necklace is available in my createmyworld etsy shop here
Whew! That was quite a lot to post about! What do you think of all the gifting creations I made? Do you like handmade gifts to give and receive? What was your favorite handmade gift? I'd love to hear from you, leave me a comment below!

Voting is open for the January challenge, and you can cast a vote for your 3 favorite entries at the PCAGOE blog. Remember, you could win a prize! Voting closes on the 7th of January at midnight EST.


  1. And this soul sister friend of Beth's absolutely love's the inro necklace that she made for me. So thoughtful and creative. And I love the whale "tail" toggle clasp that she used. And the lavender essential oil is awesome and is my FAVORITE natural plant oil fragrance. Beth, you are so dear to me and I am so grateful for you and your friendship in my life. You are an Angel here on here and I am very blessed! xoxo Love you, Susan

    1. Aww, thanks Susan! I'm so glad you like your necklace... and I'm so very blessed to have you in my life too! Love you! XO

  2. You are so, so talented in so many ways!!

    1. Thank you so much Betsy, for your kind comment! :)

  3. Beth, I can see that you got into the real reason of the season, to give some of yourself to others. Being one of the recipients of the gifts, I can attest to the joy it brings. I will cherish always. I love the bird. I also put birds in my xmas tree, usually blue or silver ones because those are the colors of my decorations. This year I added a little red to it for pop. It looked great. I hope you have a wonderful new year wishing you love, hope, health and time for yourself.

    1. Thanks for the sweet comments Line! :) I wish the same good things for you in the new year, my friend! :)


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