Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

2014 Holiday Ornament Exchange and Blog Hop


How quickly does the year pass? It seems not that long ago that I took part in Sally Russick‘s 2013 Holiday Ornament Exchange, and all of a sudden it is time to do this year’s blog hop!

Anyway, this time I have been paired up with Elisabeth Auld, a glass beadmaker and jewellery designer living in Virginia, in the US. Our brief was to make each other an ornament using handmade components and art beads. We chatted a bit via email to gauge each other’s style, and happily seemed to be on the same page (eclectic!).

Here is the sweet ornament I received from Elisabeth. Isn’t he a cute snowman?


He looks great nestled among the branches of my tree too!


Elisabeth also included a sparkly pair of earrings and a necklace featuring one of her lampwork glass beads as a gift for me. Thank you again!


Now, for this year’s ornament, I decided to take a mixed media approach. Local scrapbooking company Kaisercraft does a range of different embellishments made of thin balsa wood and some hexagonal shapes caught my eye. I gave them an aged appearance with Distress Ink and then I found some vintage-style Christmas images on Etsy and “decoupaged” them on with Mod-Podge. Holes were punched at the top and the bottom and I wired a pretty lampwork bead (made by Marianne Bradman, Fields of Clover) in Christmassy colours of green and red above and some Czech glass rounds below. The finishing touch was a loop of sari silk in green. Of course, I had to make a couple of them!


I also included a different kind of handmade ornament, a tree made from cinnamon and star anise, wrapped together with waxed linen (I got the idea from Donna Hay magazine last year). It smelled divine, spicy and mysterious. I was pleased to see it made it across the world intact!


There were ten other pairs in the ornament swap, you can visit their blogs via the links below! Thank you Sally for such a fun excuse to be creative!

1.  Sally Russick  and Tanya Goodwin
2.  Veralynne Malone  and Sally Russick 
3.  Melissa Trudinger  and Elisabeth Auld
4.  Erin Prais-Hintz  and Lesley Watt 
5.  Jenny Davies-Reazor and Patti Vanderbloemen 
6.  Kim Bender-Hora and Beth and Evie McCord
7.  Becky Pancake and Lynne Bowland 
8.  Therese Frank  and Karen Williams
9.   Melissa Meman  and Linda Hanes 
10.  Sandi Volpe  and Linda Landig 
11. Alicia Marinache  and Susan Kennedy  

17 thoughts on “2014 Holiday Ornament Exchange and Blog Hop”

  1. So, I woke up in my world today (Northern Virginia – not far from Elizabeth as a matter of fact!) and my thermometer read 26 degrees F. When I opened your blog, I instantly realized that it is Summer there!!

    Love her snowman ornament! There is just something so cool about making art from ordinary ingredients, isn’t there?! I am a collector of snowmen – and this was is just adorable!

    Your ornaments are so creative and have the most marvelous vintage appeal! Your snowman ornament, in particular, instantly brought memories of watching Miracle on 34th Street! Cute!

    Cinnamon and Star Anise – heaven for the nose for sure! What a sweet and ingenious way to showcase – yet again – ordinary ingredients into artwork!

    Merry Christmas!

  2. I second Patti on that one – bet it smells divine! May have to make those with the nephew this Christmas… As a mixed media person I love your collaged vintage images. Nicely done! Happy Holidays!!!

  3. Hi Melissa,
    I love the quirky adorable snowman made from spools that Elisabeth sent to you, he is so cute. The old world type ornaments that you made and sent to Elisabeth are amazing and so pretty, I also like the cinnamon and star anise ornament too.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

  4. I have to agree with Therese – yeah, what she said! :-). What a fun, quirky snowman Elisabeth sent, while your ornaments have a fantastic vintage quality. Both are such treasures, while your spice trees will be a delight to the other senses.

    Happy Holidays!

  5. Melissa – thank you so much for my wonderful ornaments. They look great on my tree! I love the great retro feel of them – they go perfectly with other long treasured ornaments on my tree. And now I have a friend in Australia so visit someday 🙂

  6. Your ornaments are so pretty! I love the mixed media and the distressed look! That cinnamon and anise ornament also sounds amazing. As others have said, the smell must be heavenly. I love Elizabeth’s snowman — so stinking cute!

  7. Melissa, the ornaments you created are so clever!! I love the mixed media approach you took, takes me right back to an old-fashion Christmas. And the cinnamon and anise ornament is wonderful, I swear I can smell the heavenly aroma through the computer screen. Elizabeth’s ornament is adorable!!! Thank you for participating and have a very Merry Christmas!!!

    I created a board on Pinterest and pinned a pic of your ornament.

  8. Extremely creative ornaments on both sides! I love your partner use of such a simple element to create an adorable, unique, smiley snowman. Your approach is beautiful too – I love mixed media projects, and especially wood elements, and I really love the ‘togetherness’ of your ornaments. The natural ornament is right up my alley, my brain can even smell it 🙂

  9. Such an adorable ornament that Miss Elisabeth made for you! I had a bag of those spools in my cart recently but couldn’t figure out what I would make! I loved being your partner last year. So glad to see what you are up to. Enjoy the day and Merry Christmas to you and your family. Erin

  10. Love, love, love the snowman ornament you received from Elizabeth – he is too cute!
    You ornaments to Elizabeth are awesome – love the idea of the tree – I bet it smells awesome!

  11. Sorry to be so late in blog hopping. We’ve been busy with house guests. What fun ornaments! Cute snowman. Love the mixed media approach and the tree is just way cool!
    Wishing you the happiest of holidays!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.