Friday, 25 December 2015

Thursday, 24 December 2015

More Origami

Still got the paperfolding bug..... I think its going to be my thing in 2016! Really love these stars I learnt how to fold here on the Homemade Gifts Made Easy blog. There are video and photo tutorials. They are so nice I'll probably leave them up after Christmas.

There is one other star I want to learn and haven't worked out very well yet. Its the German paper star made by folding long strips of paper. My sister moved to a new job in Berlin this year so I'm hoping to decorate her Christmas gift with one tonight. I'll show you later if it works out. This is what they are supposed to look like!

Froebel Star - German Christmas Star
Here's the source:

Finally I'd like to send all my lovely followers (and especially you fantastic few who regularly send me such kind comments) this wonderful old Christmas card (I think its 1950s) I found on ebay a few years ago. LOVE IT!

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Jingle all the way....

I've been rather obsessed by bells this Christmas season - almost everything I've made has had a jingle added! There are lots of bells on these snowflakes I've made to hang in the window.

I saw these Pierced Snowflake dies from MFT (My Favorite Things) on the Make the Day Special Blog and really liked what Jenny had done with them. There are lots of snowflake dies on the market, and I do have a few, but these are really pretty and even though I often have difficulty with larger dies on my ancient cuttlebug, these cut perfectly and even the tiny dots around the edges are well defined.

As usual I've used cereal box card. Yes, all these really are cut from just cereal boxes - there is no top layer of fancy paper. As snowflakes are, of course, symmetrical I cut two for each and glued them back to back. As soon as I've glued each shape I quickly put it under something heavy to keep it flat and well stuck - a pile of magazines is perfect as you can put two or three between each magazine with a big pile on the top.

The white card comes from a rather expensive cereal I always buy when its on offer, but I really like the natural card too. You'd probably pay quite a lot for "Kraft" cardstock in a shop or on line so before you assign your empty grocery packets and boxes to the recycling bin I'd advise you to take a second look - you never know what you'll find inside!

I've joined the snowflakes together with jumprings and added the bells with jumprings too so that they stay loose and jingle nicely. The one with red bells has a couple of beads added too. A bit of wire or twine would do just as good a job if you don't have jumprings in your stash.

They don't have to be joined together though, they are just as pretty on their own. But of course I still couldn't stop myself adding a bell or two! :o)

Just realised the background in that photo looks a bit strange! No, I haven't shut the cat in the cupboard - its a bottlebrush fox waiting to be released and put on the Christmas tree! However I have to admit Titch is finding it difficult to get a comfortable spot for her naps amongst all the chaos that is my Christmas crafting space!!!

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Christmas papercrafting remembered.....

Christmas always brings back memories of happy childhood cutting and sticking for me. Remember egg box bells for the tree, cut paper snowflakes for the window, gummed paper strip chains hung from the corners of the room to the lampshade in the middle of the ceiling and paper lanterns? Happy days!

I still like making decorations but nowadays they are rather more sophisticated versions made with the aid of papercrafting dies. This year I've fallen for the Take a Bough set from a new company Concord & 9th. I have to admit these little trees are rather time consuming to make - I'd envisaged a whole forest but so far have only managed three!

These music trees are usually popular on my craft fair stall - folks like to give them as teacher gifts (especially music teachers) and this year one lady said her son was a music director and thought them perfect for his tree. I was very flattered!

I rather fell for the black and white version myself - quite sophisticated considering they are created from that old favourite, cereal packet cardboard! The dies are past releases from Wplus9 and Papertrey Ink.

And as always I can't resist a bit of pretty packaging. It doesn't take long and always makes for a more professional presentation - I think so anyway. Cut a square of card to fit the width of your cello bag, stamp with appropriate festive images (these are from Waltzing Mouse Stamps), fold in half and staple over the top of the bag. I put a piece of clear acetate in with the trees too to stop them moving about in the packet.

Finally here's a reminder of those iconic Christmas makes - I'm sure you remember them all. There are links back to all these creations on my Christmas ideas Pinterest board. You'll find lots of other fabulous craftiness there too.  Don't you just LOVE Pinterest!!

Sunday, 6 December 2015

I know... its been WEEKS!!!

Where does the time go! As usual November has been a busy time for crafters and mine has been manic what with work, volunteering, caring, hospital visiting and crafting to fit in. I've attended three craft fairs in the last three weeks so please do accept my apologies for my long silence.  But now they're done I've a bit more time to get back to my own Christmas preparations and last night I did something I've wanted to do for ages - I learnt how to weave those pretty Danish paper hearts.

And as they say, practise makes perfect, so I make a lot! I bought a die from here a couple of years ago and did try to master the technique at the time but failed for some reason. But I hate to let anything beat me so I watched Eline's video again, pausing it on every move to keep up, and eventually, as with everything, it clicked.

I think where I went wrong last time was I tried to use cardstock instead of paper, but you can't manipulate card, even thin card.  However I did use the card cuts - I snipped them in half, did the weaving and glued the two halves back to back. You don't get the pocket of course but they make pretty  decorations to hang on the tree or in a window.

But of course the idea of the heart pockets it to put little treats in them. I had the old Christmas favourite Elizabeth Shaw Mint Crisps in mind but didn't find any locally. Do they still exist? However I found these Whitaker Mint Crisps at B&Ms - the company has been in existence in Skipton, Yorkshire since 1889 and I love an old family business that manages to keep on going in these times of the giant faceless multinational conglomerate - especially a company founded by a woman! That's her on the box - Ida Whitaker. They smell gorgeous and are packaged beautifully with lovely old photos of the Whitakers and staff on the boxes. I haven't eaten any yet but that dark chocolate and mint smell just oozes Christmas to me!

And the mint creams come in my favourite flavors of coffee and mint too. Well..... it is nearly Christmas!

I'm looking forward to getting back to blogging in the run up to the Big Day as I've got lots of other festive projects to share. Hope your preparations are all going to plan. Now back to mine!


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