Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy Girls

I hope you had a lovely Christmas! We had a really great day, which kind of turned into 3 days in a row of family get togethers. Great loot was given and gotten and hanging out with family is always rewarding.

Plus, I finished Eve's doll sitting around at my mum and dad's chatting and stitching. I am so happy with this one. This time I embroidered her face before attaching the hat which made it easier to hide the knots. I bought the felt for this doll from Winterwood which I think made all the difference. The wool felt for the original doll (which I bought off ebay) was just too thin and stretched when I stuffed the head.

As for the original doll, she will be going to a new home today. I hope she will be loved! I have a soft spot for her now!

ETA: The pattern I used to make this doll was from this pattern. I had a few questions about construction and Hillary Lang herself was very helpful!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Is it really Christmas again?

This post is a bit of a deviation from the usual craft mum posts of Red Chocolate. But I was thinking about some things and thought I would share them here.

I am one of those reflective types who thinks themselves into tangles, and this Christmas time is no exception.

I am thinking about how Christmas Day seems to hold a magnifying glass up to our lives, making the joyous even more joyful, but also the hardship somehow much harder. I know a few families this Christmas for whom the latter is true and my heart hurts for them.

I am thinking about how ironic it is that Christmas is all about Jesus' birth, and yet as a Christian myself, I find it to be possibly the most distracting time of year to meditate on who Christ is and what he came to do (and to teach my children these things).

I am thinking about how relieved and thankful I am that Jesus came into the world as a man to show us what God is like and to make it possible for us to know God and love Him and be loved by Him.

I am thinking about the words of my Dad's favourite Christmas carol, particularly this verse:

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

I am thinking about how Jesus is pretty great.

I am thinking that some folk who read this post will agree with me, and others will not. Either way, you may like tell the distractions to take a back seat for a moment and spend some time reading about Jesus this Christmas.

And now I think I will stop thinking and go to bed. We may be up earlier tomorrow than usual (!)

Thanks for reading and commenting throughout 2010 and for writing nice blogs for me to read!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Some Christmas makey

Dolly pre nose job.

Despite being eternally distracted by my computer, I have managed a fair bit of craft for Christmas in the last few weeks.

Another cute little owl from my trusty Craft Schmaft pattern. (I think I have made about 6 of these now!)

Some applique singlets and fabric hair bows from this tutorial. I have never done the applique singlet thing before. It is such a quick gratifying little project, I think I will have to do some more soon!

A flower crown which I sort of made up as I went along. (Jemima is sporting a lovely black eye that she got by walking into a pole on the school run last week. Nice.)

And I repaired Evie's doll, but now I am more than half way through its replacement, and I don't know which one to keep. The nose job turned out not too bad. I will have to give her to someone very special if she doesn't stay with us. I have a little girl in mind.

Only a couple of days to go!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Old baubles become new again

I felt inspired by Pip's crocheted baubles, but left my run too late to find clear baubles in stock anywhere. I thought about crocheting around these old Ikea baubles I bought when Chris and I first got married 9 years ago, but then got another idea. What I did with my trusty glue gun is fairly self explanatory! You can see the red bauble in this post. You can also see a crocheted heart from Pip's tutorial I made last year.

In a few years our tree will be positively festooned with handmade goodness. It will be a different tree than this one (also 9 years old) as it has lost one of its more substantial branches. I thought about replacing it this year, but I'll get one in the sales. (Dreaming of a "real" Christmas tree for one day- but didn't fancy having it on our carpet which is less than 6 months old!)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

He's no ordinary kid, he's Ben 10

Ben 10 provides much of the sound track to our lives these days. It's Caleb's favourite show and he talks about it to anyone who will listen. He draws page after page of alien drawings and omnitrixes, he quotes the one liners, and he plays "Ben 10" with Jemima in the back yard. It's a little full on to be honest, but he really enjoys it- so I am indulging his love this Christmas with a couple of gifts.

I had the idea to make a "Ben 10 Alien Force" jacket and then I came across this pattern at Bettsy Kingston. It is such a cool pattern and so nice to make something for the little guy for a change. The instructions were clear with good illustrations- and the resulting jacket is very nicely finished. When I had a few troubles along the way, I sent Benita at Bettsy Kingston an email which resulted in an extremely helpful exchange- just like a mini sewing lesson!

The pattern went together really smoothly, and while there are a few niggles on this one due to my inexperience (the too long collar with puckering, and the top stitching at the opening) I know exactly what to do next time, and I am looking forward to making another non-Ben 10 variation.

I also have the reversible pinafore pattern from Bettsy Kingston and some very sweet fabric. I am hoping to whip one up for Eve before Christmas, but as usual after the completion of a project, I have to restore the housework balance before I can start a new one.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Well, I should have trusted my instincts regarding Eve's doll. Dolly now has a double french knot sized hole in the middle of her face. Noooooooooooo! I can't take a picture because it actually makes me feel sad. I had a little teary and have worked out a plan to repair her... but I have also bought more felt- thicker felt- this time so it will withstand a future attempt! At this stage I am thinking I will make Eve another doll (if she is not ready by Christmas, she won't care!), and if my repair is good enough, give poor folkster away.

Ah, craft fail.

A project that more went to plan is this little guy hanging on the tree. I used this tute from Elsie Marley. Fun! (and he doesn't have a nose...)