Easy DIY Christmas Card Idea Perfect for Kids

Impress your family and friends (and save cash) with homemade Christmas cards from your little ones.  Yep I know this may be a little late for some of you super organised folks, but it is easily adaptable to birthday, thank you or any other card you wish to send.

You will need:

Blank cards – I bought mine from The Works

Craft knife/scissors

Pencil

Paint – normal kids paint that is supposed to wash out and never does

Sponge, brushes

Glitter glue/paint etc etc

Imagination

In a nutshell, draw your design onto a spare card and cut it out.  Keep the design simple, especially if you have little ones helping.  My design has three colours which needed 3 separate templates (see below).  Paint, decorate, write, post.

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It is a really simple idea but very effective. The perfect way to spend a few hours with you family 🙂 Now I just need to get them written and posted!

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I Love Screen Printing

A little while ago I signed up for a one day course in screen printing with the fabulous Running With Scissors. Those with a good memory may remember it was here I had my first introduction to quilting and log-cabin cushion making. And now I have a new love for printmaking, particularly screen printing. I have yet to do any at home, I need to get myself a screen etc. But it is definitely on my shopping/christmas list!!

During the class I printed a folk-art inspired print onto a tea towel, with plans to frame it (still waiting) and a lovely copper sunburst onto a second tea towel, with plans to make it into a cushion (still waiting). They are pretty amazing, but the best one of all was this…..

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((Camouflage incase your wondering!!!))

I still can’t quite believe that I printed it, it’s fab 🙂 And M loves it. Now I can’t take any credit for the design, I downloaded it from the super talented Oana Befort, you can find it on her beautiful blog here. I cut the design out of an acetate, taped it onto the bottom of the screen, and voila!  Well it was a little more technical than that but all completely doable .  If you live in the area I would thoroughly recommend doing the workshop, It was a great introduction to the world of screen printing.

Now I am off to dust down the free-motion embroidery needle on my sewing machine, I have signed up to a F-ME class in a few weeks.  If I remember correctly I downed tools last time I had a go at this at home as I couldn’t get the bobbin thread to lay flat, it was all loopy.  Do you have any words of wisdom for me???

All Change

It’s been a busy few months around here so blog posts have been a little scarce, sorry ’bout that, but I am back and bubbling with ideas and enthusiasm 🙂

The big new is that I have started a new job, which I completely love.  It was hard decision to leave the old one, but definitely the right one.  I think any sort of change is difficult, for me it is anyway, but the hardest bit was making the decision to go, that and leaving at the end of my last shift.  But, I got through it and now LOVE what I am doing.  There is a life lesson in there somewhere!!

I have another big change to face next week too, my little M is starting school.  I am getting a bit emotional just thinking about it now, I hope I manage to hold it together when I take him on tuesday.  He is definitely ready to school, he has a keen interest in the world around him and continually asks questions about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, although these generally get onto the subject of poo within two or three questions.  Quite a talent really!  Having said all that I am not really sure what I am going to do when he is not around all day.  I have been trying hard to remember what I used to do in my pre-M life, but all I have are a few hazy memories of waking up on the right side of 9 o’clock and choosing grown-up programmes to watch on tv.  Obviously the first one is out of the question, four years is a tad too young for going to school solo, but the latter sounds good!  I think I can probably survive the day without cebeebies 🙂  We have been busy making a Treasure Box for him to fill with special thing.  He has  to take on his fist day.  It is still work in progress but I think it is pretty good for my anti-anything-to-do-with-crafts little M.

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I have a big plan to get myself through the two weeks annual leave that I have taken to get M settled into school.  I am going to turn his bedroom from baby nursery to a cool bedroom that any four year old would be proud of.  This is likely to involve the mandatory superhero-dinosaur-pirate theme that every little boy loved for at least 30 minutes every day.  But I need ideas, google is not helping me.  Have you seen anything that may help me??

I will need fabric to make a blackout blind that actually works, I was thinking of sticking little circles of velcro strategically around the window frame to secure it, with hopefully no gap for light to wake him, and therefore me, at 530 in the morning.    Will this work??  The biggest conundrum at the moment is which bed to get him??  It definitely needs to be a proper single bed, then I can get in it when he decides to take over my bed.  How such a little person fills up a double bed never ceases to amaze me!  I am thinking storage so would like a bed with draws underneath, M on the other hand would like a den.  I am toying with this bed from The Childrens Bed Centres, but they have no reviews other than on their own website, and you can’t go and see their beds in a shop as far as I am aware.  I always spend a lot of time reading reviews before I make big purchases, so this makes me a little nervous.  But the reviews they have got seem positive, but then they wouldn’t put a bad review on their own website would they??  Advice appreciated!!

Images taken for The Childrens Bed Centre. Clicking on the images will take you through to their website.

So the big question is practical storage or exciting den?? which would you choose??

Birthday Thoughts – Quilts, Sewing and Critters

It is my proper birthday and my blog birthday this week or thereabouts. It has been a whole year since I introduced these guys to the world…

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I enrolled on a two day quilting course last year and have now caught the quilting bug (and a severe blog reading addiction!)…

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And my latest Ta Daaaaa, which hasn’t even been blogged yet (my little one is growing up too!)

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I have learned a huge amount from other bloggers and have made some blog-friends along the way too!!

A few weeks ago I turned this ….

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…into this!

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(Another Ta Daaaa moment!)

There have been ups and downs in both my virtual world and real life, but what a year I have had. A lovely thing about blogging is that it leaves a snapshot of the nice things that have happened. I created this blog with the intention of recording my creations and developing my style. I have certainly done that!! Never in a million years did I think that anyone would read it! Thankyou to each and every one of you who stumbles upon my blog, thanks even more for choosing to follow* my Little Red Monkey escapades. You have helped and encouraged me more than you can ever know 🙂

(*via a blog reader, facebook or twitter – its my bithday, I am allowing myself a plug!)

Freezer Paper Stencilled Octonauts TShirt

I used my first attempt at freezer paper stencilling to make an Octonauts T-shirt for my little boy. We used fabric pens and basically did a lot of scribbling, it worked really well!

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There are loads if tutorials on how to make a freezer paper stencil, the hardest part was finding some paper here in the UK. It is not the common household product which it seems to be over in the USA.

Anyway, it seems to be a big hit as he is still wearing it! If you know of any quirky stencils anywhere I would love to know, particularly boy ones!

Clothkits Giraffe – Sewing with a Toddler!

Happy 2013 everyone. Sorry that is a whole 20 days late, it has been a bit hectic in my little world. Illness put an end to my new years celebrations, I was tucked up in bed being poorly for 4 days. Couple that with a christmas of hospital visits, a dental abscess, and working at said hospital, it was not the happiest time for my little family. But christmas is now all packed away and we have a brand new year to look forward too!

I have been slowly working through my to do list. I got a fair few craft projects from the knit and stitch show in harrogate last december. One of which was a Giraffe kit to make. I was drawn to the simple design and bought it for me and my little M to hopefully sew together. He loves stuffed teddies and animals, and he is my number one sewing fan. Everything that I make inevitably belongs to him (in his world anyway!). He slept with my owl doorstop for a week… yes it is full of gravel to make it super heavy….. thankfully no injuries sustained!

So I bought the kit for us to sew together. And we did……

This is how it came. The kit included a reel of cotton, needle and full instrctions.

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It was really easy to stich together and the instructions very clear and simple. It all came together very fast, even M who is 3 1/2 years old sat on my knee the whole time “helping”.

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Concentrating……

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After stuffing and a bit of hand stiching to close the gap, giraffe was complete!

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Giraffe went to nursery the next day. He enjoyed it!

Project Christmas has Begun….

Hello…..yes I am still here! I have taken a bit of an unplanned break from blogging, mainly because I haven’t done much “making” of late for one reason, then another, and then another. But I have been doing a lot of blog reading, thinking and planning ready for project christmas. Number one on the list is a quillow for my little boy. For those that have never heard of this before (which was me up until a few weeks ago), it is a quilt which can be folded up into a cushion/pillow. I am following a tutorial posted by A Cuppa and a Catch Up with a little bit of modification, mainly the cushion pouch on the back rather that the front, and so far it is going to plan, although any thoughts would be appreciated. I have pieced together the top as above, I am going for the “suit all ages” look, with the hope that he will grow up loving and using it for many years to come. I also have the material to make a stocking for him for christmas day, an advent calender panel to do and some christmas decorations to sew. Oh, and a free motion embroidery class in a few weeks to attend and the harrogate quilt festival if I can talk my mum into coming with me (Hi mum)…….must crack on with all this!

Hand-Stitched Felt Rabbit

I love this rabbit! I was so convinced that it would look awful that I nearly didn’t finish it and threw it to the back of the “in process but got distracted doing something else” pile. But eventually I did finish it, shamefully not with the care and attention that I should have. It is coping well with all that my toddler throws at it (both metaphorically and literally!), but I wish the seams matched up….. lesson learned.

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The next photos I took today, it has had a few months of toddler play (or torture?) to cope with since the top photo, so is looking a little less polished. But I still love
It!

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