A branch of my family no longer exchange gifts in the traditional Christmas way. We draw names and make a homemade gift for that person. We've been doing this for about 10 years now and I love this tradition. The gifts I have received from others are cherished for the thought and work that my loved one put into making it just for me. I also love making my gift each year. Its funny, we select the name at Christmas and you have the whole year to decide and work on your gift, but we all tend to wait to the last minute to execute our gift. For me this is not about finding the time to make the gift. Its about thinking about what the person is into, exploring all the things I could make for them, and then trying to narrow it down to one thing. This year I was making for a great aunt. I really struggled to decide what to make her. I thought about jewelry, but my uncle does some really nice beadwork so I didn't want to go along that line. I thought about painting her a picture, but I dont know their decorating style or the colors of the roooms in their house. I thought about a garden whirl-i-gig and really liked that idea, but I couldn't quite figure out how to build the mechanics for that one. I settled on making her some wine stoppers. I found the blanks at Hobby Lobby. Their intended for fused glass, which I've made some with in the past. I wanted to use polymer clay. I have huge piles of canes that I've made through the years and they just sit there. Some of them are really spectacular, I just dont use them to make jewelry anymore and haven't done many other projects that incorporate them.
I coated the metal blanks in white glue and let that dry so the clay would adhere to the metal. I then chose my designs. The round stopper is just a slice of a fairly large cane. I wrapped it with a black and white striped edging to make it more polished and then stuck a crystal in the center to give it a sparkle. The oval one, I used a basketweave cane to lay down a background. I then sliced rosebuds and leaves and pieced them together to form an arrangement. On one side I added some slices from a daisylike flower. I again added some crystals to make it shine.
These were fun to make and since I had the canes already made, very easy. I like the circle one best, but the other is growing on me. It was fun to watch my aunt open the gift. I think she likes them.