"Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. ... Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world."

Yes, Virginia ... there is a Santa Claus!

Memory Lane Christmas Decorations

Have you finished your Christmas decorating?  Have you started?  I've had a good start, it's mostly done, but near the end I was taken away from decorating for things like shopping, wrapping, writing cards, and heaps and heaps of cooking and baking.  With family coming this week-end, it's time to finish up those last few boxes.

Reindeer Cookies - Think Upside Down! and Cookie Pops

We all know that Santa works hard on Christmas Eve, but we must not forget about the reindeer - they have a very busy night indeed flying Santa, his sleigh, and all those presents around the world. 

Candy Christmas Challenge at Sparkles

The Sparkles Christmas Challenge is a multi-craft challenge blog, which is great for me as I so rarely seem to find the time to get to the Christmas card and gift tag ideas rolling around in my mind. Primarily, it's a space thing, as I work my way through the shiny beads.

We Will Remember Them ...

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

November ... time to get some jobs done!

Crikey, it's November already.  Can you believe it?  I can't.  It seems no matter how much I spread the Christmas activity throughout the year, I feel a sense of panic come November.  Time to finish up some of those work in progress projects!  First job done, another tree skirt.

Non-Traditional Christmas Card Colours

Who says Christmas cards need to be in traditional colours?  Not me, that's for sure!  I love everything bright and shiny at Christmas time.  This snowman card is a but of fun in bright pink.  It's an upcycled card - the snowman in the center from original small cards, and matched here with co-ordinating pink Christmas papers, die cut snowflakes and pink gems.

Holly and Berries Beaded Ornament

I've got a new variation on the holly and berries beaded diamond dangle ornament.  I made one last year, but this is an upscale version.  As I'm really taken with the beaded spiral hangers, I had to incorporate that element.

Colour Your Own Gift Tags

This is a fun little gift tag idea I'm experimenting with this year - colour your own gift tags.  I would have loved these at age 5, and I still love them into my 50s!  The stickers are a black velvet, so the raised surfaces make it easy for the little ones to have a go, and also prevent bleading of inks so you can get a really nice result.

Christmas Earrings - Festive Holly and Fabulous Stockings

I`m taking a break from glittery snowflake ornaments and beaded diamond icicles - of which there are soooo many styles in production - to get back to something I haven`t done in a while, Christmas earrings.  These delicate and festive holly charms are just the thing with these beads and I love how they turned out. Bright lime green gem encrusted beads and gorgeous bright Christmas red glass pearls are accented with gem encrusted collar spacers and silver lined crystal seed beads with teeny tiny silver seed beads.  These are so Christmasy, don`t you think?

Another style uses these lovely Christmas stocking pendant charms.  They are double sided (three dimensional) and quite substantial, so I kept the rest very simple.  Gem encrusted resin beads in dark silvery grey make a nice neutral statement.  Very festive, but a little more understated.

If you'd like to see more, see the Christmas Jewelry section of my Etsy shop.

Painted Glass Balls with Diamond Gem Embellishments

I'm working to catch up with my craft photography for posting, and top of the agenda for this weekend is the painted glass Christmas balls.  They're 'painted' on the inside by swirling paint inside and it's super fun to see all the different patterns that it will make.  It's like those twirling paint art works - inside a Christmas ball.

Different from every angle, they're a lovely addition to the Christmas tree. I hadn't made any in ages, after making tons of them a few decades ago, but when I came across these slightly larger versions embellished with silver gem stones I just couldn't resist.

Simple and easy to make, the only thing is you'll need ample space to set them out for occasional rotating while they completely dry.  I use plastic or styrofoam cups for the balls to sit in while the paint drips out, and it's a good idea to cover the surface below for any spills.

Have a go, they're lots of fun, or if you want to take a look at mine, they're gradually making their way to the Christmas is Magical shop

Christmas Images: Treescapes 2

Here is another one of my favourite Christmas photos.  I like to do lots of close-up images of the ornaments on the tree(s) in several different lights and taking them from a perspective that gets other decorations in the background seems to up the magical factor.   The pretty egg shaped decoration in the forefront is a glass ornament from the Czech Republic and it hangs from one of my spiral beaded ornament hangers - they really add a lot of sparkle and whimsy.

Fuzzy and Festive Knit Christmas Hat with Crochet Holly and Button Berry Adornment

I've made a Christmas hat. It's very luxurous with soft and chunky Charisma yarn worked with faux fur eyelash yarn.  And it certainly is festive, in bright Christmas red with a fur band of snow white, adorned with crochet holly leaves and a berry button.

Frosted Snowflakes .. on parade!

I have recently begun to embrace an assembly-line approach to my Christmas ornaments.  Here are just some of the renditions I've made of my frosted snowflake beaded ornaments.  I'm focusing on my "posh beads" - gem encrusted bling beads, stripy resin beads, berry beads, polka dot beads, sequin beads and, in general, huge chunky lovelies - to accompany these pretty frosted snowflake pendants

Christmas Shop: Winter Wonderland

After a little debate with myself, I decided to sort my Christmas shop by theme.  Rather than having sections for ornaments, garland, beaded ornament hangers, tree skirts and the like, I've organized by style of Christmas decorating.  Winter Wonderland is all about those magical frosty images - blues, turquoise, silver, white and definitely lots of sparkle.

Faux Fur Yarn Crochet Beaded Garland

It was a grey stormy day today bringing lots of leaves down and there may not be too many unseasonable summery days left in our near future, fall seems to be here. Time to get a shufty on and catch up on photography and posting for my Christmas Etsy shop.  This is one of my new styles of garland.

Christmas Images: Treescapes 1

Just for fun I thought I'd start a collection of some of my favourite Christmas photos.  This treescapes shot focuses on one of my favourite 'special ornaments' - a gift from my friend Lynn.   I love the cupcake and christmas sweets decorating trend - oh so magical.

Frosted Snowflake Beaded Ornaments

My friend Catherine posted the other day that it was down to double digits until Christmas.  Where has the year so far gone?  Time for me to get my skates on and back into the Christmas groove with my online sites and Etsy shop.  Won't be long until Santa is visiting - 96 days!

I've been trying to catch up today with some photography and posting on the shop so I thought I'd show you these pretty frosted snowflakes worked up into beaded ornaments.

I've added pearl gem stickers and shiny gem stickers to the snowflakes for a little more sparkle, and they feature some of my prettiest bead assortments.

With really chunky and sparkly beads this design is substantial, measuring a little over 6".  Wiring them on to whimsical spiral beaded ornaments is just the right finishing touch to make them truly special.

Get ready to see all sorts of variations of these little snowflakes - even I don't know how many I'm currently working on but there are lots, lots, lots.  All of them, of course, are my favourites.

From the Kitchen of ... Gift Tags

This weeks theme on the Weekly Christmas Card Challenges blog site is Think Tags.  You can use tag decorations on your Christmas card designs, or you can make tags for gifts.  It seemed like the perfect time to jump back in with these gift tags intended for home baking type gifts.

Christmas Cranberries

I just love the deep red colour - and the smell - of cranberries during the holidays.  Cranberries have long been a staple for Christmas decorating with the traditional stringing of cranberry or cranberry and popcorn garland for the Christmas Tree. We never did this in our house (food was for eating, not playing with) but I have memories of stringing cranberry popcorn garland with some of my friends. It's also a lovely idea for outside for the birds and critters to enjoy.

Heart 2 Heart

I've been making more heart dangle ornaments with my supply of crystal heart pendants and this red version is just perfect with the feature of a red bead with white hearts.  It's Heart 2 Heart!

Strawberry Santas

You may not think of strawberries as a traditional Christmas food, but oh my goodness have you seen these adorable Santas and Santa's hats?  If you live somewhere that you can find lovely fresh strawberries at that time of year, you simply MUST have a go at a variation of these adorable edibles.

Miniature Christmas Ornaments

The days are FINALLY starting to get a little nicer so I've decided I don't really need to be blogging about Christmas every day right now, but I will try to keep doing regular updates as it won't be too terribly long before "Christmas in July" which is somewhat of a kick-off for us crafters.  Here is something new I've tried recently - miniature Christmas ornaments. At least the colours are bright and spring like!

These sweet little miniature ornaments are just perfect for a table top small tree and I've done them up in stars and hearts.  The little faceted pendants are actually from pony tail hair bands which I just cut apart to rescue the hearts and stars.

The clear acrylic is ideal as it's unbreakable and the facets give them lovely sparkle.  With small ornament hooks, I've beaded them directly on with teeny tiny crystal clear seed beads and larger seed beads in co-ordinating colours, and for the stars, small pearls as well.

I'm rather pleased at how they have turned out and will be on the lookout for other small things to re-invent into miniature Christmas ornaments.

Super Large Faceted Beaded Snowflakes

I've been back to trying my hand at the beaded snowflake ornaments.  This time, I thought I'd try a version with these fab super large faceted beads. They're 22mm in diameter and I have them in a number of colours.

Button and Bead Garland

This is my new Button and Bead Garland.  Isn't it bright and fun?  What you can't tell by the picture is how lovely and tactile this garland is.  The variety of shapes and sizes in the beads and buttons gives it great texture and visual interest.  The garland uses 10/0 seed beads, a variety of  buttons, a variety of wooden beads, and paper wrapped styrofoam balls.

New Business Cards

I just ordered my new business cards from Vista Print. Visit my Christmas Shop at Christmas is Magical!

Hearts and Polka Dots

Hearts and polka dots.  Two of my favourite things, and don't they combine well with these lovely faceted crystal clear hearts and bright cheerful turquoise and white polka dot beads.

Gem Dangle Day

Yesterday was Gem Dangle day - in a big way.  The weather was still rather rubbish, so an ideal day for crafting and watching the wind blow by - hopefully to bring us some Spring.  In a recent period of 'organization' I decided to package away the main bead components by project so I decided to attack the box of these pear gem dangle ornaments that I'd set aside.

Christmas Card Challenges - Anything Goes

It's anything goes week at the Christmas Card Challenges blog, so I really have to play along, don't I?  This is a bright rendition of a simple design for a festive Christmas card.  Neon bright might not be everyone's cup of tea but I love it.  Believe it or not, these are my kitchen colours - bright lime green and neon pink. For a Christmas card, if you think about it, it's just a slight slide on the hue spectrum from traditional Christmas red and green.  With a little bling on top for good measure.

Great Ideas! Sock Snowmen

Looking around the internet I've really fallen in love with the snowman sock concept.  What a totally fabulous idea.

SockSnowmen10 (Photo credit: eamylove)
For me, it's the perfect craft in that you can change just about any element of the "recipe".  You'll need a sock.  Beyond that, the options are limitless.

Certainly children could partcipate in elements of the production, depending on the age, and wouldn't they make adorable gifts for their friends and teachers?

I'm really no expert on chidrens' crafts - my children have claws and fur and they'd be total rubbish at helping with these - not that this would stop them trying.  I can remember my own childhood days of crafting and I know I'd have been keen to make an army of these adorable guys and gals.

Willow Glitter Star Ornaments

It was a grey miserable day recently, and I didn't feel too much different to the weather, so I treated myself to just sitting and crafting.  I'm working hard on having a clear out of the craft room, so I decided to focus on my box of glitter covered willow stars.

Ho Ho Holiday on Pinterest

Do you Pinterest?  I am fairly new to it all but I just can't say enough good things about the world of pinning.  I wish I had invented Pinterest.

I am a list maker.  Not an entirely organized list maker like my mother as I often end up with scraps of paper here there and everywhere, but I do find I achieve a higher level of job completion if the task has been written down.

Doctor Who Tardis Ornaments

I've got Tardis ornaments!  Needless to say, as a huge fan of Doctor Who, I rather love these Tardis ornaments.  I've actually had these lovely large pendant Tardis charms for ages, but it wasn't until recently - when I found the perfectly matching gem encrusted 'bling' beads that it all started to come together.

Christmas Card Challenge - Ho, Ho, Ho

One of the things that I am challenging myself to do with my new Christmas focused online entities is to participate, with some frequency, in some online crafting challenges.  For some time I have followed several Christmas Card Challenges just because I love to see the creativity of the contributors.  Some of their card creations are nothing short of works of art.

A New Day ... A New Snowflake Concept

It's a new day around here on the blog, and a new day calls for a new craft activity.  Okay, well, snowflake ornaments aren't new, but these type of snowflake ornaments are new - to me.

Blog Posts Caught Up!

Close up Christmas Tree

Job one done!    I am all caught up with moving my Christmas related blog posts to their new space here at The Handcrafted Christmas.  Welcome!

My new Christmas Shop - Christmas is Magical on Etsy is up and running with lots to see and I'm regularly adding new things.

There are Beads in these Christmas Stickers!

Christmas Gift Tags with Pop-Up Santa Stickers

Although I have far too many Christmas bits and bobs - well, too many for their space as there could never really be too many, could there? - I just couldn't resist these adorable Pop-Up Christmas Stickers.  Lovely vibrant colours and sweet graphics, the piece de resistance is that the puffly little stickers contain tiny shiny beads.

Glittery Snowflakes in Red and Lime Green

Glittery Red Snowflakes with Pearls

We achieved some productivity yesterday, the cats and I, making up a few batches of glittery snowflakes, photography them, packaging them and posting on Etsy. Aren't these red ones festive?  I must say, the cats really aren't much help at these things - quite the opposite - but it's always nice to have their company, even if they do end up sparkling for weeks and helping to spread glitter about the house.

Sonic Screwdriver Beaded Icicle Ornaments

Back to the bling. I have been working up more of the beaded icicles on beaded spiral hangers that I love, and this time I've incorporated the rhinestone encrusted beads.  Serious bling!  Don't the shiny silver beads go lovely with the deep rich colour of these cobalt blue faceted beads?

Beaded Icicle Ornaments on Beaded Spiral Hooks

Beaded Icicles on Beaded Spiral Hooks -  Red & White
Along came the next evolution of the beaded ornament/beaded hanger with the Beaded Icicles on Beaded Spiral Hooks.

Beaded Icicles on Beaded Spiral Hooks - Hot Pink & White with huge 24mm beads
 I have a few new lovely suppliers in the US and in the UK and all sorts of my favourite beads are used here in combination with other beads I've sourced from taking apart bracelets and whatever I can find.

Loads of my favourite beads here! Stripy beads, Glitter beads, Huge faceted beads  ...

I've worked them up on 5" lengths of coated wire and then I work them directly in to the beaded spiral hooks, so it is an all in one component.  These are divine and I love them.  The huge white 24mm acrylic beads are like snowballs and they are substantial enough that they will make a big impact on the tree.

These would be amongst my largest, most deluxe versions of the beaded icicle ornament but I'm looking forward to trying them in a wide variety of styles and they would also look nice with smaller beads.  We had icicle lights when I was a little girl so I am particularly fond of the icicle imagery.

Multi-Dangle Christmas Earring in Red, White and Green

Christmas Present Earrings in Red, White and Green

Well, I must say, I tried to be nothing but festive while working on these multi-dangle earrings but quite a few non-holiday words were uttered. Under my breath, and to myself, but nontheless, some frustration.  I don't remember it being quite so difficult when I made my first attempt with some Halloween earrings,  but I am still new to the multi-dangle style and to working with jump rings.

More Diamond Dangles with Acrylic Paint Splotch Beads

Acrylic Paint Splotch Beads in Purple

These icicle style diamond dangles are pretty and the possibilities are endless.  I have so many styles of beads that I'm looking forward to playing with.

Fussy but Royal Beaded Ornament Hooks!

My beaded ornament hooks are getting fancier and fancier these days.  I keep being drawn to these fabulous special beads - in this case more rhinestone bling, in silver - and when I saw these deep midnight blue faceted crystal beads I just couldn't leave them as a bracelet.  The colour is so deep and rich and they shine like crazy.  I knew they would look great paired with the bright silver gems and the style puts me in mind of the 'royal ring' that once belonged to Diana and now belongs to Kate.  I've always loved that ring.

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