Christmas Angels 2021

3 Angels

No, not exactly miniatures, but still a fun set of projects. First off, the Angels.

Growing up, we had a very traditional Christmas tree that was decorated each year. Christmas was always a big deal, and the tree was covered in ornaments from our birth years, along with many other ornaments collected over the years. As we all grew up and left home, my mom would bag up our set of ornaments and give them to us so we could decorate our own trees. On top of the tree was an angel that was likely from the 60’s. The same angel was on our tree every year I can remember. She was a child or cherub angel, in a gauzy dress lit from beneath, with a star hovering over her head that was also lit. She had lights for hands, and was only maybe six or seven inches tall. One year, she quit lighting. The bulbs had all been replaced, but something in her wiring was broken, and she was dark. She stood atop the tree that year, in darkness, and it just didn’t feel right. I convinced my mom to give me the angel and I would remake her into something taller, more beautiful and modern, lighted, and I would save the star to reinstall above her head.  Sadly, my mom passed away the next year, and she never got to see her angel.

I knew I needed to fulfill my promise to her, so I finished the angel, and gave her to my dad the following Christmas. He was overjoyed to have something that my mom would have treasured. Before he passed away, he gave the angel back to me, and she now stands at the top of my tree every year.

I couldn’t just make a simple angel for my mother, however, so I started shopping and researching. I had some beautiful crushed red velvet; I knew that would be her dress. My mom always had red lights and red glass balls on her tree, so I knew red would be her choice. I bought pre-made porcelain doll parts, acrylic craft cones, and lots of lace, trim and sequins. I wanted her to be classy and refined, just as my mother was, in a beautiful, glittering gown. I bought a couple angels, just to see how they were wired and lighted. I then found fiber optic angels with glittering wings and accents. I knew I had all I needed, so I got to work. I used the wings and lighting from a pre-made angel, then stripped everything else off. I installed the wings into a new cone base, added the doll parts I had purchased, and then made a custom dress out of the fabrics and trims I had. Lastly, I installed the star with a light behind it.

Years later, I decided to make angels for my siblings. This took a couple years to complete, as I was going through a divorce, and then the pandemic canceled our traditional gathering So I knew 2021 was the year to complete the angels and give them to my family.

I followed a similar format, I used pre-made angel wings with fiber optics, then added porcelain doll parts and custom gowns. The first is in gold and peacock colors, as one of my sisters has several peacock related items on her tree. She has a bodice made of fabric that mom owned. The second uses the same crushed red velvet I used on my angel, with decorations that my mom had in her stash. The third is a tall angel in gold and white, the overdress fabric was some that my mom owned. Each angel is unique, and each has ties back to our mom.

The other thing I decided to do this year in honor of our mother was to complete an ornament kit she had in her stash. There are 42 ornaments in total (I only made two of the candy canes, the kit came with 12 of those), two of each design. Each ornament had to be cut out of colored felt and stitched together. Each took several hours, I would do them in pairs while watching TV in the evenings. Everything is stitched… all the sequins, beading, embroidery and different felt colors are stitched together, there was no glue involved. I started these MONTHS before Christmas, and I am glad I did. I took them to a family gathering at Thanksgiving, and let my siblings, their spouses, their children and all the cousins choose one. I came home with just a couple left over which I gave to close friends. They were a joy to make, and I have now vowed to complete some of my mom’s other ornament projects each year. Check back next year to see what I do!

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