Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Cute Christmas Craftiness

Christmas 2014 brought some cute hand-made surprises.

My sideboard had a red, white and black theme in 2014.
A bit fuzzy? Stay calm, it's not your eyes! 

My phone took these photos and they are not as crisp as usual; a lesson learned.

My sideboard had a red, white and black theme in 2014.
At the front of the display are three hand-made gifts.

(From left): Simple decoupage card, 3-part paper tole card, knitted mug warmer.

Simple Decoupage Card

Simple decoupage card

This card was made by a teenager (Miss HS). The central figures are duplicated, cut out and applied to the card as an extra layer, giving the card an extra dimension.

This technique is a form of decoupage: the art or process of decorating something with an arrangement of cut-out paper, cardboard, linoleum etc., especially the creation of three-dimensional scenes with such cut-outs. It is also known as paper tole or 3D decoupage.

3-Part Paper Tole Card

3-Part Paper Tole Card
(front view)

This beautifully detailed card has very intricate cut-outs and a three-dimensional construction method to create extra depth to each part (front, middle and rear).

The middle and rear are decorated on both front and back with a mixture of single- and double-layered cut-outs.

Extra sparkles from the poinsettias' glittered centres are pretty and festive.

3-Part Paper Tole Card
(side view)

The side view shows the three parts and a frame around the bottom to help it stand up and add visual depth between the layers.

3-Part Paper Tole Card
(rear view)

The rear view shows the double-sided decoration with a panel on the back on which to write the Christmas greetings.

This awesome card was carefully and painstakingly made by Ms CB. 

Knitted Mug Warmer

Knitted Mug Warmer, knitted by Cheryl W of MummyCook
Pattern: Santa's Mug Cozy by Bernat Design Studio

This is just too cute; made by my friend Cheryl who loves to knit. 

She can crochet but prefers to knit.  
I can knit but prefer to crochet. 

We are a complementary pair.  I will give Cheryl my compliments this Christmas season for her tie-on mug warmer (together with a generously sized mug). 
[Thank you, Cheryl! <big smiley thanks>]

She knows I love a cuppa and she also knows that I am frequently interrupted by family demands. Invariably I get distracted and my tea goes cold.  Not any more!

Cheryl found the free pattern on Ravelry: "Santa's Mug Cozy" by Bernat Design Studio but her version is slightly different.

Why make work for yourself when there is an easier way?

The original pattern was in two sections–'Left Front and Back' and 'Right Front'. Each section had a tie on one side for securing the cover to the cup and then the other sides were to be fastened with buttons and a buttonhole band.  

Cheryl examined the utility of this piece and decided that buttons and buttonholes were quite unnecessary because the cozy had ties to attach it to the mug. There would be no reason to fasten and undo buttons. 

I wonder whether it is wise to be fiddling around with fastening buttons right next to a steaming hot cup of liquid. With my clumsiness, I am likely to burn myself.

Cheryl modified the pattern to knit the cozy in one piece instead of separate sections and picked up stitches to make a faux button band.  The buttons were stitched on for decoration. Same effect: simpler method. Great work, Cheryl!

I am tempted to add an amigurumi head to this charming project. Maybe it can be a lid to keep my cuppa hot.

What is the cutest hand-made item you have seen this Christmas?

P.S. & Pssst!  For those of you who want more cuteness and who like to play 'I Spy': if you look carefully you might spy one of the cute recipients of the Secret and Not-So-Secret Baby Items!

Links (in subject order)

"What is Paper Tole?" online article by Kevin Menzies, http://www.papertoleteacher.com.au/, 2013: http://www.papertoleteacher.com.au/what_is_papertole_.html 

"How to Make a Decoupage Greeting Card" online article by Jeanette (Gonnafly), HubPages website, 21 February 2013: http://gonnafly.hubpages.com/hub/how-to-make-a-decoupage-greeting-card

"Santa's Mug Cozy" free knitting pattern, Bernat Design Studio: 

Related Lupey Loops Posts

"Not So Secret Baby Items", 24 December 2014: http://lupeyloops.blogspot.com.au/2014/12/not-so-secret-baby-items.html

"Secret Baby Items (of bibs and blankies), 4 September 2014: http://lupeyloops.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/secret-baby-items-of-bibs-blankies.html


  1. The first card is so clever! But all of these handmade gifts are beautiful really! :)

    Take care, Anne

    1. I thought so too! I treasure the love, thought and effort that goes into hand-made items and these ones were definitely worth sharing with the world.
      How are you Anne, now that we are on the other side of birthdays, Christmas and the new year?
      I have been able to catch up on a lot of household jobs because my energy is not taken up with school matters. Enjoy the break! xxx

  2. I got a beautiful drawing by my daughter of a ball of yarn and needles with the caption. All you knit is love. I will post it in my blog sometime this week.
    Happy New Year - I am so happy I discovered you and your blog in 2014.

    1. What a gorgeous gift - I can't wait to see it. Personalised gifts are the best, aren't they? Where will you display her drawing?
      2014 was a year of exploration for me in relation to the blogosphere and likewise, I am pleased to have found your blog. Your blog is very thought-provoking and I can relate to many of your observations.
      May 2015 be good to you. :-)

  3. So pleased to see my humble knitting project getting some love! The cards are stunning!

    1. A pleasure, Cheryl. I had never seen anything like it before so it was very novel, cute and ever practical. I do think your modifications are very sensible from a knitter's point of view.
      I don't know anything about decoupage but I know what I like and I know how much effort went into them and that's what counts. Looking forward to seeing you soon xxx

  4. Very sensible changes made to the mug cosy.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Gillian. It is good to know that Cheryl's modifications are endorsed by other accomplished knitters! It made a lot of sense to me too. :-)

  5. These are all wonderful projects! I can only imagine how much work (and patience!) it takes to make those decoupage cards. Beautiful! And what a whimsical mug cozy. I love it!

    1. I totally agree with you Frigga! I don't have the patience for fiddly little paper cuttings because my fingers are clumsy so I admire anyone who does have patience...especially those who can do colour fair isle work too! ;-) xx