Friday, 29 December 2017

Mini Painting: Patch the Cockatiel

Just last month we were devastated to lose our beautiful cockatiel, Patch. Having previously painted him in watercolours (check out my cockatiels tag) with his partners Georgie and JayJay, I wanted to do a small acrylic painting of just him. It's been a while since I had my trusty acrylics out - so long in fact that some of them had dried up! But it was good to get back in to painting, and my husband was thrilled with this small gift to remember a very handsome boy.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Post Pals: Mrs Claus

I'm mainly sharing this little creation to inspire. You may have heard of a wonderful little charity called Post Pals? They send post to seriously ill children (pals) and their siblings all year round. At Christmas time, they ensure their pals get extra post, from Santa's Elves, Santa's Reindeer, and Mrs Claus herself! I couldn't resist signing up to be a Mrs Claus this year. I love the magic of Christmas, and had so many ideas to share with children!

I began by finding a free letterhead on Google, which I printed out on some lovely thick sketchbook paper, before hand writing my letter. I also found a free printable for a recipe card, which I printed out and handwrote a recipe for Gingerbread Playdough on. (The pal I was assigned to cannot eat, so I thought this would be a nice festive alternative.) I also printed out some free printable Christmas designs on to card, and put them through my Cricut to create these cute stocking decorations. I found the SVG for these free over at Fleece Fun.

I had a lot of fun decorating the envelope! The internet has lots of "elf mail" free printables which I was able to use to make the envelope seem like it had traveled all the way from the North Pole!

I sealed it with my wax seal. I'd love to grow my collection of wax and seals, but this is all I have for now and it gave that special touch. It was fun to use too, though I did cause a bit of a splatter!

And then, as happens in the North Pole, Rudolph had to add his mark. The hoof print is made with acrylic paint, and applied with lots of texture so it really seems muddy!

It may be too late to send a pal something for Christmas, but January can be a very slow time for post after the craziness of Christmas. If you could send a pal a simple card or letter, a drawing, or even a small gift, it will put a smile on a seriously ill child's face. It might be the thing that makes them smile after hours of chemotherapy or ending up in hospital again.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

LOTV Snow Bears Card

Have I mentioned my Lily of the Valley obsession?! It was helped by a recent win on their Facebook page allowing me to get even more of their beautiful Simply Prints, including this one, Snow Bears! I made it into a Christmas card for my husband, as we're both a bit bear-crazy! I added glitter to the falling snow and round the base of the snowman so that it catches the light. The maroon corrugated card and the cream card came from my stash, and the lovely beige tartan was a free printable I found online. I really love the colour scheme for this card!

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Christmassy Cat Card

I made this card for a recent Secret Santa I was involved in, for a guy who had a cute black cat! I found the SVG for this card over at LoveSVG, and I altered it a little bit to fit what I wanted. I based it on the grey cat in the file, but changed it's colouring to black, changed the eyes, skipped the whiskers (though this was partly an accident!) and simplified the sweater a lot. I also cut out a nice big gold star to make it all a little more festive :) This was quite quick to make - I love the abundance of SVGs out there!

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Winter Teddy Bear Decorations

The Cricut Explore Air 2 has pros and cons. One of the pros is they have a huge number of templates and projects available to you as part of their design space. One of the cons is that to access it you need a subscription! I bought myself a months subscription in the Autumn in order to get lots of little projects made, including these cute teddies for the Christmas tree.

These teddies are from the Cricut range 'Teddy Parade', and it features these adorable teds in a range of different outfits! I mixed and matched a couple of them to get this hat and scarf look, before cutting out in the colours I wished and attaching coordinating thread! I cut an extra teddy shape out and glued it to the back so that the thread is enclosed and the bears are a bit more sturdy. They're super cute :)

Friday, 15 December 2017

Little Angel Cross Stitch Decoration

When I saw this free Little Angel cross stitch pattern online I knew I had to make it! I used clear plastic aida and various threads from my stash. I changed the hair and the bird so it was only one tone, changed the halo so that it would be easier to cut out, and outlined the wings in the same gold thread as the halo for added sparkle. I made the cord by twisting cream and gold thread together, and backed it with white felt. It was quite a quick and easy pattern to do, and there are so many colour options! The pattern comes in a few designs too, so it's worth having a look.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Crochet Giraffe

This year, my husband and I are participating in a Secret Santa over on Imgur. If you don't know it, it's a social image sharing website whose mascot is a giraffe with a monocle and top hat. Unsurprisingly, he looks rather like the one I've crocheted here! I made this one to go to our Secret Santa recipient...

This giraffe was made using double knitting wool and a 2mm hook, following the Yoga Giraffe pattern on Ravelry. Although, I stitched the markings directly to the body rather than crocheting discs, I added some extra details, and winged a top hat!

I also added a monocle using a disk of acetate and some gold thread. He has a couple of extra stitches in front of his eye which the monocle rests on to stay in place.

He has a fully wired skeleton, which means he can bend. A lot.

And the top hat is removable to show off his beautiful ossicones (that's the fancy word for a giraffe's horns). When I first started this giraffe, I was thinking about a whole army of them. But this pattern is so tiny and fiddly, I may need some time to forget it's difficulties before I return to it!

Monday, 11 December 2017

LOTV James the Bear Christmas Cards

And so my obsession with Lily of the Valley continues. I bought these Merry Beary Christmas card toppers for my Christmas cards this year. I just fell in love with James the Bear, he is SO gorgeous. I realised a flaw though - I'm sending these to hang in other people's houses, but I want some beary goodness in our house! I will have to see if I can make some Christmas decs. Maybe bunting?!

I spent a while trawling the internet for free printable papers, specifically red and Christmassy. I found lots, and printed my few favourites out to pair up as appropriate. (A Google search will lead you to plenty!) I've organised all my free printable papers on my computer now, so I can search for what I want by colour/texture/theme - really useful!

I also pulled some cream card and various different gold cards from my stash. Confession: I used to really dislike the colour gold, but this year I've really come round to it. I think I even like it.

And of course, it's me, so the cards needed some extra sparkle! The top card, with the yellow star, got some pearly paint. Most of the cards got Stickles glitter on the furry trim and pom pom of the hat - so cute! And this little one above got lots of red glitter all over his tinsel.

Oh, and I mounted the James the Bear toppers with 3D foam, just so he stood out a little bit more. Doesn't he look cute all wrapped up in the snow?

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Colouring: LOTV Bunny Stocking

I love all the freebies being given away as part of Advent Calendars this December! This freebie came via a group called Kit and Clowder on Facebook. Behind the door of their Advent Calendar yesterday was this gorgeous stamp by Lily of the Valley (who you may have noticed I have been slightly obsessed with lately!) and I just had to colour it in right away. I used my ancient WHSmith pencils because they've got much softer leads than their newer pencils. I used white acrylic paint to add some fluff to the stocking and pom poms, as well as Liquid Pearls White Opal on the stocking trim and a Stickles glitter glue on the pom poms! They look so cute :)

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