Ornament Swap! Make new friends and keep the old…

OK – Good morning! Sorry I wasnt “here” sooner. This is the first Saturday in over 2 months that I haven’t rushed off early to teach Ceramics classes at the studio. But I can’t think of a better morning than coffee and a blog hop/swap!

 I met Sally Russick at ArtBliss in DC. Can I just pause here to rave about that retreat! Close to home! Fantastic national teachers? Great hospitality! Fantastic hosts – Cindy Wimmer and Jeannette Blix! Ok – back to the blog post… Sally posted about an ornament swap – a million years ago – it seems. Of course I was interested! Make a pretty and recieve a pretty? Yes! Meet new friends? Yes! Keep in touch with old freinds? Yes!

When it came time to make, and mail said ornament, I realized time had crept up on me. What was a generous time frame, well – I procrastinated a bit. I usually work in clay. Earthenware and stoneware. Now with drying time, firing time. glazing… it wasnt going to work. So, I turned to polymer. I like it. I want to experiment with it more. I respect it after taking a class with Christi Friesen. The most frustrating thing is weeding out the old and crumbly in my stash that frustrates me every time I try to work. Fresh polymer is quite nice!

I wanted to do a winter theme. My preference in decorations are seasonal, and having email-chatted with my partner  Christine Altimiller and perusing her blog – I thought this would be a good fit. ( Enough chatter – pictures please!) 

my ornament

I went with the shrine shape as that is a style I work with often. A reporoduction of an antique postcard shows a winter angel decorating a tree. She is framed in polymer and stamped copper. 

ornament detail

For the dangles I knew I had to include river rock,  a fav of Christine’s and an artist’s bead – one of my stamped ceramic eucalyptus charms. The pod print recalled snowflake shapes in my mind. 

The ornament I recieved, you ask? It was as if Christine had been in my house! So perfect! She must have super mind reading powers…

Christine's ornament

Driftwood, ethereal beautiful seed beaded snowflakes in icy blues and lavendars! Delicate and gorgeous!


details 2

I was completely stunned. I am so appreciative of the delicate seed bead work done here! The time and patience it takes! Mad skills! Thank you to my ever talented and creative partner for sharing this sliver of winter magic with me!

So – refill your coffee and please head over to Christine’s blog – One Kiss Creations! And definitely check out the other ornaments. I am feeling festive already! 


Thank you for stopping by! I would love to hear from you… 
Happy Holidays!


21 thoughts on “Ornament Swap! Make new friends and keep the old…

  1. Alice says:


    I just love your handmade ornament! It looks like one that has been lovingly passed down from generation to generation!

    I’ve never worked with polymer clay, but I’ve always wanted to try.


    • jenny says:

      It is so different from “real” clay. (Clay snob talking… oops) Polymer does SO much, is so versatile – although its hard to know where to start – you can take it anywhere!


    • jenny says:

      Sue – thank you for your comment! I am actually going to hang my ornament on a tree branch in my studio all winter long!  And BTW – love the Sue beads I keep seeing in the ornament swap!


  2. Tamara says:

    Your ornament is breath taking, I would not have known it was PC until I read it….what a wonderful idea for an ornament.
    The one your received is so pretty and what a wonderful idea to use driftwood…
    Enjoy the Holidays 🙂


  3. Christine says:

    I finally got a cup of coffee, right in time to read “mad skills” and I did my best to not shower the keyboard with coffee! This was so much fun and having you as a partner was meant to be because somehow we just knew what would work for the other. I cannot express how much I love what you created and how it inspired me. I am branching out from my seed beads in the coming months and taking a clay class. I will be certain to show you what becomes of that. Thanx Jenny! You are a fantabulous partner!!!


    • jenny says:

      Heh Heh. No coffee snorting please! But its true! Working with seed beads makes my eyes cross and my shoulders come up to my ears as I tense up… I too am glad we met, and can keep in touch (FB) til we actually meet. ArtBliss next year? Thank you again, for the creativity and inspiration!Cant wait to see what happens in clay class. After all your daughter started you down that path with her beads, rights? 


  4. Jen says:

    I’m on my second cup of coffee and am happily wandering through these ornanments. You’re right, that “snow drift” ornament is just fantastic! So unique!

    I’m with you on the crumbly polymer. I went through a polymer phase a couple of years ago and now I have all those little blocks that I’m afraid to squeeze. I should just toss them so I don’t feel pressured to save them. haaaaaaaaaaaa We need to get with our Artbliss gals and encourage some polymer play time!

    Merry Christmas!


    • jenny says:

      Thats me in the craft aisle – squeezing the polymer before purchasing. I have given myself permission to throw the old away because trying to reconstitute the crumbly makes me hate polymer. Not the desired result…Ooh polymer play date. Love it. Anykind of “bring-what-you-are-working-on” ArtBliss reunion would be fab!


  5. Sally says:

    Jenny, first I would like to say that I miss seeing everyone and can’t wait for ArtBLISS to roll around again!!!

    Now, back to the ornament swap! I love the ornament you made! Your polymer clay work is gorgeous and the ornament is perfect for Christine! She’s a earthy girl!! Or should I say your you have “mad skills” when it comes to polymer clay 🙂
    I think you inspired Christine, I was talking to her the other day and she said she was that Michaels and purchased a polymer clay bead making kit! I just started laughing, we took a polymer clay class together last year and let’s just say she didn’t leave with any beads, put did create a pretty little pinch pot! Maybe she’ll have better luck with the kit!

    Have a very Happy Holiday!! Thanks for taking the time to participate in the swap/hop, i’m so glad it put you in a festive mood!! Can’t wait to see you again!!!


    • jenny says:

      I definitely look forward to the next ArtBliss! I am in a bit of a creative vacuum where I live – good friends, but not fellow artist/crafters. The art retreat community/camaraderie really feeds my soul!Thanksagain for all your work, and Happy Holidays!  


  6. Jennifer says:

    You ladies amaze me with your deliciously winter themed ornaments. Between the gorgeous polymer clay and the hand stamped metal, your ornament was a winner already… but you made me swoon with the pretty angel! And then the dangling artbead and river rocks?! WOW! What an ornament! And I adore the driftwood and the sparkling seed beads she used, and the fact that each snowflake is different! Bravo to both of you!


  7. Kathleen Lange Klik says:

    Both ornaments are fantastic. The one you created is a mini masterpiece! Love the river rocks and the stamped plate!

    The ornament that Christine created is really beautiful. Love that the driftwood is shaped like a cloud, what a unique treasure.


  8. Erin Prais-Hintz says:

    I love that you transferred so seamlessly to the polymer clay, Miss Jenny! I am discovering the joys of polymer this last year with my ‘simple truths.’ I really like the immediacy of it all. I am not sure I would have the patience required to make the pretty ceramics that you do! I love the intricacy of the snowflakes that she beaded for you. And the driftwood is an unexpected touch. Very nice! Merry Christmas! Enjoy the day!


  9. Therese says:

    Jenny, I love the ornament that you created for Christine it is gorgeous all of the little details you put into it makes it even more special. I also love the ornament that Christine sent to you very pretty. Christine is a very tallented bead weaver I love all of the pieces she does.
    Merry Christmas,


  10. CraftyHope says:

    Yowza!! Your ornament creation is really fabulous. For working outside of your usual medium, you sure did excel. It’s a beautiful ornament.
    How great that your partner made something that fit you so perfectly as well. Awesome!


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