A Scandinavian Christmas

Despite the fact that tomtes are associated with Christmas, I’ve never used my Redbalifrog Tomte in a Christmas combination. So, I decided to give it a shot this year.

I originally thought that I’d make a bracelet with my Tomte and Santa beads. But, when I was making my list of Christmas ideas, I remembered an adorable Scandinavian Christmas set I saw last year that included a gnome, tree, and small straw animal. I had seen the straw animals before and always thought that there were cute, but didn’t know what they were called. Well, it turns out that it’s a Julbock (Christmas goat) and they are associated with tomte. How convenient. So, I changed my plan and figured that I would try my hand at making a Julbock to give my Tomte a friend. After all, who doesn’t love a Christmas goat?

To keep the proportions of the Julbock right, I knew early on that he’d end up larger than some of my more recent beads. I wasn’t too worried since Tomte is one of my larger beads, but I was running low on metal clay. I made the torso and part of the head before I ran out. I went to order more only to find out that the prices had gone up about 50% since I last bought it! I checked another store and found the same increase. And another. I finally found a store through Amazon that was still selling it at a decent price. But, it shipped from Japan and had an estimated four to eight weeks for delivery. It was already almost the middle of November. I finally chose price over proximity, crossed my fingers that the four week estimate was more accurate, and placed my order. At least it gave me time to research the other parts of my Scandinavian Christmas combo.

A quick Google Images search unearthed picture after picture of red and white decorations, and a crisp, clean, minimalist aesthetic. I had an overwhelming urge to curl up next to a fire with a blanket and a book. Maybe one about decluttering. I also began to wish that I could make a little nordic sweater, but I didn’t think that I’d have time to make two beads once the metal clay arrived.

The clay arrived the first week of December and I set about completing my Julbock. The legs were the hardest to attach – I kept breaking them off while trying to do other parts of the bead. I’m getting used to having to reattach parts of my beads as I make them! The rest of the bead came together pretty easily, although the tail looks a bit more like a rabbit’s than a goat’s. Ah, well. The last thing that I did was scratch the surface to replicate the texture of the straw. It’s odd, because usually I’m worried about making a bead smooth enough, and this time I was worried about it being too smooth. I did some cross-hatching on the antlers, but was afraid of breaking them so they aren’t as textured as I would have liked.


I originally planned on a bangle, but I felt like I need more glass to balance the silvers, so I switched to a chain. Then I needed more silvers to fill out the bracelet chain. I added Ball of Yarn as a nod to the nordic sweater that I didn’t make. Stars were another motif that ran through many of the reference pictures that I found, so I popped Sparkling Star on. Surprisingly, given the name, Nordic Tree was the last to be added.

My newest lock also makes an appearance here. The small balls on the My Sweet Stories lock remind me of berries, making it perfect for a Christmas combination!

He’s a bit goofy looking, but he makes me smile!

What things make you smile at Christmas?

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