School Christmas Fair Preparations

Once again we have the school Christmas fair to look forward too. I will be having a stall with all my tree decorations, some garlands and plenty of cards. This year, it’s being co-run by the newly formed friends group of parent volunteers, who all have their own ideas on what will work best.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the request for each child to fill and decorate a plastic pint pot for the Pot Goody stall. This is one of the most popular stalls among the children. Plus each class has a prize on offer for the best decoration. So this week we have been thinking about how we can do something a bit different. We’ve done several Christmas trees, a snowman and Santa getting stuck in a chimney, so this has not been an easy task!

Alice has been set on making a reindeer, though I can’t quite work out how she thinks we’ll make one. So after much discussion, we settled on a Christmas Cracker, filled with sweets and decorated with lots of bits and bobs from old Christmas cards. I think it looks fantastic. I hope for her sake that she wins, she’s been so disappointed in previous years.

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Fingers crossed.
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Birthday Draw Winner

July went by really quickly so today it was time to put all the names into the cup for my fourth birthday prize draw.

Thank you to everyone that ordered and purchased from me this month.  There were fourteen names in the cup and the winner is ……

Kate Treadwell.

Congratulations Kate.  I hope you like your prize – a set of five bird and owl cards.

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Happy crafting
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School Fair

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It was lovely to see so many parents and family members at school.  The fair itself was as manic as always. being straight after school it’s always very well attended.  This was the first year they’ve really invited parents to have their own stalls and it was great to see the variety of items available.  I was next to a lovely lady from Artysan Gifts who makes bespoke framed gifts. It was her first ever stall and she did really well. I wasn’t surprised as her frames are beautiful. I wonder if I can find a reason to order one for someone?!

There were two Asian food stalls and another card maker too. Fortunately we weren’t quite next to each other and our cards were very different in style, so we appealed to different tastes.

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I decided to go with a ‘name the cat’ competition in the end. It drew in quite a few of the children (and staff). He ended up with the name ‘Garfield’ and was won by a little girl from year one. I sold quite a few cards as well and some knitted and crochet items. So all in all it was a successful fair for me, as well as for the school.

I hope they invite us all back for the next fair at Christmas!

Happy crafting
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4th Birthday

I can’t believe I’ve been so busy that I missed the fourth birthday of HandmadebyKatherine.  Well, the website and this blog anyway.

Pink Birthday Flower

Pink Birthday Flower

It’s quite amazing when I think back that four years ago I was working a full-time job into part-time hours and looking after Alice (only 3).  In some ways it seems like yesterday and in others it’s a whole lifetime ago.  I never thought my life would work out being a full-time Mum, housewife, school governor and crafter, but I guess if you keep at it then anything is possible.

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In celebration of this momentous occasion I’m going to have a little giveaway.  Anyone placing an order and/or making a purchase from me in person, via facebook, website or e-mail during the month of July (1st – 31st), will have their name entered into the cup and I will draw a name out at random on August 1st.  The prize will be a collection of five handmade birthday cards.  Keep an eye over on my facebook page for more details of the prize and Good Luck.

Happy Birthdays
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Hunkydory Prize Winner!

I’ve been a member of the Talkies craft group on facebook for about 18 months or so now, and while I take part as much as I can I haven’t really entered any of the competitions or swaps. However, in October they announced a little competition to make a card from any Hunkydory craft kit. It could be anything, the only rules being you couldn’t use any dies or any other kits, only basic essentials could be used for embellishments, so it was let your imagination run wild with any kit you liked. I thought about entering for a while, but wasn’t sure my simple approach to card making would be up to the intricacies of some of the very seasoned crafters.

In the end I decided to enter one of my cracker Christmas cards made from one of the Christmas kits. It met the brief and I was pleased with the finished card.

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I did leave entering until the very last minute, so later the same day I was astounded to find that I had been judged as the winner! The judge really liked the simplicity of the design and how I used the features of the cardstock to enhance the cracker!

My prize was £30 of Hunkydory products, which I am delighted to say have arrived this morning in the post!  What a lovely bundle it is too.  I haven’t shown it to Alice yet as I’m sure she will want to get her hands on it as it is a full set of toppers, decoupage, concept cards, envelopes, cardstock, and inserts from the ‘Smudge and Mitten’ collection.  So cute, watch out for these cards in the future.

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Thank you to everyone involved in the competition and to Hunkydory for such a lovely prize.

Happy crafting
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Crafting for School

Like most schools, my daughter’s primary school has a summer and a winter fair each year.  These are run by the staff and pupils, and many of the stalls have items the pupils have crafted in school.  By far the most popular stall is the ‘pot goody’ dice roll.

The children are all given a plastic pint pot and asked to ‘decorate it’ in a given theme and fill it with little gifts.  It’s a great idea and there are some amazing creations every time.  We always have some fun trying to think of something to make.  The best one from each class wins a prize, and then all the ‘pots’ are prizes in the ‘pot goody’ dice roll game at the fair.

So this week, we have had to squeeze in making a ‘summer themed pot goody’.  I decided to have a look through all our previous makes for some inspiration.  Unfortunately, they have mostly been winter ones so far!  P1180745It was fun looking through the pictures with my daughter, watching how she has grown up since her first year in nursery!  We loved making this little snowman, I don’t know how she didn’t win this, maybe I should have worked harder on the carrot nose!

Next up was the summer, pirate theme!  Now this was a difficult one.

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It was fun making the face from paper plates and it’s such a great way of using up bits from the crafty stash box! I don’t think she won this one either, but it was fun making the pirate just the same.

The next two entries we found are both winter ones, and I seem to have let the side down somewhat as they are both Christmas trees!
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The first was when she was in reception and the second was last Christmas. It’s great when she gets to make something fun and add as much embellishment as she wants.

This year’s theme of Summer conjured up lots of ideas between us, flowers, sunshine, bucket and spade, sandcastle, but we settled in the end for a bee!

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We had to raid some of my crafty stash as well as the general box this time as painting wasn’t something we had a lot of time for this week. But I found some yellow washi tape and black ribbon for the bee body. We used some white funky foam for the wings and eyes and black pipe-cleaners for the antennae and mouth.  We then went mad with papers cutting out flowers and leaves using punches and dies.  We stuck them all onto a paper plate (coloured green), layering up some of the flowers and curling some petals to add dimension!  We finished by sticking the bee on to the flowers and added a few small flowers onto the bee’s body.  He’s (I’m pretty sure he’s a he bee) been filled with sweets and some pencils.

Having taken her bee to school this morning, she’s now waiting to see if she has won the prize this time.  Fingers crossed!  We should find out at the fair tomorrow.

Happy crafting
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Bury Show 2015

Somehow I managed to leave everything to the last minute this year. I suppose I could blame it on my operation and recovery, but I think I was actually just trying to cram in too many things at the same time! We had a pretty manic few days with dancing classes (not me) and a long-standing diary date to actually go out! So I was trying my best to get everything organised for my daughters’ school homework, that my entries for Bury Show just got pushed to the back of the queue.

Anyway, I did manage to make a couple of cards. I had already made one owl,
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but decided it needed something more, so I added a baby owl too and a little sentiment.

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I love the quirky faces on these owls, just a different position of the pupils in the eyes makes such a difference to their characters. They are a real hit with my daughter and her friends too, so I can see a few of these being made in the future.

I wasn’t happy just with this little owl though as although it was time consuming and looks cute, I wanted to show some different skills, so I decided to make a birdhouse card too. This was great fun and a bit fiddly at times. The birdhouse is quite straightforward a shape to make and it really lends itself to being made out of vintage-style papers. I then made a rosette using a papermania template and added some hand rolled paper roses. To finish off I added some paper leaves, an insert and a little bird on the insert.

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It was a race down to the show before judging started at 9:30am on Sunday. We managed it and had a look round all the other classes too. It’s always interesting to see what other people re making. The knitting and crochet class had lots of entries as usual. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to finish my blanket of knitted squares and crochet connections, so I entered one of my crochet baby comfort blankets instead. There were lots of toys this year and a few blankets, but not many clothes. This is probably due to the theme being babys and toddlers this time. Another well entered class was the photography, although some of the photographs were not very interesting (to me). My husband is a very keen photographer and he was very disappointed in the technical standards of the shots. There was one gorgeous picture of avocets which I would happily have had on my wall.

After a race to collect our daughter from Grandma and Grandad’s it was back to the show to see how I had got on.

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I have to say I was very disappointed this year. I spoke with ne of the organisers and they have a new judge this year, but she couldn’t really tell me anything on what the judge was looking for. Having examined the first place card I’m still unsure and just assume it was down to personal preference. I will try to do something different again next year as I got some lovely comments from visitors to the show, and I suppose if just goes to show that personal opinions are very different.

So next year I will try to finish my kitting project and show some more skills with cable and bobbles I think. I would also like to have a go at some of the baking classes as I think my scones would go down pretty well. It’s time to get thinking and planning again, but this year I must actually write my ideas down or else they will be lost in the Christmas madness!

Happy crafting
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Recovery

Well, this week I am recovering from my surgery.  So I’m working day-to-day depending on how I feel.

Typically in the times when I’ve been feeling rough I’ve been thinking about everything I’ve been making and having second thoughts about all my designs and ideas!  In particular I’m rethinking my makes for Bury Show at weekend.  I like my card design but I’m not sure it’s adventurous enough, so I might have to make something else.  The one causing me the most worry at the moment though is my knitted make.  It’s very different for me but I’m now sure it would class as a knit for a baby or toddler.  I don’t really have enough time to make something else though, so I shall stick to it and try to get it finished in time.

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I’ve also been thinking a lot about what I need to be making at the moment, mainly about thank you cards and gifts for the teachers at school.  Well it’s only four weeks to the end of term for my little one, so as I feel a little better today I have decided to make some apple cards for my daughter to send.  This year I’m going to add a little tag with the teacher’s name on.

Thank You Card

I can’t believe how fast this school year has gone. With all the health scares I feel like I’ve been out of it for quite a while. But now I’m recovering I can hopefully, put all the pain and discomfort behind me and we can have a fun packed sunny Summer – as long as the British weather decides to play nicely!

Well I had better get back to my apples, leaves and tags before school pick up.

Happy crafting
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Christmas in June! Not me.

Many crafters are thinking about Christmas already.  I’m afraid to say I’ve only got as far as thinking about it.  It’s just too hard to think about making Christmas cards, when we’ve finally got some warm weather!  I have made a decision to make some owl cards this Christmas, not sure how they will look in Christmas papers, but there’s only one way to find out!

So while I’m supposed to be busy making all my Christmas cards, I’ve actually been making my entries for the 72nd Bury Agricultural Show.  I think I’m only going to be entering two classes this year.  As I was awarded first prize in the card class last year, I have a tough act to follow.  I’ve made one card already, and have an idea for another, both quite different for me, so fingers crossed!

I’m also working on something for the knitted / crochet class.  This year it’s an item for a baby or toddler.  I haven’t placed in this section before as the standard is always high, usually won by an incredibly intricate item of clothing.  However, this year I’m going to try and show my knitting skills with lots of different stitches.  I might enter one of my crochet baby comforters too, depending on how I feel on the day!

I shall post some pictures when everything is completed and the judging done.  Here’s hoping for some more places this year.

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Happy crafting
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Giveaway Winner

And the winner of the 5 crochet hearts is……..

LOUISE KILBURN

Thank you to everyone that entered and for all the lovely ideas. I shall be using some of them in the future I have no doubt.

Crochet Hearts

Crochet Hearts

Louise has chosen a set of red and white hearts. I hope they look lovely on your Christmas tree.

Happy crafting
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