Thursday, December 15, 2011

Teacher Gifts

A small last minute Christmas gift for Little Princess's daycare teachers, inspired by these gorgeous ribbon bookmarks. These are super quick and easy to make. I was trying to think of something little and easy to make for her teachers, since she decided yesterday that they needed gifts and today is her last day for the year. When I finally found the ribbon clasps at spotlight a while ago I bought several packets, because I knew they would be great to have on hand for last minute gifts. I always have loads of ribbon, beads and charms on hand, so I can whip these up any time. The gift boxes were from my stash as well, I bought them years ago from spotlight, they are meant to hold bracelets but they work pretty well for bookmarks. It's such a shame books are going electronic, I do love books and bookshops and libraries....I will miss them when they are gone.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The end of a BIG PROJECT

This project has been many weeks in the making. It's a thank you/goodbye gift for the infant centre that Little Man has been going to for the last 2 years. The staff there have been great with him, more than happy to put in the extra one-on-one time he requires, and always wanting to know what else they could be doing to encourage his development. He has now reached the stage where he really is more of a toddler, even though he's not toddling yet, so next year he will be moving up to the toddler centre. This is also the last child we will have at the infant centre (all going to plan), so we wanted to give a big gift to say thanks for all the wonderful things they have done for both of our children.

The idea was to make one giant granny square rag rug, but it was going to be too heavy, and too hard to wash, and the outer layers were taking way too much fabric, so instead I made four separate rugs that are each about 60x60cm, which can be put together to make a big square, or laid out in a line or however they want really. If you look closely at the photos you can probably guess the order that I made them in, practice really does make perfect, and the last one I did is by far my favourite. Then I attempted a rag bowl, which worked out brilliantly, so I decided to make a set of them as well, but I can't seem to get them to turn out the same even following the same pattern, so they have kind of turned into nesting bowls. I still love the first one I made the best (the bottom one), it was the perfect size and shape, so I will keep trying until I figure out the secret recipe for crochet rag bowl perfection.
Just a little extra cuteness, Little Princess had to dress up as a Disney character for a birthday party in the weekend, and this is the Tinkerbell costume we put together. Doesn't she make just the cutest Tinkerbell ever? She already had the dress, tights and shoes, I just added white pompoms to her shoes with hot glue. I made the little cape at the last minute because it was a bit cold, I just cut a huge leaf shape out of some green fabric and fastened it at the front with a crochet flower brooch I made ages ago.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


This is starting to get ridiculous. I really love crafting and making handmade gifts, but when it becomes a chore, something that I spend every spare minute doing, then it's not so fun any more. I'm not complaining, I do it because I love it, and I think everyone should give handmade if they can. But just when I think I am nearing the end of my list of gifts to make, Little princess gets invited to another birthday party, or someone asks me to make something for someone, or we remember someone else who needs a gift. I completely forgot about a whole branch of my family that we always catch up with around Xmas time, so now I have to think of more gifts to make. But I am making progress, I think.

 This is a gift for another 5th birthday party we have been invited to this weekend. I made a cooking/baking set, because I already had the chef's hat (was supposed to be for Little princess, but I have promised to make her another one), someone gave me the idea for the apron the other day, and the glove was easy to make. Then I went and collected some baking essentials from dollar stores to add to the sewn stuff. Then I had to go further and make a menu board, because I had some chalkboard paint left over. I painted an old place mat with the chalkboard paint, added some scrap booking letters to spell MENU and mod podged over the letters to protect them. I included a little wooden easel to hold the menu board, plus some chalk and a duster. And the last edition was the recipe cards, created and printed from here, with recipes for cupcakes, cookie dough, butter cream icing and cookie icing, plus a couple of blank ones for her to add her favourite recipes.

For our big family gathering every other year, instead of buying meaningless gifts for everyone, we each bring one $10 gift and play that game where you choose a number and go around in order choosing a gift when it's your turn or you can steal from someone else. It's a fun way to do it, and everyone gets something. So this year I have, of course, made our gifts. This one is a set of chalkboard wine glasses, with chalk of course. When I saw this on pinterest, I thought it would be perfect for one of the gifts, and when I found this set of wine glasses on special for $9, it was perfect.

 The second gift took a bit more time and effort, and is still not quite finished (I still have to tie ribbons on the tags, which I am doing tonight). I made a set of six cards in a folder, and a set of 24 tags in a wallet. Both of these ideas are from SplitCoast Stampers, but for decorating the cards and tags I got inspiration from Pinterest..
 For the two craft groups I go to, we had to bring a $5 gift to swap. For one of them I made a framed pincushion, and bought a cool birdcage cross stitch design to go with it. If you look closely you will see some jewelled pins in the pincushion, which I also made a while ago.
Can you tell I love this fabric? I bought a fat quarter of it, and I've used it to make quite a few little things now, and I've just about run out. For the other gift I made a magnetic note board, using a weird metal thing I found at funky junk, and some repurposed buttons, jewellery and bits to make the magnets.
This is not a gift, but I still had to share it. This is the outfit I have put together for little man to wear for Christmas. I sewed the "tie" onto a plain white t-shirt. The hat was a robin hood hat out of the dress up box, I sewed a circle of red felt over the robin hood picture on the front, and attached a couple of mini candy cane ornaments, and put a bell on the top. The pants he already had. Isn't it cute?? Chances are he will get the shirt dirty straight away, and we'll never be able to keep the hat on his head, but it's the thought that counts, right?

Monday, December 5, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like....

The Christmas tree is up, the advent calendar has begun it's countdown, and I even made a wreath to complete the look. Christmas decorating is a bit tricky this year, with Little Man getting into everything within reach. I don't remember it being difficult when Little Princess was a toddler, but maybe I have just blocked out those memories. So the Christmas tree has been put on top of a coffee table which is on top of another coffee table, and so far he hasn't tried to pull on anything to get to it (touch wood, fingers crossed and all that)(we won't mention all the other dangerous and life threatening things he has done in the last week).
The advent calendar was fun to put together. I found a couple of these house shaped shelves at a thrift store and immediately imagined making one into an advent calendar. I then went around the house looking for little containers and boxes to fit in the holes. I had the numbers already from a perpetual calendar I started making (and never finished). Then I went to a couple of dollar stores looking for little things to put inside the containers, and got things like hairties, bead sets, bubbles, a notebook, jewellery. Some of the containers have little treats like mini marshmellows, santa chocolates, lollies. So far she has opened 5 of them, and she has loved every one. Next year I hope Little Man will be old enough to be included in the advent calendar, but I think he still may not "get it".

To see more Christmas inspiration, head over to the My Place and Yours Christmas Party.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Circus Carnival Extravaganza Posters

Here are the posters that have been designed for decorating the party for Little Princess next year.

The images used on the posters are mostly from The Graphics Fairy, and posters were created using Photoshop and Pixlr-o-matic.
The free fon'ts were found at iDiY

Thursday, November 24, 2011

More Gifts in the Making

I was asked by a friend to make some chef hats for her girls for Christmas using this tutorial, so I decided to make one for little princess first as a test run. The tutorial has the words Bon Appetit embroidered on the hat band, but I don't know how to do that, so instead I just made a fabric flower to attach.

For another friends birthday I made a picnic blanket and basket set. I made the lining for the basket just kind of making it up as I went along, and it worked quite well. The cutlery holder is made from a tea towel and a vintage napkin, the top folds down over the pockets, then it wraps up and is tied with attached ribbons. The picnic blanket was put together with bits of fabric and linen out of my stash, patched together and backed with knit fabric. There is a layer of wool blanket in the middle, for insulation, so this is a pretty heavy blanket. It rolls up and ties up with attached ties. I also added to the basket some citronella candles (completely necessary here for any picnic in the evening), plastic cutlery for 4, 4 plastic wine glasses, 4 fabric napkins, a cutting board, bottle opener/corkscrew, pate knife and cheese knife. The idea for the set was to make a portable wine and cheese basket for friends, but add some plates and you could also make it work for a picnic lunch/dinner.
This is the only Christmas gift I have made so far, for my niece. I made her a fabric notebook cover, with slots for pens/pencils inside the front cover. I tried to find a tutorial, but they all seemed to make it so much more complicated than it needed to be, so again I just made it up. That's the way I do things most of the time, look at some tutorials and photos, look at my stash to see what I have, then wing it. I hate to measure and iron, so if the instructions say to do those things I skip it.

We have already started planning Little Princess's birthday party next year (over 6 months away), because it's going to be HUGE! We are having a Circus Carnival Extravaganza, and it's going to be awesome. It's going to be the middle of winter, which is a shame, but we can still make it work. If you are interested in following our inspiration for the party, you can check out my Party Ideas board on Pinterest
So far the ideas we are definitely doing are:
Photobooth with props like moustaches, glasses, etc on sticks, frames, hats.
Duck pond game.
Ring toss game.
Ping pong blast game.
Bean bag toss game.
Mini pie eating competition.
Candy apples and mini hotdogs.
Popcorn and candy floss.
Donuts and animal biscuits.
Tickets earned from games to spend at the prize booth.
Vintage inspired circus posters.
Light up circus letters.
Face painting & balloon animals.
Bouncy castle.

Monday, November 14, 2011

I've been busy making....

Lots of things for other people...

A dinosaur cape for a birthday boy, and one for little princess as well.
 Another messenger bag, to go with the cape.
 Some cushion covers for my grandmother, to go on her new couch.
 Some Christmas gift folders for my M.I.L. to give to her workmates.
 The folders have three pockets inside for putting chocolates, drink sachets, etc..

And a bunny costume for little princess to wear to a farm themed party. I didn't really make the costume, except sewing an oval of pink felt on the front of a white t-shirt, and tying a ribbon around a plastic carrot. Isn't she a cute bunny? But she's also a cute dinosaur, so I guess that's not really difficult.

I've still got a list as long as my arm of things I have to make before Christmas. Can I have an extension of time please??

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Some Gifts I've Been Working On

Gifts for a baby shower for Hubby's workmate, who is having a baby boy.
My first quilt ever, made based on this tutorial, but with some variations (I don't do bias binding). And to go with the quilt, using the same fabrics, I made a Scottie dog rattle&squeak toy, a sailboat taggie (inspired by this tutorial), a crochet rattle ball, and a bunting card (inspired by these cards).

A fifth birthday present for one of Little Princess's friends from daycare, having a party this weekend.
I made her a messenger bag using this tutorial, A pig softie, a wand (inspired by this one), a fabric tutu (inspired by this one), a felt crown (using this pattern), and an ice cream card (inspired by this one) with a removable initial charm clipped on.

This one I made a few months back, for another birthday party Little Princess was invited to. I made a messenger bag using the same tutorial, and filled it with boy things. Then we made wrapping paper and a card together. The wrapping paper was actually really cool.

All the links in this post come from my boards on Pinterest

Monday, November 7, 2011

Giveaway Winner

The winner of my Month of Costumes Giveaway is Kelly. Congrats Kelly!! And thanks for all the lovely comments, I wish I could send something to everyone who commented, but at the moment I just don't have the time or the money. Why do I always forget how busy the lead up to Christmas can be?? Every year I say I will be more prepared next time, and then it sneaks up on me. Next year will be better....

Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat

I just wanted to share the costume i put together for Little princess to wear, for her brief attempt at trick or treating tonight (it was her first time).

Month of Costumes Wrap up (+giveaway)

It's been so much fun putting all these costumes together, but also a lot of work. So here is a quick wrap up of the month.

Day 1 - Steampunk                                   Day 16 - Princess Fiona
Day 2 - 1920's                                          Day 17 - Vampire
Day 3 - Cat in the Hat                               Day 18 - Medusa
Day 4 - 1980's Madonna                          Day 19 - Lydia
Day 5 - Minnie Mouse                              Day 20 - Dorothy
Day 6 - Cowgirl                                        Day 21 - Harlequin
Day 7 - Emily the Strange                          Day 22 - Rag Doll
Day 8 - Little Red Riding Hood                 Day 23 - Clockwork Orange
Day 9 - Kooky Witch                               Day 24 - Matryoshka
Day 10 - Gypsy                                        Day 25 - Harajuku Girl
Day 11 - Alice in Wonderland                   Day 26 - Willy Wonka
Day 12 - Moon Goddess                          Day 27 - Gothic Schoolgirl
Day 13 - Princess Leia                              Day 28 - Pippi Longstocking
Day 14 - Safari Hunter                              Day 29 - Mrs Lovett
Day 15 - Pirate                                         Day 30 - Ringmaster
                                                                Day 31 - Day of the Dead

And for an extra added bonus, here are some photos of a few other costumes I have worn over the years.
 Hubby and I, at the "school days" party, dressed as goths.
 Wearing the purple and green tutu I made.
 At a 007 themed event dressed as Bond villains, Me - Jaws, Sandy - Oddjob.
 A Halloween party we had many years ago, Me dressed as Magenta from the Rocky Horror Show, attempting to do a Charlies Angels pose with a witch and Harry Potter. Hubby was dressed as Riff Raff.
 When I was a kid, dressed as a nerd for Nerds night at youth group or something (I wish I still had that pink jumpsuit, it was pretty awesome).
As a kid, dressed as Peggy Bundy, with Cat Girl, for a costume party.
For my retro themed party a few years ago.

Now, I have been planning a giveaway for the end of my Month of Costumes, but I haven't actually had time to put anything together. So, you are entering to win something unknown, but something is better than nothing, right? All you have to do is comment on this post to tell me what costume for the month was your favourite. You have a week to enter, and next Monday 7th November I will draw a winner. Please make sure there is a way for me to contact you via your comment.