Fair Economy

Christmas Tree Ornaments: Local and Global

Years ago I made Christmas ornaments for our tree, but I had the idea that I had to make them in sets of twelve.  Later, as I started selling my crafts at craft fairs and browsing other crafters’ goods, I realized it would be more fun to collect from other makers one special ornament at a time.  As well, I realized that my family also had unique ornaments given to us by various friends over the years.  I wanted to continue that theme.  So now when I’m at fall craft fairs, I try to buy a few ornaments from various makers.  I also figure it’s good for a local economy if I take some of the money I earn at craft fairs and spread it to other local makers.  So as I’ve enjoyed looking at our Christmas tree this past season, I decided to take photos of some of my favourite ornaments and describe them to you.  Enjoy!

This was made by Arlene of Tatted Tidbit.  She learned tatting from her grandfather, and she carries on the skill by tatting and beading these exquisite covers for metallic balls.  When I was debating which of her ornaments to buy at a fair, she insisted she’d be able to custom-make one for me during the weekend of the fair, so I made my colour choices and voila, it was done in between catering to her other customers that weekend!

Christmas ball by Tatted Tidbit

This angel was created by Lorraine of Little Lovelies.  The glass part sparkles colourfully in the light.  Lorraine did the wirework herself – she’s very talented with wire, and her jewelry demonstrates her ever-growing skill (I have a necklace made by her – the wirework and beadwork is gorgeous!).

wirework crystal angel by Little Lovelies

I bought this (stamped and painted, I think?) leather ornament years ago from a family friend and fine artist named Judith Brannen of Laughleton Gallery.  She has had an art studio on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia forever.  Her husband makes twig furniture.

leatherwork by Judith Brannen of Laughleton Gallery

This driftwood and seaglass ornament was created by Susan of Ceilidh’s Seaglass Creations.  She was my neighbour vendor at a craft fair a few years ago.  I have an Irish background, so this design appealed to me.

driftwood and seaglass ornament by Ceilidh’s Seaglass Creations

This intricately beaded butterfly is one of many ornaments like this that are sold by a local organization called Mayan Arts By Joan HandCrafted.  This vendor supports an indigenous women’s community in Guatemala.  I had a VERY difficult time choosing an ornament from her collection!!  I wanted one of everything!

beaded butterfly by Mayan Arts by Joan HandCrafted

This beautiful stained glass ornament was made by Adriana Speelman.  She has sold her creations for a few years now at a local craft show I attend.  This year I was finally able to purchase one!  It’s actually a deeper red than the photo shows.

red and purple stained glass flower by Adriana Speelman

This next ornament is one I found at a Ten Thousand Villages fair trade sale I attended.  I’d never been to one of these sales before – wow, I loved all the creations I saw there!  I just love the cleverness here of using newspaper rolled up into tubes to create a thing of beauty.  It was created by Women’s Multipurpose Co-op in the Philippines.

rolled newspaper star by artists in Ten Thousand Villages

And this ceramic and glass mosaic bird was made by artisans in the Noah’s Handicrafts and Welfare Society in India.  I found this also at the Ten Thousand Villages sale.  I love colourful!!

colourful glass mosaic bird by artists in Ten Thousand Villages

I have a friend who, before her eyesight deteriorated, crocheted all sorts of intricate items from cotton crochet thread (I used to make doilies with it).  Her son was our next-door neighbour.  When we first moved to this house, we were woken up at 5 a.m.(!) one morning during a snowstorm to the sound of his snowblower working in OUR driveway!  He was a very kind guy, and we were (sadly) blessed to help take care of him after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  During that time, his mother our friend took note of my enthusiasm for her talent in crafting.  And the following Christmas, she gave me a gift bag filled with not one but TEN different crocheted ornaments!!!  I couldn’t believe it.  Below is one of them.

crochet thread rose basket by my friend

Well, I just love the colour red, so I must feature the next ornament.  Another dear family friend made this for us one year, and I love it.  She belonged to a group she called The Craft Girls, who would get together every week and craft, laugh, cry, and drink coffee together.  This friend has been a treasure in my life for almost twenty years now.

painted wooden and beaded heart by another friend

And finally, an ornament made by me.  😀  Being the thrifter that I am, I found a bag of these colourful plastic and heavily-discounted pony beads in a store a few years ago.  I’ve used them in my crocheting and knitting projects, and I learned some simple bead weaving.  So I designed a simple circular weave to create some ornaments (and yes, I had to make twelve of them, haha!).  I made them in blue, green, and red.  Below is a blue one, because if I posted a red one, you might be bored with all the red in this post by now.  😀

blue and clear woven bead ornament

Happy New Year!  Stay tuned for more posts and creations in 2016!


8 thoughts on “Christmas Tree Ornaments: Local and Global

  1. Hi Colleen Very interesting and enjoyable post. Thank you for sharing. Enjoyed hearing the stories relating to each ornament. Happy New Year.

    Sent from my iPad


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