It’s A Wrap!

I had so many plans for innovative Christmas wrapping this year including making some cornstarch dough labels I’d seen on Pinterest.  HA HA HA!   In the end I only just managed to get my cards in the post by the final posting date!

What I did achieve was around an 85% success rate with my pledge to restrict present buying to local or independent shops.  This was assisted by the shopping opportunities around Tewkesbury and Lyme Regis, a trip to London with W’s girls and and couple of vintage fairs.    Clothkits in Chichester was the source of my #stitchingsanta gift.  My own #stitchingsanta parcel has arrived which is very exciting!

I did have to resort to ‘the high street’ for a few things but this year there wasn’t the usual regular arrival of brown cardboard boxes in my office from a well-known online retailer!

Despite the lack of handcrafted cornstarch labels, after two midnight finishes I have finally (almost) completed the gift wrapping.  This is something I really enjoy doing, I just wish I hadn’t left it so late.   I’m a big fan of plain brown paper so stuck with that again this year and invested in a small amount of fancier wrapping paper to brighten things up.   I’ve stuck to red and white spots, checks and stripes for the theme and all the ribbon used will be recycled!

The big fabric bows are from a remnant which I tore into strips – strangely satisfying!

What’s on your Christmas list?  On the sewing front I’ve asked Santa for a walking foot for my sewing machine and a learn to use your overlocker course at The Fabric Godmother!

This will be my last post before Christmas so I hope everyone has a very happy time.  See you in the New Year!



Just a Card and a seasonal pledge

This is a post I wasn’t planning to write just yet but a recent re-tweet by Mollie Makes drew my attention to a campaign by artist and designer Sarah Hamilton.

Just a Card

Sarah decided to launch the campaign when the owner of a gallery that was closing told her …

If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought just a card we’d still be open

Anyone who has ever tried to make a living using their making skills will know just how difficult this can be and the aim of this campaign is to encourage people to support independent shops and galleries, even if it is just by buying something small like a card.  My card collection is testament to the fact that I’ve been following this approach for a while!  I just need to actually give some of them away now and again!

There are more details on the campaign to be found by clicking on either of the links above with ideas for spreading the word, including posting images of your purchases using the hashtag #justacard.   There is also a lovely web button that you can add to your blog.

Onto my pledge which has been further inspired by the campaign.  This is something I’d hoped to do last year but left things a bit late and didn’t quite manage it.  I am now approaching the moment where I have to use the words …. Christmas shopping.  There, I’ve done it!  My aim is to buy all my Christmas presentsfrom independent shops – apart from those that I make myself. I’m going to add charity shops to the list to allow for fabric or vintage finds that I can add to the mix.  I know this is going to be a challenge but now I’ve made a commitment in writing I’ll be more likely to stick to it.  I won’t be able to share everything I buy because some of the recipients read this blog and that would ruin the, hopefully lovely, surprise.  I’ve already got a list of shops lined up.  One of my favourites is Workshop in Prince Albert Street, Brighton with its irresistible range of carefully selected products for the home – and the people who own it are just lovely.  They also stock scrumptious chocolate bars from Nomnom in Wales. The mince pie version last year was a winner.

I’ll be reporting on other special independent retailers as the shopping progresses.

I also need to come up with a new gift wrapping theme for this year.  Possibly ideas include :

  • Something fabric related …. an opportunity to use up all those scraps
  • Recycling – I’ve done this before but this time I’ll avoid the ironing of plastic bags between baking parchment to create a new material!  Quite effective but the fumes were grim!
  • Hand-printed wrapping paper – I have a kit given to me by my sister last Christmas for carving a printing stamp so this could be the opportunity to use it
  • A recipe I found on Pinterest for making Christmas ornaments and gift tags using cornstarch, baking soda and water

This was last year’s theme which was reasonably easy to achieve because I only had to pick stuff from the garden (mostly other people’s gardens to be honest) and add some ribbon and brown paper.

I love wrapping presents – one of the best bits of Christmas in my opinion!