Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Everybody, I hope 2014 brings you a lot of happy times and plenty of time to make things!

Like a lot of people I’ve made a few bits and pieces as gifts and decorated my (now mostly eaten) Christmas cake in the run up to Christmas. Despite having a good camera I’ve been RUBBISH at photographing my creations though; more concerned in getting them wrapped and sent off. Here are the few that I’ve managed to snap.

Firstly our Christmas cake….

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And my very clever nearly-7-year-old’s creation; isn’t it brilliant!

 

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A little felted penguin brooch… (I made a few brooches and completely forgot to take pictures, oops!)

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A crocheted Captain Jack Sparrow (the friend who I made this for posted this on Facebook otherwise I wouldn’t have this!)

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And a crocheted Cthulu for my future-brother-in-law, I snapped this picture just as he opened it so it doesn’t show much. Sorry!!

cthuluPerhaps my New Year’s resolution for 2014 should be to take more pictures!

 

Autumn Felt Garland

Autumn garlandGarlands are a super easy way to make beautiful decorations and they really couldn’t be simpler to make. This is how I made the felt garland in the picture;

1. Cut a pile of leaf shapes from felt in various autumnal colours (you can easily find leaf templates online but I cut my leaves out free hand).

2. Sew down the centre of your first leaf. When you have reached the opposite end of the leaf feed the next leaf under the foot of your sewing machine and sew down the middle of that leaf.

3. Repeat, varying the colour of the leaves as you go.

4. Once you run out of leaves continue sewing for a few inches to make it easier to hang your garland.

And that’s it; the same method can be used to create a garland of any theme that you can imagine. I have made paper garlands before by recycling old magazines with colourful pictures and sewing several layers together at once for a more 3D effect.

Let me know if you give it a go!

TTFN.

 

Well hello there strangers…

I really haven’t been making very much over the past several months and had serious laptop issues preventing me from posting easily… That and laziness of course. And the fact that Autumn & Winter are much more natural crafty times for me.

HOWEVER; my wonderful hubby has bought me a lovely new laptop and I’ve been getting my crochet hooks/ needle felting mat/ felt bag out occasionally again so I’m going to be posting some of this year’s creations once I start being productive.

I will also be organising a School Christmas Fayre AND a Christmas Bazaar for a preschool over the coming weeks so may be feeling festive a tad earlier than a lot of people. Who am I kidding; in the crafty world we tend to start on Christmas months ago; I’m LATE!

TTFN, back soon!

Christmas Countdown; 25 sleeps…. The stockings

Here I am, cheating again! I made stockings for my children over 3 years ago when Logan was a baby but am unabashedly proud of them so thought I would share them here….

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Since we took them down from the attic last weekend Lyra has cuddled hers in bed every night; she’s always an appreciative recipient of anything that I care to make. I wonder what she will think of her homemade presents?!

And that is going to be the theme of my countdown for December; homemade Christmas gifts as well as the occasional decoration. To prevent spoiling surprises I will share some pictures from last Christmas too as some people may otherwise stumble upon something for them!!

Christmas countdown; 29 sleeps… Time to make the Christmas cake!

 

I am pretty much unable to fiddle with a recipe… I started with Nigella’s classic Christmas cake from “Nigella Christmas” and changed it. I added more almonds, orange juice mixed with my own homemade apple liqueur, self raising flour rather than plain and different measurements of everything. Then I made it in a different way too; steeping the dried fruit in the juice & liqueur mixed with the sugar, almond extract and treacle….. I melted the butter so it was very soft but not liquid and beat that in with the eggs before folding in the dry ingredients (she used a creaming method)

2 1/4 hours of baking and the cake was done and the house is smelling deliciously festive. have you made our Christmas cake yet? I can’t wait for a taste of mine on Christmas Eve!

Christmas Countdown; 34 sleeps…. Quilted advent calendar.

I would be the first to admit that I really don’t have the patience for quilting; It’s hard work  and  time consuming and so on. However for the past few years I have wanted to make a very special advent calendar, made from fabric taken from my children’s old Christmas clothes, and this will involve quilting. Unsurprisingly I have ended up putting it off until it’s simply too late each year; once it’s December you need a calendar up and running so the children have ended up with those shop-bought chocolate ones. Not the same…. Until now.

Yes that’s right, folks, this particular project has been 2 days in the making and resulted in one of my sewing machines’ pedal almost catching fire. The pressure was intense. The embroidered numbers are still to be finished. BUT I think it’s fabulous and am so pleased with it so with no further ado;

Tadaaah!

This picture doesn’t really show its size (just under 70 x 70cm) and the light doesn’t do the bright & festive colours justice. Yes I know my stitching isn’t the straightest but it WAS done primarily on my 1906 vintage Singer so I was guiding the folds through the machine & trying to keep it straight one handed… Not bad for a first attempt at quilting really. I can’t wait to get all of the numbers embroidered & fill its 25 little pockets with goodies ready for December!

Do let me know what you think & share your own advent calendars if you have made one.

Christmas Countdown; 38 sleeps…

Today’s festive offering…..

Felt “paper” chains? Well it’s not a challenge if you have a hot glue gun….

Cut felt into 2cm by 10cm strips and hot glue the first into a circle. loop another strip (maybe in a different colour) through the first circle and then hot glue that….

 

Carry on (changing colours as you fancy) until the chain is as long as you want.

Simple!