Tag Archives: christmas

Two C Words

They would be chocolate…

and Christmas (sorry I KNOW it’s still October!)

You know I make chocolates and sell them online as well as sew don’t you? Well I’ve opened the trufflepiglet Christmas order book this week because last year was horrendous and whilst I got everything done for the orders I had, the Christmas gift baskets and the fair I did in December, it was a nightmare. The chocolates needed to go out as late as possible for freshness and I didn’t want to make too much of certain flavours as they would just end up in the bin, but the orders kept coming in (a great problem to have don’t get me wrong!) but I was down to the last collection and packaging up stuff in my lunch break at work just to get it all done. And this year I have wedding favours to be collected on Christmas Eve too to top it off.

So this year I am limiting my orders to 50 (of any size) for Christmas delivery on a first come first served basis. If you want trufflepiglet chocolates for Christmas, please don’t leave it late. And don’t forget to put in the order comments that it is for Christmas or you will end up getting them a lot earlier than planned!

Within the next fortnight the Amaretto and Christmas pudding chocolates and a bigger box will be out too!

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Book Review: Quilt a Gift for Christmas by Barri Sue Gaudet

This review is brought to you by Gina who is kindly guest blogging today. Since we’re in the last 12 weeks of the year it’s time for the C word!

This book covers a wide range of projects for the festive season, though a lot of them could be used for other celebrations with a little bit of interpretation. It has a combination of quilting, embroidery and applique, suitable for all abilities.
 
Here’s a couple of my favourite projects from the book. The Tinsel Tree Scrapbook projects covers a wide range of skills; patchwork, quilting, stitchery and making felt flowers…
 
The finger puppet and gift tag projects are great to do with children and can be made in a few hours…
 
The instructions are clear and concise with great illustrations and wonderful clear photographs. I particularly like the fact that each project has been given a time estimate and where required there are templates. The book gives useful advice about materials, techniques and fabrics, with a list of suppliers should you have problems requiring materials.
 
Great projects for those long dark nights.
 
Quilt a Gift for Christmas is available for £11.99 from RUCraft.
 
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In other news, I’ve started to conquer my Everest… 25% of the patchwork bit of the other curtain is done…

Norah’s Log Cabin Summer House

I used a jelly roll of “Summer House” (plus a couple of Meadow friends strips chucked in when I was short) and Kona white to make this quilt, and it’s back is a beige fabric (with a tiny strip of yellow as I ran out). Ther block is a repeating log cabin design and it’s for Norah, hence the name!
Sorry for the poor photos, it was 10.30pm when I took these and our light in the living room is… ambient. Maybe I will get a better photo at Christmas- I will make sure I take my camera.


I only noticed one of the blocks is the wrong way round once I finished and photographed it though – so annoyed with myself!

The binding of a quilt always proves a challenge for me so I stippled just the top and wadding (a nice smooth one not a ratty polyester) bagged this one out and then did a little bit of contrast stitching in blue round the edges to secure it so I could miss this horrible step. I used a Sizzix strip die against my 1/4″ foot to keep it even all the way round as I couldn’t find my ruler and it was a nice width just to hold there and save me drawing a guide. I do like a shortcut. I really must start hand stitching my binding but I’m always in a rush to complete and never have the time for it, though I love the idea of sticking a DVD on and just stitching at my leisure. Maybe next time?

There were some incidents of swearing and sewing through my thumb (surprisingly unrelated) in the making of this quilt, and it resulted in me spending last night finishing it, when I should have been chilling out for my birthday! The swearing part was due to a thread fault, which I shall be blogging about at a later date, I am just waiting for a manufacturer response before I share this story.

Anyway, all the stress is over thankfully! I’m just packaging up some food gift baskets this afternoon and Christmas is officially dealt with and I can enjoy myself! Well sort of, I still need to finish Crafteroo magazine issue 2 which comes out 1st Jan, and Alix needs time to proof read it first!

Tutorial – Stitched Christmas Tree Cards

 

I’ve had a few tutorial posts recently, and here’s another! These cards are really quick and only take about 5 minutes to make, so they’re great if you need an emergency Christmas card. They’re dead easy so are a gentle introduction to patchwork.

YOU WILL NEED
Lots of little scraps of fabric, any shape and size
Sewing machine
Card blank
Fabric glue
Rotary cutter, ruler and mat (optional- you could use scissors instead)


1) With a running stitch, sew two scraps right sides together. Add pieces however you like as long as they’re against a relatively straight edge.


2) You can make new edges to add fabric to by trimming the piece at random before sewing another piece along the straight. Keep going until you’re happy, but you won’t need to make a very big piece.


3) Trim your fabric piece to a triangle shape, You could use a triangular ruler if you have one, or do it by eye as I did. Make sure it will fit on the front of your card, if not, reduce it down a little more.


4) Apply fabric glue to the back (don’t go overboard or it will seep through the fabric) and stick your triangle to the front of the card. Let dry for a few minutes.


5) Stitch to the card going along the edge with a nice big zigzag stitch on the sewing machine.


6) Glue on another scrap of fabric (I used leatherette) to make a tree trunk.

You could also add button baubles or a star shaped button or sticker to the top of your tree. Have fun!

Fenella Fox

Another Christmas present done! Though I might add a tail or a collar yet….

Sew-alongs…

I’ve never done a sew-along before so I thought I would give it a good go! I’ve joined two from the Sew Mama Sew blog and really I hope I can keep up. Also there are awesome prizes to win so even more encouragement there 🙂


I  have joined “Color blocks placemats and napkins sew-along” which is spread over four sessions starting monday. It’s supposed to be festive but I think I’m probably going to disregard that for something  I can use all year round!
Here’s the Flickr group for this: http://www.flickr.com/groups/1792395@N23/


I’ve also decided to not be a total Scrooge and do this advent calendar wall hanging too, which again spans 4 weekly sessions starting on Wednesday. Y’know, because I haven’t got enough projects on 😉
Flickr group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/1740114@N25/

Let me know if you join any of these too! There’s about 25 people in each group at the time of writing.

Happy New Year!

I promise I will blog more this year! Now that Christmas is over, I can concentrate on building up my new chocolate business. I’m not sure how much jewellery I will be doing for a while because I feel like I need a bit of a rest from it. If I tend to blog more chocolate-y things, I will have a new blog set up and give you the link here in case you’re interested.

I thought I’d share a picture… For Christmas presents for family, me and the OH made some gift baskets with jams, chutneys, baked goods, alcohol infusions, nuts, dry cured meat, chocolates…..

Shop restock and Chocs Away!

Sorry I have been away so long. This time of year I get very busy, and as a result a lot of my shop has been marked made to order. However I have this morning restocked the site (and also Etsy and Folksy where applicable) and I now have the following available for immediate delivery (there are other immediate delivery items on the site, so feel free to have a click through!): 

 

 

In other news, I am going on my food safety course on Tuesday, taking me a step closer to opening my chocolate business! The web designer thinks we will be live by 15th January, but I reckon it will be the end of Jan by the time I have had my kitchen assessment, etc. Here’s what I was up to last night…


(Bailey truffle centres- my own recipe 😉 )


(Oozy praline centres)


(Dark chocolate truffle centres- everyone’s favourites!)

Getting my act together!

I have very recently done a bit of housekeeping to keep my sanity, and gone through my entire catalogue and discontinued many items. This is either because they were slow sellers, they were prone to design faults, or I just didn’t enjoy making them anymore. Also I’ve had to list items as made to order where necessary. These are the popular lines that I do want to keep selling, but just haven’t had the time to make a batch available straight away. Since I won’t be doing any craft fairs next year (!) I don’t want to be sitting on a lot of stock either, at least for the time being. So you will notice that there are now turnaround times on a lot of things- please take this into consideration if ordering for Christmas. The reason these dates vary is so I can make sure I am sending out good quality products. I was starting to want to stop jewellery making altogether very recently because of breakages in the post, items arriving with strong smells and generally not doing the best I could because I was being pressured by time. With these dates it means I can send out the best quality pieces and avoid disappointment. However where possible I will send out sooner if I think something is ready to go. This also means I will have a minimum of 28 days lead time on all wholesale orders and 7-14 days on custom orders.

Just so you know… 😉 Oh and I may well be changing the resin I use soon so that I get a nicer result anyway…. will let you know if and when that happens!

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Christmas Posting Dates are now on the website homepage, please bear these in mind as these are the very last dates to place your order for guaranteed delivery before Christmas:

Items available immediately:
Australia and other countries not mentioned: 5th December
The US, Canada, Eastern Europe: 9th December
Western Europe: 11th December
UK: 20th December

Items with 3 days turnaround:
Australia and other countries not mentioned: 2nd December
The US, Canada, Eastern Europe: 6th December
Western Europe: 8th December
UK: 17th December

Items with up to 5 days turnaround:
Australia and other countries not mentioned: 30th November
The US, Canada, Eastern Europe: 4th December
Western Europe: 6th December
UK: 15th December

Items with up to 7 days turnaround:
Australia and other countries not mentioned: 28th November
The US, Canada, Eastern Europe: 2nd December
Western Europe: 4th December
UK: 13th December

Items with up to 10 days turnaround:
Australia and other countries not mentioned: 25th November
The US, Canada, Eastern Europe: 29th November
Western Europe: 1st December
UK: 10th December

As it is also my birthday, I will be closing my shop a day or two early 😉

12 days of Christmas: 11th December

www.pennydog.com