Monday, December 30, 2013

The End of Another Year




Is this how you felt when Christmas Day was done?

I hope Christmas for all of you was everything you would have wanted it to be.



The gifts that the girls made for each other and their Mom and Dad were received with much pleasure.  Time was taken to explain why they were chosen and the challenges faced as they were each made.

Here's what they accomplished...




Rachel made this garment bag for her Dad and particularly liked the fact the she designed it with a heart that had an "R" cut out of the middle which could stand either for her or her Dad (Randy).  
The words were cut on the Silhouette Cameo using heat transfer material.










For Emily, Rachel made a chair organizer designed to hang over the side of her desk chair. You have to know that Emily is always organizing her "stuff" so this was the perfect gift for her.  It can double as an under the mattress organizer should she be sick in bed anytime. There are multiple pockets on both sides  for pens, books whatever she may like to put into it.







For her Mom, Rachel made an organizer for the tote bag she carries her "stuff" to work in. It too has multiple pockets to hold pens, her book she uses for ordering product at the store, cell phone and such.









Here you see the organizer on it's own with the book, pen and cell phone in it.  
There's another small pocket and a large back pocket as well to hold other things as she chooses.


And here it is inside Linda's tote bag.













Emily made a dust cover to protect her Mom's Silhouette Cameo here. She said this was pretty easy to sew up and Mommy certainly liked it.








Another dust cover was made by Emily, but this time for Rachel's sewing machine.  She said this was hard to sew around the curves at each end.  The embellishments were cut out of fabric on the Silhouette Cameo and using Heat Bond, ironed onto the cover.
So as you can see both girls were busy sewing their gifts before Christmas and only one needle broken!

Did you manage to get all your crafty things ready for Christmas.  I managed a pair of double thickness mitts, some money that I origami folded into a shirt and pants for Jonathan who wanted to go shopping for some new clothes and an infinity scarf with flower embellishment.  
We had many people still dropping into the store at the last minute for items to complete their gifts.


And now as one year ends and another begins, does it cause you to look back and remember not just the challenges that may have come your way, but all the small things we should be thankful for.  




I came upon this on Google images today and thought it would be a good thing to do, and even once a month to look back on it and use as inspiration for a scrapbook page or two.  

What do you think?







Did you see in the newsletter that registration is open for Basic Grey Page of the Month and Card of the Month too?  They are great programs providing you with supplies to get a handle on either your scrapbooking or card making. 
We've found the value for money in these programs to be really good, so if you haven't tried it, then why not make this the year that you do.  
Have you participated in the past and fallen behind? Then bring your kits along to the Crop and Craft Nights on Friday nights and let us help you to jump ahead....nothing's easier or more fun than creating with friends.


So now as we move into a New Year, make yourself some resolutions. 
Register for the Card Classes at the Craft Nook, come out to the Crop and Craft Night and learn a new craft.  Maybe you'd like to knit some Minion slippers like Linda did, or perhaps not a character pair, but something plainer.  

Whatever you want to learn, choose to be a little craftier in 2014 than you were in 2013.






I visited my favourite blog for words the other day and found these words for you.












Until Later....Happy Crafting

Lilian

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

It's Here...Ready or Not, Christmas Has Arrived...


Well almost anyway.  

Are you ready, did you think of one more perfect little gift to make or buy? It's been a bit of a scramble the past week, but I think I will be able to say...I'm done.

I watched Emily do a little dance when she heard a weather forecast saying that there would be snow on Christmas Day....perfect weather for Christmas she said.


Are you like us with family on other continents?  We have a lot of family in England as you all know, but we have many family members in Australia too.  Their time is sixteen hours ahead of ours, so they will be celebrating Christmas Day far ahead of us.  England is just five hours ahead of us, so as we are going to bed, they will be thinking about getting up.


Christmas gifts graphics
Rachel and Emily were here today putting the final touches on their gifts and wrapping them ready for to put under the tree. Choosing the wrapping paper, ribbon and bows are all important parts of their gifts and done with great thought and care.

After listening to the news tonight, I was thinking of the people who won't be able to be home for Christmas. 
Sometimes because of distance or perhaps weather conditions. Carefully made plans gone awry.
The turkeys that may not be cooked in Toronto because of the ice storm and power outages.  
The hydro workers who may be out in the field working to restore the power to thousands of people.  


It makes me more aware of how we should all treasure the time we are able to spend together as family. 
For those that don't make it home for Christmas, remember to celebrate it together another time.




Linda and I have enjoyed a year of crafting with many customer friends at the store. The laughter and sharing that takes place is second to none.  We look forward to seeing them again after the Christmas break and the start of new classes. 


merry christmas for my love Romantic Merry Christmas 2013 Wishes for Boyfriend

From all of our family that have had the pleasure of serving you in a variety of ways this past year at the Craft Nook, we  wish you a...............

                                                                           

Lilian and Linda

Monday, December 16, 2013

That Was a Bit Much Don't You Think?

Not being a winter person to begin with, Wednesday and Thursday weren't on the top of my wish list, how about yours?  If you thought driving was bad on Wednesday, Thursday exceeded itself didn't it.  
And today...what was with those temperatures?  I mentioned to a sister-in-law in England that this morning it was -31 Celsius with the wind chill factor. 

She said..... 
MINUS 31 !!!!!  We got to Minus 16 a couple of years ago and thought that was bad enough....and it was only one night !!  

These English, no stamina have they...oops forgot I was one once...though I still have no stamina for the extreme cold.  


So how's your Christmas list coming along.  I have a little more to make and I'm there, pretty pleased with myself because I've had a hard time this year with ideas.  Often there's one on your list that challenges you, but this time it seemed to be everyone.



Have you been into the store to see 
the new quick crafts we have displayed?  



Last week we made a quick pipe cleaner tree that the little ones can handle easily.  
Or a pom pom snowman, another quick craft for the younger ones.  

They will be great crafts to keep their hands busy next week when school is out, so don't delay in popping in to pick up your supplies for them.
 

We also made a topper for a bottle of wine if you are thinking of gifting some wine for Christmas or taking it with you to a party, this is a great way to present it.  

A simple rectangle of felt, a couple of stitches and you're just about done. Attach two layers of felt for the beard and a pom pom for a nose, topped off with another pom pom on his conical hat and you are done!





I'm always looking for input on the blog to make it better for you, easier to maneuver or more interesting.  Last week we received a comment from Lynn asking if we could put all the tutorials in one place to make them easier to find at a later date.  
WELL! 
I looked at that and thought, oh dear, I'm a crafter not a techie, how do I accomplish that.  That was my response to Lynn too, but I told her I would give it a try.  
After some muddling around and trial and error, I got it figured out.  So now you will see on the right sidebar a subtitle called Pages. Under that subtitle you will see all the tutorials that I've put in the December blogs.  
Hope you're as pleased about it as both Lynn and I were. You can see our comments at the bottom of this blog entry here

Tutorial - Itsy Bitsy Multi Coloured Scarf from leftover Yarn

Scarves continue to be popular whether they are cowls or neck warmers, dressy scarves over sweaters, or scarves designed to keep you warm.
The one I'm going to show you now not only will keep you warm as a neck warmer would, but uses up some of those short ends of leftover yarn you have in your yarn stash.

I began with a part ball of chunky yarn that was multi coloured, but any weight will work for this as well as a solid colour.  If it's thinner, then put two strands together to work the scarf base.  I used 8 mm needles, but again that's not overly important.  (See how easy this is to make.)  Your goal is to knit a piece that is approximately 26-30 inches wide by about 6 inches long. 
I found that casting on 50 stitches (this is the long edge) worked for me and then I simply knitted in garter stitch (every row knitted) until my work was 6 inches long.



Once that was achieved the fun part began.  I pulled out many different small balls of yarn in different textures and weights (thicknesses).   






Cutting the yarn into strands of different lengths I began to loop the strands into the scarf on the short ends, travelling up about 8 inches from each end, which left the piece that goes around the back of the neck without additional yarn. 





None of these measurements are critical, it's a fun scarf and the measurements are only to be used as guidelines.

And here's the finished scarf.  You could choose to sew a button closure at the neck, or just as I did, tie it in a loose knot at the neck.

By using multi colours and textures of yarn, this would be a warm scarf and could be worn with any coat or jacket. 



Hope you try making one for yourself.

Buy Jigsaw Pom Pom Scarf Online at johnlewis.com

Remember a very plain knitted scarf can be dressed up by using different textures as this one was, or by adding an interesting fringe, or even mini pom poms on the edge. Thanks to June for that idea.
Don't know how to make pom poms?  We have pom pom makers at the store.


For other knitting and crochet ideas try looking at this website sent to me by my sister in England.

  That's a good question.
I'm fortunate enough to have not only two sisters, but three sisters-in-law.  Most of them are crafters, sewers, crocheters or knitters and offer me good input for the blog.
Maybe you are as fortunate as me.  Not a sister perhaps, but a sister-in-law that you enjoy sharing your crafting love with.  If  you have  neither, then why not find a friend that shares your love and craft with them. When the new year begins, then register for one of the classes at the store, we'll look forward to seeing you there together.

Until Later....Happy Crafting

Lilian


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Getting To Look a Lot Like Christmas...

With the snow on the ground and so many outdoor lights in town, it definitely is looking like Christmas.  
I put my tree up today and decorated around the house, all I have to do now is complete my shopping.  Emily's been helpful by giving us her Christmas wishlist.  
Have you emailed your list into the store so that we can help your personal Santa with their shopping for you?  Much as we know you all well, we can't remember what tools etc. that you have or hope for.  Be it a Silhouette, Cuttlebug, some dies, stamps, Cropadile or a variety of crafting supplies.  It's really easy to fix though.  

From your newsletter Linda has provided you with a link that takes you to a wishlist with many suggestions and open spaces for those things we didn't think of for you. So don't delay go and fill it out now.  If you're not sure what you'd like, why not send your Santa in to buy a gift card for you. That way you can come in after Christmas and shop until your gift card runs out.

What a lovely time the "girls" in our family had on the Bracebridge Christmas House Tour and how generous are the homeowners who open their homes to assist the Hospital Auxiliary in their fund raising.  
They were anticipating approximately 400 people going through the homes in the few hours on Saturday. I enjoy being able to view both the older homes that have been renovated back to their original state as much as possible, the newer homes that are decorated for the season, but enjoy too meeting up with old friends that we haven't seen in a while.  If you haven't taken the opportunity of the tour in the past, keep it in mind for another year.                   
Help your hospital and enjoy the tour too.

Easy Luminary Tutorial

How's your Christmas crafting coming along? Here's another quick idea for that last minute gift for an acquaintance or friend.  Inexpensive and quick to create, it works perfectly for many people.
We created in class a lovely parchment luminary with star on the top and a box to hold the battery operated candle.  This luminary is a simple and quick cone of parchment paper that can be decorated or left plain.  I chose to use my stylus to create a white on white pattern all over my cone.

For this craft you will need 
one piece of 8.5" x 12" parchment paper which we carry at the store.
If you choose to create an overall design then you will need a stylus and soft mat below the parchment.




Below is the cone shape to cut out of the parchment paper.  I've drawn it to display five different sizes so you can have a grouping of luminaries. 
 Print both of these patterns, overlap and match the writing to create the one pattern.  Note it won't print out on one piece of computer paper as that's only 8.5" x 11". The largest size of luminary requires 8.5" x 12".

You may have to enlarge the pattern to size it correctly.  
The side with the dotted lines should be 7.5".  
The solid line side should be 7.25".
If you have any difficulty with this, drop into the store and we'll help you.


Having cut out and sized the paper pattern, transfer the outer lines to your parchment paper at the height you want.  Remember I said there are 5 different sizes, you cut according to the height you want your luminary to be.  

It's at this point that you could either stamp a design of your choice on the parchment paper and maybe even heat emboss it, or as I did using my stylus and soft mat beneath, I transferred my design choice onto the parchment. Here's the design I found and used. I needed to move it around the cone to get the coverage I wanted, turning it to fit nicely together.  
When using your stylus, take care not to press too hard or you will pierce the parchment.  To get the white lines, I simply went over the design first and then enhanced the lines by pressing a little more firmly the second time. This took me about ten minutes, so far the whole craft has taken about 15 minutes. You are now ready to place double sided tape along the dotted line on the one side of the cone. Take care as you join the two sides to line them up well so that the bottom is even and the top is nicely tucked together. Place your battery operated candle on a table, place the luminary over the top and that's it, you're done.  Now you may want to repeat the process and make a grouping of luminaries.


Here's my finished luminary.  To take this photo, I simply sat it into a wreath and placed some pine cones around the luminary.  If you made more than one luminary, it would make a nice grouping on a table or counter top with a buffet spread.
Hope you enjoy making one or two of these very quick crafts.

Did you see the beautiful embroidery work that Linda created on felt? The photo just doesn't do it justice at all and you should take a moment to see it in the store if you can. When she showed it to me on Sunday I thought it was such a shame to only have the opportunity to look at it at Christmas time. Today it occurred to me how lovely it would be worked onto a sweater or fleece top.  I'll have to suggest that to her. The beads make such a lovely sparkle on the tree and she said it didn't take her very long to stitch.  It could be worked on a larger piece of felt or fabric and framed too...so many options.

I often wonder what I can put in the blog that may be of interest to our readers.  Without feedback from you I don't know if the content is of interest or not
Do you like what you read here?  
Do the links and suggestions that I offer interest you?   There are some comments that come back to me from customers coming into the store, but not many, so still I wonder. 

Last week we received an email from Marta asking me why I hadn't put the quote of the week in last week's blog.   Quite honestly, it was because I hadn't heard from anyone that they were interested in words as they interest me, so I decided to omit them.  

This blog is for you, about what is hopefully one of your favourite crafts, but I don't presume to know what content will be of great interest to you, so would be happy to have your input in the comments at the end of the blog.  It's very easy to do.  

If you look below this blog entry where I sign off, there are usually a few photos from previous blogs. Below that is a tan coloured block and to the right edge it will say "No comments"  click there to your comments.  There are a number of choices as to how you may post, but you will likely want to use the "Anonymous" option, but PLEASE sign your name in your comment box so that I know who you are
If there's anything you would like me to add to the blog, let me know there and I will do my best to accommodate you.  I'll look forward to your feedback.

So here you are Marta, words for this week.  I think most of you will feel the same way I do about this, particularly at this time of year............
    
                                                      

Until Later....Happy Crafting

Lilian





Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Countdown Is On



The local Santa Claus Parade is over now and both Rachel and Emily danced in the parade with their dance studio, did you see them? They said how hot they were whilst dancing on Sunday.
 


Traditionally the decorations are added to Linda's house after the parade, so that's done. 

I even put up my nativity scene yesterday too.  It has been packed away for too long due to lack of display space and because children were too small to take care.  Neither was the case when I was thinking of it this year as I decided to set it up on the table in our sun room.  

Lovely to look at as we come in and out each day and the tree lights give a beautiful blue glow at night too.
The Christmas cards are all ready to drop into the mail, the countdown is definitely on.

There are still six more projects to be sewn and two more to finish.  That's the number of projects Rachel and Emily are working on and I'm their resource person...will we make it?  Of course we will, we always do don't we.   Is it the same in your house too?  

Are you still crafting and creating? Why is it that the ideas come so close to Christmas, I can never fathom that one. 

With twelve months in the year, why can't we get the brilliant ideas four months before Christmas instead of four weeks? 

Oh my, you should have been a fly on the wall in the store last Thursday night to watch the going's on in class. The ladies were working on six quick Christmas cards last week. We thought that would be challenging enough for them considering we also planned on them stamping for three more. 
Well, with one of the ladies returning after five weeks absence because of medical issues. Another returning after having moved and started a new job, we had the "misfortune" of having them sit opposite one another and work as a team!! 
The misfortune was that they were so happy to be back doing what they love to do....card making, they couldn't stop laughing all night! What a joy to listen to that laughter and how infectious it is too.  We should all do that more often shouldn't we.

Starting with these two papers adding some stamps, glitter and embellishments the ladies were very pleased with what they created.   
Not only that they went home with enough material to make the fronts for 12 more cards...what a deal that class was!                        
We did manage to complete the six cards, finish the additional stamping and enjoy some social time before class was over.  
They are now waiting for me to provide them with the template for a teaser card I showed them. Hopefully will do that tomorrow ladies.
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Here's what they looked like.
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Have you  dropped into the store to purchase any of the quick crafts we've provided kits for?  From 50-75 cents they're flying off the counter and we are hoping to add a couple more different ones this week, so make sure you take a peek.




The ladies involved in the Christmas tag swap were thrilled with what they received back from each
participant.  Some of them were at card class last week, so we were privileged to watch them open their bags and delight over what had been made.
They will no doubt have wondered once they looked closely at them why they received eleven when they were expecting ten, but we put an extra bonus one in for them as a Christmas treat.

So this week the crafting tutorial will be on a gift tag.

It's a very simple origami fold Christmas tree that doubles as a decoration or a gift tag actually.

All you need is

-One piece of cardstock 10 x 4.  
-Four different sizes of circles, we used our Nestability dies with the Cuttlebug, but if you don't have that you can trace around an appropriate shape and hand cut them.  The sizes were 3.75", 2.75", 2" and 1.25"
-Some Stickles, Scotch Glue and Glamour Dust to embellish
-Piece of cord approximately 8" long


    
Fold each circle in half, open and fold the opposite direction, open and then fold diagonally crossing the original folds.



I didn't take photos of the next steps, but you just make a hole in the top of the smallest circle and push the cord through.  I tied a knot at the open end of the cord to prevent it from pulling through the top.
Then add a little glue inside of each folded circle and push them inside of each other to make the tree as you see it.

For the bottom embellishment I drew a narrow bead of Scotch Glue and poured Glamour Dust over it, shaking off the access.  I sometimes prefer the look of this over Ice Stickles.  However for the tree "decorations" I used red Stickles.  You can see how you could decorate the back if you were using it for a tree decoration or write on the back if using it as a gift tag




Hope you give this a try and enjoy making it as I did, so quick and easy to decorate your gifts with.





Until Later....Happy Crafting


Lilian

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sharing My Space


Well I'm back to sharing my crafting space, albeit with another crafter, but when Rachel came for her sewing lesson tonight I thought she was moving in!  She arrived with a large tote full of "stuff".  


Being up to date with her crafting garbage bags and having finished her special orders as well, (you'll love what she's made for you Martha), Rachel is now on to creating something she's been planning for a long time.  
You have to know Rachel. She has a hard time parting with anything, therefore she has many t-shirts from her earlier years that she simply loves.  Her plan is to make these into a patchwork quilt, hence she arrived with all her "stuff".  We didn't get any sewing done tonight, but we refined the plan and cut the "favourite" pieces out of the shirts.  Next step will be to stabilize the fabrics and cut them to size.  I'll let you know how it goes as the process evolves.

Linda and I were both off this past Saturday so we took the opportunity of going to the craft sale at the Sports Complex in Bracebridge.  We saw many of you there along with lots of other people.  What a busy place it was with a swim meet going on at the same time.  Lots of happy vendors with the opportunity to sell their wares. It was lovely to see what many of our customers made with the product they buy at the Craft Nook.  

We had great fun last week at the second "gifty" class.  The ladies worked really hard, but still had to go home with some homework to complete the one project.  They loved the tea light tree they made from parchment paper.  The paper was first embossed with gold powder and then cut and scored to make the "tree" cover.  Topped off with a star it was a simple hostess gift.  The strip ornament was a great hit as well when the ladies realised how quickly that could be made for the unexpected gift.  The last but definitely most intense piece was the family birthdays board and to complete it required some work to be done at home. What a great gift for a grandparent so that they can remember all the family birthdays.

You can see all these pieces at the store, in the newsletter or later this week on the Flickr site.

This week we have a full class as we make six quick Christmas cards.  There always seems to be a card that comes from someone that you missed off your list, so learning how to create a fast card takes away the stress.  Next Thursday we will be making three more ornate cards.  A little more time consuming, but these cards will be a gift in themselves.  

I mentioned last week that we are going to try and give you a short tutorial on a different craft each week. This week we will show you how to make an easy desk calendar.  It's quick and easy enough that you could make a few and put them in your "gifting stash"

Supplies
1 piece of cardstock cut into three 4" wide strips
12 pcs patterned paper or cardstock @ 2 7/8 x 3 7/8 for month pages
 2 pcs of patterned paper for the front and back cover of the book @ 2 7/8 x 3 7/8 (if you choose to make  it book style)
12" narrow ribbon                           Various embellishments of choice
12 mats to fit your calendar             Calendar (business card size)   



 1- 12 x 12 cardstock 
Cut into three pieces 12 x 4 each


Score each strip at 3", 6", 9"



Glue one strip to the other as shown at the left to begin to form the pages

Continue in this way until all pages are made.

I didn't glue all pages together, but left an opening so that it formed a book shape.  You could choose to 
simply glue all sides to make complete star shape.


If you are making into book form, then proceed with the following

Glue ribbon onto one side of the front and back pages  and then glue covers over the ribbon.

I added a small non month related calendar to front as an embellishment.


Here you see how I embellished all the monthly pages.











Once all your pages are decorated and embellished to your liking, your calendar will look like this.

Looking down from the top, you can see where my calendar is tied at one side to hold it closed.


  






Here you see it standing on the desk in the open position.  The tie and opening are at the back.

Hope you have fun making this desk calendar.



As you're gearing up for Christmas may I suggest this to you......

One day at a time you'll be able to achieve
all your crafting goals.

For all the non paper crafters, here are a few links you may enjoy....

Some great FREE dishcloth patterns here

Or how about a quick felt pincushion or coaster here.

Perhaps by looking on Google images you could find a nice snowman pattern made from felt.  Just add a pin back (we have them at the store) and you have a cute little embellishment for your winter jacket. Or perhaps it's the felt Santa that we have on display in the store that you could make into a brooch.  So many choices....

Whatever your craft of choice.....


Until Later, Happy Crafting  

Lilian