God's Eyes (Ojos de Dios) are Beautiful Frames for Natural Treasures (Includes Tutorial for Reverse Weave Technique)

God's eyes make great frames for displaying those treasures we all seem to bring home in our pockets from trips to the beach, forest or lake. 

But also consider taking along a portable craft studio so your children can make treasure frames "on location". Pack your favorite tote with 4 ply yarns left over from projects, a little glue (Aileen's Tacky Glue or Elmer's White Glue work great) and a pair of scissors and thread and needle.  Let the kids find their own twigs and sticks to use - and if their sticks are a little crooked - so much the better!   (I've become quite attached to the "crooked" god's eyes I created for this post!)

Almost any little "pocket treasure" can be either glued or tied on to the god's eye - pebbles, sea shells, pine cones, bird feathers, driftwood, dried moss....

A god's eye treasure frame is just a modified standard god's eye. If you have never made a god's eye, check out my tutorial for making god's eyes and make a few for practice using twigs or dowels.

The trick for making a god's eye into a frame is to weave the middle part of the god's eye "backyards" and "under" the sticks.  This creates a recessed area between the eye and the outer "frame".

Here's how to do it.

Begin by weaving the eye just as shown in the tutorial.  The eye should be about 1" across. Weave the eye in a counter clock wise direction.

Now, instead of bringing the yarn over the top of the stick, wrapping twice and then carrying it to the next stick as you have been doing, bring the yarn from the back of the stick, and carry it in a clockwise direction to the next stick.  Bring it behind the stick, wrap twice and carry it from behind the stick, clockwise to the next stick. 

You are basically weaving "upside down".  Turn the piece over if you don't believe me!

Continue weaving until you are ready to create the "frame".  Be sure the area you are weaving is wide enough to accommodate your "treasure".

If you are using a contrasting color yarn for the "frame" tie the two yarns together with a small knot.

Begin weaving counter clockwise again, now bringing the yarn over the top of the stick, wrapping twice before moving to the next stick.

Continue weaving to the desired width of your frame.  A frame 5 to 7 yarns wide works great for god's eyes that are 6" to 7" across.

Now you can glue your treasure onto the eye and yarn wrapped sticks as I have done with the sand dollar above. (I hang mine on my tree each year!)

You can also tie or sew your treasure on to the god's eye as I have done with my little bird feather collection in the first photo of this post.  Because I am bound by convention (can't help it - it's in my genes) I have tied the feathers in the center. But you don't have to!  And neither do your children! Put your treasures anywhere you like!

I have a whole cluster of these hanging on a wall.  But they also would be a great addition to your Christmas tree as a memory ornament

Or, maybe each member of the family could "frame" a secret treasure from the trip and exchange them during the holidays - perhaps at an advent candle lighting at which each family member shares their favorite memory of the year.

Just plain old god's eyes?  Sure!  Have your children find a few crooked or twisted sticks or twigs and weave away!  As I said, I am totally falling in love with all my weirdly shaped god's eyes made from bent and curved twigs. 

This one is concave - very three dimensional.  I tried to show that more clearly, but no matter how many angles I tried shooting - still got flat results.  Sorry.  But... you could try making one yourself using two sticks with good curves in them so they form a "bowl". Mine is about 9" across.  Maybe I will put dried leaves in it this fall!

Something I should share - natural twigs often have bumps where side branches once grew.  Weaving around these will create interesting openings in your weaving.  

Another fun, simple thing to do with god's eyes - tie your twigs together at extreme angles instead of at right angles.  You will wind up creating very arty, contemporary looking god's eyes

Your kids will have fun weaving on twigs they find themselves. Challenge them to find the most twisted, curvy twigs they can find. It's hard to predict exactly what the design will look like when completed.  Finding out is half the fun!

I actually challenged myself to some "Extreme God's Eyes" at Halloween!  Not for the faint hearted but I loved the results.

Wood beads can be added to the frame - or even hand made polymer clay beads!  Or rolled paper beads. Here is how to add them.

 

Pam! Thanks for staying on my

Pam! Thanks for staying on my case - the July theme is up! http://www.geekxnerd.com/2009/07/handmade-holiday-crusade-announcement.html - inspired by your freezer jam post :)

Great idea Pam.

Great idea Pam.

I have never made one of

I have never made one of these. This method of framing something in them is something I've never heard of. This is great!

Whoo! What fun!! I haven't

Whoo! What fun!! I haven't made any of these since I was in Brownies. That was about a million years ago, so it's been a while.

We made God's Eyes as ornaments much like yours, but we also played around with different lengths of sticks and ended up making larger wall hangings. Some were quite involved and had leather thongs hanging off three of the points (if the God's Eye was hung diagonally with the the sticks facing the 4 points of the compass). The ends of the thongs were knotted to hold dangling beads, feathers and small shells. Instead of thongs some girls used ribbons.

Seeing your demo for mking bowl shaped God's Eyes leads me to think you could actually make bigger bowls to hold things, like pine cones or a collection of semi precious rocks and pebbles, beach glass, dried flowers or pot-pourri... whatever. These would look great out on the porch or at the summer cabin, too!

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