Good Wreath Charlie Brown

Wreath CollageAs I mentioned towards the end of last year I’m going to be doing a Handmade Christmas this year and along with that I’ll also be celebrating ‘holidays’ as the Americans call them.

Thus far I have done a Waitangi Day (New Zealand Day) and Valentine’s Day display. Both of these were rather low key and the photos will form part of the end-of-year review.

St Patrick’s Day is next, but in the meantime here are my yarn wreaths that I created at one of our family Crafternoon’s last month.

They are really quick and easy to make, probably an hour each plus the crochet flowers.

I used polystyrene wreath forms but you could apply this effect to other bases. For the multi-coloured wreath I chose four different ‘Easter’ coloured skeins of wool. Pulled off about four or five double arm lengths of each colour, tied them together with a knot and secured it at the back with a pin, then wrapped it around the form. I did two completed wraps to give it a good solid covering and create the right look. For the crochet flowers, which my sister did as I am still a novice crocheter, we chose two of the four colours and then added an extra accent with a third colour in the form of a button.

For the beige wreath, with is very neutral, it’s a type of cotton but the concept is the same. Draw out 4 or 5 double arm lengths, secured at the back (for this one I actually tied the new length to the old rather than using pins) much easier when it’s just one strand of the yarn. This form also has a double layering. With a single yarn you need to take more care with ensuring there are no gaps. There’s just a single crochet flower on this (as I was nearly out of yarn), and a pearlised shell button. 

I’m really happy with how they turned out. They were very easy. I’ll keep the multi-coloured one as it is but the beige one could easily have colours added to it (and remove the flower if necessary) to make it fit with the other themes throughout the year. I have another smaller wreath that I have wrapped with some ribbon that will be part of the Easter blog, and a much larger one that at present is wrapped with white tulle which will also feature in a future post.

If you have any questions please do ask.

Happy crafting!

Goals, Resolutions, and other Good Stuff

It’s the brink of 2014 and, as I’ve done for many a year, I’m setting goals and making resolutions for the New Year. I know making resolutions for many is just lip service, but I like something to strive for. For me it’s a positive way to start the year. I forgive myself for the things I didn’t achieve and resolve to achieve new things.

I also have some rituals I like to do on New Year’s Eve to start the year the right way. This is why I don’t tend to go out on NYE. I like to be in my comfort zone, doing the things I want to, with the people I want to. This year it’s going to be at Cervidae Castle with Mr 8, and a bottle of Moet! A fabulous way to start the New Year I think!

For me, goals are those that I can achieve through hard work and determination, resolutions are those things I would really like to achieve but that may not be possible due to circumstances and events outside of your immediate control.

As I’ve also blogged I do intend to print out some of these goals and resolutions and have them posted around the house as a daily reminder. I know this really worked for my weight loss and I will start that reminder again too.

So enough of all that, let’s get into it!

Firstly, I still feel that weight loss is my main focus for 2014 in terms of personal goals.

Weight Loss Goal

Goal 1 – Get back to 30kgs lost – Achieved 15/1/14
Goal 2 – Reach my original GW
Goal 3 – 35kgs lost
Goal 4 – Reach UGW
Goal 5 – To fit into single digit size clothing (yes, that means size 8 or less) – Achieved 30/1/14 – wore a size 8 skirt to work today!

(I intend to notarise these as I achieve each goal).

I do think UGW will take the best part of the year but I’m in this for the long haul so I’m comfortable with that long range forecast.

Mini-Goal

From 1st January until 14th February I intend to be alcohol-free. I lost a tonne of weight this year whilst being alcohol free for 4 weeks, and as I have BIG goals to reach this year I want to kick it off with some really good losses.

Organised House

I did pretty good in 2013 and having to move twice did make me declutter quite a bit but I do still have a lot of things I don’t use often enough to really warrant keeping them. There are still a lot of things I can let go and as I keep unpacking I’ll also keep decluttering.

I’m also going to have a really organised house. As this house is so old there are many modern conveniences that I don’t have so being clean and tidy all the time will be important to keep the house in a ‘good place’.

Organised Work

After a year in this job, I’ve experienced all of our different race days, and now feel like I have some knowledge behind me in terms of how I can create an even better experience for our race day guests, our sponsors, and the public. 2014 will be the start of some new strategies and systems in order to maximise the experience of each guest on each race day.

2014 offers plenty of scope to develop existing race days and build on the new events from the past twelve months.

Bigger, better, and more beneficial is my aim for 2014.

Oh, and of course there is also that secret project!! < Yes it’s a two exclamation project 😉

Handmade Christmas

Christmas was little underdone this (despite having 5 trees) as I felt like I didn’t get the benefit of the whole experience a) because we moved house so late, b) the trees didn’t go up until December!, and c) I worked so much! So Christmas 2014 starts in January with the handmade Christmas project. Look out for blogs about fabulous handmade items (and no doubt terrible disasters too!).

First on the agenda is knitted bunting (if I can remember how to cast on lol).

Bucket List / Things I Want To Do

2014 will be time to tick some of these off, and I will create a separate blog listing them and write separately as I tick them off, but here are just a few:

– Photography course
– Buy a Grabone ticket to a destination I’ve never been to before
– Blog, blog, and more blogging

DFTBA I

Sonya’s Handmade Christmas

For the past few Christmases I’ve been making at least some of my Christmas presents, a few easy decorations, the advent calendar last year, and wreaths. I love how they look and now with the move to the new (very old) house I’m tempted to make some more decorations and other decor items a little trickier than just wrapping some twine around a polystyrene ring!

So I’ve decided that 2014 is going to be be the year of ‘Sonya’s Handmade Christmas’. Each month my family have crafting afternoon and I haven’t really made anything of substance, so the plan is to have one project a month to make that at the end of the year is part of my handmade Christmas.

Because I’m such a theme queen I’m going to need to decide on the colours for each room and where each item I make is going to go before I start work on it. I would like to make several different versions of the some item if I have time, eg; bunting. For the lounge if I stay with my current theme the burlap and black,then I would make a burlap garland and then in the hall perhaps a knitted one similar to the one below.

So there it is, the first resolution for 2014 (which I may even start in 2013!).

Merry Christmas everyone, I look forward to sharing my Handmade Christmas journey with you!

Knitted_Bunting1

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image source

Advent Calendar 2012 | Day 3

Today’s Advent Calendar was for Hartleigh to choose one of the two goodies I had created for him. This one contained a Kinder Surprise egg which is asks for every time we go to the supermarket and it contained Lightening from the move Cars – one of his favourites, along with this blue window chalk pen with which he promptly went and wrote on his window. I love the cute tree he drew too!

day three final

Advent Calendar 2012 | Day 1

For those of you who follow this blog you will already know that I decided to create a homemade personalised advent calendar for my 7 year old son this year. My intention is to blog each day with what the calendar said and what we did. Here is Day One.

day one final

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Yes, I cheated, we already did this! Originally I had planned for Mr 7 to do his own tree but then my OCD took over and I wanted to surprise him with a cool Christmas room. However, he did a lovely surprise from his dad, a Lego Advent calendar!

Hartleigh’s Advent Calendar

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This is the handmade advent calendar I created for my son. Each of the envelopes contains a personalised card, listed below:

1 – Put up & decorate your tree
2 – Write a letter to Santa
3 – Choose a goodie to open
4 – Choose an activity to do
5 – $2 to go shopping
6 – Your choice for dinner
7 – Extra time on the computer
8 – Make Christmas Cards
9 – Make a present for Mrs VK
10 – $5 to go shopping
11 – Choose a goodie to open
12 – Choose an activity to do
13 – Picnic dinner at the beach
14 – Extra book at bedtime
15 – Watch a Christmas movie
16 – Play a board-game
17 – Go to Santa’s Choice
18 – Visit Santa
19 – Donate old toys
20 – Buy something at Hospice
21 – Visit Festival of Lights
22 – Wrap present for Nannie
23 – You choose what to do today
24 – Open ‘Night Before Christmas’ box

I’ll be blogging through December as he opens each envelope.