Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Sentimental scrapbooks

I have posted before about how I like to keep scrapbooks of Christmas makes and images from the girls but I also like to do them for our holidays.  I'm not sure if it is due to being a teacher for so many years that there is something about the holidays I absolutely relish as an opportunity to cram as much family time as I can.  I posted throughout the summer of our family days out but I still like to collect mementos from our days and stick them down.  When I look on pinterest at the beautiful art that have been created by proper scrapbookers, I know this doesn't qualify in that category, but it really is just about keeping a record of what we have done as a family.  The girls love to look through them and know that their makes were treasured and so, here are some pictures of our recent scrap books.  The White one is from last Easter 2014, the pink is out family holiday earlier this year to Norfolk, and the green is our summer this year 2015.  I prefer the coloured paper as a background and like them to be more than just photos but I won't write any more but let the pictures do the talking.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Advent Calendars

I think the first sewn advent calendar I ever saw was a small sewing shop in Lady Hayes antique centre where there was an assembled demonstration piece on display.  You could buy the kit for £18 but I just wanted it already finished.  The idea stayed with me but on looking for one, they were quite expensive so I never bought one or made one.  I started a few but dimensions were wrong and I gave up part way through.  Then earlier in the year I decided I would make them for my sisters and sister in law.  I have few assembly pieces of the ones I made for my sisters but I spent some time researching on pinterest for ideas around little stockings.  I had a die of a stocking which made cutting out 48 stockings easy.  Sewing them all on however was quite time consuming!

The shape of the stocking was perfect for Candy Cane goodies and so 2 packs later, each stocking contained a treat. 

 For the numbers, I bought little pegs and wrote on those and then clipped them onto the stockings.
At the end of November, we went to my sister in laws just in time to give them out but one sister couldn't make it so hers was posted instead which was why I delayed in writing this post initially.

For my sister in law, I went with a different design which was based around a Father Christmas panel.  Several years ago I had made my niece and nephew Christmas stockings using these panels and so thought it would be nice to co-ordinate the two gifts.  I started by sitting out my squares and adding numbers to them (over several nights).

I then arranged them randomly around the main panel which was backed on a large burgundy napkin. I sewed about the sides and bottom but left the top open so they were mini pockets. The squares were the perfect size for chocolate coins and I finished it all off by framing Santa with some red ric rac

  Shortly after finishing my calendars, my lovely co- blogger Samantha from Betsy Makes also posted about an advent calendar she had made.  I'm so glad I gifted mine before seeing hers as mine pale into insignificance to hers and I may just have hidden them in embarrassment!! I love her use of fabric and the finish is much better but joking aside, I recognise this 'comparison' is all part of the process of trying new things and getting better on each attempt. I am encouraged and inspired by better crafters and hope to continue admiring others work long after my own work is more refined.  I know my family really appreciate the time and thought that has gone into their gifts which I hope will make an appearance each Christmas over the years to come despite wonky cutting and sewing etc.  I hope to make our family one for next year and like the idea of putting a decoration in each that the children can hang on an accompanying tree each day- perhaps made out of felt and I know I will now have the incentive to be more patient and particular so that I can have an end product like Samantha's and be proud to have it on display.  Don't get me wrong, I am pleased with my efforts (and I would still have given them even if I had seen Sam's) but I am also striving to improve :)

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Christmas crafty purchases

 I mentioned in my previous post that I'd bought a felt Angel at the Christmas fayre and thoughtful show you a close up since she was so lovely. I've also included a picture of her back as this is what sold her to my daughter's- they called her the 'rainbow fairy'. You can also appreciate the simple structure that made her so appealing.

I also took the children to the Worcester Vitorian market on Friday after school. We arrived a little after 4 and soon it was dark so the lights shone all the brighter and it became more magical to see the vendors in top hats, waistcoats and tails with ladies decked in floor length gowns, matching shoes, hats and gloves. So dark that my poor phone battery didn't cope too well!

This was the only shot that worked which doesn't't exactly demonstrate the colours of Christmas lights reflecting off the glistening wet streets, but it does show 2 little happy faces!
The smell of the food was enticing and we shared some chips with a festive sausage from the German stall. Theyalsosampled several German gingerbread biscuits but resisted the temptation to by more.food.and focused.on decorations. There was so much on offer and individual crafters and sellers which is a big contrast to the other big city markets where every 5 stalls it's the same things. We bought 5 felt decorations for £10 so not exactly cheap but it's one for each member of the family; I chose the Dala horse, the robin for daddy as he is a birdwatcher, Fionaa liked the Rudolph, Lydia the candy cane and Michael wanted baby Jesus (his was put to a vote actually and it was unanimous!)
This little fellow was being sold in the guild hall which often hosts craft features and I have bought from this lady before as I love the character she knits into these creations. I couldn't resist him and he's a present for my nephew who was 12 weeks prem back in May and is a little miracle who make  me want to lavish him with things in thanks for his little life. I will however show love through a quilt for him which is underway and I hope to share soon.

I have made some Christmas gifts that I'm dying to share but have to wait until one is received before I ruin the surprise with pictures. It should be delivered before the weekend so I will share then and perhaps house festive decorations may also have commenced and be on evidence...