Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Preschool Christmas Cake Decorating

They're a bit lumpy and bumpy but who really wants to chop the top off their fruit cake so that they get the perfect finish?! Here are our Christmas cakes for this year. There's one for us and one for my Dad and sister to share. Jessica enjoyed painting the cakes with apricot glaze a couple of days ago and then had a whale of a time with the icing today. She did a lot of the rolling and cutting as well as a large amount of eating and playing! I use edible glue to secure the stars, which can be quite fiddly and then we used edible ink pens for the writing. These were brilliant on the white icing today as I had covered them yesterday ensuring that the icing was pretty firm. I wasn't up for anything too elaborate this year and it was nice to share the experience with Jess on this occasion. 

Right, that's the end of my Christmas posts for this year. Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, 18 December 2017

Handmade Bauble Ideas

This time last year I was coming to the end of my rather long break from blogging so I didn't actually share any of our tree decorations from last year. So, here they are:

Decoupage onto cardboard or polystyrene balls...

Using marbling inks on cardboard and polystyrene shapes...

Hama bead designs...

Jessica's acrylic painting on polystyrene and mache shapes...

Salt dough, cookie cutters, acrylic base coat and sharpies...

Candy cane and pipe cleaner reindeers...

Miniature photo frames. I created these for myself, my sister and my Mum's siblings after she passed away in 2016...

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Glass Painted Decoration

This is the last of my tree decorations to share from this year although there will be one more post tomorrow, which will feature some of last year's creations. Here I have used glass painting on a flat acrylic star. I drew my poinsettia design on paper first and taped my star on top so that I could trace the design with my black outlining fluid. Once dry I filled in the design with glass paints and left to dry overnight. This is the freshly painted piece sitting to dry...

Then here is the dried piece held up so that you can actually see the yellow details at the centre of the flower. As you can see, there are some gaps and it would take a second layer of glass paint but I rather like it just as it is. The odd imperfection just goes to remind you that it's handmade after all!

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Pyrography Decoration

I just love this drawing of Jessica's so much. I'm so looking forward to have it hanging on my tree every year...

Friday, 15 December 2017

Toilet Roll Fairy

This year we've had to have a Christmas fairy rather than an angel on the top of our tree - Jessica insisted! I bet no-one else has one like ours!!!

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Painted Reindeer

These blank reindeers that Jessica has decorated are now just £3 at Hobbycraft! They stand nearly 40 cm high and are brilliant. Jess chose to use acrylic paints and glitter glue to decorate ours but they'd be fantastic for decoupage too.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Yarn Wrapped Curtain Hoop Decorations

I love these handmade decorations and they're so simple. First I attach the small brass charms to the curtain hoops and then wrap yarn around and around until I'm satisfied with the coverage. The ends can be secured with glue or hidden underneath the yarn depending on your preference. This little set looks fab on our tree this year.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

LED snowman

LED tealights are a wonderful thing! 

Jessica and I made some larger versions of these last year but opted to try the slightly fiddlier version this time around. I've seen the idea posted all over the place and they're adorable! I particularly love the pom-pom ear muffs! We've used small googly eyes and a Sharpie to draw on the mouth for this little fella...

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Pinecones and Pompoms

Good grief you need a lot of pompoms to stuff a pinecone! In all honesty, I think my cones are a little small for this so they are a bit cramped but they still make cute decorations for the tree. Unfortunately I was part way through a bright pink glue in my glue gun, a clear glue would have worked much better! 

Here are my two decorations adorning our tree...

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Disney Princess Christmas Tree

Jess is thrilled with our Disney Princess Christmas Tree creation made from a £5 Hobbycraft blank in very little time. We painted the tree (front and back) with acrylics before smothering it in glitter glue. The baubles were made using decoupage techniques and printed images of Jessica's favourite princesses. I had to be quick and light-handed to avoid the ink running but they worked quite well. I suggested that we also glue pom-poms all over the tree but Jessica rejected my suggestion. She's now going to spend the whole festive season rearranging the princesses I think.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Needle Felted Christmas Pudding

Bungay Christmas Market was full of wonderful ideas last weekend. Whilst I'm afraid I couldn't bring myself to pay the money the stall holders were asking for their own decorations, I did come away with loads of lovely ideas for decorations I could easily make myself. There were lots of different baubles based around the humble Christmas Pud to be seen and they used all manner of techniques. So, I couldn't resist having a go at my own needle felted one...

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Pinecone Reindeer


To give the blog a brief break from my needle felting exploits I made this pinecone reindeer decoration this afternoon. I have seen the idea in a few places and thought our tree needed one of these this year. It was more fiddly than it looks and I'm glad I didn't try doing it with Jess because it would almost certainly have ended with cross words between us. He was worth a little bit of effort though!

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Painted Penguin Baubles

I spotted this one on Kids Craft Room and thought we'd give it a go. I had a couple of cardboard baubles from Baker Ross left over from last year so we used them along with acrylic paints, googly eyes and orange felt for the feet. 

Friday, 1 December 2017

Anti-gravity Christmas cake

It's finally December and whilst I'm a few weeks away from decorating this year's cakes I thought it was about time I shared the cake I made for Mum back in 2015. I haven't done another anti-gravity cake since but it wasn't difficult to do. I obviously bought the snowman and the Father Christmas figure and I used Wilton Candy Melts for the dripping. I didn't get on very well with them actually and I really didn't like the taste of them so I'd probably try something different next time. 

Anyway, here it is, the last cake I got to make for my Mum...

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Needle Felted Robin Decoration

So, the needle felting continues. Last night I finished off this little chap that I designed myself and made from felting onto a polystyrene egg. I was going to add wire feet but David felt this was unnecessary and he is the bird expert after all!


Here are my two felted creatures getting to know each other before they adorn my tree next week. The polar bear looks quite concerned by the giant robin that's just entered his personal space!

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Woodland Quilted Playmat

I don't get the sewing machine out as often as I'd like these days but I love using it to make baby gifts. Here's a woodland themed patchwork playmat I finished a few weeks ago...

I used thick wadding from Dunelm and wasn't totally convinced that I could maneuver it through my machine for quilting so I decided to secure the wadding the old-fashioned way and hand-stitched some crosses in some of the patchwork joins...

The ribbon pulls can be used to attach toys to for tummy-time or just to be played with by little fingers. Here's the whole piece...

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Fillable Bauble Forest

I'm pretty sure I bought these fillable baubles from Hobbycraft in their Christmas clearance earlier this year but they don't seem to be doing them this time around. Jessica decided that we should fill these ones with pompoms. A great choice, I hope you'd agree. She really enjoyed making these.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Needle Felted Polar Bear (Kit)

I try not to post more than once a day (I've currently got four other posts waiting to be published this week) but I couldn't resist sharing this evening's creation straight away. This was another Hobbycraft clearance buy but the kits are only £3 full price and they include everything you need to get started with needle felting so they're a fabulous bargain. The kit include polystyrene shapes and wool roving to create a family of three polar bears but I've just made the one so far. I'll be honest, I'm not completely sold on the wooly hat, scarf and boots so I will probably try a naked bear next time and see how convincing he is! For now, however, here's a closer look at my first attempt...

Printed Pizza Slice Christmas Tree Cards

We made Christmas cards at Toddler group today and I loved the results! I'd put a few foam pizza bases aside to use for paint-printing. They turned out to be perfect for making Christmas trees. The children painted the foam pizza slices green using sponge brushes and then pressed them onto their cards to make a printed Christmas tree. Some children added baubles to their trees before printing while others did some finger painting straight onto their card to make the baubles afterwards. Either way they looked fab.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Needle Felting Baubles

I'm slowly picking up the pace with my Christmas preparations. The shopping's nearly all done, the important food and wine are ordered so it must be time to start thinking about some new tree decorations. My favourite baubles to make are created using needle felting. Here's the one I made this evening...

I use styrofoam balls as the core of my bauble and fuse the wool roving onto the ball using a very scary multi-barbed needle. I find the process very therapeutic and I love the results. Now that I'm back in the swing I'm nearly ready to tackle the polar bear felting kit that I picked up from Hobbycraft at some point. Keep your eyes peeled! 

Friday, 24 November 2017

Mermaid Ragdoll

Having finished the laborious task of making our Christmas cards this morning, I ventured into the unknown this afternoon and made my first ragdoll. The pattern came from my mother-in-law's copy of Jane Bull's Crafty Dolls. It was really straightforward to follow and was fabulously easy for a beginner like me. I sewed the tail and the doll by machine inside out and stuffed the two pieces separately before sewing them together and adding all the details by hand. I can't wait to give her to Jess in the morning and find out what she's going to be called!

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Baker Ross Stitching Decorations

A crafter's Christmas is a marathon not a sprint. We're trying to pace ourselves and mostly crack on with cards at the moment but there's always lots to do and I never manage to complete everything on my list. These are a prime example. I bought them last year but never actually got around to doing them so I have prioritised this year. It's a Baker Ross kit and I thoroughly enjoyed doing it, although I must be honest I'm not sure that they are worth their full price of £5 for the six.

We painted the wooden decorations with acrylics first (excuse Jessica's choice of lurid pink please!) and then tackled the cross-stitch with full skeins of embroidery thread. They look lovely and are something a bit different for the tree this year.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Robin and Baubles - more Christmas drawings

Another two gorgeous Christmas drawings created by Jessica for our Christmas cards this year. She did ask me to draw the outer shape for the robin but she has done absolutely everything else herself. I think they're pretty awesome.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

An Afternoon with my Glue Gun

I wiled away Jessica's nursery hours today with a glue gun in my hand preparing some very simple drawings for the little ones at Toddler Group to colour with chalks next week. It was less fun than it looks but Jeremy Vine and Steve Wright kept me company and I'm sure the children will love using the chalks on Monday ;)

Monday, 13 November 2017

Cards from Drawings

Jessica drew (lady) Rudolph and a Christmas Tree for me so that we could make them into Christmas cards. I scanned and reduced the images then printed them out multiple times. We mounted the images on red paper and stuck them on our card blanks. I love these so much that I'm not sure we'll be doing anything else this year now. Aren't they beautiful?!

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