Sunday, April 19, 2015

Berry X-mas Special with Tree

Spring has finally sprung in northeast Ohio!  We are knee-deep in weeds, mulch, and pool chemicals.  We have our first weenie roast of the season scheduled in just a few weeks.  We are ready for summer!

I wanted to do my mother's mouse ornament, but just wasn't feeling it the day I looked through my patterns.  I had joked with Ouida that when I ran out of mouse patterns, I was going to move on to the bear patterns and just replace their heads.  Annnnd . . . that's what I did.  According to Carolyn DeAngelis, this is actually the "Beary X-mas Special Bear with X-mas Tree."  I don't know what to call it now.  "Beary X-mas Special Bear with X-mas Tree and Mouse Head from Claude Pattern" really doesn't have much of a ring to it.  Here's the Claude ornament I made her a few years ago:

It was pretty easy to swipe his head and put it on the bear pattern, which gave me this:

And now I'm looking at these pictures and seeing the obvious omission that I hadn't noticed until this very second:  THIS MOUSE HAS NO TAIL!    I have no words for the shame.  Despite the number of pieces, this one really didn't take terribly long.  I used sequins and beads for the Christmas tree.  Get out your magnifying glass for that teddy bear, because that arm and ear are tiny!

I did want to take a moment to talk about hanger placement.  Sometimes, a finished ornament is very symmetrical and it's obvious where to tack the hanger to the back so it hangs straight.  Then you have ones like this.  When I get an ornament finished, I always stick a straight pin through where I think the center is like this:

Then I hold the pin between my thumb and middle finger and let it hang loose:

That'll show me how it would hang if I tacked the hanger there.  In this case, we're leaning a little to the right.  Move the pin and try again:

Now we're too far to the left.  One more try:


When you look through your patterns, don't forget to imagine what they'd look like with a different head.  It's easy to switch genders, turn bears into mice, people into animals, etc.  This really opens up a lot of possibilities for stretching your pattern collection and making more personalized ornaments for your friends and family!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Mogul Mike/Mariah

Happy belated Easter!  I didn't post yesterday because we were busy enjoying a holiday with both kids -- something we hadn't done before.  But ornaments wait for no one!

When  Clif shared his ornament photos with me years ago, I was struck by his Mogul Mike ornament and always wanted to make him.  

I had intended to make him for Scott a few years ago when he started skiing, but I never got around to it.  Now that Mariah skis with him, I decided to make the ornament for her.  And I'll try to get one made for Scott, too!  The first trick was to change the ornament to a girl.  And knowing that I'd like to make a second one, I wanted to do something just a little different so I didn't wind up with two of the same ornament on the tree.  (Why that matters, I do not know . . . but it does.)  I kept thinking of the Herald Angel ornament I made several years ago for Audrey and decided to steal her ponytail and profile.  

I didn't like that spit-curl thing that was happening on her face, so I omitted that.  I also decided to do a headband instead of a hat  . . . though Mariah is too cool to wear either of those things and prefers to just pull her hood up.  Here's my finished ornament:

You're probably wondering about the ski poles.  The poles themselves are just long, skinny rectangles that are stuffed with a pipe cleaner.  The round things at the bottom . . . . what ARE those things called?  I know they probably have a specific name, but I don't know it.  Anyway -- those round things at the bottom look like this:

It's two circles cut from my silver fabric with a hole punched in the middle.  Then I stitched them front to back, making sort of a donut.  (Yum . . . . now I want a donut!)  I put the poles through the middle and just used a tiny dot of hot glue to hold it in place.

She's really cute and Mariah LOVES her!