Monday 31 December 2012

Christmas Crafting #6 Fabric Christmas Tree

During my maternity leave in 2011, my previous workplace ran a Saturday craft day for the weekly crafts group. In order for me to catch up with the ladies I popped by and some off them were making fabric Christmas trees. The instruction was supplied by a lady whom also comes to my Monday night crafts group. Aware that I would like to make a few Christmassy things this year, I asked here to give me the instruction again.

I purchased some fabric when on holiday in July 2012 and I recently made up my lovely Christmas tree. It was so easy to do. Unfortunately when I sewed my sections together, one was slightly wonky and so one set of 'branches' are shorter than the rest. This is fine as it can't be seen when viewed from one side and it adds to the handmade charm. Hopefully by next year I will have added some bells or a star.

Mrs Crafty B

NB I will add the reference for the book from which the instructions were obtained, as soon as I find them in my post Christmas craziness.

Sunday 30 December 2012

Christmas Crafting #5 Christmas Wreath

When I was younger my mum used to hang a Christmas tree decoration on the wall. It was a flat Christmas tree with built in lights and a few decorations. When I left home I used it in my own house for a couple of years but then it was shoved in a box, falling to pieces.

In true 'upcycling' nature, I decided to use this to create something new rather than throw it in the bin. I hacked up the branches and wrapped them around a polystyrene half wreath using a glue gun to fix them. A few of the decorations were too broken to use and some of them have been put away until I need them for another project but I glued a few to my wreath.

It's not a natural wreath and it isn't as beautiful as some that I have seen but it is the first one I have made and owned and it has made use of something that would have otherwise have been thrown away.

Here are some pics.

Mrs Crafty B

Bye bye Mr Christmas tree
Hello pretty Christmas wreath

Saturday 29 December 2012

Christmas Crafting #4 Christmas Cards

Upon deciding that 2013 would see me delve further into paper crafts and being influenced by a few ladies at Crafty B's Craft group, I felt that making some quick handmade Christmas cards would be an ideal way to make a start.

I went for something very simple using stamps, embossing powder and a heat tool and adding a bit of sparkle with glue, double sided tape and glitter.

I very much enjoyed this bit of my Christmas crafting. I know that the sparkle of glitter will be evident in my house until Christmas 2013.

Here are a few pictures of the cards that I sent.

Mrs Crafty B

Tuesday 4 December 2012

Christmas Crafting #3 Fabric Advent Calendar

It was a close call but I finished Baby B's advent calendar on December 1st with enough time for him to get his first token gift from pocket number 1. He was fascinated by it hanging on the door and so far with lots of 'ooooooos' and looks of excitement, I feel like it was definitely worth the effort.

Although I decided before last Christmas that I was making this advent calendar it does not surprise me that it was a last min job. It's the only way I know how!

I began collecting Christmasy fabrics last year, including some swatch freebies which I attached to larger pieces of cream fabric, to make the pockets . The pockets are random and lined with red and green gingham fabrics. The numbers are hand painted onto small squares of green fabric that also make up the background.
Initially, I was going to make this a sack with an advent calendar on the front but as I got close to finishing I realised that it was definitely more likely to last the distance if I didn't allow it to be used in that way every year. I've decided to use the material I intended to line it with, to make a separate simple present sack. It will still fit nicely with this as I used the same material along the top and bottom of this to hold wooden dowels. I have to admit that it was pretty fun to get a bit of woodwork into the project, even it it was a very quick and last minute decision. I cut and sanded the dowels and fed them through the long sections of red material at the top and bottom of the calendar. To back it, I used the same green material as the front with a thick wadding to keep it sturdy. I have used a pretty vintage Christmas ribbon to hang it up.
There were a few technical difficulties to contend with but I can safely say, Big J and I are ready to face the world! This project has allowed me to get to grips with my little friend and there are lots more projects to come!

I'm certain that this will last for years to come and I can't wait to see Baby B's face everyday as something new comes out of each pocket.

Of course I have already decided that any future bambinos will have a crocheted bootie advent calendar.

Have you seen any other handmade advent calendars this year that have inspired you? Have you made one? Do you have one that you have made for past Christmas'? Please head on over to my Facebook page to share the pictures with us. You will also see some examples of Christmas crafting from some other lovely people who have shared.

Mrs Crafty B

Monday 19 November 2012

Christmas Crafting #2: The Hardwick Christmas Bazaar

Hi all,

I hope everyone's week has started well. Over here at the home of B's we are clearing up after a week of preparation for the Hardwick Christmas Bazaar.

I don't know about you but craft fairs and the like are always a grey area for me. Do you go, do you give it a miss, individual persons selling produce of their hobbies v businesses. For me the local bazaar is a good way to contribute to the worthy cause of raising money for the Scouts and Guides building and getting to know a few more local people. If I can sell a few things to pay for my next batch of yarn, then great!

I talked to a few people on Saturday who showed an interest in Monday nights craft group and I hope that we will gain few new members with me having done so. Obviously another great perk of local fairs.

Last year my cupcakes were really popular and so this year, I skipped the homemade fudge and home grown money trees and focused on cookies and cupcakes. Unfortunately, so did other stalls and so we have quite a few left over. That's breakfast, lunch and tea sorted for the next few days then!
My handmade Christmas decorations were a hit but I wasn't prepared for the feeling I had when my first one sold. My sole Christmas bootie went first and a piece of me went with it! Handmade items are very under rated and I feel that they are most appreciated by others who craft or by those who understand the concept of handmade.

I LOVED my Christmas bootie and I know that as it was crocheted freehand, I will never make another the same.
I overheard someone at the bazaar say that they could buy decorations for the same price in Asda which is very true, and some probably cheaper. This got me thinking about what handmade means at Christmas. At this time of year it is so easy to get stuck into a commercial Christmas, shopping for the masses on the high street, great supermarket deals on chocolates and toiletries, clothes and small gifts. Sometimes I feel that the spirit of Christmas can get lost here and we lose focus on those things that matter. The receiver of the gift that we purchase to show our love and appreciation for them. The old adage of 'it's the thought that counts' is gone. Probably at the bottom of the wrapping paper waste! Whilst I take part in commercial Christmas every year to some extent, I like to try and stay a bit focused on the important things. I recognise individuals and the things they might appreciate.  I know some people who would LOVE a tin of choccies or a bottle of creamy alcoholic yumminess, but I also know a lot of people who would love to receive a gift that is handmade or carefully selected just for them. That is what I strive for. That feeling of satisfaction when one of my nearest and dearest unwraps a scarf that they desperately needed for the cold months in their favourite colour. They realise that it has been made just for them with the sole purpose of making them smile for whatever reason. What more could you ask for at Christmas!

So in support of handmade, please remember when you are shopping online, that it is just as easy to find a handmade personalised item for a loved one if you aren't crafty and if you are, then it just as easy to find ideas for things to make!

I hope this Christmas brings out your crafty side and if it does, please come and join all of the Crafty B's on Facebook and share your pictures.

Mrs Crafty B

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Christmas Crafting #1


Recently, whilst I was perhaps feeling a bit hormonal, I heard Hubby B saying to Baby B, "Don't worry, Mummy will be happy all the time soon, Christmas is coming." Well, I would like to think I am happy most of the time but at this time of year when the weather has turned, the colours are beautiful outside and we don't need to make excuses to snuggle in on an evening in anticipation of the holiday season, I can't see any reason to be down. Summer will be back next year so why not make the most of this season. OK so I find it hard to get up in the dark as much as the next person, but I refuse to brought down. As for Christmas, I don't do 1 day Christmas. For me it isn't weeks of stress for one day. Its weeks of fun, food, anticipation, family and friends. Every Christmas there is some sort of drama surrounding my side of the family and I always spare a thought for those in need and do my bit where I can,  but life cannot be lived with sole focus on the negative. With that in mind, lets cosy up and talk about crafts.

Having spent the year getting to know my sewing machine, I thought it apt to make use of it for a few Christmas projects. The biggest one is Baby B's advent calendar. I have cut out pockets from random fabrics, painted number patches and stuck them on and I am ready to get sewing. This will be an advent calendar with a twist as it will also be a present sack. I can't wait to piece it all together. I hope Baby B will enjoy it for years to come.

At Crafty B's this week, I cut out some other decorations from beautiful Christmassy fabrics and as I was on my own for an evening this week Big J came out to play for sure. These are now waiting to be filled and sewn up.

Last year I was given a pattern for a 3D Christmas tree so this is also on the list. The pieces are cut out and ready to be sewn.

I have found an old mini Christmas tree which used to hang on the wall with lights and decorations. It used to be my Mums and under the assumption she won't want it back as it is falling to pieces, I have decided to pull it apart and reuse it by making it into a Christmas wreath. Excited much?!

There has also been shape cutting from old gift bags etc and if I can fit it in next week, I am going to make my Christmas cards this year. A heat gun is on my Christmas list so I won't be using the embossing powder I purchased. Not for Christmas anyway.

Christmas wouldn't be complete without a bit of crochet or baking so I will have some more pictures to share soon but for now, here are just a few.
Now I must get back to getting ready for the local Christmas Bazaar. There is one every year in the village to raise money for a new Scouts and Guides building. I'll post some pictures of my stall next week.

Mrs Crafty B

Thursday 1 November 2012

Crocheted Infinity Scarf

As previously promised, here are a few pics of my sister modelling the infinity scarves that I made for her and my other sister. One is wider that the other and slightly longer but that is because I did them freehand and not from a pattern.

I have now written the pattern from both and intend to take commissions on these babies, so if you would like a scarf that no-one else has, customised just for you, please get in contact with your preferred colour and I will happily make one for you.

I fully intend to get these up on my site with the crochet heart key pendants but time is not on my side. Maybe I should have used that extra hour we had last weekend a bit more wisely. Eek.

What did you do with your extra hour?

Mrs Crafty B

Wednesday 31 October 2012

A Cup of Tea and a Cushion Cover

On Sunday, Baby B went for his morning nap and Hubby B went out to the garden. I made myself a cup of tea and stood in the silence thinking 'what should I do now?' I should probably tick one of those projects off of my never ending list. So that is exactly what I did!

I dug out some fabric that I bought months ago for very little pennies in Ikea, I found my 'plan' in my note book, I cut the fabric (incorrectly), figured out how to fix the problem, pinned, sewed, and VOILA, I made a cushion cover! I finally made the cushion cover that I have intended to make since last summer.

I'm so unbelievably excited, mainly because its one of those things that 'can wait.' It's always the things for home that 'can wait.' Well, now it is ticked off! Okay so it doesn't have the button on that it should have but here it is. My nice green birdy cushion :)

I hope you like it.

Mrs Crafty B

Friday 26 October 2012

Crocheted Baby Ball

Once upon a time, I promised to keep you posted about another special gift on the way to our little friend Baby M, following the crocheted teddy bear that I made for him

Obviously I completely forgot. I am getting better because I am remembering to go back and actually share these things!

I decided to crochet a little ball for Baby M as his Daddy really likes football and I think it is something they will share. Of course I had to do it with Daddy's team colours. Can you guess their team?

I think Baby M liked it although they live far away so I don't often get to see them :( Here is a little pic of Baby M's ball

Mrs Crafty B

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Zoo Themed Cupcake Tower

It was inevitable that I would make Baby B's Birthday cake this year and probably every year to come but I wanted to make sure I went all out.

We had a little mars crispy cake on his actual birthday (which was decorated by Hubby B) and I decided that I would make a zoo themed cake for his party. With both adults and children attending, I wanted to make sure there was something for everyone. 

Of course that meant chocolate all round. I made a chocolate and hazelnut cake smothered with a chocolate ganache for the topper and I decorated lots of chocolate cupcakes with animal faces for the rest of the cake. I struggled to get these made with looking after Baby B but I did get there in the end. It went down a storm along side the trifle and cookies supplied by family members. Lucky Baby B! I hasten to add that there was a bit of cookie smuggling going on because my sister in-law makes the most yummy cookies! 

Here are a few pics of Baby B's Cake which has been prodded a few times by little fingers. I have also put in Hubby B's crispy cake :)

Mrs Crafty B

Monday 22 October 2012

Big J and Birthday Bunting

Back when I started my blog, I mentioned Big J and said that I would would come and tell you all about Big J another time. Well, better late then never!

At the start of the year, a purchased my very first sewing machine. I shopped around for a while, picked out some sewing books, and took the plunge. I went for a Janome machine and it is so good! It's portable enough for me to move around but sturdy enough to do some hard core sewing! It's so easy to use for beginners like me but has lots of capabilities for more advanced sewing.

My pride and joy could not go unnamed and so Big J was born.

The big test came in August when I made lots of birthday bunting for Baby B's birthday. Core tongue twister! Here's a couple of pics.

Next time I shall post some pictures of his cake which I have also mentioned in previous blogs, but for least you know what I mean by Big J ;)

Mrs Crafty b

Monday 15 October 2012

Crocheted Blankets and a Bunny Rabbit Comforter

Happy Monday All,

Baby B has gone down for a little nap and it is raining outside. Pouring in fact. I decided to snuggle with a hot water bottle and quickly share with you some of the secret crochet projects that I kept babbling about.

My cousin had a baby girl a few months ago and as Mummy has a liking for bunny rabbits, I decided to make a little something for the new arrival along that theme. I designed it myself and would perhaps do some things differently but I was pleased with the result and the yarn I used was beautifully soft. Here are some  pictures. I hope she likes it.
The other projects were crochet blankets that I made for two other little babies that arrived two weeks ago. My sister and my sister in law both had little baby girls so I became an aunty for the first and second time, two days apart! They are both gorgeous and their Mummys' and Daddys' liked their gifts...I think. Except for the colour, I made them just the same as Baby B's blanket.

Here is Baby B's...
 ...and here are the two new blankies for his new baby cousins :)
Also, I am going to start taking pictures only in the daytime!

Baby B has now woken up so I have to run but I'll try and be less brief in my next post.

Come back soon.

Mrs Crafty B