December 22, 2011

Time to decorate at last!

I have been in Germany now for a week, armed with some left over felt, ribbon and beads...this is what I came up with:

This little snowball is made with coloured embroidery thread, felt, ribbon, sequins and some pinking shears.  I considered decorating the tree, but it didn't look as good as I wanted it to!

The heart was made with felt, ribbon, embroidery thread and beads. I had some cool snowflake sequins which formed the basis of this.  The edge was sewn using a whipped back stitch, so it followed the more Norweigen style.

So for the final tree, we got some wooden stars, fabric snowflakes and lights.  There are some more ornaments to come, and an angel I knocked up quickly which I haven't photographed yet!

Merry Christmas everyone!

R xxx

December 12, 2011

Where did the last few days go?

It feels completely alien that, for the last few days, I have been unable to post anything, craft anything or even set up my link party. The race to pack for Christmas, so I can go away, is well under way, combined with carol concerts, birthday, work and well....packing, packing, packing!

Sorry to anyone who came to link up today but couldn't, but I have been tearing around all evening, finishing final jobs etc.  I might be back up and running for next week.  I hope everyone's preparations are a bit calmer than mine. I am going to chill out and look around blog land for a bit.

On Thursday (right before I leave) I am going to attempt a chocolate salami. My final present, and perfect for a German couple (or so I think). If I haven't packed my camera, I will do a tutorial or something....

Happy holidays!

R xx

December 6, 2011

Christmas Link Party No.4

Please click on the link below to hot-foot it to my Christmas Link party.

Does anyone know how to reorder posts on a blog so I can escape having to write one of these?

R xxx

Apple Chutney Update

Well I finally got around to decorating my now matured, and very nice smelling Spiced Apple Chutney. Contrary to what my friends sad, the top is definitely an apple, not a tomato. The recipe is really nice and can be found on the internet.  For the original post, click here. 
Another job finished. Phew.
R xx

Lavendar Hearts - For the mums!

One of the hearts is for my boyf's mum as part of her Christmas package; the other is for my mum's birthday which is inconsiderately on the 28th December. They have been made lots on blog land, but here they are again. I got the lavendar from Amazon of all places.

You will need: patterned fabric (scraps will do), some ribbon, some buttons, needle and thread and lavendar.  I have no idea on quantities, but it's not very much!

Cut out a heart pattern on paper, pin to fabric (I folded mine into 4 to get the shapes all at one time). I placed the right sides of the fabric together, pinned, machine sewed fairly close to the edge. Leave a small-ish gap for stuffing.  When sewn turn around the right way.

Fill with Lavendar - I think a funnel would be hugely beneficial - needless to say I had a tea spoon and my fingers. 

Hand sew the gap with slip stitch. Place the ribbon on each side with a button in front. Sew through the buttons until secure. And that's it.

Well there you go! I will post an image of the whole present after next week, as half of it is in Germany - I need to finish wrapping it there.

Have a fun week!
R x

To Dad with love - IPoD/Phone/anything the right size cover!

I had a mega make (well for me over the weekend), but no time to upload.  It's very dark before and after work, so I am sorry about the quality of the photos....I will try and get some during daytime at the weekend.

This pattern came free from a newspaper in the UK.

For one you need:
35mm/50mm wide bias binding
22cm square of cotton (patterned or plain)
22cm square of batting (padding stuff!)
22cm square of brushed cotton (for the inside)
A toggle
A sewing machine
Pins etc.

1. Fold the square of cotton in half right sides together. Pin a 1cm seam down the open side and one end of the fabric, then machine sew.
2. Press the seams back and then iron a 2.5cm lip at the top. Turn the fabric the correct way around.
3. Iron a 2.5cm lip on either side of a 22cm length of bias binding, then iron it in half lengthways. Tack the binding, folded edge inwards to the top of the cotton, leaving 6mm above the top of the fabric (this is for the cord). The ends should line up with the sewn side.
4. Repeat step one with the batting and brushed cotton. These should be pinned together. Once you have ironed the lip, don't turn inside out. 
5. Put the inner section inside the cotton takes a bit of stuffing. the folded seam should be on the opposite sides.
6. Line up the edges and then tack through the bias binding to line up the insides.
7. Slip stitch the edges together going through the binding. Remove the tacking.
8. Thread the cord through the lip at the top: a safety pin can help. Attach the toggle.

I decorated mine with badges, but it could have anything on it. Imade a second one for my brother too.

I hope you like them!

R xx

December 5, 2011

Christmas Link Party No.4

Hi folks! 

I am pleased to host this week's link party and can't wait to see what you have been up to.  I HAVE made some stuff over the weekend, but work is piling up before the holidays and I haven't quite had the time to blog about it yet! Also, I have been making piles (just in case he is reading!) of stuff for the boyf' which I can't post because he checks in regularly (bless him,,,) Anyway...if you would like to link up all of your Christmas projects, including food and presents I would love to see them.

There are a couple of party rules:
1. No shop links please
2. Please visit some folks and show them some comment love
3. Link to my blog so people know where to admire your work.

4. If you want to follow me, so you can remember to come back again, it would make my day!

Check back later for my newest projects: IPOD carry cases, lavendar hearts and some dressed up Chutney jars. 

Merry Christmas  - R xx

November 27, 2011

My boyf's Christmas Stocking

It is a little bit girly...but I love it. I got the design from a book called: 'Christmas Crafting in No Time' by Clare Youngs.  I used a piece of robust felting sheet though as it needs to travel well.  I haven't done a full tutorial as there are already heaps out there.  Just sharing this time.  Your comments are very welcome.Message me if you want the ISBN of the book....

2.5 weeks until I fly...

R xxx


Christmas Crackers

I have finally managed to finish my Christmas Crackers. I finished all of the inside bits last week, but have been busy at work and therefore not crafting as much as I probably need to be to meet the deadline to be finished in 3 weeks!

Anyhow, I started to make the crackers using instructions from a book, but they didn't quite turn out as I wanted, so I decided to  tweak them a bit.

You need:
 - cracker snaps
 - 6 x 16cm x 28cm pieces of wrapping paper or thin wallpaper
 - 6 x cardboard tubes (I used toilet tubes) measuring 10cm
 - 2 x cardboard tubes measuring 6.5cm - these are used to shape the ends and then re-used.
 - double sided tape (6 x 27cm strips)
 - a piece of wool or string
 - a craft knife and scissors
 - ribbon or card-stock to decorate.
 - presents and jokes to put inside.

1. Put the 10cm tube in the centre and draw a small line at each end. Fold each end of the paper so there is a 5mm lip on the outside edge of it. ( I forgot to take a picture, but it's fairly logical!)

2. Make 5mm incisions along each folded edge of the cracker - this will help it fold in better later.

3. Put the paper face down and a strip of tape at one end. At the other place the centre piece of the cracker and the two end pieces, leaving a gap between the middle and the ends. 
4. Put the cracker snap and gifts inside the cracker.

5. Carefully roll the paper over the tubes and keep rolling until the double sided tape ends the roll.

6. Using the string, loop this around the part of the cracker with a space. Pull very gently to constrict the paper, making sure it is narrowed enough to stop the contents from falling out. Secure each end with ribbon. This bit can be fiddly and a bit frustrating!

7. Remove the two outer pieces of cardboard tubing.  Stick down each end of the cracker snap.

8. Decorate or personalise the crackers!

Ideas for inside the crackers: flower seeds, small pack of homemade meat rub, magnetic pegs, embroidered handkerchiefs, flavoured tea....whatever will make your guests smile.

I was a little bit glad to finish this project, mainly because I wasn't really in the mood to refine today...however I am glad they are finished. I just need to find a box to put them in so they don't get crushed travelling to Germany.  But as my boyf' said....they don't have crackers in Germany so it is highly unlikely his mum and dad will notice if they are a little bit bashed!

Another whole job finished - Hooray!

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving.

R xxx

Christmas Link Party No.3

You can find Christmas Link Party No.3 - on the Christmas Link tab at the top of the page. I am archiving the old ones as they are messing with the lay-out of my blog. (Read: I am not good enough at html to work out how to stop it!)
Thanks for everyone who linked up!

November 20, 2011

November 19, 2011

Pillow Progress - Personalising Christmas

I made these for my brother and his girlfriend who have just moved in together.  I followed the tutorial at CherryMenLove and was inspired by the typography amazingness going on at That's My Letter.  There were a lot of 'firsts' involved in the making of the pillows: my first time sewing independently on a machine, my first time with bondaweb and defintiely my first time designing something for someone else's taste.

Sorry there aren't pictures of the process, but I was concentrating!
1. I found a font on Microsoft Word I liked and made it an appropriate size. Having printed them off I used them as a template to cut out the same shape on bondaweb. I drew the outline of a camera and repeated the process.
2. I then ironed the shapes onto the red fabric, cut them out again and ironed them onto the centre of a square of fabric (for dimensions see the pillow tutorial). I then stiched around the shapes to secure. This was the longest part of the task.
3. I added embellisments in the forms of buttons, a felt flowers and ribbon to customise the pillows for my brother (a keen photographer) and his gorgeous girlfriend ( who likes a quirky/girly feel).
4. I then followed the cushion tutorial, making many mistakes along the way due to my illogical way of understanding instructions.  The tutorial is VERY clear. I have NO common sense.


As I was taking pictures, I remained amazed that I had managed to do it! I firmly believe, therefore, that anyone can...

So let me know if you do. And let me know what you think. 

R xxxx

P.S. Don't forget to check out my new Monday link up. All Christmas ideas, gifts, decoration, baking etc welcome.

November 15, 2011

Project Juggling

In the last week, life got in the way. However, I did get some some stuff started, and a couple of little bits finished. I guess one of the main things that distracted me was trying to make more blog pals, and researching methods of creating some of the ideas I have in my head in reality by trawling blogs for inspiration.  There is plenty out there...although now I have more ideas about what to make than time to make it all before Christmas!

I have started making my brother's and his girlfriend's present (customised cushion covers). Both of them are ridiculously cool (not even in direct comparison to me), so they need to be as well.  My Sunday adventures with Bondaweb, pattern cutting and hand applique was certainly a baptism of fire. A few more embellishments and I might be ready to machine sew the covers together. (Biting of fingernails).

So my aims for this week, inbetween grading 3 sets of papers, and writing reports are:
 - Embroider the handkerchief
 - Buy and package the meat rub (for Christmas Crackers - see below!)
 - Finish cushion covers
 - Do at least an hour of embroidery on the table runner I wished I hadn't started.

But I can only do this if I get on with my that is what I shall do. Lunch time is over.

If you haven't already...please consider linking to my new Christmas link up. I know there are loads of them out there - but it's such a lovely way to meet new bloggers and gain inspiration.


R xxxx

November 14, 2011

November 13, 2011

Magnetic Note Pegs

I've seen this idea on other blogs and decided it would make a cute little stocking or Christmas cracker filler.  The little gifts are really cost effective and took about 15 minutes to make two sets. You need: wooden pegs,magnet pieces, PVA glue, some scrapbook letters and some pretty paper/fabric/ribbon.  I found a great tutorial to show the process here. Thank you Homemade Gift Ideas and other bloggers for inspiring me.

The pegs for my cracker are in German because that is the nationality of the recipient. They mean the same thing: now, later, never...a cheeky way to categorise many things in my life - now (craft), Later (grading papers), never (ironing)! I wonder what your 'now, later and never' jobs are!


Right then, I am off to grade some papers, so that I can spend the afternoon getting my craft on.  I'd really appreciate your comments...

Rosie xxx

Don't forget to check out my new Christmas link party every Monday, right here!

November 12, 2011

New Christmas Link Party No.1

Find this link up in my archive here:

Christmas Link Party.No.1

There are beautiful things to look at!

R xx


I haven't done anything on my list for this week - whoops. Life in the way I guess. Maybe this weekend?

Fingers Crossed!

R x

November 8, 2011

Christmas Cracker Madness

It's been a really busy week in my little flat making my napkin rings. On Sunday I finally plucked up the courage to open the embroidery table-runner kit and start sewing. It is a simple design, but will just take quite a while due to the size of it.  I think this might be coming out whenever the TV goes on for the next couple of weeks. Humph.

My mini project of the week, while I wait for some supplies to arrive in the post is to start to make some of the cracker gifts that will eventually go inside my homemade Christmas crackers.  I am trying to customise or make existing objects in order to increase my chances of finishing. I'm not having Christmas at home, so I am making for my boyf's family who I haven't met very much. So I am braving new crafts and communicating in a language I don't understand.

My tasks for this week:
 - Order flower seeds and make a customised label (in German)
 - Embroider a handkerchief with the initials of his dad in a manly font!
 - Make some magnetic fridge pegs for his brother's girlfriend.
 - Try and think of something for his brother - I am very stuck. (I'm going to make a meat rub!)

Boyf's gift will need to wait until I have done some more sewing. (I've accidentally done this rather than the sewing) I won't be able to share it until after Crimbo though as he is an avid reader of my blog. 

I will definitely also be making my stocking template this week. I promise. (Tail between legs and humble face - soon)

Thanks for reading.

R x

November 6, 2011

Christmas Napkin Rings

I used the same principle as my flowered napkin rings, but instead used a star shape rather than flowers to make a motif that will fit with the table runner. Maybe now I just need to start the table runner....there's a lot of sewing to do....we'll see!

To make these sparklers, I used:

2 sheets of white felt (A4)
Silver sequins
Needle and Thread
Tacky glue
1 metre of silver and gold ribbon.
A star template scaled to match the ribbon width.

Step 1: I made the template on MS Word using Google shapes. This allowed me to make more than one and speed up the cutting out process. You need 8 star shapes.

Step 2: Sew beads or sequins into a design of your choice on 4 of the star pieces. This is the most time consuming part.

Step 3: Adjust the back. In this design the ribbon will be sandwiched between two star shapes.  To do this the back piece needs to have 2 points trimmed. I glued these to the reverse of the back piece with tacky glue to add stability to the points.

Step 4: I pinned the rings using the same method as with the flower napkin rings and then tacked along the edge to secure further.

Step 5: Using tacky glue, I secured the front and back pieces of the star together sandwiching the ribbon in between. I secured with the pegs* I am going to use to make some notice clips as cracker gifts. * mine left some peg marks on....maybe softer clips like paper clips would be better!

Step 6: Trim the remaining ribbon and neaten edges.

Ta dah!

I hope you like them.

R xx

Linking to:

Pretty Flower Napkin Rings

I completed my first set of napkin rings last night and they look really cute (well I think so!)

They are for my mum to use throughout the year. The next job will be to make to make the Christmas version to match the table runner that I finally opened yesterday.  There's quite a lot of sewing to be done. I hope I'm up to it!

To make these gorgeous little napkin rings I used:

4 sheets of pink felt (A4 paper sized)
1 metre of ribbon in a complimentary colour
A needle and thread
A glue gun
A toilet roll tube to shape the napkin rings
Some pins.

The tutorial for the flower was found at Emily's Little World blog.  I used felt and rather than glue the fabric I chose to hand sew it.  I did this by placing a cross stitch in the centre of each petal fold. I secured each one with a number of stitches.

For the napkin ring, I used ribbon. Although a I wanted something a bit more robust originally, when I tested the ribbon it looked very pretty and worked well in practice. 
 I measured it into 4 equal amounts and then pinned it around a toilet tube leaving a small amount to become the leaf.  I used a little bit of hot glue to secure the loop before hand sewing the ribbon together. 

Whilst doing this I noticed the ribbon was a bit allergic to glue, so I sewed a disc of felt to the join onto which I would glue my flower.

I then folded back the remaining ribbon to make a looped 'leaf' and stiched it into place. 

After sticking the flowers on with the hot glue and pressing down vigourously - I was left with 4 lovely napkin rings. 

I hope you like them!

R xx

I am linking to: Sunday Scoop, Making the World Cuter, Flamingo Toes

November 2, 2011

Project Christmas Mum

So....this week (or what is left of it) is all about sorting out my mum's Christmas present, and shopping for fabric (something I haven't done without my mum's help ever).

I will be with some luck:
 - designing and making 2 sets of napkin rings (felt)
 - starting to embroider a table runner (I found an amazing kit in Germany. As I am learning all of the stiches from scratch, I decided I could be allowed a template) (Well I've started! It's going to take Ages)
 - buying fabric, ribbon, zips etc for customised cushion covers
 - making a Christmas stocking pattern, or finding one
 - Investigating dried lavender

I don't own a sewing machine yet...I should be borrowing one until I can decide whether or not machine sewing is my thing. Therefore, each project might be quite slow moving. I will keep the site updated with progress though.

It's been really nice to see people visiting from all over the world. I would love to hear your comments on the few little bits I have done.  Or advice on my weekly projects.

Well, off to work now.

R xx

October 31, 2011

Some new features

I have played around with the website the expense of any useful jobs or infact craft. Whoops! Dead pleased with it though and my new button grab. If you have a blog, please link to me. Pretty please?!

R x

October 29, 2011

Well....I've done some more shopping!

Having been in Germany all week, enjoying the sunshine and a well earned rest....

(Pretty huh?!)....I have managed to buy craft supplies, but have not been home for enough time to make anything! So I now have a Christmas table cloth embroidery kit (for my mum...I think)...some large felt pieces, a German baking book and some new craft ideas. Here in Trier, there is an epic craft shop (4 floors) which I have wandered around twice now too mesmerised to buy much, although I fancy the cake and biscuit moulds.
Off to the supermarkt today to pick up some of the spices and baking agents that they like to use...and there is possibly some mosaic making to do this afternoon courtesy of a little Hobbycraft kit shipped in from the UK.

Can't wait to be back over at Christmas having finished all of my enjoy the Christmas markets and some Gluhwein.

R x

October 18, 2011

Project 1: Advent Calendar finished!

You will have to imagine it tied up on the ribbon, but here it is:

To complete this project I used: 4 sheets of felt (2 red, 2 white), 4 embroidery silks, 24 mini pegs (painted gold with nail varnish on one side), one sheet of card, a gold pen, needles, pins, some treats and 1 metre of Christmas ribbon.  I embroidered the crosses (1 for each day) onto the shapes and then used blanket stitch around the edge. When I had filled them, I then pegged them to the ribbon. I am really happy!

R x

Scuppered by a lack of glue dots!

After a LONG day at work yesterday, I went to make my cards (using a very crafty cheat of an actual card pack) - I realised I didn't have the right sort of glue because it needs to be a kind of 3d effect on each one and needs those raised glue strip/dot/things.  I was somewhat gutted to find this out as after the success of the weekend, I am really keen to dash onto the next project.  The box claims to have 'everything' you need to make 12 cards - it didn't as there is no adhesive - and it fails to say what else you might need. I feel they might learn significantly from the El Paso dinner kits. All will be forgiven though, providing I can make the necessary purchase before Friday.

Now, I have the interesting conundrum of whether or not I will find time to go to the crafting shop, or any shop after work this week and before I go on holiday next week.  Does anyone know of a free, rapid craft delivery service? I would be very interested.

R x

October 16, 2011

The result of my sewing....full project details will remain secret as it's a present!

I cut out a lot of shapes using a pattern. It took aboutan hour in total (this is half the quantity). I used 2 sheets of felt for 12 shapes.

 This was my first attempt. Each shape will be embroidered and then blanket stitched to hold together. I learnt how to do this stitch by googling it and watching a YouTube video.

And then with quite a lot of TV to watch on a Saturday night...and a bit of effort throughout the week with the embroidery - I have finished the sewing part.

Next I need some cardboard...

R x


I found the following recipe for Spiced Apple Chutney on the BBC food website. It is now resting in a darkened cooled room ready to mature for Christmas. The overall smell while cooking wasn't that pleasant...I was concerned about the quanitity of vinegar.  You do need to keep an eye on it though. I cooked mine on a very low heat for longer than they recommended to minimise the liquid content. It will burn quite easily during the later stages....although mine didn't.

I was completely new to chutney making, so had to look up how to sterilise the jars.  I first washed them with soapy water, then boiled them in a saucepan for 10 minutes before drying in a hot oven. I warmed the jars before adding the chutney so they wouldn't break.  It already tastes pretty nice. 

While it is maturing, I will be making some lid covers with apples on them and finding some Christmas ribbon to add to the overall present effect. I think I will give it as a gift with some cheese and possibly a cheese knife, either in a handmade bag or box.

Updates when that is finished!

R xxx