Tag Archives: handmade holidays

Minion Madness

Happy New Year!

It was a bit of a different Christmas holiday around here, with so many people out of power, but we still enjoyed many beautiful moments with family and friends.

And, of course, there was time taken to make a few handmade gifts.  Although I did not take photos of everything I made, there were a few that had their moment with the paparazzi.

And how could you resist when the subject is this cute?

Minion Stuffed Toy

This is Phil.  And although we are still waiting for him to put on his maid’s outfit and clean our house,  it’s been fun having him around.  (Although all of our bananas seem to have gone missing….)  I used the fantastic free pattern and tutorial on We Lived Happily Ever After.

And because we are such big Minion fans here at the moment, I also crocheted this minion hat:

Crocheted Minion Hat

This was another free pattern and comes in all sizes from newborn to adult!  (Oh how thankful I am for all of those generous crafters out there!)  I also really liked this pattern I found on Pinterest, but didn’t think Hubby would like the braided tails!

Then, when our Christmas Eve plans were cancelled due to the crazy weather and power outages, I spent the day on the couch next to my beloved and whipped up one of these for my friend’s little one:

Crochet Puppy Dog Hat

It was fun to get the crochet hooks out again and to make something so little and cute!  This was another great free pattern from Repeat Crafter Me.

What about you?  Was there holiday crafting at your house this year?

 

A Princess Butterfly

This was my last create-a-creature to make before Christmas.  And what a creature to end with!  A loving Aunty is making this a gift to her niece and was able to tell me all sorts of wonderful things about the drawing.  This is a butterfly princess wearing a crown, with a striped shirt and a colourful layered skirt.  The legs you see above the skirt were an earlier addition that were not to be part of the final creature.  I love having details like this because it allows me to make something that preserves the original drawing but also meets the child’s vision for the creature too.

Wouldn’t you want this princess for your friend?

And now my own Christmas creating begins….  :)

iPod cozies

Cute Animal iPod Cozy Tutorial

I have been having so much fun making iPod cozies this past week.  It all started when I saw a photo of a monster iPod cozy as I was researching ideas for my children’s sewing classes (I already have 17 students signed up for the first class- eek!)  A few hours later I was down in the sewing studio surrounded by felted sweater scraps and sketching up some new critter ideas when the two ideas collided and animal iPod cozies were born!

They are such a fun project, and so perfect for holiday gift giving, that I thought I would share a tutorial so you can make some too!  (or, if you’d rather just adopt one, there is a growing zoo of iPod animals available in my shop!)

Animal iPod Cozy Tutorial

Materials

You will need a felted sweater (or larger sized scraps), wool felt (I use an acrylic/wool blend felt from this shop), and embroidery floss

Step 1: Cut the basic cozy pieces

From the felted sweater you will need one 4 x 5.5 inch piece for the back, one 4 x 4 inch piece for the front, and one 4 x 2.5 inch piece for the head

Step 2: Cut ears, eyes, noses and tails

From the felt, cut the necessary facial features for whatever animal you would like to make.  For this elephant I cut two eyes, a trunk, two ears, and a tail.  You could draw these on paper first, or do what I do and eyeball it.  If you are using a really thick felted sweater you could also use the sweater felt for tails or ears.  Because I wanted to use the sweater felt but didn’t feel it was sturdy enough, I also cut a second set of ears from the wool felt which I sewed together in the next step.

Step 3: Sew on your facial features and tails

Use embroidery floss to anchor the eyes and create eyeballs.  Attach your other facial features to the head, and your tail to the back.  I prefer to attach all of my facial features by hand-sewing, as I think the stitches are less noticeable, but you could also use the machine if you prefer. I used the machine to stitch together the two ear layers and to attach the tail.

Step 4: Pin it together

Place the back of the cozy right side up.

If you have ears, place them also right side up, lining up the bottoms with the edges of the cozy.  In this case I also put them about 1/4 inch down from the top so they wouldn’t get caught in the stitching!

Place the head piece right side down on top.

Place the top piece right side down, overlapping the head piece.

Pin well.

Step 4: Sew and clip corners.

Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, sew all the way around the cozy.  Clip off the corners close to the stitching.

Step 5: Turn right-side out and do a happy dance – you’re done!

 

Enjoy!  If you make your own cozy I’d love to see it!  Please feel free to share links to your pictures in the comments.

Upcoming Classes!

There are very few things I love in this life more than learning new things.  This is why I am always taking courses, always reading books, always have a list of things I want to learn more about.

But I am just as passionate about sharing what I have learned with others.  (This is perhaps why I chose teaching as a profession!)  I am the the teacher who is always running into the principal’s office and saying “Did you know that?”  or “I just learned.”  or, “Hey, research shows this, maybe we should try it!”  Luckily for me I work in a small supportive school and all of this is encouraged! :)

So it is really not too surprising that I have spent the last few months thinking about how I can share what I know about sewing with others.  I have had the pleasure of teaching my friend’s girls how to sew, have had a few friends over for some on-on-one sewing help, and last year I taught my entire Kindergarten/Grade One class how to sew.  But so far, there has been nothing formal.

Until now.  Isn’t it amazing when you start to think about something, and then everything seems to fall into place to make it happen?

My school was looking for some fun after school programs, so at the end of November I am running a three day class teaching students aged 5 – 10 how to sew their own stuffies.

And then someone I know bought this beautiful cottage on the water and has set it up as a retreat centre centred around creative craft classes and retreats!  It’s the perfect spot to relax and to learn something new.  And I am now their official sewing instructor!

I am offering two classes in the next two months, both centered around introducing or helping others with the fun and versatile art of sewing, and also with the goal of helping with holiday gift-giving.  If you live locally, and have been wanting to learn more about sewing, or just need someone to help you out with a project, I would love to see you there!

How about sewing some super-comfy flannel pajama pants?  Making flannel pajamas for my nephews for Christmas was one of my first sewing projects way back when and has now become a holiday tradition.

Or…how about a workshop?  An evening to get out of the house and work on those holiday projects away from curious eyes (and maybe get a little help along the way?)

 

For those of you who don’t live locally, but are just as eager to learn to sew or develop your skills, web-based classes (and maybe even Skype sessions!) are in the works.  Stay tuned! :)

Have you learned something new today?  Share it in the comments and we can all learn together!

 

 

Sweet Little Fairy

Another little miss had her birthday last week.  This young lady loves fairies, so when I saw a tutorial for fairy bendy dolls, I knew what to do!

Isn’t she cute?

The birthday girl aslo enjoys making things, so I also included all the materials so that she can make a family of fairies on her own, and a few things to create a fairy house, too.

I might just have to make a few more of these…. :)

The Rabbits are Multiplying

The bunnies in my sewing room have been multiplying (as bunnies are wont to do).  I’ve been having a lot of fun playing with wool sweaters and making puffy little tails.  Here is the newest member of the family:

 This is the first time I’ve made a sweater friend with clothes and I kind of like her little skirt.  But she’s cute without it too!

 

But my favourite part is definitely her fuzzy pompom tail. 

Has anyone else been creating for Easter?

 

Hippity Hoppity Easter’s On It’s Way….

Can you believe that Easter is only a month away?

On a snowy blustery day like today it doesn’t seem possible that spring is almost here.

The sewing room has turned into a bit of a bunny workshop over the last few weeks, with easter eggs and soft little bunnies topping my to-do list. 

Photographing Easter bunnies in the snow somehow doesn’t seem right, but I managed to get a few shots in before the snow really started to fall this morning.

Meet my new bunny friends!

 

 

Both are made from felted wool sweaters, but the pink one is Cashmere.  (It’s always a happy day when I find a Cashmere sweater in need of a new home!)

Both bunnies can be found in the shop, hopefully soon to be joined by Easter eggs and some other bunny friends.

Bring on spring!

10 Easy Ideas for a Handmade Valentine’s Day

I admit that I am often a last-minute person.  Although I have great plans for holidays that might start months in advance, the bulk of the work is usually done a day or two before.  And so, Valentine’s day is almost upon us, and I have been busy preparing both a meaningful way to share the day with my hubby, and some fun ways to celebrate with my students.

If you are like me, and your holiday planning happens last-minute, here are some fun and easy ideas for a handmade holiday that you still have time to do before Tuesday!

1.  Take advantage of some of the beautiful printable Valentines available in blogland (this site is a good resource) for unique cards for all of the people on your list. 

2.  Make cute origami hearts (found here.)  One year I made one for each of my students!

3.   Make heart-shaped cookies.  You could even write the Valentine message in icing and skip cards altogether!

4.  For the love of your life, make a set of Valentine coupons.  Take little slips of paper and write things such as “Good for one back massage” or “Redeemable for watching a movie of your choice together” or whatever you think your love would like the best.  You could staple them into a book or fold them and put them into a glass jar tied with a red ribbon.   

5.  Create a video telling your Valentine how much you love them.  Use your camera, or create a slide show of pictures with a favourite song in the background.  If you have never done this before, Windows Movie Maker is an easy way to put together videos of this type. 

6.  Make a personalized card by printing out photos of things you and your Valentine have done together and pasting them onto a heart-shaped cut-out.  (Hubby made one of these for me one year and I LOVED it!)

7.  Create “Heartbreaker” Valentines  from stapled paper stuffed with treats!  

8.  Make heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast.  (If you don’t have a heart-shaped mold and find it hard to pour the batter in a heart-shape, just use a cookie cutter to cut out the shape once the pancakes are cooked.)

9.  Use a heart cookie cutter to create heart-shaped sandwiches for a special lunch.

10.  Make a “Sweet Memories” jar or an “I love you because” jar.  Find a pretty jar (or box or tin) and some small pieces of paper.  For a “Sweet Memories” jar, write a memory you have of being together on each piece of paper and then put it in the jar.  For an “I love you because..” jar, write things you love about the person instead.  I have been lucky enough to be a recipient of both of these kinds of gifts and still cherish them years after they have been given.

Here’s to another handmade holiday!

What do you like to do to make Valentine’s Day special?

10 Months Early

Remember my list of projects for the finish-a-long?  10 months (and a little more) before Christmas and my tree skirt is done!! :)

(Never mind that I started it in November…it’s much nicer to think of being really early than really late, don’t you think?)

It’s super simple, just two layers of fabric encased in bias binding (which I made myself.)  It’s completely reversible in case I get bored with this side, which I can’t imagine happening because  I LOVE this side.  Being the bookworms that we are in this house, I think it’s perfect!

And now there is one less UFO trying to take over my sewing room….

Pajama Munchers

It worked!  Here is my take on a pajama-eating monster pillow:

 

They are soft and fuzzy and they eat pajamas for breakfast.

 

Christmas sewing is almost done!

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