Advent-ures #1

With 109 days left until the big day, I’m very keen to start theming the house, but it’s still a little early. (Even for me!)

In the meantime I’ve been keeping myself busy by creating advent calendars and other bits and pieces. Below is the advent calendar I’ve made for my mum.

Advent Calendar


I used small flat bottomed bags, and cut the numbers with my Cricut – each set of 6 bags has a slightly different paper pattern. The bags are held closed with small wooden pegs. I haven’t ‘sealed’ the bags so they can be reused.

I filled the bags with things my mum likes – coffee, skin care and nail treatments, and chocolates. There is also a small handmade gift in the first bag.


Good Wreath Charlie Brown

Wreath CollageAs I mentioned towards the end of last year I’m going to be doing a Handmade Christmas this year and along with that I’ll also be celebrating ‘holidays’ as the Americans call them.

Thus far I have done a Waitangi Day (New Zealand Day) and Valentine’s Day display. Both of these were rather low key and the photos will form part of the end-of-year review.

St Patrick’s Day is next, but in the meantime here are my yarn wreaths that I created at one of our family Crafternoon’s last month.

They are really quick and easy to make, probably an hour each plus the crochet flowers.

I used polystyrene wreath forms but you could apply this effect to other bases. For the multi-coloured wreath I chose four different ‘Easter’ coloured skeins of wool. Pulled off about four or five double arm lengths of each colour, tied them together with a knot and secured it at the back with a pin, then wrapped it around the form. I did two completed wraps to give it a good solid covering and create the right look. For the crochet flowers, which my sister did as I am still a novice crocheter, we chose two of the four colours and then added an extra accent with a third colour in the form of a button.

For the beige wreath, with is very neutral, it’s a type of cotton but the concept is the same. Draw out 4 or 5 double arm lengths, secured at the back (for this one I actually tied the new length to the old rather than using pins) much easier when it’s just one strand of the yarn. This form also has a double layering. With a single yarn you need to take more care with ensuring there are no gaps. There’s just a single crochet flower on this (as I was nearly out of yarn), and a pearlised shell button. 

I’m really happy with how they turned out. They were very easy. I’ll keep the multi-coloured one as it is but the beige one could easily have colours added to it (and remove the flower if necessary) to make it fit with the other themes throughout the year. I have another smaller wreath that I have wrapped with some ribbon that will be part of the Easter blog, and a much larger one that at present is wrapped with white tulle which will also feature in a future post.

If you have any questions please do ask.

Happy crafting!

Bookcase Advent Calendar – 2014

Today is the 12th day after Christmas and is traditionally (and superstitiously) the last day to remove ‘Christmas’, so I took down all the decorations, lights, decor, and trees. At present they aren’t actually packed away as I want to go through all the boxes in preparation for this year. I’ve started a Christmas 2014 List that outlines the themes, ideas, and also what I would like to make for each room this year.

While I was planning the foyer space I wondered what I could do with the rather large and dark bookcase and realised it has 12 sections to it which could easily fit two bags or boxes in it to create a big advent calendar, so project number two was born! (Project number one is knitted bunting which is in trial stage at present but looking very promising, and of course I’ll be blogging about that).

So my plan for the Bookcase Advent Calendar is to use a range of boxes and gift bags that I come across during the year, and each one will have a small gift, chocolate, a ‘to do’ card, and the very last one will be Hartleigh’s ‘A Night Before Christmas’ box. This traditionally contains a pair of pyjamas, a Christmas book, some popcorn, chocolates, and a small gift. I usually also put the plate we put Santa’s food on in there to remind us to do this.

As December is such a busy month and I know I won’t be able to blog each day we open the advent, I’m very tempted to blog as I create each number,that way I can share the calendar and not stress about keeping up to date during the busiest month of the year.

Hart Advent Calendar

Sonya’s Handmade Christmas

For the past few Christmases I’ve been making at least some of my Christmas presents, a few easy decorations, the advent calendar last year, and wreaths. I love how they look and now with the move to the new (very old) house I’m tempted to make some more decorations and other decor items a little trickier than just wrapping some twine around a polystyrene ring!

So I’ve decided that 2014 is going to be be the year of ‘Sonya’s Handmade Christmas’. Each month my family have crafting afternoon and I haven’t really made anything of substance, so the plan is to have one project a month to make that at the end of the year is part of my handmade Christmas.

Because I’m such a theme queen I’m going to need to decide on the colours for each room and where each item I make is going to go before I start work on it. I would like to make several different versions of the some item if I have time, eg; bunting. For the lounge if I stay with my current theme the burlap and black,then I would make a burlap garland and then in the hall perhaps a knitted one similar to the one below.

So there it is, the first resolution for 2014 (which I may even start in 2013!).

Merry Christmas everyone, I look forward to sharing my Handmade Christmas journey with you!



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