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Wishes for 2009

New Year's eve. It's still dark, a bit before 6AM and I'm making soup. Red pepper soup. Tonight we will be having a progressive dinner with friends from the neighborhood. The first course is at our home. This is a fun gathering, it includes children, and that makes me happy.

This year the holiday celebrations were so plentiful and we are all feeling a bit tired. But we don't always have reasons to celebrate, so when they come along we need to embrace them.

So to you, my friends, I wish many reasons to celebrate in this coming year. Many opportunities to be with family and good friends. Time for creativity and time to pamper yourselves,

and Peace.


philosophical reasoning.

My philosophy has always been ... what if on Christmas day you should decide you desperately need a mauve pearl . . .

or you feel you may burst without a gold-filled roundel . . .

or, my goodness, you can't live another minute without a teal colored Delica bead?

My point being that you must be ready for any artistic craving at all times!

You have peeked at my "what-if-in-the-middle-of-the-night-I-want" fiber stash,

and now I'm giving you just a tiny peek into my "I-must-be-prepared" jewelry making cache.

That's my philosophy and I'm sticking to it!


Happy whatever!

Whatever you celebrate,
Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa,
family, love, peace,
whatever you celebrate,
may all your hopes and wishes
come true.


a river runs through it...

Last night, while watching Top Chef, I did a little cooking of my own. In the pot I put river stones, beads of peridot Jasper, gold-filled wire and chain and out came a delicate pair of earrings.




First I would like to thank all of you who participated in this blog giveaway! The response was amazing! You came up with great ideas for How To-s. You will keep me busy for quite awhile.


We are working on a new How-To (which we started before the giveaway). Next we will tackle the definite, overwhelming, absolute majority request for a How-To which is color.

Oh, and BTW, this has been so much fun that we've decided to have a monthly giveaway. Stay tuned!


Alexander Calder's Jewelry

Looking at jewelry made by Calder in the 1930s-1950s makes me think that we have no stake on modern. Look at what this man did seventy years ago!

Visiting the exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in fabulous New York is definitely on my "must do" list!



Welcome to our first ever Contest Giveaway!

So here's the deal:

On my website (here) we have a "How To" section. We will be adding new "How to"s regularly but we would like to know what YOU would like to find there. Is there a technique you would like to learn or refine? Is there a stitch you are dying to try? Send us a note explaining what you are interested in and guess what? ... not only will we look to produce a "How To" on the subject, we will also enter you into a contest to win a complete kit of my design Lavender Silk Bangle which I designed for Kreinik. It's a great kit, it comes in it's own box, has instructions, charts, threads, UltraSuede, needles and closures.

The winner will be chosen randomly, not dependent on your suggested "How To". Just 'cause you care enough about needlepoint, jewelry making and us!

You can send us your suggestion in the comment section of this blog or just write to us at orna@ornadesign.com. Please add your email address so we can contact you for sending prize or if we have questions about your suggested "How To".

(We promise not to use it for anything else).

The deadline for this contest is December 17th, 2008 @ noon.



It's been too long since I played around with color. My worktable is stacked high with papers, charts, threads, jewelry tools, it's a mess. I find this is when it is most appropriate to play.
I bought these William Sonoma plates years ago. They are bright and carefree. Perfect for playtime!


Quick, quick, quick

I'll be back later today but I HAD to show you a blog I came across this morning (Nina will be late to school if I don't get up off my computer chair...)

Check this out: AMAZING

Helle Jorgensen, you are an amazing artist!


It's been a year.

I can hardly believe it has been a year since I lost my father. I may not burst out in tears as often, but the loss becomes harder to bear with each day. I miss him so very much.

After he died last year, I came home and sat down to design a piece for the Virginia Stitch For The Cure event. It was quite profound, designing for the fight against cancer after having lost my father to this disease. The design poured out in one day; it just came right off the needle. I called it GIBOR, hero, in Hebrew.
The workshop in Virginia took place last month.

Today I am bringing the design to you.

It will be available on the website (here). It comes in four colorways. I also designed a little extra piece, A Flower for the Cure, which is included in the instruction package and in the kit.

Reuben Borenstein 1930-2007


Cleveland, here we come!

We are mostly packed. Lola just left for the birdie-sitter. We are heading out tonight for our long drive to Cleveland and I am trying to be positive. In fact, I'm positive it's going to be a loooooong drive.
But we'll be together, Reid, Shiri, Orin, Nina and moi.

I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy this time with your loved ones, eat, drink and be happy!

Oh, and please don't let me forget the cheesecakes at home!


At the end of the day.

It's Sunday evening and I'm reflecting on an eventful and exciting weekend.

On Saturday morning Shiri came. The two sisters hugged, kissed and then chatted about American Girl Doll stuff.

While Nina went to her Cambodian dance class, Shiri and I went to meet with the wedding flower lady and played around with vases, votives and flower possibilities. You can imagine how much fun that is for me!

We had a house full of guests for Saturday dinner and this morning we woke up bright and early and headed out to Nina's first Figure Skating competition.

You want to hear how ridiculous mothers can be? In Nina's level there were only two competitors, Nina and another little cutie. What that means is that Nina could either get a gold or a silver medal, right? She couldn't leave without a medal and she couldn't leave with a bronze medal. She could ONLY leave with either a gold or silver one. So please tell me why was my heart beating in my throat, why did I want to snatch her away from all this and run all the way back home with her, why did I feel that with every passing minute I was loosing a year of my life?

Well, she did beautifully, very poised and so happy. In the audience she had a row full of love: her mommy, daddy, sister and then... her teacher came from hours away with his two sons, and her good friend Helen and her mom were there cheering her on as well. When she was done with her routine she beamed over at us and waved and then took a very cute curtsy for the judges. She got a Silver medal!

While I was busy with all this, my very good friend and designer,
Michael Boren, was teaching my piece GIBOR at the annual Stitch for the Cure event in Virginia.

Gibor means hero in Hebrew. The piece was designed in memory of my father. Michael told the participants the story of my father's amazing life. He taught the design and I received rave reviews from participants at the event about Michael and how he introduced them to my father and to my design.
What a friend! Thank you, my very dear Michael!


We have discussed what a sucker I am for a good gift wrap, right? Starting tomorrow, all our orders are going out in a dark green reusable fabric bag, the perfect size for carrying your projects. Our signature green tissue paper has been toned down a bit from the lime green to what they call the aloe green (I'm not making this up!).

I want each and every customer who opens up an Ornaments shipping box to find a beautiful presentation inside, one that will make you feel as if you have bought yourself a gift.

You deserve it!!


Wraps that are gifts

Boy, do I love a good gift wrap!

That is why I've decided to offer a new service: gift wrapping. Each of the gift wraps will include specialty paper, ribbon, and really pretty embellishments. Each and every gift wrap will be a one-of-a-kind.

It's been quite a few years since I've been able to play with my metals, stones and gems and I'm so pleased to come to you with new designs just in time for some holiday fun. There are some bountiful bracelets, some funky rings and some necklaces that will brighten up your outfits. All the new jewelery pieces can be found on the website in the Shop section. Look under METAL.

...and have you checked out the new FREE design? Complete detailed instructions, charts and our signature colored Master Chart available for you to download in the How To section of our website. Remember to check it out here and take advantage of the Thread Pack and Embellishment Pack designed for this piece available in the SHOP section as well.


Saturday with the Mainline Stitchers

Thank you, my friends, for a delightful couple of days!


FREE design and keeping my promises.

Back here I promised a free design for all. I'm keeping my promise.

It's up on the website, complete instructions, color Master Chart, the whole shebang! Check it out in the How To section of the website.

I keep thinking of ways you can use this design. Of course there is brooch, and a pendant. How about making a holiday gift card for someone dear to you? And then I thought, you could position it as a square (vs. diamond) and then stitch a long row of them; a belt! A photo frame stitched out of rows of these, (maybe 7 x 5 squares)? A closure for an envelope evening bag. Three of these n a row make a beautiful bookmark...

OK, I need to stop!

Enjoy, my friends.


The Presidency

This morning I came into Nina's room to get her school clothes ready and found this taped to her closet door...

Obviously Barak Obama has given much hope to the younger generation of this country. Some have even taken it all the way...

Now we just need to change the law that requires Presidents to be born in the USA, otherwise we may have to disappoint the young lady.


Rings and Things.

I'm always searching for new ways to take my labors of love "on the road" with me. Jewelry is a great way.

I was so excited when I came across these findings, rings and pins ready for some creative adornment. Working on a metal perforated base I embellished with interesting stitches, beads, pearls and stones.

This ring (above), UNDER THE SEA, has Bullion Knots, French Knots and carefully placed pearls and beads. It's easy to wear and always, always gets noticed and admired.

This one, ROCK GARDEN, uses the same two stitches placed in circles around a central stone and bead. Overdyed fibers give the bullion knots movement as the color travels and changes along the little worm-like creatures.

and the pin, DESERT CACTUS, goes perfectly with my favorite chartreuse coat.

These designs will be added to the shop on the website as soon as we complete the instructions. They are small projects with a big impact.


About This Blog

©Orna Willis
All images, text, and content on this site are the sole property of Orna Willis and may not be used, copied or transmitted without the express consent of Orna Willis. Any other inquiries please email me at orna@ornadesign.com

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