Friday, 19 October 2018

Happy Fir Trees: Felt Christmas Ornament Tutorial

Make some happy little felt fir trees to hang on your Christmas tree this year!

These cute felt tree ornaments are a variation on the Halloween candy corn ornament tutorial I shared a few years ago...

... just in fir tree colours, and with brown trunks added to complete the tree shape.

These ornaments are really fun and easy to sew, and would make a great addition to your decor this Christmas. For less cute ornaments, you could leave off the smiley faces and just make plain trees. You could also add seed beads or embroidery to make your fir trees into decorated Christmas trees.

You will need:

- Felt in three shades of green
- Brown felt
- Black seed beads
- Sewing thread to match all the felt colours
- Black sewing thread
- Narrow ribbon
- Toy stuffing
- A needle and pins
- Sewing scissors
- A ruler and pencil
- The template sheet from the candy corn ornament tutorial

To make a fir tree ornament:

A. Follow steps 1-5 of the candy corn instructions, using three shades of green felt (darkest at the bottom, lightest at the top) instead of yellow, orange and white felt.

B. Cut two rectangles of brown felt (each measuring 1.5 cm x 2 cm) for the tree's trunk. Place these on top of each other and sew them together along three sides with whip stitch or blanket stitch and matching brown sewing thread, leaving one of the short sides unstitched.

C. Stuff the trunk with a tiny piece of toy stuffing, then sew it to the bottom of one of the tree pieces. Use whip stitch and green sewing thread, sewing into but not through the green felt. Also add a ribbon loop to the tree, as in step 6 of the candy corn ornament tutorial.

D. Join the front and back of the tree ornament together then stuff it lightly with toy stuffing, as in steps 7 and 8 of the candy corn ornament tutorial. Start your sewing at the side of the tree ornament, not the bottom, so you can sew past / through the trunk before you begin stuffing the ornament. Turn the ornament back and forth as you sew past the trunk to help keep your stitching neat on both sides.

Your finished ornament(s) will look something like this:

These trees would also make cute brooches: just add a brooch clasp instead of a ribbon loop!

This tutorial is for non commercial use only: you can use it to make as many felt ornaments as you want for yourself or as gifts, but please don't make any for sale. You may borrow a couple of photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to this page on my blog, and do not reproduce my entire tutorial / share my templates on your site. Thanks!

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P.S. You'll find lots more free Christmas tutorials in my crafty tutorial archive...

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Weston-super-Mare in Pictures: July, August, & September 2018

Blimey, this year is going fast!

With nine whole months of 2018 finished already, it's time to look back at my seaside snaps from summer and early autumn....

This summer was kind of amazing. So much heat! So much sunshine! I've eaten a lot of ice-cream when out on my walks... and I've got accidentally suburned a few times, too (oops).

The main stretch of Weston's seafront has been totally packed with people,but there were still quiet spots to enjoy further along the beach...

... and up in the local nature reserve.

I've also really enjoyed getting to know some more of Weston's residential streets this summer, walking up and down and around in different areas looking at all the lovely houses. I particularly loved this house with its cheerful blue shutters...

... and this lavender-filled garden squeezed in between two roads.

As well as pretty houses and gardens, my camera roll has (as ever) ended up full of things like bins. I know photos like this are absolutely not everyone's cup of tea, but I love them! The different textures, shapes and colours of those walls, the way those bins look like two quirky little robots. So good.

Up the other end of the seafront, the old Victorian pier has been looking as moody as ever...

... and the old fort looking wonderfully overgrown.

Walking to the old fort up in Weston Woods, I passed this amazing door which I think is now my favourite door in Weston. Isn't it fabulous?

Now the heat of summer has passed and autumn is beginning to creep in. This track leading to the golf course was one of the first places to look properly autumnal...

... while summer was doing its best to cling on down at the beach!

On a recent walk to the village of Uphill, I photographed another fabulous door (or is it a gate?)...

... made some new friends up on the hill...

... and absolutely did not sit on this nettle-backed bench!

It continues to be a joy seeing how these familiar, much-visited places change and surprise me with the passing of the seasons, but I'm also trying to walk slightly different routes in search of new details and not-yet-noticed corners.

Most recently, I walked a different way past some sheds near the seafront and was completely smitten by these crumbling edges (and that glorious colour!).

I'm looking forward to seeing what the rest of the year has in store...

Click here for my earlier seaside photo round-ups, and here to follow along on Instagram!

Monday, 15 October 2018

Bargain Craft Books + a Sample Sale

My parents' copy of the Book People catalogue popped through their door this morning...

... and look what's inside!

The new edition of my first book, Super-Cute Felt, is currently available from The Book People at the totally bargainous price of just £4.99.

I make very little money from these kinds of discount sales but I always think it's important to share them with you guys when I spot them, because... well, who doesn't love a bargain craft book?

At this price you could totally buy a copy for all your friends and relations this Christmas, haha. 

Super-Cute Felt is of course also available from Amazon UK or Amazon USA, from the Book Depository (where you can get free worldwide delivery), or via your local bookshop, or direct from my publisher.

Psst - those Amazon and Book Depository links are affiliate links, which means if you click on the links and buy something I'll get a small percentage for the referral.

In other news: over at the Village Haberdashery they're having a sample sale of lots of items made for their blog tutorials, classes and shop displays... including a whole bunch of wreaths and other bits and bobs made by me!

Click here to view everything currently available in the sample sale.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Autumn at Kew: Colour & Texture

Kew Gardens is full of loveliness in the autumn, and not just because of all the trees! Here's some of the gorgeous colour and texture I spotted on my autumn visit...

Some parts of the garden are fading at this time of year, while others are in full bloom and bursting with colour.

I was particularly charmed by this border. I don't know what kind of plants these are but they are rather wonderful, and not at all the usual shades I'd associate with autumn.

I loved this tree in the rock garden...

... these almost flame-like leaves...

... and these fabulous honey-coloured grasses.

They look so soft and fluffy, don't they?

There were still a few roses just clinging on in the rose garden. Fabulous bursts of colour popping up now and then like the memory of summer.

Plants take on a really sculptural quality in the autumn, don't you think?

In the spirit of leaving the best until last, my favourite autumnal find was this rather magical corner.

This is a lovely, peaceful spot all year round, with benches and a water sculpture within a circle of hedges. But with the leaves yellowing and illuminated by the warm autumn light? Truly wonderful, like something out of a fairytale.

Visit my crafty tutorial archive for lots of projects inspired by the magic of autumn.

Catch up on all my posts about Kew Gardens.

View my travel archive for lots more posts about my days out in London and around the UK.