We still haven't had any proper snow around these parts and I am longing to see everything in a blanket of white and just that little bit more Christmas-sy!
So I thought it was time to make a little snowfall of my own...
There has been a flurry of paper snowflake garlands in blogland, so I thought I'd give it a go too. Cutting them is always fun and sewing them together on the machine was super fast! I followed this tutorial for the sewing, but I can't begin to think of all the lovely blogs and craft site which inspired me as I snipped away.... soverymanylovely snowflakes!
I love paper snow... pretty, never melts and no goosebumps.... perfect! :)
This candle holder is probably my favourite not-too-christmas-sy decoration (I'd leave it out all year, but I don't get final say on that). This year its taken centre stage on the mantle, which I gave a blanket of felt and then knitted a fluffy snow garland to go along the edge. I used the perfectly named milky Snuggly Snowflake wool that I had bought last summer because it is just sooo soft and then finger-knitted a long piece. I learn how to finger knit from this tutorial and it is incredibly easy and you can make a skinny scarf in no time.
One of the (many many) things I love about etsy is the hearts. I love looking around and marking all my favourite with a heart - its so fun and rather cute, I think! I was so excited as I began to reach 100 that I just had to do something little to celebrate, so I made this little felt 'I heart you too!' pin...
.... and I sent it to my 100th heart, the lovely Caroline of Crafted Gems, who sells divine lampwork beads. These are my favourite - they remind me of seaside candies and I am trying to think up a bead project so I have an excuse to spend some pennies. If anyone has any ideas, inspiration or knows a fantastic jewellery link, let me know!
Thank you again for my hearts and if you want to see what I've been hearting recently, they are all here.
It was only a thin covering, but it reminded me I had gocco-ed a little snowy scene of my own.
The bunnies had their first snow a little over two weeks ago and as they had been dreaming of winter games and wooly mittens since the chilly weather began, they couldn't wait to rush outside and build snow bunnies!
Flossy and her snow bunny, frostie were originally a Christmas card idea, but they are nice as winter stationary too (which is really handy as they were a little late getting themselves to the little shop).
I'm really looking forward to writing my Christmas thank you letters with my own notecards this year :)
In the past 2 (and a bit) weeks since I disappeared, I have mainly been visit Joe in London and discovering I am not the travel friendly crafter I was hoping I was - I do not have anything at all crafty from my break to share. And I only have a couple of rain soaked pictures from my journey in and out...
And really I shouldn't even have that! The picture come courteous of a sat nav who seemed to want to go sight seeing rather than take us directly to the hospital. Big Ben and Parliament, followed by a drive along the Thames were not on any logic route.
So, instead I'll cheat a little and ease myself back with a couple of pictures of what the boyf was doing while I was not crafting and getting lost and soggy...
(There is an something hiding in the dark!)
Don't you just love how the giraffes have to do spilts to reach down to the water? :)
An incredibly cheesy title I know, but the squishy hearted romantic in me just couldn't resist.
The "Kiss-mas" comes from an anthology I read in high school. The title was 'Kiss Miss Carol" which was how the child in the story pronounced "A Christmas Carol" and I have completely forgotten what happens in the story, apart from that one detail which I always thought was a incredibly sweet play on words.
And it does seem fitting for a mistletoe post...
I love mistletoe, or the romance of mistletoe I should say.
I thought felt mistletoe would be fun. First, I made these little pins with pearly bead berries. As I was stitching them the idea for hanging mistletoe came to me and the results you can see - Sprigs of felt mistletoe with creamy button berries. I have had one piece hanging in my door for a month now :)
I have made a small batch of mistletoe, but due to a ribbon shortage (eek!), it will be next week before any will appear in the little shop, but the mistletoe pins will go in later tomorrow and if you pop over there now you'll see these little Christmas puddings smiling at you...
They went in earlier, as did these pudding pins which have sold already!
I am in a bit of a hurry now to get everything in its place in the little shop and I am so happy to say I sent off a whole box stuffed with goodies (including mistle sprigs and pudding pins) to Archie and Mabel's this week for a Christmas hopping evening Louise is holding next week.
The Christmas shopping evening is the 27th of November (next Thursday). The address and details are here and if you are in the area, please do go along as it sounds like lots of fun. There will be wine, nibbles and a raffle, as well as all the christmas-sy bits I and other local crafters have made. Unfortunately I won't be able to attend the evening in person, but I am sure the Gingerbread Boys will give you a very warm greeting.
(early) Christmas kisses,
As well as not being at the Christmas shopping evening, I may also be a little quiet here on the blog too. My brother will be going into hospital for an operation next week. I am planning to spend lots of time with my family and just keep as normal as possible, but I'm finding the thought of it all quite scary and think I'll probably not be too chatty the next week or so.
I am so thankful for crafty distraction right now!
Although you'll usually see snowmen standing out in the snow, that is just their day job. After a long day of greeting people on their way to work and making little children smile, Snowmen likes nothing more than to go inside their cosy homes when the skies are dark and sit by a warm fire with a cup of cocoa.
What tipped me off to this little secret is the fact you always see snowmen wearing scarves and why else do you wear a scarf except to keep toasty warm?
I thought I'd take a little blog break from Christmas today.
Because all my crafting has been very christmassy from the past 2 months now, I have nothing to show of my own, but I do have the most gorgeous handmade 'lady' to share.
Isn't she lovely?
Gladys is the purchase I excitedly made when the Dottie Angel reopened her etsy shop a little while back. She is an absolutely gorgeous vintage slip in my favourite little bluey green colour (which doesn't show well in the photos because of the not-so lovely grey blue sky outside, hmph!). Tif the Dottie Angel customises all the slips with fabric, rosettes, dolies and lace... the loveliest lace ever...
I knew I could only pick one lovely from the store and Gladys was the lady for me. I knew it instantly. She is a little bustier than I am so we need a trip to the dress makers but until I can wear her and dance round in circles, I have her hung on the outside of my wardrobe door. She is much too beautiful to be hidden!
As well as my dress, today I have been swooning over a painting and a print. This painting from Marmee Craft, as they remind me of a couple of squirrels I have in my garden, who after an odd start (one threw a pinecone at me!) have become a daily delight to spot, and this print by Rob Ryan, just because it turns my heart to mush.
In my little imaginary crafty world, I always have a little help.
In the little shop, there are the shop bunnies. They dust the floaty shelves, say hello to passers-by and wrap all the parcels ready for me to take to the post office.
In the little craft room, there are some lazy little pixies who are supposed to keep things organised and tidy, but rarely do!
And whereas I usually stitch and scribble all by myself, I have had some christmas help in the way of teeny tiny Gingerbread men!
First there was one, who I stitched up myself to be company for a certain Gingerbread Boy...
I sat the tiny boy on my table and went to get my cookie cutters and a teeny whisk, thinking they would make cute props for his portrait. Unfortunately, a teeny whisk can be a hard thing to find in a drawer full of regular sized utensils and by the time, I returned the sun had all but gone. "Oh well, I'll have to take the photos tomorrow" I thought but still set the tiny scene before I went to bed that evening.
When I returned the next day, there was not one but...
... Two tiny gingerbread boys sitting on my table!
It would appear that if you leave a tiny gingerbread boy with a whisk, cookie cutters and all the right fleecy ingredients, he will come alive at night as the house sleeps and 'bake' himself a little friend!
It was such a lovely surprise!
And being the greedy little girl I am when it comes to all things gingerbread, I left the two tiny boys with the cookie cutters and the whisk for a few days more and by the end of the week, just look what had happen...
They had baked a whole family of teeny tiny Gingerbread Boys!
It is the most delightful sight to see them all stood in a row, looking up at you and just by looking at them, you sense they are wondering if you know the secret of their magical night time baking...
I briefly mentioned in my last post that I liked gingerbread.
Well I do I like to eat ginger biscuits and cakes, and cookies with huge chunks of stem ginger in, but when it comes to people shaped cookies 'like' is an understatement...
... I truly adore Gingerbread men!
I have been waiting so long to make a gingerbread softie, and here he is...
'The Gingerbread Boy'
I am a huge Christmas doodle-er. I probably draw at Christmas more than any other time of year. Santas, deer, robins and snowmen can be found on every list or card I write. Last year I was a-scribbling as usual and a cute little gingerbread man with a big head and no neck appeared on the paper. That little scribble, although I have no idea where it is now, stuck with me...
He has changed a little from the scribble but I adore him all the more.
He still has a big round head and soppy eyes, and is made from lovely doughy-soft snuggable fleece. I gave him ric rac icing and lovely gum drop buttons made from real button (which I'm sure you will agree, buttons are the candy of the sewing world).
At the moment, there is only this one Gingerbread Boy made and he will be the only one to have button candy. He is the lucky one who will get to meet everyone who visits the little shop.
He will go in tomorrow with a handful of cards of him and his sweetheart under the mistletoe. He loves his sweetheart so, although they have never met in person as she is patiently waiting in my WiP box as a paper pattern. Until then he is happy to look at her gocco portrait.
Night night All, it's getting late.
I hope you have sweet dreams of gingerbread men and their sweethearts
Thank you so much for all the lovely comments about the elf trees.
The tiny forest which has sprouted on my desk makes me so happy and I'm glad they make you smile too.
The big trees in my back garden have lost most their leaves now and I am quite missing the woodland feel they gave. They is not enough trees to keep my living in the woods fantasy going while they are bare and so I have to pretend I live in the elf tree forest... which is really quite a lovely dream...
In the forest of elf trees, where snow covers the ground and bells jingle lightly in the wind, I would spend my days playing hide and seek with Ollie. I would look for bright pink leaves and try to spot the little elves whose job it is to be-ribbon all the forests trees. As dusk begins to fall I would invite the bunnies around for buttery toast and hot mugs of tea to my forest house, which would just have to be a cosy home made from gingerbread...
In magical elf tree forests, a gingerbread house is the only way to live...
although I do love gingerbread and will have to be very careful not to eat myself out of house and home!
I'm a little embarrassed to say I would probably be tempt to take a nibble if this Cosy Home was made from real gingerbread. My inner child is greedy little thing! Had I been Gretal I would have stayed at the cottage forever and lived off sweets and gingerbread...
Luckily this Cosy is quite safe, I think his happy face would persuade most nibbler to admire his candy roof from a distance rather than take a taste. That, and the fact felt isn't the tastiest of treat...
Jotwo celebrated his 1st birthday with a tiny polka hat and Happy cake. There were some real mini cupcakes around which he was hoping to nibble but they were all taken by the other Birthday boy, my brother Joe, to be shared with his friends. Unlike his namesake bear, I couldn't convince Joe to let me make him a party hat...
While doing the birthday shopping, I spotted that it was time for the Innocent Big Knit hats again. I love this idea - Knitters make and donate little hats for the tops of the bottles and 50p from each hat go to Age Concern to help quite older people warm through the winter. This year I found the fantastic little blueberry hat on a blueberry smoothie - Yay! On the bottle it looked like a beret and so I just had to spend the rest of the day humming 'Raspberry Beret' changing raspberry to blueberry of course! The other hat beautifully modelled by the gingerbread cutters is last year's find and you can see loads of amazing hats on the Big Knit Flickr group. I am so joining in next year!
My final hats of the day are not actually hats, but very inspired by the curly hats elves wear.
A tiny desktop forest of elf trees, decorated for xmas with ribbon and a single jingle bell on the top of the curl. I don't want to gush too much about them, but oh how I love them! I will be listing a couple in the little shop later today but I am so tempt to keep them all to myself...
There is much more christmas stitches to be done and there is a box paper loveliness waiting for my attention, so I shall go be busy.
I hope everyone had a happy haunted Halloween night!
I had quite the gory evening due to a funny zombie movie and some disastrous baking... sticky cake guts everywhere! but it was all fun :)
So November is here and that means time to share the Christmas goodies I have been busy stitching for the past month. I guess it's still quite early so I'll ease you in with just one piece today.
I made this one up as my Thursday Night Project a couple of weeks ago and have been working on some more today. I wanted the gift bags to look like mini Santa sacks with big luscious bows, rather than my usual little tote bags. I love the magic of Santa's sacks, how they held such surprises in cartoons and I thought it would be fun if the gift bags could have some of that magic. I'm not saying you will be able to pull a 6ft decorated tree out of one of these sacks (although I'd love to be able to make ones that did that!), but that happy wondering of what the sack will hold for you...
As it's so cold cold, I wrapped up tightly in a wool dress, scarf and big coat (with a pumpkin pin on the lapel) and went out to buy my Halloween supplies.
I got loads of sweets for Trick or Treater and some things to do so Halloween baking tomorrow (very much inspired by this Etsy How-to), but more importantly...
We ended up buying 4 pumpkins, one for everyone. Mine is the medium sized one with the long stem, its not as broken as it looks luckily. I always look for round pumpkins with interesting looking stems, most the ones today had none :(
My crafting today has been Halloweeny too!
I joined a fantastic craft forum a little while ago and they host "The Thursday Night Project". To take part you just pick and project for your Thursday and share how its going on the forum, fun and very motivating! Today I decide to make Ollie a Halloween costume...
Bat wings for Ollie
I think I'm a bit too old to make a costume for myself, especially when I planning to just stay home and watch creepy cute movies, but I figure Ol can get away with it. I am not the kind to dress him up too much, he doesn't like it and I don't want to make him look silly, but we are both ok with the wings!
I made the wings by cutting 4 wing shapes out of thick black felt and sewing them in pairs on the machine, leaving the narrow end open. I then slipped them over the lead rings on an old chest harness he had as a puppy and sewed to secure them. Super easy!
This photo would have been so sweet, if only the little winged dog had stayed still!
I have to go carve my pumpkin now!
Hope you are having lovely Halloween eve's as well!
**Oh, just incase you'd like to dress up/annoy/humiliate a little dog too, I have put my wing pattern on Flickr
I would like to introduce you to a dear bunny friend of mine...
Niles is a nervous little fellow. He likes to stay at home, with a cosy blanket, a cup of tea and lots of cookies, seeing the world through books and movies.
He wishes he was a more confident bunny and hope to travel to new places one day. Studying the encyclopaedia (his favourite book) has pluck up his courage and he is ready to go out into the big old world.
Niles looked so nervous the moment I finished him, almost like the world was a little too big for him. He looked even more nervous when he sat with the other softies and I felt I had to wait a little while before sending him out into the world. He is definitely ready for his adventure now and I hope he finds a lovely friend who will take him on it.
Niles is my favourite bunny yet. I don't really know a bunny until I sew the eyes and I try not to plan how they'll turn out. I like the surprise and it feels like the bunny has its own personality, rather than I'm just making up stories for them. That probably sounds a little nutty, but I really feel they have a character that comes from the stitching, not my imagination.
And so, my darling little bunny friend sits a little nervously on a floaty shelf in the little etsy shop, waiting to see where the world will take him
I thought I share the inspiration for my dangly spider today.
I have spotted a couple of links to the dangly spider around blogland and can't tell you how touched I am. Thank you so much for your support! You can visit those blogs here, here and here
I originally made the spider and web Atc for a swap last year. The theme was "All that glitters" and I think there was a lot of rain-sparkled and shimmery webs around the old house at the time. It's a Victorian house with loads of character and period features, unfortunately a big feature was draughts and ways for the spiders to get in!
The web was stitched with thin gold thread onto punctured card. I didn't send the web for the swap, I still have the card and even looking at it now, I can't tell you what kind of stitching I used. It was before I learnt any thing about embroidery and seems to be running stitch, feather stitch and huge open chain stitches all thrown together. I love how you don't have to follow the rules of embroidery but it still can work out somehow!
Tomorrow I am hoping to share a very dear bunny friend with you!
The bunny has been printed using my print gocco and lovely blue and silver ink. The silver gives the dancing dandelion fairies a little shimmer in the light.
The Notecards are printed on glossy white 3 1/2" x 5" single fold card and are in sets of 3.
The notelets are printed 5" x 3" thin cards and have 5 in a set.
Each come with 100% recycled brown craft envelopes and all the packaging is now biodegradable. I found the eco-craft supplier who I get most my papery goodness from also supplies display bags and sealers made from corn starch, instead of plastic - How fantastic! I like to try to do my bit and I am so pleased to say that they all brilliant quality.
I also gocco printed my dandelion bunny on blue and lilac folded card and on blue lined notelets, which I will listed shortly too.
Lizzie has gone to live at my Nanna's house with her and my Grandad. My Nanna is the sweetest, she showed Lizzie to a couple of her friends and they asked for drawn girls of their own. I think they are to be presents for someone, which makes Susan and Suzy very excited indeed!
Susan is a ponderer, always thinking about something or other, like "how do all the trees know how to turn brown at the same time?" She is also a fan of big buttons and chocolate eclairs.
Suzy loves eyeliner, she feels it gives her deep soulful eyes with which to see the world. Her eye inspirations are pirates, the 60's and Margot Tenenbaum. Her favourite snack is oatmeal cookies and she is not impressed with this photo of her "The angle's all wrong!" she cries, but it is the best I took before sending her off to her new home...
Some other wonderful girly thing that has happened today is the Dottie Angel has re-opened her Etsy shop and filled it to the brim with her gorgeous, customised vintage slips. I can't tell you how happy I am, I have been dreaming about owning a dottie angel slip for quite sometime and I now have a gorgeous blue-green one on its way to me!!
This weekend I went to the Festival of Craft in Farnham to have a look at all the lovely handmade goodness!
and I came home with a couple of goodies too!
A handmade stitched and printed card by Amy Aardvark. I'm developing a bit of a crush on all things deer at the moment and this is so sweet that I won't be sending it to anyone, but I'll be hanging it on my wall in a pretty frame instead.
My other buy is this gorgeous ruffled capelet/collar by Diana Morrison, knitted using a navy stripe ribbon. I love the modern Victoriana look and I think this will be the thing to add a touch of that to basic black tees.
I really wanted to share with you an owl inspired art doll by Sewsister, it was amazing! (I can't seem to find a photo on her website but there are many more dolls to see there.) And these to-die-for bracelets, I have been thinking about them constantly since I saw! They are made from vintage teacups and as I was looking at them I just kept thinking "I am too clumsy for them, I would break it and die from the disappoint of it" A little dramatic, but they were just so gorgeous it all seemed just at the time and I dragged myself away from them. The lust as won over my fear now and they are at the top of my Xmas list!
I am find the best part of starting Xmas sewing at a time that seems too early is having plenty of time to dream yourself the perfect Santa list