Another one of my week-end sewing projects was to make some camera straps. I thought a few photo taking friends would find it a fun gift to receive. Who knows if they’ll ever use it but I had fun making them. And what an easy and quick gift to make! In 1/2 an hour it’s cut, sewn, ironed and wrapped.
Looks as though it’s time to clean that mirror…
With all the Sinterklaas parties and various holiday events lately I haven’t had a lot of time to sew. But the last few days I have managed to start sewing some of the Christmas gifts for various teachers and friends. One sewing machine is broken and the other one seems to be holding up so far (even with all the oilcloth I’ve been using).
This shows how many different projects I have on the go at the moment. By looking at our calendar I can’t seem to find a lot of time to get it all finished before Christmas. I guess they’ll be some late nights spent in the sewing room. It might actually help if our internet cut out for a few days…
For some reason I decided to make an advent calendar for my girls this year. In the almost 10 years of their life I have never even contemplated making advent calendars. It could have something to do with the fact I was offline for 4 days this past week and I was wandering around the house with nothing to do one evening. Being sans internet will do that to you. I found some tiny boxes and a stack of beautiful paper. Then I found a frame from an old painting in the attic. And this is what resulted. It took me ages to find all the miniature presents to put in all the boxes – dollar stores don’t exist in Italy. I attached all the little boxes with velcro so the kids can take them off and put them back on. In some boxes I wrote coupons for an evening of popcorn and boardgames, in some I wrote some Christmas jokes and in some I wrote bad poetry telling my girls how awesome they are.
They were very happy when they saw it this morning (yes it was a day late). My son received a Lego Star Wars advent calendar so anyone who has a 7 year old son can understand how happy that little guy is. Sinterklaas is coming tonight so the excitement in our house is at an all time high.
But it was worth it. I managed to get through the two different oilcloth zipper pouch patterns before my machine did a final cough and died. I should have realised there was something wrong during the sewing due to the fact it sounded like I was operating a steam engine. Now the real adventure begins though…trying to get a sewing machine fixed in rural Italy.
One of the many advantages of living in such an international environment is that you become friends with people from all over the world. This past week a Danish friend came over to give the girls and I a “Danish Christmas Star” tutorial. It’s made from a glossy paper in which you braid. It’s a bit fussy to do but the girl’s little fingers did a wonderful job.
I’ve mentioned in the past how much I love the Mercatini Usati here in Italy. Every time I visit one of the few second hand shops I come home with some sort of treasure. I bought this little bench at a shop a few years ago for 5 euro. It was old and dusty and an ugly varnished brown. But look what a coat of white paint and a little handmade quilt can do! I painted the inside a bright blue which gives it a bit of life when opened. It’s at our front door so when all the various children come in with their various hats/scarves/gloves it’s really the perfect place to put it all. And I use it as a place to collapse every now and then. And then the kids just dump all their belongings on my lap instead of in the bench. In any case…I’m very fond of this little bench.
Yes. I’m one of those people who prepares for things way in advance. I start thinking of Christmas gifts when it’s warm enough to wear flip flops. So even though it’s only mid November I have actually already wrapped several Christmas gifts for friends and family. This year I’ve decided to use this great Japanese masking tape that a good friend of mine sent me from Germany. My mother-in-law also bought me some so I have a pretty good collection of it building. I also bought some cheap electrical tape at the local Fai Da Te (DIY shop) and I mix that with the Japanese tape.
I don’t think I can see another piece of felt in my life. I have spent the last weeks cutting out little round pieces of felt and sewing them into garlands. Originally I wanted to sew a few for our tree. In the end I have enough to decorate the entire town where I live. I have a burning pain that resonates up my right arm from all the scissoring I’ve been doing. But I’d say it was worth it.
I don’t know what has come over me. As soon as Halloween was over I was mentally planning and thinking about Christmas decorations. This is not normal for me. Usually we spend the holidays in Canada or Belgium but this year we decided to stay in Italy at our own home for once. And we’re all really excited about it. Of course we will miss being with our families but the thought of decorating our house and having a cosy Christmas morning in front of the fire is very appealing. So by November 1st I was already busy sewing the first of our Christmas decorations…
Our theme this year is definitely red and white. We will do our whole tree in just those two colours. We went to the fabric shop and purchased some felt and this was our first project. A simple garland using silver thread. After we made this one I saw one of my twin daughters cutting up some tiny hearts. She said she was making a heart garland for her twin sister to show her how much she loves her. Seriously! I almost melted on the spot.
This summer I made this oversized beach purse for my friend for her birthday. It’s made from a buttery yellow linen and a soft beautiful floral cotton. It’s actually reversible as well. It’s a very easy pattern that sews up in an hour. Next time I’ll add some interior/exterior pockets as well. And from what I’ve seen my friend uses it a lot!