u3a - Made it! Make it!

Have you been using your time during the varying stages of lockdown to start a new creative arts and crafts hobby or to dedicate to an existing interest?  We are looking for your ideas, suggestions and pictures of what you have made while we are in this period of time.

We know there are thousands of you  in your 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. 

 

'Wooden Tree Decorations' by Chris Oakley of Pershore & District U3A

'Wooden Tree Decorations' by Chris Oakley of Pershore & District U3A

I enjoy working with timber & decided to help our local charities by making wooden Christmas tree decorations.
I use a scrollsaw to cut out patterns that my wife designs for me.
I began with making traditional ones such as nativity scenes, holly ,bells and musical notes and instruments. Then others were added like pets ,pastimes ( e.g. sewing machines.) and interests which are so important to us in these difficult times. Since then various requests have included reptiles ,cows and sea horses so plenty to keep me occupied during lockdown !
My wood is recycled from pallets, cupboards and tables that would otherwise have gone to the tip.
Finally I either stain the items or use donated paint samples and then glitter to add sparkle .

'Snowglobe' by Sally Barker of Retford U3A

'Snowglobe' by Sally Barker of Retford U3A

Using a globe/fish bowl vase drip candle wax randomly round the outside.
Add artificial snow or cotton wool balls to create a snowy base.
Add festive decorations of your choice. I used a silver fir free polar bear.
Add a thin string of bottle lights.
Place a small container and small piece of an oasis on the bowl.
Make a small arrangement of foliage..tree ivy, small leaves and fir.
I gave it a dusting of snow spray and add snowberries, and a few bits out the garden and artificial poinsettia.
A snow globe ready to light up Christmas!!

'Crochet Flower Napkin Rings' by Liisa Brown of Hartley, Wintney & District U3A

'Crochet Flower Napkin Rings' by Liisa Brown of Hartley, Wintney & District U3A

I used my left over wools.

I knitted the petals, sewed them together to form the flowers.

I crocheted the rings that go around the napkins and the middle part of the flowers.

'Garland Of Xmas Trees' by Sheila	Hackett of Ely & District U3A

'Garland Of Xmas Trees' by Sheila Hackett of Ely & District U3A

Full instructions for this project can be found in the October/November 2020 edition of Stitch Magazine.

I used a quarter circle of scrap cotton fabric for the base (I drew around a tea plate) and covered with scraps of fabric attached using a random variety of hand stitches. The same technique for the trunk using a square of fabric. These were folded over and sewn down, a ribbon attached and then strung into a garland.

'' by Sue Garrett of Towcester U3A

'' by Sue Garrett of Towcester U3A

I bought the panel from Amazon and all the other fabric locally. It will be winging its way to USA for Christmas.

'Cards' by Ros Maggs of Hawkhurst U3A

'Cards' by Ros Maggs of Hawkhurst U3A

I love making Christmas cards and I have had lots of time this year. I don’t use kits or computer downloads, I use a die cutting machine to make professional shapes and rubber or cling stamps that are inked up and can then be embossed using a fine powder that is heated and this produces a hard outline of your image to then colour in using pens or watercolours or chalks. Final embellishments can be beads, buttons, sequins, ribbon, raffia, etc but of course as it’s Christmas there tends to be quite a bit of “snow”, “frost” or glitter. Last year I sold quite a few to U3a members and the proceeds went to a charity called Unique that researches a rare genetic disorder called KBG Syndrome, which affects my little grandson.

'Easy Christmas Card' by Hilary Foster of Stowmarket U3A

'Easy Christmas Card' by Hilary Foster of Stowmarket U3A

An idea I'd seen in a magazine last year.

1. Cut out 2 isosceles triangles using Christmas wrapping paper
2. Fold down the middle and arrange on the card
3. Stitch onto a card along the fold line
4. Cut out small squares for the base of the tree.
5. Write a greeting or use stick-on words.

'Wreath' by Brenda MacPherson of St. Albans u3a

'Wreath' by Brenda MacPherson of St. Albans u3a

I made this wreath using a full polystyrene ring and also made half polystyrene rings for friends, most of the materials I used for this photo were scraps from charity shops cut to the same size (approximately 3 inches) using pinking shears then crunching up the centre and pinned it in the ring, I also bought Christmas bundle of materials for less then £10 from Amazon.

'Cushions' by Linda Solaiman of Seaham & Dustrict u3a

'Cushions' by Linda Solaiman of Seaham & Dustrict u3a

I made these cushions using the mosaic crochet technique which I learnt quite recently, this type of crochet is becoming more and more popular and there are a number of tutorials on YouTube. The pattern I used for the cushions is called Letitias Holiday CAL by Rosina Plane and can be found on Ravelry.

'Christmas cards' by Sue Oakley of Pershore & District u3a

'Christmas cards' by Sue Oakley of Pershore & District u3a

In March I began a lockdown journal – part diary, part art journal. I persuaded a close friend to do one of her own, and we catch up every so often with what we’ve been doing and we learn from each other.

I am now on journal four – and I’ve learnt new methods for journaling from watching videos on YouTube.

As a result of adding these new skills to my art activity, I’ve made our own Christmas cards and others to sell, to support my husband’s efforts on behalf of local charities.

I begin with one of my paintings or collages or Gelli prints, add homemade stencils and stamps, embellish the images with acrylic pens if they need it, then enhance the result digitally to provide a variety of images for the cards through cropping and colour changes. I print the images at a scale to fit commercially made card blanks and stick them on. This year every card is unique and different from every other. Next year I'm hoping I won't have lock-down to allow me to do that!

'Christmas scene' by Margaret Hobson of Aughton & Ormskirk u3a

'Christmas scene' by Margaret Hobson of Aughton & Ormskirk u3a

This an ostrich egg. The shell is emptied using a fish tank pump. The shell is approx 1/8 inch thick and holds the equivalent of 30 hens eggs.

An oval opening us cut through the empty shell using an electric hobby drill and then hinged to create the front platform. The inside is decorated using a Victorian scene Christmas card to create the "street", bathroom sealant for snow and miniature figurines. On the platform, a mirror is used to create the frozen pond and surrounded with "snow".

The base is a cake board and the Christmas trees are cake decorations. The outside of the egg has Holly transfers applied.

'Painted stones' by Sylvia Rose of Gainsborough & District u3a

'Painted stones' by Sylvia Rose of Gainsborough & District u3a

My hobby is painting stones, they sometimes have a theme, Christmas, Halloween, wildlife, but anything goes really. I belong to a Facebook group called "Love Rocks in Lincs" Sometimes I give my stones to special friends, some have been sold for charity, but mostly I just leave them for people to find when I am out and about, I hope they brighten someone's day. If the finder puts a photo and message on Facebook that is always nice to have some feedback. Recently I had a count up and so far I have painted around 750, it is a very inexpensive pastime and I find it very relaxing.