"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!

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.

Santa's Beaded Ornament Hangers

Santa's Beaded Ornament Hooks?

These - I like to imagine - are the beaded ornament hooks that Santa might have on his tree. They couldn't be any more Christmas-y could they?   Bling and shiny in holiday colours of red and green with crystal icy accents, surely these are what Mrs. Claus would choose.

Plush Toy Wreaths

Here are some of the wreaths I've been working on.   Cute little Christmas plush toys are wired into the center to give them an uber-festive look.

Christmas Cards and Wreaths

'I Love Snow' Snowman & Snowflake Cards
I've been making steady progress with my mini trees and their tree skirts, and there is a nice little blizzard of snowflakes ready and put away for the craft show.  With the holidays getting closer and the fact that my supply was quickly dwingling, it was finally time to get back to some cards and gift tags.

Mini Skirts for Mini Trees #2, 3 and 4!

Last week I posted about my first mini skirt for my mini trees, and this week I am happy to update that three more are complete.  There are at least four more to do, if I can manage it, and perhaps more hiding in boxes I haven't yet opened.

Shiny Silver Snowflakes

Wowza, talk about shine and sparkle!  Working on these silver snowflakes at my craft room table,  with the sun streaming in, I was tempted to put on a pair of sunglasses.  En masse, they were almost blinding with their shine, sparkle and close friend glitter.  I just love them.

Seussical with Large Diamond Dangles ... & Snowflakes

It's a drizzly day and there is a Doctor Who marathon on television. In short, it's a perfect crafting day.   Really with conditions like this I should be working on my Tardis Christmas Ornaments - I got some fabulous charms to work up - but I think those will wait for next week when the End of 10 will air.  I`ll need something to distract me from crying through the entire episode.

Instead, I`m working on these cheerful Seussical style large green diamond dangles. The striped lime green and white acrylic beads I got are perfect in combination with the shiny lime green acrylic diamonds and beads. A clear crystal faceted bead adds even more sparkle.   Having tried a few variations with these large acrylic diamonds, these are my favourite so far.

I`m also working on finishing up some of my larger snowflake ornaments.  I`ve embellished these with gems in colours to match the beaded hangers.  You know my theory on sparkle and glitter at Christmas - less is just less.

S is for Santa Spiral Beaded Ornament Hooks

This is one of the things on my crafting table today.  Spiral beaded ornament hooks are back, and I'm trying to work up a number of variations in some basic colour schemes.  My friend Catherine named these "S is for Santa" spiral hooks, and I think that's a perfect name.  They are so jolly.

Mini Skirts for Mini Trees #1

It's like the Doctor Who Christmas invasion - Christmas trees are everywhere - living room, dining room, craft room, spare bedroom ...  they've just sprung up here there and everywhere.   In preparation for my upcoming craft show, I'm sprucing up my mini Christmas Trees and editing their ornaments.  Each one has such a lot of character with a huge variety of trimmings and garland.

Bright Pink Buttons

Tonight I've been doing a little catch up on photograpy so I can show you another variation in the Button Dangle Ornaments series - this time a vivid bright pink.

Button Dangles in Red and Purple

Red Button Christmas Ornaments

For some reason, tins of buttons make me happy.  I understand why buttons off clothing I`ve had throughout my life would be a nostalgic thing, or vintage buttons with all their fascinating shapes and details would be an exciting thing - but even modern, bright, random buttons are such happy, cheerful little characters, don't you think?

Paint Splotch Acrylic Beads in Diamond Dangles

Painted Splotch Acrylic Beads with Cats Eye Shiny Beads
Here are some more of my selection of fabulous beads.  I call them Paint Splotch beads and I have them in a lovely variety of colours.  They match so very nicely with these super shiny cats eye like beads that I've used before in my Cats Eye Beaded Ornament Hangers

Shiny Christmas Ball Snowflake Earrings

Shiny Christmas Ball Snowflake Earrings in Red

More fun with Christmas earrings - this time in a more holly jolly, fun and festive mood.   I recently found these shiny metallic coloured beads in a variety of colours, and with etched accents that have almost a holographic effect in that they reflect many colours as they move.

Multi-Colour Rhinestone Bead Christmas Earrings

Rhinestone Bead Earrings with Snowflakes and Crystal Crackle Glass Beads
Yesterday's crafting session was back to the Christmas earrings, and this time my primary focus was these 14mm multi-colour rhinestone beads.  I thought it might be more productive if I focused on one element - which was these stunning beads - worked up with a variety of charms and other focal beads.

Winter Wonderland Snowflakes

Beautiful glass 'confetti' beads really make these snowflake icicles

It was back to the snowflake ornaments yesterday - this time in Winter Wonderland variations.  Glass confetti beads are among my very favourites, and as I had the perfect shade of tiny seed beads to accompany them we were off and running.

Crochet Christmas Stocking

Sir Stands-a-Lot models the new stocking
 I was looking for some crochet coaster patterns when I came across a little Christmas booklet for Loops & Threads Impeccable worsted.

Seussical Icicle Dangle Ornaments

Seussical Red and Lime Green Christmas Ornaments
 Look at these fabulous beads!  Don't you just think they were made for Christmas decorations?  True, I think that of almost everything, but these beads especially.  Large red and white polka dots with lime green and bright white stripes - more holly, jolly festive they could not be!  These icicle style snowflake dangle ornaments are accented with white glass pearls and crystal, light gold and opaque white in a mixture of 6/0, 8/0 and 10/0 seed beads.

Crocheted Bead Garland

Gold Beads with Red Cotton Thread with Gold Flecks

I am beginning to feel a bit beaded out. It will be temporary, I can assure you, but after many weeks of beaded ornament hangers, snowflake ornaments, diamond dangles, button whimsies and the like, my brain is in bead overload.  Now you might be thinking ... "hey, those look a lot like beads"  and it's true they do, but the difference is that I didn't string them.   No beading required!  This is a project for the crochet category. So, for a beading break, my work in progress is to finish up some of my garland to crochet.

Purple Hearts

Deep Purple and Silver Filigree Hearts
I've had these beautiful silver filigree hearts before and made some lovely earrings - matching them with deep red crystal beads.  Lovely, that is, if you are at least one quarter giraffe.  They were a little too much.  So, they have been sitting in one of the myriad "almost finished" boxes awaiting  inspiration.

Oh Won't You Be ... my Teddy Bear?

New packaging for individual ornaments

While I was on a roll with the mercury glass reminiscent Christmas ball beads I thought I should work up some ornaments as well as the ornament hangers.   Before I found the multi-colour assortment, I found these beads in Christmas Green and Christmas Red and wanted to pair them with these lovely large Teddy Bear pendant charms.

Luxurious Red Velvety Beads

Luxurious Red Velvety Beads in Beaded Ornament Hangers

These are some more of my recent fabulous new bead finds.  Rich red velvety beads - in a huge 22mm.  They seem very luxurious to me, so I have paired them in these beaded ornament hooks with deep opaque colours and rich metallic gold seed beads. 

Vintage Mercury Glass Ball Ornament Hangers

Super Shiny 20mm Acrylic Beads in beaded ornament hangers

Remember those beautiful mercury glass Christmas ornaments of days gone by? The super shiny ones that reflected everything around them in a magical way but would shatter to smithereens if you ever dropped them?  Well these gorgeous 20mm acrylic beads are just like them - without the shatter worries.

Snowflakes in Amber and Gold

Snowflake Ornaments with Lovely Gold Tone Beads and Embellishments

It's snowing again!  Back to the Christmas ornaments, and to the snowflakes in particular.    And, as I am trying not to string the words 'yellow' and 'snow' together, these are snowflakes in amber and gold!  Much more posh, don't you think?

Starry Starry Night ...

Acrylic Blue Faceted Stars on Beaded Hangers

 For a little variety I have made up some ornaments that are neither snowflakes nor diamond dangles - but a variation - with these acrylic star pendant charms.

Pretty Glass Beads

Glass Beads wirh Diamond Collar Spacers Beaded Ornament Hooks

This week has been busy with a great deal of sorting, sourcing and planning things I want to make in the next few weeks.  The overall picture is still one of creative chaos, but there are pockets where I can actually see what I have to work with, and to work up.

Q is for Quick: Puffy Gift Tags

Festive gift tags with glitter papers

There are a number of holiday themed paper craft challenge sites that I enjoy following.  It's amazing to me the beautiful things that people are creating.

Christmas Tree Skirt in Traditional Colours

Christmas Tree Skirt in traditional holiday colours

I've finished my first tree skirt of the year and I've kept this one simple - without fancy stitches or fancy yarns - and it has worked up pretty quickly.

Snowflake Blizzard

Snowflakes in Silver

It's a blizzard around here as I'm back to the snowflakes - and this time they are silver.  Trying to get back into the production groove I've worked up all of  my lovely large silver grey pearls.  I've actually used 4 sizes of silver grey pearls for a graduated effect and the all-important sparkly rondelle also in a silver grey colour.  I thought they looked dramatic and elegant on the shiny black paper.

Pear Gem Dangles

Pear Gem Dangles with Pearls, Faceted Crystals and Champagne Seed Beads
The lovely frosted champagne colour seed beads that I used in the hanger portion of these new gem ornaments were the inspiration for this version of my pear shaped gem dangles.  I have interspersed them with translucent seed beads in the same colour to make them stand out.  This started to remind me of champagne, so I kept the focal beads simple - the champagne bubbles in pearls and clear faceted acrylic beads.

Traditional Tree Skirts with Faux Fur Yarns

Traditional Tree Skirt with Faux Fur Yarn
Stop the presses -  my in-laws have a Christmas tree. For the first time since I met my husband (many, many, many moons ago) my mother and father-in-law put up a Christmas Tree last year.  They would decorate, but because of many animals in the home avoided the tree.  I just couldn't let such an exciting development as this go without making them a tree skirt, so this is the one I made for them - and it is loaded with a variety of the faux fur yarns.

Craft Kits: Victorian Elegance Beaded Garland

I had occassion yesterday to be reminded of my garland kits, and I realize that I have never blogged about them.  And you crafty folks might be interested as now is a good time to start making things for the holidays.

Christmas Magic Glitter Pots

Christmas magic ... in pots of glitter
This was one of my new styles for 2013 .. the Glitter Pot Ornament.  Being constantly on the look-out for anything that I can string some wire and beads through, I was delighted when I found these little glass vials with plastic stoppers that contained a hole.

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