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  • Ellen Byron

Handmade Memories For a Christmas Tree

When I was in middle school, I developed a passion for needlework. Crewel, counted cross stitch, embroidery, needlepoint... I did it all. But there are only so many decorative pillows a teen - or her family - needs. So I found another outlet for my work: Christmas tree ornaments.

My early attempts were rudimentary, with homemade finishing.

As I got older, I got better.

My initial subjects were pretty much all Christmas-themed.

But then I realized that needlework was a wonderful way to commemorate important moments in my life. I needlepointed this Venice scene to remind my husband and me of our honeymoon in the Queen of the Adriatic.

I made a mini stocking for the birth of our daughter; another features cardinals, in honor of the St. Louis Cardinals, my husband's hometown baseball team. There's one for our family dogs and one that reminds me of the lakeside cottage in the Connecticut woods that my family owned for years.

I took a break from needlework to decoupage this ornament celebrating the publication of my first mystery novel, Plantation Shudders.

And I recently completed this needlepoint stocking as an homage to the state that inspires so much of my writing. (It's being turned into a mini stocking by my talented friend Suzanne as I write this.)

My handcrafted ornaments are like children - I couldn't bring myself to pick a favorite. But all are suffused with wonderful memories that I get to relive each season as we trim our family Christmas tree.

Happy holidays, dear readers! If you have a special ornament, handmade or not, in your collection, I would love to hear about it! SIGN UP FOR MY CAJUN COUNTRY NEWSLETTER OR POST A COMMENT IF YOU'VE ALREADY SIGNED UP TO BE ENTERED IN A CONTEST FOR THIS COUNTED CROSS-STITCH KIT AND FUN SWAG!

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