Advent. The countdown to Christmas is nigh…

Advent. The countdown to Christmas is nigh…

Sooooo…. In all my crazy wisdom (ie I’m just not wise at all I’ve decided) I felt I could squeeze making an advent calendar into my schedule before Christmas. Not that I have a hectic schedule mind you. Yes we do lots of things here, but hey, we don’t have every hour booked out. 

After deciding this was the way to go I chose to present it on a coat hanger, similar to one I’d seen. It seemed like a great idea at the time. Don’t they all? Because, well, Pinterest and ideas and inspiration and all that. Sometimes it’s best left in my head. I just don’t seem to have a lot of luch transferring some of the things I pin. 

Our little dough decorations is one example.  

They’re perfectly fine really, just forgot to add holes for hanging and they’re not all stamped and some are heavier than others ….and these are the good ones. The others are already in the rubbish. We’ll be making these again and getting rid of the first ones as part of our advent activities 🙈😂 because toddlers and craft. I love to involve E, but quite frankly, I really need to trial some things solo first. It’s not like I’m a professional crafter or even child organiser for that matter 😂

Anyway, advent and the countdown to Christmas. Actually my countdown started a month or two ago. And I’m not done yet. And the cards I set up and photographed to make in September still aren’t created. Nor are they printed. And in the hope of printing them locally, I haven’t found somewhere cheap enough with an acceptable print. So I need to order. And that takes time. I can see December floating by with me in a whirl. And essentially, I’m tiring already and the tree isn’t up. And there are still 24 more days to go. Not counting today. I may not last the distance peeps. 

Our calendar. Well, the one I made. Because we do have two. I just had to make one, I couldn’t just do the purchased one. Nooooo. Anyway, our calendar is now up, finally and just in time to start opening tomorrow. I spent two nights on it, setting it up. And folding paper. And tying it all together. And it doesn’t look exactly the way I’d planned or pictured in my head. But as explained, that can be common with me. Especially when I don’t write down or sketch my plan. But I’m happy with it. And it’ll be more festive when I add some bunting. 

Aaaaaand, the reaction I got from the little this morning when she woke and saw it? 

“What’s that?” – not exactly excitement in her voice. And not what I’d hoped. More like mild distaste, or at least underwhelmed. I’m working with a tough crowd here, getting tougher all the time. 

So I pinned a stack of advent calendar ideas and they’re over at my Pinterest board of the same name. And was sent an idea from a friend about random acts of kindness, that’s now on my board with some others too. So incorporated those, one or two things we’re doing this month, like visiting the Myer windows and looking at their Christmas displays and some regular Christmas things I printed and cut up from A Little Delightful, again something I pinned so you can pop over and see them. Essentially, I used everything for inspiration! Pinterest is fab like that. 

Oh, and I may have tossed in some chocolate too. Because I bought some reindeer chocolates that looked cute. And needed to be eaten. And preferably not by me. As soon as I got home. So there are 2 dates with chocolates and one as a prompt for putting some out for our mailman. Because ours is a man. 

What did I use?? 

  • I didn’t use any of the pegs I’d painted recently for it. I’ll use them for something else.
  • Paper bags and silver, green and red striped twine from The Make Good Co  
  • Little hanging bamboo star and paper tags on all bags and parcels from The Make Good Co
  • Plain twine and musical notepaper my own (paper recycled from florist flowers)
  • Holly paper from a Christmas scrapbook paper set leftover from last year
  • Coat hanger my own 

I just cut twine, stamped tags with numbers, inserted some craft or choc into the bags and hole punched and tied up with a bow or folded paper, taped down and hole punched. I’d intended to use material or origami envelopes. Ahem, timing. Maybe next time. I might start today. 

And I’m all done now, our calendar is  hanging on the wall and ready for use. Hopefully it’ll work. And it won’t fall off the wall 🙈 or get pulled down by the little.  Because I did add a hook for it. 
  

And hopefully I can get some coffee happening before I fall asleep from late night crafting. 

Have a great day xx

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dyed tags ‘maker maker’ project

dyed tags ‘maker maker’ project

So if you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I love to make things or create or play around with stuff. I’m ok at some things, not fab at others, but with the power of the whole community spirit thing over there and all the awesome inspiration I’m surrounded with (and all the questions I ask!) I give it a go. Whenever I want to try something. Always. This wasn’t the case all that long ago and for alllll the other years of my life but it is now.

Anyway, on Friday while in full making mode for my brother’s birthday I decided I’d start to a new ‘maker maker’ project. It’s what the little and I call making, her phrase not mine. So what better time to start a completely new craft project than when you’re in the middle of trying to complete others and get ready to head out for dinner early. Try not to slap your forehead reading this 😉

required tags and dye

The day before while at Spotlight we bought some clothes dye after seeing an episode of Playschool. E had wanted to dye a t-shirt in the same way the kids did in the video. I had seen someone on Pinterest fancying up tags with dye (no idea what kind, I never followed that pin, oops!) and thought I could do the same. I had some gorgeous thick and some embossed tags I’d received from The Make Good Co (I’m a brand ambassador, and small plug, they have a blog and each week a new mini make happens, its inspired me to get all crafty with little projects. Also, they have a sale on at the moment so get in quick as some tags are part of the sale) and had a feeling they’d be perfect for this project. They were.

What did I do?

dipping tags in the container while in the sink was safest
dipping tags in the container while in the sink was safest

I put a tiny amount of green dye in a tiny little container with boiling hot water and lined up my tags, and clothes horse with pegs and paper towel underneath and set to work. I made sure the liquid was still quite dark, I didn’t want light dye though sadly I didn’t measure the water for you, basically enough to dip but not so much you lost colour. I’ll be doing this again with red or a pastel colour so I’ll do measurements then.

I resealed the little bag the dye was in so that E couldn’t access it at all.

Very carefully, I dipped the tags into the dye liquid one at a time, only part way up the tag. Each tag was left in the dye for about 10 seconds. One of the darker ones I left a bit longer and there is a speckled on that I repeated this process with as I wasn’t sure if it was long enough. Each card was then carefully shaken to removed any really drippy bits and pegged onto my clotheshorse (clothes airer), which was over the bench a little.

They stayed there and dried slowly and I’m not sure if it was luck, but they barely dripped. The re-dipping meant I could have a graduated colour look on the tags, though this dying method would work really well to just colour tags completely for parties or gifts or dinner settings (if you have dinners, I don’t 🙂 ) or anything else you might use a tag or piece of thick card for.  They do warp a little as drying though.

allow the pegs to dry a little between each dipping. a different effect might be achieved with regular prompt re-dipping
allow the pegs to dry a little between each dip, a different effect may be achieved with regular pompt re-dipping

During the morning I carefully re-dipped each tag a little higher each time, pinned it up to let it dry a bit more and then repeated the steps. Each time I held the tags in the dye for about 10 seconds, though as I neared the top, I did just do a quick, dip it in and bring it out…maybe 3-5 seconds. Just enough to colour slightly.

Mine didn’t dry out completely each time and after about the 3rd time dipping I did tip some of the dye liquid out and put more boiling water in. As the water cooled, it seemed to make the dye on the tag run a different colour. In this instance a red/purple. It didn’t seem to dilute the dye too much when I added more water.

The tags were then left up to dry for about 5 hours. They’re now ready to use and I can’t wait. I’m quite happy with the way mine turned out. Though, as I said I may dye some another colour now for birthdays throughout the year. And will of course need to re-stock tags soon 😂

dried ready to use tags
dried ready to use tags

If you try this let me know how you go or tag #makemedizzywithcraft on instagram 🙂

Have a great day xx

birthdays and family and projects and makes, how dizzy can it get?

birthdays and family and projects and makes, how dizzy can it get?

Is it just me or is this year hotting up? And I don’t mean the weather, I mean just getting all in a whirl with Halloween decorations and the day looming, thanksgiving if you’re in the US and Christmas preparations and decorations everywhere.  

 

And literally, well, everywhere. I’m dizzy just thinking about it!

And just the briefest word about Halloween…in Australia it is only gaining popularity now really, or the last few years, and it’s gaining momentum. And it’s like the shops have a massive personality disorder, not knowing whether they’re Halloween or Christmas. You can’t move for the barrage of coming events. I’m really curious what does happen in the US. When do the Christmas decorations and festivities pop out? How do you fit in all these towards the end of the year activities? Anyway, I will definitely hit you up again All Hallows’ eve 😉

Nowwww, where was I? Oh the year, hotting up…blah blah oh, ok.

Apart from all the regular everyone in the world related festivities, in our family we hit birthday season. Hard. I’m talking, September is a warmup and then you gallop into a few birthdays mid October and then BOOM, it’s November and your head starts to spin. With barely an inhale between November birthdays and the start of December, Christmas season goes full steam.

And I’m already in a panic thinking about it. Maybe not panic, but hugely eye rubbing and grimace type stuff.

Except I need to back up a smidge. I’m sorting myself out right now for my brothers birthday. He’s awesome. He’s the sort of brother everyone should have.  I bought him something little a short while ago, a kind of joke gift. Because, well, who doesn’t love a joke gift? And then on the weekend we got him another little something. Which I hope he likes. But I’d really wanted to make him something or do something nice. He did ask for vouchers and well, let’s say I try and avoid that when possible. When you’re on a budget and you’re a stay at home mom, vouchers, as well as me feeling like I should have gotten something gifty, can scream “I’ve got no cash”. Cause let’s face it, I’m not handing over $100 vouchers. 

Which is where making things is good. If you can. Because who doesn’t love a handmade gift? And how personal are they?!!

And now I find myself amid my mum coming to see us on the way to my brothers place and my mum and dad being here for dinner before they tootled to my brothers for a few nights trying to work out what the heck I’m going to give him?!? All the while trying realllly hard not to panic that it’s now hours out from his birthday dinner and I haven’t finished sorting his gift. Or for that matter his card. Something I really like to do as homemade. If I can. But true to form I’ve spent most of the day with mum, driving her where she needed to go, visiting Spotlight to sort out some yarn and basically not doing anything birthday related. And in the background quietly having a case of panic that is fast turning into an “I can’t breath” situation because there are other birthdays to attend this weekend and I haven’t wrapped those gifts yet either.

Will this whirling whirling whirling never end? Probably not, this is me I’m talking about. This birthday stuff, my last minuteness….its the dizzy limits I tell you! I try so hard to be sorted ahead of time and no matter how in advance I go, its never enough. Never. Never Ever!

So while it is now the day of my brothers birthday I seem to have found everything to do except complete his gift, his card and do the one tiny outing I need to for the day. Because, really, when you’ve got something on and you need to be ready early, what better time to start a new project? A maker maker project we call them here. And get the little to make a card?  

 And then start another project?  

 And have a leisurely cup of tea? While being a mess on the inside you understand. Its a big old massive knot in there! There still isn’t a shower in sight, I’m telling myself its best to do that later in the day. Who am I kidding? I just can’t fit it in with all the other things I’m trying to STUFF into this day. And when I say stuff, believe me when I tell you its the kind of stuffing you imagine santa doing with his tiny sack and the worlds gifts. Or a nation, but stuff those activities in? I most certainly am.

Never fear though, this doesn’t happen every birthday or event. I mean, we already have gifts sorted for this weekend, wrapping to do but thats more than ok to do today or the day before. So really, now I’m feeling calmer about everything (you know, from the talking about it to you and stuff) I think I can go back to that original maker maker project and the card and….I’ve just had a brilliant idea for his card. And all the while I’ve been texting my mum and brother about whats my brothers fave colour and Happy Birthday blah blah blah…you know the thing, when you’re busy but its chat to everyone like you’ve got all day even though you’re going to see them and could have asked it all yesterday type stuff. Or contacted his fiancee ages ago, that kind of sensible stuff.

And on that note I guess I better dash. To do all this maker maker-birthday-other project-photograph taking-lunch type stuff before the day goes, we’re supposed to be saying happy birthday and I’m racing about wondering where the time has gone because I’ve not written on the card.

Sometimes, the things I try and squish into my days are the dizzy limits. But I’m sure we’re all the same at times, right? Anybody?

Hope you all have a great day or night!

xx

And p.s. I now need to fix this, because, mum life and toddler life 😂🙈