I keep telling myself that I won’t “make” any Christmas gifts this year. It always takes more time than I expect but somehow, here I am again, making gifts. This post has very little fiber in it but there is some, I promise. As a maker, I know that I often venture into trying new things including new media outside of fiber art. I find that trying out a new media gives a new perspective to what I usually create.
My friend Deb is moving to Wisconsin and has been clearing out “stuff” in preparation for a spring move. She had boxes and boxes of driftwood that she had collected over the years and was going to take to the dump. Of course, I couldn’t let that happen so all the boxes of driftwood came home with me. And there I was looking at a source of free material with which to create gifts!
The first thought was to make trees out of the driftwood. All I needed to do was layout the right size pieces, drill holes in the center and thread a piece of heavy duty string through the holes. This is the layout for the first tree I created. You can see a couple of the boxes of the driftwood but that hardly gives you an idea of how much wood I had.
Here’s how the first tree turned out. I liked the look of it and so I decided to make more.
Here’s a few more that I got photos of. I ended up making nine trees total, five of which were mini trees. I still had tons more wood left.
My sister had requested a yard art armadillo, so that was next on my list. I looked through all the pieces and found what looked like parts of an armadillo. It’s amazing what the wood pieces start to look like in your mind’s eye once you start thinking of a variety of animals. So the photos above show the base that I glued and screwed together. I could have left him like that but I decided he needed some birch bark skin. I took a quick walk and found pieces of birch bark in the woods.
The birch bark was quite scrunched up and dirty. So I soaked it in water and then tied it around buckets to get it to be more circular. Sorry for the poor photo but hopefully, you get the idea.
I added the birch bark with a combination of glue and staples. It was pretty tricky and some cursing might have occurred.
Edgar was not sure about the new creature in my studio. Who is this? The only issue with this gift is that my sister lives thousands of miles from me and I didn’t want to try and ship this guy. I was sure that he would be “killed” by the shipping companies. Luckily, my sister is patient and we will take the armadillo to her on our next cross country trip.
And finally some fiber. I found this piece of driftwood that looked like a hat shape. I added a nose with glue and painted the wood. Then I glued down locks for the beard and pieces of felt for the brim and pompom on the hat. And there you have it, a Christmas gnome.
I made a total of three Christmas gnomes. I love how they each have their own personality. Do you make Christmas gifts? If so, we’d love to see what you have created. You can share with us over on the free forum.
I want to thank you all for being loyal readers and wish each of you a wonderful holiday season and a happy, creative new year in 2022.
22 thoughts on “Christmas Gifts”
Love these, Ruth. Nice work! Happy Holidays!
Thanks Penny, Happy Holidays to you and yours!
Being given that box of driftwood was a Christmas present – how lucky you were!
The trees are fab and your sister will love the armadillo (it’s a good job that Edgar didn’t run away with it as a chew-stick). The gnomes are fun – it’s amazing what you imagined to make when you looked at the pieces of wood.
Thank you! The driftwood was definitely a wonderful gift. I still have loads to play with and I’m thinking I need to create felt and driftwood pieces.
I love driftwood, but rarely get chance to get any – we live some way from the sea and although we are near a fairly large river there doesn’t seem to be much that is portable. (and anyway I can hear the unspoken “what do you want that for? We’ve got enough junk”.)
I love the armadillo, but did you realise that the topmost piece of tree No 2 is actually a bird peering down from there at something beneath the tree?
Happy holiday everyone; and here’s hoping for a better year next year. I hope the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t another covid train.
Thanks Ann, I don’t live by the sea either but we have a very large lake near us where you can find driftwood. It was nice not to have to collect it all myself, I just got to do the fun part of finding the right pieces that worked for each project. I don’t pay any attention to “what do you want that for?” any longer. My hubby actually brings me things now and says “I thought you’d like this.”
I see the bird now but hadn’t really seen him before. Good eye!
Gosh Ruth, the driftwood certainly fell into the right hands! Your little trees are beautiful and I have little doubt that your sister will love her new ‘stationery’ pet. She has probably already named it.
Your gnomes are just so cute. Recipients will be very happy to receive them.
Thanks Helene! Everyone seemed to like their gifts. My sister hasn’t seen the photo yet but luckily she doesn’t follow this blog. I hope she does like her armadillo, otherwise, I will have to keep it for myself. 😉
Ruth, that armadillo was inspired! Your sister is a lucky girl. The trees are also darling (and as I look at them, I have to tell myself I don’t need another hobby… but driftwood does look like A LOT of fun!)
I’m currently reading a book that involves an evil gnome, but I’m sure yours will be on their best behaviour 😉
Thanks Leonor! I never would have thought to make an armadillo on my own, she asked for one. But it turned out better than I had hoped. I definitely don’t need another hobby but I’m thinking of combining fiber with driftwood. We’ll have to see how that goes. Uh Oh… let’s hope the gnomes behave themselves. Happy Holidays to you and yours!
I am not near the sea either so no driftwood or lovely beach glass for me. Probably just as well as I have too much interesting stuff as it is. LOL.
I love the trees and I see the bird on the top of one too. the armadillo is fabulous and well worth the wait for your sister.
Your gnomes are so cute. How big are they?
Merry Christmas to you and your family.
Thanks Ann! Montana has no seashore either. But we do have a big lake to collect driftwood. The biggest gnome is about 2-2.5′ in length. So fairly big. Sending some Christmas cheer to you and yours!
Love these! I’m a Deb who relocated to WI…a decade ago….so, if your friend is headed for NW WI, have her get in touch.
Thanks Deb! I will have to tell my Deb to keep an eye out for you 😉 I’m not sure exactly where in WI she is relocating. Happy Holidays!
You’ve been very creative and I love how you’ve gone way outside the box with ideas! I love your ‘critters’ as they’re so quirky and particularly how you were able to mould the wood round a bucket to get the shape! Absolutely fantastic work!
Thanks Carol, I had a great time trying new ideas. The birch bark was a bit difficult but the shaping around the buckets worked great.
The trees have turned out great & are lovely unique gifts, one complete with it’s own bird.
Your sister will be delighted with her armadillo, until then you will just have to critter-sit, with Edgar on guard….Such a difficult task! Your bark is inspired.
Those gnomes are large in size & character. I can just imagine them each gracing a house porch over the festive season.
Felt & driftwood combo – something I’ve been planning & designing in my head for a while (read that as over 2 years!)….you will no doubt beat me to it. Hopefully we can share outcomes.
Continue to enjoy the season.
Edgar is good at standing guard, just have to make sure he doesn’t realize it is made from sticks😆
I look forward to hearing about your ideas for felt and driftwood. Perhaps we can collaborate. Happy Holidays to you and yours.
Oh Ruth, that armadillo is brilliant! Your sister is so lucky and I am so envious. When you say it will be yard art is she planning on installing it outside permanently? Think it might be time for me to scour the river banks to see what I can find this spring. The trees are perfect. Think I might ‘borrow’ your inspiration for something similar for my yard. Hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas and a tranquil, healthy, safe New Year.
Thanks Bernadette! I’m not sure if my sister will install it permanently outside or not. That’s what she usually does.
Feel free to borrow my ideas. I hope you show us the results.
Merry Christmas to you and yours too 😊!
Wonderful creations Ruth and I reckon Andy Goldsworthy would be impressed with these!
Fibre and wood sit well together so it will be nice to see what else you make with this stash.
Happy Holidays to you.
Thanks Karen, I hope to have time to combine the driftwood and Fiber. I will be sure to share.