Thursday, 31 December 2009

Scarves in the snow

I braved the cold and snowy weather in the garden today to take some photos of my latest scarves.

I do like having the cat as a model, but he's a little on the short side; so in my endeavour to keep the scarves off the snow he ended up looking a little like a turkey trussed up at Christmas!

I'll be posting the scarves on my Folksy shop over the next couple of days, so please keep a look out for them.

And as this is the last post of 2009, I wish you all a very happy New Year! I hope 2010 brings health and happiness to you and to those you love.

Sharon x

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Monday, 28 December 2009

Look out Sydney - here she comes!

Just a quick blog today to wish my eldest niece, Louise, good luck in her new home - new job - new life in Australia!

Lots of friends, family and neighbours turned up to the house on Boxing Day for Louise's leaving do, and we all had a great night; and then her friends took her clubbing later on to give her a really good send off!

Good luck sweetie - I'm sure you'll settle into Oz life really quickly!

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Christmas is over for another year

Well, after weeks of making and saving and buying and decorating, that's Christmas over with for another year.

I hope you all had a lovely day - we did! Lots of yummy food, gorgeous presents, one or two drinks, and some good laughs...

It's been a busy few weeks so I'm really going to enjoy being off work this next week. I hope to get lots of crafting done in between the socialising and eating of chocolates; I've got lots of new ideas and can't wait to get started on them. I'm also hoping that I'll have a stall at the Grainger Market Art & Craft Fair each month, so it will be interesting making items for all seasons. And that means that I'll be making things all year round in 2010, so I should be better organised for Christmas next year! I also hope to find more time to blog, now that the Christmas rush of making items for my craft stall, Folksy shop, commissions and presents is over. Well, that's the New Year's resolutions sorted - see, I'm getting organised already!

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Monday, 14 December 2009

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

I LOVE CHRISTMAS! I love giving family and friends nice gifts that they adore; I love the foodie treats that you're expected to splurge on at this time of year; I  love the sparkle and the glitter and the pretty lights; I love having time off work to do what I want; I love the fact that people are in a better mood (save for battling in the highstreet shops!); I love cold and frosty days when you can wrap up cosy and warm and take a nice walk; and I especially love decorating the house in all its festive finery.

Our Christmas tree is covered in completely handmade decorations and it's great bringing them out each year, remembering past craft passions of mine. 16 years ago, on our first Christmas as a married couple, hubby and I bought a huge real tree for the living room. We didn't have much furniture at that time and this tree was so big it very nearly filled the whole room! So instead of buying loads of decorations that we couldn't really afford, I decided to be crafty and make my own - and every year I add a few more to the collection.

Last weekend I took a break from making items for the fairs and my Folksy shop to put up our Christmas tree. Nowadays we just have an artificial tree, but it's a good shape and nice and bushy. So this is what we start with...

...and then I add a few twinkling lights...

...and quite a few decorations. As I said before they're all handmade, but not all were made by myself: there's a knitted snowman and santa from my mam, a couple of cross stitch stockings from my sister, a knotwork wreath that my dad made, and one or two pieces that I've bought at craft fairs over the years.

And this is the final tree - front...

...and back. I think the tree looks really beautiful and interesting.

Over the years I've played around with patchwork, applique, beading, embroidery, knitting, crochet, etc, etc. so there is a real variety of decorations on the tree. Visitors to our house spend ages looking at the tree and it's lovely to hear their comments about the individual ornaments.

This year I also have the lovely addition of the Folksy Decoration Swap which I received from Midsummer Stitches. Doesn't she look sweet?

I hope you like my tree as much as we do, and I'd love to hear your comments - What do you love about Christmas? What ornaments do you put on your tree? Do you go for the traditional red and green or more contemporary colours?

I've still got the skinny tree in the dining room to decorate, the door wreaths, fireplace garland and table decorations to make, but that will have to wait til next weekend. I'll post some more photos when it's all done!

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Saturday, 5 December 2009

Model customer #5 - mitts for the wee creature maker!

Drum roll for my latest 'model customer' please... dadadadadadadahhhhh... Kirsten from Leeds. Woo hoo!

Kirsten is modelling my 'Haze fingerless mitts' at her stall at the cold and wet Castle Howard Craft Fair held last Sunday. Kirsten is the talented lady behind Quernus Crafts - another seller on Folksy, who makes great wee creatures from sweet little robins to shaggy highland cows to character cats. You can check out her latest cute creations on her blog here.

Kirsten thought that the mitts were 'beautifully made' and kept her 'cosy and warm'. However they actually received their debut at the German Christmas Market in Leeds the day before when Kirsten said that 'they were brilliant for keeping my hands warm AND letting me eat lovely fried potatoes and garlic mushrooms!' What more could you want from a pair of mitts?!

Thanks for the lovely comments Kirsten and I hope that the mitts continue to keep you cosy (and well fed!) through the rest of this cold weather.

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Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Secret Santa and Decoration Swap

Way back in June noodleBubble started a thread on Folksy to see if anyone was interested in doing a Christmas Decoration Swap, and loads of us said, 'Oooh, yes please - we love Christmas!'. And so a few weeks ago I started to think of ideas, and this is what I came up with.

A recent discussion on Folksy was about the colours that we decorate our homes at Christmas time and my receipient, Midsummer Stitches, mentioned that she (and her daughters) loved pink; so a pink decoration was born! I thought that pink and black would look quite nice together, and added some hand embroidery, shiny beads and sequins, and finished it off with a snowflake charm. I think it looks quite pretty, and the sequins will really sparkle in the glow from the tree fairy lights. Julia (aka Midsummer Stitches) thought it was 'lovely' too.

In October Cosmic Eden raised the idea of a Secret Santa and, again, lots of lovely Folksy people were interested. The idea was to send a handmade gift that had either been made by yourself, or had been bought from a fellow Folksy seller. I made these stripy fingerless mitts for Chiyo, with added buttons for a bit more interest.

Becky (aka Chiyo) was a litle bit naughty and opened her present from 'Secret Santa' early! You can read her blog here. The cold weather has certainly arrived in the last few days so at least she's been able to make use of them straight away. Becky sent me a lovely email saying that she thought the mitts were 'gorgeous' and that she'd had lots of nice comments as she wore them over the weekend. I was a bit worried about sending them because hubby said 'Aston Villa' straight away when I showed them to him - I just thought that the colours looked nice together! Luckily (and quite spookily) Becky's boyfriend IS a big Villa fan so he loves the mitts too!

And this is the Decoration Swap that I received in the post from Midsummer Stitches this week. A beautifully packaged little fairy.

There's so much detail - from her clothes to the gift she's bearing. Isn't she sweet? I think she'll look very pretty hanging on the Christmas tree (going up on Friday - can't wait!!).

Like Becky/Chiyo, I couldn't wait to open my Secret Santa gift either, and I was really pleased that I had. This gorgeous yarn from Kirsty at Wharfedale Woolworks will knit up beautifully into a scarf that will go perfectly with my new teal winter coat.

Folksy is a friendly community of like-minded people who love crafts and really value the skill and creativity that goes into handmade items. I've really enjoyed taking part in these two events and would jump at the chance of doing so again. It's lovely to receive original handmade items in the post from special people - but it's even nicer to know that they love what you made them!

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