Sunday, February 12, 2012

Christmas Ornaments - Already?

I am clawing my way through making prototypes (for lack of a better word - samples?) of the Christmas ornaments that I will begin taking orders on to help benefit the Save Malea organization and I have finished two designs. Here they are:

I thought I would whip through the second one, since it doesn't look that hard, but see where it says "blessing" and "20" and "12?" Those are stitched over one thread on a 32 count piece of linen. For those of you who don't know what that means, let's just say I need bifocals on my bifocals to see that. It took me pretty much an entire day to stitch the second one.

The first one is done in breast and ovarian cancer colors, which is why I picked it, since all proceeds from ornament sales will go to help Malea pay for her cancer treatments. It ended up being a little larger than it was supposed to be because I didn't have any 32 count fabric at the time and the larger the count, the smaller the end product. So this one will go into a frame either for me to keep or for us to use as a door prize or something at one of the events.

You'd never guess, but I got the colors backwards on the second ornament - the "JOY" was supposed to be red and the border was supposed to be green. That's the "joy" of Christmas colors - as long as you're using red and green, it really doesn't matter where you put them, right?

I discovered after my disaster with trying to finish the first ornament that I did several things wrong. My mat board was way too thick for an ornament (that's $7.99 down the drain to learn a lesson - ouch!) and that what I really need is some metal finishing forms made especially for ornaments. Those have been ordered and are on their way.

I also discovered that apparently gluing was not my strong suit in kindergarten, because I had it all over me, the ornament, and the dining room table (which is luckily covered in glass to protect it from, well, me). I went back and begged Vonna at The Twisted Stitcher for some help and in response, she reposted a ton of tutorials on finishing ornaments. (She's really awesome. If you like needlework, I highly recommend her blog.) I think I see now why I was having so much trouble and what it is that I need to do to get them finished properly.

Right now, I am concentrating on getting one example of each design finished while waiting for the finishing forms to arrive. I think there will be four Christmasy ones, the small breast cancer design that came from this:

(design by Kristin Herber of Dragonfly Stitches; now at Hobby Lobby to be framed), and another ribbon ornament which I will offer in any color you like that will correspond with the cause of your choice. I found a great free design online called "Kylie's Heart" that is a heart with a ribbon in the center and was designed to remember a woman who was lost to domestic violence. So sad. Apparently, she was an avid cross stitcher and so they designed this little logo for stitchers everywhere to use for any cause they were passionate about. That one will be available in any color, as will the smaller one from the above picture, although I suspect I will mainly be doing pink for breast cancer and purple for fibromyalgia, as well as all kinds of cancer. But, the point is, you can request colors!

Today, I will be making a sample "Merry Christmas" heart which involves some metallic thread, so I suspect there will be a lot of cursing again. This hobby is supposed to be relaxing, but when I can't get it right or am having trouble with the materials, I find that I do a lot of sighing and swearing. Once I get the design done, I will post it up for you.

I plan to have a page where you can go directly and order your ornaments. But that's assuming I can figure out how to actually put an order form online that comes back to me directly. For this one, I will be able to use the Paypal button, since I will be selling a product. Joy!

Although this is a work in progress and taking a little longer to get going than I had hoped, I am plugging along with it. I know once I start making them and get a little practiced at the designs and figure out all this finishing nonsense, it will start to go very quickly. And just think - you could actually order some handmade Christmas presents months ahead of the holidays, maybe even before you've paid for last Christmas! (Oops, shouldn't have mentioned that debt, right?)

On March 1, 2012, I will be attending the first Embroidery Guild of America meeting of the new Winchester chapter and I am hoping that some of the women there will have done Christmas ornaments before. I plan on taking all of my finishing supplies and throwing myself on their mercy. Hopefully I will have a bunch of ornaments stitched up by then and can beg some charity finishing. And I am extremely excited to have finally found a group of needleworkers in my area. The only thing about my hobby that I haven't ever liked is that it's kind of a solitary one. But no more!

Okay, sauntering over to my supplies to "kit up" the next one. Hopefully, I will have a picture to post later today. (Ever the optimist!)


  1. Love your prototypes Chelle! I'll be interested in buying one.
    Btw, I've nominated you for a Liebster Award :)

  2. You nominated me for WHAT??? Seriously? I've never been nominated for anything in my entire life! Wow, thanks. Now I have to go see what that is!

    I am having an awful time with the ornaments, but I have finishing forms coming and hopefully will find something that I can actually finish and sell. I really like the Merry Christmas one. I just need a smaller thread count so that it will be ornament sized.

    Hugs and hope you're feeling better!


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