Thursday, 27 November 2014

Handmade Biggest Kids Christmas

Here are the last of my handmade Christmas gift suggestions for this year.


1. Knitted Necklace - These are my take on a Mollie Makes tutorial. Quick, easy and a little bit different
2. Personalised Bracelet - From Debby at 2Roads Designs. These are lovely and you can have your own message stamped onto the bracelet, so thoughtful

3. Crochet Rug - Add a bit of cute and cosy to her life with a hand crochet rug from Castle Handmade**
4. Cookies - Yum, I love to give and receive baked goods! Bake some or buy some (preferably that someone has handmade not from the supermarket). I made some of these up for gifts a few Christmases ago. The little owl I made from a kids' sock, following this free tutorial


1. Tie Bar Clip Set - Debby at 2Roads Designs will customise these for your man, very suave
2. Ugly Jumper Card - Write him a lovely festive message in one of these awesome Christmas Cards from Mum and me Handmade Designs

3. Knit Something! - There are so many good things out there to knit for the man in your life. If, like me, you have a bit of a nerd, head to ravelry and look up Doctor Who, very cool gift ideas for Whovians
4. Personalised Luggage Tags - Again from Debby at 2Roads, personal and practical, that says man gift to me

**please note, I have not actually purchased anything from Castle Handmade at this stage, I just think her stuff is so darn cute!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Handmade Big Kids Christmas

Here we are, my handmade suggestions for the bigger kids, the biggest kids to follow tomorrow.


1. Ninja Doll
- Little Sew & Sews have this cute pattern to make your own ninja For the little man in your life of course!

2. Pirate Hat - Ahoy! I am currently in the midst of knitting up a couple of these scurvy hats for my land lubbers. Free knitting pattern
3. Pirate Sword & Map - I bought this from Kerry at What-nots for Tiny Tots last year for my eldest. Seriously awesome handmade toy
4. Pool Noodle Sock Horse - Need I say more? Seriously, make one, free tutorial


1. Felt Food - These yummy pancakes are another amazing creation by Kerry at What-nots for Tiny Tots. If you are feeling you have more time up your sleeve, there are heaps of tutorials online for felt food
2. Floss Dress - This stunning dress is by Tam at Dandelion and Boo. I bought one of her beautiful dresses and bonnets earlier in the year for our princess, really well made and one of a kind
3. Super Doll - Another super pattern and tutorial from Little Sew & Sews
4. Ladybug Sun Hat - Yes Pleats and Treats, if you have little ones, they need one of these adorable hats!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Handmade Little Kids Christmas

I have been excited about writing these posts for a while. It's just been a matter of finding the time to put it all together.

Below I have made lists for handmade items you can make yourself, or purchase from a talented crafts person, for the little people on your Christmas list. I have personally selected these items as I have either purchased something from the maker myself, or made it myself so I know that it works.

I hope to get to everyone on the Christmas list, however it seems Christmas crafting and looking after my brood takes up quite a bit of time!

Baby Gift Ideas


1. Baby Block
- Make your own baby block with this tutorial

2. Santa Sack - You can buy one of these gorgeous ones that my own mum has made, or make one of your own by searching tutorials online
3. Taggie Toy - Ever notice how kids just play with the tags on toys? Pleats and Treats make the cutest taggies 
4. Mobile - It doesn't take long to put together a few bits and pieces to make a really effective mobile. I made this one for my little girl

Toddler Gift Ideas

1. Sun Hat - My son loves his handmade Pleats and Treats sun hat
2. Plush Tool Set - I made these for my boys last year (not pictured) using a pattern and tutorial I bought from Little Sew & Sews. The boys still love them and Bel has other super cute patterns to choose from too
3. Crocodile Scarf - Download the pattern instantly from Morehouse Farm and get knitting!
4. Fox Neck Warmer - This free pattern knits up really quickly

Next time, things for the big kids!

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Crochet Cuties

If you've been following my blog, you would know by now that I cannot crochet, I have tried, and tried, and tried, and failed! I have not yet given up, it's just on the back burner. One very talented lady who can crochet, is Elizabeth from Castle Handmade.

Handmade Crochet Rug By Elizabeth

Elizabeth makes the most adorable hand crochet toys, rugs and stool covers. If you are in the Hawksbury NSW area, she also holds classes (lucky you!). Here Elizabeth's handmade adventure;

I first picked up a crochet hook at the age of 8. Mum was always knitting or crocheting and I was always bugging her to teach me. I never really got the hang of it back then, and at that age I never had the patience to complete a project. When I was pregnant with my son in 2011, my Mum handed me the six granny squares I had made when I was 8, and suggested I finish the blanket I had started 20 years ago. So I followed some youtube videos and completed a cot blanket. Suddenly I was hooked! Ever since then I have been crocheting everyday. I read blogs, watch videos, buy books and magazines, anything I can do to learn new techniques and improve my craft.

Amazing Crochet Tea Party
After finishing that first cot blanket, I began working on other little projects for my bub. Beanies and booties, photo props for his newborn photos, toys and items for his room. I soon started getting requests from friends and family to make items for their children or as gifts for others. After my son was born, I started a facebook page, and once I built up a stock of items, I started attending local markets.

Originally it all began as just a hobby to keep my mind occupied whilst being a stay at home Mum. It has now become my day (and night) job. Not only am I making crochet items, but I am also teaching crochet workshops in my own home to help others develop their skills.

I dream of having my own room, full of lovely natural light, with my yarn displayed beautifully, but unfortunately I don't have the luxury just yet. Instead I have my supplies packed neatly into cupboards and my dining table acts as a workbench, filled with finished projects, works in progress, hooks, yarn and whatever else I happen to need. The kitchen bench is my wrapping station, where I package my items ready to post.

Nights are often spent on the lounge crocheting, I like sitting outside to work when I can, and car trips are fantastic for working on projects, provided I am the passenger.

Most of my items are made using existing patterns, making no changes other than choosing my own colour combinations and adding little finishing details. Often I alter the patterns as I go, changing the shape or size to help make it match the image I have in my mind. I also create my own patterns, this takes much longer than following a ready made pattern, but the end result is always so much more rewarding.

Christmas Dachshund? Yes Please!

It's so hard to pick a favorite part about what I do, I can honestly say that I love every aspect of the process. Two things definitely stand out though. The first is when I add the finishing touches to an item, for example adding the eyes to an animal softie, they really come to life and all of sudden with their own unique personality. The second is reading emails and seeing the photos after a customer has has either found a special place for my work in their home or gifted it to a loved one. It is so rewarding to see a child smiling as they give their new friend a warm and loving cuddle.

Looks like Rein... Deer

If you would like to buy or order one of Elizabeth's crochet creations, or find out more about her classes, she has just opened Castle Handmade online, and you can contact her via Facebook and Instagram.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

The Road Less Travelled

This week our Handmade Adventure comes from Debby at 2Roads Designs in Sydney NSW. Debby makes unique custom jewelery pieces, inspired by travel, family and friends.

2Roads Designs Bracelets, made to order

I ordered a beautiful bracelet from Debby just last week for my sister's birthday, and am tempted to keep it for myself. Of course I won't....

I loved Debby's story, and I hope you do to!

Custom stamped initial heart necklace
I was working as a Financial Controller in early 2011. I wanted to try a new crafty hobby to exercise the creative side of my brain after three intense months of crunching numbers. After a failed attempt at knitting, I started stamping metal. It allowed me to be creative and relieve some stress productively. In addition, they made great personalised gifts which my family and friends loved.

It started out as a hobby business when my family and friends encouraged me to sell my creations. Then my husband’s job relocated us to Australia (from our home in Seattle, USA) during 2012 and I saw it as an opportunity to grow it into a day job.

I draw inspiration from what lead me to start designing in the first place: my family, friends and travel. Once I have an idea in mind, I go straight to creating. There are times where it doesn’t work out how I'd like or envisioned, but the process is fun nonetheless.

Family love floating locket
Since we live so far from loved ones, our spare bedroom gets little use and is my full-time studio space. I am also slowly creeping out to the dining room table as a mailing hub, but try really hard to keep my creative space from overtaking!

There are two things I love about what I do - Firstly the flexibility that running my own business brings, especially to travel this amazing country with my husband. Secondly, that selling jewellery and accessories sentimental in nature, allows me to see kindness, encouragement and humour in the orders and my customers every day. I love stamping r
eally funny or unique sayings on pieces, as I know that it’s one of a kind, and will mean a lot to the recipient. It’s very humbling, soul fulfilling and I appreciate that so much.

Now that Australia is looking to be our permanent home, I’d like to continue to grow my brand.  I’m in three handmade collective stores around the country and hope to continue to grow in that area.

My current challenge is fighting the fatigue in my hands from the physical toll that hammering, sanding, polishing can take. Although I look at this as opportunity to make other products.  The most recent is a line personalised luggage tags with my focus on destination weddings.

2Roads Designs Personalised Luggage Tags

If you would like to get your hands on one of these gorgeous pieces, or check out some more of Debby's creations, you can visit 2Roads Designs on madeit, etsy and keep up with the latest on Facebook.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Santa Claus is Coming To Town

It must be Christmas! I have temporarily re-opened my old madeit store. On offer are some gorgeous Santa Sacks in a range of sizes and colours, made by my Mum, Anne.

Santa Sacks have been a tradition in our house since I was a wee thing. My Grandma made sacks for the whole family.

I still have mine, and now my Mum has made them for all of her grandchildren.

Start the tradition at your house!

If you would like to order one, when you check out at madeit, mention in the comments that you saw this blog post, who the sack is for, and I will include matching iron on letters so you can personalise it.

Sample Iron on Letters*

(*Please note that to prevent fraying, it is best to sew around the letters to secure them.)

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Blogger Botox

Welcome to all my new visitors! It's so nice to have you pop by. Please excuse me while I fuss about and give the blog a much needed facelift.

If anyone has any Blogger template knowledge, and can give me some pointers, I'd be ever so grateful. For the moment, bare with me while I try and figure out this technology thing.


Saturday, 8 November 2014

Never look a gift horse in the mouth

Pool Noodle Sock Horse!

This is a little project that I made for Felix for his second birthday. It came about because he was 'riding' around on broom sticks in the backyard saying "giddyup", so I figured he'd like one.

I had seen some amazing DIY hobby horses on Pinterest, however as my sewing skills (still) leave a lot to be desired, I didn't bother attempting. I also found plenty of pool noodle horse tutorials, which weren't quite the look I was going for. So I combined the best of both worlds, to the best of my ability, with the help of this tutorial from Dandee Designs.

The end product was an almost no sew, quite sturdy horse, which is still (mostly) in one piece and being ridden around as I type.

I've written up a little 'how to' below for the pool noddle sock combination, or you can download the PDF. I sure would love to see more Pool Noodle Sock Horses getting around, yeeha!

Thursday, 6 November 2014


Another Birthday and another knitted gift ready to go! This fox scarf / kiddies neck warmer, was crazy easy to make. I found the instructions here, the English translation is at the bottom of the page (before the comments).

When I make another, I think I will make the middle section just a tiny bit longer to create a looser fit.

I would like to gift a book along with it, however I believe the recipient already has Fox in Socks and The Fantastic Mr Fox, any other foxy suggestions are welcome.