Valentine’s Wreath

How fun that Valentine’s Day is nearly here again! Before that, of course, we are going to be celebrating Groundhog Day by watching Bill Murray at his finest. But that doesn’t need any crafting. So, skipping to Valentine’s Day. I made a wreath.

Valentines Wreath

Because I’m cheap, I used the the easy wreath I made for Christmas with an embroidery hoop you can read about that here, and gussied it up with berries from last year’s winter wreath, feathers from Marshmallow’s craft stash, felt-hearts from a project I still haven’t finished yet (filling a goldfish bowl with felt hearts, best not to ask) and I used red furry pipe-cleaners from the craft stash to tie the bits and pieces to the hoop.  For fullness, the Christmas embroidery hoop was wrapped with red crepe paper and a slither of ribbon to tie it to the wall.

It was very straight-forward to do, but does requires tweaking to make it just so. The tweaking takes the longest!

Valentines Wreath2

No matter what colours I see throughout the day – year – my life  – east, west, red is best! I love this. The red and white square quilt is one I made earlier and you can read about it here.

I’ve found lots of inspiration on the internet about Valentines gifts to make. Some involve chocolate, so I can’t be making them too soon, otherwise I’ll eat them in advance too, ha ha. Can’t wait and can’t wait to share the project with you!


Sawtooth Star Jewelry Mat

Yes, the craft swap I’ve been hinting about, can finally be unveiled!

Make and Craft – a UK craft magazine – hosted a craft swap where for November, the theme was ‘stars’. I just fancied doing a craft swap, I googled, and there it was. There’s nothing between me & the magazine.

Anyway, I immediately thought of a patchwork star. And then just as quickly I thought of French Knots.  It’s a beautiful, soft cotton Jewelry Mat for the organised lady’s dressing table.

The lovely Hannah – my swapee – wrote a few sentences on what she liked, and it included pastel colours, star gazing and pale green. 

So I drew a patchwork star design and then filled it with pastel coloured French knots – in lemon, mint, baby-blue and slightly darker than lilac. I backed it with the reverse side of a dark green (showing the pale green underside).

Sawtooth Star in French Knots

At first, because Hannah said she liked drinking tea, I was going to make a mug rug, but then I thought pastels and French Knots are a bit too pretty to get brown ringmarks, so I decided to make a Jewelry Mat. It’s for the dressing table, and when you take your jewels off at night and are too sleepy to put the pieces in the box, you can lay them on the soft cotton prettiness, and then when the tidy mood hits, move everything into its rightful place.

The rule was a gift of 3GBP had to be included, so when I went to Auckland’s Stardome Observatory one day, I picked up some informative postcards of the night sky in the Southern Hemisphere, and a really cool tote bag that says ‘Keep Calm and Star Gaze’. I really kinda want to keep the tote bag. But I can pop back anytime whereas Hannah will have to wait til she globe-trots to New Zealand.


It was a really fun swap. I enjoyed it immensely and I look forward to blogging when I receive Hannah’s lovely things through the mail!

Easy Christmas Mini-Wreath

I’ve been wanting to have little Christmas vignettes around the house, nothing too tinselly (much as I love tinsel!).

The mini-wreath is assemblage, more than crafting.

It is an embroidery hoop, wrapped in red crepe paper, with one of my favourite Christmas Tree decorations hung on the loop. A thread of ribbon, and it looks just gorgeous (to my eyes). I like that I get to show off a favourite decoration. I could easily have used any of my favourites (all of them), but this one just happens to go nicely with my lounge’s current aqua accesorising and red.

Easy Christmas Wreath

I was given a hardwood box of cutlery recently, and when I finally got around to throwing out the old and in with the new today, I thought I could use the hardwood box.

Here’s what I made with the cutlery box. I painted it white and then re-used (for the third time) the dollar stencil I bought last January with ‘Happy Holidays’ and put those cheeky little snowmen in there too.


The happy holiday stencil has been around as red and white from last year (one visible here in the second pic down as ‘Happy Ho’, ha ha) and black and orange from the Halloween before.

Planes, Trains & Automobiles – toddler scribbles again

After a week of cars, cars, cars, I thought a variation was due and, after an internet ramble, I found this lovely blog post on books and songs and crafts with a train theme.  I pinched the idea for our Monday morning this week.

Marshmallow was a rapt audience of one as I sang the song (the horn on the train goes Toot Toot Toot), which inspired the Marshmallow to bring out his zoo train and Thomas.

We did the craft too. Here’s ours.

Train Craft

The activity lasted as long as the train – only ten minutes or so, and then the chimney got ripped off and the cardboard wheels pulled off and squashed. But all good fun for a toddler.

I tell you, those Angry Bird felt-tip pens of ours from the $2 store just keep on giving, no matter how ratty they’re getting!

Toddler Scribble Christmas Decorations

When Marsh was born, just two weeks before Christmas in 2011, at the earliest opportunity (in January the following year) I pressed his feet into self-hardening clay and made several Christmas ornaments for me and the Nans. Shamefully, I think these ornaments are still in the baby box to be painted and delivered. or maybe those are the ones from last Christmas. Eek!

This year, Christmas The Third, I have done a Marshall decoration for Nanny England again. But I’m older and wiser now.

Pretty Toddler Scribble Christmas Tree decorations

Toddler Scribble Xmas Decoration

What we did:


  • Thick-ish A4 paper – for the decorations
  • Regular paper – for the Tree template
  • Angry Bird felt-tip pens with the wrong lids, half-broken wax crayons and pencil crayons in green and red
  • Red ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Who needs a hole punch when you can lightly fold the top over and make a few careful cuts for a diamond-shaped hole to feed the ribbon through.

Our extensive resources

Marsh and I used our resources wisely and made festive colour scribbles. I folded the page into thirds (two Nans and me). I used a plain piece of paper to come up with a Christmas Tree template (remarkably it took three goes). Tied a piece of ribbon on and voila!


Advantages of this paper style ornament is: flat and light, can be posted with extreme ease and cheapness (International Air here is quite expensive and the Post Office staff I’ve met are draconian in their use of calipers to ensure not an extra millimetre of post gets through!) Fingers crossed it reaches Nanny England this year after all this boasting!

Tree of Life – blue work and a little something something

I love redwork and bluework.

Part of the reason is that it’s Craft minimalism: all you need is plain fabric, blue or red thread, and a needle.  An embroidery hoop helps but isn’t totally necessary.


Whenever I’m in between crafts or quilts but I want to do something, I redwork. As soon as I redwork I wonder if it might look better in blue.  Obviously, as soon as I do it in blue, I think, gosh, the grass would sure look better in red!

What I discovered is that bluework is just too plain for my eyes. It needs a little something something – extra shades of blue.

So with this tree of life, I outlined in navy blue – just a back stitch, then filled in the leaves with French Knots, leaf stitch and seed stitch in a pale blue with the odd bit of navy.


Keepsake – Toddler odd socks

I’ve kept all of my baby’s socks from when he was a tiddler, because I figured there must be something somebody is doing – that isn’t a baby mobile – that will help me hold on to them, without appearing to be too much of a hoarder.

I haven’t found that something yet, but with toddler socks, I found that they make a really cute miniature sock monkey! (In the photograph is also the purple heart sock monkey numero cinco, which is now in its new home.)

Cinco Monkey & Toddler Socks

What I did

Using my favourite tutorial for making sock monkeys, I followed her instructions. It’s all exactly the same, except that the smaller sock means shorter arms.

From those odd socks lurking in my toddler’s closet I picked the best ‘match’, making sure that the sock for the ‘snout’ had a colourful heel. The body could be plain – which it is, and that worked well with the stripy arms.

Finally, I held my enthusiasm in abeyance by blogging about it several weeks later, when really I wanted to show them off immediately!

Something Old Something New