Now available! - Christmas Tree Earrings Collection

Now available! - Christmas Tree Earrings Collection
Add a touch of magic to your holiday outfits with festive Christmas earrings. I’ve gathered together 12 of my all-time best Christmas Tree earring designs from previous years in this one special ebook. From traditional to modern, you’ll find a variety of styles, techniques and materials and something for every level of jewellery-maker.

Friday, December 28, 2012

From Construction to Demolition in just 3 days

With the hustle and bustle of Christmas behind us I can now share the Hillam Gingerbread House with you.

2010 was the first year we made our own gingerbread house and we were pretty pleased with our efforts. But we learned a valuable lesson that first year: gingerbread and humidity don't go well together and if you construct your house too early, it WILL sag!

So with that lesson learned, our Gingerbread house is now a last minute Christmas Crafting project which we start just a day or two before Christmas.

This year our kit came from Woolworths. We didn't use the decorations or icing that came in the kit, preferring to visit Tom's Confectionery Warehouse for all the lollies we needed to make it a sweet treat that no bought gingerbread house can compare to.

It was a rather small house, more like a cottage than a house so the decorating was a little less extravagant than our last couple of efforts but we still managed to pack a lot onto that little frame.

So here it is - from construction to demolition..... in just 3 days!

The walls went up in record time. Whilst they were drying, we attached freckle shingles to the roof panels using royal icing. It dries like concrete so the shingles were set solid by the morning.

In the meantime, my big kids filled the inside with their favourite sweets (and some of mine too!)

The roof panels were really heavy with the shingles so after attaching one side of the roof we propped it up with a box of Rice Bubbles and a few drink coasters until it was solid. We did the same thing for the other side.

A few bushes at the front door, a path and a picket fence were all that would fit in the front yard. But the pretty heart wreath over the door and the twisted pillars which support the roof add some colourful detail. And the finishing touch was to add the icicles to the roof.

With much less garden to landscape we placed it amongst a forest of fibre optic trees. The whole scene was very pretty with the lights turned out.

We placed it on the table and admired it all through Christmas lunch but we left it until Boxing Day to smash it open.

People often ask me how I can bear to smash it after all the effort that goes into it but it really is as easy as whacking it with a rolling pin.... one.... two.... three!

and the roof comes crashing down......

.... to reveal the wonderful assortment of hidden sweets!

It is such a joy to see everyone sitting around the table waiting for the moment that the house is broken up to reveal the sweet cache inside.... the stuff Christmas memories are made of!

And so now we look forward to the New Year..... a new year and new craft beginnings. I have plans.... big, big plans for 2013. Just thinking about them scares me and they will take me way out of my comfort zone at times. But that is what new beginnings are all about.

'Til next time....

Friday, December 21, 2012

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 12

Well, today is the twelfth and final day of The Twelve Days of Christmas Earrings Extravaganza for 2012. I've kept a really special pair of earrings 'til last: angels to herald the good news that a Saviour has been born to us.

Here's what you'll need:
Cut a piece of mesh , 11 links x 11 links. Cut a length of gold wire approximately 25cm (10") long. Turn the mesh over to the back and thread the wire along the first side. Thread it along the second edge, pushing it through from the corner rather than pulling it from the end. This will help eliminate a nasty kink at the corner.

Repeat on all sides so that the wire exits from the top.

Twist the wires together neathly.

Form a loop and then thread on the earring wire making sure it is facing the right way. Finish the loop by wrapping it around the neck. Trim away the excess.

Cut a piece of chain 15mm (5/8") long and use jump rings to connect one end to the angel charm and the other end to the earring wire.

Create a triangle jump ring from the Hematite Wire for the star crystal . See this tutorial for instructions if you're not sure how to.

Connect the triangle jump ring to the earring wire with the remaining silver jump ring and you're done! Make another earring to match and you're ready to wear your angel earrings.

I hope you've enjoyed all the earrings tutorials for this year. If you missed any, click the Twelve Days of Christmas tab at the top of the page.

My Christmas crafting is moving out of the studio and into the kitchen for the next few days as we create a Gingerbread House. I'll have a pic to share as soon as it's finished so please join me again soon.

'Til next time....

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 11

We traditionally associate red, green, silver and gold with Christmas. But to add a bit of drama, why not consider adding a touch of black to the mix. It works really well with antiqued silver elements like the silver bell charms in today's project.
Here's what you'll need:
Measure 5cm (2") from the end of the ribbon and place a mark. Measure along 13mm (1/2") and mark, then 5.5mm (1/4") and mark. Continue marking at 13mm and 5.5mm intervals eight times in total.

Cut a 25cm (10") length of wire and poke it through the first mark.

Use round nose pliers to turn a couple of loops in the wire so it won't pull through.

String on a bead and thread the wire through the ribbon at the first two marks. Continue threading beads in this fashion.

Whenever the wire becomes bent, used nylon jaw pliers to straighten it again.

 Centre the beads on the wire and cut away the loops which stopped the wire from pulling through the ribbon. Form the beaded ribbon into a wreath shape.

Add a jump ring to the bell charm and thread both the wires through it, one from each side. Twist the wires twice tightly so that the bell is secure.

Thread the ribbon through the bow charm, one from each side. Make sure the bow is sitting correctly and then tie it in a knot.

Trim away one of the wires above the twist. Grip the remaining wire above the twist with chain nose pliers and bend it at a 45° angle. Form a loop with round nose pliers and hook it onto the earring wire. Wrap the tail neatly around the neck and then trim away the excess.

Tie the bow into another knot and then trim the ends at an angle.

Make the second earring in the same way.

I like the star burst pattern the ribbon creates inside the wreath but you can also form the wreath with the ribbon on the outside of the beads for a different effect.

The next post will be the twelfth and final pair of earring in this year's Twelve Days of Christmas Earrings Extravaganza. Don't forget to check in to see the final pair.

'Til then.....

Monday, December 17, 2012

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 10

Today's earrings are called "Wrapped and Bejewelled" and use Beadalon Wrappers as the base component. The grooves around the outside of these components makes it really easy to wrap them with wire.

For today's earrings you'll need:

Cut a length of wire , approximately 30cm (12") long and wrap it several times around one of the notches close to the bail.

Wrap it around the notch diagonally across from the first notch and add a red crystal .

Continue wrapping around the notches adding silver and red beads on 6 of the wires. Make sure you add them on both the front and the back.

Once you get back to the notch on the other side of the bail, wrap it around the notch two or three times and then thread it back through the nearest bead.

Pull the wire through with the chain nose pliers taking up all the slack. Trim the wire with flush cutters taking care not to cut the wire the bead is threaded on.

Squeeze the bail together so that the prongs are closer together.

Place it opposite the bail on the Wrapper and squeeze it closed. You will need to do this with pliers. This is the top of the earring.

Cut two different lengths of chain, attach the longer one to the star and shorter one to the candy cane . Add a jump ring to the other end of each chain. Before closing the jump ring on the star component, add the holly charm and then hook it onto the bottom bail. Attach the candy component to the bottom bail also.

Hook the earring wire through the top bail and press the ball and wire together firmly. Use the remaining components to make a matching earring.

Just two more pairs to go -  make sure you check back to see what I've come up with.

'Til next time........


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