Saturday, January 24, 2015

Christmas crafty supper

One of my favourite things to do at Chrismtas is to have some of my friends over for supper and a 'treat swap'. The idea is the same as a cookie exchange - everyone brings a plate to share for supper as well as enough of a favourite festive treat (which can be baked or bought) to swap with the other guests. It's just perfect - we get to catch up and chat for hours over some delicious food, and for days afterwards have all kinds of goodies to enjoy. Plus, some of us love an excuse to bake something sweet and package it up all fancy!

I also love the excuse to decorate and play with my papers, punches, washi and stamps to make invitations to post out! I like to have a bit of a theme - usually with a bit of a Scandi flavour. Previous years I've gone with dala, hearts, woodlandy and traditional red and white, and this year I must couldn't go past 'nisser' - Scandinavian elves/gnomes. They guy on the invites was inspired by that wooden one on the table there, which I picked up at the scandi Christmas bazaar her in Canberra, and were made from fabric.

These past two years I've planned a fun (and daggy) craft project for us to do too - last year we had kits for decorating little 3D felt christmas trees, and this year we made nisser from wooden beads and felt. They came out so cute!

I also couldn't resist making each of my guests one of these little quilted Christmassy mug rugs with the the same little nisse from the invites.

I think that about wraps up the Christmassy stuff I wanted to share - and it's not even 25 January for a few more minutes ;-)



Sunday, January 18, 2015

Gift quilts

Last week I wrote a tiny bit about the Christmas quilt I made for A - I also made two lap quilts, which I gave to my in-laws for Christmas.

For my FIL I used fabric from Emma Jean Jansen's two Terra Australis ranges and Johanna Masko's Mod Blocks pattern. Obviously the fabrics are absolutely gorgeous and work beautifully together. The pattern is fantastic - it sewed up so quickly and easily, and I think is really striking for something so simple! I promise that this isn't the last Mod Blocks quilt you'll see me sew =)

And for my step-MIL I made a scrappy quilt using a pattern called Swell from Camille Roskelley's book Simply Retro. The fabrics are all by Denyse Schmidt - I have a good collection of prints I'm using to make an English Paper Pieced hexie quilt. I think this would be a fantastic 'bee' quilt - the blocks are so quick and simple, and the scrappiness works really well.

Here's a little peek at the backs and binding - for the Swell quilt I used a pretty Denyse Schmidt print on the back, and a Bonnie & Camille one for the binding. The backing of the Mod Blocks quilt is a pretty fabric with tradition Australian flora highlighted with gold, and the binding is by V & Co.

I loved making both of these so much, and hope they will be treasured in their new home!



Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Christmas (in January)

Hello there! Is the middle of January too late to talk about Christmassy stuff? I hope not - I just have a couple of things I want to share!

This time last year we were waiting for Amelia to arrive and I just remember being so impatient, and wanting it to be this year so she would be here with us for Christmas. Then I had to keep reminding myself to not let my expectations get out of control, because she would only be almost one, and probably not really old enough for us to do the fun things I was imagining. Well, I'm happy to say it was even better than I had imagined! We had a baking day (A mostly played on the floor with a mixing bowl, some cookie cutters and a wooden spoon), she loved going out to see Christmas lights, and Christmas carols were a big hit (especially Michael Bublé's tv specials and the Wiggle on Carols in the Domain).

Another thing we did that I thought she might be too little for was making our own Christmas cards. A and I painted them together - we used her little fingerprints to make a string of lights on each card, and then I finished them off with a family photo 'bauble' once the paint dry. We had so much fun, and it felt so special to do it also reminded my how much I love playing with paper stuff - stamps, punches & glue are so much fun!

We had a fantastic Christmas Day - made extra special because we were celebrating not only A's but my niece E's first christmas too! The girls really seemed to enjoy each other's company, and it can't wait to see what they get up to together as they grow up!

A was lucky enough to get two special Christmas quilts - one I made and one her Nana (my mum) made. They are both probably cot quilt size (ish) - which is just perfect for carrying around the house, tea parties, snuggling while watching a movie or in the car. I made the scrap one last year - I have a lap sized top ready for quilting from the same blocks.

I do have one or two more crafty things to share, including a few other quilts that we gave as gifts. 2014 was quite a quilty year, so I think it deserve a quilt wrap up post too =)






Thursday, January 01, 2015

The bear dress

I've taken advantage of some nice lazy stay home days this week to sew up my first finished project - this cute little pinafore/dress from McCall's M6824.

Maybe it's a bit on the naff side of cute, but I just love it. It has come out a bit too big for her just now - the size info on the big 4 infant patterns is pretty sparse (I could only find weight and height, not chest) so I just went with the biggest size so that she could grow into it. The pattern says easy, but it was actually pretty fiddly - with the embroidered face, and tiny extra bits.

I'll definitely be making another one of these - I'm thinking pointy ears and kitty whiskers - as soon as I can get miss A to stand still so I can see how far out the size is =)


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Geranium tunic #2

The little geranium tunic I made for a friend was so adorable that I knew I wanted to whip up a couple for miss A - I'm certain I've said it before, but they are just so quick and cute that I couldn't resist. This little one was made from two Kate Spain prints - the bodice from the range Daydream, and the skirt from Honey Honey. I made the 12-18 month size so she has some room to grow, and since it's a tunic we should be able to get away with it for a bit longer too.


Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Felt christmas tree

Ok, so since our kitties arrived I've been trying alternative christmas tree set-ups - wall stickers, mini tree on the table, anything they couldn't climb/destroy (except last year when I was very pregnant and those nesting hormones said I just had to have a tree) but somehow I had never come across this GENIUS idea - felt tree!

The tree part is just a tall triangle of dark green felt - the kind that is sold on a roll. Mine is 90cm tall (just because that was the width of the felt) and 80cm almond the bottom. Then I just cut out some simple decorations from coloured felt - I traced around a glass for the circle baubles, and around cookie cutters for the other shapes. I'll stick this up on the wall, but you can see A was quite interested in it on the floor (I laid it out on the floor to take a photo and she came scooting over as quickly as her little hands and knees could move her).

It is just so clever - since felt sticks to felt kids could decorate and redecorate as many times as they like, and you could make the decorations as simple or fancy as you liked - and they would be fun for kids to decorate. Next I think I'll cut out some christmas light shapes and sew them to ribbon to make a mini string of lights. It's the kind of thing my sisters and I would have loved faffing around with year after year (after year), and I hope A gets lots of fun out of it too =)



Monday, December 01, 2014

Advent 2014

It's no secret around here that I love advent, and that I love books. So of course I think the idea of a book advent countdown (where you wrap up 24 kids books - maybe with a christmas theme - and read one each night up until christmas) is totally genius. 24 books is a bit overwhelming to start off, both for me to find and also for A's attention span, so this year we decided to do one book for each week of advent. Here's our little pile - along with A's gorgeous new sock monkey reindeer buddy (handmade locally by Miss Creative Designs)

It was hard to narrow it down to 4 - there are so many gorgeous Christmassy board books available! We let A choose which book to unwrap, and then read it together =). This week's book is 'Father Christmas Needs a Wee'! (yes we love a bit of toilet humour ;-))

The first week of advent also means a trip to the Scandinavian Australian Association's annual Christmas bazaar to pick out an advent calendar and a few other bits and pieces =) I do love these gorgeous sparkly advent calendars - this year's features teddy bears.

And so it starts to feel a bit like Christmas - if only the weather would cool down a bit so I could make my puddings! Xo