It’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas ….

Thankfully the ornament production is well under way now, inspired by our little Wool and Wine workshop session last weekend I have been making lots and lots of things this week so am actually now ahead of myself in terms of what I need which is great.

Part of the reason that I have made extra is so that some can go to our Wool and Wine tree at the local Christmas tree festival in the village church but also because I just love making them. They are so sparkly and pretty and fill my little heart with joy ๐Ÿ™‚

Xmas baubles Nov 4

These three all use a similar colourway and the same type of finishing with this very ornate gold braid around the centre. I love these ribbons, so much velvet and satin loveliness!The embellishments are mainly jewelry making supplies and a variety of different types of beads which I bought from Ebay .

 

The next set are more muted but still very gorgeous, sadly I am running out of these ribbons and will have to source more. I think the green one originally came from Tesco but I must have had it for about 10 years.

Xmas baubles Nov 9

 

There are several Youtube videos of how to make these and you can use either fabric squares or ribbon but one of the best sources of information and inspiration is The Ornament Girl, if you sign up to her site she will send you tutorial links by e-mail.

Rosemari, Sarah and Debbie made the baubles as well at our crafting session, I forgot to get a picture of Sarah’s which was a gorgeous blue and silver one but here is Debbie’s ribbon bauble and Rosemari’s silver fabric one. The fabric version comes from Decorations to Dazzle by Springwood House Designs.

Edited to add: The Ornament Girl has just offered a freebie PDF book on how to make these fabric baubles with an included template – follow this link for more details.

Xmas baubles Nov 1

Xmas baubles Nov 3

I have also made one pine cone so far, again from Springwood House Designs, this design was originally a kit. I just kept adding more and more fabric to this one so it has so many layers! I have been struggling to find any long gold topped pins but have lots of pearl ones so thought I would use one of those and think that it looks good.

Xmas baubles Nov 14

Xmas baubles Nov 15

Xmas baubles Nov 16

I was sorting out some of my ornaments to use for our group tree and came across a little knitted stocking that I made lots of about 6 years ago. They are so cute so I made two more this week. A lovely quick knit from Julie of Little Cotton Rabbitsย , this is a free pattern from her and you can put so many variations in in terms of contrast toe and heel colour.

Xmas baubles Nov 17

Xmas baubles Nov 18

Xmas baubles Nov 19

I think the reindeer head buttons were originally bought from a craft fair but you can find similar ones on Ebay here .

I love these multicoloured versions of the stockings from Miyayo on Ravelry which I found while searching for other knitted ornament patterns. These would make a lovely Advent Calendar as well and you can use any Fair Isle or cross stitch pattern for the design that fits in with the 27 stitch count.

Mini-Knitted-Christmas-Socks-Pattern-550x413

I have still got a few more ornaments that I want to make and also have some presents to make. There will hopefully be some felty cuteness of a new sort coming soon for my great-niece Ava, maybe I will get a start on that this weekend.

Hope all your pre-Christmas craftiness is coming all well and have a good week ahead. Thanks for visiting.

 

It was the last few days before Christmas ….

And all through the house there was lots of activity, making the last minute baubles, finishing off a cross stitched ornament and lots and lots of cooking!

I think I am done now. I am now making a few more baubles just to experiment with ribbon, some may be gifted next year as I think I am going to give these again for 2019, (nothing like getting ahead is there, though I may well find something new to make before then.)

Xmas ribbon baubles 1

I do love the way these ribbon ones have turned out, they are a lot quicker to do than the fabric ones as I have used less layers but they still look lovely. Some of the decoration at the ribbon intersections is pins and some little metal balls pinned on.

Xmas ribbon baubles 2

Xmas ribbon baubles 3

Xmas ribbon baubles 5

Xmas ribbon baubles 4

Earlier in the year you may remember I had a churn dash block craze and I made these two ornaments for my cousins then, I love the way that they have come out but didn’t realise until taking the pictures that the red fabric for the backing is on sideways – oops!ย The little charms are from Ebay here.

Xmas churn dash ornies 1

Xmas churn dash ornies 2

Xmas churn dash ornies 3

I did not get chance to make lots of other things this week as I have had a lot of marking to do so still have some pouches to stitch together after Christmas but luckily not everything sold at Yarndale so I have enough things for gifts.

I did manage a little apron for Ava my nearly two year old great niece. I have made similar ones from this tutorial here before.

 

I used the same fabric back and front to make it so it is reversible, the tutorial pattern has a pocket included but though I cut one out, (you use the armhole cutouts for the pockets), it covered up too much of the cute elephants on the design so it left it off. All of this came from stash and I think I have had the fabric for about 5 years, it came from my last trip to China!

I have made lots of delicious focaccia for the festive season along with a gluten free chocolate, ginger and orange cheesecake and some mincemeat blondies which are our new favourite thing here, they are like a very squidgy soft version of Christmas cake and will be delicious with the rum clotted cream that I am going to make ๐Ÿ™‚

Our Christmas will be a little fragmented this year as Ellen is working tomorrow and Christmas Day and Jake is working Christmas Eve and Boxing Day so wonderful Kerry is coming tomorrow to take me to Ellen’s for two days and three church services, (two at beautiful Clumber Chapel), then Ellen and I are driving back here on Christmas Day after church to spend the rest of it with Jake. At least we will be together for a little bit. I am then off to Spain for two weeks.

So I shall say Happy Christmas to you all now as I won’t be around again until mid Jan, hope that you all have a very good festive season and a great New Year’s Eve. I will be at the Chinese restaurant in La Marina as usual, dancing and watching fireworks.

Take care and thanks for visiting and see you in 2019!

The stockings are finished!

I have been rushing to finish everything in time for Christmas, it always amazes me that though I think I start early enough each year I am still there checking last posting dates and running around doing last minute finishes!

Anyway the ornaments are finished, I have only had time to make 8 of these so far but will definitely make more for next year for all the people that didn’t get one this year. One has already gone to the Wool and Wine ornament exchange so these are the seven that are left.

Xmas stockings 1

I did two of each design for friends and then the tree one for me. I loved choosing all of the fabrics and embellishments and am really pleased to have improved my blanket stitch which I only learnt this summer.

Xmas stockings 2

Xmas stockings 5

Xmas stockings 7

Xmas stockings 4

Xmas stockings 6

Xmas stockings 9

The back is finished with a little pearl headed pin and decorative bead to hide the ribbon stitching.

Xmas stockings 11

The original patterns as seen in this picture from Jenny’s website had some really beautiful flower embroidery on so they would make lovely sachets to go in drawers or on hangers so I will make some other ones from floral fabric and fill them with lavender.

ELEFANTZ stocking noel 1

I have realised that although I thought I had done things for everyone as I have also been working on some stitched and quilted ornaments that I might have already given my Mum and aunt the designs I had planned to finish off this week so am going to go with another one of the folded baubles for them. I know that I did give them one each in 2015, as pictured below, but they are so pretty I would love to make more.

xmas-baubles-dec-2015-1

I have also found some new resources to go with them and that was partly what inspired me to do more of these. This tutorial is a good step by step one and if you sign up for The Ornament Girl’s newsletter she will e-mail you links to three step by step video tutorials. She also has lots of lovely ideas on her website and you can join the ornament club or buy supplies from her.

One of the things I didn’t realise is that you can also make these folded ones from ribbon. I just happen to have quite a bit of Christmas ribbon in my stash so am going to experiment with that. I have found some great inspiration from this Pinterest board here.

These seem to be very popular in Eastern Europe as there are some amazing ones from places like Slovakia and Poland. I don’t have a lot of the satin ribbon that are used in these but do have lots of wired ribbon in beautiful Christmas designs like the bauble below.Original links and sources for these pictures can be found at the Pinterest board link above.

Folded fabric bauble 4

I also love the use of cross stitch in these ones, that is something to consider for next year as well.

Folded fabric bauble 1

You can also fold the ribbon into petals as they have done with the second layer of the this amazing red,white and green one.

Folded fabric bauble 2

These are just so pretty, I love the variations in the designs while sticking to the one colour scheme.The site in the photo caption sells the most gorgeous ribbon kits for these.

SONY DSC

So I shall be spending this afternoon under a fleecy blanket, watching Netflix and making ornaments. A perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon ๐Ÿ™‚

Rosemari has decorated her tree with all the baubles she made at our bauble making sessions and afterwards at home and has kindly sent me a photo to share with you, don’t they look wonderful!ย  She was well and truly bitten by the bauble making bug ๐Ÿ™‚

Rosemari's tree

I hope that you have all had a good week and enjoyed your weekends. Don’t forget to like any of my posts before Christmas to be entered into my 11th year blogaversary giveaway drawn in Jan. Take care and thanks for visiting.

Marsden Magic

Sadly I have to report that the black velvet jacket got abandoned on Thursday, I was already having trouble with the bodice fitting, the seams kept slipping as I was stitching but the final crunch came when I realised I had cut down the sleeves too small again!

I have so much trouble with fitting, everything was far too big when I first cut it out and I thought I had trimmed just enough off but it was not to be so I now have a bag of large velvet scraps that I will do something with at some point.Next time I attempt a jacket I am going to do a toile first and get the fitting right before I cut!

I was disappointed but at least I had the lovely red skirt and my old velvet jacket to wear. Ellie came up for a few days and I was saying to her that evening that what I really wanted was to find a charity shop jacket that I could adorn, preferably a man’s dinner suit but they were so hard to find.

We went for a little walk and a bit of charity shop browsing the following afternoon and a miracle occurred as one of the charity shops had not one but ten brand new men’s dinner suits on sale and one of the ones in my size was a beautiful shawl collared one, with the collar made of black satin. It fitted really well apart from the sleeves being too long and the whole suit was only ยฃ10 ๐Ÿ™‚

Dinner jacket 1

A few hours of adding lace yesterday and I now have a beautifully decorated jacket for next weekend, without all the stress of sewing black velvet! I am very happy and relieved. I have also put lace on the cuffs and pockets.

Dinner jacket 2

Dinner jacket 4

Dinner jacket 3

The little red insert in the pocket is a cut off from altering the waistband on the gorgeous skirt I bought some time ago, I love the style of these and will probably end up with one in every colour!

Steampunk red skirt

Ellie also found some boots for herself in another charity shop which she was really pleased with having been on an unsuccessful shopping trip on the way here to a huge shopping complex where she trailed round every shop unsuccessfully. Marsden truly is a wonderful place!

My theme for the Steampunks in Space event is Star Trek and I am taking inspiration from Kathryn Janeway, the captain of Voyager, with my outfit.

Captain Janeway

We have some comm badges that we bought from Etsy and I have some tiny space ships to decorate my red hat and hopefully some printouts of the control screens.Ellie has made a lovely bolero jacket and still has her phaser from a previous outfit so we are ready to beam aboard and go where no man has gone before! Photos of all the outfits to follow plus all the other amazing stuff, we were so in awe last year.

I have also been making more delicious bread, I made an olive version as well this weekend, I really could just live on this, it is wonderful.

Nov bread baking

We had Christmas bauble making part two on Friday, at a friend’s house and there were lots of people there, I think in total about 12 baubles got made and everyone enjoyed themselves so that was great. Only a couple of photos due to lack of light and being busy but don’t these two look lovely?

Nov baubles at Janes 1

Nov baubles at Janes 2

Nov baubles at Janes 3

After next weekend I must crack on with the Christmas stockings and gifts, as it will be only a month to go, every year I think I give myself lots of time to do things and then it all evaporates!

At least I now have a jacket to wear to Whitby Steampunk in February as well so will just concentrate on making some capes. I have the capelet/bustle from the black velvet cut out and that doesn’t have to fit so will put that together for an extra layer and the just embellish the red hat again.

Hope that you all have a good week ahead, take care and thanks for visiting.

Domesticity and friendship

I have so far managed to have a lovely weekend with lots of both of these things. As I mentioned last post I now have every weekend to myself and that has meant time to catch up with lovely people and the energy to do more than just everyday cooking.

We had a lovely bauble making evening, everyone opted for the style where you cut into the bauble and insert sections of fabric. Rosemari was on a roll and made three in the end and we are continuing with this next weekend at Sharon’s house so may well make more.

Nov baubles 1

She brought her own fabric with her as her house is decorated in lots of blues and aquas so she wanted her baubles to go with that. I think they are gorgeous and love the way she has fussy cut the bird here.

Nov baubles 2

I just made one as I was busy instructing and sorting food . I later added some little jewels to each side, this will be a new addition to my tree for this year along with one of Jenny’s stockings, I am getting on well with the second batch.

Saturday morning my wonderful friend Kerry came up, I have not seen her since Caldicot so it was brilliant to have a catch up and eat nice food.I made my favourite pumpkin soup from Delia Smith’s recipe and an amazing focaccia bread with rosemary and thinly sliced potatoes. It was so good I am going to make more today!

We also went for a walk, the first bit of leisure walking I have done since August.Thankfully I feel a lot better and really miss my little walks around the village so it was great to get out and enjoy the autumn views and say hello to a few sheep.

Nov sheep 1

Even though this picture has focused more on the fence in the foreground rather than the sheep I still love it as it shows the misty sunlight, I am so lucky to have all this beauty five minutes from home.

Nov walk 1

Nov walk 2

Nov walk 3

I am going to the Remembrance Sunday service later on today, there is a special service in honour of the fact that it is 100 years since Armistice. The village, like many other places has been decorated with poppies and they have the names on them of everyone who was killed in the Great War.

This amazing installation at the Tower of London commemorates the 888,246 British and colonial lives lost during this war but we also remember the lives lost from many other countries of men, women and children from all wars.

Poppies

Much of what we do as re-enactors may be seen as promoting or glorifying conflict but I have always seen our roles as more about education about the history of war in the hope that this understanding will help avoid future conflict. Next year Ellie will be involved in lots of events around the Second World War as Clumber Park was involved in that in many different ways so she and her team are planning lots of things to commemorate their involvement.

I hope that you have a very lovely week ahead, take care and thanks for visiting.

 

Ta da!

I have had a lovely week of stitching and am very pleased that I have already finished the first set of stockings.They are so pretty and have turned out even better than expected.

 

Jenny Xmas stocking 6

The designs are from the wonderful Jenny of Elefantz Stitchery Club and I followed her advice to back the fabric with interfacing which worked really well without a hoop.

 

Jenny Xmas stocking 7

Jenny Xmas stocking 8

Jenny Xmas stocking 9

I am so pleased with the stitching on these, especially the blanket stitch which I only learnt how to do this summer and though I say so myself has come out very neat ๐Ÿ™‚ Now they just need to be cut out, backed and stuffed.

Apologies for the slightly blue pictures again, I even tried taking shots outside but even that did not make any difference.I did get a nice shot of the frosty hills behind the house though.Look at that lovely blue sky!

Frosty hills

I have been working almost solely on this project while watching lots of interesting things on Netflix, a very good murder mystery called Guilt and a competition program about cabins in the wild that has given me lots of ideas for future holidays as they feature lots of cabins from one of my favourite site Canopy and Stars!

Wouldn’t you love to stay in this tin tabernacle, or the very cute gardener’s hut or the geodome.

Canopy and Stars tin hut

Canopy and Stars gardener's shed

Canopy and Stars geodome

They have so many wonderful places on here that I am putting on my wish list for future trips. All pictures from their site.I am slightly addicted to watching tiny house videos on You Tube so this would satisfy some of my cravings to have my own tiny house.

Meanwhile we have booked mine and Mum’s city trip for next year, we will be going to Krakow in Poland in April. We were hoping to be able to get to Istanbul but flights and times were not good from here so we are now really looking forward to our first visit to Poland and to sights like this.

Krakow

We have not yet sorted a Spanish city trip but that will probably be done in June. Meanwhile back to reality and I have another set of stockings to prepare today.These have been so quick to do I think I may make more than six as I would like one as well.

Have a nice week ahead, hopefully on my next post I will have some good progress on the Steampunk jacket to report, so far all I have done is cut out pattern pieces, which took about 2 hours, and work out how much material I have, and discover I have not got enough interfacing or lining so I will have to buy those before I can progress much further.

My plan is to have at least the pieces cut out and possibly the bustle made before the end of the week. The jacket part is going to take more fitting so I have allowed a month for that as the event is on the 24th Nov and I know from past experience that it can take a while!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

 

A wonderful work in progress!

As you know I have been eagerly awaiting the latest of Jenny’s Stitchery Club.ย I love stitching things for Christmas and was trying to decide what to make for the special set of 6 this year and then Jenny solved all of my problems with this lovely set of designs, picture from Jenny’s website.

elefantz-xmas-stockings-picture

I am altering the designs slightly as I am using all Christmas fabric so am also going to use some star sequins in place of some of the flower stitching. I am going to have so much fun embellishing them with little beads and lace as well so am really looking forward to spending more time this afternoon stitching these.I have done most of the outlines, now to start on the chain stitch around the applique and try and make it as neat as possible!

I prepared the designs in a slightly different way to usual as I wanted to use this lovely background fabric and I only have two quite small pieces of it. Normally I would use a hoop while I stitch but remembered that Jenny uses a fusible interfacing to stabilise the fabric and stitches without a hoop so I have done that and it is working well and saves on fabric needed.

Jenny Xmas stocking 1

I traced the designs in pencil rather than the usual Zig pen just because I was upstairs and didn’t have them with me.It has worked ok but may be a bit faint for you to see.

Jenny Xmas stocking 2

The applique pieces are attached with double sided fusible applique paper, there is a good tutorial on this technique on Jenny’s website here if you have not done this before.

Jenny Xmas stocking 3

Jenny Xmas stocking 4

I love this poinsettia design on this stocking, they are one of my favourite things to have in the house at Christmas.

I am so glad that Jenny included hexagons with the designs as I really love hexagons! As these ornaments will not need to be washed I have glued the paper piece inside each hexagon so that it will be nice and neat around the fussy cut area.

Jenny Xmas stocking 5

I am going to back each stocking with some of the same material that I have used for the front and stuff them and put hanging ribbons on.My plan is to do these three then start on the next batch and use different material but basically the same designs.

I think they are gorgeous designs and as well as using them for Christmas they would make lovely lavender sachets for drawers or a very pretty design for a stitched birthday card so I can see myself making lots more of these.

I have had a very lovely week, it has been mostly beautiful sunshine here and the autumn colours are just stunning. These pictures are from our local Facebook page.

Marden Autumn 1

Marden Autumn 2

I am feeling a lot better and fingers crossed this will continue, I am in a lot less pain and generally have more energy so I am hoping to be going on some lovely walks myself soon.

I also had a great night out with the Wool and Wine girls last night at the annual village quiz where we came a respectable fourth from the bottom. Next week is the last week before half term and I only have one Saturday left to teach so that will mean more time for crafting!

Hope you are having a nice weekend and have a good week ahead. Take care and thanks for visiting.