Friday, January 02, 2015

Christmas crafts roundup 2014

Now that it's 2015 (happy new year!), it's safe to post all the images of my various present-making activities from the festive season.

First, cards. Here are some from this year, on white. I think the most successful ones were the ones on coloured metallic backgrounds but those don't come out so well in photos.

I made these by printing, just using black printing ink, and a block cut with lino-cutting tools. I didn't actually use lino, it's the rubber stuff that you can get. Here's the cut out designs, on top of the doodles used for planning purposes. Halfway through cutting the snowman, I went for a swim and while I was doing it I realised that even though I'd taken care to do it the right way round, I was still about to cut it so that the snowman would come out black. I rescued it, but it's not quite the way I wanted it to look. Lucky I went swimming just at that moment! 

Here's a scarf I made for a friend's birthday present (on Boxing Day), the same as a previous one but in two solid contrasting colours rather than with a colour-changing wool.

In the photo above you can also see the corner of a little crochet purse I put chocolates into for another friend, and here's one with earrings in for a Christmas present.

This wasn't exactly Christmas-related except that I did it recently: I used this washi tape to make my ipad cover prettier. It's easily removable so I can change it if I get bored with it.

This is a necklace made for my mother, a straightforward bead-stringing affair but quite effective, I think. They're glass in the centre, and then there's malachite chips interspersed with a few metal ones and some bamboo coral (ethical version of coral).

But this was the most time-consuming thing: stiffening crocheted snowflakes. Making them is fun to do because it's relatively quick (maybe 20 minutes for a small one and a couple of hours for a big, complicated one), but then they're all floppy. So you dip them in some kind of solution (I used good old PVA glue and water) and then pin them out to dry, like this.

You have to use pins that won't rust and you should be a bit more careful than me about pinning them out neatly - not all of mine were very even because I didn't spend the time doing it properly. But some of them came out really well, and those made it as Christmas presents (the one that's large in the photo above is on our tree though, as it was not quite perfect enough but I like the design).

Here's a successful one, demonstrating the stiffness by holding it up.

 That was fun. I got a kit to knit little animals for Xmas as well.