Family Craft Exchange: Round 2

So while I was racing to get my manuscript done, and taking my kids to San Francisco, I was also scrambling to get my “Sipka Family Holiday Craft” completed and mailed.

I tell about the Helen Sipka Family Craft Exchange, and how it works, here.¬†And I also have a picture of last year’s mass-produced craft, Santa lollipops, at the end of that post. (They were pretty darned cute, now that I look at them again. And compare them to this year’s fiasco…)

Anyway, this year, Rene and I were both so busy that we didn’t really plan our craft until the last possible minute. She has so much going on at school — she volunteers at a million places, does videotaping for her church, watches kids at church, does so much homework every night, works out every night at the gym, AND manages to have a boyfriend and friends, so I felt bad asking her to help with the craft, too.

And me … well, there was that pesky book deadline of Nov. 30. And my craft needed to be done on … you guessed it. Nov. 30! So I was sweatin’ it out. …

However, I scoured my craft shelves, spent hours on Pinterest, and finally decided on a craft in mid-November, at least. I decided on these cute pendants I saw at the Scrapbooking Expo in Anaheim last February. (And yes, I’m goofy enough to go to the Scrapbooking Expo every year. My friend Debbie and I make a pilgrimage of it. Let’s just sweep that detail under the rug now. …)

Anyway, last February I bought a kit at the Expo to make these pendants, and I thought this would be the perfect time to use them: They’re glass stones, along with paper to fill them, the “right” glue, metallic hoops, and metallic glue. I bought a bunch of “Paris” papers because I thought they were so cute, and then I bought another sheet of … er … “ephemera”? (I guess that’s what you’d call it — music paper, subway maps, handwritten notes, postcards, that kind of thing.). Anyway, I made all the pendants on Thanksgiving Day along with my mom and (sort of) Rene. This part, at least, was fun, and came out cute:

Then I had about a week to find the necklaces to loop them on. Rene and I made one of our constant visits to Michaels and found cording, along with hooks and clasps. Rene has made jewelry before, so she already had the tools. So I went to work that night stringing the pendants and trying to make the necklaces.

Unfortunately, Rene had a huge essay due and couldn’t help me, but I tried to use her tools and … well … after hours of frustration, several nicked cuticles, at least ten new made-up swear words, and a couple of glasses of wine, let’s just say I won’t be a professional jewelry maker anytime soon. …

The clasps came out terrible. I am a terrible “crimper.” And the cording looked awful. But I didn’t have much choice — I sent my necklaces to Ohio for the party, which was on Dec. 8, and hoped for the best.

(At least the pendants were cute!) (Here they are again. Which one do you like best?)

Anyway, next year we might stick to edibles. …

Do you make crafts around the holidays?

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2 thoughts on “Family Craft Exchange: Round 2

  1. Wow, those are really cute! I especially like the ones with the butterflies on them. Course the Eiffel Tower ones are great too. You did a great job under pressure!

  2. These are really cute! It does seem like a lot of work, at least with the book going too, but you can’t tell you were pressed for time…or new at it – good job! I love that you guys have that family tradition!

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