Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Blog!

Happy Holidays!

First I would like to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday, and secondly I'd love to announce the arrival of my new baby blog: Collected.

I have always been an avid photographer, and have often found my most interesting subjects to be random collections of things. I got the wild idea this Fall to start a blog and post a new collection every week, and so Collected was born! It's first post will be tomorrow, Christmas, with a Christmas themed collection of course shown above. If I have good feedback and people are enjoying the blog I might even offer prints of my collections to purchase :)

All the collections I photograph are things from my very own home, and are often vintage or antique things. I hope you take some time to check out my new blog, and keep coming back in 2011 to The Angry Pincushion for more new stuffs!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Last Minute Gift Tags

If you have any last minute shopping to do for Christmas you better get right on it! And if you have any presents to wrap, you should probably get started on that too :) I saw these festive and super cute free tags from Hip Hop Candy yesterday on their Facebook fan page, I think they'd make an excellent addition to any package. Happy wrapping everyone!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Crafty Repeat: Gingerbread Man Pin

Original Post: December 15th 2008

If you are like me and love the smell of gingerbread you'll love wearing this unique pin! These are easy to make and cost almost nothing, are a great project to do with kids and make excellent teachers presents. And look how cute he is! You can use this recipe to make ornaments as well. I have had mine for years and can still say that he smells as good as the day I made him.

You'll need:
  • -1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • -1 cup shortening
  • -1 cup white glue (Elmers)
  • -2 cups molasses
  • -1 tablespoon baking soda
  • -1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • -6 to 8 cups all purpose flour
  • -1 and 3/4 cups water
  • -cookie cutters
  • -pin backs
  • -hot glue gun

You can certainly cut this recipe down depending on how many pins or ornaments you want to make. Remember these are NON-edible!

Mix the brown sugar and shortening together, add molasses and glue, mix well, set aside. Combine baking soda and ginger with 6 cups of flour, add this to the glue/brown sugar/etc. mixture and add the 1 and 3/4 cups water while mixing. Add enough remaining flour to make the mixture into a stiff dough and knead it well. Roll to about a 1/4 inch thickness and start cutting out your gingerbread men, and other shapes if you wish. If making ornaments using a straw poke holes in the dough for a string to be tied through. Place on an un-greased baking sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for one hour or until color is golden. Repeat with any remaining dough. To thoroughly dry gingerbread men, place them in the oven on oven racks and bake an additional 3 hours at 100 degrees. Let cool completely.

After gingerbread men are cool, using a hot glue gun glue a pin back onto the gingerbread man, let cool and you have a yummy smelling, cute holiday pin!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Advent Calendar

As I was changing all my calendars to December yesterday I found myself thinking about a advent calendar I had when I was young. It was made of fabric, it was from Avon I believe since my Mom was an Avon lady, and had a little mouse that you moved to a new pocket everyday. I remember waking up in the morning excited to move the little mouse another day closer to Christmas. As I thought of my adorable advent calendar from my childhood I remembered another advent calendar I had featured on The Angry Pincushion several years ago by a talented, crafty, British gal named Britta. So for old times sake, and because this advent calendar is absolutely lovely, here once again is Britta's cuddly, felt advent calender!

Original Post- Dec. 17th 2008

I belong to a craft community forum called Cut Out+ Keep, it's an amazing site where anyone is allowed to post their crafty creations and how to's. I encourage anyone who loves to craft to check it out and sign up! Cut Out+ Keep is where I found Britta Jarvis's lovely felt advent calendar. The first time I saw this advent calendar I thought it might be one of the cutest things I had seen, so I wrote Britta and asked if I could showcase her work on my blog, and thank goodness she said yes! So here it is, all the way from the UK, the how to for this most festive, and adorable felt advent calendar made by Britta for her boyfriend! Thank you Britta!

You'll need:
  • -tracing paper
  • -various colored pieces of felt
  • -a few colors of embroidery thread
  • -a length of dowel or bamboo cane
  • -scissors
  • -needle
  • -small drill or hand drill

1. For your advent calendar you're going to need 25 days. I did 5 rows of 5 pockets to hold a sweet for each day. I decided to make the 25th day larger than the rest so it could hold more booty, but this also meant the the other 4 on its row were made slightly smaller. You can choose to do as I did or to leave them all the same size. First, draw out the pieces you're going to cut. I planned mine on tracing paper and then cut
around them to make the rectangles. I also made some simple felt christmassy shapes and sewed them on to every other rectangle in a checker-board fashion to decorate it.
2. Here are the rectangles laid out in sequence. The designs I added are a bell, holly, Christmas pudding, snowflake, snowman, candle, star, stocking, Christmas tree, present, mistletoe, a robin and a candy cane.

3. The next step is to embroider on numbers from 1 to 25 for the days of December. I dotted the dates around so it could be fun searching for the right pocket every day. I used back-stitch but I'm no sewing expert, so if you know a better way then go for it :)
4. Get a piece of felt large enough to back all the pieces, minus about 5 cm horizontally but plus enough vertically to be able to roll the top around your dowel and write a message... call it 5cm again. The 5cm horizontally is so that you can bunch up each pocket a bit and make them more pockety and able to hold sweets :)
5. Decide what message you'd like to write on the top of your advent calendar. I chose 'Merry Christmas!' but you might like to add a name in there of the person you're making this for. Cut out the letters from different colored felt and sew it on just touching the top line of pockets, leaving the rest of the felt free at the top. next, get your dowel and cut it to the width of your calendar plus 2cm either side, then get your drill and make a hole through each end 1cm from the end. Roll this into the top of the felt and sew the felt closed around it. Get some of your thread (I used about 35 cm) and tie it through the holes in your dowel so that you can hang it up.

6. Add sweets! This is a very important stage and will be noticed if you forget it! I try to get several types of sweet so that every day you get something different than the last. Hang up your completed advent calendar with pride!


Thanks again Britta for this great tutorial and pictures, and I'm sure all my readers enjoy your advent calendar as much as I do! Check out more of Britta's creative stuffs on her blog, and her Cut Out+Keep page!