Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Well it's time for me to pack up the blog for another year and wish you and your family a safe and happy Christmas and New Years period:

As Matty and I will be celebrating 5 years of marriage in early January, I will not be returning to the blogging world until the week commencing January the 10th, 2011

But before I go, I would like to give a big shout out to my Mum who turns 50 on this lovely Christmas Eve! Happy Birthday Mum!

Tutorial : Biscuit Station

Gosh the days have been flying on by and I have only just finished everything I need to do in time for Christmas!

I had great plans of popping in here with some last minute gift ideas, however those plans were foiled when the present I chose to make my sister took twice as long as I had hoped (isn't that always the way!)

While I can't show you a lot of the things I have been making this week, I can show you this tutorial on how to make a biscuit station for your Christmas guests! You could use this at any time during the year though, if you chose a non-specific paper for your lids.

Anyway, what is a biscuit station? Well, it's a fancy term used to describe a set of glass jars with screw lids that you fill up with biscuits for your Christmas guests. That way, if the guests get hungry, they can just help themselves.

You Will Need:
Some suitable glass jars with a screw top lid. (I picked mine up for $3 each at the local reject type store)
Door knobs, for the top of the jars
Scrapbooking paper (for the lids of the jar)
Mod Podge
Spray paint
Cardstock that matches the colour of the spraypaint (for the labels)


Take your glass jars and remove the lids:

Drill a hole in the centre of each of the lids that is big enough to fit the screw for your door knob:

Spraypaint the lids. I painted my lids 'coffee cream', however the weather was so terrible on the day that I did it, they don't look anything like that colour. You will need to spray them with 4 coats to make sure they are adequately covered:

Next, cut a circle of Christmas paper, slightly smaller than the top of the lid and use mod podge to stick it in place. Once dry, mod podge over the top to seal it (I have no idea why this photo keeps uploading sideways!):

Screw your door knobs to your lids. You might need some 'manly' help for this one to ensure that they are on tight enough. If they are not on tight enough, they will come undone when someone tries to open the jar:

Next, take your cardstock and make some labels for the front of your jars. Adhere them to the front of the corresponding jar and then fill the jars with some biscuit-y goodness!

Oh noes....someone stole the Pfeffernusse!
Kidding... we just hadn't gotten any yet!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Labour of Love

It is finally time to show you how the Redwork Christmas quilt turned out (minus the binding which I am still doing):

This is the top of the quilt a little closer:

This is the middle bit:

And this is the bottom bit:

Because the green on the 'fa-la-la-la-la' material was hard to match, I chose the backing fabric in a red to tie in with the redwork:

Here are all the redwork blocks a little closer too.

A fire, set and all ready to be lit:

A snowman to remind us that Christmas only comes once a year!

The block I was doing while I was in labour with Little Snicker:

A tasty gingerbread house (unfortunately you can't eat this one!):

Some reindeer to pull Santa's sleigh:

and some funny little elves, packing up santa's sack:

Matty's aunty did a BRILLIANT job of quilting it together for me.
Since I am definitely NOT a quilter, I was glad that she just worked with what I had and didn't complain at all that my piecing together of the materials may have left a little to be desired!

Ahhh... so glad for it to be pretty much finished, yet so sad!

A quick catch up....

This week has been busy. REALLY busy. I am also having an issue with my USB card reader where it won't let me look at any photos on my SD card unless I reboot my laptop. Yes, it is as annoying as it sounds and has meant that I haven't wanted to blog so much.

But here I am now, ready to catch you up on what I've been doing this week.

On Sunday I harvested some onions and some snow peas from our garden:

Matty thought the onions looked like baby quails. I didn't have the heart to tell him that you don't grow quails in vegetable gardens ;)

I also did a bit of crocheting, only to find out that I still have tension issues (you think I'd learn that tension issues are NOT going to fix themselves as you go on):

On the upside, I am now happy with the colours...although this photo really doesn't do them justice:

I worked on making some Christmas presents:

and finished making my Christmas Cards:

along with some matching Gift Tags:

I did the Christmas Baking:

and decorated the gingerbread people before packing them all up ready to go to my mum's for Christmas:

I made a few of my dearest friends (who have bothered to take time out of their busy lives to come and visit often) some gingerbread houses:

and for those friends with kids, I made them a gingerbread house kit so they could put it together as a family:

As well as all that, the Christmas quilt was returned to me just about completed.... but I think that deserves it's own post.

I'll be back later on to share some more goodness!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Paper Cutting

So I showed you this snippet yesterday of something that I'd been working on:

Did you guess what it was?

It is a paper cutting that I designed and cut by hand especially for the newborn son of one of my most loveliest friends:

It's a wishing tree, filled to the brim with of lots of wishes for a healthy life filled with love, hope, success and happiness!

Expect to see some more paper cuttings soon, as it is one VERY addictive craft!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A 'Bits-of' Day

Today was a 'Bits-of' Day...

Bits of this:

Bits of that (finally it's straight):

and even a little bit of this as well (more about this one in the coming days):

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Idea's Journal

I'll admit that it has been pretty quiet in here the last couple of days, but... I promise I have been crafting and not just lazing around, watching TV and eating chocolate (ok, there might have been a little of that as well!)

Unfortunately I can't share what I've been working on as it has involved a lot of Christmas present making and I don't want to spoil the surprise in case one of the recipients should happen to read my blog.

What I can show you though, is my idea's journal. I've been keeping for a while now and it basically houses a whole heap of ideas for things that I would like in my next house.

The journal itself is just an A4 sized visual diary designed for sketching in. I have broken mine into the following sections - Kitchen, Living Area, Bedrooms, Outdoors and Craft Room.

Here is a picture from the 'Living Area' section:

Once I put the pictures in, I write down what I like about certain images, any ideas I have that compliment the pictures I've chosen, or the actual cost of an item I might like to purchase.

In addition to images, I also glue fabric and paint swatches in:

Some images have inspired me to start collecting things (although I'm going to collect coffee and tea pots rather than espresso cups):

The only thing wrong with my idea's journal is it's cover:

Ergh.. it is soooo boring and really doesn't give you any hint to the goodness that lies inside. I think I might have to do something about that!

I hope you are having a wonderful week!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Crocheted Blanket (Update #2)

I have been trying to crochet a blanket with granny stripes, but I have to admit it is getting the better of me.

First I had issues with the colours and then I had issues with the size. Now I have tension issues. Significant tension issues:

I kind of hoped that it would fix itself as I went on, but as you can see it is definitely semi circle in shape!

Oh well, I've changed my mind on the colours again anyway! Back to the beginning I go!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tutorial : Vintage Inspired Wooden Christmas Blocks

Today I am trying to get in to the spirit of Christmas, so I made a tutorial to show you how to make some vintage-inspired wooden Christmas blocks:

You will Need:
Wood to cut into squares for the blocks
Acrylic paint and brushes
A computer and printer
A piece of cardstock
A craft knife
A glue that dries tacky
A sander with a fine grit sandpaper

First you will need to cut up some wood to use as blocks. You can make these any size you like, so long as they are square. The ones I have made are 4cms x 4cms and are made out of pine. Give them a paint in your chosen colour (this is the colour that the letters will be):

I was originally going to make a green 'noel' set and a red 'joy' set, but I lost one of my red blocks!

Anyway, you will need to use your computer to print out the word that you want to put on your blocks (in my case, 'Noel'). It is important that you print it out on cardstock as normal 80gsm copy paper will not be strong enough for the upcoming steps. Once you've printed out the word using a font that you like, carefully cut each of the letters out:

Coat the back of each of the letters with a glue that dries tacky (I've used Bostik's 'Glu Tack') and leave to dry for around 5 minutes:

Then place them in position on the blocks:

Next, begin painting the block with your main colour, making sure you remove the printed cardstock letters before the paint dries. You can do this by using your craft knife to pry the letters off:

This is what happens if your letters are not left to go tacky. The cardstock sticks pretty bad:

Not to worry, it'll all work out in the end!

Continue to paint the main colour of the blocks until all sides are painted. This takes a little while as you will need to wait for the paint to dry before painting the underside. If you find that your paint is not covering well (as in the picture below), you will need to continue to paint the blocks until a nice even coverage is obtained:

Once the painting is all finished, you should end up with blocks that look something like this:

They look pretty ordinary at the moment, but once you load up your sander with a fine grit sandpaper and give them a good going over, they take on quite a nice vintage feel. Give them a coat of mod podge to seal them and you're done!