String Thing, the fabulous fiber arts group founded by my amazing friend Rebecca, had our Third Annual Holiday Ornament Swap today. WOW! I shouldn't be surprised, but I was just freaking floored by the creativity and generosity of all 11 crafters.
This was my second year organizing the swap and, as always, I was inspired by the variety of crafts represented and the quality of the ornaments themselves. We had pzyanky eggs, basket-woven stars, Swedish paper stars, beaded and embroidered felties, crocheted pieces, knitted plush, colorful paper spheres, embellished glass balls, needlefelted woodland cameos, tatted snowflakes and, of course, my own felt ninjas.
Without further ado, in no particular order, take a look at these amazing ornaments! (Warning, light is a little low, sorry!)
Kay made these gorgeous, needlefelted animal cameos. I confess that when I saw the little rabbit, I knew that I had to have it for myself! Her husband says the bunny looks a little angry and drunk, but that is right up my alley! I only wish you could see the detail on these better, because they are just lovely.
Juline made pzyanky eggs! I can't believe that she only learned this craft a few weeks ago, because her designs are just stunning. She held a little workshop at her house on Thursday night, and I think I'm hooked. But it will take me a loooong time before I can ever make anything as lovely as Juline's eggs.
And here are some felties. Sarah's happy gingerbread men! These all have adorable fabric scraps on the back, which I failed to photograph. Just looking at them makes me smile.
Lesley made snuggly acorns, which is actually part of (I believe) German holiday tradition. (Forgive me if I got this wrong.)
And here are my String Thing Ninjas. I think they look vaguely like zombies.
We saw some gorgeous paper crafts represented. Naomi made these elegant Swedish stars.
And Monique made these fabulous paper orbs or spheres. I'm not sure what the name of the tradition is for these pieces, but they are so cool!
And then we have knitted and crocheted ornaments. Rebecca made these almost Victorian snowflakes.
And Sandy covered red balls with delicate iridescent knitted lace. So pretty!
In addition to the Swedish Stars, Naomi TATTED snowflakes! I wish I got better photos of these, because they are so intricate and almost fragile looking. Naomi had a mini tatting workshop a few years ago, and I have to confess that tatting is just beyond my stringy ability. I don't know how she does it!
And Teresa made these beautiful wicker stars! I desperately want one... hint, hint.
And finally, Kate, someone that I'm just starting to get to know, just blew me away with these amazing Angry Coal plushies!! This is so TOTALLY up my alley, I just cannot believe it. They are made from acrylic mohair yarn (allergy free) and have these fantastic expressions and eyebrows. My coal man is going to be out all year. I totally adore him! (Sorry for the blurry photo.)
I can't tell you how happy and inspired I am by all of these crafters. The thing is, most folks made these ornaments in something outside of their normal medium, and they are still just so wonderful. I can't even begin to tell you about the beautiful things they knit and crochet... the lace, the fair isle mittens, the double knitted Chaos Theory scarf, the sweaters and hats. I mean, they all make just BEAUTIFUL pieces. There are several spinners in the group. You should see their sumptuous yarns. And they design knitwear and crochet patterns like you wouldn't believe. And that is not to mention the sewing and quilting some of them do. I'm just floored by the talent and creative energy of everyone in this group. My favorite part of our Sunday morning get togethers (aside from laughing my butt off at all of our crazy conversations) is seeing what everyone is working on.
I know this is a long post, but I'm still flying from today and seeing all of the work my buddies created. Makes this work week infinitely easier to get through. The beige, RTP cube will have a much happier woman slaving away in corporate hell!
If you're on ravelry, come check out the Durham String Thing group so you can see more of their work.