Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Green" Giving

Yesterday I checked out this craft book from the library called Simply Green Giving by Danny Seo (2006). Like any good crafty book there are nice big pictures.

And like any good craft book there are a few ideas that are just plain silly. But the important thing is getting the creativity going! 

At the house, we are brewing a giant batch of beer for gift giving ease. I am personally the most excited about wrapping and labeling the bottles. This book has several ideas for wrapping bottles. Even if you don't make your own, any kind of alcohol is good for giving! I have already started to make giant ribbon bows using this tutorial via Natasha via Crafty Christmas Club.

They were so easy to make! I want to make them more and more huge... muahaha



Parading The Pyjamas

I was struck by how many Christmas Crafters intended to make pyjama bottoms - and what a good present idea that was. So I ordered the Simplicity 2721 pattern and went down to Walthamstow market for some brushed cotton, that I bought at £1 a metre. Yes, you read that right. This fabric is cheap as chips, soft as marshmallow, warm as toast and strong as an ox! (Four similes in one sentence. I think that must be some sort of blogging record.)

These pyjama bottoms were easy-peasy to sew up. You could complete a project in an evening. I added a couple of extra touches.

Decorative stitching around the ankle hems:

And a very cute name tag/hanging loop, alongside the French seams:

I hope my sisters will be pleased with their presents. (I have one more pair to make.) Two pairs of personalised pyjama bottoms for a tenner, including the cost of the pattern. Not bad!

You can see my non-Christmas projects at Didyoumakethat?

"Christmas in Rockefeller Center" Special

The Lighting of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree on NBC!

Tuesday - November 30, 2010 - 8-9 P.M. ET/PT

Please check your Local NBC Channel. I believe there is more coverage of this on TV - in the New York and surrounding areas.

Performers Include:JOSH GROBAN,

Luggage Tags

The production line here @carmencitab was heating up as I have to send everything this week in order for everyone to receive their gift on time, my entire family lives on the other side of the Atlantic. We are a family of travelers, and there are talks of a big family gathering in a warm place this year so I have made a pair of luggage tags for everyone with fabric scraps, plastic sheeting, fusible interlining, fusible adhesive, eyelets and invisible thread. A little teaser, until we dip our toes in warm sand and blue water. I have to thank Tweed Thoughts for the idea. A little tip? You should sew plastic very slowly, it stretches like mad.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Proud Grandmothers Bag

I wanted to share with you a simple sewing project that would make a cute present for proud grandmothers. I gave this bag to my mother for her birthday and she absolutely loves it. Not only because I made it but because it´s embroidered with my children artwork. Here are some links if you´d like to give it a go:
Inspiration: this tutorial and Martha Stewart website
Pattern: Bag from this book by Cath Kidston
Fabrics: Ikea

Tabbed Kitchen Towels

Hello again!

I've finished more of gifts, some tabbed kitchen towels for my mother and aunt. They were super easy and quick to make since I used store-bought towels and just modified them. Check them out here.


I've also finished my Christmas tree skirt (although this one is for me).


Now I just have to start working on that drink holder for my brother...

Crocheted Bows

...sew 'em on everything!!

The pattern comes from creativeyarn, which you may already be familiar with. If not, check it out! The blog seems to be out of commission,  but is still a great resource!! Lots of free crochet patterns for gifty things. 

When I saw Emily's post about crocheted mittens, I immediately pictured them with these cute little bows. (Not that your embroidered bow isn't totally sweet!)

/toasty crocheted mittens

Hi again, it's Emily from seymour. Firstly, I need to say that I've been LOVING everyone's posts so far! Great tutorials and brilliant ideas, so thanks everyone!

It seems that this year, everyone is asking for mittens. I'm pretty sure this is because of the early snow we got last week, and my friends and relatives were confronted with the strange colours their hands turn without the proper bundling accessories. Anyhow, this is good because mittens are a very do-able project!

While I'm not totally done with either pair yet, I thought I'd share this pattern sooner than later if anyone would like to get started on some crochet mittens. They're the Basic Crocheted Mittens from allfreecrochet.com.

I'm a big fan of making these, because they go super fast and take under one skein of worsted yarn for one pair! It's also easy to alter for different sized hands. 

My plan is to stitch bows at all the wrists with embroidery thread, but the first attempt looks like a crazy person did it. Pretty sure this was done at 1 or 2 am... I can't be sure if it's even 'cutesy homemade' or just insane. Either way, this bow must go because I doubt this craziness could be replicated on its twin... how did I even do that? Oops.

Regardless, I definitely recommend this pattern for all your cold-limbed friends and relatives!

small presents

because i havent got a lot of time
i'm making my friends this

and for everyone a home made stamp

this one is for my friend that loves tea

A Tie Rose Tutorial

Hi Guys Sorry it's taken so long but Uni work is finished and its now time to get making for Christmas!
Here after popular request is my Tie Roses Tutorial!
This is super super easy and one Rose took me about 40mins sat in front of the TV. You can put them on metal hairbands or attach a brooch back to them I'm doing one hairband and two brooches. The Band was £1.25 from a bead shop and about 20 brooch backs were £2.50.
Apologies for some of the dark photos.

You Will need:
Hand Sewing Needle
One Necktie and
Your Desired fastening or band. Thats it!

Ok Here goes:

First twist the thick end of the tie into a curl just enough to get about 3 twists around. I decided to twist it and then roll it together but you don't have to, I'm just a butterfingers and found it easier.
Next secure it so you can concentrate on the next step knowing it won't unravel,
Do this by just sticking a few stitches in haphazard as you like.

Go to the thin end of the tie and do a tacking or running stitch up one side making sure it's open at both ends, Ruche as much or as little as you like by pulling on one side of the thread and holding the other still (depending on how frilly you would like your flower.)
Then Start to gather into circles, stitching in place as you go leave the little end free.

The Back should look like this messy is totally fine as here is the cheeky trick...

Fold over the little tie end and stitch in place and voila! No messy stitching!
And a perfect loop for headband or just stitch your Brooch back on and there you have it!
Here is my housemate Josh modeling it for me! Good Luck!

CMA Country Christmas - New Tonight !

Monday, November 29, 2010-

The CMA Country Christmas Show Premieres Tonight on ABC!

Click here to see the list of performers!

Watch Country Music stars as they perform classic Christmas songs and share treasured
holiday memories on the first ever CMA Country Christmas!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Upcycled Coasters

Some cork coasters from my kitchen drawer in need of a facelift, using a damaged Bambi childrens book, some mod podge, PVA glue, scissors and sandpaper to finish off the edges:


These particular coasters were more of a trial to see if they worked out, which they did, so now I'm on the hunt for some second-hand coasters in op-shops to make some more as Christmas gifts!

Also over on my blog

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Looks like I'm not the only one to love Amy Butler Patterns!

For my birthday I had this book:
and since it had a purse pattern in it that has a zipper for closure rather than my nemesis metal clasp frame huffed about here I decided to give it a go.  This is what it looks like in the book:

and this is my attempt:

I had some Amy Butler fabric fat quarters that I'd treated myself to a while ago so used one for the main body of the purse and the top piece is a fabric remnant I picked up.  I'm using the other fat quarters to make two of the bags featured in the book and going to make more of the purses as Christmas presents as I think I know what I'm doing now I've made one!  Highly recommend the book as it comes with all the patterns in a nifty little holder at the back.

Happy making!

Amy Butler Swing Bag

Having just had a new bathroom put in, I enter this Christmas as poor as a church mouse. Which makes me extra-specially glad that this version of the Amy Butler Swing Bag is made almost completely from scraps left over from previous projects. Anyone who reads my blog at Didyoumakethat will recognise the wool from my make of the Simplicity 2512 skirt. The button is rescued from an old jacket. Only the butter yellow interior wool was bought new, but that was a scrap reduced from £9 to £3. It's from MacCulloch & Wallis and is a really luxurious feeling wool.

I'm not sure I recommend making this bag in wool. The stretch makes accurate sizing a tad difficult. Ideally, you need a nice, crisp cotton. But as a bargain basement Christmas present for my sister? Result!

I added a nice little interior pocket, with a ribbon loop for attaching keys or iphone cases:

I'd say this bag is a great little make for Christmas presents. Go ahead and make your own!

Christmas cards with a sparkly gift!

Hello everyone!
I'm wowed by so many lovely ideas - seriously re-thinking some of my original ideas!

I've been beavering away creating some affordable pressies for selling at a Christmas Craft fair, but thought these ideas could also be little pressies for friends at work, or even adapted for a child to make to give.

I've made little jewellery presents & attached them to handmade cards as a true "gift card" (as opposed to those credit card sized pieces of plastic that you load up with cash to give to someone to spend in that store). I've a bit more info on my blog, but you can probably work it out!

First to show are wine glass charms (x 6, all different, otherwise what would be the point?!!) - on a Christmassy sketched card that shows it off like a belly ring! The other 5 are in the envelope as part of the present.

Then, for the other design I've lino-printed a Christmas tree (that took me back - sticking the lino on the radiator to warm it up a bit before cutting!) Then I've punched holes & stitched on a necklace to adorn the tree.

I'm sure there are lots of similar things you could do to mix card & gift in one go!
I've also made a non Christmas design with a flower brooch.

Back to sewing now though ... byeee!

"Call Me Mrs Miracle" and More Christmas Movie Premieres this Weekend!

There are 3 new Christmas Movies premiering this Weekend! So, don't forget to set that recorder... if you are heading out the door to go shopping!!! These all look to be something delightful and fun to watch as you are baking or Christmas decorating or just relaxing with the family!

Click on the Movie Titles below for More Details & Pictures!

Saturday - November 27, 2010
and re-airing on

Gifts for the Advent Calendar

This week the gift post is a bit different. I want to get ready for the 1st December where I am putting up my Advent Calendar. These days John and I buy a LEGO set and divide it into 24 parts for which I sewed 24 bags. But you can also just make some other smaller gifts to put in each bag. The tutorial today is about how to make the bags and you can have a look at the Pinterest Board for some ideas for other things to put in the bags.

What would you put in such bags?

Meet me on Grey Duckling

A Walk in my Shoes - NBC Family Movie Night


A Walk in my Shoes

Network: NBC

Original Air Date: December 3, 2010


Nancy Travis ... Trish / Cindy
Jackson Pace ... Mikey Kremer
Cameron Deane Stewart ... Justin Kremer
Jana Lee Hamblin ... Cindy Kremer
Philip Winchester ... Jake
Yara Martinez ... Molly - the Angel
Betty Moyer ... Phoebe
Elijah Nelson ... Toby
Sarah Willey ... Head Cheerleader
Shanga Parker ...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Let the Christmas Season begin... Happy Shopping Day!!!

November 26, 2010:

It's the day after Thanksgiving... while most call it Black Friday, I prefer Shopping Day, as it says on my Hoops and YoYo Calender.

Here's some Christmas Gift Ideas for Santa and all his little Elves:
(click on the pictures for more details!)

Ugg Boots for Her

Kindle Wireless Reading:

Hoops and YoYo Talking Hallmark Movie Night

Sony Mp3 Walkman

Puffer Vest

Tonight's Hoops & YoYo Feature...

November 26, 2010 ~

The Hallmark Channel Movie-
Moonlight and Mistletoe.
10 PM est.

Click here for Pictures & More Movie Info!

 Also, catch Christopher Wiehl, pictured above with Candace Cameron Bure, in the upcoming Hallmark Channel Christmas Movie, Farewell Mr. Kringle.(December 4th)

Hallmark MOVIE Channel Christmas Movies

I wanted to share with you all a link to the Hallmark MOVIE Channel's listings of Christmas Movies.

The Hallmark MOVIE Channel is only airing Movies in the afternoon. They will be playing the same movies that are already airing on the Hallmark Channel.

Movies, airing on the Hallmark MOVIE Channel will not be added to the Christmas TV Schedule on this site this year. The list here focuses

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Advent bags

Hello again! I have just read the comments left about the advent bunting and thought I would post a picture of a quicker alternative  - I didn't have time to do the bunting last year so just made the 24 bags out of Christmassy fabric. I then hung strips of ribbon down and attached the bags using red spray painted wooden pegs (or you can quite often buy christmas themed pegs or similar). I also attached a card to each bag (also using the peg)  - the cards were numbered 1 to 24.

You could also attach them garland like - horizontally to a piece of string or ribbon.

Easy, quick hair clips

Hello everyone!
You may remember the advent bunting I posted about last week. Well, making the bunting is one thing - getting 24 little things to fill the pockets is quite another (particularly if you don't want to spend a small fortune). Here is a quick and easy project that is perfect for little (and big!) girls.

(these would also make good stocking fillers or add a little something to a little girl's present - I am going to include some for each of my nieces to go with the dresses I have made them - blogged about here)  

You need:
some plain hair clips
some ribbon or trim (at least as wide as the hair clips) 
felt flowers, buttons, bits of lace to decorate
glue - I use a glue gun with hot glue which I like as it is quick and sticks fast. Other glues would probably work too.

Take a hair clip and open it (as above)

Take your ribbon and cut a piece about 2cm longer than the hair clip (the clip will go in the middle and 1cm of ribbon will bend over at each end - see below)

Place a dot of glue at each end of the ribbon - around where the hair clip will go. You do not want to glue the whole length of the ribbon as otherwise the glue will go through the holes in the clip  - a good blob at each end should hold the ribbon firm.

Once the glue is on the ribbon place the hair clip top side down (still open) on the ribbon and bend over the ends of the ribbon and press firm to stick.

Below is how the clip will now look. Keep the clip open until the glue has dried to prevent any surplus of glue sticking the clip together (sort of defeats the purpose!)

Once the glue has dried ( a couple of minutes for hot glue) you can turn the clip over and it should look something like this:

If you have used a pretty trim you may choose to leave the clip as it is. Otherwise a further dollop of glue and a pre cut felt flower or button (or both) can give you something like this:

or a ruler ribbon and pencil button can give you something like this:

The opportunities are endless!

If using as a present I like to put them on to a bit of card which you can also decorate or personalise with a photo.

Hair clips - tick. Next up, still for the advent pockets are hair bands like the one below - more on that next time!! xx