Felted ornaments and the December dilemma

At our house, we celebrate Christmas and Hannukah, and my birthday falls right in the middle of it (or often does–Hanukkah is a changeable holiday — you can spell it about fifteen different ways, and it begins on different dates each year).  It’s a lot. But usually, it’s wonderful, as long as we don’t let the chaos overtake us, but instead kind of surf on top of it and enjoy.

Sometimes you hear the whole Christmas/Hannukah pile-up described as “the December dilemma,” but in my family, this mingling of holidays has mostly been conflict-free and pretty delightful. I guess we have all become skilled at crossing divides and finding some semi-comfortable place in the middle.

I’m going to be sewing some gifts over the next couple of weeks,  and doing some baking, and having some birthday fun…and now, just two days into December, I feel optimistic that chaos will not overtake us! Oh, and I also have book galleys to read! Oh, and a job.

The holiday decorations are coming down from the attic, and it got me all nostalgic for a few years ago, when we participated in a handmade ornament exchange. We got some really sweet stuff from strangers all over the place, and we sent them fat felted creations below. They were kind of corny, but we were proud of them.

Making them was easy, but required buying a needle felter. I believe my beloved co-author Nicole was the one who first introduced me to this very simple and fun (though sharp and stabby!) tool. I haven’t used it too much lately. Maybe it will make a comeback this winter. We’ll see. To make the ornaments, you just use the needle felter to cover styrofoam balls (yes, I hate styrofoam too but in this case it really is the best thing to use) with wool roving from a knitting store. Then you use toothpicks dipped in glue to hold the parts together. Add flowers, felt bits, glass-head pins, and sequins to your heart’s content. For the yarn hats, just brush on a bit of thin glue  and press the yarn over it, winding it around as you go. Glue a tiny pom pom on top.

The woolly mammoth was my favorite. We kept him instead of sending him off to parts unknown.

But then the dog ate him. One of those rare Christmas tales with a not-so-happy ending.

The photo quality here is not great, which reminds me to note that my new (used) camera went back to B&H Photo. The photo downloading mechanism was glitchy, and the battery life was awful. But, excitingly, my new NEW camera is on its way. I gave up on trying to find a good used device. Too bad that the B&H camera, which seemed like a bargain, didn’t hold up, but I give them props for accepting the return and giving me a quick refund.

Hopefully, with my new NEW camera, I will shoot some nice pics of stuff I’ll be making in the next couple of weeks. Happy weekend!

This entry was posted by Debra.

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