Tuesday, December 30, 2014

handmade gifts 2014: downhill skier ornament for trent


Nephew Trent received this downhill skier made from wood beads, toothpicks, pinecone, pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, wool felt and a jingle bell.


It was fun to put together. Same pattern as the previous pinecone elf ornaments, only this time more athletic!

Monday, December 29, 2014

handmade gifts 2014: penguin ornaments for asher and gage


When I saw the MS pinecone penguins I was charmed and then determined to make my own version. I didn't follow their tutorial because I wanted to use painted wooden beads for the heads and stiffened black felt for the wings and feet instead of acorn caps and pinecone petals. So I made it up as I went along.

The tall ornament is for big brother Gage and shorty is for little brother Asher.



I used the bead hole on the front of the faces to insert cotton pipe cleaner beaks. I painted store bought pinecones with white acrylic paint on the tips only and then hot glued the finished heads, wings and feet. The fun part was adding the tiny ear muffs, scarves and hat.




They look cute from behind too. Especially shorty. The hole on the back of the head was a convenient place to add the hanging loop after I inserted a twisted black pipe cleaner.

More penguins coming!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

handmade gifts 2014: replacement doll for audrey


Meet Amelia. A little bird told me a few months ago that a certain puffy green doll was lost in the move and that there was sadness. Well, we can't have that. While I couldn't remake the doll to match Miss MIA, I did make her a red-haired sister. Blue, flowery and not as poofy puffy. I was excited about this at first but I hope that doesn't create more sadness. You never know with these things. There may be green terry cloth nostalgia to overcome.


You can't really tell but she also has pink streaks in her hair. I thought Audrey might like that. I tell ya, I made a royal hash of the hair at first and you can probably tell if you look closely (so don't look closely). It has been six years since I made the first doll and the instructions are a study in brevity. They don't include tips for the long hair so I have no idea how I did it for the first doll. This doll does have hair, and it is sewn on in places, so I'm calling it a win.

If you make the Martha doll, be sure to use very stretchy jersey knit for the head, hands and feet. Also it's very helpful to sew a basting circle on the feet and hand squares to use for gathering, draw them up, tie them off, and then stuff them, not the other way round. I didn't use batting to fill them as instructed, I used polyfil for the whole doll.

I think the pocket on the original doll was intended for baby teeth. This doll has a wee little pocket too, which is still good for teeth or whatever tiny treasure needs to hide there. Maybe small, folded, very secret lists.
 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

handmade gifts 2014: gold ring and goose a-laying ornaments for robyn


Presenting Robyn's very tardy Gold Ring and Goose A-Laying ornaments. Super tardy. Three years tardy. Wait, that can't be right. Wow, is that right? Great gophers, it is right. But I'm back on track! Halfway to your complete set, Robyn. Longest running Christmas gift ever.


I like to include some sparkly sequins and glass beads on these one-of-a-kinds for her.


I had fun making them despite the fact this is actually the second ring and fourth goose ornament I've made for her during the dry spell. Sometimes it takes a few years tries to get it right. (Yes, dear readers, this is a sneak peek of the future patterns number 5 and 6.)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

a merry Christmas to all


Love and joy come to you
And a merry Christmas too
And God bless you and send you a happy New Year
And God send you a happy New Year!

Mmmcrafts readers, thanks so much for going with me through another year of creative makery (and time mismanagement). 

May your Christmas be so merry and bright, filled with the love of God and with family, friends, peace and happiness. I'll see you again with more Twelve Days ornaments and general manic crafting in the new year.

My next post will kick off the parade of handmade: all the gifts I made for Christmas that I couldn't show you until after the gifting!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

you + paper + Christmas music

 

 

Let the festooning begin! Still time to make some old fashioned Christmas decorations. Put on some Mel Tormé, get out your scissors, pour a cup of hot chocolate and make like Buddy.

Craft Finnish stars and hang them up. They look complex but are easy to make. I made mine last year using this tutorial. I packed them carefully away so I have them hanging up again this year. Last week the girls and I made mini Finnish stars from some sparkly paper for the girls' mini tree toppers (we used 6 inch x 1/2 inch strips). They work well as tree toppers because they just slip over the top spike of the tree, no holder necessary.


Of course you must cut snowflakes and tape them everywhere! They look nice on windows or fluttering from threads. Make a blizzard. Here's my tutorial.


And then make these clever and easy Simple Paper Stars made from origami paper. Add a few hundred paper chains and you are ready for Santa, Buddy style.


And I just saw these lovely paper ornaments from Design & Form. Pretty minimal instructions but you'll be OK. Very simple but nice! I need to make a couple of small paper trees for my mantel and I think I'll use this method.

And you know who has much knowledge about paper Christmas ornaments? Jessica Jones:
How About Orange paper ornaments posts

Just keep scrolling through those blog posts. She also has a great Christmas project Pinterest board going too. No shortage of ideas there. So much papery fun to be had! You may need another cup of cocoa.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

another peplum top in Liberty Wiltshire


Busy, busy, busy as a bee over here with holiday handmaking. My studio looks like a tornado struck a craft store. How are you?

I whipped up this top a few weeks back in quick fashion using the same pattern I drafted for this one (using the Washi bodice as a starting point) except I added more length to the peplum in back and took out some length in the front. Wiltshire is one of my very favorite Liberty prints.


It doesn't look like much on the hanger. It's cuter on. However I'm still in my sweaty Jazzercise clothes so you'll have to use your *fingers making rainbow* imaginaaaaation. Add in a really great hair day for me while you are at it, will ya?

No closures needed, just pull it on over yeer heid. (I've been reading The Fiery Cross so I now have a broad Scots accent in my mindvoice. I know you totally do that too). I was so disappointed to find when I slipped it on that the bust darts are about an inch too high, maybe more. I guess the dark, heavier linen fabric masked that flaw the last time. This cotton lawn makes it painfully plain. Plus I think the AMH linen must have a little more give because this top is a bit tight under the arms. I'll bring down the darts in version three. Actually that may solve the whole tightness issue also. I'd like to make another one anyway and try gathering the peplum.


It still looks nice on with little cardigans though. I've worn it a few times. I love Liberty lawns for tops because of the minimal ironing. They pop out of the dryer ready to wear. But I guess you could probably hire a ladies maid to iron your tops for what you pay for a few meters of Liberty fabric. It's a toss up.


On a random note, I am in love with quail eggs. They are adorable. Which makes them taste better! My homesteader friend Tracy gave me a couple dozen. I boiled some this morning and meant to take a picture of an artful, speckled bowlful of them. This is what was left when I went downstairs with my camera. #growingchildren

Monday, December 1, 2014

Flora Needle Book erratum

Hey, guys! Just to let you know that there is a typo on the Flora Needle Book pattern itself that has now been corrected, thanks to vigilant mmmaker Melissa. Thanks, Melissa! I always appreciate it when you guys take the time to contact me about these things. It makes it a better pattern for everyone!



The pattern piece for the COVER is the correct size, however the size notation on the pattern piece is incorrect: it should be 5.5 x 3 inches instead of 5.5 x 3.5 inches. To correct your pattern all you need to do is cross out the 3.5 and write in 3.

Again, the pattern piece itself is the correct size, it's the pattern label that is incorrect. Let me know if you have any questions! Sharp eye, Melissa!