Monday, 22 November 2010

10 Knitted Christmas Present Ideas

10 Knitted Christmas Present Ideas
By Robert Berry-Smith

If you'd prefer to send more personal Christmas presents to your loved ones this year, why not consider knitting them something special? Here are 10 knitted present ideas that your family and friends are sure to love.

1. It's Christmas and so where better to begin than with a Christmas jumper? Often derided, but now back in fashion through some ironic twist, why not have fun making something suitably festive for a loved one.

2. It's not just the run up to Christmas that's likely to involve cold weather. January, February and even March all see temperatures plummeting and it's vital that we all wrap up warm. Why not knit your loved ones a scarf each, incorporating different colours dependent on the recipient's taste and age?

3. Another great winter warmer is a wooly hat and this is a great one to knit, particularly for younger relatives. Keeping children warm during the festive season and beyond is always important.

4. One item of clothing that has come back into fashion has been the cardigan, so why not find a knitting pattern that suits the person you're making it for. Older friends and relatives may require a different style to younger people, but there's plenty of options for you to choose from.

5. It can be difficult knowing what to buy Children these days, which is why knitted items are a great choice. For babies and very young children, one simple but popular option could be to make them a blanket.

6. Another option for little ones this Christmas could be toys. However, rather than going out and buying your nephew or granddaughter a new cuddly toy, why not knit them one? From plush bears to cuddly elephants, there are plenty of patterns to suit your tastes and skills.

7. Knitting isn't just for little ones and the elderly, you may want to knit a bag that is suitable for relatives of all ages. They're relatively easy to do with a knitting pattern and what women doesn't want another bag?

8. To stop Jack Frost from getting at your families toes, why not make a cosy pair of socks that will keep their feet warm on cold evenings?

9. As well as their feet, they'll also need to keep their hands nice and toasty when out and about this winter. A colourful pair of gloves, or mittens for youngsters, could make for the perfect present.

10. As vintage items are now popular among younger generations, one of the simplest yet most enduringly beloved items is a tea cosy. It could make the perfect gift for the right family member.

With many Knitting patterns available, you are bound to find something you'd like to knit for someone in your family. There are several family websites that can provide you with knitting patterns, healthy family recipes gardening tips and much more.

Why not visit, the online home of family magazine Candis. There you'll find a range of knitting patterns, as well as information to help you find a cheap family holiday and cheap family travel insurance.

Make a Different Kind of Advent Calendar - Advent Town

Make a Different Kind of Advent Calendar - Advent Town
Advent town is a three-dimensional advent calendar. At Christmas time children open a door of an advent calendar each day to count down the days to Christmas. Nowadays most advent calendars conceal a chocolate behind each door.

Advent town is an advent calendar. The town has 23 houses and a church. The buildings each have a door numbers, the door numbers represent a day of December. For example house number 4 is the 4th of December. The church is Christmas Eve.

Each building is made from thin card. The nets for the buildings can be printed directly on to the card. Advent town building nets can be printed here...

Advent Town House net

Chruch Tower net The church tower is glued ont the side of a house to create a church.

Advent Town House Accessory Nets This includes porches, bay windows and chimneys.

Clich here.. See the images of the Advent Town House Accessories

Cut out the nets, score the lines and assemble with a small amount of glue but only stick down one side of the roof because when the house has been decorated a small treat can be hidden inside the house.

Decorate with paint, pens, windows and doors cut from magazines, stickers, buttons, and beads, sticky paper and other materials around the house. Leave the house to dry.

The treats for inside the houses could be a party sized chocolate bar or a mini box of Smarties, any party bag type novelties, a lollipop or a hand full of boiled sweets. A Christmas joke can also be added. Christmas Jokes can be found Here...

Once the house has been filled the roof can be closed, with the envelope type flap tucked inside the roof. Number all of the houses 1 to 23; the church being number 24.

Create a town scene with the buildings and look forward to the 1st of December. 

Monday, 15 November 2010

Homemade T-shirt for Dad's Christmas Present

Homemade T-shirt for Dads Christmas PresentIt's sometimes hard to know what to make for Dad for Christmas, but professional looking home made T-shirts are a real winner. Best of all is that all you really need to make a T-shirt at home is your Computer and some great ideas.

To start with you have to get creative. Open up a new image in your desktop publishing program

sized 305mm x 305mm or 2100 x 2100 pixels and 100 resolution. It is quite a big space and will fit on the centre front of the T-shirt.

Now you need to fill the blank space with images, photos and maybe some text. You can source images on the Internet. If you visit the Google homepage and type in what you are looking for - For Example 'Rudolf' and them click search - this will show you web results. To see the images of Rudolf that Google has found. However if you click 'Images' at the top left-hand side of the browser, just above the Google logo, it will show you the image results.

If you want to an image to fill the T-shirt, you need to choose a large image. If you stretch the image and make it bigger, it reduces the quality of the finished image design, and you won't have a sharp, crisp image on the finished T-shirt.

To make sure that the images you source on the Internet are big enough to fill your T-shirt design, on the Google Images search results page click '+' next to 'Show Options' at the top left hand side below the Google Logo. This opens a menu of filtering options on the left, choose 'Large' in the size section. Now Google will only show you the large images.

Select images that are personal to your Dad, maybe his favourite Motorbike, his favourite band or singer, his favourite sports person or maybe a formula one racing car. You could use a photo of yourself or your family. You can also use the text functionality on your desktop publishing program to write a funny caption or a message.

Sample T-shirt Designs

Click to view and copy the full sized images

Homemade T-shirt Design

Homemade T-shirt Design

Homemade T-shirt Design

Homemade T-shirt Design

When you are happy with your design save it as a jpg or a Gif onto your computer and visit the Vistaprint website.

On the menu on the left hover over 'Gifts & Fun' and them choose 'T-shirts' from the list. Select if you would like a long or short sleeved T-shirt and them click the big button that says 'Upload your own complete design' this will them ask you if you have a Full Front (which you have) or a Left Chest - Select Full Front.

Then you have to upload your image. Click the browse button on the screen and look into the files for the image that you created and click open. The website will then upload the image and display your design on a T-shirt to the right. If you are happy with your design click the next button and proceed tot he check out. There is a small charge for the T-shirt of £5.49 and this amount can be paid with most leading credit or debit cards or Paypal.

Your personalised T-shirt will take around 3 weeks to arrive, and makes a really professional looking and yet personal Christmas present for your Dad.

How to Make a Christmas Card Tree / Holder

How to Make a Christmas Card Tree / Holder
Isn't it lovely to receive lots of Christmas cards? But it's not so easy to display them all. They have a tendency to get blown off the windowsills and ledges. They curl up in the heat and spoil the decor if you pin or selotape them to the walls and doors. A Christmas card tree can hold multiple cards securely and decoratively.

To make a Christmas card tree you will need...
A baked bean tin (washed and the top filled) around 200g of decorators all-purpose interior filler, 15 or so bamboo skewers, paint, tinsel, super glue, paint suitable for painting on metal and wood, mini pegs and sand paper.

Mix up the filler with water as directed on the packet and pour the plaster like mixture into the tin. When the filler starts to go off, push the skewers into the filler in all directions bearing in mind that each stick will hold card. Space them out around the tin.

Instead of using skewers, you could try using largish twigs; this would give your Christmas card tree a more natural and rustic look.

Leave to one side to completely dry.

It's time to paint the structure. Paint in any colour, making sure you pain the tin, sticks and filler and all. If you are going to use spray paint it is important to follow the instructions carefully on the side of the tin.

Leave to one side to completely dry.

Before sticking the pegs to the skewers you will need to give the skewer a rub with sandpaper to remove some paint and to give the glue something to attach itself to. Just sand a space the size of the peg.

Put a small amount of super glue to one side of the peg, and with the jaws of the peg facing sky wards carefully stick the peg to the stick. Making sure that you don't also stick your fingers to the stick.

You may want to put two pegs on some sticks for smaller cards. Add a second peg just above half way down the stick in the same way as before.

Finally to finish off your Christmas card tree, wrap a length of tinsel around the tin. Stick the ends of the tinsel in place with a dab of glue. Add your Christmas cards by putting a card in the jaws of each peg.

Make and Print Your Very Own Christmas Cards...

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Pine Cones in Crochet

Crochet Pine Cone PatternBy Robbie White

I seem to go a little "nuts" every holiday. I suffer from a severe case of obsessive craft behavior. Holidays can become a real danger to me because I can't wait to try out new things. I craft and decorate each room in the house.

And each year all the decorations are different! (come on now,if I saved them all---well,that would be INSANE!) So I start each one about 6-7 weeks (or sometimes even months) before the date and begin crafting.

This year was no exception. I started making crocheted pine cones to dangle from my living room curtains, which led to making fall foliage swags for them, which led to intertwining them with Halloween garland, which led to... well, I'm going to share with you how to make the pine cones.(by the way, they make great ornaments at Christmas and I've used them to decorate holiday gift baskets as well)

Pine cones in crochet

You'll need:

yarn of your choice,any color you desire and any ply---remember the larger the ply the larger the pine cone
Size H crochet hook or any other size you choose

Ch 1 5, leaving a long yarn tail at the start.
*Dc in 3rd ch from hook, ch 3, sl st in first chain to make a picot. Repeat 3 more times in the same stitch
Repeat in each of the remaining chains of the original chain.
In the last ch finish off after the last dc. Leave a long yarn tail.
Tie the two tails together to form a hanger.

Well, there you have it. It's a very easy pattern and extremely versatile. I used it for all sorts of projects. You can enhance gift boxes, baskets or bags.

Add them to wreaths and dangle them from garland or doorways or curtains or anything. They make great ornaments on your Christmas tree, too. I've made different colored ones---variegated yarn, bulky yarn, 4-ply worsted. Gold crochet thread makes tiny, elegant ones!

Give it a try! Let me know what you came up with.

I have been active in the arts and crafts world. I have been doing this for over 30 years.
I have taught classes for several youth groups and also adults.
I have also owned and operated a craft, Robin's Nest, business from my home for over 30 years. I design and make crafts of all mediums for custom orders.
I especially enjoy working with children

Check out

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

A Classic Art Form: Silhouette-Making

A Classic Art Form: Silhouette-Making
By Joy Cagil

During the time I was growing up, I was surrounded by photographs and people who had a love for the camera. Since I am not a youngster, I believe this is true of most of the people who are alive during this period in history, but there was a time when people existed without cameras and they found a few other ways to capture their loved ones' likenesses. Aside from the portraits painted in oils, which cost a lot of money and took many hours of tiresome posing, silhouettes provided a lasting documentation for people's images.

Webster's dictionary defines silhouette as "a two dimensional representation of the outline of an object, as a cutout or configurational drawing, uniformly filled in with black; miniature cutout of the outlines of a famous person's face."

I first heard of silhouettes as an art form when, in a collection, I saw a young woman's silhouette painting. The outfit she was wearing was enhanced with watercolors and tiny beads. Although some of the beads had fallen off, the painting possessed a subtle but charming beauty.

A silhouette was made by making a person sit between a paper tacked to a wall and a strong light. When the sitter's shadow was cast on the paper, the artist traced it. Then, he cut it out and glued it on a board.

The history of silhouettes is a long one that dates all the way back to old Chinese dynasties. After the Renaissance, silhouette making found some fame in Europe, and during the 18th century, it became a widespread hobby when a French artist, Chr├ętien, invented a tracing and cutting machine. In the United States the first silhouettes surfaced during the last years of the 18th century and they were called "shades." Alongside the figures of society, several shades were made of George and Martha Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Aaron Burr and other notables.

During the next few decades, other methods of making silhouettes developed. One was to cut the outer layer of paper instead of the silhouette and to back it with a dark cloth or gold foil background. Later on, elements from the foreground were added to a silhouette by hand, such as the detail of dress and hairdo. Soon enough, groups of people, full-length figures, animals, trains and ships entered the vogue and making silhouettes were accepted as an art form.

Nowadays, silhouettes are considered among our earlier crafts. To me, they are as precious as old oil paintings. In the antiques market, silhouettes done especially by Charles Wilson Peale, an artist, and his nephew Charles Peale Polk are very valuable. If you come across a silhouette in a museum or in an antique sale, observe it carefully, because inside it, there is something of our heritage.

Joy Cagil is an author on a site for Creative Writing (http://www.Writing.Com/) Her education is in foreign languages and linguistics. In her background are varied subjects such as humanities, mental health, and visual arts. Her portfolio can be found at http://www.Writing.Com/authors/joycag

Perfect Valentines :: Tea Cosy Folk :: Santas Postbag::Halloween Mania ::Zafyna

Medieval Castle - Print Out and Make

Medieval Castle - Print Out and Make
Build a medieval castle! Well at least build a tower and a portcullis. Simply print off the Castle net onto so thin card, colour in, cut out, score and glue!

Great for keeping kids busy on rainy afternoons. Great if you have some Knights on horseback toys and things or princesses!

Click on Picture on the right to see the full size medieval Turret to print out.

To make a complete castle - try printing out 4 turrets and making them in the usual way and then glue them together for form one medieval castle.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Doll House Kits

By Anurita Chauhan

This article describes what doll house kits contain, types available and what to keep in mind while purchasing the right dollhouse kit for your self.

Doll house kits come in a variety of styles. Most dollhouse kits include dollhouses in various styles, dollhouse miniature furniture, dollhouse dolls. A doll house kit can also contain miniature doll house electrical supplies and lightening, Bespaq furniture, pots and pans for the kitchen, fruits and vegetables, flower vases, wall paper, bathroom fittings. Some doll house kits even contain cuisine and miniature readable books! Think of anything and it is available as a miniature!

There are essentially two types of dollhouse kits available i.e. for children and for adults as part of their collection. In the case of children's dollhousekits you should look out for sturdiness and durability. they should also have bright and colorful exteriors, minimum trimmings and rooms that can be opened for them to play in. Although plastic dollhouse kits for children are available, wooden dollhouse kits should be preferred as they are more durable, can be repaired and also can be upgraded to more sophisticated miniatures as the child grows up. They are also less expensive.

Adult dollhouse kits on the other hand are more expensive, sophisticated and are almost scaled down replicas of houses. These dollhouse kits are available in different styles, and sizes. They are also almost sealed to keep the dust out.

When the right doll house kit for yourself, you should keep in mind the style you want, size, your budget and the level of difficulty of assembling the doll house kit. First of all you should consider your budget. Your budget depends on the time and money you are willing to spend on a doll house kit. An inexpensive doll house kit can take up more of your time in the long run in trying to make it look nice. The most preferred choice would be a doll house kit that is a balance between the time it requires and the money you spend.

The size of your doll house kit of course depends on the available space with you and it's assembly time depends on the size of the dollhouse.

A doll house kit and making your own doll house can be an enjoyable experience and a fun way of spending your time!

Some Easy Tips on Making Paper Dolls

By Ethan G Scott

A paper doll is an inexpensive and also fun way in keeping your kid busy. To make paper dolls, you can read the following information that consists of some easy steps that you can take to get the best result.

The Paper Doll Chains

For the first step, you can select some of plain paper that you will use for the dolls. In doing this, it is important to remember that the key in making paper doll is to always fold in the similar directions and also leave the part of the central fold uncut.

For the second step, you can begin by folding your paper in a half. After that, you have to fold it in a half again, ensure that you will make the fold in the similar side just like the first fold. Then, you can continue folding for this manner until your paper in the right size as you want.

For the next step you need to draw a doll shape on your paper. Ensure that the parts of the shape will be right against a fold. Then, cut the parts of the doll out on the folded side. Remember to not cut all the parts of the doll shape out on a folded side. Most of people often leave their hands and also feet against a fold. After that, open you paper, and now you will have the string of dolls that are connected by the hands and also feet.

The Unconnected Paper Dolls

For the first step, you need to draw the doll design on the heavy piece of paper. After that, you can carefully cut the doll shape out. Then, decorate the doll with the markers or even crayons in order to create the face, clothes and also the hair.

For the second step, you can use the doll as the template in cutting out clothes for it from the colored paper, wallpaper scraps or even material. Then, leave tabs on a paper on the shoulders and also sides in order to attach clothes to the doll. For the last remember to flue the pieces of yarn to the head for the hair of the doll.

There is a great machine that will help people in folding the paper for various needs. This is a paper folding machine that will give more advantages. Besides, as the important machine for any office that needs to fold a lot of letter to the college or someone else, it will be great in trying to use letter folding machine.