Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas wishes


Christmas Eve is finally here...the shopping is done...the presents are wrapped...the grown ups are relaxing...and Master R and Miss A are eagerly awaiting bedtime.

This morning I asked my children to think about what they are grateful for, and they both said family and toys! I guess that pretty much sums up what is important to kids at Christmas time too! Bless them!

It's been a busy and exciting year...and I am very grateful for all of the support and encouragement I have had from family, friends, customers and readers.

I can't wait to get started on all of the projects I have planned for next year.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.

xx Tracey

(The toys in the above photos were crocheted using patterns from magazines and websites.
Reindeer: Crafts Beautiful magazine Issue 206 Oct 2006
Snowman: Handmade magazine (Christmas Special) Vol 29 No.7)

Our Christmas baby turns 4

Asher meaning blessed and happy

Four years ago today we were blessed with the arrival of our beautiful baby girl, Asher. We chose the male spelling of the name Asher based on the meaning: blessed and happy. Our little Asher has truly lived up to her namesake, being the easiest, most content little baby, the calmest and happiest of toddlers, and the most positive and loving little girl.

We celebrated her birthday a few weeks ago, as we have always done to avoid an overload of presents at Christmas. Family came over, we gave her presents, and there were balloons, party food and cake. We called that day her 'party day'  but this year, for the first time, we explained that on December 23rd it would be her 'real birthday'. We thought she understood, until two days ago when she started discussing what presents she would get on her 'real birthday' and who would be coming over! Ok, I guess that plan probably back-fired!

So today there was a small present, lots of birthday wishes, and a visit to the zoo. And all of the birthday cards from 'party day' are out on display again.

And there was a pretty new birthday dress, with hair elastics to match, made especially for her by Mummy. (I followed a set of vague instructions from a magazine clipping, muddled my way through, and when the photos were taken the straps had not been adjusted, and the length had not even been hemmed, but Miss A was happy enough with it!)

Happy Birthday beautiful Miss A xx

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A quick crochet hook cosy

Lucky this was quick and easy to make as I almost left it to the very last minute! This crochet hook cosy is for my mum for Christmas. She is crafty. She loves to crochet. And she loves to give and receive handmade.

I found the pattern for this crochet hook cosy in 'Sew Darn Cute' by Jenny Ryan, a book I stumbled across whilst browsing the shelves of cute and quirky shops in Dunsborough last month. I could not put that book back on the shelf, it had to come home with me. I want to make everything in that book.

The exterior of the crochet hook cosy was supposed to be denim, but I didn't have denim and I didn't want to buy any fabric, so I just used cotton quilting fabric inside and out, but added medium weight interfacing to both pieces to make the cosy sturdy enough. And I thought a crochet flower would be the perfect addition to the front. Done!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A dottie angel little string of happy

 For the past few days I have been poring over Tif Fussell's wonderful dottie angel book. Many months ago a visit to the dottie angel blog gave me my very first glimpse into the world of online craft blogs. I was instantly inspired by Tif's unique crafting style and wonderful blog.

Yesterday I spent a happy half hour stringing together little rectangles of vintage fabric, in dottie angel style. I took the piece of vintage fabric and sunny yellow thread that came packaged with my book, added a few vintage pieces from my own stash, and followed the instructions in Tif's 'little string of happy' how-to.

I am most happy with the results and now have a very peachy 'little string of happy' hanging outdoors over my deck.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Less is more, and a Christmas card how-to

I know that some people spend a lot of time hand-making greeting cards.They use all of the different tools, accessories, and 'fancy' techniques available, and layer up all sorts of elements. And that is great, but it can become very expensive and time consuming. When I make a greeting card I prefer to pare back the elements and work with as little as possible to achieve a clean simple look. For me less is more. It is also more achievable, especially for those who might not consider themselves 'crafty', and it simplifies those projects that require a large quantity of cards to be made.

cute and quirky, super easy Christmas card how-to: 

What you will need:
A Christmas tree punch (or cut your own simple tree shape)
mini Glue Dots
Self adhesive Rhinestones
Bakers twine (or any type of string, thread or scraps of ribbon)
White greeting card blanks (make your own!)
Sheets of  coloured card

1Punch out lots of trees from your coloured card,
and tie pieces of twine into tiny little bows

2. Use glue dots to attach a tree to the front of your card blank

3. Attach a little bow to the top of the tree with another glue dot

4. Add some bling! Decorate your tree with shiny Rhinestones.

And that is it! You are done!

You could use traditional Christmas colours for your trees and twine, or go for something a little more quirky like the aqua I have used here. And if you have a little more time up your sleeve, you could just as easily add something extra such as a hand-stamped  greeting, a strip of patterned card across the bottom, or some punched out stars stuck on with glue dots! x

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Time out

It has been a whole month since my last blog post. I didn't plan to be away from Blogger for this long, but it is a busy time of the year, and one thing led to another, and before I knew it I was completely out of the routine of blogging.

It all started with a mini getaway in the South West of WA. It is a holiday that my family and I have taken at about the same time every year, for the past few years, and it has now become a bit of a tradition for us. The weather was warm (sometimes in November it is still a bit chilly) and we were fortunate enough to be able to swim and really enjoy the area's amazing beaches. And as always there were the ice creams at Simmo's, lunch at Colonial Brewery, and plenty of strolls through town.

While I was away there wasn't a computer to distract me, and I only had a crochet hook and yarn with me for craft. By moving at a slower pace, and enjoying simple activities with my family, I was able to see just how distracted I had been in recent months with Etsy and Blogger, and I realised I was actually feeling quite exhausted! I arrived back home feeling relaxed, rested and inspired, and with a desire to continue on at this slower pace.

But while blogging and crafting for Etsy did take a back seat for a while, there has still been plenty of handmade crafty goodness happening in my is a little bit of it...

Crochet Party Bunting...while on holiday I did have with me the new book by Meet Me At Mike's Pip Lincolne, 'Make Hey! while the sun shines', and from this book I followed Pip's pattern for making crochet bunting. It was the perfect holiday project, simple and fun, with the added bonus of relaxation and calm that comes with crochet. When we returned from our holiday, I strung them all together with a piece of pretty pink ribbon, and hung them up on the eve of Miss A's 4th birthday celebration. That was nearly three weeks ago, and they are still hanging beautifully, and I do not plan to take them down as I LOVE them!

 Wooden advent calender...I bought this Kaisercraft advent calender in kit form in the post-christmas sales in January...but silly me still managed to leave it until the very last minute to assemble and decorate it! I did get it complete enough to fill with trinkets and chocolates in time for December 1st, but it is still a bit of a work in progress. Maybe we will start a family tradition of adding a bit of decoration to it each year!

Knitted and crocheted Christmas decorations...All over our home there are cute and cuddly little Christmas characters. They are perched happily upon shelves, peeking cheekily out from behind the branches of the Christmas tree, and watching over the kids as they sleep. They have been lovingly handmade by my mum. Each Christmas for the past couple of years she has given us a bundle of new ones, and slowly we are replacing all of our plastic baubles and decorations with these beautiful handmade ones which will be treasured in our home for years to come.

Hope you have been enjoying some time-out this busy season too  x