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Christmas

Papier maché bauble tutorial

Managed to get the tutorial done for the papier maché baubles if anyone is interested. You will see that I have suggested inexpensive toilet paper to create the paper base, but of course other paper, preferably from recycled sources is a good alternative. Just be aware that the build up of thicker paper is going to make it more difficult for the light to show through, and so try to leave some areas a little thinner with fewer layers — or even to create small open ‘keyhole’ spaces for the light to be seen. You can pick up the pdf file and more information — just follow the simple instructions in the tutorial pdf which you can download by clicking here …

Biker’s crafting break

guzzi-castelfranco-9-12-12Not the most glam photo of hubby that I have, but today we took a break and whizzed off on the bike to a Christmas market — or at least — there was supposed to be one! Don’t believe everything you read on internet! I was foolish enough to look at a site which purports to have all the dates of all the Christmas markets around Europe — but they got this one wrong! Anyway, Castelfranco Veneto is a nice little walled town, so all was not lost.

It was a beautiful, though freezing day (hence the woolly hats as soon as we whipped off the helmets) — and we found a little bar which did us a huge portion of pasta alla carbonara (egg and bacon pasta basically), and an excellent coffee, so we were well satisfied. On our ride homewards we even found a little market which was selling all sorts of wonderful handmade bits and bobs, so apart from getting some lovely ideas, I also purchased a few things to put under the tree, feeling well pleased with myself as part of the profits will go to good causes.

I was very tempted by the log cabin selling hot chocolate, but it would have probably argued with the pasta I had eaten! My bike gear is so close fitting, particularly in the winter months when I have extra layers on, so it’s wise to not overdo the food — shame though!

My biscuit man

ginger0031Been wanting to make some of these little guys for ages, but I was finding it hard to get hold of the felt colour I wanted. At long last my suppliers came up with the goods and I was able to ‘bake’ half a dozen. I also decided to set up a little kit for home ‘baking’ just in case anyone would like to have a go – mainly because I think it is the kind of small project that a younger child could attempt with just the minimum of supervision from an adult.

They actually make lovely little ‘fist’ sized cuddlies, so it would be easy enough just to leave off the hanging loop and use as a small mascot. I know kids like to hang these things on their school bags and use them as mega-sized keyrings too.

Don’t forget though that these are definitely not suitable for very small children because of the small parts.

Follow this link to my Etsy page if you would like to purchase a gingerbread man kit

Felt ornaments for the tree

Tough going

for the felt hearts I am sewing right now. Not quite a drill job, but I do have a pair of pliers to hand to pull the needle through at almost every stitch! The problem is probably down to the fact that I am having to use a hefty cotton and a needle with a larger eye to stitch these things up. I never expected it to be a quick and easy sew, but this is ridiculous! Taken me all morning to sew just 4 hearts! Anyway, hope to get some pictures up soon so that you can see what it’s all about. A lovely set of Christmas tree ornaments, all sewn by hand … they are meant for the shop, but I am very tempted to just keep them for myself!

So here they are

a few mangled fingers later! My lovely set of softly padded felt hearts for the tree — decided to keep this set for myself, but have made others for the shop. Even if you don’t use them on the tree, they are sweet enough to add to a lovely garland for the front door – or maybe over the top of the mantelpiece. I also think they would make extra special gift tags – any other ideas?

Follow this link to purchase a set of 6 completed hearts in my Etsy store

Follow this link to purchase a DIY set of 6 hearts in my Etsy store

Time for an overhaul

Here is a quick peek at what I have been up to over the last few days.
tree-hearts1-300x271
Just realised that Christmas is around the corner, and that we have a craft market at the weekend – although the weather forecast is not in the least bit encouraging so I have my fingers and toes crossed that it will hold up until Monday! At the last market all our earrings seemed to go really well, so I should have been making some of those – but have just not found inspiration right now! Fell off the motorbike and I have a streaming cold and my brain (and body) are too addled to think creatively.

So felt hearts it is.

Santa’s Laundry Fridge Magnet

Greetings with a difference

and they don’t come much more different than this one! Your seasonal wishes will certainly stand out with this cute (ouch!) washing line full of Santa’s smalls – and larges too! These will be custom made as and when they are requested, but that shouldn’t affect the delivery times so within a couple of days they should be slipped into the mail and whizzing off to you.

After a terrible mix up

with car hire and times and commitments, we managed to get over to Ikea yesterday morning before the rush started – a miracle in itself considering it was Friday! I think hubby sold our car to keep me out of the place – we own a motorbike now and his biggest thrill is telling me that things won’t fit into the panniers, though I think he would be quite amazed at what I could ram into those bags given half a chance! But right now daughter is trying to sort out some furnishings and odds and ends, so he made an exception to his ban on the store, and resigned himself to losing a day’s sanity by following us meekly around whilst we closely inspected saucepans, laundry baskets and bed linen! Needless to say, both women came away with a satisfying pile of inane, and generally useless, paraphernalia, and our heads absolutely buzzing with crafting ideas!

Tyrolean cotton prints

Just in the process of doing some more Christmas cards and have used some of my lovely pure cotton prints for die-cut baubles. These cottons are all gorgeous Tyrolean type micro-patterns which I manage to pick up locally. Just love them. They bring to mind mountain chalets and big log fires – maybe even a mug of steaming hot Gluhwein too!

Made by Hand

When you buy something from an artist, you are buying more than an object. You are buying hundreds of hours of failures and experiments. You are buying days, weeks and months of frustration and moments of pure joy. You are not only buying a thing, but a piece of heart, a part of the soul, a moment in the life of someone.

by Giacomo Cinque
'La Sartoria Antica'
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