Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Crafting Christmas Cheer

image of crochet Xmas tree on home-made card
I'd like to start this post with a HUGE thank you to those of you who left such wonderful comments on my crochet Christmas tree pattern. Your comments are always greatly received (- especially when I know how any of your spare time is precious at this busy time of year!). It gave me such a thrill to see other people create their own Christmas tree projects pictured on Ravelry because they were inspired by my design. It encourages me to believe in my own creative abilities and gives me the confidence to share my designs with you in the future. Thank You!

Some of my trees went onto the front of personalised Christmas cards for the teachers at my daughter's school, and for family and friends. I even had my first order from a member of the family to make ten of these cards for her colleagues at work. It was quite quite nerve racking actually because she hadn't seen the finished item yet so the pressure was on to produce a card that would be simple and yet have universal appeal. I'm so glad to say they were greatly received by all (phew!). I've really enjoyed my Crafternoons lately...of which there have been many! But it's not all about crochet trees....

image of home made Xmas wreath
A wreath like this one above is being sold in a local farm shop for £30 - yes £30! But this one cost the price of half an orange and a few cloves because... I made it! The straw wreath circle, the pine cones, berries, cinnamon sticks and the bow are thrifted from last years supermarket bought wreath. The evergreen fern is from my garden, the holly from my local woods, and the spiky bit of greenery is from the pine trees from Delamere Forest where we had a lovely day out with friends last weekend. The sweet little felted Robin is from the packaging from a Xmas present last year and the bells are from a broken Christmas decoration (I don't throw anything away!). It was so easy to put together - everything was simply threaded through the string bindings of the wreath - easy peasy. I thoroughly enjoyed making this, it looks so much nicer than a supermarket one and it's cost effective!

A good tip on drying orange slices is to place them on a radiator to dry out instead of drying them in the oven. Once they've been sliced, pat them with kitchen roll or a tea towel to absorb any excess moisture, then leave them on a hot radiator. They retain their fresh orange colour... if baked for too long in the oven it can result in them looking too dry, shrivelled, and brown. Plus there's no extra cost of having your oven on for 2-3 hours - another win win situation!

This is my latest cheap supermarket find...
image of a Santa tree topper I just couldn't resist it - only £5, and its really well made (I could never have made something like this). They did have a crochet Angel, but I much preferred the Santa - I know I know it's terrible that I should say that but I can and will make my own crochet Angel one year. Anyway the tree is covered with Angels and we do have an Angel on the girls Christmas tree, see...
image of pink Christmas tree
...this tree was meant to live on the landing outside my daughter's bedrooms, they decorated it last year here in the hall downstairs and it looked so nice that I just kept it there. Another supermarket bargain in the sales at just £5. I would have LOVED this tree as a little girl so here it stands again in the same spot this year. I think the Angel looks better suited sitting atop this girly tree! Just a few more gorgeous decs to show you...
image of Christmas decorations on mantelpiece
All the items on the mantelpiece are made from tin. The houses are tea-light holders and when the candles are lit it looks like the houses are aglow from the inside. They are full of traditional detail, wonderfully festive and very glittery. These are my Christmas treasures which I would love to see passed on to my Grandchildren. I have to admit they bring tears of joy when I unwrap them for the first time and tears of sorrow to see them packed away again for another year. I'm a big kid at heart! The Santa and snowman are also tea-light holders, and the heads wobble when touched. Love 'em I do!
image of christmas decorations on fireplace

image of fireplace Christmas decorations
It's so cosy of a night as the only lights we have on are the fairy lights on the tree and the fireplace, add to this the warm glow of the tea-lights on the mantelpiece and firelight and a cup of hot choc, and it really does wonders for the soul! Unfortunately I had to use the flash so I couldn't capture this for real. Can you see Santa's Express? It's made from wood and is choc-a-block with toys. This is another one of my Christmas treasures which will hopefully be cherished for years to come.

It's become a bit of a tradition each year for my husband and I to make each other a Christmas card. I didn't have time last year and he wasn't impressed with his shop bought card especially as he'd really gone to town with his which had fairy lights in it!
image of hand made Christmas tree card
Sorry I didn't have enough batteries to put the lights on to get the full effect and the light wasn't great but you get an idea of just how big it is! This year's is just as spectacular...
image of home made snowman card
image of hand made snowman card with fairy lights
I was banished to the living room whilst my husband and girls sat in the kitchen and giggled and squabbled for two hours making this. I adore it and it makes me feel very much loved and appreciated. Puts a big smile on my face every time I see it.

I debated whether to show you my husband's card I made. So (er-hem) here it is..
image of home made Christmas card
I giggled a lot during the TWO hours this took to make. The girls were happy watching Christmas movies so I had a more peaceful time creating this on my own. Although I am looking forward to spending time with them in the kitchen  today to make some festive Christmas cookies. Hopefully things will be cleared away by 1.10pm as I will be watching It's A Wonderful Life on Ch4 this afternoon. Can't wait as I don't think I've seen this movie all the way through.

There'll be no running around frantically like a headless chicken for us this year because we're spending Christmas Day with my sister-in-law. This time last year was sooo different as we had 15 family members to cater for! We did have a great day though, and the meal was a complete success, but I really am looking forward to taking it easy, and who knows I may even get some hooky time in too!

So my friends from my family to yours we wish you a Very Merry Christmas, and a Peaceful and Prosperous New year XXXXXX
image of  inside of amjaylou's Christmas card wishing you a Merry Christmas


  1. I hope that you have a great day tomorrow. The handmade cards are beautiful - all of them! Happy Christmas and best wishes for a great New Year. xx

  2. Merry Christmas. Hope you had a lovely day. Your Homs looks very festive and lovely xxx

  3. Your home was cherry and festive, love your cards and trees .... hope you have a wonderful 2014.
    xxx Pat @ sunshineandasewingbasket.blogspot.com


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