Simple Christmas: Here Comes Santa Claus, Here Comes Santa Claus

christmas craftingIt’s the 1st of November! and while most are nursing a Halloween hangover I am thinking of Christmas** I normally start planning Christmas a lot earlier then November but having a lot on my plate recently it has fallen by the wayside. I am expecting Christmas to be a very, very lean one this year so it is even more important that I save money for presents and partying by been thrifty and frugal in things that I can make and do myself. I would love to have a decorated living room for me and Harry to enjoy the holidays in but since this is our first year in our own house we don’t have any decorations! So….. I am of course going to make them all. Last year I did a series of Christmas Crafts you can easily make at home called Simple Christmas and this year I shall continue it with all the homemade decorations I create myself. So to kick things off here are the DIYs from last year for you to make. Just click the picture and it will take you to the tutorial!

crackers about crackers

recycled yoghurt lid ornament

recycled paper christmas tree

Wreath

Happy Crafting and I will be back soon with some new DIY crafts for Christmas

Lorna

X xxx

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Shop News: Bottle Carriers

4 pack blue bottle top

Happy Monday every body and what a monday its been. Work at 6 this morning, finished at 9, did the food shop, put away the washing, put more laundary on, general tidy round, cut out pieces ready for sewing some new cool bags and aprons, cheese toasty in hand, writing this short post and it’s only just past 12 o’clock yet.phew! I think it must be one of the first good Monday feelings i’ve had in a while and i might just be because i love my new range of items i’ve been making for the shop. Bottle Carriers.

                                               black full

Made from Maker’s Meadow staple material malt sacks from Geeves Brewery, the bottle carriers came to me like a stroke of genius, even if i do say so myself. The boys at the Brewery have recently started bottling their wares and it seemed like a bottle carrier made from the malt sacks whose previous contents where used to make the bottled beet would be a perfect partner to a few of their tipples. The malt bags are sewn into a circular holder containing 6 or 4 pockets one for each beer. The sacking is super strong, so there is no chance of rips or tears, and the cotton handles make a comfortable strap to carry but are triple stitched to add further security to the holder. Nothing worse then precious beer being spilled.green geeves

We think they make a great present for beer lovers, just add a few of their favourite bevvy’s and you’ve got a ready made gift. If you want to try some of Geeves brewery new beers they are now being stocked online at Best of British Beer & Barley Hops. If your in South/West Yorkshire they are also avaliable at Beer Huis, Ossett,  Yorkshire Ales, Snaith and Blacker Hall Farm, Wakefield as well as many pubs we supply cask to as well. All the bottle carriers are now avaliable online on our Etsy or Folksy Shops and more colours will be avaliable soon.

Any beer fans in the readership today?

Lorna

X xxx

Folksy Friday: New Start

The new year has always been a time for new starts, getting organised and a feeling of fresh chances. Today’s Folksy Friday is dedicated to some wonderful stationary and calendars to get you ready for the coming year and help you make sure you stay organised. After the spendathon that is December people often cut back in January and buy only what they need. I have included a few art pieces because i think that beautiful work can also be a necessity especially in the dark winter months. Art doesn’t have to be expensive nor do you need a PHD in Modern Art to enjoy it , If you love a piece then that’s all that matters.

New StartOut of this beautiful collection my picks for the week are the flower stem holder from Ikebana Pots, a simple design that can show off the best of flowers without any arranging, perfect to brighten up a winters day. Secondly, I am a big fan of Pebbleandbee whose beautiful ink and watercolour designs, including the tree calendar above, have warming tones and the feel of nature. Wonderful little shop. To back up my theory that beautiful art doesn’t have to be expensive, i choose Lucy Reynolds Parrot Giclee Print which is bright, fun and imaginative and at £9 is an absolute bargain for a unique cheerful piece.

What cheers you up on a gloomy January day?

Lorna

x xxx

Everyday Etsy: Cheap and Cheerful Christmas

It might be a little bit late to order these beauty off Etsy but its always nice to have a little browse to get you in the Christmas spirit. However, it might be the perfect opportunity to find something you love for next year as its likely people will start dropping their prices once Christmas is over. I usually go for classic golds, reds and green but i thought i would have a look at some more colourful and quirky decorations to see if an alternative look to the classic Christmas style would go down. Its fair to say i’m loving it.
cheap and cheerful christmas

Firstly, a crazy card to send your loved ones. The creeper card from LittleSketchyCards would be great for the gamer in your life but for me he looks more like a funky robot! I absolutely love HetBovenhuis colourful felt wreath, it would really brighten up a space and still have a Christmas vibe with the snowflake details. Please buy me this though. CadaverCarnival ‘s Angry greed Christmas ornament is crazy, creepy but really cool. For me it reminds me of an evil brussel sprout (see this post) but i bet i could find a place on my tree for it :D For links to the rest of these fun and bright items check out my treasury Cheap and Cheerful Christmas

Merry Cheerful Christmas!

Lorna

X xxx

15 Uses: Christmas Cards

This 15 uses has a distinctively Christmas theme, using old Christmas Greetings cards to make decorations and presents for your house, friends and family. Christmas is often a expensive time and a time when a great amount of waste happens. You don’t have to live in darkness and be a miser just for the sake of the planet and your pockets however. These simple creations made from paper and card that would have been thrown away can now be put to good use, helping you count the pennies this year along the way and do a little bit for your eco credentials. It is also a great way to keep those special cards from loved ones without it feeling like your hording, you can display them for a lifetime without cluttering up draws.room decorations made from recycled christmas cards

5 Decorations for Around the Home.

1. Simple paper/card bunting from Christmas cards creates a new look other then your traditional paper chains, although they would also be easy to make with old cards.

2. Cards in similar colours can make lovely free standing trees for any tables left bare, especially great to add a little festive cheer to bedrooms which are often overlooked when it comes to Christmas decorations.

3. This is a really refreshing wreath, made by cutting and gluing lots of leaf shapes together. The different colours of the cards really make it stand out but the leaf shapes bring the traditional look in.

4. A free standing snow man made from lots of half snowman shapes glued together to make a 3D version. Make sure each section is fairly thick, adding more cards to make it sturdy.

5. Another wreath but much quicker to make. Cut out full characters from cards and glue them to a wreath form made of cardboard. Attach a ribbon and you have a decoration perfect for anywhere in the house

I have my own versions of free standing paper tree and a traditional wreath tutorial

recycled greetings cards ornaments 5 Christmas Card Ornaments

1. Create this ornament like the snow man, adding lots of cut out house shapes together. Thread or glue a piece of thread from bottom to top, adding decorative beads and top and bottom, tie in a loop and hang for all to see.

2. Go green further by recycling old food jar lids as well. Attach wire or thread to the top of the lid with glue and add a Christmas card image to the center. Use the Lid as a template to draw around your imagine then cut out on the inside of the circle so the image is slightly smaller then the lid and can slot in. Glue in place. Check out my tutorial for using yogurt lids in this way

3. Create sweetie holders by rolling a triangle of card into a cone, glue or tape in place. Add a hanging ribbon by punching too holes in either side of the cone and treading ribbon through and knotting. Glue a cut out image from a card and you have a beautiful ornament with added treats.

4. Simple card circles, folded in half , then  glued to 5 others can create a simple but colourful hanging bauble when some ribbon is added to the top.  Use a length of string or ribbon to attach several and make a festive garland for the tree or across a doorway.

5. Make these cute little houses for another decoration that has a hidden surprise. Simply constructed you need card in these shapes: 1 rectangle for the base, 2 squares for the sides, the front and back made from a piece that is a square (same size as the sides) and a triangle at the top, lastly 2 rectangles for the slanted roof. Add tabs into the design of the shapes so you can easily glue it together. Make sure you add any treats into the top before putting the roof on. String wire through the top of the roof to hand on the tree or leave it underneath to open on Christmas day. Perfect for wrapping those really small presents like jewellery.presents recycled from christmas cards

5 Gift ideas from Christmas Cards

1. Make some Christmas coasters and place mats for the big week by glue squares of cards onto cork mats. Be as wacky or as subtle as you like when it comes to colours. Add a lick of varnish when the glue has dried to protect your mats for years to come.

2. I bet many of the thrifty people reading this have made lots of lovely treats for friends and family that fall into the gift in a jar section. Don’t waste more paper and ink by printing out labels. Use cards to ring through the festive delights inside, especially if its got a Christmas theme like cookie dough mix or mincemeat.

3. Give a small child a simple memory game for Christmas by cutting up a large card into equal squares. They can play it inbetween the lull of opening presents and stuffing your face.

4. Got a bottle of something special for the wine lover in your life. Add a beautiful gift tag made from sturdy card folded in half, with a hole through one side and part of a greetings card glued to the other.

5. Use some of the beautiful poetry on a card to make a bookmark for the book worm of the group. This example has a blanket stitched edge to make a nice finishing touch and a neater look

Only a few more sleeps to go :D

Lorna

X xxx

 

A Simple Christmas: Crafty Crackers

christmas craftingOne of my favourite traditions at Christmas is pulling crackers as we sit down to our feast. I love the naft jokes and the sometimes nice mini presents, and i also love that every one in my family wears the paper party hats all the way through dinner. They are really really expensive though even when they only contain a novelty moustache comb or a pair of lips. If you make your own you can personalise them or at the very least put something inside a bit more interesting then another pair of toe nail clippers.  I used sweets for the practice one i did but you can use anything you want as long as it fits in the cracker of course. There are two types i’ve shown below, one with a few more steps then the other but still very easy)

You will need: Toilet rolls, ( 1 for the first type, 2 for the second, glue/double sided sticky tape, cellotape wrapping paper(for each cracker you want a piece that will wrap fully round the toilet roll and a bit longer then a A4 sheet of paper), gifts/sweets, terrible jokes, ribbon.

crackers how to1. I found out this little tip to help make the toilet roll rip easier and make it more like the bang of traditional cracker. (incidently you can buy the cracker bangers online if you want to add that extra spark) Cut into the center of a toilet roll from both sides but make sure you don’t slice all the way through. It doesn’t matter if you flatten it to do this, they are quite easy to reshape

2. The first cracker you only need one toilet roll for the center. Do the cut as in no.1. and add in the sweets/gifts and joke into it, try to jam it in so it doesn’t move around too much. Tape the toilet roll to the center and the edge of your wrapping paper.

3. Roll the toilet roll up in the wrapping paper until it meets the other end and tape in place. Use the ribbon and tie into a bow on either side of the toilet roll. Tie fairly tight but try not rip the paper. You now have a cracker to enjoy on Christmas day.

4. If you want a more traditional looking one, repeat steps 1 & 2, then cut another toilet roll in half so you have two smaller tubes. Tape or glue these in place and the ends of the paper in line with the main toilet roll, so there is a gap between the small ones and the main roll. I then use stripes of double sided sticky tape along the edge of the paper to secure the small tubes when i roll it up. Homemade crackers

5. Roll it up and secure with tape if needed. Use  ribbon to tie a bow around the paper where the gap is, pull it tightly and it will bring the cracker together. You now have a beautiful cracker for the dinning table

i also used pinking shears (zig zag scissors) to give the cracker a nice neat edge, you need a few toilet rolls to make a few but you still have time before Christmas. Finally, you need to make sure you find the tackiest, naffiest, most terrible jokes to put in :) My first one was

‘What hides in a bakery on Christmas Eve? A Mince Spy!

crackers about crackers

haha love it

Lorna

X xxx

Birthday Weekend

It was my Birthday last weekend and i thought i’d share with you a few snaps from a few fun days and some of the goodies i got from family and friends. Couldn’t help but feel a bit old even though i know i’m not, if that makes any sense.

tailors dummyrice puddingpaul vs champagnetrivial pursuitteafabricbagMy new tailors dummy and i canny wait to start making something lovely to wear, thank you Mufasa!  The best rice pudding i have ever had with honey baked fig on top which i had at the Wellington Inn near Lund. Paul, my Step dad’s, attempts at opening champagne went horribly wrong but luckily there was still enough left over for him to sup. A good old game of trivial pursuit with what was left of the champs! A beautiful set of teas all tasting lovely, though the lapsang souchong was very smokey and i can imagine cooking with it more then drinking it. Some beautiful new fabric featuring sewing implements and my new smelly goat leather bag from Lorton and Horn  which i love!

Lorna

x xxx

 

Everyday Etsy: Gifts for Rugby Fans

This weeks shopping is quite specific and its for lovers of that great game rugby. I have lots of family and friends who love the to watch and play the game and its always nice to give something that they’ll really enjoy and are interested in. There are even gifts for girls that love rugby which is great as women often get overlooked when it comes to sporting themed gifts.

ee Scrum HalfThis is a great selections but as always i have my favourites, starting with the gold rugby earring from BaddaBoomBaddaBing. They are really cute and like i said its nice to find something sports orientated that female fans can enjoy too.The painting of a tackle by ArtistMitch1974 is a simple piece but could look really cool in a den or home bar. Even could be a great gift to give to your local rugby showing pub.  Top of the week though has got to be the Rugby rules poster from Sam Osborne Store, its just bright, bold and funny and stood out straight away for me. Is there a person you have trouble buying for? tell me their interests and i’ll search Etsy and Folksy to find some unique buys for them

Have a swell weekend

Lorna

X xxx

 

A Simple Christmas: Recycled yogurt pot lid picture ornament

Today is the start of a little collection of Homemade trinkets and treats you can make for your home this Christmas. You don’t always have to spend a fortune on decorations, or presents for that matter, and sometimes you can’t afford to buy those beautiful big baubles your craving. This Christmas i will be making most of our ornaments because we don’t have the money to build up a Christmas collection straight away and what better way to use my crafty skills. Most of the crafts i will be sharing with you will be made from ‘rubbish’ from around the home. With a few little extra buys you can transform some trash into Christmas treasure, starting with these personal ornaments.

Yogurt Pot hanging frames
You with need: As many yogurt pots as you have/saved/pulled out of the bin, Cotton thread preferably gold or red, A needle, Gold and Red Spray paint (but if you’ve got a different colour scheme then go with what you want), photos of you, family, friends and pets.

1. Make sure your yogurt lids are clean and dry and set up a protected place outside to paint them, ventilation is important!

2. Spray paint the top of the lids, half in gold, half in red and leave to dry for at least an hour

3. Once completely dry, puncuture a hole in the side of the rim on each pot using your needle. Then thread a small piece of cotton through the whole and tie in a knot making sure the knot is visible only at the back (glue if need be). Take another length of cotton that will make a loop as big as you want your decoration to hang down. Slip the longer thread into the loop you have already made on the yogurt lid and tie a knot to secure.

4. Measure the front central dip in the lid, i use different circle objects to gauge the size and use it as a template, for example a bottle or a cup. Trace the same size circle around a photo of loved ones and cut out.

5. Glue the cut out photo on to the center and leave to dry. You are then free to hang it from your Christmas tree, mantel or you could even use them as personalised present tags.

The reason i like this project so much is that:

Its easy and you can make alot in an afternoon, though children will need a lot supervision and help because of using spray paint, needles and scissors.

Its pretty cheap, you just need to collect some lids which you still have time to do before Christmas. The spray paint cans cost me about £4 each and my gold one has lasted me forever so only bought a red one new, Cotton i already had but you can get a reel for pennies and you can use photos you already have rather then let them sit in a album where no ones see them

It is personal, you can have Christmas photos, silly photos or just photos of happy memories. Its a one of a kind ornament for you and your family.

Please share your own Christmas crafts and ideas in the comments, still need a few more ideas myself to fill our little tree up and i promise I won’t say seasons greetings just yet… you’ll have to wait till December

Lorna

X xxx

Everyday Etsy: For the foodie

To celebrate my new entrance into the world of Etsy i am producing this new series Everyday Etsy to showcase the best this marketplace has to offer just like my Folksy Friday editions. I am starting it off with gifts for Foodies because unlike Folksy, Etsy allows for the sale of edible goodies and vintage pieces so i am focusing on this tasty looking world for some more unique gifts. Enjoy.

The selection of unusual salts would make a great unique gift for any keen chef who loves to experiment. We are so use to simple table salt that it would be a great new experience to see what flavour combos work best for different dishes. The cute little cooking utensil necklace makes a lovely little stocking filler. The vintage apple bowl has got to be my fav of the week. Perfect fruit bowl and in a lovely auburn colour. Get those 5 a day! Check out the pinterest board for all the links you need.

Lorna
X xxx