u3a - Made it! Make it!

Christmas may be slightly different this year but some things stay the same. Crafts are an essential part of Christmas preparations, in particular making Christmas decorations. We would love to know how you have used your time to produce festive decorations and to get ready for Christmas. 

We know there are thousands of interest groups continuing to be active during this time and producing some fantastic items.

Consequently, we are looking for your ideas, suggestions and pictures of what you have made or are making for Christmas 2020. If you are able to direct people to resources or sources of support so that others can have a go, either on their own, or with their interest group then please do so. We will publish as many of your pictures and ideas as possible to add to the gallery of submissions.

Please upload a photo of your creations using the form below. 

 

Wreath by Andrea Raee of Newark U3A

Wreath by Andrea Raee of Newark U3A

It’s called Sweet Treat Christmas Wreath. Pattern was downloaded. I knitted 2. One for my WI Christmas raffle and one for a brilliant local charity, the Children’s Bereavement Centre to help with fund raising.

Mask by Sue Shannon-Jones of Swansea U3A

Mask by Sue Shannon-Jones of Swansea U3A

Father Christmas face mask prototype

Angels by Bev	Southgate of Norwich U3A

Angels by Bev Southgate of Norwich U3A

Whilst on lockdown I thought I would get ready for Christmas! I know it's a bit early for some, but as some of you crafters may know, making craft items in August is not unheard of.

These Angel decorations have been made using a bead weaving technique called peyote and using a design by a local designer called Teresa Morse.

They stand about 3.5 inches tall and are made using delica beads, bicone beads and seed beads. They take me about a week of evenings to make each one. Most of these are for friends that I usually sing in a choir with but of course, that is not possible at the moment.

I run a Jewellery Making for Beginners group as part of U3A Norwich and I think my group would love to learn how to make these. Currently, we are meeting via zoom using project kits which I make up in advance. We yearn to be back together beading and chatting in the same room, but for now, Zoom is the best we can do.

Crafting is a great way to occupy time and such a sense of achievement as each item is completed. It keeps me out of mischief!

Fused Glass by Kim Rayner of Sleaford U3A

Fused Glass by Kim Rayner of Sleaford U3A

I am lucky to have a glass fusing workshop in my village. Made using frit and recycled glass. This is A 4 size and fired twice.

Blanket by Gill	Cubitt of West Bridgford U3A

Blanket by Gill Cubitt of West Bridgford U3A

Here’s a blanket I made following a pattern I got many years ago from Lakeside Crafts www.lakesidecrafts.co.uk
I used sock yarn plus other oddments, but you can use anything as long as it’s the same ply yarn. It uses approximately 200g of yarn, and I try to alternate between a plain colour, and something self- patterning.
I’ve made many of these over the years; if you use baby yarn, and do 7 by 5 squares, it makes a nice blanket for a newborn baby. It's very easy to do, and quite addictive!

Nordic Birds by Pamela Fabianska of Alfreton U3A

Nordic Birds by Pamela Fabianska of Alfreton U3A

Simple cutout pieces, some embroidered then sewn together with a blanket stitch.

Resin Objects by Liisa Brown of Hartley Wintney & District

Resin Objects by Liisa Brown of Hartley Wintney & District

I ordered a resin set from online (including resin, hardener, colours, templates and mixing utils).

The instructions are very easy to follow.

The rest is up to you; how you mix the colours, which templates you use and which objects you insert inside the objects and how. You can also recycle your yogurt pots etc containers by using then as templates.

I made coasters, paperweights, door stoppers or just reminders of 2020! The varieties as endless. I got quite hooked on making these during the lockdown!

Harley Davidson by Susan Mason

Harley Davidson by Susan Mason

A Harley Davidson motorbike made from stained glass for a friend. A pattern is designed from a photo, then the glass is cut and and rough edges ground away. The edges are then covered with copper foil and the pieces of glass are soldered together.

Felt creatures by Helen Disley of Syston & District U3A

Felt creatures by Helen Disley of Syston & District U3A

Enclosed is a photo of three-needle felted creatures I made.

I run a small craft group for Syston U3A from my home. It’s a very small group with four regular attendees and myself and we congregate around my dining room table and try out a variety of different crafts.

Needle felting proved very popular and I made a number of creatures and found it very addictive. Around Easter time I made a number of Easter chicks and rabbits.

When lockdown came I decided to photograph my animals with the message “Stay home, stay safe” and put it on my Facebook page and also sent A copy to the craft group member to maybe give them some inspiration.

Needle felting is becoming increasingly popular and is a fairly easy craft for beginners to master and doesn’t require a great outlay for materials.
I have taught a number of workshops and most people can master the basics within a couple of hours.

Materials needed are wool (unwoven wool) and needle felting needles... ordinary sewing needles do not work. There are a number of free tutorials on I tube and starter kits can be bought at most craft shops. Give it a go and I reckon you’ll really enjoy it... just be careful of your fingers... the needles are very sharp!