Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Hey there! :)

How was your Xmas? Mine was lovely!

Look at some of the things I got...


Sunday, December 25, 2011

I'm still technically not done, but...

If you can't tell by this post, I'm a procrastinator. Thought I'd recap what I was able to give out (and technically finish) these past couple days, though I'm still needing to finish a couple more gifts. I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday and that everyone enjoyed your amazing crafty gift goodness!

Another pleated clutch, with layered fabric

Ginger schnapps, in single size jars


Cockroach ornaments, based off of Very Purple Person's tutorial

Poorly self-drafted capes

Felt-applique t-shirt

Diaper clutch, again poorly self-drafted

Earthworm ornaments

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Moustachmas!

Here's a last minute Christmas gift that always makes me smile!  Chocolate moustaches! 

Chocolate moustache on a lollipop stick
Just melt some milk chocolate in a microwave/ban marie/chocolate fondue melter whatever your melting procedure of choice and once melted add a few drops of orange flavouring and then pour into a mould of your choice (I got this mould online posted to me by a friend in America as they wouldn't deliver to the UK, but think there are now sellers of this mould over here), set aside to cool and then transfer to the fridge for a few hours or overnight and then wrap prettily!  No one who receives something like this can resist pulling funny poses before devouring them!  Here's the proof!

Got to keep those moustache ends twirled!

Sneaky looks

Big smile!  Well, Moustache!

Merry Christmas!

What I ended up making for Christmas

Hi everyone,

I've seen some lovely homemade gifts on this site, and have been so inspired!  Sadly my Christmas gift planning was a complete fail.  I didn’t make any of the things I planned to make, but did end up making something I wasn’t really planning to make at all.  Thanks to a comment from Marie I decided to make a pair of boxers for my boyfriend.  I used Kwik Sew pattern 1672 and am totally chuffed about how well they have turned out. 

Not least the amazing fluke pattern matching at the centre front, it’s (almost perfect).

I also made some embroidered gift tags, partially inspired by this purl bee tutorial, although I made the tags bigger and embroidered the names on instead of using card.

I hope everyone elses Christmas making plans went well.  Happy holidays everyone!!!

Last Minute Christmas Knits

Hello Festive Crafters!

It's Kerry from Kestrel Finds and Makes. By now I'm sure that most of you have your handmade pressies wrapped up and ready to be gifted. I wanted to share my two Christmas knitting projects with you - one which has already been sent and opened and the other which is for my sister-in-law to open tomorrow.

First up, Owl & Pussycat Mittens for Sian Lile Makes as part of a Christmas Blog Swap which was to include handmade and thrifted items.

I used the pattern for Owl Mittens which can be on for free on Ravelry, and made one owl into a cat.

As Sian is vegan and was concerned about the potential of wool farming to be harmful, I used organic wool which had been dyed using natural dyes.

My Blue Leaves Scarf was made using the Saroyan pattern (also free - don't you love Ravelry?!) and Sirdar Sublime aran yarn which is a mix of cashmere, extra fine merino and silk. It is beautifully soft. My sister in law wanted a blue scarf and I loved the lace leaf edging and tapered ends of this scarf. It's a straightforward knit too, perfect for beginner lace knitters.

I hope you all managed to get your handmade gifts finished up this year. I didn't make as many as I had intended, but I bought some handmade things, which is nearly as good in my opinion, and definitely better than just buying something from Amazon! Maybe next year I'll be a bit more productive!

Now I just need to wrap the last of my presents. A very Merry Christmas everyone!

K x

Friday, December 23, 2011

Extreme last minute crafting

Hello again, Aleah from no time to sew with my last (last minute) crafty gifts. First up, made the night before it was gifted, a couple things for a work friend:

The first is a purse organizer and a small zipper pouch. She always wants to change her purses to match her outfits, but complains about what a pain it is to transfer all her purse contents all the time, so I thought this might help. It's basically a strip of pockets that she can fill with purse stuff, roll up and stick in one purse, then pull it out and move it to another purse easily. I just winged the construction, more details here. The zipper pouch is from this tutorial.
The second item is this super simple jersey circle scarf. This has got to be the easiest gift of all time to make. I bought a third of a yard of jersey from the bulk bin at my local fabric shop. I trimmed off the selvages, then used a ruler and rotary cutter to make the long edges nice and straight, and sewed the short ends together. Done. So if it happens to be Christmas Eve and you're one gift short, might I suggest a jersey circle scarf? I think it took me longer to buy the fabric than to make the scarf, seriously.

I also made my mom a case for the Kindle Fire my dad is getting her:
It's basically from this tutorial, resized for a Kindle (luckily, it turns out that the dimensions of the Fire are the same as my regular old Kindle, so I made this case the same size as one I made earlier in the year for myself). I lined the case with a scrap of black corduroy left over from a skirt I made last year. The lining is visible around all the edges, of course, because my lining always seems to end up bigger than my outside fabric for some reason, but I'm just going to pretend it was intentional since it kind of looks like trim. Here it is open, with my Kindle in it. The bird screen saver seemed appropriate for the fabric (it's Alexander Henry's Bird Seed, which my mom actually gave me last year because she liked it but couldn't think of anything to make with it!)
So woo-hoo, Christmas Crafting complete! Have a Merry Christmas, everyone. May it be filled with family, friends, food, and plenty of crafty gifts too!

Edible Christmas Goodies

Kat from KraftyKat here again....Over the last week i have been a busy bee in the kitchen, making a selection of goodies both as presents, as well as for me and my family to devour! Here i would like to share with you a selection of my yummy makes (i can confirm they are yummy, even if i do say so myself, because my boyfriend and i had to shoulder the arduous task of taste testing everything before they could be given as's only right after all....!)

Orange and Pistachio Stollen Bars

A fun twist on traditional Stollen, the recipe for these can be found here (you have to scroll down a bit). These were very easy to make and turned out pretty well i think...these pictures do not show them in bar form as these are intended as gifts and therefore to preserve as best as possible i have wrapped uncut...but the recipe suggests to dust with icing sugar and chop up before serving. Yum! It is promised that if well wrapped these will keep very well for up to 2 weeks...mine are tightly wrapped in foil so fingers crossed!

Cherry and Ginger Fudge

This was my first venture into the land of fudge and i was very apprehensive! I choose to use this recipe. I used a sugar thermometer but I'm not sure it was working properly...consequently the fudge did not set as well as i would have liked. I initially planned to chop it up into squares but it is too soft for this...therefore i wrapped it as tablets and am warning the recipients to keep it refrigerated! It still tastes good though, so not a total loss.


I have always loved Lebkuchen, and this year i decided to try my hand at baking some. I used this recipe, which was recommended by Tilly last year. It was so quick and easy to whip up, i ended up making too batches. A definite winner. The only changes i made were to use a bit of lemon juice in the icing to add flavour, and i omitted the egg whites from the icing as well. I also made a small batch of these gluten free for a celiac friend, this worked really well, i just used gluten free flour in place of the plain flour.

Petite Fours

Marzipan Fruits...guess the fruits! I am especially proud of the grapes.

Rum Truffles

Every year my Nana and i make some Petite Fours. Our favourites are marzipan fruits and rum truffles, shown above. For the marzipan fruits we make the shapes out of marzipan, colour them with food colourings and add cloves as stalks where required! The rum truffles are made by mixing melted chocolate, icing sugar and butter together with a few tablespoons of rum. These are rolled into balls and covered with chocolate sprinkles, and then left in the fridge to set. Both of these treats are great fun to make and are the kind of thing that kids can easily join in with...that's how i first made them!

Well, that's about it from me in terms of Christmas makes this year! I have very much enjoyed reading about everyones gift ideas, and i can wait to be involved again next year (i am already planning to be much more organised next time as i did have to forfeit some plans for the sake of time sadly!).

Have a great Christmas everyone!

K xx 

How is it only 2 days til Christmas?

Hi everyone! Gillian here, in Canada... (I'm really hoping my sister doesn't follow this blog - but if she does: Hi Anne! Don't look to carefully!) I've been meaning to post for... oh, you know, months! Yet somehow I find myself here, 2 days before Christmas. I finished the last of my gifts today, and almost everything is wrapped.

I'm pretty broke this year, so I made a lot of gifts by hand. I've been blogging my progress at Luckily I have a pretty huge stash of materials from 5 years of living in Japan. (Seriously, the one thing I miss about Tokyo is 7-story-tall craft stores!)

Here are some of the things I've made:

  • Lots of wreaths for friends and family

  • Felt Heart Ornaments for friends. These are a family tradition, and I make more almost every year! *Bonus Cat Picture!*

  • some Zippered Bags  from Elizabeth Hartman's "Perfect Zippered Bag" pattern - and my goodness, it's addictive. Normally I fear patterns, but this one is so easy and clear that it's like a little miracle every time! (Sorry, no pictures yet!)

  • Finally, a whole bunch of felted ornaments, using sweaters and wool roving felted around styrofoam balls. *Follow the links to tutorials* (These are so easy, and they look much harder than they are! If you need to make a few last minute gifts, you can crank these out in no time!)

For the nerds in my life...

I'm a little sad that the Christmas crafting season is over! I've loved having an excuse to crank out heaps of crafts - Now what do I do? Keep everything? Wait for birthdays? Not as fun as Christmas! 

I've really, really enjoyed watching everyone's creations here on the blog - It's been lovely to connect with other crafty people. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, and see you again next year!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pillows, Snoods & Table Decorations!

Hi everyone! It's been awhile since I posted here due to some unexpected travel, but here's what I've been up to in the crafty Christmas world:

I made these pillows for my sister from fabric she bought on our trip to Hawaii last year (Kapaia Stitchery on the island of Kaua'i, great prices!). These were supposed to be for her birthday in February (oops), but better late than never! I bought pillows from the craft store and just sewed 2 fabric pieces together and flipped them right side out. I slipstitched them closed after inserting the pillow. I bought the blue fabric to make a dress, but borrowed some of it here since I thought it made for a more complete group!

Snood Fever Continues!
This is my version of the snood made world famous by Karen from Did You Make That? I made 3! This snood is made from Merino wool that I bought at the Brooklyn General Store in Brooklyn, New York and was my first knitting project in years. I started it in New York and finished it in Virginia! This one went to my friend who is heading back to France next month. Should keep her nice and toasty.

Table Runner/Napkins

And finally, I made a table runner and napkins for my mom, as she loves decorating for the holidays. I gave them to her a bit before Christmas so she could enjoy the festiveness! For the table runner, I used sew-in interfacing to weigh down the lighter weight reindeer cotton and found that slowly ironing out the bumps in the fabric helped keep the fabric flat. I also used my walking foot which helped keep the fabric layers from shifting.

The napkins were made using the rolled hem setting on my overlocker. It's the first time I've used this feature and I love how it turned out! It looks like the edges are bound with a narrow bias tape and it was so fast and easy to make.

Happy holidays, all!

~Amanda from Sewin' in the Rain

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Man Fashion Tips: Men Dress Shirts for Skinny and Short Man

If you are short and thin, dressing up can be quite the hassle. You are going to look like you are drowning in a shirt if it is not made to fit your figure. Despite having a small frame, there are a few ways on how to look great in a dress shirt.

Short height does best with slim, streamlined details. Pick narrow collars whose points aim downward over wide spread collars as broad collars make you look stouter than you really are.

It is important to have the length of the sleeve and the shirt adjusted to suit your body measurement. Nothing looks more awkward than having the sleeves that hang down too far or shirt that is too wide at the waist. A trim fitted dress shirt with the pocket and collar in the right size will stop you from looking like a flying squirrel.

This is a little optical illusion that you could use well to your advantage. Vertically-oriented patterns on dress shirts compliment short figures. Horizontal line going across will only make you look wider instead of taller. However if you are aiming to look broader, vertically striped patterns such as plaid or windowpane patterns make flattering choices. Do not go overboard with loud plaids and windowpane designs, choose more subtle tonal varieties. Dressing in dark colors from head to toe will only emphasize your skinny body frame. If you wish to avoid emphasis on your small body frame, add in a splash of white or light gray to break the whole one colored outfit. Avoid anything with over excessive stripes in varying colors and sizes as it can be a little overbearing to the eyes. Thin, simple stripes make you look elegant and taller than you actually are.

Another piece of advice for a man of short height is to remember that dress shirt is to always be kept tucked in. Shirttails that are let loose shorten your legs dramatically. Un-tucked dress shirts will cut your body in half and make you look particularly stumpy. Tucking in your dress shirt makes sure your leg line is maximized. Men with longer leg lines naturally give the illusion of being taller.

Regardless of what kind of body shape Mother Nature gave you, making the most of what you were given will make you look better and help you feel more confident.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mens Fashion Jeans: Burberry Prorsum Dark Indigo Jean

We are sure slim fitting dark indigo jeans have a place in every man's wardrobe, more so for this pair from Burberry Prorsum, that has minimal detailing that makes them a go-to option for any stylish look. Made with raw denim and 100% cotton, these jeans will soften with use for a unique patina that will develop as you wear them.

Come with five pockets, button closure and fly and layered perspex plaque on the back engraved with the Burberry Prorsum logo, Burberry Prorsum Dark Indigo Slim Fit Jean is a "Must Have" item in your wardrobe. You can find one from