So, while I was on my unintended lengthy break from blogging, I did succeed in putting my time to good use by doing an excessive amount of crafting! I have recently been on a bit of a run in working my way through the projects that I have had lying around for a long time. Many of them were small craft kits that have been building up in my stash that I really wanted to complete and cross off my list. They have been a really good way to pass winter weekends when it has been cold and wet outside, plus it has seriously cut down my backlog of craft projects in my stash – which is always a good thing! I’m still on a purging spree and I’m trying to refrain from buying too many new craft supplies until I have put the ones that I have got to good use! So anyway, here is a summary of what I have been up to for the last few months while I have been out of blogging!
One of my very quick but favourite crafts over Christmas was this adorable Christmas bunting. It was a kit that I picked up on a trip to Rose Apothecary the year before and I finally got round to making it for Christmas 2014! It was really quick and easy to do because the fabric squares were already pre-cut, so I just had to pin and sew them to the binding. It was a project that only took a matter of minutes but the finished project looks really adorable and I’m so pleased with it!
While we’re on the subject of Christmas, how do you like my paperchains? Probably not fully qualifying as a craft project, me and James still had a lot of fun putting these together! When I was younger I used to spend hours stringing together miles and miles of paperchains at Christmas, and I had bought a couple of packs of these waiting to put them to good use. It was fun to spend our first Christmas in our new house doing a project like this together in the run up to Christmas and I swear you are never too old to make paperchains!
Over Christmas we tested another new craft out thanks to a kit that my neighbour bought me a while ago. I had this Pinflair bauble kit sitting around for ages that I had never got round to trying, but in the run up to Christmas me and James decided to try it out. The kit made two baubles so we sat down and tackled one each. It was fun but required a fair amount of patience and left me with sore fingers! And as a side note, it is VERY tricky to do if you have acrylic nails… Overall though it was worth the struggles to get these wonderful finished baubles! They look really effective and it makes a nice homemade addition to our Christmas tree!
I also had some Lucky Dip Club kits to complete, including a couple of banners for Christmas and New Year. The first one was this really cute ‘Merry Kitschmas’ bunting that has a wonderful vintage theme and a little deer on the pennant to separate the words. It made a really cute addition to our cabinet, which at the time was stood in the middle of our living room as it was a late edition to the household but the Christmas tree was where it was going to stand, and it just wasn’t worth picking a fight with the 8 foot fully decorated Christmas tree!
The kit also contained this ‘Good Times’ banner, to be used at New Year or any other fun event! I love the art-deco style theme of the bunting, but in the very current colour scheme of mint and gold. It is a lovely addition to our TV cabinet and has the added bonus of being able to be used all year round! Me and James but these together one afternoon, but had a bit of a fight with them while trying to stick them to the string, without messing up all of the others that we had carefully spaced out!
Lucky Dip Club:
As well as the projects that came in the Christmas Lucky Dip Club box, I still had some others from previous boxes to complete, so I had great fun working through these wonderful novelty kits. The first one was this ‘Sundae Girl’ pouch; I love the bright colours and retro design of this case, and I had a lot of fun sewing on the ice cream buttons! The ice cream ribbon is designed as a pull tab for the zip, but it seemed too pretty to crush attempting to get it through that tiny hole on the zip, so I decided to stitch it along the top instead. It was the perfect length and I think it looks as though it was made to go there all along!
Another kit that I had great fun completing was this Fox Sleep Mask from the Woodland box. It was really cute and a lot quicker to cut and stitch than it first looked! It didn’t take me very long to assemble it and it was a great way to practice my hand stitching – even I’m surprised by how neat and even it looks! This mask is so cute and I do wear sleep masks a lot, particularly as the mornings get lighter, but I’m reluctant to use it in case I destroy it! I might just save it for relaxing pamper occasions instead of when I’m actually sleeping to avoid any disasters!
Another Lucky Dip Club project that I had waiting to be completed was this wonderful Budgie Bunting from the ‘Pet Parade’ box. This was a great project as it was super quick to cut out the budgies and peg them to the bakers twine, but the finished project looks really cute and cheerful! I love the pastel colours of the budgies and their rather bashful expression! I knew that they would be a great addition to my craft room and I found the perfect home for them on my mint Ikea cart!
As well as the Lucky Dip Club kits, I had an assortment of small craft kits in my backlog that I was eager to complete. Many of these I had picked up a long time ago, or people had bought me them as presents, and I had never got round to working on them. One of the ones on my list was a button box owl kit, to make a cute little owl family in their very own little box. This was a really quick stitch and again, like many of these kits helped me to practice my hand stitching! This little family is really cute and was a great away to pass a wintery Sunday afternoon! There are so many cute button box kits that I might be tempted into buying some more eventually…
Another kit that I had to hand was to make more owls…these cute pink and black owls were in a kit that I bought from Waterstone’s before I left. Again, this one featured a lot of hand stitching and I was really pleased to practice. These are quite big owls and the trickiest part of making them was getting them stuffed because the felt was really thick and it didn’t really mould to the right shape until it had been worked quite a lot. I fear I may have overstuffed the pink one as the seams are pulling a bit and the owl is reluctant to stand up unless you get it in exactly the right position! Overall though, I think they are really cute and they look great on the shelves in my craft room.
Another owl! Somehow I had built up quite a backlog of owl projects! This cute little owl brooch was a kit from my friend Charlotte. I love this and have worn it several times since I made it. It’s really cute and was fun to put together.
As a change from the owls, me and James felted some penguins! We have never tried felting before and it was a great project to start with. It was fun to do something different after all of the sewing projects and James loved felting. I enjoyed it for a change, but I’m not sure I’d have the patience to do it frequently. But on the plus side, I only stabbed myself once with the felting needle!
Stepping away from the craft kits now, I’ve also been busy working my way through some of the projects on my ‘I want to do’ list. The first of these is this wonderful thread catcher designed by Curry Bungalow. I fell in love with this project as soon as I saw it; it has a huge bucket to put loose strands into that have been cut from sewing or embroidery project, a scissor tab (brilliant! I always lose my scissors!) and a detachable pin cushion. Some of the resources were tricky or expensive to locate in the UK, so Teri kindly put together a box of supplies for me to make the thread catcher and shipped it to me from the US. That meant I just had to pick out my fabric and I was ready to go! That didn’t stop it from being stuck in my ‘to do’ pile for months and months though!
What I love about this project is the really professional looking finish, despite the fact that the project is remarkably easy and great for beginners. The simplicity of the project comes from the wonderful, illustrated instructions that Teri provides. It is impossible to get lost or go wrong because the instructions are so straight forward, and there are some great, clear photographs illustrating each step which makes it even easier. I loved making this and I am thrilled with the final item – it is already well used for my embroidery threads!
I made this cute earbud pouch ages ago before I moved house, which is why it looks a little grubby in the photo! I never got round to sharing it before so I want to include it here, just because I use it all the time and it is adorable! I made this earbud to put on my keyring, to store my iPod nano and headphones, along with my USB stick. I found the project on Pinterest (of course!) and you can access the link here. Sewing an even circle clearly isn’t a strong skill of mine, but I love the finished project all the same!
Another project that I completed before I moved was this cloud cushion from The Liberty Book of Simple Sewing. This book is stunning and filled with some beautiful projects! My absolute favourite though was always this cute cloud cushion! I bought myself some bright Liberty fabric from eBay and stitched up this really quick project. Clearly I need to work on my machine sewing as there are puckers in places and the ‘cloud’ shape is a bit squiffy but luckily the beautiful fabric distracts from the dodgy stitching 😉
More cushions! This time an appliqué cushion featuring a vintage caravan design. My Mum found a seller on eBay where you could purchase kits to make these cute cushions. She bought us both a pack for the caravan (she made one from my Grandma) and one featuring a VW campervan. I still have to finish the VW camper, but I’m really pleased with this caravan cushion. The floral fabric is lovely and looks really cheerful! I want to get a seat for under the window in my craft room and this is waiting to go on it!
And finally, some paper crafts! I don’t often do much paper crafting, but my Crafty What Nots boxes have inspired me to branch out. When sorting through my craft supplies recently, I found a stash of decoupage kits that I had built up from craft bargain bags. Most of the time I had used the other items from the kits, and simply filed the decoupage sheets with my papers, but when I saw them recently I really wanted to try them. The first ones I dug out were these cute animal ones that made 8 designs:
Me and James had so much fun making them that we then dug out some more in the form of these Tatty Teddy ones that I also had in my stash. It was a good time to make these as they are Easter themed, so we can put together some Easter cards in time for the holiday!
The last project that we have completed is another decoupage one. I also came across a decoupage kit for an Easter card. This one was different from the other card toppers, as you built up the design directly on the card, then added another card front with a window in it, then built up the external design directly on the card front. This gives a dramatic 3D effect and looks really good, but it is quite tricky to capture in a photo unfortunately!
So here is everything I have been busy doing recently! I did promise that I had put my break from blogging to good use!
Which projects do you like best? What projects have you been working on recently?