Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pencil toppers - 2nd batch

After much cutting away at my stash of felt I ended up with a load of these little felt pieces - ready to be turned into cupcake pencil toppers.

The quick tutorial for how to make these is over on the Whimsy love blog along with a lovely collection of mushroom, owl & acorn pencil toppers that I was also very tempted to have a go at.

After a bit of a sift through my craft stash I found a few pink/purple sequins to use as sprinkles (Sam calls my sequins "secrets" which is sweet but confusing...) and I made a start.

Because these cupcakes use 4 pieces of felt (unlike the cars I made which only use 2) they were a bit trickier to put together, I found trying to line up both sides of the cupcake a little tricky but after sewing together the first couple I got the hang of it.

All of my pencil toppers have been sewn by hand as I'm definitely not good enough with my sewing machine to trust trying to sew such small pieces of felt, so they have ended up looking a little bit more 'homemade' than the ones on the Whimsy love blog. 

I'm really pleased with these and all ready to get cracking on more party bag projects :-)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

August's decoration: Felt baubles & bells

These adorable felt decorations are so pretty that I really don't want to give them away. The pattern is from the Christmas 2011 issue of Mollie Makes and I kept as close to the colours they used as I could.

They are very simple to make - just two pieces of felt cut into a bell or bauble shape and decorated with chain stitch and 'lazy daisy' flowers. I embroidered both sides of my decorations which took a little extra time but I think it was well worth the effort.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Yummy mushrooms!

These little amigurumi Mario mushrooms (free pattern by Linda Potts) were made as a quick present for my husband. I've booked marked a whole ton of 'geeky' amigurumi patterns as they make such great gifts for him.

They are super quick to make and who doesn't need a "Super mushroom" or even an "Extra life mushroom" occasionally?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Party preparations

My little boy is not going to be little for much longer - in only a couple of months he will be a staggering 4 years old. Because we've kept his past Birthdays pretty low key so far we really wanted to hold a bit more of a party for him this year and invite some of the friends he has made in our new Northern home.

We've been lucky enough to be invited to quite a few toddler Birthday parties so I've got plenty of ideas for how I want to organise it including what sort of games to play (though based on my toddler party experience it may be tricky to get all the little ones joining in - any tips?).

I've also been thinking pretty hard about the party bags - I want to give everyone some lovely things but I don't want to spend a fortune... so I'm going to try and craft my way through most of the contents in the hopes of keeping costs down.

So I've got two months to try and craft the contents of about 17 toddler & baby party bags, to help me in my quest I found a really great post on the Crafty Crow blog which links to a great range of tutorials for making party gifts (party favour post). There are tons of ideas to explore but to start with I wanted to try and make some felt pencil toppers starting with these super cute felt cars from One Crafty Mumma.

Aren't these little cars adorable - I especially love their little button wheels :-)

Right I'm now off to start cutting out a stack of ice cream felt shapes for the next lot of pencil toppers...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

August's craft: Pyrography

Pyrography is simply put - wood burning. You can either use a specialist tool like the one in this photo or something similar like a soldering iron.

One of my recent Birthday presents was a book on pyrography and a wood burning pen - very exciting! So after raiding the garage for a spare bit of wood to practice making marks on, my mother in law and I had a go. We spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out which nibs to use first and after a bit of playing we both managed to produce a few different effects.

My first impressions were that it was much trickier than I had anticipated - the projects in my new pyrography book are all so beautifully produced that looking at my own scruffy efforts was a little disheartening. However, after a good nights sleep I decided to get back in and see what I could do second time around. Though I still found the pen hard to use (due to the tip needing to get very hot to use you have to hold the pen much further down - it's not at all like how you would use a normal ink pen) my second attempts were much, much better and I even had a go at a simple leaf design on a basic wood picture frame.

I now have a slightly burnt tea towel (I got impatient for the pen to cool down enough to change nibs and tried using a tea towel to do it while it was still hot - not a very smart idea) but I'm keen to do more and will now be actively looking for wooden things to decorate... hopefully I find some quick as I may have to resort to practicing on our furniture!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Fresh all year long

Crochet roses are becoming increasingly appealing to me. My own attempts at keeping houseplants going is usually a fight between over watering them and forgetting them completely until they are past saving... I have a new lily that I am worried about - it seems to be starting to die back and I think it too is going also end up in the green garden waste bin in the sky.

These crochet roses are super simple to make and are also slightly addictive. I started out trying to make a handful as a present for a grandma in hospital and I ended up with far more than I originally intended as I couldn't stop myself making 'just one' more to add to the bunch. The pattern is another freebie from the wonderful PlanetJune website ( June has even used this pattern to teach crochet to beginners so it is very simple - but gives such lovely results!

I've also crocheted up another quick pair of crochet rose hairslides - this time in a more traditional rose red colour. I love how old fashioned and delicate these turn out and if I was 20 years younger I would definitely be sporting a pair myself.

Now if I had more time for 'self' crochet then I would start making some crochet roses to decorate Tea Towers with - every time I visit the talented 'Mrs Twins' blog I admire her lovely birdcages decorated with crochet roses - so very pretty.

Do you have any favourite crochet flower patterns? If you do then please share - just because the weather is gloomy outside doesn't mean that we can't bring a bit of Summer into our homes!