25 Crafts of Christmas – Day 13

We’re halfway through!  Well, if I stick to 25 that is.

Day 13 turned out absolutely adorable and I think it’s one of my favourites so far.  I had this picture in my craft folder…


Because I’m me, I didn’t go looking for the source and a pattern and a tutorial or anything, although I’m sure there is one.  I decided to wing it.  I drew out a quick pattern..


….and cut out the pieces, with a little extra height on the bottom two pieces for sewing, and an added trunk.


And then away I went.


I was a little worried about the face, cos I always seem to mess those up, but it came up really well.


I added another round of tinsel too.


After that it was supposed to have been finished, but because the back of my pieces are always really messy, I decided to add a back to it.

I looked up a quick refresher of blanket stitch on YouTube, since it’s one I’m not all that experienced with.  I did the blanket stitch in white, so it looked a little like snow.  Then I got this far…


…and decided it needing a little bit of stuffing.  There are two extra pieces of red on his face in that picture – I panicked when I saw them but they’re just bits of fluff.

Here’s the finished piece, complete with stuffing.


Isn’t it adorable?  Little felties are something I started doing a few years ago, but I struggled with the blanket stitch and stopped.  I found this relatively simple though, so there may be more in the future.



25 Crafts of Christmas – Day 12

I suffer from a condition known in the crafting communities as Startitis.  There are people in the world who will finish one project before they start another.  And then there are some who will get distracted and start a new project, and then a new project, and then a new project.  People like me.

Sometimes I get so distracted that it takes me a while to go back to a project and finish it.  I started this sequin ornament way back in December 2011.  I also stopped working on it way back in December 2011.


So yeah, it’s taken me a while to get back to it.


It took me two thirds of Forrest Gump, but I’ve finished it.


It was really hard getting myself to stop actually.  There was always another tiny piece of polystyrene that needed covering up.  Teeny tiny specks.  But I enjoyed doing it.  It was soothing.  And I kept thinking of other ways to lay the sequins, or patterns that I could make.  I expect that in the New Year I’ll get some supplies and do some more.

25 Crafts of Christmas – Day 11

Day 11 revisits my new interest in pens: specifically dip pens and writing with paint.  I’ve been meaning to see if using acrylic paint as an ink is as successful as using watercolours – as I wrote about in that post.

I picked a nice bright Christmas red, and got started.  I had a couple of false starts while I tried to work out the right consistency..


…but I got there in the end.


After that I got to doodling.


I still need to work on the amount of ink/paint I’m loading on to the nib – you can see a few blobs here and there.  I plan on redoing that gift Zentangle next year, to see how my skills have improved.

25 Crafts of Christmas – Day 10

Day 10 is an old traditional favourite… paper snowflakes!

Now, I used to do them like this.  I’d take a square of paper, and fold it in half diagonally over and over again until it looked like this, drawing a curve to make a rounded snowflake.


I’d draw on a pattern at random…


…and then cut it out.


At which point I’d be vaguely cheery until I saw some of the fancier ones online.  This year I did some research!  First of all, I’ve been folding the paper all wrong.  This video shows you how you’re meant to do it:

So I made one, to keep as a template for next year, and a whole bunch to play with today.


Now, I’ve collected a LOT of snowflake designs in the past, and I plan on getting round to all of them eventually.  But I started with the three designs posted in the middle of the tutorial video.


My folding isn’t particularly precise, and I was using the worst pair of scissors I own, but don’t they look fab?


After that I took a picture I’d found on Twitter…


..zoomed in and figured out the patterns.


They don’t look like the originals, cos I didn’t have all the angles and things right, but they do look good.

The last two I improvised, and they’re definitely better than my old style.


The one on the left especially points out the failings of my foldings.  The centre is all squiffy.  I need to work on my precision.

There are seven hundred bajillion thousand snowflake designs online if you know what to search for and where to look.  I have a good percentage of those sitting in my ideas folder, so I’m fairly sure there’ll be more paper snowflakes this year 🙂

25 Days of Christmas – Day 8

Day 8 is a nice quick simple one.  Well, a simple blog.  The process itself is a little harder.  I made a Christmas notebook using coptic stitch binding.

Step 1:  Gather your supplies.


There are two cover pieces, with holes punched.  And there are 7 signatures, of three folded pieces of paper each, also with holes punched.  Also included are string, beeswax for the string, and a curved needle.

For the method, I used the same tutorial I used when I made this notebook.

Et voila!


Stay tuned for Day 9, which brings us back on track 🙂

25 Crafts of Christmas – Day 7

Day 7 was, apart from being 2 days ago, a failure.  But it was an interesting experiment in a craft I don’t have a lot of experience with.  Once upon a time I was intrigued by chainmail and I made this very badly photographed bracelet.


That was back in 2010.  Since then an interest in chainmail has continued, but I’ve never really gotten around to working on it.  Then, when searching through my ideas folder for this 25 Crafts of Christmas thing, I found this picture and an attached scan from “Step By Step Wire Jewelry, Winter 2010” (The pattern was designed by Shelley Hubbs who has a website at Metaldesignz.com).


I thought, well they look fairly simple.  I could make those.  So I looked at the pattern, made a note of what rings I needed, and had a look on eBay.  The actual sizes required were 2.4mm and 4mm rings, which seemed VERY small to me.  So I tried to maintain the ratio and scale up.

Which brings us up to December.  I gathered my supplies…


…and started off reasonably well.


At this point I realised that all the smaller rings needed to be closed, and in coloured pairs.  So I spent a good hour doing that, and getting a small sore on the end of one finger as a result.  But I had lots of pairs.


And then I continued.  I still had two rows to go when I realised that it wasn’t quite working..  Here’s where I stopped.


With context, you can see that it’s meant to be a Christmas tree, but there are a few problems.

The ring size ratio is off – I really should have gone with the original sizes.  The green rings that I bought are way too soft – I didn’t even need pliers to manipulate them.  The multi-coloured rings I bought, from a different eBay seller – are all slightly different sizes, and different finishes.

Being unhappy with your materials is a surefire way to be unhappy with your finished product, so I stopped there and called it an experiment.  In the New Year, when my finances have recovered a little from the holidays, I’ll get some rings from an online beading shop that my friend Cayden uses, and I’ll get the proper sizes, and I’ll have another go.