Studio Musings

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Sally Russick's Annual Ornament Swap/Hop

Back in late October, I received an invitation to participate in Sally Russick's Holiday Ornament swap.  Between the push to finish Explorations and its book launch, I knew this fall would be busy well into December.  But I couldn't resist saying 'Yes!!!!' to her invitation.  As Sally said, "it's a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the Holiday Season to connect with a old bead friend or make a new connection."

The only 'rules' are that you make the ornament yourself and that your ornament includes an art bead.

This year, it was my fortune to be paired with Therese Frank, an extremely talented bead weaver and a blogging friend of several years.  I was so pleased to hear I'd 'drawn' her name!  Therese's package was a feast for they eyes - she'd even decorated the outer box (unfortunately someone in my household recycled the box before I managed to snap a picture - next time I need to have my camera ready before I start unwrapping).

Inside the box, this is what I found:

Such Treasures!

Therese created the puffed star ornament using a tutorial from Joy Harmon Designs, embellishing it with a clay snowflake charm by Linda Landig.  It is so bright and cheerful, nestled amongst the lights on my Christmas tree.  Thank you Therese!   Once the tree comes down, after Christmas, this star will be moving to my studio to keep me company the rest of the year!

A couple of closer looks at Therese's ornament, along with a needlecase of her own design (she even filled the case with three John James sharps needles - my favorites!) and five polymer clay, cane beads that she had made.  Therese also included the wonderfully jolly St. Nicholas from her collection and a beautiful assortment of beads perfect for freeform peyote. 

Curious what I made for Therese?  Swing by her blog, Therese's Treasures, to see (hint - it definitely involves freeform peyote, because let's face it, that's where my mind has been this season....) 

Then continue on to see all the other holiday ornament creations - so much incredible talent!  

10.  Sandi Volpe  and Linda Landig  
11. Alicia Marinache  and Susan Kennedy  

Thank you Sally, for hosting this Swap Hop, and Thank you Therese!  


  1. Therese's ornament is so beautiful as is yours Karen.

  2. This is the only HOP that I participated in this year and I HAD to, as well! It's just special to receive a handmade gift, especially at Christmas!

    I LOVE Therese's ornament - the star is perfectly puffed! :) The needle case - OMG- I gasped! It almost makes me want to try seed beading again (almost...)! I love that as much as the ornament! And BEADS! What a wonderful gift of treasures you received!

    Your ornament to her was PERFECTION - the perfect amount of sparkly and crisp, winter colors! Beautiful!

    Merry Christmas!!

  3. Hi Karen,
    I am still so thrilled that you were my partner in this year's swap/hop. I look at my ornament everyday on my tree it is just so pretty in will all my other treasured ornaments. I hope things are getting where you can take a breath and enjoy the Christmas Season with your husband. Thank you again for your precious gift.
    Merry Christmas,

  4. Wow, and again, Sally paired the perfect people! She sent you such wonderful things, and your ornament is amazing too! Merry Christmas!

  5. So cool! Polymer and seeds. I love seeing people work in multiple mediums - Im glad Im not the only one! Gorgeous work! Off to see what YOU made... Happy Holidays! And congrats on the book!

  6. What a special ornament. This star is just awesome and should be treasured. Love it.

  7. Lovely ornament... I should make myself a needle case .... much classier than the paper bag I currently use. Congratulations on the book launch. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas holiday!

  8. I agree - a lovely ornament - and the one you sent is equally fabulous!

  9. I love Therese's work! Her ornament is amazing. The colors are so pretty. I took a peek at your ornament also and it is also amazing! I love the freeform and the falling stars -- so great for the holidays! I am so excited about your book. CONGRATULATIONS! Have a wonderful Holiday!

  10. Hi Karen, Therese's star is absolutely beautiful. The needlecase is cool too. All of the extras were a very nice addition. The freeform ornament you made her is wonderful too. I love the wintery colors you chose.

  11. I have an aversion to seed beads as they make my head hurt, so I totally appreciate when I see such mastery of those little buggers! I love the freeform idea (I think that would be how I would use them if I did!) and the puffed star is beautiful! What a thoughtful friend to include the handmade needle case and the extra goodies! Enjoy the day and Merry Christmas to you and your family. Erin

  12. What a beautiful star! So much work in these beaded ornaments, it makes my head spin!

  13. Karen!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
    Wow! You got a wonderful box of goodies from Therese! The 3d star is such a beautiful and intricate design. and the pattern and color palette of the needlecase is right up my alley. I stopped at Therese's blog before stopping here and true to form you created a unique design that is STUNNING!! I love all the beady texture and the fibers!! Beautiful!! Thank you so much for participating in the hop I know how hectic it has been with the release of your book! I owe you an email concerning that book!!!