Friday, December 22, 2017

December's Christmas Ornament Design Challenge

Over at the Art Elements site we are having a Christmas Ornament blog hop this month.
When Lesley first posted about the idea for December's design challenge I had a million ideas...
Well, as usual, life gets in the way of doing artsy things sometimes.
Since I am primarily a jewelry artist and secondarily a fiber artist I was going to do wire and bead ornaments. Didn't happen...
These happened instead-

Embroidered Felt Ornaments

This has been the year of my 1 Year of Stitches journey so I stayed with my stitching for most of my ornaments.  I got tons of ideas for felt ornaments on Pinterest and just ran with it. These felt ornaments are quick little stitchery pieces that can be completed in an hour or less. I just cut some templates from paper, then cut out the felt using the templates and started stitching. They are lightly stuffed with polyfil and then blanket stitched around the edge and tack on a ribbon for hanging. I have only made one snowman so far and I really need to make more. I think he's my favorite.
Woodburned ornaments

Then I happened to pick up some birch bark rounds and balsa wood stars at the craft store. So I decided to pull out my woodburning tool and play with that. Again, there is a ton of inspiration on Pinterest. It took me a while to get the pressure of the tool on the wood right and I also played with the different woodburning tips before I found the one I liked best. The above wooden pieces had to have holes drilled for adding the wire for hanging.
I really got into burning the trees onto the wood. The one on the right is supposed to have a heart in the center but it ended up looking like an almost sinister eye to me when I held it up. But I like it!
 Then I found these birch bark discs (above) that were packaged as 'ornament blanks' and they already had large holes with jute threaded in them for hanging. I may switch the jute out for some ribbon or wire?? Beware- the ones packaged as 'ornament blanks' were pricier than the birch bark rounds without the hole.
I love the wintry tree scenes. I have already given several of these as gifts.
A comparison of the plain birch bark rounds. The one on the left was just sold as birch bark blanks and the one on the right as 'ornament blanks'.  I used some acrylic paint to add the 'snow' on these pieces above.
 The balsa wood stars above were almost too soft. I kept presssing a little too hard with my tool and ended up gouging the wood in areas along with burning it. I used brown ink to sponge around the edges of the stars and added wire for hanging.
More birch bark rounds above with snowflakes and 'Peace' burned into the wood

A nice little colletion to give as hostess gifts, stocking stuffers, or even tie onto presents. Plus I am keeping a few for myself!

 After playing with woodburning tools and birch bark rounds I went back to stitching. This time I found some small 3" embroidery hoops to serve as the ornament. Just did some stitching, backed it with a piece of felt and now I will tie some ribbon around the top screw to serve as a hanger.
Felt stitched to back of embroidery hoop ornament, complete with cat hair!
Disclaimer--Don't look too closely at the photos of the felt ornaments. I have a cat who insists on sleeping in my lap while I stitch at night. The felt is basically velcro when it comes to latching onto cat hair. I thought I had lint-rolled all the hair off until I loaded the photos here-hahaha.  I plan to do a better job of removing the hair before I give them as gifts!

I can't wait to blog hop and see all the Christmas ornaments that everyone else has created. Happy blog hopping.

Here are all the participants:

Guest Designers

Art Elements Team

Enjoy the creations by everyone!


  1. Wow, Cathy - they are all so beautiful!I love the snowman as well, although the other ones are great too! The woodburning ones are fantastic, and the hoop ones too! Is there anything you don't do??? Merry Christmas!

  2. Thank you Sue!! I have ADD when it comes to creating & a studio full of many different supplies to play around with. Sometimes its a hit somestimes I don't even bother finishing. So I guess I CAN do anything BUT I am certainly not a 'master' of everything.
    Just having fun;-)

  3. All three types of ornaments you created are so fun! The first ones steal the show for me though. I'm not usually a "heart" person, but both of your stitched hearts totally capture my attention. The wood burning is so cool. It makes me want to go buy a kit and play. Thanks for sharing such an abundance of cool ideas and inspiration.

  4. the ornaments are really gorgeous. I have been wanting to try pyrography for years but I have not had access to a pyro pen or finished wood blanks. I would love to do it one day. Your Felt ornaments are adorable. I think they are really cool inspite of not being a "heart" person.

  5. All such creative designs as always Cathy and I love them all - but those scandinavian style felted pieces are so pretty in the greys and red. Have a wonderful festive season.

  6. I am also not a "heart" person but I have to say the hearts looks so beautiful, they were my favorites (even though I love the snowman! :) ). All the ornaments are lovely!

  7. I have to agree with Claire. I am not much of a heart person either. But the grays, white and red palette is so stunning, and I love it. The wood pieces are tres cool. You are a Renaissance woman of many talents! I do have your felted snowflakes on my tree! I can never get blanket stitch to look as perfect as that....

  8. Your stitch work is amazing. The snowman is my favorite, but I would put any of those on my tree. The woodburning pieces are also spectacular. I've thought about trying that, but the smoke detectors in my apartment are waaaay to sensitive. LOL.

  9. Stunning work Cathy... Your stitching is perfect, and I love the colours you've chosen. Love the wood burned designs too... your tree's going to look amazing!

  10. Ooo those wood burning ornaments are truly beautiful, love the scenes very much.

  11. What a stunning collection! I love how rustic the wood-based ones were and the felt ones seem so cozy and lovely. Gorgeous work!

  12. These brought back some great memories of when I learned how to wood burn in 4-H when I was like 10. I need to get mine out and try it. Your ornaments are gorgeous.

  13. Such beautiful ornaments! I've been eye-ing the pinterest ideas for the felt ornaments because I'm planning on making a felt advent calendar for my kids for next year (have to start now if I have any chance of getring it all done). Lpve the images on your burnt birch tree slices and the embroidery hoops. I may use this page as inspiration for future ornaments! if I h. The

  14. Wow, so many and so different - fiber, wood and embroidery! I've never played with wood but I know from personal experience the gratification from making felt ornaments. Love the wooden ornaments and, yes, they can be used as little package decorations - double score! The hoops are a great idea and so sweet!

  15. What a fab collection of different ornaments, you did so many different things! I really love the embroidered felt ornaments and also the hoops (there are so many ways to use them aren't there!), and the wood-burned ones are great too. I can't choose!

  16. I'm sorry I'm so late hopping... life got crazy. Really crazy. 3 new kittens crazy... so I totally feel you when it comes to kitty hair on things! I love all your ornaments but especially your stitched felt ones. I agree with you, that snowman is absolutely fabulous. I'd keep that one for myself!


Wishing you peace, love & chocolate!

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