Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Advent tree- Tutorial

I'll never forget the look of sheer disappointment on my eldest son's face last year when I told him that "No, I wasn't joking, I hadn't bought him an Advent calendar." I had purposefully not done so for fear of patronising a fast maturing young man - How wrong could I have been?!

You forget that Christmas and the family things you do are so important to your children, almost ritualistic. Needless to say I hotfooted it to the nearest Tescos and came home proudly displaying my purchases, but the moment had gone.

It's going to be different this year! I made an Advent tree!

I scouted around my garden for a suitable candidate to donate it's branches and was amazed to find buds on, I think, (after researching), a Quince bush. The horticulturally minded amongst you may be able to offer advice on this one. But anyway I'm hoping they start to open up in the lead up to Christmas.

Remember the technique from yesterday? Well I used it to make these cute little bags to put on my tree. Lots of sewing around edges......

Can you see the other pieces of paper waiting patiently in the background?

......choosing colour schemes

and attaching handles.

Handles have been attached with a brad on each side

Careful to attach the handle to one side only to make room for your treats

I used my Big Shot and a Stampin' up Sizzlit die to punch out the numbers

 and glued them into place.

I filled the bags with little treats.......

and hung them on the tree.

After reading in a Christmas makey something or other, I rather like the idea of adding a little note to each day, personal to the boys reflecting on the year just passed, just something to make them smile, think or raise an eyebrow :)

Just in case you were wondering the gorgeous papers came from Stampin' Up, my favourite, in fact my only supplier of all things paper crafty. You can purchase them here.
I must apologise for the poor light in the photos today. I've waited for better, but sadly I don't think it's going to happen.

Before I pop off, I'd like to say a very warm welcome to a few new followers. It's lovely to have you along and I look forward to visiting your blogs soon :)

I wasn't feeling the remotest bit Christmassy but this make is definitely getting me in the mood. Why not have a go, I'd love to see your results.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Handmade Monday - Brown Paper Packages tied up with....

.......ribbon actually.

Last week I was packaging up a bundle of my goodies for a lovely customer when 'eeekkk!' I realised I had run out of my usual packing materials. I think my brain went into overdrive and I scanned around my work area for suitable alternatives, none to be seen, until I spotted my roll of brown wrapping paper.

PING! Light bulb moment. I wonder what would happen if I tried to sew with paper......?

I hastily cut out two rectangles of brown paper, threaded my machine up with black thread and machined two rows around three sides of the rectangle, using uneven stitching, to form a very simple bag.

I trimmed the edges with pinking scissors as a finishing touch. The happy reception this simple little bag got set my mind thinking and so today's Handmade Monday is a 'gift bag' using this technique.

So...... machine two rows around three sides of two rectangular pieces of brown paper, cut to your required size and then trim with pinking scissors...

Don't forget to leave the opening!

Punch two holes in the top.

Thread through a  ribbon.

Tie and  add a colourful gift tag.

You could of course stamp an image onto the bag......

Apologies for poor photos today

.......and experiment with sizes.

Place card envelopes for the Christmas table?

It's a cheap and cheerful way of wrapping and doesn't involve sellotape, which I loathe using.

Of course you don't have to stop with brown paper. If you come back tomorrow I'll show you what else I've been up to using this technique.

But, while your waiting why not visit Wendy and the Handmade Monday team to see what they can tempt you with. This week she's asking how your Christmas preparations are going. My kindle covers have been selling like hotcakes, so I need to replenish stocks but as regards my personal preparations ooooh, best avoid answering that one I think.

A warm welcome to a few new followers I've enjoyed visiting your lovely blogs.
Have a lovely day all x

Friday, 25 November 2011

Hints, Wrinkles and Kindle - ness

Good morning. I've been meaning to share this with you for a bit. When Dad had his 'sort out' one of the things I became custodian of was this little book.....

The Book of Hints and Wrinkles

Published in the early 1930's it is the most amazing piece of modern social history. It's basically a guide to running the home and I've been chuckling away and doing a few 'flippin' hecks' as I've been working my way through it. I won't bore you with too many at once, perhaps just share a few with you over the next few weeks.

First of all ladies let me draw your attention to the 'Daily Routine Time table' and the 'Daily Cleaning Routine'

Where does it say, "Sit down now with a nice relaxing cuppa?"

Chop. chop ladies, not finished yet......

I think that's enough now....don't you?

For those of you who might wonder what the 10:30am 'Special Work' entails allow me to enlighten....

The fortnightly turn out

Could I ever be,....... would I ever want to be, this organised!?

I don't know about you but I'm worn out just reading it all. Labour saving devices or not this is a pretty hefty workload for the SAHM of the 1930's - don't you agree?

Other enticing snippets include 'The Management of Young Children' (said in my best 'Maggie Smith as the Downton Dowager Countess' voice), advice on 'The Laundry' and 'Room layouts' but I'll save those for another day......

.......because...... rather than cleaning my windows with newspaper and ammonia yesterday, .....I was making these in stead. More Kindle covers off to Folksy and Etsy land

Some with boats.......

..........or little houses.


.......and hearts

..............and of course a cuppa and a cake.

Enjoy your weekend everyone. I can't believe another week has passed already, can you? x

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Bustle and Sew

I want to introduce you to a little blog I know, some of you may know it already,  Bustle and Sew run by Helen. I only became aware of her blog recently when I joined crafty blogs. As a designer Helen uses hand embroidery to great effect and is a skilled sewer in her own right. Her blog is packed full of hints and tips, advice and free patterns and the chance to subscribe to a monthly e-magazine, I soon became a follower.

But today........ I'm a tiny bit famous because....... I am the guest contributor in the December issue of Bustle and Sew, so forgive me if I'm feeling just a teensy weensie bit  EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!

December's Bustle & Sew Magazine
Pic courtesy of Bustle & Sew

At the moment Helen is running a special subscription offer which ends December 31st so why not pay her a visit and see what it's all about?

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Autumnal birthday card

You will only have to open the door to your house and step outside to see where the inspiration for the colours on this card came from. Isn't nature wonderful?

Although the last few days have been a bit grey and grim, this morning I've woken to a crisp white frost and a blue sky.

This card is made for a birthday using rich Autumnal colours and it gave me a chance to use 'the leaf' from my newly purchased 'Autumn Days' stamp set (Stampin' Up).

A birthday card for my Auntie

Falling leaves in vibrant colours on co-ordinating card stock.......

.......and a punchy sentiment in a deep cherry red.

Have a good day everyone and thanks for stopping by.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Handmade Monday - Fabric box

Good morning! My contribution to Handmade Monday today is not going to win any prizes for the most ooooh, ahhhh fabric, although as you know I think hessian is pretty wonderful. Also, for this particular little project I wanted a neutral setting as I wanted my wool to do the singing - does that make sense?

After carting my teetering piles of Granny squares around on Friday in order to take a picture to show the progress of my blanket, dropping them twice, cursing countless times, (you must understand that they are all held in a certain colour sequence for ease of reference for me, I am quite fastidious about this!) I decided I must take matters into hand and make them a proper little home......

.......thus making it easier to transport them and provide a cosy home for squares and balls of wool (or yarn? When did we start calling wool yarn?), which can sit at my feet while I work.

I'm  afraid there's no tutorial today, as time has run away with me, but I can tell you, I measured carefully the size of the box I wanted, (length, width, height), prepared a paper pattern and cut out 4 pieces, one of each of.....

........hessian, lining, interfacing and interlining. Then I sewed them all up at the corners. But it was too floppy for my liking so I added French seams at each corner which seemed to do the trick and provided the soft rigidness that I was after.

Now I really must schedule in some Christmas time this week. I have been diligently trying to ignore it in favour of other sewing projects but it's no use, there are lists to be prepared, cards to make, outings to arrange and a Christmas Cake to bake.

OH came home with this last week, "I bought you this" he declared. So I'll be giving it a go, apologies to all you brilliant bakers out there who may view this as a little bit of a cop out, but I'll try anything once.

And I also read with interest  this post from Craft Blog UK referring to the 'About Me' section of your web page, and decided yes, mine was as dull as dish water, so I've had a bit of a revamp.

And now you know what I'm going to say don't you.......? Well it is the best way to start your week, by paying a visit to Wendy and the wonderful crafters that make up Handmade Monday. This week Wendy has solved a mystery!