Saturday, 9 December 2017

Christmas at Number 14

I planned to make this Christmas the most handmade, crafty Christmas ever, but life seldom goes to plan. I am spending December and early January wrapping up and leaving an organisation I've worked at for over 10 years - this is a good thing - but it has required me to recalibrate my handmade Christmas plans. It's not all out of the window and today I'll share some lovely festive crafty fun I've had so far this year.

Festive Sketchbook Club
My little one and I love Jennie Maizel's online Sketchbook Club - do check it out if you haven't heard of it. We both love robins too so you can imagine our delight when Jennie launched a free Robin Sketchbook Club tutorial showing us how to draw and paint three adorable robins. Jennie provides a handy downloadable sheet and a short video showing you exactly how to get a fabulous result. Here's my first robin, and this weekend we're going to "add the detail" to R's robin.

Robin painted with watercolours

Wreath making
For as long as I can remember I have wanted to learn how to make a wreath - a silly ambition I know. Early in the Autumn my friend B spotted a workshop at a local garden centre and yesterday we went along for a happy creative morning. We were walked through every stage of the process so that we were guaranteed a good result.

Montage of photographs showing the construction of a wreath

We had SO much fun, chatted non-stop and managed to make really beautiful wreaths.
Finished wreath having on a door

With some trepidation I put a giant wreath suction hook on the front door and hung the wreath up - and it's still hanging there! If you get a chance, do give wreath making a go - it's easier than it looks.

A month or so ago I scaled back my original gift making plans but I still have some non-negotiable items that I want to make, including socks for my Dad. This week I got the socks finished and I'm really happy with them. I've made seven pairs of hand-knit socks, including four pairs this year and these are my best yet - every element of construction went smoothly, the pattern matches and I am very confident that they'll fit (they are a surprise for my Dad - I don't think he reads every blog I post...hopefully).
Pair of green and blue hand-knit socks

I used Opal 8ply so they were much quicker than 4ply socks but goodness, men have long feet - I felt as though I was knitting forever.

Next up I need to stuff my little one's knitted puffin and make a felt puffin badge - long story!

We have also started wrapping and giving the gifts we've made. Every year I make our neighbour a new decoration for their tree lieu of a card. No surprise, this year it was the crochet bauble I wrote about last week. I had a lot of fun choosing the colours and making the bauble and it is so lovely to see our neighbours' delight at the latest addition to their tree.

So whilst December isn't working out as planned I'm seeking out the positives and enjoying the most crafty Christmas I can. I just need to keep this to the front of my mind on Monday when I'm back at work trying to tackle 10 years worth of accumulated paperwork. I know December can feel really overwhelming so hope you're all managing to enjoy your festive preparations too x


  1. You still seem to have managed quite a lot! I love your Christmas wreath.

  2. I like your positive outlook Helen! Your Dad will love those socks, I am sure and your wreath looks perfect!

    Marta xx

  3. Love reading about your Christmas making... those robins are incredible. I always make the most ambitious plans but life gets in the way. I think you've done really well with your ornaments, best ever knitted socks and wreath.