Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Sssh! Don't tell

I have been hiding away in my workroom for the last few days making a couple of Christmas presents. I'm taking a big risk here - I have to hope that the people they are meant for don't decide to look at my blog until after Christmas!
This first journal is made mostly from re-purposed fabrics and the nice thing is that the person who receives this one actually gets their own item back in a new form! She was just about to put a favourite old dress in the charity bag when I stepped in and requested it. It had an under skirt with a gathered trim along the edge and a small floral print cotton top layer. I have managed to incorporate both pieces into the front of the journal, added some extra lace trim and finished the edges off with a decorative machine stitch.
I set an eyelet into the tab so that I could loop a suede leather cord through to use as a wrap around tie to keep the journal closed.

The second gift journal is made in the same way as the one I showed you in the long stitch tutorial. Its even got the same decoration on the front, but in a different colour.
Yes.. I know..."No imagination!" I can hear you saying, but Hey guys it is Christmas, and just like the rest of you, I'm pushed for time and right out of ideas!

I think this might be the last post before Christmas, so I'll take this opportunity to wish you all a very merry time and hope that you get all the crafting goodies that you are wishing for!!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Eureka moment

Ever since I was a child I have always hand made many of my Christmas gifts. One of the more memorable ones was a "granny square" crocheted poncho for my little sister. It would probably be wonderfully retro now. I remember staying up half the night to finish it and even then I think I had to give it to her with threads hanging and sew in all the ends later.
Last year I was frantically devising excuses to lock myself away in my bedroom and frantically knit a cow shaped cushion for my son - that was after completing a quilted knitting needle case for his girlfriend and a few other projects. I always naively think that 2 weeks is ample time to make the creations that I have dreamed up as being "the perfect gift" for a particular person.
You wouldn't believe the "still to make" list that is in my head at the moment!
Besides these gifts I also volunteered to make a couple of pairs of baby shoes for new family members of my sons' girlfriends. They had to be posted abroad and I wanted them to retain their shape. ( I was also thinking I might put them on Etsy as well).
I spent far far too long looking for suitable boxes to buy that didn't end up costing more than the baby shoes themselves - nowhere did the right size. I realised that I had to make the boxes. Now I quite like making boxes, but my lids are never a perfect fit for the base (this is the perfectionist in me talking). Most people say they are fine -but I always end up with at least half a dozen boxes because I think I'll just have one more go at making a better fit, and then another and then...... yeah, you get the picture!
Frustrated, I looked across at an scrapbook style explosion box I had made at least four years ago, still sitting on the coffee table......

......and that was my Eureka moment! It was a box, the lid size was not crucial as the sides will always spread to fit the lid. A pair of baby shoes was likely to fit in the bottom and the parents could fill it with photos and keep the shoes in it once the baby had outgrown them.
So this is what I made. I shortened the sides of the traditional scrapbook style box so that the shoes didn't look lost in the bottom and I co-ordinated the papers to match the shoes.

Now all I've got to do is get on with the rest of the handmade gifts!!