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Year of the Fire Chicken coaster

Learn how to make this coaster using bead embroidery to celebrate 2017, the Year of the Fire Chicken
YearoftheFireChickenCoaster
The Chinese New Year is celebrated this year on January 28th. Unlike the western zodiac, the Chinese zodiac assigns an animal to each year in a repeating 12-year cycle. And while I don’t claim to know much about the Chinese zodiac, I’ve discovered that it is a rather complex classification scheme that assigns not just annual animals but monthly, daily, and even hourly animals, plus associated elements (metal, air, fire, water, earth). In addition, the elements are associated with yin (female) or yang (male) energy.

The year that is beginning on January 28, 2017, is the year of the rooster and its associated element is yin fire. Since the yin fire is a female energy, some sources are calling 2017 the Year of the Fire Chicken (rather than the Year of the Rooster), or the Red Fire Chicken, which I happen to think is a wonderfully evocative image and I thought it would be fun to make something to commemorate the year.

My first attempt was a very amusing 3D chicken that could have been an earring or a pendant (though it needs a bit of refinement) but I didn’t think I would ever wear it. I like chickens – don’t get me wrong – it would just have to be a very special chicken for me to wear one. So I chose, instead, to make a beverage coaster featuring an image of a chicken, all decked out in fiery red, orange, and yellow but with a bit of blue and green for contrast. Made in the most basic bead-embroidery technique — beaded backstitch — this project is not difficult to make, if a bit time-consuming.

Interested in making your own Fire Chicken coaster? Just download the step-by-step instructions in the PDF above. If you’re not familiar with beaded backstitch, check out our How-To info to get comfortable with the technique before you get started. I’m not going to lie – this coaster took awhile (probably 15 hours, including design time) – but I’m really happy with it and will certainly use it in 2017 and beyond.

FIND MORE: holiday , home decor , embroidery

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