Handmade Christmas | Art Elements Dec. Theme

When I saw that the December theme for the Art Elements monthly challenge was Handmade Christmas, it barely took split second for me to decide to sign up for the blog hop. I knew that I would likely handmake at least a few items for the holidays and that this challenge might even push me to make a few more than I had anticipated. I was right!

From the start, I knew that I was going to make some cookies for a Christmas party early in the month as I been assigned dessert for the Pot Luck gathering. I'd long wanted to make Chocolate Crackle Cookies as I just love anything with a touch of crackle to it. 
They were a bit more time-consuming than I had realized, but they were AMAZING and beautiful!

After that, I started working on a few gifts for the season. Unfortunately, I can't share them all with you because some of them haven't reached their recipients yet. But, I did create this jellyfish assemblage piece for my husband.
I'm sorry this picture's not so great - and it's not even of the actual finished piece because I was anxious to get it wrapped before he discovered it. This was before the chains and bubbles were glued down, but gives you an idea of what the final product was. And, it's already been taken up to Pat's recording studio. The studio's called Jellyfish Studios so that's why I made the piece for him.

I also worked on ornaments for our Christmas Tree. It's been years since we had a tree in the house for one reason or another. Once we got the tree up, I realized how lacking I was in handmade ornaments. Some inspiration that my brother-in-law shared with me had me pulling out the buttons. 

I made a little forest of Button Christmas Tree Ornaments.
They came together so quickly!

I wanted to make several other ornament styles but stayed too busy to make more than one that came to me while I was wrapping presents. It's actually one I've made before and also super simple.
It's a little jingle bell wreath that I used to accent a gift. 

The materials needed are minimal.
I bought the packages of jingle bells at the dollar store last year and found them while I was pulling things out this year. The wire is just some cheap floral wire, and I used basic wire cutters with it.

The steps are as simple as cutting the wire to a manageable length (about 12 inches) and stringing on the bells in whatever pattern you want. The bells have little loops on the top of them.

Once the ornament is as big as you want it, cross the ends of the wire and twist them to secure the bells.

From there, pull the wire together and wrap it around your finger to make a loop, then quickly create a wrapped loop to finish the wire before clipping off any excess.

From there, you can add a ribbon or an ornament hook so it can be hung from your tree.
If you make it large enough, it could even work as a bracelet, but you might want to use a piece of stretchy cord instead. 

My final handmade Christmas contribution was helping my mom make gumbo on Christmas Eve for our Christmas Day dinner.
Living on the Alabama Gulf Coast means we are fortunate to have local seafood freshly available most of the year. But, it's especially nice to enjoy it on Christmas. 

And, that was about it for my holiday creations. I hate that I didn't get more made, but I was able to take some time to enjoy the season. I hope you were too. Make sure to hop through the list of other creative contributors as I'm sure that they have created some beautiful holiday wares. (If I don't have the list up yet, head over to Art Elements where you should be able to find it.)


Art Elements team: LindsayJennySueKarenClaireNikyCathy

Guests: SarajoKathyMaryHope (that's me!), TammyEvie and BethDivyaMerjaSarah

I hope you've had a wonderfully creative holiday season! 

Comments

  1. I just adore those little button trees. So cute!

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    1. Aw, thanks Lorraine. I'm so glad I sat down and just made them rather than waiting until I had a better time. Thanks for coming by!

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  2. I love your button ornaments. They are very sweet. Your gumbo looks amazing. What a treat!

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    1. Kathy, Thank you! I really adore those button trees, they're just my style! and, the gumbo was delicious. In fact, we had two days of gumbo - the one I made with my family and then Pat's brother made some for our Christmas with his family too! You know how great it is living on the coast ;)

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  3. Love your Jelly Fish!! Such a great idea for a gift for your husband's studio. And so wonderfully playful and organic. Your button ornaments are a delight and so original. The gumbo made me hungry and it's early in the morning. Thanks so for the jingle bell wreaths tut. What a great idea for a present adornment. So good to hear you have had time to enjoy the holidays as well. Thanks so much for sharing your creativity with us.

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    1. Mary, I'm so relieved you like the jellyfish! I was so nervous about how he would like it and how it would come across to others. But, it seems to be well-received. I'm not quite sure how original the button trees are, but I think they're too cute not to share. I'm glad you enjoyed this post so thoroughly! We had a lovely holiday and I'm afraid I've been a little too lax this week and really need to get things in order before the new year. I love having that 'fresh start' to begin the new year. I hope your holidays were lovely and that your new year is amazing!

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  4. Hope, I love to make and eat the crackle cookies. They're usually so chocolate-y and rich even a chocolate connoisseuse like me has to stop at about 3 or 4! :) ... until a few hours later LOL. All your Xmas creations are inspiring, and I love the mixed media key etc. things you make. Have a Great New Year 2020. Alysen

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    1. Alysen, Yes, those cookies were ridiculously rich - we enjoyed them immensely. I'm so glad you like the assemblage! My husband is impossible to shop for - if he wants something, he just gets it himself. So, I had to think of SOMETHING he wasn't expecting and couldn't get just anywhere. I think he likes it, he says he does anyway. Here's wishing you a wonderful new year!!

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  5. OH my! That jellyfish assemblage is awesome. What a great gift. I adore those little button tree ornaments-I will definitely make some of those next year! Those chocolate crackle cookies look super yummy but my mouth is watering looking at that gumbo. One of my favorite dishes!

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    1. Cathy, Yay! I'm so thrilled that you like the assemblage. I was stressing out about it. (You have no idea!) Definitely make those button ornaments - they take so little time. Really, the hardest part is sorting the buttons so they stack well. I was fortunate to have gumbo two days in a row as Pat's brother also made some for his family's gathering the day after Christmas. Now, I'm still recovering from all the festivities and really need to get my butt in gear for the new year. I hope you're ready for it and have a fabulous 2020!!

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  6. The cookies look amazing and I am sure taste just as good. I love what you created for your husband - I am sure it has a spot of honor in the studio.
    I love those little button trees - what a great idea. Especially those jingle bells - what an awesome idea to add to a present.

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    1. Girl, those cookies are to die for. They're just a pain to make - though it may be worth it! He took the assemblage up there, but we hadn't installed a way to hang it yet - so we'll see.
      I'm glad you like my little ornaments. I always believe ornaments are a great little something extra to add to a present. And, I love when I can create with things I just happen to have on hand. Win! lol.
      I hope you both have a really lovely new year.

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  7. Oh goodness, those button trees and the jingle bell wreath are too cute. The jellyfish is amazing. And the cookies look delicious. Cookies always seem to be more work than I expect. Maybe if I could fit the entire batch in my oven all at once instead of rotating sheets for an hour?

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    1. Tammy, thank you so much!! Those two little ornaments were projects that just hit me all of a sudden. If it hadn't been for this blog hop, I'm not sure I would have jumped on that inspiration like I did. As for those cookies, it wasn't even the oven swap that was so hard - it was the melting of the chocolate, chilling the dough for several hours, rolling into balls, and then rolling them in two types of sugar that took up the time. But, it was so worth it in the end. We'll see if I ever get the gumption to make them again, but we enjoyed them thoroughly. Wishing you an amazing new year!

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  8. The crackle cookies look amazing. They look like tiny snowed in hilllocks.

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  9. I love the little button trees, they are so cute!

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    1. Thanks Cat! They're such a fun little project and so easy. I hope you have a joyous new year!

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  10. Love it all! The jingle wreath and button trees are simply adorable. Gumbo - delicious. My sister in Austin, married to a NOLA guy had gumbo for Xmas too. Clearly he loved the Jellyfish - I mean wow! Thanks for joining us and have a great New Year!

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    1. Jenny, Thanks! :) I really wish I had had more time to create for the season, but I guess I should have started earlier! It always seems to go too fast. I hope your sister and BIL were able to get some good seafood for their gumbo, I know the NOLA version often is much like the one we make with the crab bodies in it. I've heard that the cooks and families on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay (where I live now) don't traditionally put the bodies in, but that from Mobile westward to New Orleans they do.
      I do hope he likes the jellyfish, he did take it up to the studio!
      And, I wish you all the best for this new year. I'm looking forward to all the inspiration the team at Art Elements has for us in 2020!

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  11. Love your creativity - especially the button trees! So adorable. Have a Happy New Year!

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    1. Karen, thank you! Yes, there's just something so appealing about a stack of buttons! I'm so glad I broke down and made my little forest. I'm glad you like them too. Here's hoping your holidays were spectacular!

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  12. LOVE those cookies, we used to make them every year! Great jellyfish assemblage! I'm sure your husband loved it! Cute ornaments too! And GUMBO yum!

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