Friday, 17 October 2014

Santa Ornament Tutorial

It's coming up to that time of year again and although I no longer sell my work at craft fairs, I do usually get around to making some ornaments for my own Christmas tree.  Last year I made myself a beautiful one from a vintage-looking Santa cabochon and thought I would like to make a similar one as a competition prize but couldn't source the same type of cabochon so ended up making my own, although mine is not a vintage style.  While I was stitching it I took some photos so that I could show you how it is done.  If you'd like to recreate it you can either source a cabochon from somewhere, get one from my Etsy supplies store or make your own like I did.  If you would like the tutorial as a PDF file you can get it as a free download from my Craftsy store.

 You will need:

1                  Santa face cabochon 
2g                Size 11 seed beads, red
5g                Size 11 seed beads, cream
2g                Size 11 seed beads, gold
3 ½ x 3”      Piece of Lacy’s Stiff Stuff or similar
                   Small piece of white felt
3 ½ x 3”      Piece of stiff card
3 ½ x 3”      Piece of Ultrasuede or similar
8”                Piece of red satin ribbon or similar
                   Beading thread

You will also need a beading needle, glue and a pair of scissors,


Trace out the outline of the ornament onto the stiff stuff.

Glue the face cabochon into place and set aside to dry.

Trace out the fur shapes onto white felt.  Cut out 2 pieces of each shape plus an extra piece of just the right side of the collar fur as shown.

Glue the first layer of felt pieces down onto the backing, trying to avoid the edges.  Put the other felt pieces to one side for later.

Fill in the red areas of Santa’s suit and hat with red seed beads.

Glue the remaining pieces of felt on top of the first layer, putting the extra piece on last.  Stitch down the edges of the felt that aren’t next to the beads with tiny stitches so that they aren’t noticeable.


Fill in the background with the cream beads.

Trim the backing close to the edge of the beadwork and make sure all the threads are secure.

Place the beadwork onto the card and draw around it.  Cut out the shape 1-2mm inside the line.

Glue the card to the back of the beadwork and leave to dry.

Cover the back of the card with glue, taking care not to get any on the edges of the backing, and stick it onto the ultrasuede.  Trim the edges close to the beadwork.

Finish off the edge by brick stitching the gold beads all the way around the oval.

Add a small loop of gold seed beads to the top centre of the oval and finish off the thread.

Tie the red ribbon through the loop of beads. 

If you do make this for your tree please post a photo of it to my Facebook page so that I can see.  

Saturday, 4 October 2014

It's Been A While...

... but at last there is something happening to my studio!

My Dad and Kieran have been in there the last few weeks sorting out the sill on the door and getting everything ready to do the walls.  Last week they built the framework for the plasterboard and got that in on one wall, complete with plasterboard on the bottom half.  The top half can't be done yet because the electrics need sorting out there first, and the window needed replacing.  My Dad has been down today fitting the new window,  Here is what it looks like now:

From the outside

From the inside

Left of wall with plasterboard

Right of wall with plasterboard

On the opposite side of the space it is still quite full of all the usual junk you would expect to find in a garage, although a lot of it has now been moved into the shed out the back.  I can;t wait to get everything moved in there so I have a real space to work in instead of just sitting on the sofa surrounded by boxes of beads.

This year I seem to be making more polymer clay cabochons than jewellery but that has come to a sudden halt with the new addition to our family, Orion.  He is a 4 year old black cat who was abandoned as a tiny kitten and had to be hand reared.  He ended up with the daughter of the woman who found him, who then had to give him up when her young daughter developed an allergy to him.  So far we have kept him indoors but I'm hoping he will be able to go out soon.  He is still a little skittish and will have to have a visit to the V-E-T before we can feel safe letting him outside.

Orion looking unimpressed at being covered in cobwebs!

Hopefully the studio will be finished in the not-too-distant future.  :o)