Monday, 18 November 2013

Christmas Wish-list Felt Envelope

Today I am joining in with the Bugs & Fishes Christmas Tutorial Link-up where lots of talented crafters are sharing their festive tutorials. Pop over to take a peek - Xmas inspiration a-plenty!

My contribution to the 'party' is my:
Felt Christmas Wish-list Envelope Tutorial
Fill it with your letter to Santa and then hang it on the foot of your bed.

To make your own version, you will need:
* 3 sheets of felt - one white, one red & one green
* a piece of fabric (I used a red and white polka-dot tea-towel) about A4 size
* a sheet on bonda-web, again about A4 size
* a piece of ribbon
* a couple of buttons
* embroidery thread
* a sheet of paper
To start, fold your A4 sheet of paper into 3 equal parts. Measure a strip approx 5cms wide along the long edge of the paper, cut off and discard. Using the paper pattern, cut your sheet of white felt down to size. Fold the felt into 3 sections, as you did with the paper pattern - the middle section is where you are going to add your embellishments.

From the sheet of green felt, cut some lettering to spell out the word 'Santa'.
From the rest of your felt, cut out some mini motifs to embellish the front of your envelope. There are obviously lots of different Christmas themed motifs that you could choose but the ones I like are:
* a stamp shape (cut with pinking-shear) decorated with a Christmas bauble shape
* a Santa hat
* 2 holly leaves
* a poinsettia flower shape
Add your lettering to the middle section of the white felt, positioning the word in the lower half of the space. I used sticky-backed green felt for my lettering, purely because I had some. If I had used normal felt, I would have blanket-stitched the lettering using white embroidery thread.

Next sew your motifs into place. 

Sew the stamp shape in the top right hand corner of your envelope. You can decorated the middle of the bauble shape with a gold sequin to add some extra sparkle. 

Position the Santa hat above the last 'a', adding a mini pom-pom on the end. 

Create a poinsettia motif, using a 5 petal flower shape, gathering it slightly as you stitch it into place. Highlight the middle with a gold sequin.

Finally sew a loop of ribbon onto the top left corner of the envelope, securing it in place with the two holly leaves and a red button berry.
Once all of the embellishments have been stitched into place and the front of your envelope is complete, you can now line the envelope. 

Cut your piece of material to size, making sure that it is slightly larger than your envelope shape. 

Iron your piece of bonda-web to the back of your material. Peeling away the backing paper, iron your piece of material to the back of your envelope. Make sure you iron the material and not the felt or you will melt your envelope!  
Using your original paper pattern, cut the top of the template into a curved point. Add a shallow cut-away shape to the bottom of the template.

Pin the paper pattern onto your envelope and trim your felt and material to shape.

Once your envelope has been cut into shape, fold into three sections. Blanket stitch along the two short edges to create the 'pocket' between the middle and bottom sections. Leave the top section free to create the envelope 'flap'

Sew a button to the middle of the back section and cut a small slit in to the envelope 'flap' for a button-hole. You can strengthened the button hole by sewing on a square of green felt, cut with pinking-shears.

And there you have it. All you need to do now is write your Christmas Wish-list, hang your envelope up along-side your stocking on Christmas Eve and sit back and wait for Santa.
Please do let me know if you make your own Christmas Wish-list Envelope - I would love to see your version.

(Please note that this tutorial is for personal use only).

Happy Christmas Crafting!

Jumbleberries xx

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Officially the best chocolate brownies in the world, ever!

Here at Jumbleberries HQ we love chocolate brownies. Our favourite recipe is from Hummingbird Barkey, because, quite frankly, they are the best chocolate brownies in the world - at least according to my son. But even though they are super-delish as they are, occasionally I like to add an extra little ingredient to give them a bit of a twist. I've made a Black Forest version (went down a treat at work) and a White Chocolate with Cranberry version (nice but a bit too sweet for me), but as this is part of my 12 Makes of Christmas Series, I thought I would share my Spiced Orange & Dark Chocolate version. Serve them warm with some extra thick double cream and your Christmas house-guests will love you forever!

Spiced Orange Chocolate Brownies
Over a gentle heat melt 175g of butter and 200g of dark chocolate. (I use Sainsburys Basic chocolate and it works a treat.) 
Add 6 cloves to the mixture whilst is it melting. 
Once it has all melted together, take it off the heat and fish out the cloves.
Mix in 325g of caster sugar until the mixture looks a bit like wet sand.
Now stir in 130g of plain flour and mix thoroughly.
Next add the zest of one orange, one teaspoon of dried cinnamon and one teaspoon of dried ginger. Your kitchen will already start to smell like Christmas.
Finally mix in 3 medium sized eggs.
Pour the mixture into a lined, greased cake tin and bake at 170 for around 30 mins.


Jumbleberries  xx

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like......

... OK perhaps not quite yet, but I've spent all summer dreaming of all the crafty-loveliness I could make for Xmas and then I've realised that it is actually only 12 weeks away - eek! So I am trying really hard to override my 'leave everything to the last-minute' default setting and actually crack on with some of my little ideas.

I'm sure you are very organised and your Xmas crafts are well under way, but I thought I would share my little designs over the coming weeks anyhow - kind-of-a 12 Makes of Christmas sot-of-a-thing - just in case you would like to make some of them too (I'm good like that).

So here is my first one:

Felt Lavender Pillows

This is a really quick & easy, but super cute little pressie idea, perfect for 'Gifts for Teacher' or a little treat for Grandma - or anyone who likes a bit of 'pretty' really.

You'll need some paper, 3 pieces of co-ordinating coloured felt, embroidery thread, some cushion stuffing and some lavender.

Cut yourself 2 heart shapes from the paper, one slightly smaller than the other. Mine measure 10 x 9.5 cm and 8 x 7.5 cm. You'll also need to draw yourself a 5 petal flower shape. Using your paper patterns, cut two of the larger heart shape from your darker coloured felt, one of the smaller heart shape from the lighter coloured felt and 3 of the flower shape from the co-ordinating coloured felt. I also cut a couple of mini leave shapes from a pale green colour.

With all your pieces cut out, you now need to start stitching the flowers and leaves onto the small heart. I stitch up throw the middle of the flower and back through the same hole beneath the flower shape in order to give the petals a slightly 3D effect. Do this for each of the five petals.   

Once all three flowers and the leaves are stitched to the small heart, you now need to blanket stitch this onto one of the larger heart shapes. When this is complete, you then need to blanket-stitch the second large heart onto the first, but leave yourself a little opening in order to stuff the pillow. I use a normal cushion stuffing, and then sprinkle in some dried lavender (home-grown) mixed with a bit of salt, which is supposed to stop the lavender from rotting. Once the pillow is stuffed, close up with gap by continuing to blanket-stitch all the way round.

And there you have it.

The design also works well as a hanging decoration made using Christmas colours. I added a small sequin to the centre of each flower as I think it makes them look like poinsettias. I thought they might look nice hanging on the back of each chair around the Xmas dining table.

What do you think?

Let me know if you have a go yourself, I'd love to see your version.

Happy Christmas Crafting.

Jumbleberries xx 

Saturday, 29 June 2013

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Jumbleberries xx

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

May Day at Burghley

 How did you spend your sunny Bank Holiday Monday?

Jumbleberries xx

Monday, 6 May 2013

Jumbleberry Gin

It was my best friends birthday this weekend. As a crafty-type, I do normally try and give her a homemade present. I think she appreciates the effort, even if she is not always over the moon with the actually gift ..... oh how we laughed, when, in the early days of my crafting adventures, I presented her as a house-warming pressie with my original take on a hanging wreath decoration. It become obvious after a minute or two of awkward silence that she thought I'd given her a 'unique', if over-sized, accessory which she would have to wear. I can't describe the relieve on her face when I explained that it was actually for hanging on the wall.....
Anyway, we both love a G&T, so this year I thought it would be fun to make her some fruity flavoured gin. Ideally I would have liked to have used a mix of berries (to truly make some 'jumbleberry' gin), however, being the type of chick that leaves everything to the last minute, I actually only had raspberries to use, but that's ok coz they are my favourite anyway.

I searched the internet for recipes and there are loads to choose from, but in the end I went for a simple mix of a punnet of raspberries, 50g of caster sugar, and enough gin to fill the bottle. I think ideally it should sit for two weeks and then be poured through a coffee filter to remove all the bits, but I must admit I made my version straight in the gin bottle.

Gently shaking the bottle to mix in the sugar, released the berry juice turning the gin pink, which I thought was really pretty. Hopefully my friend will like the end result. And, more importantly, hopefully she'll share some of it with me, tee hee.

Have you ever made any flavoured gin?

Jumbleberries xx

Friday, 3 May 2013

Top Plan

So, hands up if you loved the Great British Sewing Bee?

A TV programme all about sewing, presented by the hilarious Claudia Winkleman, plus some technical expertise provided by the super-handsome (thank-you-very-much) Patrick Grant. What's not to love, right?
I never got on with the GB Bake-off. (I mean, stop crying over soggy-bottomed pastry, there are people starving in the world for goodness-sake!). But I thought the Sewing Bee was fab. I loved the projects the contestants were given but more than that, I really liked the sewers that were chosen to take part. I thought it was a really interesting bunch of people - obviously I appreciate that they had specifically cast a mixed bag of individuals - but to my mind that's what made it all the more interesting.

I think the last 3 deserved their places in the final and to be honest I would have been happy if any one of the three had won. My favourite competitor though had to be Stuart. I loved his creative flare and bravery (the tulip skirt was great, wasn't it?) plus he came across as a really nice person.

I loved Tilly too. From the peach flowers in her hair, to the purple nail varnish, the checked skirt and the bold eyeliner, I loved her quirky personal style. So how happy was I to discover that not only was Tilly a fellow blogger (Tilly and the buttons, if you've not already found it), but that she also sells her patterns on-line. Well I just couldn't resist and I am now the proud owner of her Mathlide Blouse Pattern, which I hope to have a go at over the weekend. I'll let you know how I get on.

What's on your sewing machine at the moment?

Have fun.

Jumbleberries xx

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Sweetpea Seedlings

I received a wooden paper potter for Christmas. Have you used one? It's brilliant! Not only is it a fab way of turning recycled newspaper into biodegradable plant pots, but (and more importantly for a mum of two easily bored children) it is a great activity to keep the kids entertained.

Between us we made a whole heap of little newspaper pots which were just the right size to plant our sweetpea seedlings into:
When they've grown just a little bit bigger (and the weather has got slightly warmer), we'll be able to plant them straight into the ground. I love Sweetpeas, don't you?

What are you growing this Spring?

Jumbleberries xx

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Spring has sprung

(well it has in Market Harborough at least!) and I love it.
I hope the flowers are blooming and the sun is shining where you are too.

Have fun.

Jumbleberries xx

Monday, 22 April 2013

Daffodil Brooch

I've been working on a new corsage design for Spring - a little posy of Daffodils:
What do you think?

Jumbleberries xx

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Ruby Loves

I love a good craft magazine, don't you? I have to admit that I buy them quite frequently. I don't tend to buy the same one each month though, I like to vary which ones I buy as there are so many on the market to choose from at the moment.

This week I found a new one - Ruby Loves - a new craft magazine for girls. And my little Princess thinks it's great.

The first issue came with a selection of materials which could be used to make 6 little projects, ranging from a felt key-ring, bunting and cookie-pops.

The instructions for each project are easy to follow, however, I would say that the crafts are aimed at a slightly older age group, so as Princess is only 6 I did have to help her complete some of the crafts - although I was obviously more than happy to help. Her favourite make was the 'design-your-own-ring' which she used some funky coloured nail varnish to decorate.
 Pretty isn't it?

I think this a great magazine for craft loving girls and I'll definitely be buying it again for Princess.

What's your favourite craft magazine at the moment.

Jumbleberries xx

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Regal Butterflies

It was my little Princess' birthday this week. As she loves butterflies - she brings home a drawing of a butterfly everyday! - we thought we'd buy her some butterfly themed items for her room. I managed to find her a pretty duvet set and some new curtains, but not much else (nothing that I liked anyway) so I decided to make a couple of items myself.

First of all I made a pretty pink paper butterfly canvas to hang on her wall:
 and then I made a co-ordinating lampshade:
I cut all the butterfly shapes by hand, which although took quite a long time, I actually found really relaxing, and then stuck them down individually using my glue gun. Each item was super easy to make but look really effective so I'm very pleased with the results and, more importantly, Princess loves them!

What have you been making recently?

Have fun.

Jumbleberries xx

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Blue Sky Thinking

My word it's been chilly here today! Really snowy and miserable. Still there has been a little ray of sunshine on an otherwise grey day - my little felt coaster set with sunflower motif made it to the Folksy front page today, thanks to Dare to Dream:

Jumbleberries xx

Thursday, 7 February 2013

A fresh new start

Hello there? How are you? I hope 2013 has been good to you so far? Apologies for my lack of contribution to blogland of late. Truth be told, I didn't feel I had much to say towards the latter part of last year, because, well, I lost my crafting-vibe a bit for a while there. To be honest I had started to get a bit despondent that my little Folksy shop hadn't been the run-away success I had dreamed of for 2012 and rather than taking that as my cue to roll up my sleeves and get stuck in, I guess you'd say I sulked for a bit.....

I've got over myself now though. Having given myself a good talking to (after all if all I have to worry about is not as many people liking the stuff I make than I had hoped, then I don't really have much to worry about, ah?) and have started to take action! 

And to start with I have decided to stop being a floozie - in the crafting sense you understand. I realised that I get far too easily distracted by new crafts. And as a consequence I waste so much time, energy and not to mention money trying new ideas and techniques that I never finish anything. 

I'm also going to streamline my aspirations for the year ahead. I've always dreamed big (I get that from my lovely dad) but I have so many ideas that I can never turn them into a realistic, achievable plan. 

So I'm going to stop getting distracted and concentrate on the things I really love making and, from a commercial point of view, have been my biggest success. 

I therefore declare 2013 the year of the corsage! 

January was spent developing some new designs which would move my Felt Flower Corsages up a level and have a bit of a vintage vibe to them too. It is therefore with great pleasure that I unveil my first vintage inspired Felt Flower Posy:

What do you think? I’m very pleased with how it turned out as I love the Spring colours. I think it would make a pretty Mother’s Day present or a stylish alternative to a buttonhole at a Spring Wedding. I’ve got lots more similar designs planned for my little shop, but before I start listing them I’d love to know what you think? I really hope you like it.

Did you use January to re-evaluate your aims and aspirations? What do you have planned for the year ahead?

Jumbleberries xx

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year!

Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy 2013.

Have fun.

Jumbleberries xx
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