Posts categorized "Christmas projects"

christmas ideas [day 5] : fabric yo-yos christmas tree ornaments

Just sharing some little ornaments I've made over the weekend for our tree.

Little fabric yo-yos Christmas trees.


These are made from three fabric yo-yos of graduating sizes....


... and lots of buttons....


...all threaded together.


I've just fabric from my Michael Miller collection. Love the bright colours of these fabrics.

Thanks for visiting.


Fiona x

christmas ideas [day 4] : kids christmas party games

I've been totally caught up with end of school things and packing orders for Ribbons Galore lately. My Christmas crafting and ideas has taken a back seat.

Mel, on the other hand, has been keeping us inspired with lots of Christmas crafting and cooking. So make sure you visit her blog for lots of her goodness.

In this post I'm sharing some Christmas party ideas for the kids. Phoebe had a Christmas party with her school friends yesterday. We organised a few activities to keep everyone happy.

Here are a few of the activities....

Pin the nose on the reindeer

This was Phoebe's design. She cut the eyes, mouth and antlers from cardboard and stuck them in place on a cork board. She then cut red circles for the noses and placed her friends' names on each one.


Everyone had a turn, blindfolded, to place the nose in the right place....



Decorate the mini Christmas trees

This is an old favourite in our house.


Using little wire Christmas trees, the girls decorate them with ribbon.


The girls sat for a long time decorating their trees... and chatting.


Santa pinata

This is a store bought santa which we found at Spotlight. Again, having a pinata is a favourite at Phoebe's parties.



We made little mini lollie bags to fill santa, as well as some chocolates.


Not sure who gave the final blow to break santa, but it was chaos when the lollies finally fell...


I hope to get a couple more posts up, now I have a little more time to relax before Christmas. I'm actually working on some little Christmas ornaments, so will be back soon.

Thanks for visiting.


Fiona x

christmas ideas [day 3] : christmas bunting, banners and garlands

The Christmas idea I'm sharing today is an almost no sew Christmas bunting. I say it's almost no sew as the flag parts of the bunting have no sewing whatsoever, and the only sewing involved in this project is stitching the flags to the ribbons.Fiona's-xmas-bunting

To create each flag, choose two fabrics, one for the front and one for the back. Cut the fabrics slightly larger that the finished triangle. Fuse both pieces together with fusible webbing (the stuff used for applique work). Now cut the triangle flag shape from this double sided fabric. For something a little different, I used my pinking shears to cut the edges.


Once you have your desired number of flags made, pin them in place along a length of ribbon. I've used plain grosgrain from Ribbons Galore. I added a thinner ribbon to the middle of the first ribbon for some detail. I then stitched another piece of ribbon to the back of these front ribbons to hide the raw edges of the bunting flags.Fiona's-xmas-bunting-4 

The fabrics I've used are from Michael Miller Fabrics, from the Christmas range including red, lime and green holiday ditzy, lime joyful damask and pink joy.

And here is it's final position for the festive season. Over our over-sided doorway at the end of our hallway. And I have to agree with Mel now, bunting is one of the hardest things to photograph.


Now please make sure you visit Mel's blog to see her gorgeous circular bunting that she has made, so very cute.

Here are a few favourite ideas for banners, garlands and buntings.

Mel has already mentioned this Christmas tree bunting in her post, but it was on my list of favourites, so I'm popping it on my blog too. This is from sadieandland blog. She has included a tutorial on her blog.


Shelley has shared a couple of gorgeous ideas for banners... the first one made from party plates...

Banner 1

... and the second one, made from page protectors...

Dec banner 2

This list at contains several clever garland and buntings which I won't repeat, just head over there and click through the list for lots of interesting ideas.

That's about all from me for now. Thanks for popping by.


Fiona x

christmas ideas [day 2] : handmade cards

I love making my own cards. I love my girls making their own cards. Christmas time is no exception. In this post I'm sharing some cards which were a free added bonus to one of my Christmas online classes in the past. They are still some of my favourite cards.




If you would like to make these I have a PDF template file with the little pieces used for making the stocking, tree and candy cane. Download Fiona's christmas card shapes templates. (This file is an A4 sized document, so make sure you check your printer settings to ensure the template pieces are the right size and in proportion.)

Here are a few photos to give you an idea of how to construct the Christmas shapes on your cards.

I like to combine paper with fabric or felt, so I cut the base shapes from paper:Stocking-1

Then add felt pieces:

I like to add a little stitching. You could also use the sewing machine if you'd like:


All finished:


You could use any shapes for your cards, try looking for some clip art pieces that you like and use a mix of paper and felt to create your own cards.

Mel and I will be back on Friday with some more Christmas craft ideas... this time I think a little stitching will be on display. Hope you can join us then.

Thanks for visiting.


Fiona x 

christmas ideas [day 1] : advent calendars

From now until Christmas Mel and I will be sharing some inspirational crafty Christmas projects and ideas. We'll be posting every Tuesday and Friday until Christmas.

In preparation for the silly season, I created a Christmas-y blog banner, just to get me in the festive mood.

Mel and I thought we'd start our festive ideas with a post about Advent Calendars. I wanted to find out a little about the history of the Advent Calendar. I knew it was a way of counting down the days to Christmas, but I wanted more.... Wikipedia to the rescue, this was one place that appeared in my search. A brief history can be found HERE.

Since having children I (and my girls) have a tradition of choosing a chocolate filled calendar from the supermarket. My girls love opening their calendars every morning through December. Its the only time of the year they are allowed to eat chocolate before breakfast!

And since having children I always had grand plans of making a calendar for each of them, something that would become a "long term" tradition. Last year I finally made two calendars. . I did share photos of these last year, but I didn't go into detail of how they were made, so here's a little more information (not a tutorial, but a few tips to making them).

Emily's Advent Calendar

I didn't measure any pieces of fabric for Emily's calendar. The larger background pieces (front and back) are the size of fat quarters. I did machine quilt fabric I used in this project, but you can leave this step out, or just use a light batting to give the calendar a little substance.

I created 4 large strips of fabric to go across the calendar background fabric. These were embellished with ribbons and rick rack. I sewed them to the front base piece only. I then sewed lines from top to bottom to create the smaller pockets. Six pockets were created across each of the four rows. The flowers and buttons were then added to the calendar.


Now is the time to consider how you would like to hang the calendar. I made some fabric tabs and sewed them to the top of the calendar, leaving the tabs facing inwards before finishing off the project.

The back of the calendar is sewn in place at the end... with the right side (pockets side) of the calendar and the right side of the back fabric together, sew around the edge, leaving a small hole to turn the calendar right side out. Stitch the hole closed.

And your calendar is ready to be filled with little treats. Now I didn't add number to this calendar, we used a little decorative peg last year to show the number, and moved it along to each pocket.

Phoebe's Stockings Advent Calendar

Phoebe and I made 24 quilted, fully lined stockings for her calendar. Phoebe did alot of the quilting herself. Now this seems alot of work, but set up a little production line to make the stockings and it's not such a huge task.

The stocking pattern I used was from Martha Stewart. Any stocking pattern can be used, just ad adjust the size to what you require. Martha Stewart's stocking template can be found HERE. Her original project was made using felt which was very cute. There are good instructions there for making the stockings.

Here's a few tips for making fabric stockings.... Cut out 48 stocking pieces (if making unlined stockings or using felt), cut out 96 stocking pieces if making lined stockings.

Fix 48 of these to a fusible webbing and quilt (only the outside stocking pieces were quilted, not the lining pieces). Below is a photo of the pieces once quilted, we quilted the whole wadding piece, not each individual stocking:

Cut out the stockings (from the wadding) and embellish with ribbon and rick rack across the top. I only sewed ribbon to the front piece of the stock not the back:


Sew the stockings together. I sewed a front (quilted) piece to a front lining, then back piece to back lining. Then right sides together and sewed around the whole edge, leaving a small hole in the lining (near the heel of the stocking) to turn the stocking to the right side. Stitch the hole closed and stuff the lining back inside the stocking. I hope that makes sense, if not ask any questions. Unfortunately I don't have any photos of that step.

Once finished, we pegged them up on string.

Now all I have to do is fill them all with goodies and we're ready to another year of our Christmas tradition.

I have found many more calendars on the web. Some favourite handmade advent calendars from other crafters are below. Please click on the links to visit their blogs and instructions to creating their calendars.

Cathe Holden's Simple Spool Advent Calendars:


Roxy Creations advent calendar:

Miss Gioia's Frankincense Advent uses buttons for the numbers:

Full Circle handmade advent:


Pink Chalk Studio's quilted advent:

And lastly, one great place for creative inspiration is Flickr, one group to look through is the Creative Advent Calendars group. So many ideas all in one place!

If you have a favourite advent calender idea, please share a link in the comments, I'd love to take a peek.

Thanks for visiting, see you on Friday for our next installment of our Crafty Christmas ideas.


Fiona x

Christmas sewing

December has just flown by... and I couldn't let it pass without sharing some Christmas crafty-ness we've been working on in our house.

I mentioned in my last post about a project Phoebe and I were working on. We made an Advent calendar together, sewing 24 little quilted, fully lined stockings. Phoebe did a much of the quilting.



The little stockings ready to be sewed.


These little stockings are quite tricky to photograph. We pegged them onto string across the wall. Each day has it's own little stocking for a surprise.



Some close ups of the little stockings, trimmed with ribbon and rick rack.



And a happy Phoebe!


The fabrics I purchased last June from the Sydney craft show. The fabrics are:

And of course I couldn't let Emily go without an Advent calendar. So once the 24 stockings were made, I started on a project for Emily. Here is my gorgeous Emily with her Advent calendar.


This project was made up as I went along. I had an idea of what I wanted to make, but after that it was created as I sewed.




I made these little crotched felted flowers a while back, and was thrilled to see the colours of the flowers matched the advent calender. Little fabric covered buttons finished it off.



The fabrics used for this Advent calendar were from the Spring Carnival collection by Max New, this time in the red/pink colourway.

I have also made some market bags from Park Slope fabrics. These are for sale in the Handmade store at Ribbons Galore. They are quilted on the outside, fully lined and reversible.




And a couple of things made from Maya Road...

This little tag was a design team challenge for the Maya Road newsletter. We had to create a tag using four MR products.



And my little reindeer ornaments which I created last year, were published in a Paper Crafts Christmas special magazine, Holiday Cards and More Vol 3, along with two other of my projects.


Well that's about all for now. I've been busy painting a room in our house this weekend which will become my crafty room very soon.

Hope you have a good few days leading up to Christmas.

Thanks for visiting.


Fiona x

RAK winners and some Christmas projects

Thank you ladies for sharing your Christmas traditions in my last post. I've loved reading what everyone does for Christmas... there are lots of different festive activities, but we all seem to enjoy this time with family and friends.

I had a couple of projects in the latest Scrapbooking Memories. First one is the layout below using Piggy Tales papers, Maya Road sheer letters and Autumn Leaves stamps.





The second project in SM was a card using Urban Lily Oh So Merry paper and a stamp from Autumn Leaves.



The gingerbread for the gingerbread houses has been made. I did share my recipe last year... Robyn S who left me a comment reminded me of this fact. Thanks Robyn. The recipe can be found HERE, along with the icing to hold the house together. The Nordicware Gingerbread House Mold which I use to make the pieces for the house can be found at Alfresco Emporium.

Now, onto the RAK winners of the little Maya Road people keychains (drawn randomly, in no particular order)....

Trace G: "My favorite tradition is driving an hour and a half to go find the perfect Christmas tree and then cut it down ourselves. The day also includes a sleigh ride, hot chocolate, and some cookies. Those reindeer are beyond adorable.
Happy holidays"

Julia: "My favourite tradition is decorating our Christmas tree while watching Carols by Candlelight and all singing along at the top of our voices."

Robyn S: "I love everything about Christmas. I now make gingerbread thanks to your gingerbread recipe you posted last year. This is a tradition I am starting. Thank you, love you blog."

Yvette: "Our favourite tradition is having the kid's photo taken with Santa. Not such a big deal, except the *children* involved are now 23, 20 and nearly 17! We are off to see the big fella tomorrow night and the kids are so excited!"

Thanks again to everyone who left me a comment.

Hope you're all having a festive week.

Thanks for visiting.




graduation and other things, including a RAK

Emily's year 6 graduation dinner was held the other night. A lot of work went into the coordination of this night. There was a decorating committee, a food committee, a 'security' committee and even a cupcake committee. The school hall was transformed into a fabulous venue for the kids. The theme of the evening was 'Reach for the Stars', so we did out best to make it as starry as possible. Here's the hall when we'd finished decorating...


I made the centre pieces for the tables. They were terracotta pots painted black with silver glitter on them. The pots were filled with sand to hold the mini balloons, then black crepe paper was crumpled on the top to hide the sand.



The cupcakes looked fantastic. Fondant starry shapes were placed on top of the iced cakes.


Hall5 Hall6

Emily looked beautiful. She was soooo excited about the evening.




All the kids had a fantastic night. Their only complaint... their evening was too short. I think they could have kept dancing for another couple of hours!

With the graduation dinner behind us now, it's time to relax... not. Christmas shopping was officially started on Tuesday, still quite a bit to do there. And we still have to make our gingerbread houses, which I'll be starting very soon.

I made these ribbon baubles yesterday for a few friends. They are clear plastic baubles which I found in my local art store (and have also seen them at Spotlight). I've bought them in past years and filled them with lollies for kids Christmas gifts, but this year I thought they'd look pretty with ribbon in them. There's also a sneak of some new ribbons coming the Ribbons Galore very soon.


Baubles2 Baubles3 

And lastly, I think we have enough time for a very quick RAK before Christmas. I have some of these little sets from Maya Road which I'd like to send you.


Leave a comment before Sunday telling me your favourite holiday tradition (or just leave your name in a comment), and I'll put the names in a hat and pick a few out.

That's about all for this week. Hope you're all having a great week.

Bye for now.



Santa earned his money on Friday.

Twelve months ago... Emily reluctantly sat on Santa's knee having the traditional Carter girls Santa photo with little sister Phoebe. After the photo session she asked how many more years did she have to have a photo taken with Santa.

I suggested that next year it might be fun to have a Santa photo with all her school friends. They would be in year 6, very close to leaving school and it would be a fun photo for them all to have.

Usually Emily has a little memory problem. She never remembers when I ask her to put her shoes away. She never remembers to help with the dishes when I ask her. She never remembers to clean the bunny hutch when asked. So imagine my surprise when two week's ago, she actually remembers my suggestion from a year ago, and starts arranging her friends for a Santa photo shoot.

So last Friday was the planned day. I volunteered to "help". After school the girls caught the bus up to Chatswood. I met them at the bus stop and escorted them to Santa.

I'm not sure if Santa was pleased or frightened at the sight of these nine 11 & 12 year old girls appearing in front of him.

They cuddled him, he asked what they all wanted for Christmas. Then they asked him what he wanted to Christmas, and he said a song. With that the girls burst into song "we wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas". Their song filled Westfield, people were looking over from the food hall above to see where the beautiful singing was coming from.


Finally they were arranged around Santa. A couple of really nice photos were taken. The photographer asked if the girls should look at the photos. Why not? I thought.

What happened next I was unprepared for. Not everyone was happy with their photo. Now these girls all get along very well, they are very respectful of each other. So it was suggested another photo should be taken, because everyone should be happy with their photo.

Back to Santa they went, and another photo was taken. They checked it. Another one was taken....

....and then another....

...and another...

About 8 photos were taken. That's about six times poor Santa had to cuddled and sat upon by these girls. He remained VERY jovial through the whole experience. This Santa obviously received top grades at Santa School.

Finally a photo was acceptable. It was printed nine times, the girls waved Santa good bye, happy with their photo folder and Santa goodie bag.


It was worth the effort. A fantastic memory captured for many years to come.

Hope you're having a festive week!

Thanks for visiting.




very random ramblings

I feel the silly season is here. Not much spare time at the moment for blogging. There's lots going on in the Carter household and many end of year activities at the girls' school. Christmas shopping hasn't started yet, although I've seen a few Christmas "wish lists" around the house.

I'm busy making table decorations for Emily's graduation dinner coming up soon (will post photos when I have some). Emily has just over 2 weeks left of primary school. She is so excited about starting high school next year, which is great.

There have been quite a few "proud mummy moments" lately. Here's a few:

Yesterday we attended Presentation Day for the girls' school. Both girls received awards. First up was Phoebe who received the Academic Book Award for her class. After the ceremony she was allowed to choose a book and have her certificate placed on the inside cover.


And Emily received the Public Speaking Debating Award for the school. She was so excited. She speaks beautifully and can speak in front of an audience with ease, which is such a fantastic skill to have. We now lovingly refer to it at home as the Argument Award, something she's particularly good at, and obviously a requirement for debaters :-)

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A few weeks back, Phoebe ran in the State Relay Carnival out at Homebush. She was part of the Under 10's 4 x 100m relay team for her Little Athletics club. They ran well, finished third in their heat, but missed going onto the final. She was happy to be out there and part of the action. That's her below just starting her run.


We were up at Hawks on the weekend. The weather wasn't great, but it was so nice to be away for a few days. Not much photographic evidence that we were there apart from these photos of the girls.

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{mental note for next time, remind Phoebe to remove white socks before we take photos}

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We've been visited by a few kookaburras in our back yard recently. There seems to be more around than in recent years. I took this photo while standing in my kitchen, looking through the shutters. He sat on our clothes line for ages (we think he was stalking the bunnies!). It's so nice to hear them too, laughing away so close to the city.


Are you still with me?

I've created a few things with some new Paper Salon papers.






These are a few Christmas cards made as part of my latest on line class. The patterns and instructions are included in the class.

Candycane1_2 Tree1 Stocking12 

That's about all for now. Thanks for visiting and reading my blog.

Hope you all have a great week.