Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Crocodile Soft Toy

 So what do you make your young nephew for christmas when he is under the age of 1?

That was the dilemma we had this year so I took to looking through my Pinterest boards, scouring through patterns I had saved and finally I found a pattern in the new Cath Kidston Sewing Book.

The pattern for the crocodile toy jumped out at me, seemed the perfect gift for a little boy. A few tweaks to the instructions and substituting bead filling for soft toy fluff to make it more suitable for a baby.

Here's the finished crocodile in all his glory.
  A large amount of ricrac, a few fiddly bits of sewing, a long time stuffing fluff in and the crocodile was finished.
Love the lazy eye look and the big cheeky grin made by the whit ricrac but I can't understand why the pattern only gave the croc 2 legs...strange.


Sunday, 28 December 2014

Alphabet Photography Presents

My alphabet photography came out again for presents this christmas as well..

I did our nephew's name for my boyfriend's sister and her husband. I changed the white pegs that came with the frame as it looked a little lacklustre, even after I picked the red pegs he decided to change them just as we were wrapping the frame so in the end it was given with blue pegs.

For my dad and his wife I did their surname. Once again I swapped the pegs but this time just for larger plain wooden pegs as the original ones just looked too small.
On the back of each photo I've written where and what year I took the photo so the recipients can see where we've been... I think it adds a nice personal touch to the photos rather than the shop selected alphabet photography letter sthat tell you nothing about them at all.


Friday, 26 December 2014

'Phoebe' Handbags

Once again this christmas I have tried to make more presents than we have had to go out and buy. I prefer to give people something handmade as it just makes it a little more special and personal to that person.
Seeing as I seem to have become good friends with my sewing machine this year I decided to venture into making the women in the family handbags for christmas. My mum knew I was going to be making handbags so she had the luxury of picking the fabric she wanted at a craft show...but she didn't know what design of bag she would be getting as I hadn't even decided when she chose her fabric.

In the end I decided to use Rebeka's design for the Phoebe Bag from her blog ArtsyCraftyBabe.

Here's the finished 3 handbags to be given as presents.

For my boyfriend's Stepmum I chose a dark blue floral print, a little like a Cath Kidston print

For his Mum I chose a pale yellow floral print, once again very similar to a Cath Kidston style of fabric...after all who doesn't like a CK print?

After much deliberation and changing her mind from dotty to hearts to butterflies and back round again, mum finally settled on this butterfly print fabric. The only thing any of the fabrics she chose had in common was that they were all purple as she has a bit of a thing for purple still.

As a reward for making everybody else's bags I decided to make myself one with a white and blue floral print fabric. by the time I got round to making my bag I totally had the knack of it and mine only took an hour and half from cutting all the fabric to putting in the last stitches, very impressed!
Each of the bags has a simple plain ivory cotton lining and a large pocket made using the outer fabric, as shown in the photo below. I also stitched in one of my handmade labels as well so everybody knows I made the bags instead of having bought them somewhere. The bags are held shut by a magnetic clasp on the flap that comes over the opening of the bag.
Here's hoping they all liked their handbags and they get some good use out of them. I have masses of each fabric left so there may be some matching items made for future presents too!

I really recommend this handbag design to anyone who wants to start making their own bags, the pdf pattern is great and so are the instructions. A little googling on how to do the darts for the first bag and I was well and truly on my way getting them whipped up in a flash.


Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Christmas Cake

 No Christmas pudding for us this year, made so many differne tbakes last year tha\t we struggled to eat it all before it went off. This year it's just a cake for the Smith household.

I made our cake back in the middle of October using an old recipe my Nan gave me, tried and tested always makes a good cake so why change the recipe I use.
 I gave it weekly feeds of whiskey and brandy, flipping it every week to ensure even soaking of the alcohol.
Finally a fortnight before christmas I covered the cake in marzipan and left it overnight to dry.

Then came the fun part of decorating the cake. I used my fimo penguins as decorations, which will no doubt be a regular feature on all of our Christmas cakes from now on.
 Funniest thing was a neighbour knocked at our front door while I was decorating the cake so I answered the door covered in glitter, red and green icing colouring pastes... had to show him the cake to prove I wasn't completely mad.


Sunday, 21 December 2014

December Wedding Card Order

This month I had an order for a wedding card from a regular customer. She always gives me a detailed brief of what the card needs to feature.

This time the card had to have:
  • The couple's names
  • The wedding date
  • Holly
  • Blue Topaz for a december birthstone
  • QPR blue
  • Light christmas theme
 Here's what I came up with...
The cardstock is sparkly and similar to the blue topaz birthstone. The background features embossed snowflakes and some blue glitter stickles. The holly made a lovely, simple embellishment for the wedding dress and added to the christmas feel of the card. The QPR shade of blue featured as the groom's waistcoat, the ink for the sentiment and also for the text inside the card.
I always prefer to put the names and dates inside of the card, so it doesn't clutter the front of the card but also so it can be a main feature of the card insert itself. I even added a few miniature snowflakes around the text to keep the christmas/winter wedding theme going.

Hopefully both my customer and the couple themselves like the card.


Friday, 19 December 2014

Penguin Box Card

 For the last few years I've always made Dan a penguin christmas card and this year was no different....however it was a card with a bit of a difference...earlier in the year he commented about how much he liked the boat box card I made so I thought I'd combine the box cards with a penguin design.

So here's the finished penguin box card.
To make the card I've used:
  • Turquoise sparkly card
  • White cardstock
  • Black cardstock
  • Windowsheet
  • Holiday Home stamp set
  • No Peeking stamp set
  • Gorgeous Grunge stamp set
  • Pacific Point ink
  • Daffodil Delight ink
  • Gumball Green ink
  • Real Red ink
  • Owl Builder Punch
A close up of the little penguins as they are just so cool, love how versatile the Owl builder Punch is.

A view of the side panels with the flaps up so you can see the designs.

Birds eye view of the card.
Really quite an effective card to make and simple once you've made a few, the instructions can be a little daunting but the results are worth the initial struggle. I'm thinking there shall be many more box cards in 2015. The good news is that Dan also really liked his card and was glad he got his own box card too.


Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Making A Peg Bag

Presents for grandparents are not an easy thing, if they want something they've probably already gone and bought it for themselves by now anyway. So for my Nan's birthday this year I decided to try out a sewing pattern I'd been keeping hold of from a magazine for ages.

The pattern was for a peg bag, not a massively exciting present but handmade and something that she couldn't just nip into the shops and buy.

Here's what the peg bag looks like.
The hardest part of this project was trying to find a curved small wooden hanger to fit into the peg bag, in the end I bought some kids wooden hangers from Ikea and they are perfect for the job. As my hanger is a slightly different shape to the simple curved one used in the pattern the end result of my project is slightly different to the original pattern but that just adds my own personal twist to it.
The lining fabric is from a stash I bought at a vintage show a couple years back that I've just never found a good use for until now. Be prepared to see more of the outside fabric in a post I'll be sharing after Christmas as I've used it for someone's Christmas present. The bag is held closed by a chunky vintage deep pink button and a small loop of ribbon.
Here's hoping Nan likes her new peg bag and she doesn't think I've given her a dull birthday present.


Thursday, 11 December 2014

Christmas Decopatch

 A few weeks ago I went to another craft show (surprising I know), the tickets were free as the company sent 2 complimentary tickets for having purchased tickets from them previously, so I had to go.

I was glad to see a company called The MDF Man had returned, earlier in the year they closed down and I didn't expect to see them back so it was a pleasure to see all their new goodies. Of course this meant I had to buy a few bits and pieces as well to make up for lost time. This close to christmas it's obvious that I mainly bought christmas items.

The first piece is a large mdf sign of NOEL, only £4. I've decoptached it using PVA glue and some spare wrapping paper leftover from a present wrapping session. Love the scandi reindeer print and the red is perfect for it to go up in our lounge this christmas.
 Then I saw these cute MDF christmas trees, there were 2 different designs and in many sizes. These little ones were only £1 each so I bought one of each.
 For the first tree I used some candycane print designer paper that came free with a craft magazine...I'm not a massive fan of designer papers so they have a habit of sitting in my stash box for ages...but now I have decopatch projects so they may get used a little more now!
 For the second tree I found some more christmas theme designer paper in my stash box, this time covered in holly leaves and berries. Just love how these trees have been made freestanding, wish I'd have bought more now.
I chose to decopatch the trees differently to the NOEL by ripping the paper into small pieces, it seemed more effective on the smaller work area and makes the paper desigbns stand out more.

Still got one more piece from the MDF to do but it's not christmas themed, it's similar to the NOEL sign but it says HOME, just need the right wallpaper offcut to do that project. Who knows maybe The MDF Man will be back at Sandown Craft Show in January then I can get some more goodies to decopatch.


Saturday, 6 December 2014

Knitting Bag

 At a fabric show earlier in the year my nan found out I was making handbags for the women in the family for christmas so she asked me to make her a knitting bag for christmas...this was my plan all along but at least with her asking I could get her to pick a fabric that she liked.

 So she picked a dark blue dragonfly print fabric and some plastic twist handles that look like they are wooden. I had plenty of lining fabric leftover from the handbags I made so that was nice and easy.
 I always tend to buy more fabric than I need, anyone else have that problem too?

I roughly followed the tutorial over on the Emmaline blog here.
I stitched in a large interior pocket to store smaller bits in. I ever remembered to sew one of my hadmade labels on the pocket as well.
Quite a roomy bag and I'm really impressed by it. Took me longer to whipstitch the fabric around the handles than to cut all the fabric out and make the basic shape of the bag!
My nan has a thing for giraffes and I managed to pick up a few giraffe buttons at the show without her realising so I've sewn them onto the internal pocket, see how long it takes her to notice them.
 Here's hoping the bag lives up to the expectation and it has many happy trips to the local knitting club my nan goes to.