Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Are we ready???

The month is upon us and if you are like me, you still have shopping to do and cards to write! (I did do some online shopping yesterday, so feeling a bit happier!) But, tomorrow is the start of the December daily, you photograph and journal something each day of December. Last year I really enjoyed this. I kept it small and compact, left it on my computer desk, so that I wrote it up each day, even if I did not print off the photographs daily. I embellished the whole thing at the end of the month. I created a pack to have to hand that I could use things from as I went along. Extra bits of papers and labels as well as alphabets and date tags, like a mini kit. I think I am all set to go!

Tomorrow also sees the start of Tim's tags, which I hope to complete, not necessarily daily, but certainly read daily!
There is a mini Christmas Cybercrop this weekend, over at UKs, which I could do with, to kick start my scrapping layouts!
Last night I was trying to print off my Paris photo's, to get that album done, but the computer was not playing and kept closing PSE on me when I got to the print screen!!! I will see if I can complete this today!
Some of the snow is reducing today and we have had no more overnight, so hopefully DS's school has reopened today. Just had a text from OH who is at the airport waiting to board his flight to Scandinavia.
School planning for me today, plus soup making later! If i have any spare time I will get to my Paris album, but I am still only half way through my Florida album from the summer, so that un-nerves me to see it sitting there waiting!!
Not quite sure who gave Barney permission to get on the leather sofa!!!! On a day like today with all that snow around, it was the best place to be! TFLx

Monday, 29 November 2010

New stash from Paris

When I went to the craft fayre at Paris Expo last weekend I did manage to purchase a few things for my stash collection! My priority before I went was to buy some French stamps and I managed to pick up quite a few! The difficulty was choosing which ones! Another priority was a subscription to the Carnets de Scrap magazine, which I have been fortunate to collect since it started last year, by asking family members to bring me one back! When I met the two lovely ladies who compile it, I check if I could get it delivered to the UK and they said yes!
they have done some great things in the next issue with Making Memories Noel papers, which I am about to receive in my next Studio Calico kit, so I can't wait to receive it! You may also spot the reindeer I used in this project here
and the wooden trees I used in this project here (I left them as bare wood)
The embroidery thread I used in this project here
I bought two vintage wooden bobbins, which I wound my ribbon purchases onto and then some silver raffia and some thick felt disks. The "Mon Atelier" sign is a chipboard set that I intend to use to  make a sign for the craft room door. "My Studio."
The two small circle punches are to make some washers to use on tags to surround the hole and make them look old fashioned. I have been looking out for these and found them on two different stalls. One of the stamps is a large tag stamp that I could use to make mini albums, I just need to find an acrylic block big enough to take it! I never thought of that. One of my cutting plates from the Cuttlebug is favourite for the job at the moment! TFLx

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Get this on your Christmas to-do list!

Tim Holtz 12 tags of Christmas but, if you can't wait, last year's are here the year before are here and 2007 here!
Here is part of one I made in 2009. If you have never joined in, have a go! You learn some great techniques and you use some of your stash you have, but have not used before!! Lol! I don't have all his stuff, but I improvise with what I do have. TFLx

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Over the ground lays a mantle of white.....

What a day to wake up to! Makes me feel Christmassy already! Have been getting together a few things ready for the December Daily project, a bag full of embellishments and printing off some date labels for each page from Designer Digitals.
Yesterday we went shopping to make a start on our enormous Christmas list! We seem to have a very big family! We did quite well so I am thinking, due to the snow, today will be a good day to stay inside, get the heating on and a Christmas Carol CD and get wrapping! They are all sitting here on the dining room floor, so I might as well wrap whilst they are down here! I also need to print my Christmas card address labels and we have bought some stamps this morning when we walked to the post office, so they could be ready to start too!
Hubby is flying off to Sweden with work this week, so that is exciting! We may have as much snow as him though at this rate! The East coast has a forecast of snow for the full week! He is coming back for his birthday at the weekend which is nice. I have been learning some essential Swedish phrases on my i-pod with him, just for a laugh! Other things making me happy at the moment include my new Yankee Candle Cinnamon stick, that is filling the house with a lovely scent! TFLx

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Christmas Countdown Project 24 - Letter to Santa

I cannot believe that these twenty four projects are now at an end with this, the final one. When I started this year's countdown, I had a few ideas in place, but had done zero crafting for so long, due to circumstances, I was worried I would be able to make it through to the end! But  here we are and I have made all but a couple of the projects on the list! What better project to end with, than a letter to Santa! For the 24th of the month, it would be great to leave out on Christmas eve, with the sherry and the mince pie!
You will need:
Offcuts of linen fabric
Offcuts of patterned fabric (I used Cath Kidston)
Embroidery Thread and needle
Sewing Machine and thread
Pinking Shears
Long craft pins
Mini Christmas clothes peg
A6 card and C6 envelope for a template

1. Cut out some linen fabric and cotton fabric, slightly larger than the A6 card blank. On the linen piece, draw your words carefully with a pencil, ready to embroider with Back stitch. Press the fabric then sew together using the sewing machine and trim the edges with Pinking Shears.
2. Open out the C6 envelope as a template or use a square of fabric roughly 23cm x 23cm, cut an identical shape out of the patterned fabric. Lay the A6 card diagonally across the centre of the fabric and work out how to fold the envelope up, so you can work out where to embroider the title "Dear Santa."
3. Embroider the Dear Santa on the linen piece only. press, then stitch to the lin9ing all around the edges and trim with pinking shears.
4. Fold the envelope up and pin together with the decorative pins. If giving this as a gift for a child, you could hand sew the envelope together, being careful not to stitch it shut!
The one that inspired me was closed in a similar fashion to this. I added a handmade by label (in french) that I bought in Paris to show it was embroidered by hand!
Slide the card inside the envelope and hold it closed with the decorated clothes peg. A simple decoration that says it all "I've been good." Let's hope we all get left a lovely gift this Christmas! Thanks to all who have joined me for this year's countdown. Please leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you. Let me know if you make any items and link me up to them, so I can leave a comment. Merry Christmas to everyone! Thanks for letting me share this year's ideas with you. TFLx

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Christmas Countdown Project 23 - A table Centrepiece

Another idea I spotted in Germany. A mini forest centrepiece for the Christmas table based around the three Toadstool candles I bought.
You will need:
Three toadstool candles
Two lanterns of different sizes
Moss from a florist
6 Pine cones
3 Twig spheres
3 Bark stars
3 tealights in holders
1 Tall flower pot
Two heart tree decorations
3 Glass spheres or baubles
1 Reindeer
1 branch of artificial frosted berries cut into smaller sections
1 set of battery fairy lights
1 Fibre bow
Spray Snow
1 Large tray or bowl to arrange the scene in
Blue Tac to secure

1. I covered an MDF reindeer in patterned paper and sanded all the edges.
2. Secure the lanterns and flowerpot in place on the dish using blue tac.
3. Group the glass baubles to the front left in a three.
4. Arrange the moss around the edges of the dish to fill in.
5. Part the moss and locate the three toadstool candles using blue tac to secure. Recover to surround the candle base so it looks like the toadstools are growing.

6. Fill in the gaps by arranging the pine cones and twig spheres in groups of three and dot the bark stars here and there reserving one for later.
7. Starting at the back of the arrangement behind the lantern, lay the battery pack for the fairy lights here and then spiral the wire in and out of the objects around the edge of the dish. Cover the battery pack with the reserved twig star so the 'on/off' switch is easily accessible.
8. Fill in the back of the arrangement with the two tea light holders.
9.Arrange the two heart tree decorations where they will be seen when the candles are light, for reflection. Push the frosted berry stems in between the objects here and there to fill any remaining gaps.
10. Position the yarn bow away from any candle.
11. Position the reindeer away from any candle.
12. Finally give the completed decoration a spray of fake snow, being careful to keep away from the candles.
13. Switch on the battery fairy lights to check the full effect.
14. On the big day, use the flower pot to hold either a miniature conifer or a small glass containing some fresh flowers.
REMEMBER to be candle safe and never leave a burning candle unattended. Keep all naked flames away from items that may burn or melt.
Join me tomorrow for the final crafting project in the Christmas countdown! Can you believe it?? TFLx

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Christmas Countdown Project 22 - An advent ring decoration

I think I'm officially a "Heart-oholic!!!" I cannot resist a heart shaped item, I just buy it!!! With this in mind I did a circuit of the house today and came up with 13 photo's of hearts without trying!
Here are a few that I found! What is more, I discovered my sister is a "Heart-oholic" too at the weekend! Lol! Anyway, back to the project, this was an idea I saw in a German craft magazine a few weeks ago, made with a circular cake cooling tray as the frame. I had a circular wire pot stand, that had a heart (of course!) in the centre, so I used that. (Pictured top left!)
You will need:
Some Christmas decorations (I used a selection of hearts!)
Some of the greenery on wire we used for the candle jars before
A selection of ribbons
Some message tags
Circular cake cooling tray

1. Wind the greenery around the outside edge of the cooling tray, threading it through here and there to secure it.
2. Turn the cake stand over, so the feet of the cake stand, become the hangers for the advent ring. Tie ribbons to each foot and then join with a loop in the centre to hang up.
3. Thread all of your decorations on ribbons of different lengths. I used three of each type of decoration. Try to always use odd numbers, it's better for design. Vary the length of the ribbons too.
I hung 3 red hearts on long ribbons, 3 wooden trees on long red ribbons, 3 wooden hearts (green) on short bakers twine, 3 heart cookie cutters on short gingham ribbons, 3 wooden tree ornaments on medium length twine and 3 Merry Christmas metal tags on short linen strings. I hung a large central heart from the centre at the bottom and a wooden heart in the centre at the top. 
4. To decorate the edges add three ribbon rosettes. Wind ribbon around your fingers three times to make loops, then add a twist of wire across the centre and pull tight. Twist the ends together a couple of times then put on the edge of the cake stand.
Twist to secure in place, then fan out the ribbon loops.
In Germany they added candy canes and chocolate decorations and used it as the advent calendar. They also added a set of battery fairy lights to the greenery. I know my husband will moan that he is going to walk into this, but I have hung it from our beam in family room, from a heart shaped hook of course! (See the first picture!)
Join me tomorrow for another crafting project. TFLx

Monday, 22 November 2010

Forgive me, whilst I recover....

from my little trip to Paris! It was a whirlwind few days where we packed a lot into a short space of time! I did this...
and that...
and the other thing I did was.....

where I saw lots of...

and met these lovely ladies....

from 'Carnet's de scrap'
And then I ate this....
and this.....

and this .....

Excuse me! Can someone just remind me I was on a diet???!!!! I had lost 5 pounds before this trip, but  have a suspicion, that may be all back on!!! Oh and I forgot this...

But on the plus side, I did walk the full length of this ....

and back again, which is no mean feat! And I managed to walk straight past this.....

which was equally no mean feat!!! Whilst my sister went here.....

to queue for three hours to see this......
And we laughed so much at this.....
the smallest lift in the world!! AKA a coat cupboard!! I am sure it probably featured in a Harry Potter film somewhere, talking of which, we watched one last night, in French, on French TV, to improve my French, although I was somewhat astonished when a gentleman in a shop on the Champs Elysee complemented me on my excellent French! (Whilst I was trying to explain to him I wanted to buy a CD of French Accordion music, much to his amusement!!!!)
So thanks to my sister....
for a great weekend, (excuse my hair, but she is allergic to sprays, so I was not allowed to use any hair products!!!)......with much fun and laughter! In this Hotel here......
close to this....
Which we walked around, but fortunately did not go up!!!!! So I need more of this.....
because I am exhausted and I am sorry there is no craft project today :(
P.S. This was a lastminute.com break in a mystery hotel and was well worth the money, as part of my 'soon to be' half century celebrations that I am not thinking about!!!!!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Christmas Countdown Project 21 - Just for the children! A bit of fun!

I was inspired to have a go at making these by an article I read about this shop in Indiana! I would just love to go! Two of the things they have there are;
"Jingle Seasoning" using some red bells in a salt shaker, decorated with some alphabet stickers and ribbon!
Or how about this;

"A sprinkle of Christmas snow" You could use some edible cake sparkles for this like these here. Crush the sparkles smaller as you place them in the salt shaker, crumbling them between your fingers!
Or you could fill the shaker with normal glitter and label it "Magical Snow starter" for the children to sprinkle outside to see if it works like a rain dance does!! Just a bit of fun like the Reindeer food we used to make! TFLx

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Christmas Countdown Project 20 - Advent Calendar Inspiration

I have seen some lovely advent calendar ideas on the net this year, plus I have two magazines from Germany just on making advent calendars! Remember those cute little clothes pegs I bought in Germany that are already numbered??
I suppose there is a limit to how many advent calendars you need! I made this one in 2008 and this one in 2007. I even made this one for the dog! However I cannot resist making things, so here are my ideas for this year, but as yet I have not made one!
I love these tags here from Country living (page 39)
I also like this one using tags with ornaments from Pottery Barn;

This one I found (Sorry I have forgotten where!) with some vintage findings and I was going to make enamel number tags for this one like the previous project here.

Rusty tin buckets from the East Of India Company here, are just up my boulevard!

Or the aluminium buckets from Hobbycraft;

Buckets of Joy advent calendar by Garnet Hill;

More rusty tin buckets at Pottery Barn; 
Neutral fabric advent calendar at Pottery barn;

Other ideas I had were little patchwork angels like this with a number on;

Or finally, I would love to buy some new born baby socks in red and white and make one like this from Martha Stewart, but that could be quite expensive, if only I could knit!

Any of these ideas tickle your fancy? Let me know which one you think I should make! TFLx