Saturday, December 31, 2011

Rudolph's roundup

Well, I think my big list of potential makes was a tad optimistic! An awful lot of my time (far more than I had originally anticipated) was spent knitting the rudolph jumper.

I'm not going to lie. It was a hard make. Perhaps not the best pattern to knit my first jumper from. That may be a little harsh though - the plain red bits were fairly straightforward, it was just knitting the reindeer that slowed me down. It wasn't until half way through I finally figured out how to strand properly, so inside the top half looks all neat and tidy, like this....

Whilst the bottom half looks a fine mess...

I had a few heart stopping moments though. When I reached the top of the antlers, I realised I'd forgotten to shape the armholes. The thought of having to frog 20 rows made me feel more than a little sick, and I didn't touch it for a week - I didn't want to make yet more mistakes by rushing into correcting it. And then when I knitted the neckband to join the front and back together the night before I was due to go back to my mum's, I realised that I couldn't fit it over my head, so there was no way it would fit over my brother in law's head. Rather than have to frog and reknit the neckband, mum had the genius idea of using buttons on the shoulder. This led to a last minute dash to a local knitting store with my mum (about 30 mins before it was due to close on Chistmas eve) to find some suitable buttons...

Still, it was suitably appreciated by the new owner, who modelled it with great aplomb. He even wore it down the pub on Christmas day (although, sadly no photos of that!).

OK, so there's no sleeves, but I think he carries it off! Plus, what else could his present be next year? I still seem to have quite a lot of red yarn left, so I put some of it to good use when wrapping.

I'm still loving the Christmas bunting though, and I might make some more bunting next year in the smaller size for the other shelves. Sadly the ribbon wreath didn't work out. I'm not sure if it was the type of ribbon I bought, or using a wire form rather than foam, but after adding about 20 bows, I realised it looked more like something to be used when dancing round the maypole, rather than a classy Christmas wreath. Next year, I'll attempt the felt flower wreath now that Adele has pointed me in the right direction of foam wreaths!

And while I keep thinking that's all I've made this Christmas, I also made a fair few make up bags and tote bags.

So, that's it for 2011.  See you all next year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Round up of Christmas presents

Here is a little look at some homemade Christmas presents. Both the ones I made and gave away and the ones I got. For more inspiration check out my Pinterest board "Making Christmas Gifts 2011" and my blog Eddie's room.


A bag I made for my husband with embroidered (not by me) birds (he is a big bird fan)


A tray my husband and I decoupaged with maps for my little brother who is studying geography.


I made a couple of these porcupine pin cushions for my mother and sister using this wonderful tutorial from Prudent Baby


I made these Christmas stockings for my husband and myself using this free tutorial.


My sister made this vinyl record bowl for my husband. There is a free tutorial for this here.


She also made him this fab pencil case for his art pencils.


For me she made this pretty shawl which I can't wait to use.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Oliver + S Explorer Vest and a Knitting Needle Roll

Greetings, Crafty Christmas-ers!  I hope you all were able to finish up your projects before Christmas.  I completed my last Christmas gift on Christmas Eve morning thanks to a cold that decided to show up last week and knock me on my ass for a few days.

I made the Explorer Vest from Oliver + S' Little Things to Sew for my nephew.

Explorer Vest

I'm happy to report that he loves it!  He promptly shoved all of his spy gear into all of the pockets!

The pattern was really easy to follow.  I'm so excited to make more projects from the book.  More information can be found on my blog.

My last Christmas-y project was for my mom's birthday.  It is today and since she's getting back into knitting, I made her a roll to keep her knitting needles in.  I used the Tool Roll pattern from Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing.  It was pretty easy to follow but I made a few modifications (more info on that can be found here).  Since I've been wanting one too, I made us matching needle rolls!  

Knitting Needle Roll

I don't know about you guys, but I am so happy that Christmas crafting is over!  I've had a great time reading about all of your crafting adventures.  Until next year!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Continues... as we Countdown to New Years!

Although, Christmas Day only comes once a year... the spirit of the Season can last all year through... if we just hold onto it in our hearts.

I know many families were together on Christmas Day and many families and friends are still gathering throughout this week after Christmas, with their own family get-togethers, gift exchanges, parties, games, and dinners.

What a Blessing it was to be

To Save A Life - GMC Movie


To Save A Life

Network: GMC

Original Air Date: January 29, 2012


Randy Wayne ... Jake Taylor
Deja Kreutzberg ... Amy Briggs
Joshua Weigel ... Chris Vaughn
Steven Crowder ... Doug Moore
D. David Morin ... Mark Rivers
Sean Michael Afable ... Jonny Garcia
Bubba Lewis ... Danny Rivers
Robert Bailey Jr. ... Roger Dawson
Kim Hidalgo ... Andrea Stevens
Arjay Smith ...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I'm still technically not done, but...

If you can't tell by this post, I'm a procrastinator. Thought I'd recap what I was able to give out (and technically finish) these past couple days, though I'm still needing to finish a couple more gifts. I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday and that everyone enjoyed your amazing crafty gift goodness!

Another pleated clutch, with layered fabric

Ginger schnapps, in single size jars


Cockroach ornaments, based off of Very Purple Person's tutorial

Poorly self-drafted capes

Felt-applique t-shirt

Diaper clutch, again poorly self-drafted

Earthworm ornaments

Better late than never.....

Hi! This is Jonquil.  I hope everyone is enjoying a merry Yuletide!
        Here are what I have been busy with this season.  The three stockings with names are for the grandchildren, with the blue one for me & the green one for my daughter.  The ornaments are for the grandchildren.  I try to make ornaments every year so that when the grandchildren are old enough for their own tree, they will have enough ornaments to fill it.  Next year I should have the counted cross-stitch stockings done.  Two fronts are stitched with the third started.  Now for blocking & adding beads afterwards.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Christmas Eve!

Ok, now I am officially, really done Christmas.

I made up a batch of Martha Stewart's Vanilla Marshmallows and Peppermint Marshmallows, along with some Hot Chocolate to share with friends and family. They were pretty easy to make, though I was surprised by how different each recipe was! Of the two, I prefer the Vanilla Marshmallows. The Peppermint recipe makes a much fluffier marshmallow, more like meringue.

I found some great printable tags Here &Here that dressed up my simple paper bag, and cellophane wrapping! I got clothes pins at the dollar store to keep the bags closed tight.

Now... I have to finish wrapping everything! You can read more about my Christmas gifts over on my blog, Ohhh Lulu.

It's been a pleasure seeing all of the beautiful and creative gifts that everyone has made this year! Merry Christmas everyone!

Merry Moustachmas!

Here's a last minute Christmas gift that always makes me smile!  Chocolate moustaches! 

Chocolate moustache on a lollipop stick
Just melt some milk chocolate in a microwave/ban marie/chocolate fondue melter whatever your melting procedure of choice and once melted add a few drops of orange flavouring and then pour into a mould of your choice (I got this mould online posted to me by a friend in America as they wouldn't deliver to the UK, but think there are now sellers of this mould over here), set aside to cool and then transfer to the fridge for a few hours or overnight and then wrap prettily!  No one who receives something like this can resist pulling funny poses before devouring them!  Here's the proof!

Got to keep those moustache ends twirled!

Sneaky looks

Big smile!  Well, Moustache!

Merry Christmas!

What I ended up making for Christmas

Hi everyone,

I've seen some lovely homemade gifts on this site, and have been so inspired!  Sadly my Christmas gift planning was a complete fail.  I didn’t make any of the things I planned to make, but did end up making something I wasn’t really planning to make at all.  Thanks to a comment from Marie I decided to make a pair of boxers for my boyfriend.  I used Kwik Sew pattern 1672 and am totally chuffed about how well they have turned out. 

Not least the amazing fluke pattern matching at the centre front, it’s (almost perfect).

I also made some embroidered gift tags, partially inspired by this purl bee tutorial, although I made the tags bigger and embroidered the names on instead of using card.

I hope everyone elses Christmas making plans went well.  Happy holidays everyone!!!

Last Minute Christmas Knits

Hello Festive Crafters!

It's Kerry from Kestrel Finds and Makes. By now I'm sure that most of you have your handmade pressies wrapped up and ready to be gifted. I wanted to share my two Christmas knitting projects with you - one which has already been sent and opened and the other which is for my sister-in-law to open tomorrow.

First up, Owl & Pussycat Mittens for Sian Lile Makes as part of a Christmas Blog Swap which was to include handmade and thrifted items.

I used the pattern for Owl Mittens which can be on for free on Ravelry, and made one owl into a cat.

As Sian is vegan and was concerned about the potential of wool farming to be harmful, I used organic wool which had been dyed using natural dyes.

My Blue Leaves Scarf was made using the Saroyan pattern (also free - don't you love Ravelry?!) and Sirdar Sublime aran yarn which is a mix of cashmere, extra fine merino and silk. It is beautifully soft. My sister in law wanted a blue scarf and I loved the lace leaf edging and tapered ends of this scarf. It's a straightforward knit too, perfect for beginner lace knitters.

I hope you all managed to get your handmade gifts finished up this year. I didn't make as many as I had intended, but I bought some handmade things, which is nearly as good in my opinion, and definitely better than just buying something from Amazon! Maybe next year I'll be a bit more productive!

Now I just need to wrap the last of my presents. A very Merry Christmas everyone!

K x

Friday, December 23, 2011

Extreme last minute crafting

Hello again, Aleah from no time to sew with my last (last minute) crafty gifts. First up, made the night before it was gifted, a couple things for a work friend:

The first is a purse organizer and a small zipper pouch. She always wants to change her purses to match her outfits, but complains about what a pain it is to transfer all her purse contents all the time, so I thought this might help. It's basically a strip of pockets that she can fill with purse stuff, roll up and stick in one purse, then pull it out and move it to another purse easily. I just winged the construction, more details here. The zipper pouch is from this tutorial.
The second item is this super simple jersey circle scarf. This has got to be the easiest gift of all time to make. I bought a third of a yard of jersey from the bulk bin at my local fabric shop. I trimmed off the selvages, then used a ruler and rotary cutter to make the long edges nice and straight, and sewed the short ends together. Done. So if it happens to be Christmas Eve and you're one gift short, might I suggest a jersey circle scarf? I think it took me longer to buy the fabric than to make the scarf, seriously.

I also made my mom a case for the Kindle Fire my dad is getting her:
It's basically from this tutorial, resized for a Kindle (luckily, it turns out that the dimensions of the Fire are the same as my regular old Kindle, so I made this case the same size as one I made earlier in the year for myself). I lined the case with a scrap of black corduroy left over from a skirt I made last year. The lining is visible around all the edges, of course, because my lining always seems to end up bigger than my outside fabric for some reason, but I'm just going to pretend it was intentional since it kind of looks like trim. Here it is open, with my Kindle in it. The bird screen saver seemed appropriate for the fabric (it's Alexander Henry's Bird Seed, which my mom actually gave me last year because she liked it but couldn't think of anything to make with it!)
So woo-hoo, Christmas Crafting complete! Have a Merry Christmas, everyone. May it be filled with family, friends, food, and plenty of crafty gifts too!

Edible Christmas Goodies

Kat from KraftyKat here again....Over the last week i have been a busy bee in the kitchen, making a selection of goodies both as presents, as well as for me and my family to devour! Here i would like to share with you a selection of my yummy makes (i can confirm they are yummy, even if i do say so myself, because my boyfriend and i had to shoulder the arduous task of taste testing everything before they could be given as's only right after all....!)

Orange and Pistachio Stollen Bars

A fun twist on traditional Stollen, the recipe for these can be found here (you have to scroll down a bit). These were very easy to make and turned out pretty well i think...these pictures do not show them in bar form as these are intended as gifts and therefore to preserve as best as possible i have wrapped uncut...but the recipe suggests to dust with icing sugar and chop up before serving. Yum! It is promised that if well wrapped these will keep very well for up to 2 weeks...mine are tightly wrapped in foil so fingers crossed!

Cherry and Ginger Fudge

This was my first venture into the land of fudge and i was very apprehensive! I choose to use this recipe. I used a sugar thermometer but I'm not sure it was working properly...consequently the fudge did not set as well as i would have liked. I initially planned to chop it up into squares but it is too soft for this...therefore i wrapped it as tablets and am warning the recipients to keep it refrigerated! It still tastes good though, so not a total loss.


I have always loved Lebkuchen, and this year i decided to try my hand at baking some. I used this recipe, which was recommended by Tilly last year. It was so quick and easy to whip up, i ended up making too batches. A definite winner. The only changes i made were to use a bit of lemon juice in the icing to add flavour, and i omitted the egg whites from the icing as well. I also made a small batch of these gluten free for a celiac friend, this worked really well, i just used gluten free flour in place of the plain flour.

Petite Fours

Marzipan Fruits...guess the fruits! I am especially proud of the grapes.

Rum Truffles

Every year my Nana and i make some Petite Fours. Our favourites are marzipan fruits and rum truffles, shown above. For the marzipan fruits we make the shapes out of marzipan, colour them with food colourings and add cloves as stalks where required! The rum truffles are made by mixing melted chocolate, icing sugar and butter together with a few tablespoons of rum. These are rolled into balls and covered with chocolate sprinkles, and then left in the fridge to set. Both of these treats are great fun to make and are the kind of thing that kids can easily join in with...that's how i first made them!

Well, that's about it from me in terms of Christmas makes this year! I have very much enjoyed reading about everyones gift ideas, and i can wait to be involved again next year (i am already planning to be much more organised next time as i did have to forfeit some plans for the sake of time sadly!).

Have a great Christmas everyone!

K xx 

How is it only 2 days til Christmas?

Hi everyone! Gillian here, in Canada... (I'm really hoping my sister doesn't follow this blog - but if she does: Hi Anne! Don't look to carefully!) I've been meaning to post for... oh, you know, months! Yet somehow I find myself here, 2 days before Christmas. I finished the last of my gifts today, and almost everything is wrapped.

I'm pretty broke this year, so I made a lot of gifts by hand. I've been blogging my progress at Luckily I have a pretty huge stash of materials from 5 years of living in Japan. (Seriously, the one thing I miss about Tokyo is 7-story-tall craft stores!)

Here are some of the things I've made:

  • Lots of wreaths for friends and family

  • Felt Heart Ornaments for friends. These are a family tradition, and I make more almost every year! *Bonus Cat Picture!*

  • some Zippered Bags  from Elizabeth Hartman's "Perfect Zippered Bag" pattern - and my goodness, it's addictive. Normally I fear patterns, but this one is so easy and clear that it's like a little miracle every time! (Sorry, no pictures yet!)

  • Finally, a whole bunch of felted ornaments, using sweaters and wool roving felted around styrofoam balls. *Follow the links to tutorials* (These are so easy, and they look much harder than they are! If you need to make a few last minute gifts, you can crank these out in no time!)

For the nerds in my life...

I'm a little sad that the Christmas crafting season is over! I've loved having an excuse to crank out heaps of crafts - Now what do I do? Keep everything? Wait for birthdays? Not as fun as Christmas! 

I've really, really enjoyed watching everyone's creations here on the blog - It's been lovely to connect with other crafty people. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, and see you again next year!