Wednesday, 29 December 2010

A Crafty Christmas

I was late planting my Spring bulbs last year, late starting my festive crafting and, surprise surprise, am now late with my Christmas blog post. One of my new years resolutions must surely be to start everything a little earlier!

In my defence, I have been whoppingly busy with my real part-time job, an eternally energetic toddler, and the list of crochet hat-and-scarf orders (not to mention the sheer drudgery and dullness of housework, yawn).

But somehow, after a few late-ish nights and some spells of trying to untangle the Boy from several balls of wool (you've got to love a toddlers fascination with crafts!), I managed to get everything done and dusted. Phew!

I wanted to make some lovely felted tree decorations, and had great plans for applique and blanket stitching around the edges, but sadly only got as far as cutting out the shapes and deciding on the trimmings... I think I'll finish these in the new year anyway - they won't all be overly festive, and I really do think that more is more when it comes to colour and decoration in a home! Hopefully they'll appear in a post of their own very soon!

I did make some festive bunting, which stretched across the whole of one wall of the lounge, and I also decided to have a go at machine embroidery, after seeing it on Kirstie's Homemade Home. On the show, she said it was the 'crack-cocaine of crafting' - and I have to say I do tend to agree. I tried it without the embroidery foot and the thread kept getting tangled, and the reverse of my work looked terribly messy, so I ordered the foot online, and the difference was wondrous!

I added some buttons to jazz it up a bit, and was pretty pleased with the result - especially considering it was my first go!

I managed to squeeze in time to make some bows from some wired ribbon I found in the local bargain bookshop....

...and I also managed to find the time to do something I've wanted to do for absolutely aaaaages - print my own wrapping paper. I bought some plain brown paper and stamps from hobbycraft (I did want to make my own, but by now it was the week before Christmas and I was starting to panic a little!), and away I went. It's so addictive, and the fact that it's impossible to get it completely perfect only adds to the homemade charm, I think.

There were homemade white chocolate and walnut cookies, recipe courtesy of Decembers issue of Country Homes and Interiors....

....and the whole of the time there was crafting on the inside, there was snow and ice aplenty on the outside....
...but luckily I was snuggled up with the Boy, painting and making everything look lovely. I'm fortunate enough to have an art-loving toddler, so I roped him into a little sparkly painting, which turned out beautifully!

While I was browsing through Twitter, I discovered that Sarah London had posted a really easy, really lovely crochet snowflake pattern, so I got hooking, and came up with a small vertical garland to hang either side of the window.

Finally, all the crafting was finished, and it was time to decorate the tree, and enjoy all my hard work. With a little help from the Christmas chocolates, of course. Yum yum!

The angel on the top of the tree is a family hand-me-down, and has been with us since I was born - I love the idea of passing ornaments and decorations down through the family. She's wearing well considering she's almost thirty years old!

Merry Christmas, and a happy new year to you all!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Snow Thursday

Down here on the South Coast, we rarely get snow. Until this year, the most we had was a flurry in April 2008, which was barely enough to make a snowman with and had melted by lunchtime. 2010 seems to be the Year of the Snowflake, leaving a thick blanket of the white stuff back January, and the same again this week - while it is admittedly a massive inconvenience, there is something rather wonderful and magical about waking up to see your street covered in snow, especially when you're so used to seeing just rain. The view from our lounge window was marvelous, all rolling white hills and frost-tipped trees, with windows adorned with icicles that resembled rather macabre bony fingers!

The day had been declared a snow-day by my manager, as I lived miles from work and public transport seemed non-existent, and I was Boy-free since my parents had just carried on with their childcare arrangements as normal. I was suddenly faced with a long, empty, quiet day stretching ahead of me - I pottered about and did a little tidying here and some cleaning there, and then decided that there was only one thing for it. Oh the weather outside was frightful, but crafting inside was delightful....

I'm plodding on with the ever-growing list of crochet hat-and-scarf orders, which have been put back a bit due to a seemingly endless bout of illness, and am also trying to squeeze in making a variety of Christmas decorations (you get a little peek of this in the photograph above, sitting comfortably next to my giant cup of tea - there will be a little tutorial to come!) Busy, busy, busy as per usual!

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Christmas Wants

Dear Santa,

I have tried to be very good this year, I haven't spent too much money on crafts or homewares (well, not all of it, anyway), and I've eaten lots of vegetables. I really, really hope you agree, and can find the following in your sack for little old me:

A new Cath Kidston carry-all bag to take my lunch / magazine / book / crochet to work in, as the one I got free with Easy Living magazine has met a sad end.

The delicious patchwork-style quilt from Toast, which would look absolutely yummy on our bed.
A divine velvet tunic, also from Toast.
The wonderful two-tone brogues from Kate Kanzier. Lovely!

Almost everything from Zara. Beautiful clothes that could well have been made just for me and my style.

Thank you very much, in advance.

Yours Festively, Vicky x