Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...


Pine cones with a pop of colour and chrimbly counting 7

It had been a cool dark day and we'd driven across the island down to the far end. Even a flat waterlogged slip of sand in the sea lost many men and boys during the wars and on a rare slope of land a proud and lonely cenotaph stood tall, facing the empty lands where once the men would have worked the fields. The silence was overwhelming. We sat briefly and felt the chill. At the base, tucked behind wire netting so they would not blow away, a row of poppy wreathes.

Pine cones of colour

You will need:
A selection of cones
Yarns, threads, wools - any colour, plain or sparkly 
Suitable bowl
Optional - additional plain cones and/or decorations

1. Choose cones that have nice open scales, it makes it easier to wind the yarn around the spaces.
2. Start at the top, loosely wrap your yarn between the scales as you wind the cone in your fingers tucking in the beginning the yarn as you work your way down.
3. Keep wrapping, make sure you don't pull tight - this means you would need far more yarn to fill the spaces between the scales and the softer finish make the cone look more cosy and warm :) 
4. When you are satisfied with the depth of yarn wrapping around your cone - look at it from all angles, cut your yarn.
5. Tuck your cut end into the tighter scales at the base of the cone. This means you don't need to use any glue.

 6. Arrange your cones in your chosen bowl and place in a suitably obvious place to make sure every one sees your very simple and clever decorations (with the added advantage of using up old scraps of yarn !)
If you have been inspired by my tutorial,
could you be so kind to link back to my blog,
I would love to see how your pine cones of woolly goodness turned out :)

Linking with Julie's Advent

#crafts  #christmascrafts  #handmadewithlove #handicraft #inspiredby #imadethis #livelovecraftme


Origami stars and chrimbly counting 6

Day 6 and it continues...! Our summer holidays were delightfully filled with gentle skies and vast seas as we camped on the small and sandy island of Uist. The lane near our campsite had this sign struggling to keep its head up above the sea of grasses and wild flowers that joyfully filled the field and tumbled down on to the lane edge. 

Origami stars 

(Be warned - it is a long post and an incurably addictive craft!)

You will need:
ready access to tea/coffee 
A podcast or radio
Scrap practise paper
Finished item paper (I used sheets from a book that had been destined for the paper skip)
Hole punch
String or threads
Time (I may have mentioned this already)

Part 1 - Creating your pentagon

Either follow these instructions or follow this link which takes you to a template, which you can then print and cut as you need :)
1. Firstly, using your practise paper, ensure you have a square piece to start with. To achieve this, fold one of the corners up to meet the opposite edge, forming a triangle. Cut off the excess paper alongside the triangle, unfold your triangle to reveal a square.
2. Fold your square, in half, from the bottom upwards to the top.
3. Fold the top left corner down to the bottom, unfold.
4. Fold the bottom left corner up to the top, unfold.

5. This folding provides a central 'point'.
6. Take the bottom RIGHT corner towards this point and fold over.

7. Still with the same piece of folded paper, refold, backwards, the top layer of paper in half, see photograph on the left
8. Take the BOTTOM LEFT corner and fold upwards toward top right, against the newly created edge. See the photograph on the right.

9. Flip the paper over. You are now working on the 'back'.
10. Fold in half where I have marked the dark line
11. Following the edge of the top layer of paper (see central photograph) cut off the excess of paper

 Ta-da!you now have a pentagon. Well done you!  Now, let's get on with ....

Part 2 - Making stars!

1. Place your pentagon nice side down.
2. Refold and open each creased line - use the back of your teaspoon to press down (did you wonder why this was on the list?) helps make a nice tight fold. 

3.Fold the straight edges upwards to the folds you have just made, use the teaspoon here again, you will need nice crisp folds. Unfold again. Turn the pentagon and repeat this folding five times. 

Your paper will then have new creases as per the photograph below.
4. The next step is a little fiddly (even for an octopus). You need to fold in the left edge along one of the new creases. Then, fold up the bottom edge while you pull the corner of your pentagon to the left. (See photo) Press this new fold flat.

5. Unfold. Turn one fifth so you now have a new base, repeat the above step until you have gone completely round your pentagon. Your pentagon will now have additional creases - see below photograph...
 6. With your pentagon open and flat, pinch all 5 corners as you push them towards the centre. They will, with a bit of 'help', start to twist gently to a star shape.
7. Lie your star down and tighten the folds with the back of your spoon.
8.Flip the star over - notice the mini pentagon? 
9. Fold the top point of the mini pentagon to the central point (see picture above), press down firmly
10. Turn your star and repeat action, do this five times in total.
It is at this point (or 5 points!) you realise 
You have Only Gone And Made a STAR!!!

You are AmAzInG!!!

Think I need a little lie down in a dark corner ... how about you??

If you have been inspired by my tutorial,
could you be so kind to link back to my blog,
I would love to see how your Origami Stars turned out,
or did you too need a little time to recover :)

Linking with Julie's Advent

#crafts  #christmascrafts  #handmadewithlove #handicraft #inspiredby #imadethis #livelovecraftme


Dried citrus 'sun catcher' garlands - chrimbly counting day 5

I have absolutely no idea ... , hmmm. I took this photo in March this year. Any ideas? No, me neither! So let's get on with the crafting!

Dried citrus 'sun catcher' garlands

You will need:
A selection of dried orange/grapefruit/lemon slices
Strong thread
Tapestry needle
Red ribbon
A suitable window and some sunshine to twinkle through!
1.Select the dried orange slices you want to use, lay they out in the order you will thread them.
2. Make sure you have a sufficient length of thread before you start. Then sort out your beads, I used a vintage Indian bell as the first item, tying it on very tightly, following it with festively coloured beads.
3.Carefully pierce the fruit part of the slice with your threaded tapestry needle, tie the thread against the rind which is a lot firmer.  Repeat on the opposite side of the fruit slice, again tie, leave a gap then repeat for the remaining pieces of dried fruit slices. 
4. Finally make a loop and add your chosen ribbon to the top. 
5. Hang your festive orange garlands in your window and step back, marvelling at the light shining through your citrus sun catchers!
You can buy ready dried citrus slices or you can make them yourself.  I looked on the internet and there are a number of sites explaining how to do so, however, I purchased a small packet for less than £2.00 so much easier! As I type this - the room is gently scented by a slight hint of orange marmalade, yum!

If you have been inspired by my tutorial,
could you be so kind to link back to my blog,
I would love to see how your festive citrus garlands turned out :)

Linking with Julie's Advent

#crafts  #christmascrafts  #handmadewithlove #handicraft #inspiredby #imadethis #livelovecraftme


Gingerbread Trees and Gingerbread Men - Chrimbly counting - 4

A spring break in the lakes, some of the clearest, bluest skies imaginable. We stumbled across a cafe that used bicycles as way markers. It appealed to the boys (all three). I meant the cakes, not the bikes ....... !

Gingerbread gifts and decorations.

You will need:

Your favourite gingerbread recipe * or the one at the end of this post
Biscuit cutters (if you don't have the shapes you need, draw them on card, cut out and use these as a template to cut your biscuit dough)
Ribbons or threads
Decorative tin or box
Icing sugar (optional)

1.Make a goodly amount of dough (you never know, you might end up sampling the made biscuits, necessary quality control type stuff.....)

2. Cut out your figures, we did a mixture of gingerbread men and chrimbly trees
3. The cooked biscuits could potentially be eaten that day (oops - been there/done that!) ...
4. ...or sprinkled with icing sugar and served with a mug of tea for a festive family get together
5. You can, once cooled, pack them carefully in a suitable container - I have a small festive tin I use - give as a gift or to take with you to share with friends and family.
 6. And if you can bare to sacrifice a few biscuits, insert a hole before placing into the oven,  cook them for a few minutes longer to harden and when once cooled thread a ribbon through the hole and hang up on your tree :) When you take your decorations down, the biscuits could be crumbled up and given to birds in the garden.

*Gingerbread Men recipe

350 gm (12 oz) plain flour
5mls (1 tsp) bicarbinate of soda
10mls (2 tsp) ground ginger - depending on your tastes you could add more ginger!
100gm (4oz) butter
175gm (6oz) soft brown sugar
60ml (4 level tbsp) golden syrup
1 egg - beaten

Line 2 - 3 baking trays with greaseproof paper (non-stick).
Sift flour, bicarb and ginger into a bowl, rub in the butter until it looks like fine bread crumbs.
Stir in the sugar.
Stir the syrup into the egg and mix into the dry ingredients.
Mix well, knead until smooth.
Roll out to about 5mm (1/4 inch) thick. Cut your biscuits and lay out on the baking trays.
Bake at 190 deg c ( 375 deg F), mark 5 for 12 - 15 minutes ntil golden.
Cool slightly then place on a wire rack to cool fully - enjoy!

If you have been inspired by my tutorial, 
please could you be so kind to link back to my blog
I would love to see your gingerbread biscuits and what you did with them!

Linking with Julie's Advent

#crafts  #christmascrafts  #handmadewithlove #handicraft #inspiredby #imadethis #livelovecraftme
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