Decorations To Remember

This week’s blog post is a little late due to that pesky Covid.  I was going to do a post on a fun decoration I’d made as gifts for a couple of friends but have been unable to deliver them due to being suddenly upgraded (or is that downgraded?!) to Tier 4, which is essentially another lockdown.  Since the recipients don’t have their gifts, I can’t post about them!  So instead, I’m focussing on Christmas tree decorations.  First though, I finally got my wreath made for the front door.

Do you have a colour theme for your tree? Ours is predominantly red and gold but not exclusively!  Wherever we are, if we spot a nice Christmas decoration, we get it to add to the collection.  I love unpacking the decs each year and having the memories of where they were bought.  I’ve got ones made from Fimo by my sister about 30 years ago, a Smurf Santa from when I was a kid and collected those Smurf figures, ones given to me by old neighbours and lots of homemade ones too. Our tree is lightly decorated this year due to the kittens.  There’s nothing breakable on there and nothing below the bottom 18”!  It still looks lovely though.

These ones are purchased decs.  Clockwise from top left: angel from Monaco, moon and star from a French supermarket, pebble cat on a heart from a local lady (Em’s Pebbles) and a metal tree from the Netherlands, accompanied by my gold ring felt ornament.

These are a selection of some handmade decs.  Clockwise from top left: sequinned pudding (on a polystyrene ball), cross-stitched Tigger mini cushion, piper piping felt ornament and a clay heart sent by our wedding venue the first Christmas after our marriage.

My latest felt decoration, again from mmmcrafts, is a Santa.  Mrs Claus is almost done but is alarmingly headless at the moment. I must try to get her finished before Christmas Day! 

mmmcrafts has just released a pattern for some elves so hopefully they’ll make an appearance next year too.

Wherever you are in the world and whomever you’re allowed to celebrate with, here’s hoping it’s a happy and healthy Christmas.

Cute Christmas Tree Decorations

Last weekend, I did my first ever 10k.  It was a charity event to raise money for a little girl called Sophie, who lives in the next village.  Sadly, Sophie has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and is facing many years of treatments.  Her Mum set up a Facebook group (called Sophie’s Journey, if you’re interested) and it was through this that I found out about the virtual 10k event.  You could run, walk, cycle or swim the distance – I jogged half and then walked the rest – between 4-13th December and afterwards, collect your medal from Sophie’s house, socially distanced of course!  The medals were designed by Sophie and are super cute!

When I went to collect my medal, I wanted to take a little something for Sophie and her two sisters.  I’d seen this idea from Sew Dainty on Pinterest for a Christmas tree garland and thought they’d work well as individual decorations too.  First, I drew and cut out my Christmas tree shape on paper before pinning it onto felt sandwiched between two pieces of Christmas print fabric.  You can use wadding or anything in the centre of the sandwich, it’s just to give the trees some body.  It’s a good way to use up random pieces of fabric!

Next, I added in a hanging ribbon at the top before taking my tree sandwich to the sewing machine and sewing around the outside of the template, pivoting at the corners to give nice sharp points.

After I’d finished, it looked like this.

Using pinking shears, I cut around the outside of the tree, taking care not to chop off the ribbon hanger!

Lastly, I stitched some zigzag lines up the tree.  I wanted a tree topper but I’d run out of star buttons so I hand stitched a pair of wooden hearts to the front and back of the top of the trees instead.

I love how these came out and think I’ll be making a garland of trees in the near future.

A Cricut Challenge

I bought this Nordic ornament stamp last week and I’ve been trying to think of the best way to present it.  It’s about 5¼” across and I don’t have any dies that big.  Also, I wanted it to have the hanger part on the top too so a straight circle die wouldn’t work.  This seemed like a perfect job for the Cricut.

To begin, I stamped the hanger and bow and scanned it in to my computer.  I imported it into Inkscape using a great tutorial from TroyTube on YouTube and then added an offset (the red part) to give me my basic cut-out shape.  I played around with the shape a bit to remove the holes to make the cut-out section sturdier.

Next, I uploaded the finished shape into Cricut Design Space and scaled it to fit the stamped image.  I made the basic card shape by making a circle 5½” diameter and welding the ornament hanger onto the top.  I also sliced a smidge off the bottom so that the card would stand up.  The shape was duplicated and flipped horizontally so that it would be a mirror image and then overlapped the first circle a small amount to give a place for the fold.  A test cut revealed not quite a perfect fit but close enough.

My first card was for a swap in a Facebook group.  I stamped the image in Versamark and heat embossed in white before blending pink, purple and blue inks over.  The embossing resists the ink but gives texture with a lovely blended background.  Lastly, I added some rhinestones on the centre of the snowflakes and a small sentiment.  And a decorated envelope, of course!

I tried the stamp out on other coloured cards to see if it was as effective.  It gave good results whether it was heat embossed or just stamped, although a stamp positioner does help as it’s tricky to get all sections of big stamps to stamp well first time.

White embossing powder on Real Red and gold embossing powder on Shaded Spruce
White embossing powder on Sahara Sand and silver ink on Blackberry Bliss

I hate waste so try to salvage anything that hasn’t gone to plan.  Tags to the rescue!