Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Just popping in real quick to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! This will be my last post for the year. Early tomorrow morning (1:00 am), I will be boarding my flight to the Philippines...just having a short holiday to be with my family and friends there. Will be back on the 7th of January (my birthday!). Please continue to pray for my ill mum that she may still experience Christmas joy and hope in the midst of her condition...and also us, her children, that we may be the Lord's instruments of that joy and hope for her.

Thank you all for sharing a wonderful crafting year with me. Enjoy your holidays! See you in 2009!

~ Corinne ~

Friday, December 19, 2008

2009 Desk Calendar Download - Yipee!

I made this calendar shortly after I wrote my previous post and managed to finish at 12:30 am this morning! The effort is well worth it (I hope!). Again, I used prints from A Print a Day for each month's image. Here's just three of them...

(Click to view larger images)

The calendars are JPEG files. My suggestion is to have them printed as 4" by 6" photos and then use a clear plastic photo frame to display them. This would make a pretty, practical and inexpensive Christmas present (under $5), don't you think?

Download the calendar from here. Please let me know if there are any errors or if you are having problems downloading, ok? I was understandably getting sleepy while I was making this....Enjoy!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Last Minute Christmas Crafting

With the kids now on school holidays, my computer time has been considerably cut. The only time I can go online uninterrupted is late at night, when everyone is already asleep.

I have slept short hours the past three nights or so working on desk calendars for my three older children. I found this Reader's Digest book from the local library called "Create Cards and Calendars using your Own Digital Photos". It came with a CD containing card and calendar templates for use with Adobe Photoshop Elements. I don't have Photoshop but a 30-day trial version can be downloaded from the net and so I gave it a shot. The desk calendars turned out great! I had customized each set with images appropriate for each kid. I saved them as picture files, then had them printed at Kodak this morning. I couldn't take photos of them (yet) because I am obviously hiding them from the kids. I will try to be a little bit more sneaky tomorrow...I'd really like to show them to you. If time permits it, I just might share a desk calendar set for you to download.

Here are my other completed handmade presents...

Rice Heat Therapy Bags made using the tutorial here. This is such a wonderful and practical idea...I love it!

I did not strictly follow the tutorial steps though. Each bag cover is made from just one fabric, neatly sewn with french seams and the rice bags have channels like these...

I used pure peppermint essential oil (10 drops to a kilo of rice) as I have always associated the 'minty' smell with pain relief. These bags will go to some of the significant elders in my life.

I also whipped up these simple cushions for two nieces this morning. Was inspired by this post. They were really quick and easy to make and I had all the materials already on hand. I'm sure the girls will appreciate them.

And lastly, here are the packaged glass bubble magnets. The printed papers in each package came from A Print a Day and they can be downloaded from here.

I do think I should stop making presents's getting to be quite exhausting really. But the truth is, this handmade Christmas thing is so very fulfilling and for the first time, I really don't mind if I don't get any presents in return. I am happy and grateful even with just the giving part.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The new backyard, my glue gun and lots of chocolate

Sometime in October, I mentioned about our backyard renovation. There was a bit of delay in the schedule as the concretor was busy with his other projects. But finally, last week, it was completed. And so, from this, the backyard is now transformed to this...

Our very own basketball court! Well, not as big as a full-sized court...just 6m by 10m...but it's large enough for one-on-one games. Hopefully, this will keep our whole family fit and moving, even in the comfort of our home. There is still a fair bit of grass area left - that's where the new retractable clothesline is. Aesthetic work on the surroundings will come next.

In other news...I've been quite preoccupied working on my handmade Christmas presents (still). I am thoroughly enjoying making stuff...and I've learned so much from the creative geniuses in blogland! You know what? I've just discovered the joys of using a glue gun! Call me shallow but seriously, I am absolutely thrilled with this little gadget. The project? Glass bubble fridge magnets, the 'how-to' of which I got from here. What a ball I'm having making these!

I've completed a total of 43 magnets (so far), some of which my daughter has already given to her best friends. I had packaged them nicely but failed to take photos. I might just do that when I wrap the rest.

The other stuff I've been busy packaging are these...

The ideas came from here and here. Lolly is super wonderful...such a generous lady, a life-saver in fact! She just made my life so much easier this Christmas season. And with all the cocoa powder I've been handling around the kitchen, now the house smells so heavenly and chocolatey!

Well, that's it for now. I have something new to work on tomorrow and will be back to share that.

Oh, before I forget, I wanted to mention too that my mum, though still in hospital, is much better now and may be going home real soon. What more can I say but that no prayer is left unanswered. This is another manifestation of how kind and merciful our Lord is. Thank you so much for all your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Time to Make your Mousie Heart Bears! (Giveaway Winners)

Finally, it's Monday and time to announce the Giveaway day winners! As determined by, the lucky ones are...


I'm in as I'd love to have those instructions! Too cute.


aprylian said...

Great Giveaway! Nice to meet you! You can see my giveaway here:



sweetwilliam said...

yay - gotta love a giveaway! I am running my own little one - so lets hope what goes around comes around! But to be honest this is all so much fun seeing other blogs that winning is an extra cherry on the cake!

Congratulations to these three! Please get in touch with me as soon as you can so I can send you your eBooks. Hope you will enjoy making your softies. A huge thanks to all who participated. I had a blast reading all your comments and suggestions!

To those who didn't win but are still interested in making the Mousie Heart Bear, you can just head on over to my etsy shop to purchase the eBook which is now being offered at a SALE price (more than 30% off!). Offer lasts for a week, today (the 8th) up to the 15th.

Happy crafting!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Give-away Day 2008

I am going to make this a quick post...I can just imagine how much sites you have to visit today to have a chance to win great handmade items from Sew Mama Sew's Give-away Day (3rd of December 2008). I am just happy to participate and be able to share one of things I've worked on this past year.

Do you remember these little cuties?

I came up with the pattern and instructions for the Mousie Heart Bear sometime in September. This softie was in fact the inspiration for my Etsy shop 'Simple Things'. It is very easy to sew even for a beginner and only requires fabric scraps to assemble. Hope you can give it a go!

As part of Give-away Day, I am offering the Mousie Heart Bear eBook for FREE to three (3) lucky readers. All you have to do is leave a comment here. I would appreciate it if you could give me some crafting suggestions as I'd like to try out some new things next year.

I will be using a random number generator to determine the winners. Check back on the 4th to see if you've won! The eBook (which is a PDF document) will be sent promptly via email so you can start making your softie right away. Make this part of your handmade holiday gift list and do join in!

UPDATE: It seems Sew Mama Sew missed my email, thus, failing to include my blog on their list. I have already informed them and hope to have my giveaway listed very soon. Also, I am extending the giveaway period until Sunday so more people can have a chance to participate. Will announce the winner on Monday!

Hope everyone's enjoying this Giveaway day!

Monday, December 1, 2008

More on Tea Towels (plus a prayer request)

I still had a pair of tea towels left but wanted to try something else (other than bags). My own take on the tea towel half apron seemed like a nice idea...

From these

To this

And as worn by my daughterThis project was supposed to be Handmade Holiday Gift Idea #6. I had taken "in-progress" photos as I was sewing the apron so I could show you the step by step. However, I must confess I am not really in the mood right now to whip up a tutorial...for a valid reason...

My mum is sick. Some of you already know how she had miraculously recovered last year from a very serious illness. Last Friday night, my brother had brought her back to the hospital as she was showing the same signs that she had prior to her last long hospitalization. I am scheduled for a holiday to the Philippines right after Christmas, but depending on the situation, I might leave earlier. I feel anxious and helpless and wished I could be by my mum's side at this very moment, but having experienced God's immense love and mercy so many times in the past, I do trust in Him and leave everything in His Hands. Please remember to say a prayer for my mum.

I will do that tutorial at the proper time, I promise.