Quick Christmas Embroideries

With Christmas not too far away I didn't want to start making anything which will take too long for me to complete as I still have a couple of unfinished projects lingering around so this week I made these two small embroideries. Both are free and can be found on Kitschy Digitals.

The robin is part of the Festive Bird Set designed by Bridgeen Gillespie. My Mum loves this one so now it's finished it will be going to live with her.

The Yule Tree Sprite is designed by Cate Anevski. I'll be keeping this one as it is Caleb's favourite and he likes Cate's designs

Last night while reading through my blog list I saw a recipe posted on by the babbling brooke ,for chocolate shortbread. Instead of making a shortbread round I cut the mixture into biscuits for the children. I did have to try one myself, just for a little taste test and I can't see these lasting for long when the children come in or Anders for that matter. Thanks for posting the recipe Kate :)

Handmade Gifts

It has been a busy week here so far especially for Little L who has been in her first nativity play at Primary school, been to her first school Christmas party and will be going to her first disco this week. The boys are going to the cinema and bowling with their school. I can't wait for them all to break up for the holidays because then it will feel more Christmassy but that maybe because I subject them to every Christmas film going on TV.

Little L has gave out the teachers presents which I made for her yesterday as I think that the rest of this week is going to be hectic for them. For her teachers and classroom assistant I knit these circular scarfs using a free pattern which can be found at Hand Knitted Things . Thank you for sharing your pattern Julia :)

Key rings were made for two more classroom assistants.

This tea cosy and egg cosies were made for friends. The tea cosy was knitted using a pattern from the book Kirstie's Homemade Home and it can also be purchased from Ravelry - Kirstie's Tea & Egg Cosies by Suzie Johnson. I only used the pattern for the main body of the cosy and made up the rest as I went along. For the egg cosies, I just used an egg cup for size and started to knit until I was happy with it.

Scrappy Quilt

I have finally completed the scrappy quilt which I was making for Little L. When I reached almost half way with the quilting I did question why I started it in the first place, it just seemed never ending.

Now it's all finished, I'm thinking of making another one but maybe with a colour scheme and not so mish mash.

Though I do like the fact that it is mainly made using clothes that my family were just going to throw away anyway. Its a jumble of shirts, pj's, pillowcases, sheets, anything that was lying around at the time. Little L likes to look at it and point out which fabric used to belong to her Grandparents, Aunt, Uncles, etc. so it looks like it has some kind of entertainment value as well.

The Forgotten Tree

Does anybody else has a space in their house which is generally used just for dumping stuff ....  things that you buy or are given which just gets put in the 'dumping space' until it finds its proper home. Well ours is a little gap between a chest of drawers and the wall and at the moment it is home to a backpack in the shape of Yoda (this was my sister's), a camera tripod (used to be my Dad's), a giant Christmas cracker (January sale last year) and a little white Christmas tree (also January sales). Due to this space being the usual spot for storing wrapping paper, I discovered the little tree last week. I didn't know how I wanted to decorate the tree but knew that I didn't want to go out buying decorations for it so I started to search the internet for Christmas decorations tutorials. There are absolutely loads especially for felt ornaments so I set about making some.

All of decorations in the above picture were made using free patterns which can be found on the Wild Olive blog.

The patterns for these were from a few different sites, Candy Cane and Pudding - Bugs And Fishes  , Robin - Dazie Delights and the Ballet Slippers - Imagine Our Life .
I thought I wouldn't have to make many more to have enough for the tree ( it's only 2ft ) then at the end of last week my Gran send me a box with her old Christmas decorations in. We had been talking on the phone and Gran said that although she does put some decorations out, the tree is too much bother for her these days (my Gran is 89). She said that still had her old decorations and if I had any use for them she would send them to me but to her it was a box of tat.

Some of the decorations in the box were quite modern but others like these birds I remember her having when I was little

I love these old Christmas light bulbs

but my favourite thing in the box is this fairy. I don't know how old it is but my Dad said it was always on the tree when he was a boy and he was born in '52.
After receiving these ornaments I think it would be nice to have all vintage decorations on my little tree but I'm not prepared to pay what they go for on Ebay especially at this time of year so I'll keep my eye out for some more next year but I'll definitely put the fairy out somewhere. Somewhere Little L's hands can't reach.

Christmas Crafting

Its starting to feel Christmassy for me already in our house. That's due to us Christmas shopping, Little L going to her first school fair last week and all the Christmas films I have subjected the rest of the family to over the weekend. No tree up yet though because if I put it up too early I'm sick of the sight of it by the time Christmas arrives. Andy has been dropping hints about it but I think he'd be happy to have it up all year round.
This week Little L has been busy cutting decorations out of this book, Christmas Decorations to Cut, Fold & Stick  . My sis bought it for me as a pressie on her last visit.

The pages are printed with Christmas decorations, paper chains, angels, snowflakes, hanging decorations, etc.

The instructions for all the decorations are printed inside the cover, the cut and fold lines clearly shown and all you need is some sellotape to construct them.
Its a great book for children. Little L finds some of them a bit tricky for her to cut out yet but she managed to make some paper chains by herself with me just cutting the sellotape for her.

I've been making some quick decorations using felt. These mice required no sewing, just some cutting out and gluing. The tutorial can be found here

I only stumbled upon a tutorial for these felt Santa's on Flickr the other day. These are designed by Shelly from the Gingermelon Dolls blog who also makes dolls and animals using felt. Gingermelon Dolls patterns can be purchased from Etsy. I only wish I'd have found this blog sooner as I know my mum would love the gingerbread men and snowman but I think I'd be cutting it a bit fine to start them now. The tutorial for the Santa's can be found here.

Baby Murloc

I finally got around to finishing this hoop picture for my eldest boy yesterday. Its a creature called a murloc from the game World Of Warcraft, his favourite on line game. I'm always a bit stuck as what to make for him as he has no interest what so ever in crafty stuff unlike my other two children who are always asking me to make something for them so I thought I'd make something based on his hobbies which at the moment only seem to be sports and playing WoW.

Finished Projects

At the moment I'm trying to get around to finishing off some projects which have been hanging about before I start on Christmassy stuff.

I'd been asked by one of the ladies who run the playgroup Little L used to attend if I would knit some dolls clothes for them if they supplied the wool. Two sets of clothes were knitted, a blanket crocheted and a quilt and pillow made while I was making one for Little L. These were dropped off to the playgroup yesterday.

This embroidery was finished off.

It was going to be a bag when I first started but now I can't make my mind up if I should put it on a pillow instead.

When Caleb saw this pattern he thought it was hilarious and asked me to make him some so I stitched some on to felt and added shirring elastic.

Both of the patterns are from  Sublime Stitching . The top one is called Many Mountains and the moustache pattern is a freebie.

A Wander Through The Forest

I've not been able to get around to posting lately due to a succession of bugs doing the rounds in this house for the past month, colds, sore throats, sickness bugs. At the moment I'm constantly checking Little L for spots as her friend at school was sent home with chicken pox last week but other than that everyone here appears to be back to normal.
Last month before all the illnesses started my husband past his driving test. He has had his motorbike licence for 17 years which meant that he didn't have to sit for the theory test. He only found this out when he tried to book the test after practising theory tests for weeks on the PC. Considering the site for booking the test is government run you would think that this information would be stated somewhere.

Our first trip out was to Delamere Forest which is only about 10 miles away from us. We have been on train before with the boys but it was a new place to Little L. She was really excited before we went but that was because she thought we might see a Gruffalo (her favourite book) and wanted to take some biscuits to coax one out.

No Gruffalo were spotted but plenty of these dens were found made from branches and fern leaves. This one was the largest that the children found.

Lots of different fungi were found.

Caleb (my youngest boy has decided that he doesn't like being called youngest boy or son and told me to just use his name) spotted this one growing on a tree trunk in a bog. He said that he thought it looked like a prawn cracker.
When we were ready for home, all strapped in the car, my husband started patting his pockets and looked a bit panicky. When he had put all our things in the boot, he had put his jacket in there with the car keys in the pocket. So there we were parked up, no mobile, everything in the boot. It's a good job that we don't live too far from the forest. My father in law came to the rescue with some tools to remove a back speaker and from there was able to rummage around in my husbands jacket for the keys.
Quite an eventful first trip out.

Acorn Garland

Last night I felt it was time for a garland change and made this one using an acorn garland tutorial which I saw on A Beautiful Mess blog.

The tutorial uses sticky back vinyl for the wood effect but I thought I'd try using these old sample books instead. I was a bit doubtful of the glue I use working because the samples are plastic but they seem to have held fine and nobody has been hit on the head by a falling acorn so far.

Disclaimer Added

I don't know if anyone has noticed that this blog has never had a disclaimer before but I have had to pop one on. The reason I hadn't put one on before is because everybody knows that I don't sell anything that I make so I never minded if people wanted to use any of my free designs to make things for craft fairs, etc. In light of recent events regarding one of my designs I have been advised to include a disclaimer on this blog. I'm sorry that I have had to do this.


My morning has been spent crawling around the floor attaching a binding to this quilt then pinning the batting and backing on. I'm finding this kind of thing far more easier now that Little L is in school as if she sees anything blankety or cover like spread on the floor, she seems to have an uncontrollable urge to crawl underneath it or roll herself up in it. Not ideal especially when I need to work with pins. All that needs doing now is to hand quilt it then sew the binding on to the back. Having never hand quilted before though, I don't know how long it will take me.

Another thing I'm working on is a knitted golly wog from the above pattern. This is for my Mum who loves golly wogs but has never had one. At the moment the pieces I have knit are looking out of proportion, the head looks too small compared to the body and the feet are tiny. Having never made a golly wog before I don't know if this is how they are meant to be or if it is because I am using an old pattern. I'll just have to see how it turns out.

These are two projects which have been hanging around for months and I have not got round to finishing yet. I'm finding the transfer on the embroidery too faint for me to see at night with our appalling lights and I can't seem to get the legs right on the creature.

I am also waiting for a delivery of some wool to start on making some Christmas presents

Creature Keyrings

As soon as I saw these Aimee Ray mythical creature patterns I knew that Little L would love them as key rings. All the children who have started school this year put key rings on their book bags so they can recognise their own bag more easily. At the moment Little L's is a felt bird which I made and her new best friend has taken a shine to it and wants to do a swap so after buying the pattern I set about making one for each of them.

 Little L chose the jackalope and I made the dragon for her friend.

Now that Little L has seen the finished dragon she has decided that she wants one in a different colour so I might be making key rings for a while yet.

Finished Quilt

This week has been a bit of an odd one for me as Little L started school full time. She absolutely loves it . The only problem she seems to have is that she every time she goes to the toilet, she gets locked in and has had to be rescued by an older pupil or the teacher. I'm pleased Little L has settled in so easily. For me, going home to an empty, very quiet house is strange. Also shopping alone is something I haven't done for quite a few years. I've managed to get the housework done faster which has given me time to finish off my first quilt this week.

I finished it off this afternoon and it has already left the house for it's new home at my Mum's.

Trying Something New

Over the summer holidays I have been trying out something new craft wise. Beside making this dolls quilt for Little L I've not done any patchwork so I thought I'd give it another go mainly to reduce my stash of fabric.

The first thing I made was another dolls quilt but with a hexagon pattern. Most of this was done sitting in the garden on the (very few) nice days we have had here.

The next was this not very colourful quilt top. I always seem to accumulate more fabric in brown shades and most of this has been given to me or started off as clothing. When I was sewing the pieces together I found that some of the cotton blends were a bit stretchy so my joins on this aren't perfect and I also found that I wasn't that bothered about it. I must be getting less picky in my old age because not long ago I would have cut down the troublesome squares to fit perfectly or removed them. I'll have to see if the pickiness returns on my next one.

I also bought this book on quilting ( because I know nothing ) off Ebay for 99p. I think you can pick up some bargain crafty book from there as long as you don't mind them being a bit dated.

These are some blocks which I have started. I'm finding these ones a bit more fiddly and may be some time finishing this one.

Somebody Elses Rubbish

My gran has been having a bit of a sort out and some of her rubbish has ended up here. She thinks it quite funny that I was willing to take her old bedding of her hands. We were talking about embroidery the last time I saw her and mentioned that I use plain pillowcases and she said that she had some king size white cotton sheets at home that hadn't been used for about 25 years if I wanted them.

Of course I said I'd have them so she sent them to me along with more bedding, a tablecloth, a large piece of calico, some sacking with tools for making a rag rug and a wooden tapestry frame ( with some work still attached ).

These music sheets and books of my Grandad's also ended up with me.

While I'm not ready to set to my Grandad's old books with a pair of scissors just yet, I made new garland yesterday using music sheets bought from a charity shop. The garland is in the usual garland spot above the front door.

A Colouring In Tablecloth

This afternoon was spent cutting and sticking with Little L. We were making a colouring in tablecloth using her old comics and colouring books. There always seems to be an abundance of colouring books here which are never quite finished so I'm glad we used them for something else before popping them in to the recycle tub.

I saw the idea for a colouring tablecloth on the Imagine Our Life blog which I stumbled upon via a link to one of the quiet books featured on the site. I love these felt activity books and will have to get around to making one before Little L grows out of this kind of thing.