Friday, December 14, 2012

TGIFF - Donkeys for Mirabel

Hee haw the donkeys are done.  Meet Digby and Pinky (thanks Mr C for that really original name...)

Donkeys for Mirabel, Dec 2012

That's a very quick pic I had to take before Kira (the beloved pup) ran off with them.  She certainly had a hungry look in her eyes when she spied these little critters!

For those wondering, Digby is made with Yellow Pez by American Jane for Moda and has a blue stripey underbelly.  Pinky is decked out in two fabrics from the Delighted by Riley Blake collection.

If you would like to whip-up your own little pet asses then check out this free pattern by Myra Masuda.  It's a goodie.

Now, I'm off to the post office to send these beauties to Pip for her Softies for Mirabel campaign.  You have just one more week to get your donations in so it's time to get a-sewing.  Read more here.


Linking up to Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday, being hosted this week by the lovely M-R at Quilt Matters.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

TTT - Christmas Gifts for Kids from Kids

Thursday Think Tank Holiday Hop

Hello and welcome!  If you are new to my little blog then please allow me to introduce myself while you make yourself comfortable.  My name is Erin and, today, I'm the proud hostest of Becca's inspirational Thursday Think Tank Holiday Hop.

At this stage in my life I'm not lucky enough to have children of my own but I am blessed to be surrounded by lots of gorgeous kiddies, either through friends or work.  So... when given the opportunity to choose a topic for today's post I couldn't go past the idea of creating gifts for kids by kids.  Yep, I love any excuse to sit down and get my craft-on with a little friend.

Sooo... I have put together two extremely simple, easy-peasy tutorials for you.  These little gifts are perfect for classmates, friends, team mates, neighbours etc etc and, I have no doubt, will become firm favourites for you all.  I mean, they are cute and include treats so, really, how can you go wrong?!  ;)

Candy Cane Reindeer - finished product

First up are these incredibly delectable Candy Cane Reindeers.  I used to make these when I was younger and hang them on the tree; display them en masse in a vase; tuck them into the ribbon on presents - whatever!


Candy Cane Reindeer - what you need

For each reindeer, you will need:

          1 candy cane, standard size
          1 pipe cleaner / chenille tube, cut in half (approx. 6")
          2 small googly eyes
          1 small pompom

Simply, twist the pipe cleaner around the top of the candy cane, to secure, and then bend to create the antlers.  Glue on the eyes and nose and VIOLA - you're done!

Did I say "easy-peasy" or did I say "easy-peasy"?! 

Lollypop Nose Reindeer - the finished product

Secondly are these card reindeers - with a yummy lollypop nose!  Admittedly, this one is not my own design but after seeing a teacher make them for her class last year I filed the idea away - and am happy to be able to share it with you now.


EDITED 1st December 2013 - 
This tutorial can now be found in a free downloadable form (with templates!!).  
Click here for more information. 

Lollypop Nose Reindeer - what you need

For each reindeer, you will need:

          1 lollypop
          1 piece of coloured card, A4 size
          Glitter, felt pens, whatever supplies you need to decorate 

STEP 1 - Draw your reindeer shape

Lollypop Nose Reindeer - drawing your shape

Fold the card in halfCrease and open out.  Draw or trace your reindeer outline (yes, you may use mine), being sure to have it's chin finishing on the fold mark.  

Don't forget a little hole for the lollypop stick and a bigger hole for the nose.

Pencil is fine for this step, I've just outlined it in Sharpie to make it a little clearer for you.

STEP 2 - Cut out your reindeer shape

Lollypop Nose Reindeer - cutting out the reindeer

Re-fold the card along the crease and cut around your shape, through both bits of card.  As the lollypop needs a piece to sit on, don't cut all the way around the chin, instead leave a join.

Yes, it might be a tad safer if an adult did this step.

STEP 3 - Decorate

Lollypop Nose Reindeer - time to decorate

Time to let the kids (big or little) go crazy with the glitter and felt pens.  Let their own creativity shine.

STEP 4 - Finish & Gift

Lollypop Nose Reindeer - the finished product - front and back

Insert the lollypop, fold closed and pop in a little glue dot to hold the card in place.  Give to your favourite mini mates.  Yay!

Well, there we are.  Two adorable, little, easy and cost-effective gifts for Christmas.  I hope you have lots of fun making these with the kiddies (or even by yourself!).  Don't forget to send me pics.  And... if you know of any more great tutorials for gifts for kids by kids then please leave me a link in the comments.  I'm always on the look-out for new ideas!  :)

I really hope you have enjoyed my little contribution to the Thursday Think Tank Holiday Hop.  I'm actually the 6th stop on this little tour, so if you've missed any of the lovely posts so far be sure to check them out soon.  You can find the whole line up below...


November 1 - Making Rebecca Lynne DIY Christmas Cards

November 8 - Piecemeal Quilts Thanksgiving Etiquette (when you are lucky enough to be a guest!)

November 15 - Canadian Abroad Holiday Decor
November 22 - Seriously...I Think it Needs Stitches & MRL free pillow cover pattern

November 29 - She Can Quilt Gifts for Tweens/Teens/Twenties

December 6 - Missy Mac Creations Christmas Gifts for Kids from Kids

December 13 - Rainbow Hare Quilts Wrapping it Up
December 20 - YOU!  DIY Christmas Party Link Up

And, yes, you even have the chance to play along and win some fab prizes...


Now, it's over to you...

  1. Link up any post from the past week that features some creative thinking going on in your creative world.   It can be anything, quilting, home improvement, fashion, crafting, DIY gifts, cooking...whatever you have recently thought "hmmm, you know what I should create" is perfectly appropriate for the Think Tank.  TTT is all about whatever you are currently brainstorming and would like feedback or encouragement on!
  2. Somewhere in your post, link back here to my blog. (Or grab the T.T.T. button for your sidebar.)
  3. Comment on at least a few of the other links—because what fun is a linky party without comments?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

WIP - Just Keep Swimming...

Unfortunately things are a bit shit around here at the moment.  Sorry if that sounds a tad dramatic but I can't even be bothered to be eloquent right now - so 'shit' it is.  Or 'crap'.  Or, hey, I'll even accept 'sucky'.  ;)

So... I've decided to follow Dory's advice and have been keeping moving by jumping around from project to project to project.

As quilting stresses me out and requires way too much thinking I've instead starting another quilt top.  I know, I know, it's pathetic but in my defence I need to make a few for some up-coming births so it won't go to waste or just languish (with all the others) for years on end.  I promise.  A-huh.

QUILT TOP - grey strips, in progress

It's a very simple strip design, with various Kona greys, black and some bright orange squares thrown in randomly for a pop of colour.  It currently measures 65" long.  We shall see how wide she gets.  ;)

I have to admit, I'm loving the simplicity - and the lack of thought needed to get this made.  Perfect!  I may not be making it the most efficient way but I like that I can just cut and sew, cut and sew without thinking too far ahead.  It's totally working for me right now.

Thursday Think Tank Holiday Hop

My next project has been all about FUN as tomorrow I am playing host to the lovely Becca's Thursday Think Tank Holiday Hop.

Goodies for TTT Holiday Hop

Today I've had a ball mucking around with some card, glitter, glue etc etc and making a general mess.  To find out more, and join in the fun, be sure to pop back and check out my two (!!!) easy-peasy, kid-friendly tutorials.

Now, away from the sewing machine / crafty table, I've also been planning our wedding.

WHAAAAT?!  Well, honestly, we have been engaged since July but had no real plans for a ceremony, until about a week ago when I jumped in head-first and started making arrangements.  For, like, less than 6 months time.  I can be a little crazy and spontaneous like that.  Anyhoo... more on that another time.  I know, I'm such a tease.  ;)

Lastly, with Christmas around the corner, it's time to really start thinking about all the events and social occassions that surround the day.  After pinning these gorgeous brownies some time ago, I knew I wanted to take them to Christmas lunch... so figured I'd better have a trial run first.

Santa Hat Brownies, take 1

Ta da!

Unfortunately they didn't turn out exactly as planned, with the icing a little runny and not bright white (how do they do that??!) but they still tasted pretty yummy.  I ended up sending them to Mr C's work so I wouldn't scoff them all myself (yep, I've been eating for Australia lately and am starting to get more wide than I am tall!).

It did make me laugh, though, how all these amazing ideas pop up on Pinterest and make us believe we can do the same - only to have not-so-fabulous results.  Come on, fess up, I know you've been there to!

Even so, I'm happy to report that my attempt wasn't nearly as bad as some of the spectacular misses in this post - 17 Pinterest Fails.  Trust me, if you need a good laugh then check out that link!  I'm still giggling over the family portrait.  :)


WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced, hosted this week by Elizabeth of OPQuilt.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Quilting for Kids Block

Just a quickie post today to beg plead blackmail kindly request you to sign up to the latest round of Quilting for Kids.  Nita, from nitadances on flickr, is making quilts for kids living in emotionally precarious situations and has put the call out for Reverse Rainbow Starburst blocks, as per this tutorial, in purples and gold.

Quilting for Kids Block - Reverse Star, Nov 2012

I signed up yesterday and managed to get this finished in the same day.  Yep, it is that quick and easy!

So, if you have some spare time and are able to get a block off to Nita in Canada by 15th December, please, please, please sign up here.  I will love you forever and ever.  ;)


Linking up to {Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations.

UPDATE - Oops, just read that to link up to Megan's Sew Modern Monday it's supposed to be a finished project.  Hmm... a finished block counts right?  I'm going to say it does.  ;)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Ass-tounding Winners!


This post is part of Donktober 2012.  For more information please see here.

The Donktober linky party finished on Friday so I now have the proud honour of announcing the three winners.  As I couldn't possibly choose my favourites amongst all the gorgeous projects entered, I have enlisted Mr Random to do the deed.

So, without further ado...

Winner #1 of the $20 gift certificate, kindly donated by Tammy of Marmalade Fabrics, is...

Nikolao's Donkey
by Greco Mara

Winner #2 of a $25 gift voucher, thanks to Kelly of Fabrics You Love on etsy, is...

by Seriously... I Think It Needs Stitches

Winner #3 of the FQ bundle from the P&B Textiles Suede Midtones collection (that's 14 fat quarters!) AND a $50 gift certificate, thanks to Delta Patchwork is...

by Distant Pickles

Congratulations ladies!  Look out for an email from moi.

Also, HUGE thanks to the wonderful sponsors - we couldn't have done it with out you!

Lastly, big hugs and kisses to all who played along and linked up.  Be sure to check out the whole range of donkilicious projects - below.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

WIP - Poor Sick Laurie

I had high hopes this week to crank through some WIPs, namely the quilting on...

HST Donkey Quilt, in progress
Donkey quilt - yet to be named

... and ...

QUILT TOP - O(rnamental) Christmas Tree, Nov 2012
O(rnamental) Christmas Tree quilt

... but, unfortunately, Laurie, my machine, had different ideas and is currently enjoying some R&R in rehab hospital.  Fingers crossed he is better very soon.

So, I have had to re-plan my week and am now working on...

Donkey softies, in progress

Two donkey softies for the Softies for Mirabel campaign.  Read more here.  I actually only started these on Sunday, when Laurie decided to take stress-leave, so not much progress has been made but, at least, I can get those tails finished.

DONKEY EMBROIDERY - half way completed

Secondly, I've been enjoying a bit of couch time (and a Die Hard marathon, truth be told) while trying to get this gorgeous little donkey embroidery, by the lovely Lucy, finished.  Check out her fabulous original version and get the FREE pattern here.

Thursday Think Tank Holiday Hop

AND... I'm also mulling over a few secret projects for my turn in the Thursday Think Tank Holiday Hop, organised by making rebecca lynne.  On Thursday 6 December, I'll be featuring two tutorials on small gifts that kids can make for their friends - perfect for classmates, team mates, neighbours etc.  Be sure to pop back then to see the goodies.  I promise - no donkeys!  ;)

Lastly, don't forget that the Donktober linky party is still open til Friday.  Awesome prizes are up for grabs so get your donk on and enter!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Linking up to Work In Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Softies for Mirabel 2012

Yep, it's on again - Pip's fabulous Softies for Mirabel campaign.  Into it's SIXTH (!!!) year, Softies for Mirabel is a worldwide call-out for donations of handmade toys to be given as extra special Christmas gifts to Mirabel children.  As stated on the Mirabel Foundation website:

"Every year the toy drive is open to all crafty participants who wish to 
knit, crochet or sew a Softie or two.  Participants are encouraged to be 
as creative as they like as each Softie will be matched to the age, likes 
and needs of a Mirabel child."

For last year's drive I made and donated this little giant dolly for a special little girl...

Easy Girl Doll softie

I must admit, it was quite exciting to see that she had arrived at Mirabel HQ safe and sound AND was happily making new friends.

Softies group 12
Photo courtesy of The Mirabel Foundation on flickr

Can you spot her?  I think she might be a little shy.  ;)

Of course, now that the 2012 campaign has begun, I just had to jump back on board.  Infact, I have already started making two little softies, one for a boy and another for a girl.

Donkey softies, in progress

Any guesses what these little guys are destined to be?  I know, it's probably no real surprise - I am making more donkeys, just like Deirdre (below) and Damien.

Deirdre the Donkey, side shot
 Photo courtesy of Laura of Quokka Quilts.

One may think that after Donktober I'd be sick of the sight of asses but that'll never ever happen.  Of course, I only speak for myself as, upon commencement of sewing these lovelies, Mr C rolled his eyes and Laurie, my beloved Brother, decided he'd had enough of all things donkey-related and is now refusing to sew another stitch.  Bad Laurie!

Luckily for me, the Softies for Mirabel mailbox doesn't close until 20th December, so I have plenty of time to get Laurie to the doctor... and then get those little donks finished and sent.

What about you?  Will you be donating some handmade love for this worthwhile cause?  I really really really think you should.  To be honest, if I were you, I'd take this awesome opportunity to make some gorgeous little donks (free pattern available here) and then enter them into the Donktober linky party, which is open til Friday!  Seriously, there are some awesome prizes and the odds are looking good.  Help the Mirabel kiddies and get yourself in the chance for some free goodies at the same time.  Win, win, win, I say!!  ;)

Or, just be a good citizen and do it for the love by making any soft toy you can imagine and send it to Pip at:

Softies for Mirabel
Meet Me at Mike's
63 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy VIC

Lastly, don't forget to link your creation up to the Softies for Mirabel flickr group.  I know I'd love to see what you all donate.



Monday, November 5, 2012

DONKTOBER - Linky Party Time!

This post is part of Donktober 2012.  For more information please see here.

I know I might be slightly biased but Donktober has been an absolute blast and I'm sure I'm not the only one who has enjoyed seeing the variety of donkey projects popping up all over the Blog-o-sphere.  Therefore I am now stoked to announce that the fabulous linky party is OPEN!

Of course, I can't enter but here is a little mosaic of some of the projects I have finished.

COLLAGE - Donktober 2012

Clockwise from top left:

If those projects aren't inspiring enough then what about the donktabulous prizes up for offer?!  Winners of said goodies will be picked by my good friend, Mr

Before we get to the prizes, though, I'd like to mention a few linky party rules.

1)  You may enter as many times as you like, with one link per unique project

2)  You must link to a specific blog post, not your blog home page

3)   The item must be donkey related by including a donkey shape, motif, print etc etc.  It is Donktober, afterall.  Click here for project ideas.

4)  The item must be handmade by you, within the last 12 months, and completely finished.

5)   Your linked up blog post must make reference to Donktober with a link back to this blog.  Feel free to grab the button from my sidebar.

... and, lastly, though this is not a requirement but more of a request, please take the time to check out the other links to share the donkey love.

Ok, enough about business, time for the fun stuff.  That's right, what are the prizes, you ask?  Well...

Tammy of Marmalade Fabrics has kindly donated a $20 gift certificate. Tammy has such a beautiful online store - you'll spend hours drooling over all the gorgeous collections.  Well, I know I did!

A $25 gift voucher is also up for grabs from Kelly of Fabrics You Love on etsy.  If you haven't come across this online shop before then I definitely suggest you check it out - her prices are amazing!

Lastly, but definitely not least, Delta Patchwork has generously offered a FQ bundle from the P&B Textiles Suede Midtones collection (that's 14 fat quarters!) AND a $50 gift certificate to their store.

P&B Textiles, Suede Mid Tone Collection
P&B Textiles Suede Midtones collection, FQ bundle

Thanks ladies for donating such fantastic prizes!

Now you know all about the donktabulous prizes I know you'll be itching to get involved so here's your chance.

Good luck!!


Sunday, November 4, 2012

O(rnamental) Christmas Tree

Today I'm proud to host the Sew Seasonal Blog Hop, organised by the talented Kristy of Quiet Play and Alyce of Blossom Heart Quilts.

If you're yet to hear about this fun Christmas-inspired hop then be sure to click on the button below to learn more... AND... visit all the other hoppees to see the wonderful projects on offer.

Sew Seasonal Blog Hop

1st November: Kristy from Quiet Play & Alyce from Blossom Heart Quilts
2nd November: Marieka from Bespoke Bites & Jane from Where Jane Creates
3rd November: Susan from Patchwork N Play & Kelsey from Kelsey Sews
4th November: Janice from Better Off Thread & Erin from Missy Mac Creations
5th November: Lucy from Charm About You & Rebecca from Making Rebecca Lynn
6th November: Charlotte from Lawson and Lotti & Amy from Amy's Crafty Shenanigans
7th November: Jess from the Elven Garden & Cindy from Live a Colorful Life
8th November: Elaine from Dashasel Sews & Kelly from Jeliquilts
9th November: Beth from Plum and June & Fiona from Finding Fifth
10th November: Juliet from Tartan Kiwi & Fiona from Celtic Thistle Stitches
11th November: Taryn from Pixels to Patchwork & Anorina from Samelia's Mum
12th November: Megan from Jaffa Quilts & Jane from QuiltJane 
13th November: Gemma from Pretty Bobbins 

So, what have I contributed to this rather intimidating line-up?

Well, I was allocated block #7 from Alyce's cute pattern, Ornamental, and decided to make the 5" version...

BLOCK - Ornament #7 from Ornamental by Blossom Heart Quilts

... but I had so much fun whipping it up I couldn't stop at just the one...

QUILT TOP - Ornamental Christmas Tree, Nov 2012
O(rnamental) Christmas Tree - top

No, your eyes aren't decieving you - I went a little crazy and made 11 / 12 of the designs!  Oopsie.  ;)

As you can see, I joined them in a Christmas Tree shape with the intention to make it into a wall-hanging, perfect for festive decorating.  Unfortunately my Christmas-y fabric is hiding somewhere in an unpacked box so even though I know I have the perfect charm pack of Ready, Set, Snow waiting to be used, I had to make do and just hope I still generated the festive spirit.  Did I manage to pull it off??

It currently measures 20 1/2" x 25 1/2" but now I'm stuck umming and ahhing over a possible border and, as per usual, how to quilt it.  Please help!  Honestly, all suggestions would be very much appreciated as I hope to have this finished in time for the linky party on November 30.  Ahh!

Huge thanks to Kristy and Alcye for allowing me to join in the Sew Seasonal fun.

Now... pop over to visit Janice to see what cuteness she's created (drool!)... and then tomorrow two of my favourite bloggy friends are playing host - Lucy and Becca.  Yay!


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

DONKTOBER - A HST Donkey Quilt

This post is part of Donktober 2012. For more information please see here.

Many moons ago I was on the hunt for a cute donkey quilt pattern and, much to my surprise to be honest, I came across this old beauty, originally designed in the 1930s and then republished in a Kansas newspaper in 1977.

Of course, I dove right in and started my own little version, with the idea of making a doll sized quilt for a friend's daughter and Ruby, her donkey.  Too bad I didn't bother to think too hard about the math so, with each finished square at 1 3/4", it turned out a little bit big.

Donkey mini quilt


Then the amazing Laura suggested adding another border of pink squares around the perimeter, to centre the donkey and keep it away from the binding.  Though I completely agreed with this idea, I was a little worried about it getting even bigger - and thus not even be suitable for a wall-hanging.


So, what's a girl to do other than just keep on cutting and keep on sewing?

HST Donkey Quilt, in progress

What's the final size of this "doll quilt", you ask?  About 40" x 40".  It's ok, you can laugh.  I am.

DONKEY QUILT - quilting has begun

Quilting has now commenced so she's on her way to a finish, with black and white striped fabric all ready for the binding.  Hopefully I will have it all done in time to show off during the Donktober linky party.


Speaking of the linky party, it's hard for me to say but today is officially the last day of Donktober.  NOOO!!!  It has been a fabulous month and I've had a ball seeing everyone's donkilicious creations.  Thanks to everyone for playing along and having a laugh with me.  I look forward to seeing more fabulousness next week.


WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday, hosted by Lee at Freshly Pieced.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

DONKTOBER - It's Gonkey Time

This post is part of Donktober 2012. For more information please see here.

Yes, it's true, Donktober is nearly at an end but that doesn't mean we have to leave quietly.  Oh no, let's go out with a bang and spread the donkey love to every dark and dingy corner, and beyond.  I challenge you!

Firstly, for those who aren't into crafty exploits and would rather spend a few $$$ and adopt your own little ass, whilst also supporting some awesome small businesses, then check out these cuties from etsy.

COLLAGE - Squishy Donkeys on Etsy

Clockwise, from top right:

Adorable, yes?!  I am literally drolling over that coin purse.  Cute, funny and functional all at once.  Perfect.

AND / OR...

How about creating your very own donkilicious game, ideal for kids and big kids alike.  Lucky for us the lovely Ms Fabric Donkey has designed an entertaining donkey, sorry gonkey, game for everyone to create and play.  Fun!  Pop over to the Fabric Donkey blog to find out more.