A little bit of Christmas Crafting/Sewing

WARNING: The following post is picture heavy! :D

I am not a huge Christmas Crafter – probably because up until May this year I was a serial renter which seems to suck the joy out of pretty much everything.

Last year, our first back home in NZ, I participated in the 2011 New Zealand Handmade Christmas Ornament Swap and again this year because I LOVE handmade Christmas ornaments, as our Christmas tree, in all its artificial glory, clearly shows!

Ours is a higgledy piggledy tree with no clear theme, apart from the obvious one, Christmas!

I used to admire those pretty colour coded, themed trees you see in the shops but really I find no joy with them.

Perhaps our tree does have a theme, handmade, because apart from the tinsel (and next year I have an idea to begin replacing that!), the lights, one buzzy bee and a handful of small sparkly baubles, everything else is handmade.

But I get ahead of myself because my 2012 NZ Handmade Ornament arrived late last week from my swap partner, Renee of KnittWhitt, and it is so very very cool.

Isn’t it amazing?! And sparkly! It fits our tree “theme” perfectly.

Basically it is pins stuck into a polystyrene ball with a sequin and bead under the head. Simple but so beautiful, and did I mention sparkly? I am really impressed at how neatly she spaced all the sequins, it took me a while to figure it out. During the day, when the sun hits the tree, it lights up and at night, with the tree lights on, it almost glows on it’s own.

I would love to have a go at making one next year!

For Renee’s ornament, I hummed and hawed and finally selected a little softie from How to Make Stuffed Animals by Jennifer Korff. When I saw her Deer Cake Topper I knew the stag would make a great Rudolf!

Deer Cake Topper – Jennifer Korff

They were a little bit fiddly to sew (only a little bit of hand sewing at the end) but quite satisfying and (believe it or not) relaxing to make, I am quite proud of them.

I was originally going to go very Christmas with my fabric selection but eventually changed my mind and went for a kind of vintagy feel instead, I’m glad I did. I also made two at the same time in the hopes that at least one would turn out nice enough to give to Renee.

They look very strange until stuffed

…and really creepy without any eyes!

In the end they were both a bit wonky, but in a super cute way so that made me smile.

For the nose I originally asked Nerdy Hubby what he thought of a big red button and he agreed it was a great idea. Later on, by myself, I overrode our collective decision and decided to go with a small red circle of felt instead.

I showed Nerdy Husband the final Rudolfs:

“What happened to the big red button noses?”

“I thought they looked too big so I changed them for a bit of felt instead”

“No, the buttons were perfect, they suit the wonkyness. Go get your unpicker…”

At least I can always rely on his honesty:

So finally I wrapped one of them up for posting:

And here is my Rudolf on my tree:

If you are interested here are a few of my other handmade ornaments (click an image for the gallery):

This year I also decided to make myself a Christmas table cloth so I bravely ventured into Spotlight where it was crazy busy but the “50% off all Christmas fabric” sign made queuing for a ridiculously long time while a single staff member served the entire store all worth it.

Our table expands to seat 8 in a square, it is high, like you find in a bar, and everyone who has sat at it LOVES it. I had to join two lengths of fabric together but the join is lost in the pattern…also I didn’t bother to iron it for this photo, sorries ;) I will iron it before Christmas day!

I was aiming for Christmassy-but-not-tacky…

OK, last photo I promise, then all the Chrstmas craftyness is out of my system ;) While I was sick at home I spent some quiet time making Christmas Crackers for everyone:

It was nice and relaxing and I am looking forward to giving them out on Christmas day.

I just want to finish this post by saying a (very late) thank you to Womaximum for nominating me for the Liebster blog award and Sewionista who awarded me the Very Inspiring Blogger award. I just recently posted about the One Lovely Blog Award so you can pop over and read that post for some new interesting facts about me. Thank you ladies, why don’t you go and check out their amazing blogs too?

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Pattern Pyramid – LAST CHANCE!

Today is the last day for you to leave a comment HERE to be in with a chance to win my Wellington Pattern Pyramid so hop on over and comment quick. Tomorrow, sometime in-between between making a Pavlova, stuffing myself full at our early family Christmas lunch and waddling home, I will draw a winner and announce ;)

Don’t forget to check out the other Wellington Blogger’s pages too for more chances to win!

In other sewing related news, I thought I’d share a sneak peek of my NZ Handmade Christmas Ornament Swap ornament. I can’t show you the whole thing yet because my I am posting it this weekend (yes I am a week late but my partner is also in NZ so no worries!)

So tiny!

Ohh!

What is it? ;) Well, it’s pretty tiny, that’s what it is!

After I started I was thinking to myself, “what am I DOING?!” but actually, I made 3 of these in a row and it was quite soothing to slow down and work at such a small scale.

They were quick to make too, the hardest part, in truth, was picking from my ridiculously large stash of fat quarters, why do I keep buying these things?!

This isn’t even one-quarter of my stash!

Also, from the last BMV.com sale:

These arrived in just 7 days, what?!

The DKNY is going high up “the list”, I even have an amazing 1.2 meter remnant already pulled out for it. Should be a speedy make, so many fantastic versions online!

Just quickly, in gardening news:

Broccoli

Silverbeet!

Tomatoes!

Oh, and Happy National Jandal Day ;)

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It’s that time of year again…

I have signed up for the New Zealand Handmade Christmas Ornament Swap.

I signed up for the first time last year and enjoyed getting a surprise so much that I have decided to do it again.

Actually this year, now that life is more normal and settled for a change, I am considering making all my family home-made gifts. It might just be an ornament each or something more substantial depending on each person but I am starting to gather ideas, some I might be able to share (certain family members do blog-stalk me so I have to be careful, isn’t that right SIL-with-itchy-feet?)

Anyway, just a quick post to explain how it all works:

You sign up on the NZ Handmade page here, time is ticking, you have until October 28th. Then you get sent a swap partner and create your gorgeous ornament (plus handmade card) and post it away to them by November 30th – heaps of time! ;) They also post lost of ideas and tutorial links on the NZ Handmade page.

If you are interested, this is my swap from last year, pretty cool huh?

Ann’s Christmas ornament for me

My Christmas ornament for Ann (plus one for me, hehe!)

It’s open to all crafty bloggers all over the world so how about you join me? Maybe we’ll get each other!

Merry Christmas!

Ok, I am a day late (well for those of you in my part of the globe anyway), it’s boxing day here right now, I hope you all enjoyed a happy Christmas.

Today I indulged in a few of the Boxing Day sales and now I am putting the finishing touches on my third (and final…for now) JJ blouse. I guess I could call it the Boxing Day blouse and I am about to sew on the buttons. That means of course that the button holes are done, my least favourite part (after setting in the sleeves) and I am excited to announce that for the first time I didn’t forget to reset my machine between button holes! Not even once, no unpicking for this little kiwi! So photos hopefully soon and yes, I know I still owe you photos of the 1930s dress, I’ll get to them, promise.

Actually I have a whole pile of things I want to share with you guys including the most awesome Secret Santa gift ever! But first, check out my super cute Christmas Ornament Swap:

I tried to capture it with my camera’s panoramic setting but it’s a bit blurry I know, here are a couple of better shots:

I love it! :) Here is what I sent to Ann:

I used this pomander tutorial from Betz White (check out her cute Fabric Star Ornament Tutorial for this year!) I made two at once, one for me as well ;) It took a lot longer than I thought it would and I ended up having to carve my polystyrene balls smaller which made a huge mess but it was quite fun to watch my little army of rosettes take over my sewing table.

Also my BurdaStyle book arrived, yay! It came with some other goodies too:

I got to see my blouse in print for the first time:

I took some pics of it on Scarlett before I sent it off (it feels like so long ago!) I’ll dig them out and share them with you tomorrow.