Category Archives: Crafts from the Past

Crafty Challenge 5: Two Hour Christmas Decor

We have just finished our Crafty Challenge 4 and are ready for number 5! This one is all about the time of year. From around now until Christmas, the Crafty Sisters begin to get secretive. We tend to stop discussing our projects with each other and mutter a lot, or at least I mutter a lot.

For us, this is crunch time for Christmas gifts and we do make a lot of them. In this vein, Crafty Challenge 5 is all about Christmas Decorations. We did need to limit this somehow and due to the whole Christmas crunch time I mentioned, the best idea was an actual time limit. So, the challenge is to create a Christmas decoration in less than two hours. We even set a specific time. December 4th – 10am until 12pm is the making time and the unveiling will be at 12:30pm. We can think all we want and purchase the supplies in the meantime, we just cannot start making the decorations until 10am.

To get us in a holiday mood, I thought some examples of a few of our past Christmas decorations was in order. So, get your mind in gear and get thinking (but don’t get making yet!).

Photo of white Christmas wreath.
Chenille pipe cleaner door wreath made by Cheri.
Photo of yarn garland, Choir Bird and winter A-Frame house.
Garland by Kristin, Choir Bird and Winter A-Frame by Cheri.
Photo of bluebird singing carols.
Choir bird made by Cheri.
Photo of winter A-Frame scene.
Miniature A-Frame winter scene made by Cheri.
Photo of snowman ornament.
Snowman ornament made by Cheri.
Photo of ornament wreath.
Ornament door wreath made by Kristin.
Photo of painted bird ornaments.
Painted bird ornaments made by Cheri.
Photo of silver ornament and twig decoration.
Silver ornament and twig door decor made by Cheri.

If you have any questions about any of the above decorations or would like to know how they were made, ask us! You can email us in the Contact Us section of the blog.

These were all decorations I had in my Christmas storage and I realize that almost all of them were made by Cheri. You can definitely see who we will be comparing ourselves to. Wish us luck and you get crafting!

Crafts from the Past: Temari

There is this marvelous Japanese art form called Temari. These are decorative balls made of thread (although I have seen them made with metal, wire, and many other materials) that vary from incredibly simplistic to extremely ornate. I never really got past the intermediate phase, but some of the examples I have seen make me wish I still had time to make these lovely creations.

Temari ball in chrysanthemum pattern with long tassel.

The above temari is one I made for an exchange with another member of the TemariKai group. This website is chock full of all sorts of information about temari; how to make them, people who make them, books, examples, and so much more. It is well worth looking at just to view the photos.

From what I learned, the origin of the craft was a ball traditionally made by mothers for their children from old kimono thread. From there, the craft burgeoned to the art it is now. I made them for several years and most of mine started with a thread ball made of stuffing material that you then wrapped miles and miles of thread around until you had a round ball (this takes a lot of practice to get the ball to come out round and tight). Next you mark your center and your guideline threads. Then you begin your pattern. I used DMC thread for the most part to make my patterns and most of mine are in flower formations. My guidelines were usually metallic threads. I made some with tassels, but most without. I also made some with a styrofoam core that I hollowed out and inserted bells.

Large temari mobile.

This was a mobile of tiny temari (at most 1 1/2″ in diameter) that I made for Lynne (my mom). I have always loved making mobiles and this art form seemed to just scream at me “Make me into a mobile!” The photo below is a smaller mobile I made for Loryn (my sister).

Small temari mobile.

Double temari.

Set of matching ribbon temari.

Orange star temari.

These are just some examples of temari I made. I made them for most of the family and I still laugh to see them. I made so many that I have forgotten what they look like and who I gave them to. It makes it loads of fun to see the products of my creativity from what feels like new eyes and gives me a whole new perspective on what I consider good, successful work.