Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Aprons

This year, I'm sewing aprons for the ladies in my family. I am a huge apron-lover and have several in my collection. For these gifts, I have matched the fabrics to the personality of the recipient. The one above is for my mum, who loves red and has recently had her kitchen redone.

This one is for my mother-in-law, who loves all shades of blue. I have two more aprons to make; one for my aunt-in-law and the other for my sister-in-law.

In addition to the aprons, I plan to knit a cup cozy for each. Mollie Makes Issue 7 has some really cute ones.

ANOTHER capelet

 I know, I'm not very exciting because I made the same capelet twice this month. The first version was for myself, but when my sister saw it she requested one of her own. We went to a fabric store, battled some terrible customer service (don't get me started), and she ended up choosing this lightweight canvas for the lining. It's pretty cool, I've never seen anything like it.

I found this black somewhat stretchy fabric for the outside of the cape at a local store. It was my first time sewing something so stretchy that just cutting it was a challenge. When I sewed it I used tons of pins which seemed to make life easier. 

As I mentioned in my last post, the "hood" is definitely more fashion than function, it is not going to fit over her head.

I tried it on to show all of you :) I can't wait to give it to my sister!

Please stop by my blog and say hello! I love meeting new sewing friends on the world wide web! :)

Which Christmas Character are You?

Simply answer this Question below to find out!  (You can even add your answer to your site - if you want to!)

Your Christmas Spirit is most likely, described as...? (click on your answer)
1. Jolly, Happy, and love giving to others

2. an Adventurous Dreamer and Faithful Friend

3. Sometimes Selfish and Greedy

4. Cheerful and Angelically Sweet

5. A True Believer, and Optomist

6. Curious and

Tissue Holders and a Tea Cozy

Hello friends! It's Lindsay from LindsayPindsay checking in with my progress.  I’ve been diligently working on my gift list and am happy to report that I have completed the tissue holders and tea cozy.

The tissue holders will be stocking stuffers. I like to sneak something handmade into the stockings that I have access to on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. This year this includes 15 stockings, so I had to choose wisely. I used the JCasa tutorial from Sew Mama Sew and wowie were they quick to put together! I had these cut and sewn within 2 hours! I highly recommend an assembly line if you’re going to tackle large quantities of the same product.

Tissue Holders

I love this Jay McCarroll fabric. I have a bunch of large scraps leftover and am thinking that they would work nicely on a child’s quilt for a local charity. Because I need to add another thing to my list!

I also finished a quilted tea cozy. This lovely cozy will be going to the host of our annual cookie exchange, who also happens to be my former viola teacher! She taught me from 3-12th grade and I’m so glad we are able to stay in touch. I used the Retro Mama pattern to assemble the cozy but I came up with the patchwork pattern on my own. She includes some great patchwork suggestions with the pattern but the size of my scraps just weren’t going to work. I took to Excel and came up with this simple design. This was my first try at designing my own patchwork pattern, and after the cozy was finished I realized that I should have accounted for the seam allowances as much of the red fabric on the top is cut off. Next time!

Patchwork Tea Cozy

I am still pleased with how this turned out. I added an extra layer of insulation to make sure that the cozy is extra cozy. I had some drapery liner in my stash for reasons unknown (I think I picked it up for something out of the remnant bin at Joann), so I added that to the quilt sandwich, which included a layer of batting.

Patchwork Tea Cozy

I have been in love with all of the horizontal quilting that I’ve seen lately, so that’s what I went with. And I love how it looks even if it did take quite a while to stitch all of those lines!

Patchwork Tea Cozy

I highly recommend the Retro Mama pattern. It is really easy to understand and results in a sturdy and reversible tea cozy.

Felt decoration fun!

Last year I went on a one day felt decoration workshop.  It was so much fun, it totally sparked an interest in felt and embroidery!  I went a bit nuts at home and made all of these beauties.  Some were inspired by decorations I found images of on the web, others are my own creation.

I could make a million of these things.  These two are my favourites.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 2011 Christmas TV Schedule - Archived

For your Reference - This is an Archive of the November 2011 Christmas TV Schedule.



November 4, 2011 Friday

Christmas with the Kranks ... FX ... 1 PM
Debbie Macomber's Mrs. Miracle ... Hallmark Channel ... 8 PM
Debbie Macomber's Call Me Mrs. Miracle ... Hallmark Channel ... 10 PM
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year ... Hallmark Channel ... 12 AM
All I Want for

Let The Countdown Begin...

A big Hello to all you Crafty Christmas Aficionados from Elisalex at Stitch me Softly...

With just a couple of days until the countdown officially begins, I bring you an(other!) frame repurposing project - an Advent Calendar with little hanging pockets for each day to fill with activity ideas, trinkets, treats, whatever you want.

You can find the full tutorial here (you might want to scroll down a little to avoid only slightly relevant ramblings!), plus ideas on pocket fillers.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Turk's Head Knot Bracelets

Hi everyone!  Karen here from Renegade Homestead.  It's not even the end of November and I'm knocking out presents left and right (granted, I'm a dog walker so it could be that I have more time on my hands than most crafters).  Today I finished a few Turk's head knot bracelets for my college girl friends.  

I used this tutorial and found that each one took about 20 minutes.  Perfect for stocking stuffers and easily accomplished in front of the TV.  

And I have to share this - the funniest thing happened while I was taking pictures of the finished bracelets!  See anything out of place in the picture below?

That would be a wild turkey on the right.  A whole flock of them wandered into my photo shoot!

Happy to see there were some survivors from Thanksgiving right in my own backyard.  To anyone who celebrated it last week, I hope your holiday was as good as theirs!

Christmas Shopping on Cyber Monday

Happy Christmas Shopping!

If you would like to support this site, and you are going to Shop Online, then please check out Cyber Monday Deals Week at Amazon and more Great Gift Ideas and Deals at

We appreciate your Support!

Happy Shopping... hope you find Great Deals at Amazon and Endless and other great on-line places!

Merry Christmas!!!

Hallmark MOVIE Channel - Christmas Movie Guide

I thought I would do another posting for the Hallmark Movie Channel Christmas Movie Listings. I appreciate the e-mails I have received from all of you, (especially Susan - who sent me the list!) who do have the station, and would like to include it in the Christmas TV Schedule.

If you saw my previous post - then many of you already knew I had chosen not to include the Hallmark MOVIE Channel

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bah humbug!

I am definitely not a Scrooge when it comes to Christmas, and this afternoon I have been getting into the festive mood making a batch of Bah Humbug lip-balms.

I decorated the pots with some black straight line peel-offs, and am going to make some humbug/scrooge themed labels for the top.
The recipe I used was:
Melt 12g beeswax, 12g cocoa butter and 18g shea butter in a bowl/jug over a pan of hot water.Add 42g sweet almond oil and 12g honey and stir gently.
Take off the heat and add essential oils (I added 14 drops, which smells good and minty but has a slight tingle when you use it).
Keep stirring with a spoon or a milk-frother until it cools (otherwise the honey will separate), and when it starts to thicken pour it into little jars or tins.
This makes 6 x 15g jars, with a bit left in the jar. If the mixture sets in the jar, just heat it up again.

I also made some orange lip-balms, but I tried to add orange colouring and discovered that was not oil-soluble and started to separate :-S I had to remix each pot, so now it doesn't have a smooth surface :-(

I feel like I'm making good progress so far, and its not even December. I have ideas on how I am going to label and wrap my gifts as well, which is almost more exiting than making them!

Gift list 2011
Dad - knitted hot water bottle cover, fingerless gloves
Stepmum - scarf, lip-balm, bath bombs
Brother - travelcard case, ???
Future sister-in-law - scarf, lip-balm
Cousin - knitted hat, lip-balm
Cousin - travelcard case, edible something?
Aunts - lip-balm, bath bombs etc in a bag
Uncle - edible something?
Grandparents - edible somethings?

I'm unsure what I can make for my grandparents that would be appreciated - they are all in care homes with various levels of memory and physical problems so not sure what they would actually use apart from something edible. Does anyone have any sweet/biscuit recipes that stay fresh a long time (at least a week)?

First Christmas present done

Hello everyone! I'm Helena of Crafting my Own Style.I was a member here last year, for Christmas presents last year I made purses, toddler aprons and record bowls. This year I haven't felt the insiration, but after reading about all the process here, it came to me!

So yesterday I finished my first gift.

Yup, the first thing you'll see is that the pouch is inside out. I could figure out the instructions, they left much to be desired, especially for a novice project. But it does its work.
Folding it out you'll see that it's a fabric grocery bag - Burdastyle's Charlie to be precise.I whipped this up in a little over an hour and I think they'll be some more under the Christmas tree. I'm hoping the scrap bin won't disappoint me.

Making this bag set free a whole bunch of inspiration for me. I've already decided that my kiddo will get an apron (same as his cousins last year), perhaps an apron for my sister as well and some more Charlie bags.

Let's get crafting!

More information about my groovy grocery bag on my blog.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

OK, I admit it.

It's only a month until Christmas. And I really need to get cracking with my Christmas prep. Eek!

I'm Kerry, and I blog at Kestrel Finds & Makes. This is my first post here this year, although I have been peeking at some of the other lovely projects that have been posted. I don't have a huge list of things to make as I decided not to make things too hard for myself, but here's what I will be crafting in the next few weeks:

1. Mittens for my partner in a charity shop/handmade blog swap
2. Scarf for my sister in law
3. Cushion covers for a friend
4. Fabric-based matching game for my friend's daughter

I am also planning to post about wrapping and decorations - all homemade of course!

K x

Gift bag tutorial

Hello, it's Wendy from The Crafter's Apprentice here again.  Fancy another tutorial?  This one is for simple paper gift bags.

I use scrapbook paper for these which is 12" x 12".  I have a big pad of it that I'll never get through and there are about 3 sheets of each design in each colourway so it's perfect for ideas like this.  You can make a bag any size you like.  You can use a single sheet of paper to make a small bag, or you can join more pieces together.  For this version I used three sheets, but it did end up a little tall, I generally make them from two sheets. 

Take your sheets of paper.  I cut one in half.

Fix them together, I used double sided tape for a nice, neat finish.

Fold the top over about 1/2 " and press down.  I used that little tool at the top which is a bone folder used in papercraft, but you could use the end of a paintbrush, a lolly stick or your finger nail.

Now we are going to create the sides of the bag.  You're aiming for a square tube, or a box without base or lid!  Fold one of the sides in and crease with whichever tool you have to hand.  If you've joined your two sheets together, there'll be a join, you want to avoid this join and fold the bag in to one side of it.  My first fold is at about 8", the second a further 4" from that.  Fold the right hand side over until there is about a 1/2" overlap of the two papers.  I did take a photo of this but it was a white with black dotty blur and you couldn't see the joins.  Hold the join in place and push the top layer to the right until the first crease (the one at 8") is lying flat on the table, this is to creat a symmetrical fold for both side "corners".  Wow, does that make any sense??  Does the picture below help?

Here you can see that I've got a "gusset" in the middle (I hate that word!!) and then two smaller folds at the edges which will join together to make the second side of the bag.  The two larger portions should be equal.

Pull the two edges together and join neatly without pulling or distorting the bag.  Again, I used double sided tape.  You now need to create a crease in the sides of the bag.  Fold them inwards so the two corners on one side touch, and the same the other side.  You can only just make out my crease in the photo above so I hope you understand what I mean! 

Measure the depth of your bag (front to back), measure the same distance from the bottom of the bag and fold.  Open up your tube and fold each side inwards along the line created.

This folded portion will be the base.  You need to create the base as if you were wrapping a present.

Seal with double sided tape.

Measure the newly-created base of your bag and cut a piece of thickish card the same size.  Mine was once some form of packaging.  Apply double sided tape and carefully drop it into the bag, when it's in position, press down firmly to stick it in place.

Now we need to punch holes for the handles.  I used my fancy Big Bite which is made for setting eyelets, but you can use an ordinary hole punch.  Decide where you want your handles, then make sure they are equidistant from each end.  You'll need to punch 2 holes in each side.

I then added eyelets, but this is optional.

Take some ribbon, thin cord, yarn, twine, string, whatever and thread the end through one hole, tie a big knot so it doesn't pull through.  If it comes undone by itself you can add a blob of glue.

Pass the other end of the lenght of ribbon/cord/string etc (the length is up to you) through the hole on the SAME side and knot.  Repeat for the other side of the bag.

And tadah!  You have one custom made gift bag, I have one very tall gift bag and one very crap tutorial!  I do apologise.

Scottish Shortbread Gift Tutorial

Hello! Christine from the What's Up, Cupcake? Blog.  I love a good shortbread and it seems like such a classic holiday treat.  This shortbread is easy to make, and only requires three ingredients.  Package it up, and you have an easy holiday gift.

Scottish Shortbread
Recipe from

2 cups (4 sticks) butter
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Cream butter and brown sugar.  Slowly add 3 to 3 3/4 cups flour.  Mix well.
3.  Sprinkle board of silpat with flour, and knead the mixture, adding enough flour to make a soft dough.  Roll to 1/2 inch thickness.  Cut into 3x1 strips.  Prick with a fork and place on ungreased baking sheets (mine worked best on parchment paper).
4. Bake for 17 to 25 minutes (check in on them, mine took just the 17 minutes, while the originally recipe recommended a minimum of 20 minutes).

I packed these up in a cheap, cute container that you can pick up at your local Target, Wal-mart, or dollar store.  I took a piece of tissue, but added a sheet of wax paper to separate it from the cookies (so it didn't get greasy).  Place into the container and fill with cookies.  Fold the paper over, making sure the wax paper still separates the cookies from the tissue, close and gift.

You can decorate with additional ribbon, paper, or anything else you choose based on your package.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Hypotrochoid hankies

Hiya Christmas Crafters!  Stitchybritt reporting in for duty.  I see you're all pumping through your Christmas to-make lists.  Well done!  Only a month to go now, which on one hand is scary, but on the other - I can't wait!  Yay!

Hypotrochoid hankies were an idea I had ages ago but only just got around to making.  What's a hypotrochoid, you ask?  Remember these spirally things you used to draw as a kid using a special wheel with holes for your pen inside a circle stencil?  Yeah, those!  They are a bit cool and scientific looking, and I've got a friend who's into both sciency things and crafty things, so I thought some of these embroidered on some hankies would make a great Christmas gift.

I actually made the hankies using soft cotton from a screen-printed pillowcase that didn't quite make the grade for a Christmas gift last year.  I just cut up the pillowcase and hemmed the edges, then proceeded to embroider.

To get the hypotrochoid shapes I got out my trusty Tate Modern Hypotrochoid set (I knew there was a reason I bought it as an adult) and drew a whole bunch of hypotrochoids, experimenting with different wheels and 'gauges' (holes that you put your pen in).  When I had chosen two that I liked (and wouldn't be too intricate to embroider) I traced them onto the hankies and embroidered away.

I hope this encourages you to do some wacky Christmas embroidery of your own!

Stitchybritt xx

New "Thanksgiving Weekend" Christmas Movies & Specials

NOVEMBER 25th - 27th :

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I had a blessed time with my family. It's always so special to share the day together and make memories around at the table... as we first join hands and give thanks to the Lord for all our blessings... and, as we share our lives with one another during the meal - talking and laughing. It's a precious sound.... a beautiful

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Crochet apple cosies


This is Kate (aka Mommy en France), using the guest login to post.

My poor sewing machine is not feeling well, so she's having a rest and probably going into a shop for a tune up next week. In the meantime, I've been working on crafty Christmas projects that don't involve sewing.

Among other things, I'm trying knitting and crocheting again. I learned how to do both years ago, but never really got into them. And my skills never evolved beyond hats and scarves (for knitting) and not much of anything for crocheting. I think part of the "problem" is that my mother, aunt and mother-in-law are such talented knitters that I just sat back and let them do all the knitting for everyone. What they can do in a week would take me ages to accomplish.

Anyway, I decided to sign up for Ravelry and hunt down some simple projects to help ease me back into this. And wow, is Ravelry great. What an amazing resource! At any rate, I've already whipped up a snood for myself, using this great free pattern. I'm going to make another for a friend. And I made some apple cosies, using the pattern from the first issue of Molly Makes. If you didn't buy it (I didn't), you can either buy a digital issue through your e-reader or you can find the Apple Crochet Jackets pattern for free here (thank you, The Guardian).

The one on the left is for my dad, who always brings his lunch into work. The one on the right, well... I'm tempted to keep it! And these work up so, so quickly - even for a novice like me - that I may make a few more. The best part about these cosies and also the snood is that they don't require lots of yardage, so I'm able to use up all the odd bits and bobs of it that I have held onto over the years. Finally, what better way to show off a few favorite buttons?

Happy crafting and happy Thanksgiving to all you other Americans out there. I guess it's really the start of the holiday season now...

Like father like son

Hi All!  Valerie from Sewcranky here.  Happy Thanksgiving!  We decided to take the holiday off this year and are going to have a lovely pizza, beer, and watch football later this afternoon.  This gives me lots of time to work on projects today.  Hooray!

My BIL Phillip is one of the best cooks I've ever known.  He's one of those people who can look in my fridge, which is largely full of condiments and maybe has a few other things (I'm a take-out kind of person), and come up with a gourmet meal for 6.  More of an art form than survival technique.  Needless to say, Phillip does a lot of the cooking in their household.

He and my sister produced my amazing nephew earlier this year -- Lucas is already so advanced! (not that I'm biased or anything!).  He's walking and developing hand-eye coordination.  I'm pretty sure that it won't be long before he's helping dad in the kitchen. 

For Christmas this year, I decided to get them matching chef's jackets.  I already posted about embroidering Phillip's name on the front of his jacket (purchased, b/c I couldn't find a good jacket pattern in his size that I liked) here.  Today I finished up Lucas' jacket!  I used Simplicity 3650, view E. 

I didn't follow the instructions at all, because they way they had you do the sleeve insertion didn't make sense to me.  I also put a separating zipper in the back instead of velcro -- mostly because I don't like velcro, and I think it will be easier to get this jacket on and off with the back zip.  This is my first experiment with children's clothes and I was shocked at how quickly it went.  Maybe b/c it's so little?  Here are the two jackets, finished up and ready to go:

Sending wonderful Thanksgiving wishes to you and yours! 

- V