Tag Archive | Christmas

Christmas Time…

I hope you’ve had a wonderful Christmas! We’ve had a busy one, offset with days in bed ill beforehand, then my little sister’s wedding and of course all the Christmas prep. We have eaten far too much and drunk even more!

My parents were very impressed with and happy with their present. Here it is leaning on their fireplace in their lounge:

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I was a bit too busy to take a photo of the finished stained glass before wrapping it up for them, so I’m afraid this is the best I’ve got! Hopefully they will put it up somewhere and I’ll take a photo of it in situ and will share it with you then.

My parents have been asking me for years what I want for Christmas. I only asked for something little originally as it is an expensive time with my sister’s wedding, but got told to let them know about something bigger. Well, this is what I got:

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Hobbycraft had it on offer a while ago (£15 off!) so I passed the details on. I had to explain to everyone there what it is, but I am quite excited about playing with it properly when at home.

What did you get? Anything crafty?

My parents no longer live where I grew up. They not only live in a different house, but a different town, well, county even! When they downsized and moved they got rid of a lot of stuff, but they did keep some bits. This is on the wall in their spare room:

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My parents started collecting blue and white china in the 90s. I did this sampler for my Mum’s birthday in 1994. It used to live in the dining room in our old house, but as their spare room has a blue theme they put it up in the spare room when they moved. I now wake up and see this every morning when staying with them. It’s quite a simple piece, but reasonably impressive and fits well with their likes. I think this will be my oldest make I will ever show you as I was only 14 when I made it. I hope you like it!

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The end of an era…

Well, this may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it was my last stained glass class this week.
I knew I’d finish my project, well at least as much as I could do there, so I didn’t feel any time pressure.

All I needed to do was finish the soldering:

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Then cement it:

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All I have to do at home now is to get rid of the excess cement and polish it. I will share my final result with you when it’s all done.

“Magic” Paper Baubles – A fun tutorial

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Aren’t these pretty? We used a basic form of Chromatography (sorry I’m a Chemistry teacher!) to create these paper bubbles and you can do it too!

You need:

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  • A small glass with water in (any volume will do, but the more full, the quicker the magic happens!)
  • A pipecleaner
  • Felt pens or inks
  • Filter paper cut in the shape of a bauble (coffee filter paper works best, but any paper will work, some just take longer than others!)

It really is easy. Draw on your cut out bauble shapes – you only need a little bit of felt tip.

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Then make a small hole in the middle and place the pipe cleaner through it (paper MUST touch the pipe cleaner). Then place on top of the glass containing water, making sure the other end of the pipe cleaner is in the water.

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And wait…

Here is a more simple design:

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After a while:

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And after even longer…

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Once content with how it looks, you need to carefully remove the paper from the pipecleaner.

Be creative with your pens and see what you can create!

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It will appear like magic to little ones who have no understanding of the different solubilities of different dyes in water.

Here are some more:

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Once you have a few, and they are dry, you can attach them to some string and have a chromatography bauble string.

Enjoy!

Swapsies!

I may have just made up a new word in the name of this post. Oh well!

Anyway, you may remember that I was enjoying putting together the gifts for my advent swap so much that I decided to sign up for a few more.

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These five gifts are for my partner in Faith Hope and Charity Shoppings Christmas Swap. The rules (paraphrased) were:

  • Max spend £12
  • Between 3 & 5 gifts
  • At least one must be from a charity shop (well, thrifted)
  • At least one must be home made
  • At least one must link to a Christmas Carol.

I really enjoyed reading my partners blog and learning about her and what she is into. I hope I’ve done her proud. I stuck to the budget and think I’ve got things to her tastes. Fingers crossed it gets there safely and she likes them all!

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My other, much smaller, parcel was for Krafty Kat’s Secret Santa. I won’t say who this was being posted to, but here is the one rule: Max spend £5 on a sewing related gift. I love what I bought but know I don’t have the skills to use it, but I believe my santaee does. I can’t wait to see her post about it and then see what she makes!

It’s Almost Advent!

Christmas is rapidly approaching. In many ways, that is daunting, but I am looking forward to the break.

As a kid I loved the build up to Christmas through Advent. I used to love having an advent calendar and opening a window every morning. I was probably about 10 when I progressed to a chocolate advent calendar. This year I’m doing something far more exciting!

When I saw Laa Laa was organising an advent swap, I just had to sign up! For what is involved see Laa Laa’s post.

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I have prepared 25 gifts for my swap partner. Some are handmade, some are to encourage her, as a relatively new crafter, to try new things and others are just Christmassy! On Christmas day she has a present to open that is a bit bigger/took more time to make. You’ll see!

Last month I made some labels for my gifts for the swap. I have wrapped my swap gifts in brown paper to match these labels. My wrapping isn’t that great, unfortunately. Hopefully my swap partner will be more interested in what is inside than the wrapping!

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It is impossible to show 25 gifts with all numbers showing! They all fit in a wine bottle box ready for posting.

Come December 1st, I intend to share what I’ve received with you guys and will also show you what I mailed to my swap partner. I hope she is as excited by it all as me!

Merry almost Christmas!

Christmas Gift Bags

There isn’t a much better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than being crafty, having fun and learning some new skills at the same time. I treated myself to a Christmas Gift Bag workshop at Creative Crafts and Workshops and spent a few hours doing all the aforementioned.

The workshop went through the basics of using your machine, which I knew, but was very useful to those who didn’t. To make my clutch bags all I needed to do was to sew in straight lines, with only one curve.

I sewed hems for the first time (well maybe I did them in textiles classes at school, but as that was  20 years ago, it doesn’t really count!):

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They are not perfect, but they’ll do!
Don’t you just love the fabric?

I have appliqued by hand, which takes ages. I dread to think how many hours it took me to applique the alphabet cushion, flower cushion and Christmas stockings last year! I cheated and just decorated ready bought items for these, but I didn’t have a sewing machine at the time.

Applique by machine is definitely quicker than by hand. The basics are the same. To make life easier I used bondaweb to keep my shapes in place.

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Then I used the machine to sew them in place. You really just need to have the confidence to have a go!

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With a button as embelishment and some more sewing, complete with the addition of ribbon for a tie,.I had one Christmas gift bag!

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I had a few hiccups whilst making it, but I was helped and encouraged along the way. These bags are actually quite easy to make. I had time to make another.

I went for Christmas pudding applique the second time:

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When the bag is open it looks like this:

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And shut:

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The second bag took me considerably less time than the first. I am considering filling them with chocolates for those hard to make for men in my life. I have some Christmas fabric in my stash, so am tempted to kick Mr M and his laptop off the dining table and set my machine up!

Secret Santa!

Don’t you just love shopping for presents? Particularly when it gives you a chance to nosey around craft shops, fabric shops etc? I’m really enjoying getting bits for my two swaps and am almost ready on both.

My Mum got my most crafty present last year – a copy of Kirstie Allsop’s Craft Book.

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I’ve dropped some serious hints this year, but will I get anything crafty? I’ll have to wait and see…

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When I saw Krafty Kat was organising a Sewists Secret Santa, I thought what a great idea! The maximum spend is £5, which should enable you to buy something worthwhile, without breaking the bank. You get to write a little bit about you which your swap partner would receive to help them choose something suitable.

You will of course have predicted by now that I have signed up! If you want to do so, or just want to read more about it click here.