Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Advent Tree

Last year I had the idea of making a Christmas Advent Tree for my nephew. This year I actually did it.
Began with a simple pieced tree.
Turned into a quilt
with buttons added.
24 pockets
with small ornaments inside
Every day from 1st December he can take out an ornament and attach it to a button
Until he has a fully decorated tree on Christmas Eve
Happy Christmas Harry

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lunch sack gift bags

Had our Christmas meeting at Rose City Quilters last night.
We had to make a lunch sack gift bag and deliver it ahead of time so a gift could be added and on the night we got our swap. The pattern is here.
Fully lined - love this turquoise/lime colour combination
This is my finished bag - used a button from my grandmother's dress to fasten it.
And this is what I got in return.
Love the spots and especially the heart button closure.
And inside - a gift from the club...with a catch
The catch is that we are encouraged to use this piece of fabric in a challenge for our Annual Quilt Show "Tote and Gloat" on 5th May 2012. You need to use a recognizable piece of the fabric in the challenge - there are a variety of categories. The standard of entrants is always high - see previous winning quilts here. Will have to think about this one.....
We were also very entertained by the committee last night - they did a wonderful rendition of "The 12 days of Christmas" - each stood up wherever they were in the audience to sing their line, and held up whatever they were singing:
On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me
12 new thimbles
11 lovely buttons
10 cotton reels 
9 fabric flowers
8 rotary cutters
7 measuring tapes
6 velcro hanging sleeves
5 paper pieced leaves
4 rolls of ribbon
3 library books
2 pairs of scissors
and a brand new sewing machine
They had decorated hats, held up items or attached them to clothing, and my favourite was the '5 paper pieced leaves' by Erilyn
- see details of how she made them here.
The evening finished with some demo's of simple things to make for Christmas, or to help with your quilting creations.
Loving these tree ideas :
Wool wrapped around polystyrene cones and secured with pins.
Simple but really effective.
And this one of fabric scraps is really sweet : make one yourself with instructions from Quilting Arts here.
Happy creating for Christmas.....

Monday, November 28, 2011


December is right around the corner and I am starting to feel like Christmas is coming....
Had my first Christmas outing with girlfriends
This show was just fantastic - the singing was wonderful, the reminder of how things were in the '80s true & funny....we haven't laughed so much in a long time. Fav songs - the rendition of "Should I stay or should I go?" (sung by Daniel, the angry frenchman) and the final "I'll say goodbye even though I'm blue" which the whole audience joined in for. A classic kiwi song by the Dance Exponents - click on the title to hear it on YouTube.
I've been stitching a Christmas project - can reveal all in December
If you are into journalling, you probably already know about Ali Edward's annual December Daily project : still time to get prepped if you are really quick :-)
It's fun to do and you can make it any style you like - here's some of mine from 2009.

Black-paged photo album purchased from Trade Aid shop.
Just a touch of glitter added to the front cover
Inside front cover - set the scene
Use your journal to capture what happens on particular days
Using different styles for dating your pages is fun
You can include bits of art you've been making for the holidays
You can capture childhood memories
You can remember friendships
or just capture thoughts about the season
It's great to look back and remember what presents were fav's
Because it's for all of December you can continue on and talk about the days that follow
and your hopes for the New Year
There are lots of other ideas for what you can capture at Two Peas.
Other bloggers are getting ready for Christmas:
Colouricious are doing a series of Christmas projects you can find on YouTube -I've previously shared Kim Thittichai's bondawebbed sketchbooks
Anne Griffiths shows how to use sheers/soluble fabric/and your machine to make poinsettia flowers for table decorations.
Lisa Vollrath is going to be doing her free Christmas printables again this year from 1st December.
And Tim Holtz will once more be doing his 12 tags of Christmas also from 1st December. In the left side bar on his blog you can link to the 12 tags of Christmas from 2007-2010. 
If you are feeling in the mood for making a few different xmas decorations straight away, check out these 12-days-of-ornaments from The Little Blue House - already done and posted in November.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Country Christmas Gift Fair

Today I want to show you my lovely Saturday afternoon. I headed off to the gardens of Caroline's Creative Interiors (beyond Aokautere) and her 6th annual Country Christmas Gift Fair (don't forget to click the pic's for better effect)
The weather was beautiful and the setting idyllic
The air was perfumed with gorgeous plantings as I wandered peacefully and discovered beautiful settings
and garden art
The house was decorated inside with items for sale
and outside were 14 lovely stalls
including Carole's (shown here with her daughter)
Poppie's bookshop was there - always hard to resist. I came away with these beautiful serviettes which I am sure will find several places to appear in my art
What a lovely way to spend an "almost summer's" afternoon

Friday, November 25, 2011

Spray Play

Yesterday was Workshop Thursday and I managed to get back to a bit more playing with spray and stencils for Roben-Marie Smith's Mixed Media Mayhem class.
Revisited this spread which I originally blogged about in August
I knew it wasn't done....
Might need something more yet
This is a new spread - lovely pink colour scheme and floral stencil using gesso.
This is where I left it for the day
See you again soon. Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

More feathers

Finished my feathers for Jude's Magic Feather project.
My initial feather has been completed with some stars - the feather is NZ colours and we have 4 stars on our flag.
And I wanted to make another piece with 2 feathers - which turned into 3. It represents me sheltering my boys.
My friend, Katherine, made one too - so lovely and soft. The feathery fabric is a very special piece left over from her mum's honeymoon nightie :-)
They will be lovely all together in a quilt
All going in the mail to Jude today. 
If you are enjoying hand stitching, you might like to explore these blogs :
Found, stitched and dyed - postings from world-wide artists co-ordinated by India Flint.
Check out this post by Jane LaFazio about hand stitching and great tips from Laura Wasilowski which of course led me onto her blog with great stitchy tips. More delicious stitching and practical tips from Jane on this guest post.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Rusty play

After gathering lots of rusty bits together I have been looking forward to having some rusty play. Finally got to it this afternoon. This is from the first part of The new Holey Moley Rust lessons. 
Started with kunin felt, shiva sticks in rusty colours, and lovely Illuminations Golds thread.
Randomly stitched on the felt first of all, using one of my machine's decorative stitches.
Then out came the heat gun and I blasted some of the felt away.
Then it was time to rub the partially blasted piece with the shiva sticks.
Next came more heat gunning.
And doesn't it look lovely and crusty - lying it on turquoise abaca tissue gives some idea of how I might be able to layer it up.
More soon....
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