Dec 24, 2015

A creative Christmas [Handmade]

You may have seen in the last post a few of the things I've made for this Christmas. We had our Christmas with one side of the family a couple of weeks ago and I got to give most of my handmade gifts then - they went down pretty well so I was pleased.

After that I was a bit burnt out from my strange creativity bug, but still had a little energy for a few more handmade bits and pieces... here's a big ol' dump of those things so that I have a record of this Christmas!

 Pretty simple but sweet name tags to tie to gifts:

I made a couple of pencil cases for my young cousins - they have a very small gift inside (e.g hairties) and I'll include some candy bark (up next) with each one.
 

Candy Bark. Basically I layered dark chocolate with white chocolate, sprinkled some hundreds & thousands on top, along with a couple of sliced up jubes (these were Natural Confectionary Co 'Fruit Salad' soft jubes... literally 2 jubes did the whole lot, and I just used them because they were left over from making Rocky Road!)

It only takes a couple of minutes to make. You just pour it out, add toppings, and set everything in the fridge...
 
... then snap into pieces while it's cold. (If it is warming up to the room temperature it doesn't have a nice clean break between the pieces).


I like this fabric and pompom combo so made a pillowcase for my daughter's room. She's only one and a half so doesn't sleep with a pillow... but it was pretty.


I attempted a teacup candle as a gift based on my vague memory of a 'day camp' activity from primary school. The wax wasn't as smooth and flat as I hoped it would be, but it turned out ok. :)


One thing I sometimes miss at Christmas is the taste and smell of the Swedish and German Christmas season. I was only in Europe as an adult for one Christmas but those flavours and festivities have stuck with me. OH THE AMBIANCE! Something that's hard to recreate here in the New Zealand summer. But I did find a recipe for the spices that you use to make Glogg (Swedish version of mulled wine) and even just smelling them takes me back. I layered the sugar and spices in this jar with cinnamon sticks and it looks (and smells) so good and makes a sweet and simple gift.
 


 Play food. There was more play food in my last post, but here's a quick sandwich I whipped up for my daughter to go with her play kitchen. I was really planning on having some stunning photos today of the play kitchen we are making her (making on Christmas Eve, yes...) but it's not really looking how I pictured it. If/when I can get it looking better................ wish me luck :s

Taken just now of our tree - man I LOVE seeing a pile of presents under a Christmas tree (as anyone in my family can attest to ;) )

 This Christmas season so far has been awesome. We've been enjoying lots of family time and I've found that since I made most of our gifts, I haven't even had to venture into a shopping mall once. That's what I call a win.

In other news, I can't believe we have a toddler now! Life is getting fun!

Merry Christmas,





Dec 8, 2015

All the things I made (because I am obsessed)

Hellooo.

I've been absent from this blog lately but I have been doing so much! Actually, not feeling like I have to share the things I make has made me so much more creative. I actually learnt to sew (more than just a straight line) over the past couple of month and I've been sewing up a storm.

I don't know what possessed me, but this Christmas I suddenly wanted to make things. All the things. All the presents, all the decorations, all the everythings. 

I honestly think that a break from blogging (and un-installing my instagram account) freed my brain up to be able to think for myself rather than being constantly "inspired" (i.e. jealous of and wanting to copy) other people's ridiculous projects.

As a result I've ended up becoming one of those people who does ridiculous projects myself.

I'm so pleased, tho, to have a truckload of project pics to show you of things I've made. 
Don't think this is normal - it may never happen again - but I've been on this weird obsessive making streak and I'm just going to make the most of it while I can!

I've never actually wanted to make stuff like this before. I love Christmas and I love buying gifts. But for some reason this year I've had a strange desire to create - and I've never found anything more satisfying and enjoyable. I don't know if I'll be able to stop.

Here's the first thing that jumped out of my sewing machine at me, made from fabric scraps. I saw them heaped on top of each other and thought they looked too happy together to not be made into a cushion. (My mum had to help me with the hidden zip!)

 
 
I also got a bit Christmas-tree-happy and made a few bits and pieces from felt, including a heart, star, gingerbread man, little red stockings, and these guys:

{Excuse Robin Hood on the left...but doesn't he look wise? And angry.}
{Our first proper fake Christmas tree that isn't tiny or tacky}
 
I had the brilliant idea of creating the entire nativity set as tree decorations, but after the wise men I ran out of steam and got very distracted by other things. Like:


Felt food!
I made sure all the icing on the biscuits and buns is removable so my niece can ice them as she pleases:
A customised cushion for a kid's room: 

... and the rather time consuming but fun task of transforming a crusty second-hand play kitchen into something new and lovely for my daughter as her big (only?!) Christmas present. Not finished yet, but it's looking light and bright and beautiful in our garage right now. I'll show you when it's done, but here's a before:

{Don't mind the phone screen shot...}

I also got to enjoy the felt-ball wreath that I had planned to make last Christmas but ended up finishing it sometime in February. Now it finally has a place inside our front door:





 I've also been making dolls, but those are still a little bit secret!

{just a prototype while I learned to sew them}

For my nephew I had to think of something not pink, which was actually quite hard if you could see my fabric stash! I also had determined that I wasn't going to buy more fabric and just use what I had in my hoards. In the end I caved and bought some fabric. And THEN I discovered this that I already had. Doh. It worked better with this navy stripe fabric than the other stuff I bought, too. But anyway, I made a shark bag/toy for putting things in. It was the only not-girly thing I could make other than clothes and now I just need to find something a tad more exciting to put inside it.

I made this quite adorb's mini cushion because the fabric and trim were so cute together. It needs a home. Unfortunately I couldn't get the stuffing to not be lumpy. What's up with that? It was the only type of stuffing available at spotlight. :(


I have actually made a few other things (doll bedding, a pillowcase for my daughter, etc) for gifts but this post is getting lengthy and I don't have pics yet.

There are still other things to sort/make before Christmas. We have a tonne of events on (like everyone else) and the hubs is equally busy with his own projects. Every week is full to the brim and these projects are just the fun stuff that I try to pack in when I can during my daughter's naps!

But on my list, I still want to make another bag/pencil case (maybe a monster one?), finish the play-kitchen for my daughter (and some accessories to go with it maybe), some clothing for my husband, and... I forget the rest, but there's always more. 

I also had the ambitious idea that we would not use wrapping paper (so wasteful! What is it with our society and creating waste) and I would sew drawstring bags for everyone instead. But now I'm kind of wondering how realistic that is. I think the olde paper of wrapping will be making an appearance again soon.