Tag Archives: handmade holiday

Paper Christmas Baubles

For the past, quite a few, years we have had popcorn strings on the Chrismtas tree.  And even those these generally take two nights to make, which has nothing to do with the amount of popcorn that I eat instead of thread, I like the look on the tree.  In fact when the bathroom was refitted (now finished and lovely – pics to follow at some point) the plumber said ‘I bet this gets a lot of use’ as he moved the popcorn maker to get to the stop tap.  ‘Yes it does’ I replied ‘regularly once a year.’

This year however I had to give a thought to our new furry addition and I didn’t think that stringing the tree with something edible would be a super wonderful idea.

So I needed something to take the place of the popcorn.  Since we, well I say ‘we’ I mean ‘I’, decorate the tree with shells and wooden sea creatures – just one more reason why I refrain from using the n word ((((normal)))).

So I decided to make paper baubles – for want of a better word similar to the heart ornaments I made earlier in the year and decided to share the easiness of them with you…


Paper or thin card (I tried thicker card but it tends to crease rather than bend)


Sticky tape (or masking tape! – I can’t leave the stuff alone)

Scissors or guillotine

Thread, ribbon or fishing line


Take the paper or card and cut it into 1″ wide strips.  I printed Merry Christmas onto my paper, in varying sizes via a table in Word so I could also print the cutting lines.


Cut the strips to length

2 x 4″

2 x 4 1/2″

2 x 5″

Attach a loop of fishing line to one of the 4″ pieces with masking tape (ohhh)

Stack the strips together with the longest at the bottom (and with the pattern facing out if you are using patterned paper)

Place one lot of strips on top of the other with the shorter lengths in the middle

and staple at the loop end.

Line up the unfastened ends of the strips and stple them and you should end up with something like this…

Here’s some examples of varying sizes…

Obviously you can add as many strips as you want.

And since I can’t find the big seashell for the top of the tree (I know how do you loose a seashell – maybe Buddy ate it) I made a large heart to replace it…

And here’s our tree with them on…

And here’s another Christmas present off my list – I made these with two strips of paper to make them that bit more robust and used eyelets instead of staples at the ends.

Considering the eyelets required the use of a hammer and my wrist is still sore I thought it wasn’t going to work out too well however using a hammer is fine but slicing toast is a major no-no – apparently it’s the bending and twisting whilst under pressure it objects to!

Made – 12/29 with 3 days to go (3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) It’s okay I have a bunch half done and four I’ve not yet posted about so it’s okay, it is okay, IT IS!

Panic level – 4/10 (Although to keep it low I did something that I am about to confess and that you may need to look away now if you are a sewer, sewerist, er… if you sew – I used my dressmaking scissors to cut paper – this is something I have threatened to divorce B over in the past but I couldn’t find my craft scissors and then when I did they had sticky on them, possbily from cutting too much masking tape, and I couldn’t be bother to go get the nail varnish remover to get it of – I am so ashamed)

Another bunny and a frog

The remaining body parts from here have now become another bunny and a froggie…

My second bunny has a tail…

and so doesn’t look as provocative as the first one.  However the first one now has a tail and a new home.  The bunny proved quite popular so I will be adding it to the Myeloma Buddy range in the new year as the pattern allows for it to be sold for charity.  The frog pattern is from Spud & Chloe too.

The little critters can either be filled with stuffing, a tennis ball or, as is the case with the frog, a rubber dog ball.

The knitting wasn’t exactly the plain sailing I’m accustomed to as my first body part ended up like this…

not exactly bunny shaped and just goes to show that even when you  have been knitting as long as I have you still have boo boos.

The original pattern is knit in the round but this slows me down, I think because I am a tucker! In that I like a long needle that I can tuck under my arm.  I’m not averse to four or five needles as long as they are long enough to tuck but prefer not to use them if at all possible.  So I attempted to convert the pattern to knitting backwards and forwards – how hard should that have been – not very.  However, and I’m putting it down to chatting at the hospital whilst I knit even though I started it in the car on the way there, I totally messed up the increases not once, not twice but three times and even when I’d finished it and moved onto the head I had no idea how the shape I had created was going to end up round.  And guess what it didn’t!  But I got there in the end after the obligatory ‘Oh, yeah’ moment.

Bud has shown an interest in the frog but I believe I may have mentioned previously it has 12 toes! 12!  And I think I’d need more than a staple gun to stop him pulling the legs off it.

Made – 11/29* with 10 days to go

Panic level – 3/10 (I have a sneaky feeling it may peak after the weekend if that first number isn’t a whole lot closer to the second one by then)


Look at my Picture Links

Ohhh, I’m so excited and pleased with myself.

I’d wanted to add the Share a Square button for ages and couldn’t find out how to do it!  I’d read the wordpress stuff and seen the html codes under buttons but had no idea what the heck I did with that – I had a view ideas where to stick them but none relevant to getting a picture link on my blog.  I’d checked out other wordpress blogs I read and the ones that had them were blogname.com so thought they were the paid for domain thingies.  I was on the very brink of sending out an SOS post. (I can’t decide whether that is an SOS or a SOS – I’m sure someone will let me know!)

And then this morning I noticed that one of the wordpress blogs I subscribe to by email has started coming in with just the start of the post to lure you onto the blog itself, something I didn’t always do when the whole post appeared and there on that very blog was a button and at that moment I knew that it was possible to get a picture link on my blog!

And I surely was gonna get one before the day was out regardless of work, Christmas present making, two of which and three cards I need for a Christmas meal this evening, a trip to see B’s bottom consultant – it would all have to come second to me getting a picture link.

As it turned out it was real easy and I can’t believe it took me so long.  Mind you I’m also finding it difficult to believe that I spent the best part of half an hour on Saturday trying to find a piece of fleece to use in a Christmas present only to remember as I was lying in bed yesterday morning that it had been given to Buddy to use on the back seat of the car at least four weeks ago!

So I give you, for your delectation, my first two picture links over there, no, up a bit, just above on the right, above email subscription  and blog roll, under Things I got involved in, yeah, just there – ahhhh, let’s savour the moment!

Flirty Ruffle Scarf

Well my Handmade Holiday 2010 is coming on apace and I’ve now made the following…

It’s from a free pattern from Lion Brand – Flirty Ruffle Scarf.

I wasn’t able to get a 11.5mm crochet hook, which I believe is the translation of a P-15, from my local wool shop the largest they had was a 9.0mm so since I am on a bit of a tight schedule (or sk doo lee – quirky pronunciation from an old friend) and tension wasn’t vital I used that.

The yarn I used was Sirdar Highlander which is a chunky with some wool in it and has an untwisted finish.

As I had used a smaller hook I had to add an additional row to make it an appropriate width.

So the current Handmade Holiday stats are

Made – 6/28 with 13 days to go

Panic level – 3/10


Henry Cole

Henry Cole it has materialised is the bane of my life!  Who? Exactly I’d never heard of him until recently and yet every year at this time he gives me a headache (not literally).

I have been reading Bill Bryson’s At Home – emphasis on the have been – I stopped not a quarter of the way through.  Normally I like Bill’s stuff but not this one and not A Brief History of Nearly Everything nor actually Made in America – although I did read far enough into that to discover that the Pilgrims did not actually step ashore at Plymouth Rock! And I didn’t get very far with The Mother Tongue – but did learn that Shakespeare invented words, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time.

Since that now looks like I don’t really finish Bill’s books I did however love A Walk in the Woods (and laughed out loud at the bit about the ‘bear’ and the tent) and in preparation for our trip to Australia in 2007 read Down Under, I also watched Billy Connolly’s World Tour of Australia and you know neither of them let us down.  The Lonely Planet Guide however was a different story resulting in a few days right next, or rather RIGHT NEXT, to the Red Light district of Sydney! And I liked The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid and The Complete Notes.

Anyhoo back to At Home and Henry Cole.  Before I gave it up as a bad job I found out that Sir Henry ‘invented’ Christmas Cards back in 18 something or other.

Now I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE Christmas through and through except for the card bit.  I HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE writing Christmas cards.  Over the years I have tried it sober, I have tried it tipsy, I have sat at the table and done them, I have lounged on the settee, I have done them in one go, I have done them in instalments, I have fed them through a printer (at work about 19 years ago – so my HATE relationship with Christmas Cards has been going on for sometime) to avoid having to write…

To (insert name/s)

Wishing you a

Merry Christmas

and a

Happy New Year

Lots of love/With love/Best wishes (delete as appropriate)

Paula & Bernard

xx (or no xx again as appropriate)

One year about, ohh maybe even, 10 years ago I happened to buy family Christmas cards in the after Christmas sale and spent about £20 and I was horrified at spending so much at sale prices – on something that B’s mum certainly would have in the bin before New Year.  So the following year I made the family cards and as usual bought some form of charity card for the others – my card list hovers around 50 – some friends send more than a 100!  They moan about it regularly every year but they send them anyway and generally start writing in November.

So for the first few years I made just cards that I would have bought with a title on eg, Auntie, nephew, in-laws, and then maybe five or six years ago I started making them all.  And I actually prefer this to writing them out – even though I usually end up writing something in the card anyway – crazy I know but somehow it’s less of a chore!

I actually had a dream a few weeks ago that I hadn’t sent my Christmas Cards and fortunately it made me remember that I bought some fabric in Australia that I intended to use for cards – I was going to add that I don’t know where it is but it’s just dawned on me it may be with the Christmas stuff in the loft!

And I don’t mean to panic anyone but did you know it’s 1 December today, I’ve committed to a Handmade Holiday and Christmas Eve – that possible time to spend all day catching up this year falls on a working day!

Well if push comes to shove a photo card may be quicker – I’m thinking Buddy in a pair of antlers – a red nose may be pushing it though.

Oh, and I do have to buy one card – for Bernard – he thinks my handmade ones suck – well not in some many words but the one year he got one – not a happy bunny – he likes a slushy verse too!