Thursday, November 29, 2018

Art Elements Star Theme Reveal

I know I sound like a broken record BUT are we already at the end of another month?!?

Laney is the hostess of this month's theme at the Art Elements blog and she chose stars. What a fun and appropriate theme for this time of year. It prompted me to make a few Christmas ornaments as well as an embroidered piece.
First thing I made was a star/pentagram & moon design. I drew the design I wanted and cut out a pattern. Traced it on muslin and started stitching. I began stitching the moon first, then my original plan was to do the star/pentagram in beads as well as the little squiggly designs in the moon. As usual the more I stitched I changed my mind about doing the star in beads and just went with a stitched pentagram. I was still planning the areas of the moon to have sparkly beads but when I started stitching beads on I really didn't like it. So about a third of the way through, I ripped the beads out and just used french knots that kind of mimic beads. I like this version better than my original plan. I have seen some pentagrams interwoven with the moon but I left mine in front of the moon and just stitched the pentagram as though it's interlocking. The pentagram/pentacle is supposed to represent Mother Earth, prosperity and protection. The crescent moon is representative of intuition and the feminine nature. Supposedly, when pentacle & moon are layered together they represent wisdom and intuition.
Close-up of the collaged embroidery hoop and stitching

I thought the muslin looked a bit too clean & new so I saved some black coffee and let it sit for a few days then 'painted' the background with coffee to lightly stain it and tone it down. Normal people would have stained the fabric BEFORE embroidering! Then I decided to use a technique I had seen on IG from one of my favorite artists, Andreia of Black Cat Creative Studio. She collages and sometimes paints her embroidery hoops which really finishes it off nicely. I used some leopard print tissue paper to collage onto the outside embroidery hoop. Making sure to give it a couple coats of mod podge to seal it.
Full view of hoop


Close-up of my French knot 'beads'

While I was working on the above piece I started thinking about making Christmas ornaments.
I made a bunch of felt ornaments with embroidery last year and I also made some wood burned ornaments. I decided to do the same this year. So I'm trying out some new designs and ideas for both the felt and wood ornaments.
Star themed embroidered felt ornaments
I failed to make any sort of pattern when I made these. So they are similar but not exactly the same since I just cut the star motif out freehand.
Next up, some thin balsa wood stars that I bought then drew designs on with a felt tip marker and wood burned. I used a brown stamp pap to 'antique' around the edges of the stars.
Wood burned ornaments with wire hangers
The final ornaments are actually a kit I bought probably 30+ years ago. I made a couple ornaments when I purchased the kit and then tucked it away. The kit has moved with me from PA to KY to CT to GA to IL and now here with me in NC. Luckily I was able to locate the paper strips and instructions since these are PERFECT for the star theme.
Instructions for German Folk Art Stars

I guess these little stars could be considered origami stars as well. But I bought the kit in PA in an area where the Moravians settled back in the 1700's. These are supposed to be Moravian Stars and according to the kit it is considered German Folk Art. My husband's hometown actually had a Moravian church that was so lovely to visit on Christmas Eve for their 'love feast'. Almost everyone in that town puts up Moravian stars on their porch or doorway during the Christmas holiday.
We used to have one we put on our porch also but all those moves took its toll on the star.
Moravian Star ornaments 

When I first pulled the instructions out, I forgot how tedious the process was! At least for the first couple of stars. It took me a while to get the hang of folding, turning and tucking so the first several are a bit wonky. I ended up using all the paper and am happy to report that I think I may have it mastered. I say may because I'm sure if I don't make any more this year, I will forget by next year-haha! Fortunately there are a ton of websites with these instructions as well as YouTube videos.
Close-up of Moravian Stars.
I am so glad I was able to find this little kit. I can now cut paper strips to any width, length & color to create more. I think a small tree with nothing but these little Moravian stars would be so cool!

I am really looking forward to blog hopping to see all the starry creations. I am sure there will be a wonderful variety represented by all our members and guests. Thank you Laney for hosting this theme.
So come along and let's do a blog hop!

Here's the lists of guest participants as well as our members who are joining in the fun:


Guest Artists
 
Cat 
 
 
Art Elements Team
 
Jen 
Jenny  
Niky 
Cathy You're here

28 comments:

  1. Wow you have been busy, I love the embroidery and enjoyed seeing snippets on Insta. Those origami stars are amazing

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    1. Thank you Jill! The stars were the hardest challenge initially. Glad I persevered.

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  2. So much to see! I really love the moon and pentacle piece, it's gorgeous!

    The Moravian stars are called Herrnhuter Sterne here in Germany, by the way. The Herrnhuter Br├╝dergemeine, a community, had a math teacher who invented them in 1830, possibly as a geometry lesson. Quite the tradition, and you did a wonderful job at taking part in it (I never had the patience to try, but then again I was pretty lousy at geometry ;-))!

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    1. I actually read about the math teacher who invented them in Our State magazine here in NC. The city of Winston-Salem, NC was settled by Moravians as well as my husband's hometown of Nazareth, PA. The article was about the invention of the stars. The article didn't give the German name for them though, so thank you!

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  3. Using the French knots was actually a great idea, it gave an earthy organic look to the piece and that work on the hoop makes a lot of difference! And what an array of stars, these challenges are a good excuse to make all kinds of crafts to please your soul, right?

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    1. Thank you Rozantia. I love the way the knots give it so much texture.

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  4. Wow! So many fun stars themed ornaments! I think the wood burned are my faves. Your embroidery is lovely too. Great job!

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    1. Thank you Sarajo! I plan to make more of the wood burned ornaments as well as the embroidered ones. Just wish I had started on them months ago;-)

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  5. Oh my gosh, your ebroidery is fantastic! And I love that you decorated the hoop! And all the ornaments too! I wish I had an ounce of your creativity!

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    1. Thank you Sue! You are always too kind with your comments. I just love making things. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't;-)

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  6. wow...the Moravian Star ornaments are fabulous...as is your Star/pentagram & moon design is wonderful! I'm a beader but I agree your french knots work SO much better!!!

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    1. Thank you so much! I really did want to use beads but I am so happy with the french knots now.

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  7. Your embroidery is stunning Cathy, and the ornaments are wonderful. I'd love to see your star tree if you make it!

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    1. Thank yo Caroline! I am in the process of figuring out what color and gauge thread to use on my star ornaments so it doesn't look so obvious. I am planning to hang them from a white birch tree. I'll photograph when done.

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  8. ooo those stars!! I love those stars but your embroidery just blows me away when I grow up I would love my embroidery to be like yours! That hoop make over really sets the piece off.

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    1. Thank you Laney! I had so much fun with this theme. And I am so glad I decided to cover that hoop. It sure makes it look much more polished.

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  9. I love the Moravian Star ornaments and I think that a tree with just those ornaments would be gorgeous.

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  10. Cathy, here's a project for you. Why not cut some thin sheet metal or use some thin sheets of plastic and make a new porch ornament?
    Now, on to your Stars. AMAZING, Amazing, Amazing!!! I love the texture on your embroidered piece and 'les petits noeuds fran├žais, oh la la' ... can't remember what we call them in French tho. And the squiggles just add something special & whimsical. I wondered where you got a cute little hoop like that, and now I know :)
    As I said earlier, your other works are amazing too. I like your backdrop for the ornies. Alysen

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    1. That sounds like a fabulous idea Alysen! If i get around to creating a metal star I will definitely post a photo. Thanks so much for your lovely comments.

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  11. Cathy, as usual, hats off to your creativity - I really don't know how you manage to make wonderful things all the time. :) I love everything from your post - reading about it is so much better for me than seeing it on IG. :D As for the Moravian Stars - I get what you mean about 'may' having mastered it, because I felt the same way after making a bunch of origami cranes, and now, as expected, I've forgotten how, lol...

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    1. Thank yo so much Anita! I just love to stitch every day or evening. Keeps my hands busy and my head sane;-) I definitely need to make some more stars SOON before I forget how again!! haha

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  12. I thought the french knots were beads at first. They look quite 3 dimensional. The hoop is a great monogram ornament. I love morovian stars too. They are confusing to make at first but it is very satisfying ot make them. I tried them out with Palm leaf last year.

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    1. Thank you so much Divya! I bet the stars made from Palm leaves are wonderful.

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  13. Your designs are so magnificent Cathy! I really do enjoy seeing all of the projects you manage to get done (even if it is years after purchasing a kit). I agree - a whole tree with those stars would be magnificent! :)

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    1. Thank you so much Marsha! I still haven't hung them on a little tree yet, but I have the perfect little white birch tree to use.

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  14. Oh, where to begin. The pentacle and moon piece is so well done, down to the detail of finishing the hoop. The ornaments make me reconsider my ban on indoor trees because I could envision one entirely covered in them with just some twinkle lights in the background. Everything is stellar. :)

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    1. Thank you so much Tammy! I am happy with the outcome of my pentacle/moon. And really happy that I found the paper star kit from days gone by. I really need to make more soon.

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Wishing you peace, love & chocolate!

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