Two years ago during a trip to the Czech Republic I was inspired by a sparkling assortment of beads arranged in a snowflake pattern and an idea was born. What if I could repurpose some of my beads that weren’t currently in use in a jewelry collection into some beautiful sparkly home décor? While I have been dreaming of creating lampshades, chandeliers and beaded curtains for some time now, it seemed that the obvious first step was to try out some bedazzled holiday ornaments. So I got to work.
Above: Some of the original snowflakes we created in the studio were ocean-inspired. See how the current batch of snowflakes are looking here.
That first year I returned from the Czech Republic in early December (read more about my trip here) and literally had a couple of weeks to throw together some ornaments before the Holidays officially arrived. Everyone in the studio chipped in and created a few ornaments with me. We made them together at the Edgartown shop and Kathryn and I even took them home and made them at night while watching TV. But they were beautiful and my studio employees, customers and I were hooked. In a few short weeks, we made nearly 100 holiday ornaments in red, pinks, white and blues that first year. Some with stained glass themes, some with ocean inspiration, some with wampalyke beads (inspired by purple and white wampum, from a local clam shell, more on that here), some that mimicked my best selling red necklace. We had a ball, and my customers were loving them.
Above: Here is an assortment of some of the fun combinations we have created. See more here.
Each beaded snowflake ornament is a one-of-a-kind joy to behold. Sparkly, glistening and unique, just like real snowflakes. Some are neutral and classic and others are beachy and sea glass-inspired. My daughter’s favorites are the ones I call winter white which are pure white with shimmering crystals.
Above: One of our many varied "winter white" snowflakes. See more winter white snowflakes here.
The next holiday season at the studio, we organized our ornaments into color themes and honed in on our customers' preferred size, streamlining our creation process. My customer’s favorites were holiday red, and mixed metals but each color grouping had fans and admirers. I received so many requests for mixes of blues and greens that we created an ocean color option too. Which gets me thinking… maybe I need to add a sea glass color option soon...
Above: Here are a few of our earliest "mixed metal" snowflakes. See the current batch of mixed metallics here.
Anyway, Cherish, Helayane and I had a blast hosting snowflake making events at my jewelry studio. We invited customers and visitors to join in on the fun and create their own designs. By the end of the holiday season I had made so many beautiful snowflakes that my eyes were crossing, in a good way of course.
Above: Here is the simple card I created for display and gifting.
One evening I had been experimenting with some new boldly colored jewelry that featured my geometric circle, square and rectangle glass beads and I took a moment to diverge, turning my attention to snowflakes with these materials in hand. I can’t wait to show you what I came up with! To be continued…
Above: Here is the first batch of snowflakes ever created. At that time we were using white organza ribbon for the hanging loops but after a few technical issues arose we switched to wax-coated cotton cord.
If you enjoyed hearing about the inception and journey of my beaded snowflake ornaments, please let me know in the comments below. I’d also love to hear what YOUR favorite holiday ornament colors are.