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I love making Christmas ornaments!  I always have.   My mom painted ornaments as a kid, and being an art teacher, she always had fun crafty things for us to do at Christmas time.    She still has the salt dough ornaments we made when I was 4 or 5, and the wacky Fimo ornaments we made when we lived in Washington DC when I was 6.   Every year there was something new to try.    As an adult, I have kept up with this tradition by hosting an ornament making party every year.   I love being able to make this a holiday tradition for my friends and their kids.

I set out a table full of supplies and let people go crazy.   This year I set up a few ornament stations with the patterns and supplies for specific ornaments.  This seemed to work well.    Most of the adults made 1-2 ornaments of different types.   The kids went bonkers and they all left with a paper plate full of assorted ornaments.    I didn’t manage to snap any pictures this year.  But I’m pretty sure fun was had by all.

As I was scurrying around trying to get the house decorated before the party, I took a moment to appreciate all the handmade ornaments I have accumulated over the years.   This seemed a good time to share a few of my favorites with you.   

The cowboy snowman was made by me shortly after college, maybe 93-94.  The flapper snow angel was made at the same time. I’m pretty sure my mom drew the face on her, since I usually avoid the eyelashes.  

This tiny snow baby was made about the same time. Her body is made from some leftover material from a pair of pants that I had made.

In my first apartment I put up a tree and realized that I was going to need to make some of my own ornaments to fill things up.   I made a bunch of these bees and ladybugs from a Better Homes and Gardens holiday issue.   They still make me laugh when I pull them out of the box. The wings are made from shrink plastic.

There are loads of other handmade ornaments on my tree.  But those are a few of my favorites.   What are your favorite holiday ornaments?

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The internet can be a scary place full of nut balls and things that can’t be unseen.  But it can also be a wonderful place full of inspiration, magic, opportunities, and friends you haven’t met yet. Today’s internet magic is brought to you by the lovely Karen Williams at Baubilicious.  For several years now, Karen has organized a handmade ornament swap.   I participated in the past and had great fun.   So I jumped on the chance to do it it again.   After a quick little quiz about what sorts of ornaments you like to make and receive, Karen matched up swap partners and sent us all the pertinent info to contact our person.

I got matched with Adrienne Hendricks. After a few quick emails we figured out what our likes/ dislikes were.   My tree is always a hodgepodge of handmade ornaments and odds and ends of things collected over the years.   It definitely reflects the tastes and hobbies of both of us here at the Conway-Broadie Consortium. If there is any overarching theme at all, it would probably be sparkles and birds… along with the rest of the animal kingdom for good measure.

Now it was time to get crafting.   November was a whirlwind month of travel and craziness.  The first order of business was to find a project that would travel well.   Enter the knitting bag.   Several years ago I had made some adorable gnomes out of wine corks.   I dug out the pattern and got to knitting.   Over the course of 3 weeks, I managed to make about 30 of the little guys.   After being asked what I was knitting by several folks in my travels, I got some pretty strange looks when I said I was knitting outfits for corks…   We all have our moments of crazy.   But the completion of each tiny hat made me so happy.   And the teeny pompoms made me giggle even more.  It was the perfect traveling project. 

My assistant was an unwilling model.

Once the gnomes were in hand, I decided I wanted to do a little beading.   I’m not a huge fan of the big fancy beaded ball covers.  So I did a little poking around out Pinterest for some inspiration.   I found lots of cool stuff, but the thing that caught my eye was a little tree ornament that used two holed triangles and seed beads. Adrienne had indicated that she liked traditional Christmas things, so a tiny tree seemed perfect.   I tracked down the pattern and was off to the races. I had all of the supplies on hand, I just had to pick colors. Once I started, I couldn’t stop.   Those little trees are addictive.  I made a few custom hangers to match.   I then boxed up my ornaments along with a few treats and popped them in the mail.     A few days later I received Adrienne’s box and boy was I surprised.   She had mentioned something about a mermaid to go along with my other sea creatures…  But I wasn’t expecting this.    I hit the swap partner jackpot!    I love my little mermaid.   I can’t believe all those 15s in there. That shibori ribbon and the tiny dragon scales give it just the right amount of shimmer.   I hope Adrienne is a fast beader.  That’s a lot of work in there and a wonderfully fun cabochon. I am in awe of all the great details.  And here it is, smack in the middle of my tree. I had my annual Ornament making party on Thursday, and a friend plucked this off my tree and said “OMG, this is amazing! Where did it come from?” It’s definitely a show stopper.   Thank you Adrienne!  And thank you to Karen for organizing this holiday fun.    Please check out the links at the bottom of this post to see what everyone else made.    I’m looking forward to it.

Margo Lynn and Karen Williams

Carrie Johnson and Therese Frank

Jasvanti Patel and Becky Clay

Jane Knaub and Mandi Bugatti

Sherry Eagle and Amy Severino

Judy J Jacobs and Judy Deshaies

Adrienne Hendricks and Francie Broadie

Cyndi Nason and Karen Williams

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Last Thursday I had the pleasure of attending a fun evening hosted by Susan Baroncini-Moe and Kelly and Wendy of KW Style.    It’s not my usual scene, but I thought I would push myself out of my comfort zone a bit and see what there was to see.   I had a great time chatting with other women in business and learned about some new (to me) products.

Kelly and Wendy of KW Style are currently carrying the Agnes & Dora line of clothing as well as Stella & Dot jewelry.  I’ve seen a few people selling the Stella and Dot line, but I hadn’t seen the Agnes & Dora line in real life.   They have a lovely selection of items in Kelly’s basement shop.   I was pleased to see it was size inclusive ranging in sizes from XXS to 3XL.  There were lots of cozy sweaters and long swingy tops as well as some super stylish jeggings.   I came home with two cute tops. Neither of which I took photos of. But here’s a peek at the behind the scenes set up of the live feed.

I got a quick hair consult and curl from Dakota from the Dragonfly Salon in Fishers.   She offered some great advice for managing my new-ish curls.

I had a lovely chat with Dania Whittey a consultant for SeneGence cosmetics.   I had heard about Lip Sense before, but hadn’t had a chance to see it in action. I am super sensitive to fragrances and weird chemicals in my lipstick so I was hesitant to try something new.  But Dania insisted it would work for me, and wouldn’t you know, she was right.   I ended up buying the starter pack.   I have now worn it 3 days in a row and the color has lasted a full day!   I am really impressed.   And now I’m pondering what color to buy next…

Possibly the best part of the night was receiving a chair massage from the lovely Erica Johnson of Muscle Mama Massage Mobile Wellness.   Erica was a delight.  Very friendly and communicative.    My massage experience is pretty limited, but it felt great and was just what I needed after several weeks of frantic beading getting ready for my show this past weekend.

In addition to the vendors, there were also super tasty treats from Sweetie’s in Fishers, and scrumptious smelling candles from Unplug Soy Candles

In addition to all of this awesomeness, we were also sent home with a swag bag full of nice stuff.    I’m super psyched to have received a copy of Susan’s book.   It’s going on the top of the pile.

All in all it was a great evening.  I’m glad I managed to overcome my usual hermit-y ways to step out for the evening and meet fun new people.  I’ll have to remember to do that again.

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