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back from busyness

Hello lovely friends!  Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted. During the last couple of weeks of school, I was pretty unwell, and just couldn’t cope with doing anything beyond work. Then life got busy and Christmas happened…  But I’m back.

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I hope you all had wonderful Christmases – ours was great. A little quiet, but nice and relaxed. We were at home alone for the first time ever, which was strange, but a good chance to just think about what Christmas really means to us. Now all the family are gone, and it’s time to get back to normal life.

And…  I’ve been being creative again. I’ve started (and completed) a fair few little projects since the start of the holidays, and I’m hoping to get even more done. What that means is I’ve got lots of blogs to write in the next few weeks.  I’ve also been planning things to do with the blog moving forward!

Here’s a few projects I’ve written about earlier that are are now done. My wreath went up on the door just before Christmas and it looks great. As I mentioned before, at first I was VERY unhappy with the bow on it, but on the door, it just works. I don’t think it would be enough without the bow.
DSC_5006.NEFAnd finally, after three years of work, my advent calendar went up on the wall. I’m not particularly happy with how its hung, but it’s up, and we got to enjoy lovely little chocolates out of it for 13 of the advent days. I think I might, sometime in the future, take the little characters off and sew them onto a large felt Christmas tree as ornaments. I’ve really only tacked them on for now. But it’s still up and it held chocolate for us – success!

DSC_5009.NEFDSC_5011.NEFThat’s all for now…  Stay tuned for some new and exciting blog ideas. They’ll be starting to come your way in the next 48 hours.

-Jamie

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gift tags

Sorry for the hiatus – we’ve been poorly in our house, so I’ve been ignoring the crafting!

This is a craft that I’ve done for the last few years. Not exactly the same, but similar. I had the idea a few years ago when I had some random vellum lying around. I got a gold paint pen and went with it. The back needed some colour, and black seemed to work well.

I started with vellum, black paper, spray glue, gold pens, a punch and some coloured raffia.

SuppliesThe easiest way to do the design is random swirls. I always start with the thicker gold pen, then move on to the thinner one. As you can see from the pics, my pens are looking a little worse for the wear.

TaggingAfter that, I spray glued the vellum onto some black paper (not card stock – my punch could hardly handle this). The punch was so heavy to use that I had to get the hubby to help me. Unfortunately, his added strength only caused the table to crack.  OOPS! Good thing it’s only a cheapy Ikea table.

Stack of TagsAnyway   , I punched a hole in each and strung the raffia through. Easy!

When I write on them, I must remember to write in gel pen, not the paint pens – too thick!

So there you go – quick gift tags! I’ll have to come up with a new and different idea for next year.

Tags DoneAnd by the way, the advent calendar is done (only a few days late) – just waiting for the hubby to put it up so I can take pics!

-Jamie

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christmas is coming

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I love Christmas!  Like love, love, love it.  Christmas is absolutely my favourite time of the year and I get all excited about it every year. This weekend was finally time that I was allowed to put up my Christmas decorations, and my house looks great!

DSC_4883This is my tree – every year we buy a real tree. I think that, growing up in the middle of nowhere, Canada, always having a real tree, it’s just something that makes it feel like Christmas. Unfortunately for my poor husband, my tree philosophy is: the bigger, the prettier! The tree, before trimmed, was as tall as our living room, which has a fairly high ceiling. And then we discovered that the trunk was to big for our tree stand. We ended up breaking it – oops! Emergency trip out to get another (nicer) one! And then I got to decorate it.  I love that part! I’m guessing that someday, when we have kids, I’ll have to share that pleasure, so I’ll enjoy it for now.

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DSC_4894This year, the decorating was made even better by a lovely glass of hot apple cider (a non-alcoholic alternative to mulled wine) and two new CD’s. I was SO excited to be able to get these, and I can HIGHLY recommend them to anyone who wants some chilled Christmas music. The Michael Buble one is a bit more upbeat throughout, but both are lovely and calm and fantastic!

MusicI think that’s it for today! Hope you’re all enjoying getting ready for Christmas as much as I am!

-Jamie

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noel

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You may remember that simple little sign from my last post. I confess, when I bought it, I had no idea what I could do with it. I found it on sale at the end of the Christmas season last year. It was just white, wooden letters. The ideas just kind of evolved as I looked at it and thought about it more. You see, I love Christmas and love French, so it was a great match – just a little boring!

I finally decided what to do with it when I realised that every time I saw the letters I started singing the Christmas carol ‘The First Noel…’ So i decided a music theme was perfect.

I found this great looking off white music decoupage paper on ebay and ordered it straight away.  Big problem, though…  It came and it was crisp, snowy white. Not off-white or beige, like the photo led me to believe. The white just wasn’t going to work, so the first order was changing the colour of the paper. I used the primary school soak-it-in-tea trick. My test patch looked great, so I dipped the whole paper in and left it hanging to dry overnight. Amazing what a little tea will do!

Prep 1
While I was waiting for the paper to dry, I decided that I only wanted the music notes on the front, so I needed to do something else with the sides. The white just wasn’t going to go. In my oldie paint supplies, I found a gloopy, hard tube of a very nice dark gold colour. In hind-sight, I probably should have just bought another one, but four coats later, they look alright.
When the paper was completely dry, I tore it into little pieces and began mod-podging them onto the letters, making sure to cover them completely and have some overlap.

Prep 2My husband then trimmed the excess paper (something about me and sharp knives…), and I sanded the edges to get them nice and smooth. One final coat of mod-podge, and voilà! Huge improvement, I think!

DSC_4875I still may end up adding a few extra layers of mod-podge so that I can then sand them smooth, but for now, they can be enjoyed.  When I’m allowed to put christmas decorations up, that is!

-Jamie

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potential

One of the things that I love most about crafting and creating is seeing the potential. I love to look at something plain, or everyday, and think about what it could become with a little love and time. For me, this sometimes means collecting things around the house, and sometimes it means buying cheap and boring things, with ideas of how to make them beautiful.

With that in mind, here are the things that I am thinking of… I’m not giving any hints about the end products, yet.  And I still have more coffee cans to collect, anyway!

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If you look at my Pinterest page (www.pinterest.com/bluedaisyz83), you’ll see that I say I’ve got many started projects. This is what I mean – there’s always something on the go, even if it’s not going to happen anytime soon. Hope you enjoy imagining what I’ll do with these projects, just like I enjoy thinking them up!

-Jamie

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quickie christmas wreath

So despite the fact that my husband says it’s too early to put the decorations up, I just finished a quick project – a Christmas Wreath.  I had bought all of the supplies after Christmas last year (with the exception of the pine cones), and just needed to put them together.

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It really was a quick project – only took me about an hour, including time to take pictures.

DSC_4784I started by laying the baubles (Christmas balls for you North Americans) along the wreath, thinking about which would look good grouped and where I wanted some separate. I used the hot glue gun to attach these, making sure to leave some space between them.

DSC_4788Then I laid out some of the nicer pine cones (the ones I bought weren’t great). I glued these on as well, making sure I kept the broken bits down.

Finally, I twisted the mini lights around, securing them with a thread or two to keep them on. It was actually pretty hard to make sure the lights were facing out.

I added a bow at the end, although I’m not sure if I like the bow in the end. I tied it in two pieces, one for the loops of the bow and tails, and the other going around the middle. I glued it on, and then glued the tail in a couple of places to make it lay how I wanted it too.  Who knows, though. The bow may just come off.

DSC_4802Anyway, that’s it. A quick Christmas wreath.  Now I just have to figure out how to hang it.  And how to convince the husband that it’s time to put it up!

-Jamie

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three years to christmas

So part of the reason I decided to start blogging about my creating is that it might (hopefully) make me take more time to make things. I love doing it, but so often just don’t find the time. Case in point – my advent calendar.

I’ve been working on this advent calendar for three years now. Realistically, that means that every october or November, I get it out, try frantically to work on it for a few weeks, then give up when I realise it’s not going to be done by December 1.  Not this year! Finally, I can say it’s nearly done.  I’ve been working hard at it, so now all I have to do is hang the pieces somehow.

The calendar is made of 24 separate pockets, each of which I have hand-stitched PAINSTAKINGLY! Although there are four of each character, each one is somehow unique to the others (and I don’t just mean the number). I am envisioning hanging them along the ribbon that I’ve used at the top of them, but am open to other suggestions, because I’m not 100% sold on that.

DSC_4645The first of the pockets are snowmen, made of white felt, with felt eyes and mouth and a stitched nose, because I couldn’t find an orange felt that I liked. They were nice and easy to make different from each other, because I just had to change the mouths and noses. I thought of adding a top hat, but it just seemed a but much. These were the reason that I ended up stitching the numbers in red – otherwise they would have been invisible.

DSC_4630Next are the Christmas Puddings – very British! I love the way these turned out, because of the holly leaves and berries. They were a bit tricky to sew, simply because of the thickness of the four or five layers of felt. But don’t they look great? It’s funny – I would have never dreamed that was what a Christmas pudding cartoon would look like, but in the end, they’re nice and Christmas-y regardless.DSC_4637

After that are the Penguins – I couldn’t believe how cute they turned out to be. I wasn’t sure about them in the beginning, but now they’re my favourite.  They have, however, highlighted the importance of using a fabric pen.I used a purple pen to mark them out, and now around the edge of the white, there is purpling on one of them.  Annoying, but not so bad that I can be bothered to redo it – yet.

DSC_4639The snowflakes are the last shape that I decided on, and the last that I sewed. These were the easiest to cut out, because instead of making and using templates like the other shapes, I went old-school! I cut out a circle, folded it and cut a snowflake, like we all did when we were kids. In the process of trying to make them really different one to another, there is only one of these snowflakes that I really like.  But I’ll never tell!

DSC_4631The robins were the first shape that I came up with, and I still think they’re pretty darn cute! My original idea was just to have robins, but that would have been too much of one thing! The eyes ended up going a bit crazy, and the wings should have all been out, but I still think they’re great!

DSC_4622Finally, the poinsettias…

I love a  poinsettia at Christmas, and thought it would look nice against a green background (like leaves). I almost did them all red, but like the difference the white gives. They were a bit tricky to sew again, with the thickness, but I managed in the end!

Anyways, almost done!  If anyone wants templates or more details on how I made them, leave a comment – I’m happy to share or do another blog on how I made them. I would have taken more pictures along the way, but wasn’t blogging at the time.  Please also share any brilliant ideas on how to hang these effectively.  I’m just not sure!

And I’ll put up another picture when it’s all done and beautiful and full of delicious chocolate!

– Jamie

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