Friday, 30 December 2011

Christmas Lights

Whilst perusing the internet I found a pattern for crocheted Christmas lights and decided that I needed some of those.

So I asked my Mum nicely and she agreed to make them for me.
(She did crochet a Doctor Who for my sister, so it's only fair)

You can find the pattern here.

The only question now is what shall I do with them?
I did consider sewing them to the front of a red jumper to make an obnoxiously festive sweater, but that might be kind of uncomfortable...

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Gingerbread Village

On Christmas Eve my sisters and I put together a little ginger bread village.

My Mum bought us a kit so all we had to do was assemble the pieces and then decorate with candy. 

Then my sister made it snow over the village!

These were the two buildings that I did.
I think I did a pretty good job, since my degree is pretty much making miniature models.

Did everyone have nice Christmases?
Eat a lot?
What's your favourite Christmas food?

Friday, 23 December 2011

Handmade Christmas

My friends and I have a tradition of The Annual Gift Exchange where we exchange our Secret Santa presents. Although it's not very secret as we usually know who's got who within seconds of handing out names, which is usually some time in September.

This year I got my friend Laura who had expressed some interest in my handmade hair bands.
So as part of her present I made her a special bow hair band.

It's cream fabric with white lace over the top.

She loved it and didn't realise it was handmade until I told her.

I received so many glittery and sparkly things from my friend Lizzi!

The afternoon also included putting my camera on self-timer and setting it to take multiple shots, and deciding we should be in different positions for each shot. Hilarity ensued.

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Miniature knitting

Isn't this incredible!
I haven't actually seen the film Coraline but that is some crazy skill going on there.
After watching this video I decided I wanted to try miniature knitting, and I've finally got round to it.

Only, I haven't done any knitting for a long time, probably since I was in single digits, and my Mum did all the casting on for me.
So first I had to learn how to knit, and youtube helped with that.
Now, it might have been easier to learn on a regular scale and then get smaller, but I jumped straight to miniature and learnt as I went.

Here's attempt 1.
For knitting needles I used pins which are really slippery and the cotton thread I was using as wool kept slipping off .

But I persevered and here's attempt 2.
A little neater but I still kept losing stitches so I gave up on this one too.

Then with attempt 3 it suddenly started to work.
Obviously it took a while if you look at the bottom, but I got there eventually.

It looks like proper knitting!

It really is tiny but I feel like I've mastered a new skill.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Decorating for Christmas

The Christmas decorations are up!
Actually, I put them up the evening I came home from uni.
Talk about eager!

I saw this idea for pine cone photo frames on the Martha Stewart website and thought they would look great hanging from the fireplace.
So I started by going through old photo albums looking for photos from past Christmases which is always fun.
The smaller photo is my sister when she was younger and that cutie with the blonde curls in the top photo is me with my Dad.

I cut out circles from a cereal box to stick the photos to.
I removed the pine cone bits with some pliers. Apparently the bits are called scales but that seems weird; they're not fish!
Then I glued the bits to the card with strong glue and added glitter to some of the edges.

I made four in all to hang either side of the fireplace.

I love putting baubles in glass vases ever since I saw it done on Young House Love a few years ago.
The pine cones in that vase are the ones that have fallen off our fake tree over the year.

We've even got a vase full of candy canes. Delicious and decorative.

And of course the tree.
It's looks pretty similar to last year; keeping it tradish with red and gold decorations.

Holy Christmas!
Here it is in the dark.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, 15 December 2011


Like my new notebook?

It started life looking like this.
Pretty boring right?

I removed the front and back cover so that I could cover them with brown packing paper that I'd scrunched up to make more textured.
Then I attached a piece of lace for a contrasting texture.

I got a matching piece of leather, which I got here, and stitched on a pair of cowboy boots.
The leather is pretty thick so it was a bit of a struggle but a thimble greatly helped.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Snowman Cookies

When I saw the melted snowman cookies on Crazy Domestic I had to make some myself.

I used a general sugar cookie recipe from a random book and then decorated with icing for the snow and a marshmallow for the head. I added the scarf, buttons and arms with tube icing but this wouldn't stick to the marshmallows so for the eyes I dipped a cocktail stick in some black food colouring.

Though it's not a requirement, I suggest decorating the cookies, or any kind of Christmas cookies, whilst wearing Christmas/winter pyjamas. It just adds to the whole experience.

My friends thought it was a bit mean to eat these poor little snowman but they soon came around once they discovered how delicious they were.
Om and nom!

Also, my bottle top Christmas tree project has been featured in a Kids Christmas Craft e-book which you can view here on All Free Holiday Crafts. Exciting!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Pipe cleaner Christmas tree

 Playmobile people deserve a Christmas tree too.
I think it might be a human right...

Here's a how I made this pipe cleaner Christmas tree for my dolls house.

Start off with one green pipe cleaner and bend three little legs on the end so it stands up.
If it's a little wonky that's ok; it just makes it more realistic. I mean, who's Christmas tree actually stands up perfectly straight?
I think using a tinsel pipe cleaner would look good too, especially a silver one.

Cut up pipe cleaners into varying lengths and twist then onto the main pipe cleaner, with the longest bits at the bottom.
I think I used four pipe cleaners in all.

I added additional branches to some of the lower parts to bulk it out a bit.

Then I added a gold tinsel pipe cleaner and some red beads for the baubles.
This photo doesn't show it too well but I also found a silver star shaped bead to go on the top.

To complete the scene in my dolls house I wrapped up some random items to go under the tree and I made some paper stockings to hang on the fireplace.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Fabric covered bottle cap

Behold; the fabric covered bottle top.

It's a like a fabric covered button but a lot cheaper to make. Cheaper as in free, as long as you have bottle caps and fabric that is.

I saw the idea on Sew Take A Hike.
The fabric covered bottle caps there were used to make a trivet, but I have no need for a trivet in my life.

So I added one to a yo-yo which could easily become a brooch or a hair clip.

And I put some on a hair band.

(Fun fact; two of the fabrics used in this post came from the bottom of dresses that I had shortened.)

Any other ideas for what I can use these fabric covered bottle caps for? Because they're so easy to make.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

I heart books

This term I've really been loving on my university's library.
I've been there more times in the last few months than I have in the whole two years previous.
Not only that, but I've taken books out. Multiple books at multiple times.
And read them.
This was mostly due to my dissertation but then I stumbled upon the craft section and decided to take a couple of books out for recreational use.
Shocking, I know.

I don't really like how-to books because I prefer to figure stuff out myself or just get tutorials off the internet, so the following books are more focused on the artists/crafters themselves and their practices.

A couple of artists I wanted to share from Indie Craft are;

Diem Chau embroiders on silk which is then adhered to crockery to make it look like it's sewn porcelain.

If you know my art work then you know I'm into cute/creepy so I love the crocheted work of Patricia Waller.

Cross-stitch on a car! That's just cool.
Severija drills holes in all sorts of metal to cross-stitch.

And Handmade Nation has lots of photos of studios/craft spaces which I always like to see.

I found it really inspiring reading through these books and I made sure I had a notebook handy because lots of ideas came to me which I'm hoping to work on during the Christmas holiday.

Monday, 5 December 2011

New miniature

Firstly, some business.
My housemate Luke, as part of his course, has had to make a video to put on youtube. The group with the most views on their video wins a prize! Except noone knows what the prize is.
So if you would be so kind, please watch the video below to help him out.
Also, I think it's pretty funny.
If you like it, pass it on.

Now, I think it's new miniature time.
I haven't quite decided on the narrative of this one, but this is what it looks like at the moment.

It's a box!
No, there are things in the box.

Like that staircase I showed you earlier.

And a light coming from upstairs.

This lamp shade was tricky, I'm still not sure I've got it right.

But check out that floor.
I'm very proud of it.
Each 'plank' was individually laid.
It's really just strips of painted paper with a bit of watery PVA glue on top.