Strega Jewellry's Blog

jewelry, beads, stone lore, music, kids and nature

ABS Ornament Blog Hop


Art Bead Scene hosts an annual ornament blog hop and I joined the party this year. Art Bead Scene is a blog for jewelry makers who use a lot of “art beads”, hand made beads, that is and there are some fabulous artists who create gorgeous beads of all kinds. Rules of the  hop: create an ornament for Christmas, Kwanza, whatever holiday you celebrate and use either a handmade component or hand made bead.

I’ve been disabled for over a year now and money is tight so I have been experimenting with making my own beads and components. This will be my very first polymer clay bead. eeeeks! But, nobody said the bead had to be perfect.

I’m not a big fan of Christmas and do not do a lot of decorating myself. I’m pagan and frankly, YULE is our holiday and it is one of the lesser celebrations of the year, not the biggest and grandest that Christmas has come to be. Many pagans have Christian family members. In fact, all of my children are Christian and celebrate Christmas. Only my grand daughter Jessie and her husband, Nick, are pagan and celebrate Yule with me. So, I do the gift thing like the rest of the world, for the kids and grands who are Christian,  but I do not get caught up in the madness of shoppin.

I’ll tell you about the reason for celebrating YULE. It’s the Winter Solstice. Most people do not notice, because it marks the season of snow and icy cold, but December 21/23 is the longest night of the year. The days have been progressively longer since the summer solstice and the dark time has taken precedence over the light. Ancient peoples noted this and Yule became a time of hope and promise. They got out the best of their winter stores and had a big feast because after the Solstice, the light would gradually reclaim the daytime hours. Yule was a promise of the return of the sun and after that the spring with its new shoots and new life.  It became a symbol of returning life of rebirth. Special gifts were given and the halls were filled with evergreens (also a symbol of eternal life) and holly and mistletoe with its sacred berries. One gift was given in honor of this birth/rebirth of the Oak King. It was always a special gift.  The lords and ladies of the land feasted the poor. I kept the tradition as my children grew. Their Yule gift was the one gift that would have meaning to them, not just a commercial gift, but one that showed I knew their heart.

Done with the preaching and teaching. On to my ornament experiments. I’ve been working with my grandsons on some clay ornaments that we are giving as gifts for Yule.,

I wanted a special pagan ornament for Nick and Jessie. I used one of the clay snowflake beads I made from polymer, a light blue, dusted with shiny white, and used only two sparkling Swarovski crystals because hope and promises sparkle and shine and drive back the dark.  The bead is not perfect, but  I learned a lot from making it.   I also made a pentagram out of wire. One of the legs is a little shaky but that makes it more dear because my little 3 year old,  Nicholas wanted to “help with the pliers” so there is lots of love there.   For a detailed meaning of the Pentagram, both pagan and Christian (NO, it is NOT a satanic symbol), check out this page.

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snowflake bead

snowflake bead

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I’ve also made a special ornament for my daughter, Dawn, who loves to feed the birds even more than I do.   She takes great joy in their antics and that of her favorite squirrel.  Her ornament is a spoon filled with resin. I’m not sure if this fits the criteria because the whole ornament IS the component!    The background is a bird picture and there are letters that say “share with friends”.   There is a bit of bird seed embedded in the resin and a bird charm on the top.   To me, this embodies the true spirit of this season, whether you call it Christmas or Yule.   Sharing your bounty without fear  of the remaining dark days is BELIEF, that the bounty will continue and that your god/goddess  will provide all your sustenance no matter how dark the days to come.  She loves it and I think I will be making some more of them!

bird ornament

bird ornament

I sure had some fun with my “guys”,  making ornaments and thank Art Bead Scene for sponsoring this hop.   Now, I”m going to enjoy myself  even more and visit the other blogs.   I just know I’m going to see some beautiful ornaments.  So, grab a cup of hot chocolate with me and lets go see what the others have made. 

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December 12, 2013 - Posted by | Jewelry, Kid Stuff, metaphysical, New Age | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

37 Comments »

  1. Gorgeous snowflake bead! I love the way you stayed true to yourself in this challenge.

    Like

    Comment by ladyflowersbysusan | December 12, 2013 | Reply

    • Thanks Susan. I try to always stay true to myself, anything else is too hard to keep track of……..LOL

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | December 12, 2013 | Reply

  2. These look just amazing and all the thought and love I them make them shine even more. You are just great at what you do

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    Comment by Rowan night | December 12, 2013 | Reply

    • Thanks Nick! I’ve got some other tricks up my sleeve too, LOL.

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | December 12, 2013 | Reply

  3. Oh MIMI you are such a creative lady! I love you with all my heart and I’m super happy we get to celebrate Yule with you each year! You teach us many things and we are grateful and lucky to have such a wise Mimi!! The ornaments are wonderful! Love Jessie

    Like

    Comment by Jessie | December 12, 2013 | Reply

    • Thank you so much my grandbaby girl! I love you so much also! You are a treasure and I am proud to be your “Mimi”!

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | December 12, 2013 | Reply

  4. ohhh, love the spoon birdie! A whole Christmas tree full of them would be soooo lovely!

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    Comment by Michaela Pabeschitz | December 12, 2013 | Reply

    • Hey, now, don’t be giving that daughter of mine any ideas! LOL She can find enough projects for me!

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | December 12, 2013 | Reply

  5. I love your story =)
    I celebrate all holy days *wink*

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    Comment by LiliKrist | December 12, 2013 | Reply

    • and a “wink” back at you. I’m with you…..it’s not the “holy day”, it’s the spirit behind the day/season that counts.

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | December 12, 2013 | Reply

  6. Hello, Thanks for sharing your beliefs and traditions with us all on this Blog Hop, I really like what you have made. If that was my first snowflake bead I would be thrilled, I like how you have paired it with the Pentagram. Your resin spoon ornament is gorgeous, both the ornament and also the sentiment behind it, lovely blog post – Happy Yule to you and your family.

    Like

    Comment by Vas Dea | December 12, 2013 | Reply

  7. Hello from a UK blog hopper, I love the idea of using resin in the spoon to make your stunning decoration. Thanks for sharing your Yule traditions, we always had Yule log when I as growing up

    Like

    Comment by eganj1 | December 12, 2013 | Reply

    • Yes, the Yule log and other traditions like holly and evergreen decorations and mistletoe persisted way into this century, especially in the UK.

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | December 12, 2013 | Reply

  8. Great stories! It’s so nice that your grandson was helping you- so sweet. Love that spoon!

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    Comment by glassbead2 | December 12, 2013 | Reply

    • Nicholas is 3 and wants to “help” me do everything! It takes me longer, but we have fun together every day.

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | December 12, 2013 | Reply

  9. Love your stories. I am also polymer clay beginner, my eight years old daughter always “helping me” when I make anything from polymer clay. So, I am sure there are lots of love in those beads 😀

    Like

    Comment by Asri Wahyuningsih | December 12, 2013 | Reply

    • Asri, don’t you just love it when kids take an interest in what you do? It is so important to encourage them to explore creative outlets.

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | December 12, 2013 | Reply

  10. I love the snowflake and your bird ornament will mean so much to your daughter.

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    Comment by Kathy Lindemer | December 12, 2013 | Reply

    • Oh, yes, she already has it on her tree and would not even let me take it home to get a picture!

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | December 12, 2013 | Reply

  11. There are so many ways to celebrate in December, thank you for sharing about your traditions for the winter solstice! Your first attempt at polymer clay was a success and your ornaments turned out beautifully!

    Like

    Comment by Heather | December 12, 2013 | Reply

    • Wow! Thank you Heather! Your beads are so amazing that I was almost afraid to enter my attempt. I appreciate your encouragement.

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | December 12, 2013 | Reply

  12. That’s your first polymer clay bead?! That’s amazing! Hope you keep it up into 2014 🙂 Happy Christmas!

    Like

    Comment by Jo Rhodes-Nash | December 12, 2013 | Reply

    • Yep, my first ever………well, if you don’t count the first batch which I burned to a black crisp because I did not realize my convection oven was set on Celsius and not Farenheit! I found that little snowflake stamp at JoAnn’s for a dollar and love the way it turned out.

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | December 12, 2013 | Reply

  13. The spoon ornament is a brilliant idea. I love the stories you have shared.

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    Comment by fulgorine | December 12, 2013 | Reply

    • Thanks so much. That spoon was tricky to fill for sure.

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | December 12, 2013 | Reply

  14. Thank you for including the solstice in the challenge! It is a very important day for me because where I live there is little sunshine in the winter. I always mark the solstice in some way.
    The resin ornament is absolutely beautiful. You did a wonderful job.

    Like

    Comment by Diane Hawkey | December 12, 2013 | Reply

    • I really love the spoon ornament myself and plan to do more. I’m on the lookout for older spoons with an antique look.

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | December 12, 2013 | Reply

  15. Wow!!! Your ornaments are so meaningful and your writing so fascinating. I learned a lot and want to thank you for the time and effort I know it took to share with all of us. I am an Aries also and hope to someday be an amazing gramma like you!!!

    Like

    Comment by Chris Eisenberg | December 12, 2013 | Reply

    • LOL, Chris, we Aries just cannot HELP ourselves. We keep our inner child running rampant until we drop. Thank you.

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | December 12, 2013 | Reply

  16. Marvelous ornaments! I am so glad you shared the information about the Yule celebration. There is much joy to be found in the solstice and you captured that beauty of the season with your clay bead. I think you should make more! And I love the idea of using the spoon for a resin bezel! What a special gift! Thank you for playing along with us on the Art Bead Scene! Happy Yule! Enjoy the day. Erin

    Like

    Comment by Erin Prais-Hintz | December 12, 2013 | Reply

    • Thanks Erin for the encouragement to try more polymer. It’s definitely on my agenda.

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | December 12, 2013 | Reply

  17. I think your ornaments are lovely. Happy Yule to you.

    Like

    Comment by windbent | December 14, 2013 | Reply

  18. Wow I really have enjoyed reading your post and both your ornaments are so beautiful, made even more so by the special meaning they have, thanks for sharing!

    Like

    Comment by niky | December 14, 2013 | Reply

    • Thanks Niky. I have really enjoyed this challenge. I am always so uninspired by Christmas and all the craziness. This challenge get me to thinking a lot about how I truly feel about the season and has inspired me for next year.

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | December 14, 2013 | Reply

  19. I love this post! I think many Christians (myself included) would benefit from recognizing Yule and celebrating it in the way you describe. And, really there are a SO MANY connections between Yule and Christmas. Coming of the light/hope for the future/celebrating having passed the darkest point… we should all celebrate those things!

    Like

    Comment by Elizabeth Comiskey (Lazy Hippie Mama) | December 14, 2013 | Reply

    • Elizabeth, thank you so much! To me, the saddest thing about Christmas is the commercial aspect. It has turned a blessed time into SUCH a big media hype. And it is so hard for EVERYONE that we cannot help but get caught up in it. The stores and media WANT people to go out and BEGGAR themselves trying to get the best sales. People who work in retail stores barely have time to spend with their families because the stores are pushing for sales sales sales. Thanksgiving gets RUINED for retail workers who must prepare for sales on Black Friday and this year, even on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving, to me, is much more indicative of Christ’s teachings than Christmas. But sadly, Thanksgiving has become ThanksGETTING in a push to once again aim people in the wrong direction, that of selfishness. You are so articulate with your Lazyhippie posts…..can’t you start a revolution? LOL I would join! We are sending a terrible message to our children!

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | December 14, 2013 | Reply


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