A collection of current and past crafting projects using many different materials and techniques. Search within project categories for projects in a particular area, or just browse through all the different handmade things that spring up in our home.
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Back in October 2010 I started a scarf, knit lengthways in linen stitch, from four skeins of Koigu Painters Palette Premium Merino (KPPPM). Things in my life were not right at that time, and it was a meditative marathon of a knit. Each row of […]
As I walked with my little boy to his nursery this week, we talked about the changing seasons. He was given a perpetual calendar for his birthday, which also records the time, weather and changing seasons, so we have enjoyed watching the almost daily changes that this time of year brings.
As we walked through the cold and crisp weather and talked about the bare trees now devoid of leaves, we passed by the garden of a huge house. He spotted that a huge leaf pile had been swept into a corner of the front garden and announced ‘this bit is still autumn’.
I resolved then to change the bit of our home that was ‘still autumn’ and to make a replacement for the paper autumn leaf wreath on the front door.
I have had a box of paper snowflakes for years. I am not sure how many years, but I think I bought them either before I had my little boy or whilst he was a babe in arms. I am pretty sure my husband asked what I was going to make with them when I bought them (memory also suggests that the whole box cost me £1), and I am pretty sure that I shrugged and said ‘something’.
Well, finally that something turned out to be a winter snowflake wreath for our front door.
I bought a polystyrene wreath form from Poundland which I painted light blue with acrylic paint. In hindsight next time I would leave it white or paint it to match the colour of one of the papers used for the snowflakes, but at least it does not stand out too much.
I didn’t shy from including the pastel colours and left out only the seven huge dark red snowflakes that were included in the box of paper shapes that I bought. I had asked the good people of Twitter what type of glue I might use to attach card/paper and polystyrene, as it has a tendency to melt or dissolve when in contact with solvent-based glues, when Coopknits asked whether I might use dressmakers pins directly into the polystyrene form. It was the perfect solution, and exactly the technique I had used when making my bridal bouquets, being both secure and even adding a small element of unobtrusive decoration by way of pearl-headed dressmaker’s pins.
Though the wreath form is crowded with snowflakes, I attached them in a planned manner, dividing the wreath form into seven segments and placing the snowflakes (of which I had seven of each size, shape and colour) evenly and methodically into those sections. Only the very top, small white snowflakes did I place in a less methodical manner, to give a more random look to those topmost flakes.
Since finishing the wreath I keep changing between loving it and thinking that it’s just a big mess of paper, which in many ways it is. But it is like a chaotic flurry of snowflakes. It is airy, light and works well in our brightly lit hallway, and I think does a superb job of seeing away that part of our home that was still autumn so that we can welcome in the festivities that winter promises.
The first Christmas decorations have gone up in our house in the form of our Christmas stockings. In past years I have hung the two stockings that I designed and knitted; (Star Stocking and Cool Stocking) for my husband and I. I love those stockings so […]
We have not had a Christmas tree up for the past two Christmasses at Castle Codd. As soon as The Toddler Years hit, the floor space became a valuable commodity, and it just seemed to be more bother than it was worth. Russell really misses the Christmas tree, though, and if I have to look at his sad droopy puppy dog eyes every day from December the 1st for one more Christmas it will be too much. Additionally, my little boy has started to show and interest in Christmas and all of the shiny sparkle that it might possess. At a supermarket recently, a huge tree bedecked with lights caught his eye. I asked if he would like a Christmas tree at our own house this year. ‘Yes please, Mummy’. The deal is sealed.
So, I am preparing a few decorations. I think a fair few of ours are toddler-friendly; the glass decorations to be put away until such a time as our son won’t break them (which I am guessing will be when he’s about 30) but I thought a few more toddler-friendly decorations cannot go amiss.
I found this kit for four brightly coloured embroidered felt decorations in Hobbycraft for just £3, perfect for a bit of budget crafting. I’ve had a look online to see if I can find a link to this particular kit, but either my site search power is amiss or they are not for sale online. You can buy a digital pattern for both these and a whole range of other patterns from the designer, Larissa Holland’s, Etsy store, however.
A big bonus to buying the kit for me, however, was that the pieces of felt were pre-cut. As I do not have a printer, printing and cutting the shapes accurately is pretty much impossible. Obviously, the kit worked out a far bit cheaper than buying the patterns and materials individually, too, though the felt is of a very hard, crisp quality, rather tough to sew through (though it holds shape fabulously when finished).
The instructions for the embroidery are rudimentary at best. ‘Stitch a leaf design onto the green pear piece’. Looking at the design on the front of the kit, a stitcher with just a little experience, or a beginner with a bit of pluck and a simple guide to embroidery stitches should be just fine. I’d recommend anyone stitching along to mark a general placement of the main lines of stitching, else your free-handing may result in a pear as fabulously wonk as my yellow pear, but nature’s wonkiest fruits are often the sweetest, so she can stay.
Two of the ornaments I stitched as close to the original designs as I could see/be bothered. The others I did in my own pattern, though they are very definitely variations on the original theme. I took me a day on and off to make these four decorations, which isn’t long at all for something so cheery that I am sure will grace our tree for a good number of years.
Any other handmade decoration ideas out there? Are others gathering grand ideas and plans or are festive makes already truly under way?