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.