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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Crafty DIY : Pinecone Wreath

From when we first met, the other half wooed me by starting up pinecone wars on our romantic country walks. Who can resist a cheeky chappy darting out from behind a tree pelleting you with cones? That naughty little grin won me over every time. And don't worry, although my aim may be a little out, at point blank range I do ok to hold my ground. But pinecones have another use, a more festive use without eye injuries -  the classic Christmas wreath.




For this project I cut a ring out of a cardboard box as our front door is under cover, but if you don't have that luxury, use a wire ring from a florist to avoid a soggy cardboard mess. after immense fun getting the whole family involved in collecting pinecones a few months back, I  let them completely dry out and then spray painted them silver. Next, I attached each one to the cardboard ring with thin wire, embedding the wire into the folds of the cones so that it was mostly hidden. Using a door hanger from the pound shop, we had ourselves a nice little wreath to adorn our door.




Incidentally if you are thinking about starting a pinecone war on your next country walk, whip out the old goggles. Not only does this show your opponent you mean business, the eye injuries vastly reduce too. Bonus.


 
 
 

Friday, 7 December 2012

Crisp Winter Sunrise


7.30am on a weekend is always a much more magical time than the ominous 7.30am on a work day. This particular morning I woke up very excited about the weekend ahead of us crammed with fun, festive activities like a Christmas candlelit parade, an outdoor carol concert, a craft fair, mulled wine and ginger cookies, decorating the tree and putting the lights up outside (doesn’t get much better than that). So I grabbed the camera and after wrapping up in seven layers of clothing and adding earmuffs, hat, scarf, gloves and mittens to the mix, I was suitably dressed like the Michelin man and so stepped outside.
 
 
The crisp cold air hit my lungs with such impact that I had to draw a deeper breath, but wow, the light outside was a gorgeously mystical pink glow, the frost made a satisfying crunch under my feet and the birds seemed to rejoice at the sight of the sun as much as me. Except I wasn’t singing in a high pitched manner you understand.  It was wonderful just standing there watching the sun very gradually rise above the trees. I can recommend taking a moment every now and then to just be still (mostly unheard of in my world), mainly because it makes that first cup of hot coffee on such a chilly morning so very, very welcome! 



 

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Crafty DIY : Felt Christmas Star Decorations


Oooooohhh. Christmas is close, are you getting that tingling excitement yet? I did have plans to make Christmas easier on us this year as we’re saving for the wedding and rushing around like festive fruit cakes, but I couldn’t help myself and now I’ve gone and planned an eight course meal for the big day. Ooops.
 
 
But, Christmas shouldn’t be easy right? Where’s the fun in putting your feet up? Although that cosy, candlelit pub with the big oak table and roaring log fire and perfectly crisp chardonnay keeps calling our names. As does the snug little tea shop with the scrumptious homemade carrot cake and red spotty tea pots. So I guess we should make some time for relaxing, it’s only polite.
 
 
So I’m not making too much this year but this simple decoration took a matter of minutes. The beaded star is made by threading on beads to a thin wire and bending back each time to make the angles of the star and then bending the wire at the end to secure. Next, cut out two stars from the felt, one slightly smaller than the other. Sew them together with a wide length stitch in cotton and remember to sew in the looped ribbon to hang it by. Attach the beaded star with a stitch at each point of the star. Hang on tree.