Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Curtain Hooks and Snowflake Charms

I love these quirky little decorations. Wrap a curtain hook in your choice of wool then add a Christmas charm. That's it. Super simple but I think they'd look fabulous on any Christmas tree. I got these snowflake charms from Poundland in a pack of six - what a bargain!

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Beaded Wreath Ornament

Half term is over, which means that the Christmas crafting season is well and truly upon us. Jessica and I have topped up our Christmas supplies from Hobbycraft so it's full steam ahead. This evening's project was a wreath ornament made from wire, hundreds of seed beads and three jingly bells. This was fiddly and time consuming but definitely worth it. 

Friday, 19 October 2018

Ceramic Reindeer Egg Decoration

Inspired by an Easter post on Kids Craft Room, which I had filed away for future use, I created this hand-painted Christmas decoration made from a ceramic egg yesterday. I managed to pick up a couple of sets of ceramic eggs from Hobbycraft in the sales after Easter and set them aside to use for Christmas. As you may have already noticed, I really like using egg shapes to make tree decorations. I suppose this is because they are easier than spheres to craft into animals and we are partial to cute animals in this house. 

I used acrylic paints throughout but I could definitely do with investing in some better acrylics at some point. The white and gold are a bit thin so coverage was poor and there was no way I was going to get a smooth finish. I decided that reindeers are pretty shaggy so I tried to embrace the texture! The ears, antlers and tail are painted card which have then been glued to the decoration using a cool glue gun and I painted over the join to conceal the glue. 

This little reindeer may well end up being the star attraction on my Christmas tree this year. I just love it!

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Sensory Pumpkin

We may be just a little obsessed with these sensory bags now! Just look what we made today though. A sensory pumpkin made from a paper plate and filled with threads of wool, actual pumpkin seeds and squidgy squishy hand sanitiser. It's a total winner!

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Badger Cake

There's a birthday in the house today. So it's cake time! This year Jessica decided that Daddy needed a badger cake. Where does she get these ideas from?! Anyway, here it is...

Happy Birthday David!!!

Monday, 15 October 2018

Halloween Sensory Bags

We had a fantastically messy time exploring pumpkins at Toddler Group this morning, flung seeds aside! There was digging, scooping, squishing, squealing, cheering, towering and even some cleaning! 

However, I also wanted a mess free sensory play activity for those children who, like Jessica, really do not embrace the mess for one reason or another. We had some Halloween sprinkles left over in the craft supplies from an activity the group must have done before my time so Jessica and I made some sensory bags. We both love them as did the grown-ups and Heathlands pupils that were visiting the group today. I've used laminating pouches sealed around the edges with an iron - genius idea Andrea, I would never have thought of this but it works brilliantly. Inside the pouches (sealed on three sides before filling) we have used plastic sprinkes, glitter, paint, soap and hand sanitiser in various combinations to create slightly different bags each time. I'll definitely be making more of these bags with different themes another time. Fabulous!

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Needle Felted Penguin Decoration

I just had to do a penguin, I couldn't help myself! Look how cute this creature is...

I thought I'd also give you a quick idea of how I create a piece like this...

1. Start with a polystyrene shape, in this case an egg. 

2. Thread a loop of cotton or similar from bottom to top. This is easier to do before you start needle felting and it means that the thread is further secured by the wool roving that is felted over the top. 

3. Mark out your design on the polystyrene in pen.

4. Start felting - loosen up pieces of wool before felting them into place using a barbed needle being very careful not to catch your fingers on the barbs! The more you stab, the denser the wool will become. 

5. Cover the whole shape in base colours before adding details such as eyes and beaks,

6. Add the features. You may have to do some shaping on a polystyrene or sponge block before felting them to your design.

7. Use scissors to trim away any excess fluff that you don't want on your finished decoration.

Go on, have a go, you know you want to!

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Needle Felted Cat Decoration

I usually wait until half term to start my Christmas crafting. However, with Jessica starting school, I have more time on my hands this year and have been itching to get going. My first new tree decoration of the year is not the slightest bit festive but will make a quirky, characterful addition to our tree I think. This fat cat was created by needle felting onto a polystyrene egg, which is, by far, my favourite way of needle felting. Meow! 

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Crocheted Scarf

I have made no secret of the fact that I have struggled with crochet. I've battled with my tension and have always found it difficult to start with a straight chain. I've been happy to stitch into a circle and have no problem stitching into the chain after the first row but you can't crochet an item if you can't get started. Incidentally, I have the same issues with knitting but have less inclination to improve my skills with two needles. Anyway, I was determined to crack it with a hook, so I had another go last week and goodness me, I managed it. 

Jessica is now the proud owner of a handmade scarf, with tassels of course!


Wednesday, 3 October 2018

(Yet Another) Crocheted Blanket for Toys

My daughter has a huge array of soft toys. Most of them are cats of one variety or another and they are all very well loved and cared for by Jessica. As a result of this caring nature she seems to think that every one of them needs a blanket of their own. That keeps me very busy both with my crochet hook and sewing machine. This one now belongs to her cub cheetah, Honey. It consists of four granny squares stitched together with a nice wide border of triple crochet in Jessica's choice of colours. 

Monday, 1 October 2018

Shaving Foam Sensory Bag

Jessica has been helping me to trial a sensory bag idea for Toddler Group after school today. Paint and shaving foam inside a bag taped to the table for a mess-free sensory activity. What's not to love?!
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