Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!/Frohe Weihnachten!

Small Xmas project IV: Nativity scene ornament/WP IV: Baumkrippe

If you happen to have a plastic laminator at home, this is a funny way to keep your kids (and even yourself!) happily entertained while waiting for Christmas ...!

Draw - or make your kids draw - (well, I found my pictures in a magazine) - the persons, animals and items needed for a nativity scene, cut them out, decorate them with sequins and glitter glue, let dry and then put them into the plastic laminating pockets with a bit of space between the figures.

When you've laminated them and cut them out once more (leaving a bit of plastic all around the border), punch an eyelet ring at the top and add a bit of string to hang them.

Leaving you with this for now, I wish you all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

(German summary: Mit einem Laminiergerät und gezeichnete Krippenfiguren - vielleicht noch etwas Glitzer und Pailletten - läßt sich ein recht lustiger Baumschmuck machen! Und ganz herzlich: FROHE WEIHNACHTEN!)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Small Xmas-project IV: Crocheted star garland/Weihnachtsprojekt IV: Girlande aus Häkelsternen

If you happen to have an evening left - and some bits of sockwool - you could still make a small star garland for yourself or for a friend ...

I found this very easy-to-follow tutorial on Ellen Bloom's blog - though instead of acrylic, I decided to use some leftover variegated sockwool, both 4-ply and 6-ply, with a crochet hook 3,5 mm - and I spaced them a bit more, about 25 chain stitches inbetween, as I didn't have the time to make that many ...

My 4-ply stars are about 4,5 cm, the 6-ply about 5,5 cm big - so this is a small and sweet garland - but of course you can use whatever yarn you have stashed.

And if you don't find the time now, remember there will be a new Christmas time next year!

(German summary: Eine feine und doch einfache Häkelanleitung für kleine Sternchen habe ich auf Ellen Bloom's blog gefunden - mit Sockenwollresten schauen sie noch einmal so süß aus, finde ich!)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Small Xmas project III: Christmas ornament star/Weihnachtsprojekt III: Recyclingsterne

Almost a year ago, I found a tutorial on this beautiful Christmas ornament star at Pam's blog 'Gingerbread & Snowflakes' (if you click it, you'll be right there) - and although I tried them out right away, I thought I'd wait to show them to you until Christmas :-).

As soon as you've managed to do your first, it's an easy job, and the best thing about it is that you will most certainly find all (recycling) materials at home already - composite cardboard (like the brown one, for boxes), pins, beads, some leftover yarn or thread and bits of paper, maybe some small bits of decoration material to glue to the center.

Of course you could use a photo in the center too, and make gift tags out of them - they even look neat on the backside!

Thanks, Pam!

(German summary: Diese netten Recyclingsterne - man braucht nur etwas Verbundkarton, ein paar Stecknadeln und ein paar Garnreste - habe ich schon im Frühjahr entdeckt und nachgearbeitet - in Pam's blog
'Gingerbread & Snowflakes' gibt es die ganze Anleitung!)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Small Xmas project II: Felt ornament/Weihnachtsprojekt II: Filzhänger

What can you do with some scraps of white felt, bits of ribbons and lace? Well, a Christmas ornament, of course!

The felt I used for this was quite a sturdy one, actually a piece of a table placemat, and so it will hang nicely, no backing needed.

A little bit of ribbon and some handstitching, and it could turn out like this:

For the decoration of the second one I used different bits of lace and sewed them down with free motion machine stitches - but of course you could do it all by hand as well:

I guess there are endless ways of using tablemat felt in various colours for making ornaments - maybe also in combination with paper (what about photos?) or fabric ... could be adapted for a kids' project as well, I think!

(German summary: Ein Stück festen Filz - hier von Tischsets - und Reste von Borten, Bänder und Spitze - und Simsalabim! - hat man einen Christbaumschmuck!)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mother Christmas on St Nicholas' Day

Many years ago, when I was visiting London in early December, I stumbled upon a box of Christmas cards which were sold on behalf of charity purpose. The text was a poem called 'Where art thou, Mother Christmas?' by Roald Dahl, and that year, I sent these cards to a lot of my friends.

And almost every year, when I'm busy trying to get all things planned and done (and bought and cooked and crafted and wrapped and decorated and written ...) in time for the feast, I have that poem in the back of my head, just pondering over the fact that tradition show only men bringing the presents, while reality demands most entirely female efforts ...

Nevertheless, here's the text!

Where art thou, Mother Christmas?
I really wish I knew
Why Father should get all the praise
And no one mentions you.

I'll bet you buy the presents
And wrap them large and small,
Then in the end our cunning friend
Pretends he's done it all.

So hail to Mother Christmas,
The uncomplaining slave,
And down with Father Christmas,
That good-for-nothing knave.

(Roald Dahl)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Small Xmas project I: Lavender hearts /Weihnachtsprojekt I: Lavendelherzen

This year I managed to harvest my lavender in time - and I got a whole tray full of the wonderful smelling blossoms to let dry. I did cut up some of the flower stalks as well, as their scent of lavender is just as strong as the blossoms themselves.

Last time when visiting Stockholm, I bought a handprinted linen kitchen towel at 'Svensk Hemslöjd' (a Swedish domestic art & craft shop), with just the right size of red hearts on it. So I cut the hearts out, with a small seam allowance, and sewed them up with a red linen fabric for backing.

When the blossoms and stalks were all dry, I just had to fill them into the fabric hearts and close the opening with a few handstitches.

Finally, I decorated the front with flower motives from a machine lace fabric and some white vintage buttons.

(German summary: Heuer habe ich es geschafft, rechtzeitig meinen Lavendel zu ernten und zu trocknen. Dann habe ich ihn in rote Leinenstoffherzen gefüllt, die ich aus einem handgedruckten Geschirrhandtuch ausgeschnitten und genäht habe.)