Saturday, 24 December 2011

Finished the Christmas Tree Decorations ..... Just!

Phew! Just about made it! I finished the Christmas tree decorations of Minstel and Flossie to give to James and John.

I finished Minstrel first. For both of them, I used a design I found here. I searched everywhere for a simple, cartoon like design, aware that when cutting felt the design needs to be simple shapes. As a reminder, here's what Minstrel looks like .....

A simplified approach to his colouring but I'm pleased with it :)  I was especially keen to portray his spider-like eyebrows and get the black circle under his chin.

The back says from Mum and Dad as Minstrel is for James :)

Now, Flossie was more of a challenge, given that she is a tortie and a real mix of colours. As a reminder..... here she is :)

I had to severely simplify her colouring but I think I've just about captured 'essence of Flossie' :)

Zooming in a bit closer, I've included a black line around her eyes as one distinguishing feature she has is what almost looks like black eyeliner round her eyes. Her eyebrows are much shorter than Minstrel's and go straight up. If I could have, I would have made her whiskers more luxuriant as that is a key feature of hers. I've also included the little black bit on her nose and the black spot on her chin.

All in all, I'm very pleased with how they have turned out and they were well worth the effort of making them.

By the way, they are both about 9cm high.

Finally, when I last posted about the tree decorations I was making, I showed am image of a pink one that was in the process of being made. Here's that pink one as a finished decoration.

Now .... I'm off to finish wrapping my Christmas presents!!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

More Christmas Decorations

I've been steadily carrying on with making Christmas tree decorations for close family members.

With this one, the central ribbon band is using some lovely ribbon that was very reasonably priced in Lidl.

Along the top and bottom edge, I have sewn small golden beads. The curvy loops are chain stitch with small pearl beads sewn in each loop.
The back has the same type of greeting as with all the other ones I've made.

This one is destined to go to my brother and his wife. 

The one I have just completed today has been a bit of an experiment.
My sister-in-law and her husband are both keen fishermen (or should that be fisherpeople?) and I wanted to make an ornament shaped like a fish. I realise a fish is not the first thing you'd expect as a Christmas tree ornament, but they really do love fishing ..... and, anyhow, a fish is a Christian symbol so I think I can get away with it at Christmas!

So far, my work with felt makes me tend towards simple shapes that are easy to cut! So I searched round the Internet and eventually found a cartoon fish drawing that I based my design on.

OK .... no fish I know has lips like this! I have also used silver beads to outline a few scales and red beads to add detail on one of the fins. Still, I really rather like her ...... with those lips, it must be a 'her' don't you think!

Of course, there's the usual greeting on the back :)

I think she looks quite cute and I hope they like her :)

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Giveaway Bag From The Green Bag Lady

I totally forgot to blog about the fact that I won another Giveaway run by The Green Bag Lady. The Green Bag Lady is actually a lady called Teresa VanHatten-Granath who lives in the USA and she and her volunteers made cloth bags from recycled materials and give them away! The idea being to encourage people to use cloth bags rather than plastic ones.

She wanted a photo of me using the bag ...... and here I am! She posted the photo on her blog and I would encourage everyone to have a look round her site; she's doing tremendous things :)

The bag is very good as it fits inside my normal handbag without taking up too much space, so I've always got a bag should I need one. I might add, I don't need any encouragement NOT to use plastic bags ...... haven't used them for a long time now :)

Monday, 5 December 2011

Christmas Is Coming ......

.... and thoughts turn towards Christmas cards and presents.

Last year, for the first time, I cross-stitched Christmas cards for close family members and I was really pleased with the results. However, at the time, I thought it would be rather a shame if people threw the cards away (heaven forbid!) and could see how they could be turned into Christmas tree decorations quite easily.

I wondered whether this year I could directly create Christmas tree decorations so they could serve as a 'Christmas card' but then be kept.

Earlier in the year, I joined the site called Creating the Hive after a recommendation from another blogger. This is a brilliant source of creative inspiration! Through this, I found a post on a blog which gives free PDF patterns for felt Christmas tree decorations. In their examples, however, on the back of the ornaments they use fabric sheets that can be printed on to produce 'labels'. I haven't got any of this fabric paper, so I decided to stitch a Christmas greeting on some cotton material I had using simple back-stitch with one single strand of embroidery cotton.

The red and green flower pattern ornament was the first one I did.

When I recently looked after my little eight year old god-daughter, Hannah, I asked her what colour felt she'd like her ornament to be made from, and she chose pale blue. This was the second one I made.

She then had the brilliant idea of making one in a star shape. So that was the next one I made.

The last one I completed I used felt to made a Christmas tree decoration on the 'bauble'.

I'm currently working on a pink one using ribbons as well as beads. I think it will be going to my nephew who lives in a very 'girlie' environment of his partner and two daughters!

I have several other ideas for different members of my family. For my sister-in-law and her husband who are both keen anglers, I think I will do a fish shape. For John and James, I have an idea to try and do two ornaments in the shape of a cat's head and try to make one have Flossie's colouring and the other be like Minstrel. This might be easier said than done ...... so watch this space!

Friday, 2 December 2011

James' 21st Birthday

Wednesday 30th November was our son James' 21st Birthday. Here he is with John and I, his proud Mum and Dad :)

We gave him money to buy a new acoustic guitar, but in a previous post or two, I described how I was also embroidering a portrait of him ...... and he loves it :)

Now ..... what's this you might ask? Well, when James' Granny asked him several weeks ago what he wanted for his Birthday, his answer was 'a unicorn'!

And a unicorn was what he got! (Although the observant will also notice that said unicorn is 'guarding' a very generous cheque). James' Granny (my Mum) always manages to raise a smile with her presents :)

And no one is too old for a Birthday cake, complete with cake sparklers.

At this point, you have to imagine us (ie his Mum and Dad, his Granny and Liz, his girlfriend) singing 'Happy Birthday'.

The observant will notice we made short work of the cake, washed down with a cup of tea! But closely followed by a glass of Asti. The 21 key was also provided by his Granny :)

OK .... he may be 21 but the sense of humour isn't changing any time soon :)

Finally, we went out for a celebratory meal. Here he is with Liz, his girlfriend.

Happy Birthday James and lots of love and a long and happy life to you. Your Mum and Dad are very proud of you xxxxxx.
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