I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy 2020. I am super excited and motivated for this year with George Crafts! I have promised myself to be more organized in the hopes that this will bring more consistency to my content and I already have events booked up for January and June this year!
I thought today I would do a little bit of a festive round up, instead of the traditional Craft Journal post. I have been so busy over the past few months preparing for Christmas, and a lot of those preparations have been crafty!
This year was the very first year Mr Crafts and I hosted Christmas dinner, and I couldn’t let that momentous occasion pass by without putting in a few crafty twists!
Grab the last few pieces of shortbread, polish off the Christmas cake and even open that tub of Quality Street you promised you would save for next year, and enjoy the first George Crafts blogpost of 2020!
Hands up all of you who remember my blogposts about making jumpers for Christmas. Well, I am pleased to announce that all of the jumpers were finished, with time to spare. However I think I may have lost the last of my sanity trying to get them done. Never again will I make three jumpers for Christmas. Honestly, the jury is still out as to whether Mr Crafts will get his jumper in 2020.
Two of the jumpers were made from a pattern called The Father Pullover, and they worked up a lot quicker than the jumper made from The Comforolled pattern. I had tension issues with both patterns as I was using Hayfield Bonus Aran instead of the recommended yarn. After much swearing and crocheting of tension squares, I ended up using the recommended hook sizes anyway. So if any of you are mad enough to follow in my footsteps, let me save you the hassle of tension squares, use Hayfield bonus and the recommended hook sizes and you will be fine!
As well as the three sweaters I also made three shawls. Two of the shawls were made from The Sunset Arches pattern and the third was knitted from the Harris Tweed Prayer shawl pattern. Both sunset shawls were made with Drops cotton and the knitted shawl was made with King Cole Chunky Tweed. I actually have another knitted shawl started in Aldi’s chunky yarn. I much prefer crochet to knitting but the finished shawl is so nice and works up so well I don’t really mind making it.
Mr Crafts actually made some Christmas gifts this year, and with the absolute minimum of help (I was far too busy swearing at my half-finished jumpers). I allowed Mr Crafts free rein over the paper crafting supplies to make a family photo journal for his mum. He also took it upon himself to scan all the family photos and slides in his parent’s house and his nan’s house, not a small job. Once all the photos had been digitized, he put them onto memory sticks and used my wood burning tool to decorate wooden boxes to hold them. I think the recipients were amazed by the amount of effort gone into these present as they all promptly burst into tears (of joy) when they opened them. Well done Mr Crafts!
More Handmade Gifts
This year I was lucky enough to receive some beautiful handmade gifts! My mum made a beautiful quilted pillow with a pair of sausage dogs on the front and I was given two lovely handmade tree decorations from some kind friends.
When Mr Crafts and I decorate the Christmas tree we take a “more is more” approach. There is no colour scheme or plan, just a mission to fill the tree as much as possible. As such we have all kinds of decorations, some are gifts and some are souvenirs from our travels. It might not be the most sophisticated approach to decorating a tree but we love it so much. Each time we pick up that decoration we are reminded of a wonderful trip or we think of friends we are grateful to have in our lives. So to the friends that gave us decorations this year, thank you! We will love them year after year!
Of course this year I recieved plenty of other crafty presents, including a new yarn bowl, bead spinner, books on tatting, tatting shuttles, beads, a crochet kit and a lovely felt sewing kit. I can’t wait to get my hands on all the crafty goodness inside!
There are some things that it just wouldn’t be Christmas without, like Santa Claus or mince pies. With this in mind I put a little handmade spin on my festive flourishes this year!
I have made my own Christmas cards for a good few years now. I usually buy the Hunkydory Christmas Blockbuster as I find I can more than enough cards for myself with plenty left over to sell and there is usually some of the kit left for the following year.
Last year I bought the blockbuster but I never got around to using it because I had so many leftovers from previous years, so this year I didn’t need to buy anything new! All the cards were made and I still have a quarter of the blockbuster left over as well as a few other Christmas bits from other companies.
The scraps from my card making don’t go to waste either as I give them to Mr Crafts to make all of our gift tags, it save us money and saves the card and paper from going in the bin. Usually there are still leftovers and I put them all in a pack and give them to Bourne 2 Care for the guys and girls to use in their arts and crafts sessions. A little goes a long way when you buy from Hunkydory!
As well as cards Mr Crafts and I make our own wrapping paper. A lot of the paper available in the shops actually contains plastic (think glitter, foil, holographic wrapping papers) which means they can’t be recycled.
We buy rolls of brown paper from The Range (6m of paper for £1) and use stamps and inkpads to decorate it. The brown paper itself is made from 100% recycled products and is completely recyclable, it also looks beautiful! This is a crafty project that’s great for the environment and the pocket as I’m not sure you would get six metres of wrapping paper for £1 on the high street! Stamping out 6 metres of paper does take a while, so if you want to give this a try next year I suggest starting early!
This year is the second year I have made my own crackers. Again you can buy kits for doing this, but beware of hidden plastic! I use printed brown kraft card (again 100% recycled and recyclable) to make the body of my crackers and cut out the basic shape on my Scan ‘n’ Cut. Next Christmas I will share my cutting files with you! Then I score carefully before gluing in cracker snaps, available on amazon. You can even write your own jokes and make you own paper hats (you can even crochet some hats if you’re feeling adventurous!). Then I tie one end of the cracker closed with jute cord (no plastic and it gives the crackers a more rustic feel), stuff the crackers with favours – we opted for alcohol – and tie up the other end with more jute cord. I decorated our crackers with ribbon and die cut card stocks. Each one was personalized for the recipient so it acted as a place card too!
That’s all folks!
I have a few more Christmas crafts, tips and tricks but I will save them for another day (probably closer to next Christmas!) I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas time and look forward to seeing what crafting 2020 will bring!