|Note: Honorable Mentions and Runners-up are presented in no particular order.||Click on photos to enlarge.|
FIRST-PLACE WINNER - $750
I cleaned the ornament (with baby wipes or a rag and alcohol) to remove any film from the glass. I covered it completely with a thin sheet of clay, taking care to remove all air bubbles. Then I layered thin slices of polymer clay cane on top, pressed it smooth, and baked it. After sanding it with increasing fine grit, I dipped it in Varathane floor finish to really make it shine.
SECOND-PLACE WINNER - $500
“Treats for Santa” Decorated Egg
This ornament was made using a real goose egg shell and several recycled and handmade objects. Plaid Royal Coat decoupage medium is the most indispensible product in my egg art—I use it for strengthening the shell, applying extraordinarily smooth coats of glitter, and other applications. The cookies and candy are made from Fimo and papier-mâché, the table is made from bottle caps, the lights are from a necklace, and the candle base is an earring back with a flame of Plaid stained glass paint.
Kara Lani, Life Member
THIRD-PLACE WINNER - $150
Bead and Crystal Netting
I like to give my children's teachers homemade gifts for Christmas. I used all sizes of seed beads, bugle beads, crystals, and Nymo thread. I made four panels of brick stitches, then added the beads using stringing techniques.
Alyson Gibson, Life Member
Honorable Mentions (in no particular order) - $25 each
Pine Needle Ornament
I gathered the Ponderosa Pine needles myself. The center is made using “Teneriffe” embroidery. I used the coiling method to weave the ornament. I used a fern stitch and a wheat stitch, done with raffia. The pine needles retain their fragrance.
Anne Marie Baskin
I started experimenting with coyote gourds, then expanded to other types. I also used a variety of different craft paints, wood burning tools, and a LOT of patience! The Ronald McDonald House in Reno was a godsend when our son was born eight weeks prematurely, weighing only 3 lbs. 15 oz. This contest is probably the only way I can say “Thank you so much for being my oasis in the desert!
Van Horn, Texas
I created this ornament to show my support and dedication to all the women who have battled this horrible disease and in memory of all the women who have lost their battle with breast cancer. I started the ornament cover with a netted stitch ring. I made four peyote stitch panels and used the St. Petersburg stitch and swags to connect the panels. I finished with a netted skirt and fringe.
Orland Hills, Illinois
I made my fairy from a small eye drop bottle, wired ribbon, and a wooden ball for a head. The ears are made of Sculpey clay and painted, along with the face. I used pipe cleaners for arms and legs, added hands and feet, and made the wand from a dowel with a small star and sprinkled with glitter.
Recycled Software Disk
When I kept receiving 3" disks in the mail, I decided to recycle them into handpainted ornaments. I sprayed them with primer, sketched a design on each side, and painted them with acrylic paints. I covered the hole with a large rhinestone, and added glitter and smaller rhinestones for sparkle. I used my Dremel tool to drill small holes, sprayed with high gloss sealer, and added beads for a tassel.
Clay Giraffe and Monkey
I made this ornament with Sculpey polymer clay. I sculpted each piece by hand and used a paper clip for the eyelet.
I made this ornament using the off-hand glass blowing method. I gather glass from a 2060 degree furnace onto a blow pipe. The design is achieved by putting the molten glass into a metal form and blowing. I have been blowing glass for about ten years and still enjoy each and every piece that I make.
Mountain Cabin Scene Carved Gourd
This is a small mixed gourd that I carved using a Dremel tool and craft knife, and painted with acrylic paint. The log cabin is painted cardstock, the roof is a piece of aluminum can, and the chimney is a piece of plastic tubing from a lotion bottle and painted black. I hope whoever receives this will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.
Japanese Temari Snowflake Ball
This was made with a 3" STYROFOAM ball covered in poly batting and wrapped in white cotton thread and iridescent thread, then divided into 12 sections with white perle cotton. The snowflake pattern was stitched onto the ball using Kreinik Teal and Deep Blue Ribbon Floss Metallic and Silver Ribbon Floss Shimmer Blend.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
I started with a Sterling silver spoon. I dyed it with Ranger Adirondack dyes, and added the angel and beads to embellish the spoon. I have collected silverware for years and made bracelets, wind chimes, etc. Why not a Christmas ornament?
Port Huron, Michigan
Runners-up (in no particular order)
Yellow Satin Spiked Ball
I started making ornaments for my tree, but it soon took on a life of its own—I have made around 200 of them and given them to friends, relatives, and grandchildren's teachers as gifts. None of them are alike.
Lake City, Florida
Musical Toy Scene
I enjoy working with plastic canvas and wanted to do something for the ill children in our area. I used craft items I had and added a musical button with Christmas music. I know how much children like music and thought they would like them and that it might make their days a little brighter. At least I hope so.
Betty Johnson, Life Member
I fell in love with Outlines Rubber Stamps and created this ornament using their Cut Away Topper stamp, cardstock, rhinestones, and various beading components. The images were stamped and embossed. Then I cut out the stamped images, layered them over the ornament, and added beading and ribbon.
Lynna Gibson, Life Member
High Point, North Carolina
I've collected ornaments for years. When my local Community Ed offered a smocked ornament class at a “Stitch and Chat”, I jumped at the chance to make some of my own. Now I'd like to share some of the happiness these ornaments bring to me. They are made with pleated cotton and DMC floss over a STYROFOAM ball center with ribbon accents.
Rebecca Benz, Life Member
West Seneca, New York
Black Chickadee Gourd
I have been a gourd artist for the past 12 years and created this little chickadee ornament for a gourd Christmas exchange held by our branch of the Michigan Gourd Society. It is made from a pear gourd with wings and tail cut from scrap gourd pieces. The bill is wood painted with acrylics.
I chose this subject as I live along the California coast and see lots of surfers. I thought it would be fun to do a surfing Santa instead of the traditional one. I had a lot of fun with the project. I cut the surfboard from a piece of wood that I had, and sanded and painted it. The glitter helped to make it look like water was on it.
Jackie Held, Life Member
Each year I try to make something different as gifts for my family and relatives. I had seen these plain ornaments that I thought were pretty so I decided to dress them up a bit. I used ribbon, berries and leaves, and a couple of small pine cones with DecoArt Snow Tex and glitter. I hope the Ronald McDonald House of your choice and the families receiving these have the greatest Christmas ever!
Kathy DeFlorian, Life Member
Beaded Snow Lady
I made the body from white felt stuffed with polyester. On this base, I embroidered with #11 seed beads, bugle beads, and sequins. She is holding a bouquet made from seed beads and flower beads.
Anna Hass, Life Member
Tatted Red Ball
Tatting provides many hours of enjoyment for me; each year I tat a number of ornaments. The inspiration for this ornament was derived from a 1916 edging pattern. The design is worked in #30 thread. The only other supplies needed are a tatting shuttle and a crochet hook for joining picots, as well as a glass ball to cover. Thank you for the opportunity to bring a bit of extra joy at Christmas time to patients' families at Ronald McDonald House.
Park Ridge, Illinois
Clay Arctic Animals
I formed these Arctic animals from thoroughly mixed polymer clay, and used toothpicks to add some detail, adding wires for loops and whiskers. After baking the animals, I painted and applied sealer.For the icicle and ice base for the seal, I mixed resin and, when it was partly set up, I used a plastic knife to cut and shape it.
Diane DeWitt, Life Member
“Miracles Live” Angel
Every year my family and I exchange handmade ornaments as a tradition that we have kept for the last thirty years. Our holiday trees are full of treasures memories of all our made-with-love ornaments. This year my husband was diagnosed with cancer and other family members have been ill. I made this angel to watch over all of them and make their lives a miracle to treasure. I just had to send this ornament for the Ronald McDonald House holiday tree to watch over all the families and children staying there. I hope she brings them all miracles.
Judy Tattersall, Life Member
Bloomingdale, New Jersey
The little Christmas stocking was created out of my love for cross stitch. I used a leftover piece of Aida cloth, stitched my design using some metallic thread for glitter, sewed it to a scrap piece of fabric and stuffed it with poly fill. It's adorned with dried flowers I found in the woods and tiny pinecones I painted and glittered, along with some other small items from our local craft store.
Eagle River, Wisconsin
My special craft is making ornaments out of wood and this fireplace is one of my favorites. The fireplace, shelf, and base are cut from various thicknesses of pine, as are the packages. After sanding and painting all the wood pieces, I glued the shelf and base onto the fireplace. I tied thin ribbon onto the packages and added a chenille wreath, trim, a small pinecone, and two small candles I carved out of a toothpick.
Little Falls, New York
This ornament was inspired by my four year old who loves snowmen (even though we may never see snow in Atascosa). I glued two pieces of felt together, added the frame with fabric, and then stitched a crocheted snowflake on each side as well as some glass beads on the outside to accentuate the frame. As a final touch, I sprayed it with glitter.
My oldest granddaughter was diagnosed with leukemia when she was 2 1/2 years old, so I can strongly empathize with the families that use the Ronald McDonald House facilities. I remember that during that stressful and trying time often the love and kind acts of complete strangers could give you hope and comfort from an unexpected source at a time when you really needed it.
I thought back to what kept Andrea positive during her illness and the one thing she always looked forward to was getting well so she could ride horses. And what child doesn't dream of getting a pony for Christmas?
I glued three layers of cedar scraps together and carved the foal from that, using one of our own real life colts as a model. The mane and tail are real horse hair, with metallic gold threads interspersed just for a little added bling. I handpainted angels on the rump for protection, hearts on the shoulders for love, the message of joy on the neck, and the Bethlehem star on its forehead to portray the spirit of Christmas.
With the naturally mischievous nature of young horses, it's easy to imagine a real “Christmas pony” trying to open a gift from under the tree.
No matter how this ornament does in your contest, it's my true hope that it will bring joy to some child this Christmas.
Editor's Note: We typically include only excerpts from letters, but this one just had to be shared.