Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The last tree decorations



This is a little felt mouse in a stocking. My mum taught me to do these when I was a kid. All you need is some felt, lace, beads, ribbon, cotton and needle.

You cut some felt into 2 stockings and sew the together. Stitch the ribbon on in a loop so you can hang it up.

To make the mouse you cut 2 jelly bean shaped pieces of felt and sew them together. Sew on to semi circles for the ears, beads for the eyes, then make cotton whiskers and a nose. Then pop the mouse in the stocking.
You can add lace to the stocking to make it prettier.



Another decoration you can make with felt is these Christmas trees.



Another great tree decoration is a Christmas cross stitch. You can either put it in a little frame like this one or use old curtain rings to frame and hang them. Cross stitches are time consuming but I really like them.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lolly Wreath



This lolly wreath is a very basic one and so easy. Kids love them.




All you need is a circle of cardboard, lollies or chocolates in wrappers, glue and ribbon.



It simply a matter of putting glue on the cardboard and sticking the lollies. Then wrap some ribbon around to hang it up and you’re done.




You can use colour themes, such as all red lollies or red and green for Christmas. You could do it as an advent calendar and have 25 chocolates or lollies stuck on, opening one each day until Christmas.

This is a great activity for the kids provided they don’t try to help like my daughter did. She just wanted to eat them all and every time I turned away to check on my other daughter she had another one in her mouth!

An advent calendar


Felt is fantastic to work with. If you can’t sew, that’s ok, because you can cut and glue. Felt doesn’t fray and doesn’t need to be hemmed like other fabrics.

This advent calendar isn’t too hard to make. I bought it premade because it was only 50c. To make one is really easy though. Just find a picture you would like to use, cut the shapes you need and for the actual advent bit have 1 long piece of felt with smaller rectangles going across. Sew or glue them to create pockets.

You can put lollies or chocolates in them or one thing we used to do is write something nice we had to do on a piece of paper for each pocket. There were lollies and tings in the pockets as well, but the notes made it more Christmassy. Things like “Sing Away in a manger as a family” or “Smile at 5 people today” or “Help someone with their chores” really bought the spirit of Christmas into the house.

My mother made our advent calendar. I’ll see if my sister in law still has it and post a pic for you. It’s my favourite one ever.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Another simple candle display



I did a candle centrepiece before, and this is another simple one.

All you need is 3 white candles of varying lengths and some Christmas wrapping paper. Any wrapping paper will do.

Simply wrap the paper around the candle and glue, tape or pin in place. That’s it!

It is so incredibly simple and you can change it as often as you like, it can be adapted for any colour theme and can be as big or small as you like. You can add things like pinecones or greenery, tinsel, baubles etc... Let your imagination run wild.

They look great as a centrepiece on a table, or mantle or even at the bas of the Christmas tree (until you get some presents under there!


I got the idea from when my sister sent me a link to this blog and I really liked it.

Snowflakes



I made these snowflakes for my Christmas tree and they are so easy.

You just need wire and any beads you like. You could even use thin pipe cleaners.





For the first beads strung on it’s best to use hearts like these
Because they fit better together than round beads and will sit nicely. The rest is up to you. You could use tear drops, round beads, star beads, anything. On the end you could glue the last bead or you could use bead stops, which is what I have done in the picture.

The secret language of birthdays

Recently I read Secret Language of Birthdays and was astounded.

This is not an astrology book. It has every birthday but research was used to form the book. There is a bit of numerology and a tarot card for each birthday as well, but the basis of the book was done by researching people born on each day and finding out the common traits for each day.

My friend and I had been discussing the day before my views on family life, which I won’t share here, but the next day when I read my birthday, it said almost exactly I had said to my friend.

Also in the book it said I am a risk taker. I turned to me friend and said most people think I am, but I am fully comfortable with what I do and do not see things I want to do as risks, though often my husband and family do. Which, as I read on was EXACTLY what it said next. I don’t have the book with me so can’t give you word for word, but it was freaky.

I read it with my husband there and he was amazed and laughed at how accurate it was. I was comfortable with what it said about me, as I was already aware of my weaknesses that I need to work on. My husband on the other hand was not so happy with his birthday description. It was accurate, but he did not like confronting some of what it said.

This book is REALLY fascinating and can help you understand where others are coming from a bit better and has helped others I know in their relationships.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Little Elves



I cannot take the credit for this particular little elf, but I have made them and they are so cute and easy. And yes, he is sitting on my shoe rack, because these little guys are small enough to go anywhere.

My mother made this one years ago. All you need is
1 wooden cotton spool
4 small round wooden beads
1 large wooden bead
A felt triangle for the hat
A small pompom
Ribbon
Paint
Glue

Paint the spool how you would like. Red, green, whatever. You can do a line of elves and write a different letter on each, such as Merry Christmas, Peace, Joy etc... Or write Ho Ho Ho on 3 elves.

Paint the face on the large wooden bead by using a dot of white then a dot of black for the eyes and a dot of red for the lips.

Cut 3 strips of ribbon, 1 for both arms and 1 each for the legs.

Glue the 2 leg strips to the bottom of the spool. Lay the arms over the top of the spool so the ribbon comes down the sides. Glue the head onto the ribbon and spool, so it is all held into place.

Next glue the hat and pompom on the elf’s head.

Finally, thread the small beads onto the legs and hands. Tie a knot at the end of the legs and arms to secure the bead in place.

These little elves are a great way to make your house look Christmassy, as they can be placed pretty much anywhere. On the TV,






On the kitchen bench, piano, window sills, bedside tables, anywhere.

Rocky road Christmas tree




I love rocky road and what better way to make it Christmassy then to turn it into a Christmas tree! I have seen miniature versions of this, but I like this big one as you can use it as a centrepiece. The small ones make great gifts though.

To make rocky road into a tree, all you need is some baking paper shaped into a cone and taped to stay that way. Then you fill the cone with rocky road and leave it to set.

It is so easy. To make it more like a Christmas tree wrap tinsel around it and place a star on top.

My most requested rocky road recipe is this one

1 block of chocolate (I use the good stuff, not the cheap stuff!)
1 – 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter, I use crunchy normally
1 packet of marshmallows (these can be the cheap ones), chopped
1 -2 of your fav chocolate bars, like violet crumble, cherry ripe, mint crisp etc... whichever flavour you would like, chopped finely

Melt the chocolate and peanut butter together. Stir in the marshmallows and chocolate bars. Place into a tray (or baking paper cone) to set. Leave in the fridge for 2 hours at least to set.

Christmas Table decorated red and silver



On the weekend my mother in law had a church Christmas party which had a table decorating competition. The table above is hers.

She made everything, the tablecloths, table runner, napkins, the tree and biscuits, napkin rings, glass decorations etc...



To make the silver tree she collected some branches that had fallen off a tree and sprayed them with silver paint. I couldn’t get a good pic of it because people came to quick, sorry.




She made star, heart and Christmas tree biscuits. They were pierced with a skewer to make a hole before they were cooked. After they were cooked and cooled, they were iced and had silver curling ribbon threaded through the hole to hang on the tree.

Along with the biscuits we hung silver ornaments.



On this glass




And wrapped around this napkin is a cheap bead string. The string had wired wrapped around it to make it easy to place on the glass and wrap around a napkin for a ring. This is so easy and cheap to do, yet looks very good.

Also on the table is hurricane vases filled with balls. I love that look, which turned out to be very popular and was on every second table.

I was going to take pictures of the other tables, but in my opinion, the others weren’t picture worthy. We were shocked when my mother in law didn’t win, coz to me, tinsel on a table does not show effort! Yes, that is what one of the winning tables had.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Cards



These cards are quite simple, yet effective. All you need is
a card
wrapping paper of your choice
sticky tape
stickers (optional)




It is simply a matter of cutting strips of wrapping paper adn folding it in half. Place them on angles inside the card and tape in place.

Keep going until all the hole is covered.

You can place stickers on the card like mine if you like, or just leave it blank.

Table runner



When I saw this fabric I had to have it. I loved it. I was so good though, I didn't buy it the first few times I went to the shop. I did buy it last time though.



I do realise this picture is not on a table, that is because I don't really have one, but I wanted to make a table runner out of it anyway.

I used some white fabric to use as the base. I hemmed the edges and then attached the pretty fabric.

I really like it, but unfortunately wont get to use it for a while.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Calico puddings




My mum used to make these puddings and they are so incredibly easy it's not funny.
You need
A foam ball
Ribbon or cotton
Glue
A square of calico
Holly leaves




Place a dab of glue on the foam ball and stick the cotton to it so the cotton forms a loop.

Place the ball in the middle of the calico square and bring the corners up to meet in the middle. As you are doing this, ensure the ribbon is sitting out of the calico, as you will use the ribbon to hang the pudding off the tree.



Pull the fabric together just above the foam ball and tie a piece of cotton around it to hold it in place.

Slip the holly through the cotton and wrap it around to hold it in place.




And that is it. Too easy. Simply hang it on the tree. This is a great craft for kids as well.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Tree Skirt




Christmas tree skirts can be done in a variety of ways. You can make them circular or more square like mine, depending on if your tree is on the ground or a box.

All I did for mine was get some material, white drill to be exact, glue ribbon I liked on it and draped it over my box.

Super easy Christmas craft and it just made the whole tree look better.




Here’s the edging up close. It is the same ribbon I used to make my wreath.

A poem I really love

My friend shared this with me not long ago and I came across it again this morning, so I thought I would share it.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Or deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant,
Gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We are born to make manifest the Glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same
As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Bon Bons



Christmas bon bons are loved by all and are so easy to make. We always made them without the “snap” in the middle, which sometimes can be less satisfying, but they are still fun.



All you need is a toilet roll, wrapping paper or crepe paper, tape, ribbon and whatever you would like to put inside. Lollies, small toys, a joke etc...

Then it is simply a matter of wrapping the paper around the toilet roll and securing it with tape.

Tie one end with ribbon. Place the “goodies” inside. Tie the other end with ribbon and you’re done.

You can put gender specific treats, such as ear rings, inside and use pink and blue wrap to distinguish.
You could use any wrap to match your colour scheme.
I saw bon bons using music sheets as the paper and red ribbon to tie them. They looked super cute, but did not have such a cute price tag. It would be easy enough to print off some music paper or get some cheap from a second hand shop.

Kids love them and this is a craft that is easy enough for kids to make!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Snowflake napkin and napkin ring



Here’s a 2 for 1! A napkin and napkin ring. These were so easy for me to make and took nowhere near as long as I thought. I saw some napkins in a catalogue recently that I thought were cute. They were $5ea. Considering I already had white fabric, knew how to sew and had silver cotton to embroider, $5ea, or $30 for a set of 6 was more than I wanted to pay.




To make the napkin I cut out a 30cm x 30cm square of fabric. Use whatever fabric you like, as long as it is soft, not too thin and easy to work with. I folded the edges in then ironed them so I could hem the napkins easily. I sewed with a straight stitch all around.



Then it was simply a matter of choosing a design and stitching it on. I chose a very simple snowflake.



For the napkin ring, I got a piece of silver ribbon. Cut it to a size I liked.



I stitched on some blue and pearl white beads, as they were the beads I had that suit my silver blue Christmas. I stitched them on in pairs. I started doing them individually, but pairs were quicker, but still secure. I think if I did anymore at one time it wouldn’t sit as well.



With the last beads stitched on, I folded the ribbon back on itself and stitched it in place. I followed this with a dab of glue to ensure it will stay together.



And that was it. Too easy. Just do as many as you would like, 4, 6, 8, 12, whatever you need.

Gift tags




This is a really simple Christmas craft, gift tags.

I just used some white tags and painted them using various effects to personalise them. You could add stickers, sequins, anything.

Another great way to make tags is to use old Christmas cards cut up.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Blue and Silver Christmas Wreath




I am not keeping up with my 25 days of Christmas, but here is the next thing. Since I am aiming for a silver and blue Christmas this year, I decided to make a wreath.

I collected pine cones from a local park. I already had a small wooden ring, silver paint and had bought some blue and silver Christmas ribbon the other week for $1.50.



All I had to do was paint the pine cones and leave them to dry.
Once they were dry I glued them to the ring.
Once the glue was dry I wrapped the ribbon around and that was it.

It now sits just inside my doorway (we have glass sliding doors, so can’t hang on the front door). I love it to bits. It is the sort of wreath i have wanted for ages and cost me next to nothing!

Long desired bargains




Check it out! Now this wont be exciting to everyone, but in this picture are items I have wanted for a while. I went to one of my fav stores the other day loaded with a gift voucher and money from my hubby, together it gave me $100 to spend. I looked around and didn’t see much I really wanted. I picked up the Christmas decorations I had been eyeing off and noticed they were marked down.

The shop lady came up and said “all decorations were 25% off, plus there was 15% off storewide today only” (the 15% off today only is a crock, as they do that all the time!) So I picked up the things I had been looking at and decided to have a closer look at the bargain wall.

Boy am I glad I did. I spent $106 with my voucher and the money from my husband and got $371 worth of stuff. Baskets usually $35 for $8.50, candle holders, Christmas decorations, 2 gold plates which will sit on our bedside tables once we have our house and I make our bedspread from the fabric I got earlier.

I was so excited. Some of the candle holders worked out to be $1.70each!

I had scanned the bargain wall, but since I didn’t really find anything I liked I was going to go to the shop another day. When I decided to look at it closer, I noticed things I liked, but missed them before because they had boxes of stuff in the way and I had to climb over things to get them. I love it all so much.

I am not someone who likes to pay full price, but I know how I want my house when we have it and to be able to get the things I want for it so cheap is fanfreakintastic!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Make your own Christmas decorations



Making your own Christmas decorations from beads is so easy. Look for pretty ones in necklaces or ornaments at cheap shops or even op shops.

I actually got the beads from my mother in law and just strung them together. I used a thicker almost like twine cotton to thread them and ensure they don’t get tangled or break.

There are many designs you can make. This one is super easy as I already had a pretty bead to be the main part of the decoration. Stay tuned though, because I will have more decorations.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Christmas Aprons



This is one of the Christmas aprons I made. I like full aprons, as they are actually useful.

I made it by cutting strips of Christmas fabric into 2 inch strips and sewed them together. I cut out the shape I wanted and laid it on some green drill.

I cut the same shape out of green drill, cut 3 strips of cord for the straps and sewed it all together.

I have a few other designs I am going to work on, but this is the first one. I made a matching one for my daughter as well.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Snowmen



I can’t take credit for these cute snowmen. My mum made them over 10 years ago and I love them. They are made out of calico and are simply 2 calico shapes sewn together with an oval bottom sewn in. Leave a gap somewhere on it to turn them in the right way and so you can stuff them.

Rice is place inside at the bottom, about ½ cup and then stuff the snowmen with wadding/stuffing.

You can decorate them however you like, with buttons, paint, sayings etc...

These ones say “hearts come home for Christmas” and “The heart of Christmas is love.”

Monday, November 23, 2009

Beaded Angels



This beaded angel is so cute. I love them. They are not as easy to make as other things I have shown, but they are just beads, pipecleaners and glue.



You will need
5 x 15 cm thin white pipecleaners
1 large frosted bead, 14mm (for the head)
2 medium frosted beads, 6mm (for the hands)
1 large octagonal round type bead, 13 x 10mm (for the body)
9 - 11 medium octagonal round type beads, 6mm
44 – 48 small octagonal round type beads, 4mm
5 large star type beads, 25mm
5 medium star type beads, 18mm
7 small star type beads, 10mm




These are the beads you will need for each part of the skirt. They will be placed in the order starting with the small octagonal bead, then the medium bead, star beads etc... I found it easiest to lay them out so I could just pick them up in order as needed.



Firstly thread the pipecleaners through the large hexagonal bead, leaving 1 3/4 inch (4.5cm) out on one side. Spread the pipecleaners out, as shown in the picture to create the skirt, which you will thread the beads on.



Before putting the last small bead on each piepcleaner, place a small amount of glue at the base of the large star, to help the small bead stick. If there is any piepcleaner sticking out after you have threaded the beads on, trim it with the pliers.

I like to leave the glue to set as it makes the next steps easier.



Next, space out the long pieces of pipecleaner and place the large frosted round bead on one for the angels head.




Leaving a small space, thread on 8 small hexagonal beads on above the head. Twist it to form a circle and wrap some of the excess pipecleaner around itself to secure it in place. Trim off the excess pipecleaner with the pliers.



On one of the other long pieces of pipecleaner thread 12 small octagonal beads. Twist it to form an oval and wrap some of the pipecleaner back on itself to secure it. If you wish you can thread 2 small octagonal beads and one medium on the excess pipecleaner, with a little bit of glue to secure or you can simply trim the excess. This is one wing. Repeat this with another pipecleaner to create the second wing.




I tried to show you the wing "excess" in the picture above, but I'm not sure if it's easy to understand what I mean.



These are the beads you will need for each arm, in the right order.




Starting with the medium octagonal beads and ending with the medium frosted beads, thread the beads to create the arms on the 2 remaining pipecleaners. Use glue to secure the frosted beads and trim the excess of the pipecleaners.



And you're done! You can either sit them on your tree or around the house, use them as table decorations or thread a bit of string near the halo to hang them.

They look so beautiful near the lights, glistening.