28 November, 2010

Handmade Christmas

I know it is a bit early probably to put out Christmas stuff, but the Advent Calendar has to be out & ready for day one doesn't it? So while I was ironing (& still am...) I thought I would get my Christmas pictures out & press them & hang them up. Here is my quilted advent calendar. I did this a couple of years ago as a class at what is now my work! lol Karen & I did the class together to find out how to master the cute little pockets on it. I love it. It is one of the nicest advent calendars I have seen to sew. But having said that there are a couple of nice ones at work at the moment & although I don't need another one I think they are nice enough to make as presents. So that's my next plan.
Some pocket detail of the calendar.
Then I have these 2 embroidery pictures that I did a few years ago. They are Angels in Disguise I think. I can never really remember. I really like them & enjoyed stitching them up & finished them into hanging mini quilt type hangers. I liked these particularly because the design was printed on the fabric which saved that whole having to transfer the design before doing anything. There is some close up detail in a couple of pics below. I really love the chicken feet. They were done in bullion stitch & I love that stitch. I think it needs to be renamed as chicken feet stitch.

I hope you all enjoy preparing for the festive season. This is our first Christmas in this house & I am looking forward to putting out everything! I have 3 trees in all different sizes so I will be able to fit them all in easily! Woohoo! Not to mention the rest of the stuff! Oh I need to find a new place for BJ's stocking! I will have to show you that one later on in the week. It's lovely! Oh & a Santa cross stitch that I rescued! So you had better stay tuned...

22 November, 2010

Scarves for Ethiopia

A friend of mine is working on a project for children in Ethiopia. This is one I was able to help out a little with. So this morning I have been chopping up a pile of polar fleece for the scarves & I am currently fringing them. I bought the white fabric & she actually found the rolls of red at Spotlight for 99cents! Wow! With the aid of my rotary cutter I was able to cut through the roll in no time. Yay! So I called my friend at Full Little Tummies & she is going to bring the rest over so I can cut those. She has been doing them all by hand with a pair of scissors. I am happy to be able to help out with some time on this project. Don't you think Gifts of Time are often more valuable than gifts of things?

I will change the subject completely from the scarves now. With Christmas coming very fast, I was quite saddened recently to talk to someone about their expectations with gift giving. Yes it can be fun but when it becomes a huge burden both financially & having to purchase for a large extended family it becomes overwhelming & the true spirit of giving is lost. It still bothers me in my mind that Christmas becomes a pressure & stressful time just based on the gifts! I know it is hard to find gifts for parents & grandparents particularly. I have the problem myself. But we have come up with some great gifts over the years of gifts of time of a fun event to be held later on in the new year.

I think that time gifts can often be the most appreciated. Do you know someone who is going away for an extended holiday or through the summer a short holiday even. Print up some vouchers you make yourself & offer them a lawn mowing service while they are gone. Or watering their gardens while they are away. How about offering a meal with your family a few times over the following year. The gift that keeps giving. lol Or if you can't have them over, make them some frozen dinners. This is an idea that may seem strange but what about a meat hamper from a butcher (I know it isn't a time gift so much, but it is a different idea!) . Meat has got expensive hasn't it? So why not gift someone with a few different cuts of meat. In Australia it is a great time for barbeques, so a barbeque meat pack would be great don't you think. (unless you are vegetarian of course & then a vegie hamper would be just as special!) I know if someone gave me a tray of meat for Christmas I would be excited! If someone offered to mow our lawns or spend a couple of hours weeding the garden I know I would be truly grateful & excited. It doesn't take much to make me excited! A gift of time is precious these days.

So back to the scarves for the children in Ethiopia. If you wonder why Ethiopian children need a scarf, read my friends explanation in her post here where she was asked this same question. So I'm happy I can do something to help & give some of my time to bring these kids some happiness in their lives with something so simple & we take the simple things for granted.

Merry Christmas.

21 November, 2010

Light Up My Life

Back in June I was offered a light by buyster. They wanted me to try one out. It took ages as it turned out as the one I picked out was of course out of stock! So I waited a few months & evetually it was delivered! Yay! It is a simple desk lamp. But very effective. Initially it only went for 2 hours & then stopped! Uh oh... So I took it for a new globe & luckily that was the only problem. I gave the little light the benefit of the doubt there as I figured it may have got knocked about in transit. Since then I haven't had any trouble with it. It is a small desk lamp but very powerful. I have used it in a few different places now. It is a great desk lamp for in my dark house. I used it while doing blocks a few times on gloomy days. It was great. I also used it for stitching under at night. It is good. Also for crochet. I really needed a good light for evenings & this sure is effective. I won't use it as a bed light. It is way too bright for that. Other than that & the globe blowing out as quickly as it did, I really am pleased with it. I hope it doesn't blow again in a hurry as the bulbs are $5 which is a bit crazy but if it lasts a year or so I don't mind. But every few weeks or so will be annoying! Oh & it does get quite hot. It is small & I do try to keep the globe away from anything like the back of the chair when I am stitching or something as I really don't want it to fry! It's a neat little light though. Thanks buyster!

18 November, 2010

My Creative Space

Well I have more or less got the star ornaments done. I need to dig out my ribbon box & find some hangers for the stars. I like them so much that I got crazy & got enough stuff to make another 14 of them for others for Christmas. I am still trying to work on as much handmade for Christmas as I can. I am also trying to do as much as the handmade myself as possible - though I think I can recruit hubby & kid to help paint the rest! Nothing like creating more work for yourself, but it's all fun! The B here is for my little fella, as his ornament for this year. The other 3 I have done so far will be flying around the world to some friends hopefully soon. I need to get cracking on the ribbons so I can get them mailed.

More creativeness at Kootoyoo.

15 November, 2010

Christmas Ornaments

I have had these letters & stars for a little while now with good intentions of making a couple of decorations for some overseas friends & one for BJ. We've had a nice day at home so I have been able to work on these & also some more block sets. Hopefully I will get thse finished in the next few days.

They should look ok when the letters are stuck on the paper which is stuck on the star. Then I need to find some ribbons or something for hanging. This wasn't my idea, but Kaiser cut out stars & their ideas I think. I just thought it was something different & would add to BJ's collection of ornaments for this year.

Have a good week. I sure plan too!

11 November, 2010

Five things this week

Well I don't have much of a creative space today as we've been sick here most of the week & all I have been doing is sitting holding the boy, or running about after him. He hasn't let me do much of my own thing at all. So he was not himself for sure.

I thought I would have a little nosey post. I always think these kinds of posts are insightful into the person & find them quite interesting to read about others. So for today I thought I would just tell you 5 things that are going on for me this week.

1. I finally finished this book Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert. I got it for my birthday a couple of months ago & was determined to read it & actually finish it though I nearly didn't. I was glad I did. The book is broken up into 3 parts, Italy, India & Indonesia. I enjoyed the first part. But I got really stuck in India. That was a hard slog to read. I got through it slowly though & was pleased I did as then I got to read Indonesia. I enjoyed that part too & that was a lot easier reading that section, easier than the first 2 parts for sure. I enjoyed it anyway & I am glad I read it. I don't read a lot of biographical stuff at all. This was good.

2. Here's another book. This one I got recently for BJ as recommended by a friend. Ok so she recommended it as a Christmas gift. I couldn't wait that long. That is like, next month! Ages away! (no it is close, don't worry, I am well aware of how close!) Anyway, it is really funny. The illustrations are classic, the descriptions of the illustrations are classic! BJ has been asking for that book a bit & so we do quite a bit of reading of just that one.

3. I have been browsing a lot at bookdepository.com for books. There are so many great kids books around & at the moment the Aussie dollar is looking so pretty that this is a great place to pick up books & best of all it has free delivery world wide! Can't beat that. I have a million books in my wishlist there. I bet the dollar will plummet well before I get through the list!

4. Dare I admit this but having been sick & although feeling quite well, & not really being able to do any crafty bits, I have been wasting time on facebook & playing games! Ekkk.... It is a bit of a drag really as I have so many things I could be doing but I suppose it doesn't hurt to take a break from pushing myself to create & create. But I have found a bunch of games that my friends have played & I find I am just a wee bit competitive cos I like to have a go & try to beat the high scores! lol

5. Music playing when I get a chance to listen to something other than kids stuff - Courtyard Hounds. Love their CD. This is 2 of the Dixie Chicks having gone to do an album themselves in between. Gotta love it.

Ok, that's me today. Do you want to do 5 things too? Put them in the comments or on your blog so I can read them too. Like I said earlier, these sorts of things are quite interesting & people are nosey & want to know all about you! So tell me 5 things about you this week! Please! Have a good end of the week.

05 November, 2010

Cupcake Anyone?

Ok, it didn't quite get finished yesterday but this morning it did. We were too busy op shopping & stuff yesterday! Today is another quiet day while the little guy is a bit off again, so keeping away from everyone & everything pretty much. The stitching got finished & I will find something else to play with later on. This was a quick easy stitch. Might have to stock up on the rest of the set. They are cute.

04 November, 2010

My Creative Space

Yesterday my little fella was sick. I didn't have to cuddle him all day. I just had to sit near him. That was a bonus as I got this stitched up in that time. I was hoping to get it finished but oh well, I should finish off the last of it today. This is a Lizzie Kate design & it is actually a shop sample for work. I will put a finished pic of it on when it's done. It's cute. I really want to do all the rest of the set now which include Icecream, Candy & Pie. They look like stamps. Cute.

For more creative people check out these links here...

02 November, 2010

How Cute!

Ok, so it is just a bunch of rocks really. But it isn't often you have them looking back at you!

These are destined for playgroup tomorrow & will be pet rocks of all colours & decorations! Sad really cos they do look cute in here I think.

I am actually thinking how fun it would be to have a bunch of rocks on the beach looking back at you! Wouldn't people do a double take? I'm thinking that might just be a fun project. Hehehehe... Might need to stock up on googly eyes.

01 November, 2010

Zebra Embroidery

Here is yet another of the animals from the Laurel Burch fabric. It's ok. It's an interesting looking zebra. They have been fun to play around with lately.

Now I really want to work on something in the Doodle Stitching book that I got last week. I don't know what yet, but I will leave the animals for the moment. I didn't get many animals out of the fat quarter so the rest is in the scrap box.