Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Cinnamon Stick Bundles






Craf-'TEA' Break 
noun [cr,ah, fu - Tee, brae, k]
A craft or crafty pursuit that can be completed whilst drinking tea.
Example - "Today I took a Craf-'TEA Break and made..."



I love Cinnamon...
The smell, the taste, the way it evokes a feeling of warmth and childhood Christmases ...I love EVERYTHING about it!
So you can imagine my delight when the latest Crafty Creatives box included a bundle of them, it couldn't have come at a better time as I had just ran out of my previous stash of them after creating these lovely little Cinnamon Stick bundles.


I started off with 3 cinnamon sticks, as anal as it may sound I had already 'tested' them together as a bundle to check if their ridges tessellated enough to create a good shape - you want to make sure there is enough contact between each stick to allow the glue to hold them together properly.


Once bundled the sticks can take a while to dry (depending on the glue you use of course!) I set these aside for a while and went on to the next step which  involved a little snowflake bell and some jewellery wire.


I looped the wire through the bell and twisted to secure...


 ...this was then also put to one side as it can't be attached until the glue is dry on the stick bundle.


Next I cut two lengths of ribbon, to create the hanging loop I found the mid section and tied a knot about 3 inches from the top, you will need to leave a decent length of ribbon on the 'tails' so that you can wrap it around the bundle. I prefer to use a wider ribbon for the bow just because it is easier to manipulate.


I find that the easiest way to tie a tidy bow is to loop the ribbon as above and then fold one loop over and under the other one to fasten....


...I then tighten and fiddle around with the shape until I am happy to secure it with a dot of glue under the knot loop.


Once the sticks were sufficiently dry I wrapped the bell wire around them, moulding it to the shape of the bundle as much as possible and securing with another dot of glue.


I then applied another dot of glue to the top of the bundle to attach the hanging loop. Once that was dry I wrapped the tail ends of the ribbon around the bundle to hide the bell wire, if you can trim both of the tail ends to meet in the same place you can then hide them with the bow!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Tomte Time!

I've had a very busy few weeks rounding up my little collection of Tomtes.

Wait...you've never heard of Tomtes before?? Well my friends you are missing out!
Tomtes (especially Musha-Tomtes!) are magical little Scandinavian Christmas creatures...

"...He doesn't live on the North Pole, but perhaps in a forest nearby, or in Denmark he lives on Greenland, and in Finland he lives in Lapland; he doesn’t come down the chimney at night, but through the front door, delivering the presents directly to the children, just like the Yule Goat did; he is not overweight; and even if he nowadays sometimes rides in a sleigh drawn by reindeer, instead of just walking around with his sack, his reindeer don’t fly - and in Sweden, Denmark and Norway some still put out a bowl of porridge for him on Christmas Eve."

I first learnt about Tomte 4 years ago and fell in love with them, I've been creating them ever since and try to come up with a different take on them each year.
This little guy is the original Tomte - I think ever single person in my family owns at least one like this!


This year I've stuck with my traditional Tomte colours and have added a set of 3 hanging decoration Tomte to the family.




AND...I've also developed a DIY Tomte Kit!! This is a project I have been working on for a long time (as you can see from various blog posts) and I'm really pleased with the finished product.


All of these little guys are either available on the Musha-Makes shop or Musha-Made on Etsy!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Getting to grips with zips!


 (I've been desperate to do a project with my mini stash of natural linen and lace since inspiration struck me when I received the black lace in Octobers Crafty Creative Box)

I'm slightly ashamed to admit that up until a few days ago I had never attempted to sew anything that involved a zip -I've simply been too scared to!
It always looked very complicated and I wasn't sure if my sewing skills were up to the task...it turns out they are though....well, very nearly.....


...it wasn't as difficult as I had anticipated, although I did run into some issues with my bobbin thread (my Mum has been borrowing my sewing machine for the past few weeks and whenever she returns it there is always something not quite right with it!) it seems to have lost all tension and was making it all loopy messy on the underside of the stitching.

I actually wimped out of machine sewing in the zip after the bobbin issue and hand stitched it instead but I'm still pretty pleased with how it turned out.


Saturday, 24 November 2012

Shimmer Baubles


 I love creating Christmas decorations, I always feel really inspired around the festive season and have plenty of DIY's to show you over the coming weeks.

This weekend I've been busy playing with the glass baubles that I stock in the shop. I found some translucent shimmer shred in my packaging stash and thought it would be great to incorporate into a decoration.


It wasn't as straight forward as I was hoping, it's a little bit fiddly to get the strands inside, but once you get the hang of it (it involved a crochet hook and a lot of patience!) it's easy. Once the bauble was 'stuffed' I finished them off with a liberal sprinkle of iridescent star sequins that really catch the light.


I've decided to create a little Etsy shop to showcase and sell some of my creations, I've called it 'Musha-Made'...a little cheesy/predictable but like I've always said  - 'If it's got 'Musha' infront of it, you can guarantee I'm behind it!'

You can find it here or by the Esty tab at the top of the page.
These baubles are the first item to be listed on my shop!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Mini Bell Wreath




Craf-'TEA' Break 
noun [cr,ah, fu - Tee, brae, k]
A craft or crafty pursuit that can be completed in one sitting of tea drinking.
Example - "Today I took a Craf-'TEA Break and made..."


As soon as I saw the plastic hoop and bright bells in this months Crafty Creatives box I knew exactly  what I wanted to make with them! It turned out to be a bit of a bigger project than I expected (it's probably a 3-4 tea breaks project due to wrapping and gluing of the hoop)


Items used:
Plastic hoop (from Crafty Creatives Box 5)
Jingle Bells (from Crafty Creatives Box 5 and I have some very similar ones in the shop)
Jute string
Embroidery floss
Fabritac glue
PVA glue
Burgundy gingham ribbon
Burgundy bow 

I started off by attaching the embroidery floss to the hoop with, I then threaded 3 bells onto it and wrapped it around the opposite side of the hoop, added 3 more bells and trimmed and glued the end of the floss to the hoop.
I glued the bells into place on the floss(...in hindsight I should have waited until I wrapped the wreath with the string as the bells really got in the way for this bit) and the started to wrap the hoop with string - this took quite a while but I was determined to make sure it stayed tight and neat the whole way around!


To finish the wreath off I added a loop of ribbon and a little bow to the front, I was desperately searching for a bright ribbon and bow to use to match the bells but had to settle for my standard burgundy and beige colour scheme. These would look adorable with gold bells with the cream and burgundy colour scheme.



I'm really pleased with the way it turned out and think I might add these to my list of items to make for next year too.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Crafty Creatives Box #5 - Nostalgic/Festive


"Tis the season to ...feel nostalgic! We've tried to recreate that happy peaceful feeling of times gone by, childhood joys and simple pleasures...with a few festive goodies thrown in!"

This months box included...
  • Art Card by featured artist Jo Askey
  • CC Kit! Crochet Mouse - Crochet is one of the first crafts I learnt from my Nan, it'll be interesting to see how much of it I remember!
  • Nostalgic Printed Fabric - This was created by Karen who has a lovely website with other handmade items.
  • 1.5m Festive Ribbon - I love the pattern on this, nice muted colours and almost Scandinavian looking.
  • Vintage Style Alice in Wonderland postcard
  • Jingle Bells - You can never have enough bells! I might incorporate these into some Christmas ornament ideas I have.
  • 3 Carousel Pendants - These have gone straight into the bead/pendant stash, I've got a few other pendants that I think they'll work well with.
  • Mini tea cup and saucer - Have a great idea for these!
  • 2 Card layers
  • 2 Wreath rings - Can't wait to have a play around with these, already have a few ideas!
  • Wooden girl and bunny - These are adorable, not sure how to use them yet though.
  • Edging scissors - This is one tool that I don't already own, I've got a collection of regular scissors but no shaped or edging scissors, interested to see how these work and what I can incorporate the pattern into.
  • Bunch of cinnamon sticks - I love the smell of cinnamon, hoping to incorporate these into a Christmas Decoration idea.
  • Sheet of Christmas scraps

*****
 Do you subscribe to Crafty Creatives? What did you think of this months box? Do you have any ideas or suggestions on what I can make?
  ***** 
Want to get your hands on one of the items from this months box?
There is a now a Crafty Creatives 'Trading Post' Facebook page where fellow crafters can swap/sell/buy items from previous boxes!




Thursday, 8 November 2012

1 bead, 2 beads, 3 beads...


I've spent most of the morning sorting and counting the new beads coming to the shop this weekend. These are the same beads I received in my CraftyCreatives Box last month and I loved them so much I decided that I had to stock them!
They come in a gorgeous array of bright colours and I can't wait to make some jewellery out of them, I think they'd look great on a bracelet or necklace made completely of shiny black beads with a few of these to add a pop of colour.

Monday, 5 November 2012

The Final Preparations!





Things are pretty much ready for the launch of my very first DIY kit!
Instruction sheets have been printed off, stickers have been stuck, felt folded and pillow boxes stuffed.
I can't wait to show you the finished product, it'll be available in the shop from this weekend.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Folding Fat Quarters

I have spent the past day and a bit cutting, ironing, folding and packaging lots of lovely fat quarters of fabric to add to the shop.
It's been freezing the past few days so we've had the heating on which has been lovely but it gets a bit too warm when you've got a steam iron on for 2 hours too, that combination makes for one hot and bothered crafter!
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