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.