This Birdy is forever inspired by handmade ornaments, this inspiration turning into outright envy and panic around the holidays, when I see all the beautiful handmade ornaments on places like Pinterest, turning me into the Green-Eyed Monster, coveting the precious craftiness. Which then puts me in a total tizzy over having enough time to make the dang things. Holiday vicious circle! My favorite example of a handmade ornament is from my Aunt Susan, who sent me these lovely creations she made years ago, when she was a newlywed and doing the perfect homemaker thing by reading Good Housekeeping or some such magazine, which suggested decorating some ornaments for the tree. Becauase at the time, it was the Betty Draper thing to do. The project asked for those retro-fabulous silk strand-covered styrofoam ball ornaments, which you use a meticulous amount of decorative pins, sequins and whatever fancy ribbon and brick-a-brack you have on-hand to make them into Faberge egg-like creations.
Yeah, I didn't do any of that -- hence, their being inspiration-only. I have no idea how long it took my Auntie Susan to make them, I'm just eternally grateful she passed them on to me so that I can enjoy them. In return for her craftiness, I wanted to bestow upon her and a few other lucky (or unlucky) souls some handmade ornaments of my own. My version was relatively easy to do with just the bare minimum of patience required. Thanks to craft stores which have things you never even knew you needed/wanted, you can get boxes of clear glass ornaments. They're lovely and bubble-like on their own, and I've seen some amazing craft projects where people hang multiple sizes like chandeliers, making an incredible centerpiece. I'm not this ambitious. I loved the idea of filling the clear ornaments with fun, interesting textures, so I filled several with plain red feathers, which looked beautiful. Then I raised the bar and added gold leaf to ones filled with white feathers -- incredibly messy, but wonderful result. The last ornament "style" was care of our own paper shredder. I saw some filled ornaments with strips of paper having writing on it. I went the lazy/easy route and pulled some bits from our shredder, plus shredded some decorative papers of our own to fill it with some color and shine. Using a thin pencil, I slowly stuffed each ornament and used some super-duty glue that's both metal and glass-adhesive to cap the hanging hook back on. Get it from a craft store or just get a tube of Superglue - you want this to stick. The caps and metal loops are designed to hold on their own when attached to the glass ornaments, but I wanted to seal the deal and ensure the hook wouldn't separate, as sometimes they're a little loose. Broken glass = not holiday magic.
So, here's one of the Magpie's crafty attempts at a homemade Christmas. I hope my aunt likes the ornaments, although I'm fairly certain she doesn't even decorate a tree anymore. I'm a terrible niece.
Jaunty Fine Print: Photos taken by Denise Sakaki