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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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??

Stitches and Stepping-Stones

I was lucky enough to receive Ayumi Takahashi’s book, Patchwork, Please! for my birthday last month. It is a fabulous introduction to paper piecing, and just what I needed. My first attempt is going well now that I understand the whole fabric underneath/paper on top so you can’t see it thing! This is the paper pattern for the coaster (Mug Rug) that I have traced from the book ((it should be enlarged to make a pot stand but I am too impatient!))

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And here is the back which is actually the front! I am sure you will agree it is coming along nicely, and a great way to use up scraps.

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My embroidered toadstool design is nearly finished too. I think I may add some applique flowers and maybe a tiny bee buzzing around in the sky somewhere. I also need to decide what to do with it when it is finished. I may keep it in the frame and use as a wall hanging, I had originally planned to incorporate it into a cushion, but I am not sure my stitching will be able to withstand daily life with a toddler. What else could I do with it??

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My Textile Artist Trading Card is finished and ready to be posted off to it’s new owner! I am so pleased with how it has turned out, I love my design and will probably be incorporating it into more things in the future. here is a sneeky peak until I photograph it finished. I hope the new owner likes it!

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And the stepping stones in a woodland not too far from us. Very exciting if you are 3 (not so much if you are trying to keep the 3 yr old dry!!)

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Have a nice day xxxx

The Dambusters

Have you heard of  the Dam Busters? Seen the film (cue very bad english accents)? You must be humming the music by now….? well it is the 70th anniversary of the famous Second World War RAF Dam Busters’ raid today, and to commemorate this there was a flyover over the Derwent and Ladybower dams, Now I am no expert but this included an old Lancaster Bomber and some small planes, possibly Spitfires??

The Derwent and Ladybower Dam”s hold great significance, as the actual real brave Dam Busters practised their bouncing bomb e here!  See……The 617 Squadron was founded as part of Operation Chastise which was a Second World War raid on Germany’s Ruhr dams using Barnes Wallis’ revolutionary bouncing bomb and modified Lancaster bombers.  Crews trained for the operation at British reservoirs including the Derwent Dam.  The German dams which help provide vital water and electrical supplies were targeted on the night of May 16, 1943, with two dams being successfully destroyed…..Beautifully displayed in The DamBusters film ( I belive it is quite accurate but I am no historian). There is a serious element too, 8 of the 18 planes who set off for that mission didn’t come home that night, 53 dies and 2 were taken prisoner of war.  Very  very sad.

Me and my little (nearly) four-year old walked to the top of Derwent Ridge to see the display today.  For those who have never visited the Peak District, this involved a serious hike up a huge rocky peak to reach the ridge.  It is the first time I have taken him to the peaks, even though we only live 20 mins away as it is not baby/toddler friendly, think steeeeep hills, rocks, stiles, loose rocky paths etc, so it was a lovely surprise when we actually made it to the top without any complaints/200 ft falls/disappearing down a mine shaft etc etc.  I think this was helped in part by his obsession with poo/beetles/mud/puddles, all in plentiful abundance.

Here are a few photos…

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The stunning view we had looking out over the Derwent Reservoir, there is a dam situated at either end but too far for little legs to walk to.

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Can you spot the well camouflaged Lancaster Bomber?? She glided gracefully through the air below us.

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The small planes, are they spitfires??? They were very fast!

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Using the rocks as stepping-stones and looking for creatures in the heather was great fun too!

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All in all a lovely day. I am very proud that we made it to the top, all the people who walked past us (we were slow but steady!) commented that he was doing really well getting as it is quite a mountain to get up! and we made it down safely too, with a little bribery of sweets to get us right back to the car. I think I may watch the DamBusters film tonight, did I mention they filmed some of it at Derwent Dam??? Go on, treat yourself to an old war film!

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!

My first venture into pockets, zips, interfacing and velcro

I seem to have done a lot more blog reading than blog writing of late. I am finding it increasingly difficult to take nice pictures on my phone in this dark gloomy winter that we are having here in the UK, and I think this may be a big reason why. hopefully to be remedied soon by a snazzy new camera for my birthday next month. However, I have done a fair bit of making, and I seem to keep adding to my *work in progress* list. I am also collecting a fairly substantial list of questions to ask you all about various things, I don’t have many crafty friends you see. Of course I have now put myself under pressure and forgotten them all! I will add them on the end when I remember them!

And so onto the project…

My little boy received a Leappad 2 for christmas, For those who aren’t familiar with the toddler world think little ipad with educational games and no internet access. He needed a case to keep it safe, and somewhere to store the little game cartridges. I based it on this tutorial by pink stiches, with a few modifications here and there.

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I am very pleased with it and it works brilliantly. Yes it is a bit wonky, and I would have preferred the zip to open the other way. But you live and learn. And as the post title suggests, it was the first time I have lengthened and sewn in a zipper, and used interfacing, and made a pocket. All in all a good days work. And I have nearly forgotten that it took be EIGHT attempts to get that zip in!

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!

Magic Healing Muffins?

It’s been a busy few weeks. We have been on holiday to Mablethorpe, (east coast, UK) and had a lovely few days doing holiday stuff. Mainly 2p slot machines, sandcastles and swimming.

However upon our return our holiday spirit was soon forgotten as my little boy was up all night coughing and grumbling and restless. Things turned worse the next morning with wheezing and laboured breathing. A trip to the local children’s hospital resulted in steroids and inhalers and oxygen masks. We stayed in for 3 long days and nights. We are home now, still on antibiotics, steroids and regular inhalers. Hopefully everything will be back to normal soon. I made him these savoury muffins for dinner, fingers crossed they ARE magic healing muffins!

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Another Veggie-Bed Dug!

Another small dent made on my allotment wilderness. I have dug another veggie bed about one metre square. I think my digging skills have definitely improved since reading this book. I have noticed the soil type is on the clay side, I’m not entirely sure what to do about this yet – any tips? But for good measure I chucked a bag of compost and mixed it in a bit before making the cane frame and planting the runner beans which were sown here. I also put in some sprout and celeriac seedlings given to me by a neighbour. I am probably breaking lots of rules mixing all these veg types together, I promise next year I will do it properly!

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We then went to the park and had a lovely time flying our kite

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All in all a very nice day had been had!