Friday, 19 December 2008

Handmade Christmas presents

Well I've been very busy making my own Christmas cards and some Christmas presents, and of course I've been giving them away without actually taking any photos of the finished items! So here are some photos of work in progress.

This is the first Christmas that I've ever done anything crafty, and I'm really enjoying it. I'm not sure why I'm in such a crafty mood this Christmas, but I'm making the most of it while I still have the energy :) Today I posted off my handmade cards - I bought my very first set of stamps and scrapbook paper to make these (I've drooled at beautiful scrapbook supplies for ages but I've never had any reason to buy them before!) and I used a straight pen and ink of my grandmother's to write in them with, just to make them extra special.

I made my daughter's preschool teachers a handknit scarf each, and wrapped them up with some lavender bags and some lovely cold pressed soap that my mother in law made. All the other mums were putting money into a Myer gift voucher, but I had already knitted these scarves (and they took me ages as well!) so I hope they like them.

And the little lizard cuties are for my daughter's best friend at preschool - they are from the Softies book and from the same pattern as the lizard I made for my daughter a while ago. I had forgotten what a trial it is to turn the tiny feet inside out, you have to use tweezers and a stick and a lot of patience and sore fingers, but it is worth it once it's all finished!

I love the special feeling I get when I give someone a handmade present, knowing the time and effort I've put into it, and having made it specially with this person in mind. I have lots of plans for birthday presents for next year, although I'll try to time things better!

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Beautiful Buttons

My grandmother had an amazing collection of things in her house, but one of my favourites was her collection of buttons. This is just one small selection of them - there are some lovely vintage buttons in there.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Christmas Craft: gingerbread house

I've always wanted to make one of these, ever since I was little and had a real addiction to fairy tales, and this year I got the chance! I was rather minimalist with it after I saw lots of people piling up their houses with icing and lollies, and then having them cave under all the weight (believe me, it is minimalist compared to what other people were doing :) . It was a rainy, hot and humid evening in Sydney and the icing didn't set as fast as it is supposed to. Many people took home a nicely wrapped pile of gingerbread rather than a house LOL


I'm saving this for Christmas day, so my poor daughter just gazes longingly at it through the plastic :)

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Christmas Craft: gingerbread playdough

Ok, so this is a terrible photo. Does dumping a reindeer in the middle really make it look Christmassy?

Anyway, I got the idea for this Christmas playdough from this fantastic blog. It smells absolutely divine - I made a basic cooked playdough recipe and added decaf coffee (I'm not that much of a sucker for punishment!), ground cloves, ground cinnamon, ground ginger and mixed spice. It really does smell like gingerbread!

This playdough lasts for ages, I usually make up one batch and store it in a tupperware container and I have had it last for over a year. I find that it is softer and less crumbly than store bought playdough, and considerably cheaper :) The recipe I use is as follows:

2 cups plain flour
4 tablespoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 cup salt
food colouring
2 cups of water

Mix the above ingredients in a saucepan, and stir over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, until the mixture congeals.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

My sewing machine is 1 year old!

And this is the latest thing I've made on it :)

I whipped this up in one day for a wedding we went to last month, it is the same pattern I used here. It is very easy to make, especially the second time around, and I just love it. So does my daughter - it is great for twirling in :)

She danced all night long, first with the other kids and then with the adults. She was very sad that we had to leave to put her brother to bed, she has more stamina than I do!