Category Archives: Pay it Forward 2011

A cat for Cat

Remember the Pay It Forward 2011 craft challenge? Turns out I got a bit behind in making things for people. Oops! :-/

But I figure, better late than never, so this month I’m going to get the rest of my little gifts for people done and sent away, as a bit of a post-Christmas surprise.

First up, I made a little softie cat and some chocolate truffles for my friend Cat. (Coz Cat likes cats.)

The cat softie was made from the book ‘Softies’ – lots of cute ideas in there. I made him (her?) from some scraps (softies are great for scrap busting, by the way) of leopard-print faux fur fabric that I think came from the hem of my friend Hilaire’s coat. It was a bit horrid to turn through as the fabric was quite stiff and thick, but worth it I reckon. After all, everyone needs a faux fur leopard print cat, no?


Ladybird Purse

Finally, I’ve gotten around to making something else from one of my craft books, as part of the Craft Book Challenge! Right on the last day of the month, even. (I should really start a bit earlier next month, shouldn’t I?!)

This month, I took the opportunity to pick up a cute wee craft book my lovely sister-in-law Krysha sent to me – Cute Stuff by Aranzi Aronzo. These guys make the cutest books ever – they’re written in a comic type format, with super-sweet images of animals, and it’s narrated by White Rabbit and Brown Bunny. Too cute for words! And yet, I’m ashamed to admit that this is the first thing I’ve made from the book. I’ve picked it up several times and loved looking through it, but it’s only now, with the Craft Book Challenge, that I’ve gotten around to making anything from it. Oh well, better late than never, right?! (One of these days I’m going to make myself the cute business card holder. Maybe that should be my June project….)

I choose to make a ladybird purse – it’s made of felt, with a zip in the back so you can use it as a wee purse for, well, whatever you want it to be, really!

It took me a bit longer than I expected to make, as I hand-stitched the spots and the eyes onto the ladybird, and my hand sewing isn’t the fastest (or the best). I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, though – I think it’s rather cute. 🙂

I’m going to be sending this to one of the 6 people I have left to make things for as part of my Pay It Forward 2011 craft pledge. Miss Ladybird will be winging her way to one of those people this weekend. Hopefully her new owner will like her as much as I do!

Fabric bound notebook

Back in February, I came across the Craft Book Challenge. Seemed like a brilliant idea to me – after all, I have lots of craft books lying around, and have made hardly anything from any of them! Several haven’t even been looked through completely. Pretty slack of me, right? After all, why buy craft books if you’re not going to use them?!? So I added my name to the list, and decided I’d make at least one thing from one of my craft books every month for the rest of the year.

Here’s my first creation as part of the Craft Book Challenge – a fabric covered notebook. The tutorial for this came from issue number 7 of World Sweet World magazine. I’ve got about 5 of these magazines (which sadly are no longer being produced), and although they are full of lovely, crafty, creative goodness and tutorials put together by local craftsters, I still haven’t gotten around to making anything from them. (I have bookmarked a few tutorials though. Does that count? Not really.)

This tutorial involved creating a notebook out of sheets of paper, fabric scraps, embroidery floss and glue. It uses a Chinese book-binding technique which I hadn’t come across before, but am now in love with and will use quite a bit more in the future! I think these notebooks will be a great little go-to project for gifts for people – they’re super cute, can be personalised in so many different ways, and are fast and fun to make. (Although I will need to get myself an awl. I had to make the holes in this one using a darning needle, which took a while longer than it should have.)

(While it looks a bit wonky in the photo, I’d like to reassure everyone, myself included, that it’s actually nice and rectangular and it was just something about the camera angle that didn’t want to play nicely for this photo.)

About my only real issue with this notebook is the fabric choice – it’s quite a loose weave, and when you combine that with stripes, those stripes are never going to look straight. Or I’ve never been able to get them to, anyway! If I make another striped one, I think I’ll have to play around with them either going vertically or diagonally – there’s just a bit too much room for things to look a little wonky if you use horizontal stripes.

One other thing I’ve decided to do with the Craft Book Challenge is to tie it in to my Pay It Forward 2011 plan. Since I did one of these via Facebook and another (smaller) one via my blog, I’ve got seven people to make things for this year. Making surprise gifts for people using my craft books seems like a good combination of things to do. 🙂

So this little notebook is my first Pay It Forward gift. I’m gonna wrap it up all pretty and give it to my lovely friend Teresa next time I see her, so she can keep all of her thoughts and ideas and shopping lists and all that sort of stuff in it. (I do like giving gifts. So much fun!)

Pay it Forward 2011 craft challenge

While randomly cruising Facebook today, I spotted a rather awesome status update from my lovely friend Karen. I’m not sure if she came up with the idea herself, but it was about a Pay it Forward 2011 craft challenge. The first 5 people to comment on her status, and commit to participating in the Pay it Forward challenge, would each get something handmade by her during the year. In return, they would each commit to making the Pay it Forward challenge their status update and making something handmade for the first five people to comment on their status.

Neat idea, right?! Never one to resist a challenge (especially a crafty-related one!) I decided to take part. (Surprise, surprise!)

I’m not sure what the coolest part about this is for me – is it the idea of getting a random handmade crafty goodness thing from Karen sometime spontaneously during the year? Or the fun of making and sending out five little gifts of my own for friends? Or the happiness of knowing that coz of my taking part, a whole bunch of other people will be doing the same and lots of crafty items of happiness will be making their way around the place? (I’m totally digging the idea of this challenge spreading and growing, like a crafty happy chain letter but without all the negative stuff that chain letters have with them. An awesome group of crafty individuals joining forces to make little bits of crafty happiness during the year. The whole thing brings a big smile to my face. So, thanks Karen, for getting me involved! You rock!)


Wanna take part? If you’re on Facebook (or if you blog), just post something like the following, and sign yourself up!

Pay it Forward 2011: I promise to send something handmade to the first 5 people who leave a comment. They must in turn post this & send something they made to the first 5 people who comment on their status. It must be handmade by you & must be sent sometime in 2011. A great way to start 2011!

(Also, if you wanna take part, I’m also gonna make a little crafty creative something for the first couple of people who comment on here. Just because I like making things. 🙂