Saturday, 2 January 2016

"and a Happy Near Year!"

So that was Christmas.....

I hope you and yours had a fabulously festive time?

We were so busy baking, making and partying that I didn't get a chance to blog about the rest of our '12 Makes of Christmas'. So, here they are...

On the 5th day of Christmas - a Reindeer Head:

We had originally planned to make one of these out of card-board, but when we found this one, beautifully pre-cut, and a bargain price, we thought we'd go for the easy option. It kept the kids entertained for an hour whilst I did some wrapping, etc, and I have to say I love it. He will definitely get carefully packed away for next year.

On the 6th day of Christmas - Snowflake necklaces:

We had a play with some Shrinky paper and made these little snowflake necklaces for the Princess and my nieces. Big hit! Shrinky paper is my new favourite craft activity and will be making more appearances in 2016 I suspect.

On the 7th day of Christmas - Cinnamon Tree Decorations:

I made a whole stash of these little tree decorations, with real cinnamon stick trucks and used them as gift tags on presents. Simple to make, cute and delicious smelling - the perfect Christmas craft in my book.

On the 8th day of Christmas - Mr A's lino-cut Christmas cards:

Yep, even Mr A is a crafter and he designed and printed our family Christmas cards (clever thing).

On the 9th day of Christmas - Christmas Cake

The Princess has been admiring all the sugar-craft Christmas decorations that appeared in our local super-market for the last few weeks. So we made a boiled pineapple fruit cake and decorated it with a her favourite characters, some royal icing and some edible glitter. Yum!

On the 10th day of Christmas - a gingerbread Christmas tree:

My little Superhero has been planning on making a gingerbread Christmas Tree since about September. The royal icing came out again to decorate it, along with some smarties. (We love our sweet treats here at Jumbleberries HQ).

On the 11th day of Christmas - a Christmas Pudding Pinate:

(Apologies for the rubbish picture, but this was the only snap we took before the kids bashed it to pieces!)

We always have a family party on Christmas Eve, and what is a party without a pinate? So we made a Christmas pudding out of papier-mache.

On the 12th day of Christmas - a Poinsettia Party Dress:

This year I thought I would try my hand at making a dress to wear to my works Christmas do. I decided I would break from tradition and steer clear of the LBD, and went in search of a novelty print instead. When I found this amazingly kitsch poinsettia fabric, I knew that I needed a 50s inspired wiggle dress... Unfortunately, I was in such a rush to get it finished in time that I didn't get an opportunity to take any photos of the dress prior to the party. So here is a picture of me, at the do, with my friend Ellie, looking very glamourous in her retro inspired swing dress:

I think you'll agree we are both rocking the vintage vibe.

Looking back, I may not have been that creative for the most part of 2015 but I certainly made up for it in December. I'm now really excited about all the new projects that 2016 will bring.

Happy New Year!

Jumbleberries. xx

Monday, 21 December 2015

On the fourth day of Christmas ..... a table decoration

Yep, more crafting has been happening here at Jumbleberries HQ....

This time the Princess made this cute little pin-art table decoration:

I have to be honest and tell you that it took ages to do and we used a lot of pins and sequins, but I think it looks really effective and will be something that is brought out every year, so I think it was worth it.

How are you decorating your Christmas table this year?

Jumbleberries. xx

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

On the third day of Christmas ....... homemade Advent Chocolates

Years ago (before children) Mr A and I bought an advent calendar for each other, which, within it's little drawers, contained a beautiful hand-crafted chocolate for each day of advent.

It has been our tradition since then to carefully pack the calendars away until the following December and then re-fill the drawers using shop bought chocolates.

This year, however, I thought it might be fun to have a go at making our own chocolates.

I know we are already a week into advent, but to be honest I haven't really had an opportunity until now, so this is what is on my work-desk this morning:

For added deliciousness I plan to make a variety of flavours so I am making a mixture of white, milk and dark chocolates. 

I've got a selection of ingredients from my baking supplies and am enjoying working out some different flavour combinations.

So far my favourites are; dark chocolate and sour cherries, white chocolate with raspberries and mini marshmallows, milk chocolate with honeycomb and dark chocolate with mixed peel.

I am thoroughly enjoying myself, but I can foresee a problem - how do I only limit myself to one a day?

What's on your work-desk this morning?

Jumbleberries. xx

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

On the second day of Christmas ... the children made decorations

I am very pleased to tell you that it is not just me that likes crafting here at Jumbleberries HQ - both my Superhero and Princess like to 'make stuff' too.

When they were little I ran a messy-play group with my mum for a number of years, so they really started getting involved with arts and crafts at a young age. I'm really pleased though that their love of being creative has continued even as they have got older (my Superhero will be 11 in February - eek).

The benefits of encouraging pre-school children to be involved in messy-play are well known I think, but I'm not sure older children continue to be encouraged in the some way, the focus moving to more academic subjects.

Obviously encouraging your kids to get involved in craft projects helps build creativity and imagination and gives them experience of thinking 'out-side the box'. Painting, cutting, drawing, sewing and so on, all help with muscle development and dexterity, which in turn aids handwriting skills.

Arts and crafts also helps to build confidence. How many of us crafters have embarked upon a project only to discover that it wasn't really what we saw in our minds eye? So, back to the drawing board we go and perhaps, on occasion, the whole idea is scraped altogether. We learn though that it's not the end of the world - sometime stuff turns out as you expected and sometimes it doesn't - but thats ok.

So when we all needed a bit of quiet time on Saturday afternoon, after a morning of football matches and dance-show rehearsals, I was more than happy when the kids got the hama beads out rather than putting the tele on or playing on the computer.

And this is what they came up with:

Superhero made the Christmas Pudding:

and Princess made the Tree:

I think they are really good considering neither used a template or an example to copy.

What do you think?

Jumbleberries. xx

Monday, 30 November 2015

On the first day of Christmas .....

Things are starting to get very Christmassy here at Jumbleberries HQ. Although we haven't officially put our tree up yet, we are slowly starting to decorate the house. One of the first items to appear was this festive cushion with an appliqued felt poinsettia on the front, that I made over the weekend - what do you think?

I followed this tutorial and other than having to cut out all the petals, it came together really quickly.

I cheated a little by buying a ready made cushion cover. Then I just un-stitched three sides (leaving the zipped edge).

I cut the leaves from different coloured red felt, as I thought it would add depth to the finished flower.

Stitching through the layers of felt was a little difficult, in fact the last two petals I decided to stitch into place by hand, but it was good fun to assemble. I then added some gold coloured sequins to the middle of the flower and then stitched up the 3 edges of the cushion cover.

And I was finished - one festive cushion.

What Christmas themed home decor items have you been making?

Jumbleberries. xx

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

WOYWW: Autumn Colour

Well, it turns out I am quite obsessed with Autumn leaves at the moment....

The kids and I went for a walk the other day to see what different, interesting leaves we could find and came home with a big bag of them.

It seemed a shame to just throw them away, so I have decided to use them in an Autumn picture.

So this is what is on my work-desk this beautiful Autumn Wednesday:

Lots of gluey fun! I'll let you know how it turns out.

What is on your work-desk today?

Jumbleberries. xx

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

En Pointe

I have to admit I actually started this project this time last year as a gift for my niece for Xmas. Then, for whatever reason, I didn't get around to finishing it and it got put away, never to see the light of day.

I stumbled across it again however when I was looking through my felt stash for my Autumn Leaves Wreath. I realised that actually there wasn't that much left to do on it, so I thought it was time to get is finished.

Job done really - I got my creative fix for the evening, plus I now have a home-made present all ready for the festive season.

What do you think?

Jumbleberries xx
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