Let fire inspire

Captivated by the magic of working with glass, Rebecca Weddell creates beautiful and unique lampwork beads and offers a range of beadmaking courses.

Filtering by Tag: Secret Santa

#CraftBlogClub Secret Santa 2: Opening Up!

This is Chapter 2 of my Secret Santa post - click here if you haven’t yet seen Chapter 1.

A fabulous Christmas - with a handcrafted surprise under the tree…

There were quite a few presents under the tree on Christmas morning, including one I had no clue who it was from! The week before Christmas the postman brought a mysterious envelope to the Let Fire Inspire workshop… and I knew immediately that it must be my #CraftBlogClub Secret Santa pressie!

We were away with family for Christmas, staying in a gorgeous rented beach house in a glorious spot at Selsey, West Sussex. The owners had really spoiled us by decorating the house with festive garlands, swags, fairy lights and a Christmas tree, and the view was absolutely spectacular. My Secret Santa pressie was added to the stash.


Early Christmas morning saw low tide, and Mr LFI and I hot-footed it (those feet wouldn’t stay hot for long, mind!) down to the water in rolled-up pyjamas and Santa hats for a yuletide paddle - it was an absolute hoot, with a great deal of giggly splashing involved. To my regret neither of us took our phones or cameras with us, so you’ll just have to take my word for it and instead enjoy laughing at this picture from our Christmas card shoot near Normans Bay across the border in East Sussex a few weeks before that… brrrr!


Pressies waited until Christmas evening, and when I opened my Secret Santa envelope I knew exactly who it was from! I tipped onto my lap a beautiful gift bag containing the cutest piece of chainmail I have ever encountered - Oscar the Owl, who had been made by the fabulous Tracey Arnold of Tracemaille Jewellery! You’ll find Tracey and her lovely work @tracemaille on Twitter.

Tracey and I know each other in real life too - she was a student on one of the first courses I taught at Surrey Jewellery School a few years ago, and then followed up with two courses with me at the Let Fire Inspire workshop. It’s been lovely to reconnect with her on Twitter this year - and I’m going to be staying in touch!

Back to the matter in hand - let me introduce you to Oscar!


Oscar is a superb example of what I love about Tracey’s chainmail work - she selects such vibrant colours and clever designs. He isn’t just made up of rings - he’s also got a gorgeous pair of flippy flappy copper wings, and I’m delighted to report that my workshop keys haven’t gone missing ONCE since I clipped him on to the bunch!

Oscar and I are already an excellent team - thank you so much Tracey for being my Secret Santa! I’m absolutely thrilled!

This is Chapter 2 of my Secret Santa post - click here if you haven’t yet seen Chapter 1.

#CraftBlogClub Secret Santa 1: The Reveal!

This is Chapter 1 of my Secret Santa post - click here to read Chapter 2.

Plotting, detective work and a surprise under the tree!


At the beginning of November last year I was working on a really exciting project that brought me a lot of focus and a great deal of fun in the run-up to Christmas!

Tuesday evenings have been brilliant since I was introduced to #CraftBlogClub, which is a non-selling craft chat hour for creative bloggers on Twitter every Tuesday from 8pm to 9pm. Even when it clashed with the Great British Bake-Off it’s been something I’ve looked forward to and enjoyed being part of. So when I heard about the ‘Secret Santa’ I signed up immediately!

Kay at #CraftBlogClub HQ messaged me to say that my Secret Santee was to be Christine of @CraftyismBlog - so I set to work in finding out all I could in order to be able to make her something she would like. This bit is probably better explained in the letter I sent to Christine with her gift the week before Christmas!

Page 1 of the letter

Dear Christine,

Happy Christmas from your #CraftBlogClub Secret Santa! This is page 1 – I’ve put page 2 at the bottom of the box for you to read AFTER you’d opened the pressies.

I had such a great time deciding what to give you. I put my spy hat on, and got out my improbably-large magnifying glass, rolled up my sleeves and did all I could to find out what sort of things you like to do, and what colours and patterns you like.

Well, you foiled me right from the start – it was so funny! I posted on #CraftBlogClub with a general question about colour – with the cunning plan of course of finding out what YOUR favourite colour was! Now I’m well-armed for future Secret Santas with what everybody else’s favourite colour is – but you hadn’t seen my post that evening! I had to get devious…..

Twitter and your blog of course provided me with lots of information. I loved a giveaway you’d entered, where Stylecraft Yarns were asking their followers what their favourite space-dyed yarn was in a collection of five, and what they’d call it. You liked the purple, red and orange one best. You said you’d call it ‘Tutti frutti’.

The fabulous book reviews on your blog gave me lots of lovely words you’d used to describe them – including bright, bold, colourful, modern, floral, creative, fun, doodles, detailed – and many more.

What I also loved was the pictures of the projects you’d tackled – so on the hunt for more colour references I noticed that you’d painted a pineapple and some flowers; you’d drawn some leaves, you’d made a crochet square and some small puff flowers. And oh boy you went for it in terms of colours – yellow, orange, green, black, red, blue, teal, cream, purple, pink, coral, white….

Your other blog posts gave me the word ‘creative’ again and again and again – I’m thinking of you as ‘Creative Christine’! And I noticed very early on that Creative Christine loves to crochet!

I wanted to give you a gift containing different things.
1.     Something for you that I’ve made using my craft of lampwork glass beadmaking.
2.     Something for you to use in your craft that I’ve made using my craft.
3.     Something that you and your craft have inspired me to make.
4.     Something that I have bought from another crafter.

What could it be?

What could it be?

I knew those number stickers would come in handy one day…

I knew those number stickers would come in handy one day…

Page 2 of the letter

So, here they are.

1.     A lampwork glass bead bracelet in colours and patterns I hope you’ll love. You’ll see I went for that first ‘tutti frutti’ colour combo I’d come across in my detective work!

2.     A pair of crochet stitch markers – in my research into what accessories crocheters use, I found a variety of styles of stitch markers. (I wonder if you ever use that sort of thing in your crochet projects? I haven’t needed to mark anything in my granny-square exploits so far.) These are oxidised sterling silver, each with a little lampwork bead. You could even wear them as earrings if you like – the wire parts were actually designed for that purpose – I picked these components because I hope that they’re easily openable and closeable, and won’t catch on your yarn.

Number 1: Tutti frutti bracelet a la Christine

Number 1: Tutti frutti bracelet a la Christine

Number 2: Crochet stitch markers

Number 2: Crochet stitch markers

3.     A GRANNY SQUARE THAT I MADE! You’ll notice that it’s unfinished – I’m so sorry, I don’t have a darning needle so its ends are flapping free – but I thought you’d appreciate its newbie naivety! This is my favourite component of your pressie, because finding out about you made me want to find out about crochet, and to have a go! I have made quite a few granny squares now – both ‘simple’ ones and ‘solid’ ones – and the bit I struggle with EVERY round is joining on to the previous round (or however you put it). Anyway, this orange square is proudly wonky, but represents the inspiration you’ve given me to try your craft. I’ll keep going with it and see how I get on!

Number 3: My very own crochet granny square!

Number 3: My very own crochet granny square!

Stitch markers in action.

Stitch markers in action.

4.     A gift for you I ordered from Clare at Little Conkers, so you can keep track of all your ideas for crochet projects. I wanted to support another crafter as part of this project, and Clare had just what I wanted.

Number 4: Clare from Little Conkers made this notebook for Christine

Number 4: Clare from Little Conkers made this notebook for Christine

Happy Christmas Christine! Love Secret Santa xxx

Happy Christmas Christine! Love Secret Santa xxx

Christine, I hope you’ve enjoyed opening the parcel and reading this letter. It’s been such a lot of fun doing it, and I’ve loved having YOU as my Secret Santee!

I hope you’re having a wonderful festive break, and here’s to lots more crafting and craft-blogging in 2019!

Love Rebecca xxx

This project was a fantastic way to round off a super year at Let Fire Inspire. Roll on next Christmas…..! Thank you so much to Kay at Craft Blog Club for including me!

This post is Chapter 1 of my Secret Santa post - click here to read Chapter 2.

You can read Christine’s own post about her Secret Santa experience here


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