Friday, 21 November 2008

Merry Kiss-mas!

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!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

The Secret Lives of Snowmen

The Secret Life of a Snowman

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?  

There are a couple of these cocoa loving snowmen over in the little shop.

Happy mid-Weeks!

Monday, 17 November 2008

Lovely Non-Christmas-ness

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. 

Meet Gladys...

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.

I hope your day was filled with loveliness, 
and I wish you much loveliness for tomorrow too!

Saturday, 15 November 2008

The Tale of a Tiny Baker

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...


Thursday, 13 November 2008

Gingerbread Sweethearts

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
I know I will...

Monday, 10 November 2008

Please do not lick the roof!

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... 

The gingerbread Cosy will join the little shop's Christmas forest soon and have more ginger goodness to share with you another time!

Bye Bye from the elf forest!

Friday, 7 November 2008

Tiny Hats

Yesterday was quite the hat day.

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.
Hope you have a lovely friday

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Happy November!

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... 

Happy November!