Monday, 30 December 2013

Magic and Sparkle

Well it's all over again for another year, and while most of us who are well and with those we love enjoy the madness of Christmas. If like me , you have young children you may also be a little relieved when all the fuss is over.

Anyone who has read any of my blogs will know I have been bitten by the crafting bug recently. I have now several unfinished projects in needlepoint, sewing, aromatherapy, knitting and my newest and current favourite, needle felting. I am really enjoying all of these and of course crafting for me is the perfect way to avoid writing. Procrastination is something I know lots of creatives struggle with.

Enough of me. I wanted to share with you two fantastic projects that my sisters successfully completed this Christmas. The first is a beaten up and unloved gaudy doll's house lovingly restored to glory by my sister Lesley and given to my youngest daughters as a Christmas gift. They are delighted with it and have played with it every day.

This is Nancy and Florence opening it.

As you can see it has been beautifully and lovingly decorated throughout, even down to the curtains on the windows, all made from Lesley's old PJ's.

The front door has a a painted wreath and our family name, Scandinavian style. I love it

Linda has not been slacking either this festive period. She invited the family over on Christmas Eve for a lovely lunch of Fish Pie and divine salted caramel chocolate mousse. This alone was beautiful and delicious, but what got us all talking was her decor. As usual her home was warm and inviting with fresh seasonal flowers and greenery. Her tree was beautifully, stylishly trimmed. See the photos below.

The whole house looked gorgeous but the piece de resisistance is this 

This is her feature wall in her living room. Seriously, who paints their wall, no HAND paints their wall for Christmas? My sister that's who. Isn't it just divine? We were all gobsmacked,although I don't know why, she has always been super creative.

I am so proud of my amazing sisters and  I am resolving in 2014 to spend a lot more time with them.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Gift Bag Tutorial, Easy Peasy

Gift bags make wrapping easy, but  they can be pricey. I have started making some of my own from paper I already had at home, craft and scrap-booking paper, magazines and old books.
Here's how I did it. I opened up a paper bag that I had and used it as a template for my bags.

I put  this on top of the paper that I had cut, or suck together to make the right size. Then, using a ruler I folded the paper in line with all of  the folds in the template, pressing firmly to ensure a crisp edge.
My bags were made slightly taller than this template, and using the folds as a guide, this template could be used to make bags of almost any dimension.

Once the bag is folded then just tape or glue the bottom and sides to create your bag. The bottom can be tricky, but be patient, if you get lost just go back to your bag template and follow it. I reinforce the bottom with a rectangle of cardboard, either glued on the inside or outside. Depending on what you intend for the bag, you may wish to give it card sides or strips where you attach your handles.

This time my gifts were small and  not too heavy so I only reinforced the bottom.

When the bag is glued together you may want  to fold over the top to give  the handles a little more support. Hold the sides of your bag together and punch two holes close to the top edge and thread through a ribbon or twine as a closure. You can make two handles or a tie as I have done in this instance.

I made 5 bags to house small gifts for my work colleagues, I'm delighted with the finished item. Fun, festive, and completely unique.