Friday, January 16, 2009

Magnetic Inspiration Notice Board

Last year I saw a fantastic project on the YouCanMakeIt blog for a Magnetic Inspiration Notice Board. Then I bought the book Seams to Me by Anna Maria Horner and there was a very nice tutorial for a magnetic notice board in there that was just perfect. I have been collecting supplies for a while now to make this project.
I made this very similar to the Birthday Calender I blogged about recently, just on a bigger scale. I still need to do some embellishments but this is how it looks now.

These are the yo-yo magnets from a tutorial in the same book. They really came out so nice. I put the magnet inside instead of outside and this works very well. Now I must just get my hubby to hang it on the wall for me!

Fabric Birthday Calender

With only a few days left of my holiday, I started on some new projects last week. I browsed around blogland to get some inspiration and came upon a project to make a fabric calender on What a great idea! Except I know myself. I will be too busy (or lazy?) to change the calender every month! So I decided to make a Birthday Calender instead. Last year I forgot a few important birthdays and although I have been forgiven since, I do not want this to happen again. So I altered the project to suit my needs.
I had several pieces of steel lying around for my long-planned Magnetic Notice Board, so I used a smaller piece for this calender. I basically made a "bag" to fit the steel in and rounded it off with bias binding. I used a dowel stick to hang it from.
The original tutorial had fabric covered buttons with velcro attached to the back and that would be attached to the velcro sewn onto the calender. I did not have enough velcro and decided to improvise. Since my backing was magnetic I used smaller magnets to attach the names, dates and months. To enable storage of the extra name tags, I decided not to attach the magnets to the back of each cardstock nametag. Instead I leave the magnets on the board and attached paperclips to each nametag. Works for me!
Afterwards I decided to add a pocket to store the rest of the nametags and month tags in. A closer view of the pocket I made. At this stage I could not sew it on, so I handstitched it on.
I also stamped the words "Happy Birthday" on calico and sewed that onto the pocket with some ribbon to embellish it. I placed the calender on my work desk so I can see it every day and I added birthdays up to March. It has already been useful with me not forgetting the first birthday of the year!

Thanksgiving Swap parcel arrived!

On 8 January 2009 my Thanksgiving Swap parcel from Alexa in Canada finally arrived! Poor Alexa have been frantic that it took so long. What a lovely surprize!

I received the most fantastic goodies from Alexa!

A lovely scented candle in a glass holder; a stunning ceramic pumpkin; dishcloths and potholder in lovely fall colours, the cutest little picture frame, some lovely smelling leave ornaments for the table (what is that lovely smell, Alexa?) and the best of all - a stunning table runner! It is simply awesome! I do not own a table runner and I am delighted with this one! It fits perfectly into my everyday decor and I plan to use it in my dining room.

A closer view of the gorgeous table runner, pumpkin and candle holder.

A close-up pic of the darling little picture frame! THANK YOU so much, Alexa! I adore my loot!

Holiday 2

After Christmas with the family, we headed North to the real African Bush - our favorite place on holiday. This is our 5th visit to Shingwedzi which is well-known for it's animal preservation work - mostly cheetah, wild dogs and now a few other animals. It is also a Game Farm but it does not have all of the Big Five.
The boys cooling off in our private swimming pool. The Game Farm only has three luxury homes for guests and each has it's own private entertainment area and pool.

One of the amazing cheetahs in the breeding program. It was so close we could touch it, but we did not. The Farm also has crocodiles, rhino, hippo, giraffe and a wide variety of buck.

Posing with the boys outside our Camp. We had a lovely time, as always!


The boys and their Dad love trout fishing so we went camping near Belfast before Christmas. I still cannot believe I stayed in a TENT! I prefer more luxury these days...
It was a beautiful setting though. If you look closely, you might see my son casting on the left of the picture.
This is the view from our deck. The best time of day for me in Africa - just before the sun makes place for the moon and darkness. A cosy fire and good company with the sounds of the African Bush...

An angled view of our "tent". I have never seen so many spiders in one place!

This was the "washing area"! I was rather concerned about doing this chore at night with all the spiders around! We had a lovely relaxing time with no TV, no cellphone reception - just nature. The boys walked for hours every day to catch a cellphone signal!

Christmas Projects

We went away the week before Christmas so it was a mad rush to finish all the handmade gifts and decorations before we left! Here is a picture of the general chaos and production line...
My friend Sharon bought me the most beautiful book for my birthday in early December. Sew Pretty Christmas Homestyle is the best book I have ever got! I made almost half the projects in the book within 2 weeks after getting it. That is amazing!

The fabrics featured in this book is from the Tilda line and really expensive, but I would LOVE to own some! Here are a few things I made from the book:

These cuties comes in two sizes: a small pattern that allows you to use the teddies as Christmas tree ornaments, and a bigger size (that I used) that they used as an embellishment to gifts. I made one for each female member of the family and put it in their (handmade) gift bag. I made my teddies from felt.

I never took pictures of the completed gift bags, so here is a picture from the book. The gift bags are really simple to make.

I also made these muffins. Aren't they adorable? This was a decoration at the Xmas table. It was quite a task to sew the round bottom of these babies! I filled the bottom with dry beans to ensure they do not fall over.

I have also started making an Angel from the book. I did not have doll's hair so I decided to embroider hair for her. Sadly I have still not completed this one!
And from my A is for Apron book, I made a Xmas apron!

I did not take a lot of pictures at Christmas, but here is one of my table. Most of my handmade decorations are in the background and cannot be seen in this photo. We had a great Christmas with family and friends.