Posts Tagged ‘events and celebrations’
the last handmade christmas present i have to show you is this wedding sampler that i made for my other brother and sister in law.
they had a beautiful wedding last year, and i wanted to make them something to commemorate the event.
i actually designed this one myself, and my favourite thing about it is the colours. it reminds me of delftware, which is the look i was going for.
i may release it as a pattern in the shop, though i haven’t decided yet… we’ll see!
here’s another one of my christmas present projects. this one was for my parents-in-law.
the pattern is called “family record samplers”, and it’s by ellen chester of “with my needle“.
the pattern contains three variations of the design, so it can be adjusted for different numbers of children (up to about seven). being a meddler and never quite satisfied, i rearranged things and did my own version, modifying the motifs of the original pattern.
overall i enjoyed stitching this, but the pattern was a little confusing to follow. the number of variations available meant that there were lots of pages that were easily muddled up (especially for someone as scatterbrained as me!).
the pattern is also designed to be stitched on belfast linen, with some stitches over two linen threads, and others over one. the blank areas of the pattern, where you could write in your own family details, were all two-thread sized, and much of the lettering was one-thread sized, so it was quite tricky to plan out.
this is definitely a pattern for more confident and experienced embroiderers!
i chose to stitch this one on antique-look linen, and i really like the way it turned out. it looks tea-stained and old, which i think really suits the design.
most importantly, it was very well received by the very dear and loving people i made it for.
it may have looked like i’ve been on a bit of a crafty hiatus for the last couple of months, but i haven’t! i’ve just been working on handmade christmas presents, which needed to be kept under wraps until after the gift-giving season was over. over the next few days, i’ll show you what i’ve been up to, and you definitely won’t think my needle has been set aside!
the first thing i want to show you is this:
i made it for my brother and sister in law who welcomed their first son in november. it’s called ‘the birth band’, and it’s from ‘the drawn thread’ (you may remember that i also stitched a pattern called ‘the marriage of the minds’ from their collection recently).
i used different colours to those suggested in the pattern, but apart from that didn’t modify anything. i adore the pattern, and found it very easy to follow. there were clear diagrams for all the stitches, and useful instructions for all aspects of the pattern. it stitched up relatively quickly as well.
i didn’t get to give it to the recipients in person, but i think they liked it.
i’ll be back with more to show you soon!
we are having a wonderful christmas by the beach.
we’ve been eating mangoes in the pool, and watching summer storms break over the bay.
being 35 weeks pregnant in this humid weather has meant that my feet have been swelling up to alarming proportions, so i am spending a lot of time with my feet up (my mother and mother in law are enforcing this quite vigilantly!).
i hope you and those you love are having a safe and happy time,
we had our halloween a little early this year. saturday seemed like a better night than monday for a party.
there were lots of good costumes, some very delicious food, and possibly the easiest and most fun decorations ever:
we bought a bunch of orange lanterns from ebay, and then painted them with black acrylic paint to look like jack’o'lanterns. they looked great on their own, but we hung a little bat from each one to make them extra excellent.
oh, and i couldn’t resist having some pretty orange and yellow flowers for decoration too. it’s spring here in australia, so the poppies, freesias, sunflowers, and asiatic lilies were all looking lovely…
until recently, i haven’t really been that into christmas. it’s a time of year that i tend to find stressful and overwhelming, not least because i live in the southern hemisphere and it’s always very hot and uncomfortable on december 25th.
but my grinchy heart has been softening of late, and i can’t put my finger on the exact reason. maybe it’s because i’m pregnant looking forward to celebrating the occasion with my own child. maybe i’m a sucker for any reason to make cute and interesting crafts. maybe i’m just mellowing out in my old age. whatever the reason, i’ve decided to get behind christmas this year, and to enjoy it - chaos, stress, mess and all. and i’m starting by making some decorations.
i saw these cute button wreath ornaments on marthastewart.com, and thought i’d give them a try.
her instructions are very brief, so i’ve made a slightly more detailed tutorial with more pictures, just to make things a little easier for anyone else who might like to make them. they’re really easy, and could be a fun activity to share with kids.
what you need:
* 20 gauge copper wire
* a whole lot of buttons in varying sizes (you can buy bags of “seconds” buttons from craft stores, and they are much cheaper than buying buttons individually)
* roll of 3mm craft ribbon in complimentary colour
* roll of 10mm craft ribbon in complimentary colour
* wire cutters
using your wire cutters, cut a piece of wire 9″ long.
with your fingers (copper wire is very malleable), make a loop at one end of this piece of wire, making sure to flatten a portion of it alongside the longer end of the wire as pictured:
start to thread buttons onto the wire.
make sure that your first button has holes that are too small for two widths of wire to pass through, so that your loop stays buton-free, as pictured below:
here are some more button-threading tips:
- try to vary the sizes of your buttons as you go. that way, when you bend the wire into a loop there will be a little bit of room for movement.
- try not to bend the wire around too much as you work. the copper will weaken quickly and may break.
- if your button has multiple holes, don’t worry about which one to thread the wire through. gravity will ensure that the buttons hang nicely in the end.
- using several smaller buttons at each end will make the process of securing your wreath into a loop much easier.
continue threading buttons until you have approximately 1″ of wire left:
bring this end around to your looped end, forming your wreath-shape. don’t worry about making it perfectly round at this stage, you can do that once you have secured it.
wrap your tail-end around the stem of the loop you made earlier, being careful to keep your buttons from sliding around too much and leaving gaps in your wreath:
cut a 12″ piece of your 10mm ribbon, and tie it in a bow around the place where you have wrapped your wire. this not only conceals the join, but it adds another decorative element to your ornament.
finally, make a hanging loop from a piece of your 3mm ribbon, at a length that you feel is appropriate (i don’t like my ornaments too dangly, but you might prefer them that way!)
and there you have it! a bright and cheerful christmas wreath to hang on your tree.
you’ll find that you get into quite a rhythm with making these. my first took a little while to get right, but i got more efficient as i went along and ended up making quite a few in just an hour or so.
i hope this was a helpful tutorial!
happy valentines day!
i made my valentine some tiny (one inch) heart cookies…
i used this recipe, which was really easy to follow, but that doesn’t mean i didn’t find a way to make disasters in the kitchen! i managed to smash almost my entire first batch when the ice-cream maker fell out of the cupboard and landed on top of them, and i burned the second batch! if i didn’t love my valentine so much, i would have given up, but i couldn’t let her come home to no treats, so i persevered!
i hope you’re having a lovely february 14th!
these days after christmas are so lovely. all the big events are over, and there is time to rest, regroup, and gear up for the new year.
we’ve been taking it very easy here, and i’ve been fully immersed in an embroidery project that i’ve been working on for some time…
the pattern is by the drawn thread, and it’s called “the marriage of minds”. i’ve made a few alterations, the main one being to make both of the figures women, and to make their dresses resemble the ones we wore at our not-quite-wedding.
i hope you’ve had a wonderful festive season - and happy new year!
sajee and i have a tradition of giving baked or cooked gifts to our friends and extended family at christmas. a couple of years ago we made our own chai blend, last year we went completely over the top and made boxes full of shortbread, chocolate covered puddings, and peppermint bark! this year, wepared it back a little and just chose one thing - the chocolate covered puddings.
every time sajee makes these, people rave about them. they are so moreish and rich, and they’re conveniently bite-sized too…
we like to think of nice, yet inexpensive ways to package our presents, since they need to be distributed far and wide! i really like what we came up with this year. we put a few for each family into reusable plastic containers.
a little creative use of washi tape…
… manila tags, brown paper, and string, resulted in a gifts that themselves looks quite like puddings!
as a consequence of this process i’ve been singing “brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my faaav-o-rite thiiiings” to myself for days.
i really like the simplicity of the tags. they have a handmade look, without taking too much time to put together - we all know how precious time is at this time of year!