Calm : Storm

It’s quiet chez Stitich tonight. Boys in bed. OH out. Me, wrapped up in a quilt on the sofa, tippy typing. No telly. Just the sound of Lego coming from Elder’s eyrie. The calmness that will shatter tomorrow because it’s CHRISTMAS EVE!!! Younger has been a human alarm clock each morning, counting down the days until Father Christmas arriveth. I am too, tbh. Just in a more grumpy, tired grown up (groan up?!) way. I have a stack of wrapping to do but am just too tired : tomorrow night is traditionally a wrapping event Anyway.

This year has been interesting. I’ve learnt a lot about myself and others. I think I’ll just kick back and enjoy this Christmas. Self improvement, like all good things, can wait. Pass the Roses.

How many sleeps?

Tradition in stitch towers is that Christmas preparations only kick in after my birthday which is right at the end of November. However, this year, in the spirit of trying to be organised, we are starting a bit earlier. I say that, but really, I just went down to my local charity Emporium and found these beauties. Aren’t they gorgeous? Not sure whether they will make it onto our tree or be used in some kind of gift. I’m just enjoying them at the moment.

20131118-200659.jpg

20131118-200713.jpg

20131118-200725.jpg

20131118-200741.jpg

20131118-200754.jpg

20131118-200806.jpg

Hang out the washing… Christmas

Right, this year, I’m going to get organised about Christmas. I’ve spent some of this afternoon having some ideas about what I can make friends, presents for teacher, and how to use my stash up to make some interesting Christmas ideas for my Etsy shop. All I need to do now is sketch the work, test out a couple of prototypes, and then float a couple of examples to see what people think.

I am dare I say it quite excited. And it’s only September!

In other news, I have had a day of pain because my shoulder has gone and frozen again. When it does that, it is quite hard to move at all. Anyway, I have some very good Friends here because they got me on the move this morning. I am a lucky girl.

20130924-173007.jpg

Key to it all

I made these for Other Half, personalised key rings. You can buy the blanks from your local stationers. Stamp your label onto your paper of choice. Et voila!!

These are named fairly cryptically so as to make them hard to trace should you lose them and an unsavoury type pick then up. And it was fun seeing if OH could decipher them. He did btw.

20121229-123124.jpg

20121229-123144.jpg

Staple die-t

Well, now that Christmas is over, I can post about some of the things I made! I hope my recipients don’t mind, but there are some ideas here that I thought would be nice share. I’d be interested to see what everybody else gets up to with them.

First up, is a little footstool I revamped. As you can see from the first picture it was very, ahem, traditional. And pink. And fringed. And rather unloved.

Well, you know me. – I was up for a little bit of chopping. So Off went the fringe. It was a bit too drastic to get rid of all the padding however, so I stopped at that point.

20121227-184518.jpg

I had some lovely grey wool fabric which I cut to rough size and stapled around pulling very tight as I went. The trick is to staple opposite sides as you go so 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock then 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock iyswim.

20121227-184526.jpg

When done, it looked better but boring. Time to wheel out my present to myself from my previous employers, a Sissix Big Shot die cutter. These are normally used for cutting paper but if you add stabiliser, fabric works too. So, I ironed bondaweb to some pink and red fabric I’ve just got.

20121227-184538.jpg

Then you cut the strip of fabric to size and feed it through the machine. It reminds me of a pasta maker/laundry mangle. I also got a townscape die by Tim Holtz with my redundancy present vouchers so I used that to cut little house silhouettes. The negative space is also quite cool I think. Watch this space with that one.

20121227-184548.jpg

20121227-184558.jpg

I ironed them on (remember, I used bondaweb) and then stood back…

20121227-184608.jpg

20121227-184617.jpg

20121227-184625.jpg

To finish it off I hot glued some black and grey velvet ribbon and some olive jumbo ricrac round the base. I don’t have a final picture (Christmas deadlines and all that…) but hopefully you can see what I was aiming for. It went down well anyway. Which was good. What do you think?

Are we there yet?!

Two present sacks and a table decoration today…

The greenery was chopped by the boys this morning in the garden. Twisted ivy round a sparkly wreath and baubles chucked in for colour.

20121223-224413.jpg

20121223-224422.jpg

The sacks are made using vintage 50s American fabric and are a simple drawstring. I love this fabric. I hope the boys do too.

20121223-224500.jpg

20121223-224513.jpg

20121223-224522.jpg

20121223-224529.jpg

Two sleeps!!!

Charmed I’m sure

So, it’s the last day of term tomorrow. That means just one thing. Got to get those presents together for your lovely children’s teachers. Yes, I know, this is something you should have sorted out weeks ago but who the hell does?

Here’s my offering. Charms for handbags, phones ( if you’re brave) or to hang on teachers’ Christmas tree. Whatever, I think they’re a bit different Which has got to be a good thing.

Basically, take a length of jewellery wire, thread with your favourite buttons ribbons and bling, twist the rest of the wire together and wraparound a knitting needle to make a loop. Finish off with a ribbonloop so that they can be hung off whatever the teacher chooses. Children are not an option here.

And there you have it.

Let me know if you make any of them. I’m sure they’ll be better than these ones. But, it’s a good way of using all those buttons and beads you’ve collected over the year.

20121219-204332.jpg

20121219-204341.jpg

Christmas wrapping buttoned up

This is my 500th post!!!! How strange I’m still tapping away, I never thought this blog would be such a key part of my life. Don’t you just love technology?

Anyway, hopefully by now you’ve done your shopping and will be contemplating the marathon that is wrapping. Now, I like a glass of wine, sweeties and music when I wrap but I also know that that way lies alcoholism – 9am is way too early to crack open the plonk. Yes, it is.

So, here are some ideas for making wrapping more interesting. Buttons are your friend but you DO have to part with some of them occasionally (counselling is available) and here’s my seasonal sacrifice. These presents are for very good friends who I trust with buttons. Philistines will get bows.

First up, a simple 2 button layered thingy. Tie ribbon round the parcel and then thread the buttons on. Tie a knot. Tie long bits of ribbon round the shank of the buttons and curl it up by running the edge of your scissors along the length of the ribbon.

20121219-133206.jpg

Next up a little Christmas tree. Layer green buttons until you are happy…voila!

20121219-133213.jpg

Something a bit more complicated, but still fast. I used jewellery wire, threaded a shanked button on first, folder the wire double and then threaded white vintage buttons on to make a ‘stem’. I had a ribbon flower in my stash which I threaded thru the wire and finished off with more buttons. The looped wire was joined together by twisting it under the buttons, hiding the join. The whole ornament can be used later to hang on the tree for example. I added ribbon to the present to prettify.

20121219-133231.jpg20121219-133240.jpg

Finally, a scrap of red felt, cut into a heart shape and a red button stitched onto it was stitched onto some shiny chiffon ribbon. Nothing else, just a simple motif. It’s my favourite I think.

20121219-133222.jpg

I hope you have fun!