Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Homemade Xmas door wreath x

I seem to have come over all Kirstie Allsopp this week and been making lots of crafty things. So I thought I'd share.

This has to be the loveliest and probably simple things to make and has a real impact on your front door. Having lived in a flat for the past 6 years I only had an internal door to decorate, however the wreath I made last year wouldn't withstand the weather so I decided to make one of my own for my new front door.

For a lovely wreath you will need the following:

  • a florists double wreath ring which costs about a pound
  • some ribbon I used red about 2" in width
  • some florists wire
  • a bag of fresh moss which I got from my florist for 50p for a big Tesco plastic bag full
  • cinnamon sticks
  • dried orange slices
  • fresh holly branches I got mine in the market for £2.50 with loads of berries
  • some pine twigs
  • thinner ribbon 
  • bells or other items to decorate

florist's wreath ring

a big bag of moss

wire, cinnamon sticks and orange slices

a big bunch of beautiful fresh greenery

So the first thing you need to do is moss up your ring. Take a big handful of moss and squish it into a lovely sausage shape, and yes you're going to get wet and dirty doing this. Place the moss sausage onto the outer rings and then wrap wire around it and the frame until it is safely secured. Keep doing this until your ring is completely mossed up. 

Next you want to get your fresh greenery and make little posies of the holly and conifer twigs. I made about 5 small posies. Wrap wire around the bottom of the stems and make sure you leave a long piece of wire for attaching to the moss.

Next take your posies and place them one at a time on your mossed wreath and choose where they will fit. Push the long piece of wire through the moss to the back and wrap this around to fix the posies to your wreath. Do this for all 5 posies.

N.B. I took loads of pictures to show how I did this on my phone but Picasa has lost all 1000 of my pictures and I cant figure out how to get them back so I'm sorry this is really wordy.

Once you have added the posies it is time to make the wreath your own. I chose some big bells, cinnamon sticks and oranges slices. I wrapped three cinnamon sticks with wire and added some thin red ribbon which I attached in the same way to fill any spaces. My oranges were already wired so I did the same. I made a little embellishment of the bells and cinnamon sticks and attached this at the top of the wreath.

To finish off I used a lovely sparkly ribbon which I tied into a big ribbon and wired through the back to attach to the wreath.

Finally I made a wire hanger from a long piece of florist's wire which I folded over end to end several times to make it stronger and then wrapped the ends around the wire ring.

Here may I present my Green and red wreath.

I hope you find a bit of time to make one of your own, it was great fun xx

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Christmas Club - 2 x

Wow it's time for another edition of Christmas club with the lovely Sian. Every Sunday until Xmas, we are joining in by telling tales of Xmas past and present, and maybe the future, who knows. So this week I hope you have been busily preparing for Xmas. I know I have. What with shopping, making, cooking and generally looking at pretty lights, it is certainly feeling alot like Christmas.

So strangely, today is all about Xmas making. I was having a chat with The Mother recently when we talked about childhood Xmases and I remembered all the things we used to make as children. I am sure if she looked hard enough in the loft, my mum could find the odd thing my sister and I had made to go on the Xmas tree or to hang on the wall.

One of my strongest memories is making paper lanterns at school. Such a simple crafting make, but full of fun and possibility. I remember them being hung in the classroom at Xmas times and then brought home to hang on the wall near the Xmas tree by my parents. I'm sure lil sis and I made them every year for many years and they always looked lovely made from shiny coloured paper and with gummed stickers in all different shapes to make them look like Xmas.

If you want to make some, and I can certainly recommend it,  here is a great post explaining how to make your own lanterns

The other thing we'd make at home was paper chains. Mum would buy a few packs in the local shops and lil sis and I would lick the glue part and stick them together until the floor was covered in linked chains of paper shininess. Dad would hang them up from each corner of the room ceiling and where they met he would hang the big paper decorations which came out every Xmas, and which sadly over the years fell apart and had to be replaced.

These days, there are templates for making chains of snowmen, angels and other amazing choices. What a fun activity to do when the children have finished school and you have a spare hour to sit and get them making.

Making is still going on in my house today, where the Xmas cake has been baked and frozen ready for decoration nearer the day, a Xmas wreath has been made and hung on the door, sewing of gingerbread men and crocheting of birds, and making of Xmas gift tags occurred. I suppose I will always be a maker. There might even be the odd handmade present under the tree.

However, you decorate this Xmas I hope your home is filled with beautiful colour and Xmas spirit.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

1 photo 20 words x

Today I am joing in with Abi's lovely, simple meme.

I love this picture because it says everything I want to say about my favourite parts of Xmas decorations.

Bring glitter and gold, baubles and beads, merriment, sparkle and cheer for Xmas the happiest time of the year, hurrah!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Christmas Club x

Ooops, she says with her head held in shame, I forgot to do my Christmas club entry for Sunday. In my defence, I was actually doing a Christmas activity to tell you about and better late than never.

Oh sorry, what is Christmas club I here you ask. Well, way back in a time when we bloggers were still in our infancy, the lovely Sian suggested the rather whimsical idea of sharing a Christmas story on the Sundays leading up to Christmas. This then turned into Storytelling Sunday. Alas Storytelling Sunday had to be archived but the Christmas club was reborn for 2014 and so those of us who enjoy a good tale will be telling of Christmases old and new over the coming Sundays. So shall we begin?

For me, Christmas, despite all the preparation and seeing decorations, receiving cards and even presents, doesn't begin to feel real until the Reindeer Parade.

What is the reindeer parade? It is an event organised by Wells Rotary club when Santa parades down the high street with his helpers and some rather beautiful real reindeer from the Scottish Highlands. On the first Sunday of December he flies in on his sledge and brings Christmas cheer to Wells and all the people from roundabouts. He also helps to raise money for our local air ambulance.

For me this has become a part of my Christmas celebrations for the last 6 years now and I so enjoy seeing the sights of all the children's faces full of wonder and excitement to see Santa and even more to see proper reindeer. It takes me right back to those childhood moments of going to see Santa and him asking what you would like for Christmas.

It also reminds me of the simplicity of Christmas, that it's not all about the mad present buying frenzy or the fear you'll offend someone by getting the wrong thing. Christmas is about the simple fact that one tiny baby was born who would ultimately alter our world forever. I am not asking you to believe the same as me, there are many different faiths in this world who believe different things.

The simple things I enjoy at Christmas include this very special event but also reindeer cos who doesn't love a reindeer?

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

It's a Christmas miracle - lol x

And by miracle I mean that yes I am actually writing a blog post after goodness knows how many months. But I do have several excuses. Want me to fill you in?................. Ok then, well for starters I had
Noah's flood  through my bedroom and then I got given notice at the flat so I had to move.

So Willow and I scoured the Estate agents trying to rapidly find a new home which is no mean feat when you are on Housing Benefit I can tell you. But luckily for us the House finding fairy worked overtime and we have moved here..........

Isnt it pretty? We now live in a small village 9 miles from the old place, we were very sad to leave but we have loads of fab memories and we hope to build a whole bunch of new ones now we are here.

The village is just far enough away from town to feel like you're in the country which you definately are. When I look out of my bedroom window I seem fields and hills. There are chickens across the road and when I go for a walk there are donkeys and miniature ponies up the road. It is truly lovely here.

the view from the churchyard 

Trying to actually live here was a struggle as I developed the worst laryngitis I have ever had and spent a month unable to speak, I mean seriously a month? But thankfully I can now speak exactly how I used to which means tons of chitchat.

Then Willow got assaulted by a badger, we think, and needed operations and stitches and trapping in doors, all in all traumatic for a cat who thrives on her independence.

Anyway we have now been here for 6 months, and just signed up for another six, and Christmas is upon us so that means Journal your Christmas 2014. I love this time of year and JYC is perfect for exploring your Christmas time and gaining new things too. So I am armed with my little notebook to write things down, my camera and my scrapbook supplies ready to document my Christmas 2014.

Speaking of scrapbooking a bunch of us crafters and bloggers all met up in September and had fun and frolics in Cirencester, you've probably alreay seen some pictures but I had a wonderful time and may do a little post about that of my own, I know late but better late than never.

One of the biggest changes for me this Christmas is that somehow after almost 49 years I met a boy. Well in all honesty he's a man cos he's older than me. We have a long distance relationship at the moment as he lives beside the seaside but as I love the sea I don't mind that. We walked along the coast in his town all summer and he is just the bees knees. Now that is my Christmas miracle if ever there was one.

So I hope you are enjoying the beginnings of the season and I look forward to having fun reading all the blogs I love and some new ones too. May I wish you all a Happy Christmas season and a lovely blogging time of the year.

Friday, 28 March 2014

The Awesome ladies project x

Last month my blogfriend Kirstin invited me to join a group called The Awesome Ladies Project on Facebook. The idea of this project is to encourage ladies to pledge 2 hours a month to a crafting project which makes them feel like an awesome lady.

So today I am making my first pledge to put those 2 hours aside. This will be happening on the last Friday of every month from now on.

The things that make me feel like an awesome lady a lot of the time are my friends and their love and support. I have been so lucky to find wonderful people to explore my life with and have learnt so much about being a good friend. One of the projects I am currently working on is something for a friend and doing that is making me feel amazing at the moment as it is a surprise for him and his team, but I will have put all my love and friendship into it when it gets sent across the pond. I can't share any pictures yet because if he comes on here and sees it'll spoil the surprise.

His friendship makes me feel awesome because we have never met but he accepts me for who I am and always inspires me to be a better person.

I hope some of my lovely readers will be able to see some of the work the group are creating and I promise to share my work really soon.

Just a little something which makes me feel awesome all the time - sunsets.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Golden wedding anniversary crafting - guest name cards x

Hello lovely readers, I am doing a final little post for my parent's anniversary party which was sadly 2 weeks ago now. Time flies by fast. My parents have been enjoying a second honeymoon in the Lake District courtesy of my sister and her partner. I received a postcard today saying they're having a wonderful time.

So onto those name cards. Well in actuality they were name stones. Do you remember the stone I painted with my One Little Word for 2014? Well I decided that for my parent's party, each guest would have something to take home with them.

I went off to Clevedon, my nearest stony beach, one Sunday and sadly the beach was closed because of the stormy weather we'd been having. However, over tea and cake and whilst chatting about books, a lovely local lady told me of a secret beach I could go to and collect my stones. Off I traipsed and collected 30 lovely big stones to take home.

Here is what I did.
First of all wash all your stones with warm soapy water and leave to dry. I then laid mine out onto a sheet of non-stick oven liner which I use for misting et cetera to dry.

Next you need to paint all your stones with 2 coats of gesso which is a primer and is available from most good craft shops and leave them to dry.

I then painted each stone with 2 coats of this specialist metallic paint which I bought from my local DIY shop in Wells. I used antique gold for this project. It also comes in silver. It was excellent paint as it washes off with warm soapy water so no need for extra paint cleaning substances and dried to a really good finish.


Leave your stones to dry and then they are ready to decorate

As I was not keen on painting all the stones with each persons name, I decided to cheat slightly and write on the stones with a permanent marker. I tried a Sharpie but it really did not work at all well so I used a basic felt tip pen which was perfect. And here are some of the finished stones.

And here is my name card along with a little bag of gold coloured sugared almonds and chocolate drops all ready for the party.

What might you decorate stones for?