Through the Eyes of a Child

Isn’t it true?
We are all children at Christmas . . .

As the day gets closer, and we experience the sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas, we are magically transported to a time when the wonder of it all took our breath away.

I found this vintage card and it reminded me of a little girl (me!) dreaming over the pages of the Sears Catalog Christmas Wish Book. I’ve included a quote from the author whose books I loved while growing up.

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”

~Laura Ingalls Wilder

May the child-like wonder of Christmas overtake you!



Christmas Ornament Giveaway

Happy Monday, Kids! 😀

Hope you had a merry weekend!

It was busy, busy, busy, here – as Sir Beads and I scurried around the stores searching for Christmas gifts. I’m not quite finished, but the list is getting shorter. You could say that I’m on schedule. 😉

Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever had my shopping complete in early December. Still, every year, right around this time, I *promise* myself that “next year” I’ll be finished by Thanksgiving. Maybe in 2011! LOL


Speaking of presents . . . how about a giveaway!!??!!

I’d love to send this sparkling beaded ornament to one of you!!!

It was such fun to make! I used Swarovski Crystals in a beautiful shade of teal blue, along with Swarovski Cream Glass Pearls, and golden glass seed beads. The ornament measures a very showy 3-1/4 inches long – so it will definitely attract attention as it glitters on the Christmas tree! Whether you keep it for yourself or give it to someone special, it’s sure to become a cherished keepsake.

Contest Rules and How To Enter

There are a several ways to enter and you can choose one or all of them!

1. Answer the weekly question. You’ll find it below!

2. “Like” us on Facebook! You’ll notice a link in the sidebar on the right, where you can give BeadHappilyEverAfter a thumbs-up. Thank you for that! 😉

3. Come back another day and comment on that day’s post. Any day you leave a comment on this blog – it counts as a chance in the giveaway!!!

4. Subscribe to this blog! Again, there are links on the right, where you can either subscribe by email, or by the RSS feed.

The weekly question is:

Please describe your very favorite Christmas tradition. 😀


The Boring Stuff . . .
You must be 18 yrs. old. After the completion of the contest, the name of the winner will be listed here. The winner will also be notified by email. If the winner fails to respond to email within 3 days from the time notification email has been sent, the win will be null and void and a new winner will be chosen. The prize will be mailed via USPS First Class Mail

All entries must be received by 6:00 p.m. EST on 12/15/10, and the winner will be selected on or about 12/16/10.


Interview with the Artist – Wee Cute Treasures

This edition of Interview with the Artist showcases the work of a very talented lady from the beautiful Emerald Isle.

She creates the sweetest little Clothespin Dolls and Birthday Cake Toppers that I have ever seen. Her attention to the tiniest of details is absolutely amazing! Take a peek in her etsy shop, but just let me warn you . . . you’re gonna fall in love! 🙂

Please meet Carol of Wee Cute Treasures.


Were you interested in art as a child?
Oh yes! I loved painting, drawing and crafting for as long as I can remember.

What were some of the earliest projects that you created?
When I was very young I had a rag doll called Rosie and I made her all sorts of clothes out of my mother’s ‘rag box’ using huge running stitches. The finish must have been very crude but I love designing the clothes seeing them coming into fruition. One of my grandmothers taught me to knit at age 7 and since then I have always had something on my knitting needles! Basically, I can not remember a time when I have not had some creative project ‘on the go’.


When did you first become interested in making dolls?
Since I was about 16 I have made soft toys to sell. Making clothespin dolls came about from visiting a local craft show two years ago. There was a stall selling funky little dolls and I thought that making a little doll could be fun. A Google search lead me to the American style of peg doll (which is much cuter than our European versions) and I was hooked!


Besides making dolls, what other forms of art do you enjoy?
I love everything creative – so I enjoy making greeting cards, knitting, crochet, needlepoint, painting and woodwork. My newest love is miniature work and I am in the process of designing and making my first dollhouse from scratch – no kit!

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
As a child I adored the illustrated fairy story books which belonged to my mother. They were from a gentler era when girls were unashamedly girly. I have always loved everything flowery and pretty and I think my little dolls reflect this. However, I also love the slightly preppy and neat look of the 40s and 50s. Although every colour in the rainbow is beautiful, I tend to favour pastel colours. For my dolls I have found inspiration from many other talented doll makers and crafters.


Do you keep any examples of your best work – just for yourself? 🙂
No! There are times I am really sorry to ship off a little doll because I think she is particularly cute. But I do make sure I keep enough material so that I can make another identical one in years to come – if I ever have time.


What advice would you give to people who would like to begin selling their art, but could use a bit of advice?

If you love what you do it will show. I have a rule. Every doll I make is one I would be happy to keep if it does not sell. I believe it is fine to be inspired by other people’s work, but it is important to put your own stamp on your creations. High quality products stand the test of time. Many people will make cheaper versions of your art, but if your quality is good you can ask a higher price and those people who want a beautiful item will be happy to pay for it. I remember a fellow craftswoman telling never to undersell my work. I also think that consistency is important – both in terms of style and quality. Repeat customers are wonderfully valuable, especially in the early days. Even if you decide to branch out into new areas, look after your core business and it will help finance new ventures. And…most important of all – be patient and enjoy the process.


Although Carol is not taking “special orders” at this time, she frequently adds an adorable selection of seasonal dolls to her etsy shop. 😀 Click here to see them!


12 Ornaments of Christmas – Part 7


I have a riddle for you! 🙂

What do you get when you take this . . .


And add it to this?


Answer: A unique handmade Christmas ornament! 😉



The 7th ornament in this series is a little wooden sled that I’ve decorated with a small piece of cross stitch – but you could choose any number of other ways to embellish it including a crocheted motif, or embroidery, sewing, pieced felt, papercrafts, or even decorative painting. The idea is to use a winter or holiday item, like the sled, and decorate it in an unusual way to create a very special ornament!



small wooden sled (available at craft stores)
tiny cross stitched design of your choice
scrap of felt for hat
small beads (seed beads for hat, 4mm bead for pom pom)
glittered ribbon cord for hanger and bow
small piece of decorative braid or trim
tacky glue



You’ll notice my sled has been stained and painted – which is NOT necessary. Leaving it natural is perfectly fine, or you may decide to paint your sled a bright color.

Stitch the design of your choice in cross stitch.

Lay the finished stitching on the table face-up. Place the sled (seat side down) on top of the stitching. Be sure it is centered and trace around the sled (directly onto the fabric) so that you will have the traced outline as a cutting guide.

Cut on the line and after placing a thin layer of tacky glue on the top of the sled, attach the stitching to it. Press firmly and allow to dry.

Use a piece of cord to make a “pulling rope” for the sled.




I made a hat for the penguin by cutting a small triangle of felt and sewing it in place. I folded the top corner over and attached a crystal pom pom and a few seed beads for sparkle!

I decided that the cross stitch design could use a border of some kind. Since I didn’t have any suitable decorative trim on hand, I took a piece of the glittered ribbon cord and crocheted a “chain” to glue around the edges of the sled. A small bow in the lower left corner was the finishing touch.

candy_caneYou’ll have lots of your own ideas, of course, but I hope this will inspire you to look around for something you have there right now, that could be used to make a unique ornament. 😀


Giveaway – Paper Art Gift Set

Welcome to Week 47 of my weekly giveaways!!

Most often, the prize is jewelry!!! But this time I have a little surprise. 🙂

Remember a couple of weeks ago when we all went shopping…. and I found some lovely pumpkin gift tags that were created by etsy artist, FrenchCountry?

Well, she has graciously offered to sponsor this week’s giveaway with a sweet 10-piece assortment of her paper art!

First, we have a Set of 2 French-inspired Bookmarks (or large tags) made on high quality pink card stock, handstamped with walnut ink using script and musical sheet background, feminine motives, butterflies, Paris inspired stamps, and dresses and lace. The edges have been shaded with coordinating ink for a more vintage feel. The sheer pink ribbon gives these tags a touch of elegance!


Next, for the Christmas season, a Set of 4 Gift Tags made on high quality green card stock, featuring a cute little Santa holding a Merry Christmas sign. The crackled background provides a vintage look.


And finally (my favorites!) a Set of 4 Pumpkin Tags – hand stamped and painted on high quality card stock. Whether you use them as gift tags, or to accompany home baked treats, or for writing a little love note to tuck into a lunchbox, this sweet set of tags will add cheer from now through Thanksgiving!


Enter below for your chance to win this charming assortment from frenchcountry!


And be sure to visit her etsy shop for many more lovely cards and tags.

Contest Rules and How To Enter

This week, you will have up to three (3) chances to enter the weekly giveaway.

You can choose any or all of the following 3 ways to enter:

1st Chance:

Leave a comment answering the first weekly question:

With the current economic conditions, will you be trying to make more of your gifts for this holiday season and the year ahead?

2nd Chance:

Leave a comment answering the second weekly question:

Can you tell us if there’s a quotation that means a lot to you? And has it changed the way you live your life?
(Thank you to Cindi for suggesting this question.)

3rd Chance:

Comment on any other post except this one. You can do it today or another day this week. You do not have to tell me that you left a “comment” on another post. The blog program shows me all of the “comments” as they come in – so I do not miss any of them! 😀

The Boring Stuff . . .
You must be 18 yrs. old. After the completion of the contest, the name of the winner will be listed here. The winner will also be notified by email. If no valid email address is given at time of entry, or if winner fails to respond to email within 3 days from the time notification email has been sent, the win will be null and void and a new winner will be chosen. The prize will be mailed by USPS First Class Mail.

All entries must be received by 9:00 p.m. EST on 10/04/09, and the winner will be selected on or about 10/05/09.