Monday 22 December 2008

Loose Ends

Monday morning and I should be packed up, heading out the door...but I'm not quite ready. Someone please remind me next year to start christmas preparations a little earlier! I was still making presents at gone midnight last night...the trouble is, in my head I have three more days, but reality is the clock has stopped. Nothing is wrapped, either.

I feel like I'm chasing my tail, trying to catch up. I had a lovely parcel in the post several weeks ago from Maxine (no blog!) as part of the christmas swap organized by French Knots, and only got to take pictures yesterday.

A shaker angel

handmade decorations

moleskine volant notebooks

There were also some truffles, eaten during the unwrapping! Thanks, Maxine, it's a wonderful present!

Remember my nephew Ben, of the wonderful chicken coops? He lost his car keys a few weeks ago (eventually found), so I've made a key chain for the chicken boy. I love this fabric. it makes me smile. For some reason I'm more pleased with this than virtually anything else I've made.

Well, that's it. I'll stop rambling. Time to sign off, and tidy up the other loose ends around the house.

I wish you all a happy and peaceful christmas with your loved ones. Back after New Year.


Sunday 21 December 2008

Quick draw

Ali, the random number generator has picked you for some christmas cards - please email me your details.

I've loved looking through everyone's christmas song favourites, there's been a few visits to You Tube to check out the unfamiliar.

Back later (I hope!). Still rather a lot to do and I leave tomorrow...

Thursday 18 December 2008

christmas cards - and a wee giveaway

So finally most of my cards have been written and posted. Just a few left to write, along with a bit of news. Par for the course here - I do have a habit of leaving all things christmassy to the last minute.

As the last few weeks have sped by, I've not found much inspiration for a card for this year. Lurking in the recesses of my brain was the thought that I should take the leap and use my gocco for the very first time. I've kept this secret, but I bought a gocco about six months ago from a little goodness, and although I've looked at the box, unpacked it, touched it, and admired it, courage has failed when it came to actually using it. I'm not sure why I was so daunted really. So, after ordering card supplies (what a luxury, not to mention time saver, to buy pre-cut and folded card as I usually cut and fold myself) and envelopes, what to design? I should add that the blogger who continually inspires with her gocco cards is Melissa, and she's also written a really helpful gocco 'how to' post. Also check out the gocco flickr group.

After a bit of faffing about I was thinking snowflakes. This was semi-discarded, and then developed into my first paper cut, done, I have to admit, with nail scissors! After several attempts I was happy with my design and I ironed this with a tiny bit of steam, then mounted it on card , and took it down to the printers to be photocopied and reduced. The photocopy is used to make the screen.

Then, the scary bit - making the gocco screen. I checked various tutorials and then, well, you just have to do it, don't you? It was much easier than I expected and I'm wondering now why I waited for months to start printing. The red and white features again (the red has come up a bit pink in these photos) - though I have a very small choice of inks to choose from, most of them not 'christmas'.

The actual printing was quite easy, though I haven't always managed to get the ink spread evenly - it's very thick and gloopy.

Once I got going it was quite the production line - anything that could be gocco'd was grabbed! I am really pleased and excited by my cards, and can't wait to try something else.

I've also printed some postcards - maybe these will be cut down for gift tags, or used for a christmas note or two. I've also printed a moleskine cahier so I now have my own little christmas book!

I thought it would be fun to give away a little set of five cards with envelopes. Probably too late for using this year, but save for next! The draw closes at midnight on saturday (2oth) and I'll pull a name from the hat on the solstice. So leave me a comment - oh, and a question for you: What's your favourite christmas song? I'd love to know!

Tuesday 16 December 2008

Christmas bunting

Continuing on with the red and white theme, which is a bit of a feature around here at the moment, I've made some baby bunting as a surprise for my sister G. It's in the post and she'll get it tomorrow.

It's quite tiny compared to 'normal' bunting, just a wee bit bigger than the birthday bunting I made her. Last year I made her a little tree from vintage linen.

There's no easy way to take a decent photo of a string of bunting with the low light levels at the moment, so pics show a bunting 'pie'. The cotton tape (folded in half here) was bought on one of our days out together, the blanket is thrifted, and the buttons are all from my Mum's button box, which I inherited. So a bit of history here too.

I finally made my christmas cards today, and I'm really excited about they'll get a post all of their own. You've been warned!

On a catching up note...I'm not! I'm way behind with responding to emails and comments, and I can't see much changing before I go away. Sorry. Where does the time go? My 'get to it and do it' list is still ominously long.

Thursday 11 December 2008

Christmas pebbles

My pebble obsession has moved into christmas mode.

Red and white felted pebbles.

Just because.

(I looked at lots of tutorials online, and in the end just took a bit from this, a bit from that, and had a go. The larger ones were done in the kitchen sink, the smaller ones in the washing machine.)

Monday 8 December 2008

The scent of christmas

Orange, clove, cinnamon, pine, may chang, bergamot....

Christmas is as much about scent for me as it is about visual decoration (and many other things). The oil burner is flickering whenever I'm home, warm spicy scent wafting through the house, memories of christmas past...and setting the memory for this christmas, too.

Friday 5 December 2008

Introducing Archie.... new dog. He had a very quick journey, and was waiting for me when I got home from work this afternoon. Walter looks slightly alarmed by his presence and tried to whisk him away before

proper introductions could be made. I can reassure you that he was rescued immediately, and has now made himself comfortable in a cosy spot well away from Walter.

Here he is close-up, showing off his felty good looks...

And here, his other profile. I especially love his ears and the way they stick out. And his expression...looking up slightly quizzically.

I saw Archie's brother on Janet's blog and fell for him. Lesley (blogless!), his maker, very generously emailed me and offered to make me my very own felted dog. And that is how the lovely Archie came to live with us. As Janet said: "The world is full of lovely people". How true.

A very big thank you, Lesley.


On a christmas note, this is progress so far:

:: number of presents made: one

:: number of presents 'in progress': one

:: number of presents left to make: at least nine

:: number of christmas cards received: two (including a very long letter)

:: number of cards I've made: none

:: number of times I've listened to the christmas cd compilation: double figures already

:: favourite christmas single: this one. I love it.

Looks like I need to move up a here's to a weekend of crafting and knitting and getting organized.

Happy weekend - hope you're getting into the christmas spirit!

Wednesday 3 December 2008

Hello December

Three days into December time flies.

The last week has disappeared in a flurry of activity at home - mainly transforming my house back in to somewhere you just might like to sit down and linger a while, in readiness for a visit from my Dad. Just as well he was coming otherwise chaos would still reign. I used to be so tidy but somehow that habit eludes me at the moment. I've also been pretty absent from my computer - a big thank you to everyone who left a comment or emailed after my last post. I've spectacularly failed to respond to anyone. A certain equilibrium has now been restored, and I'll try and catch up.

Two parcels arrived last week, one still awaiting a photo or two, so I'll save that for another time. But this one arrived all the way from Canada:

My wonderful address file that I won in a giveaway hosted by Sharilyn of Lovely Design. I can't tell you how long I've coveted one of these. And it ticks all the right boxes for me - stationery, paper, wood, recycling....and it's so beautiful in its simplicity. My christmas has arrived a few weeks early! Thanks so much Sharilyn.

Christmas...I never quite kick into gear until December has arrived, so it ends up being a mostly enjoyable rush to get everything done. Can't wait to dive in and really get going!