Thursday, 9 November 2017

Making the Seasons: November

Over the past couple of weeks, my friend Lucy (of Attic24) and I have been emailing back and forth, hatching a plan to start a little crafting project over the coming months. It was sparked by the discovery of the most wonderful craft boxes that come through the post, by Craftpod

I decided to treat myself to the autumn box and loved pretty much everything about it; the fact that it fits through the letterbox, the modern feel of the contents, the attention to detail, the way the two projects had been so beautifully planned, designed and put together. I cannot begin to tell you how much this little box of creativity lifted my spirits in an otherwise busy and nose to the grindstone kind of week. 

The box contained everything you needed for two projects; a framed embroidery hoop designed by Carole of Maggie Magoo Designs and a kit for two little stuffed owls by Jo of Craftpod herself.

Lucy and I decided to make time to do a little crafting last weekend. Nothing so special about that, you might think, but knowing that we were going to do this together forced me to push some domestic tasks aside and make some time for myself. My mind wandered as I stitched and I thought about Lucy, about how lovely it is to find friends through blogging, about how much I used to enjoy our coffees together at Salts Mill when I lived in Leeds. I listened to The Archers and just let my mind drift and wander while my hands were busy.

 Something I especially liked about this embroidered mushroom hoop in the box was what a great beginner project it was. By stitching on top of an already printed design, you quickly create a effect that you'd otherwise have to get with hours and hours of stitching. 

The pattern was clear and very easy to follow and I would love to think that someone who perhaps had never embroidered before, or who was nervous about it, might discover that actually sewing is really fun and easy. It was a good reminder to me, especially after my France Holiday Diary, that an embroidery project doesn't always have to be this huge undertaking - it can be small, simple and just as rewarding. I also love the way embroidery hoops make such great, cheap frames.

The two little owls are completely adorable and came with a brooch clasp, in case you wanted to turn one into an accessory. I had initially thought that I might give them to a some small people I know, perhaps for Christmas, but I find I am rather fond of them and they are currently sitting on the shelf with my autumn bits looking down on me.

But again, the beauty is in the size of the project - it took maybe an hour or two to make these from start to finish.

I believe the autumn Craftpod box is no longer available but you can order a very similar toadstool embroidery design from the Maggie Maggoo Etsy shop and the winter Craftpod can be pre-ordered now if you like the look of it. 

Two months before the end of the year might seem like a funny time to start a seasonal crafting project, but I know that when the days get shorter and colder my thoughts turn to crafting. (Ok, and cake.) The aim, if there is one, with Making the Seasons is to follow the months and the turning of the year with small, quick and fairly easy crafting projects. It's about making in the widest possible sense: crochet, sewing, knitting, papercraft, cooking, gardening - whatever is your thing, as much or as little as you like. Perhaps you might like to try something new. 

If you feel inspired to celebrate the seasons and share you crafting projects with monthly posts then we would absolutely love that, and you can also tag your images #makingtheseasons on Instagram. You can read all about Lucy's experience with November's making here. Happy crafting! 

(And yes, as you can imagine, I am already pretty excited about whatever I may make for my Christmas Making the Seasons, and have already shoved all thoughts about the Christmas presents I said I'd make to one side while I distract myself on Pinterest....)


  1. Lovely, lovely post, how much fun has this been?????!!!! I have loved doing this with you, so very much. Thank you for being my seasonal crafting buddy across the miles xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  2. What cute projects. I can't really afford to buy kits like that, unfortunately, but they look like fun and your makes turned out really nice. I hope your monthly projects go well and you and Lucy find lots of inspiration together.

  3. I have loved both yours and Lucy;s posts, I will join in from this distance away and try to put photos on instagram if I can. Unfortunately Im too far away to get the box sent to me. I love all your great crafty posts, both of you.
    Carolyn NZ.

  4. As I have said before, I am not a crafter myself, although I actually really love crafting and did little else (besides reading) as a kid. This kit looks fantastic and would almost be worth buying for the card alone :-)
    I am sure the little owls feel perfectly at home on your shelf - just make sure Ziggy does not get them ;-)

  5. what lovely crafts xxx love the idea of small achievable projects, I seem to be drowning in big unfinished ones....

  6. I read about you on Lucy's blog, so had to come and have a nose round your blog, and your lovely home. Grey is one of my favourite colours, and I love the ways you have used it, love the whole colour scheme in fact, which surprised me as it's a complete contrast to my own home - an almost 100 year old detached, the interior of which is painted in rich jewel colours, so quite different to yours! Lovely blog...

  7. Nicely done Gillian, and what a great idea. It has reminded me that I have a festive stitching thing tucked away somewhere waiting to be tackled. I shall look forward to seeing what you both come up with over the months. CJ xx

  8. I saw this yesterday on Lucy's blog and have now signed up for the year! Really looking forwrd to the Winter kit being delivered next month. Good job by you as always. Catriona

  9. Hello, came here from Attic24 and love this idea! Last December I crocheted a few baubles in holiday colors and it was such a fun small project. And making baubles were new to me so I learned something as well. Looking forward to reading more of your blog and thinking about my little monthly projects. I love the idea of having a creative break from the big projects....just for fun :)

  10. What a lovely idea & so glad you and Lucy are catching up, allbeit, long distance. Those makes, would be easy enough for Bella to learn from too, if she's at all crafty like her Mum? Of course I love the owls, but the toadstool hoop is great too & your work is always so neat. Thanks for sharing and take care.

  11. I wouldn't order something which I can't see, yet by the time you can see it, will probably be sold out! Looking at past boxes they seem hit and miss - love the deer winter one but less keen on the other winter one I can see. So I'm not willing to take a chance especially as for me it is pretty pricey. I would rather invest in something that will keep me occupied over some long winter nights, that I know I will like and will be proud of when finished. I'm also just not so not keen on projects that take so short a time, I don't see the point? It's not cheap so I want to be kept happy for more than an hour or two. Crafting for me is also partly wanting something different as well, so I don't like the thought of all the identikit projects. They do look attractive, but not for me.

  12. What a lovely idea. The owls are so sweet. I may shamelessly copy one to hang from my Christmas tree. Inspired by your tree hoop embroideries Gillian I have been very slowly stitching a series of four wild flower meadows on linen in four inch hoops. Mine are dense with stitch and eighteen months in I've yet to finish one but they are perfect for packing up and taking on holiday and sometimes I find time to stitch and sometimes I don't! My winter project is a quilt and I'm to unroll and finish Alicia's Christmas cross stitch from last year ..

  13. Hi, Gillian. I, too, came here from Attic24. I like your blog and especially the new project. The kits aren't in my budget just now, but I am always creating something, so will be happy to join in the joint projects with something of my own. I like the idea of some long and complex projects along with shorter ones for a change of pace.

    I have some felt here, so may try making the wee owlets once my new cutter arrives. The embroidery / cross stitch projects will likely have to wait a while.

    I'll be following along with the group, so looking forward to some crafty fun.

    Have a good week. ~ Linne

  14. That box could have been designed with you and Lucy in mind - it suits you perfectly! :) xx

  15. These two little projects are sweet. I love making things but I am not a crafter I don't think. I am particularly bad with small projects, I seem to be unable to finish most. I shall enjoy your projects very much though and have a sneaky peak the the craft pods online. xx

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  17. Very cute! I have a stash of little priests like this for quiet moments. I'm still waiting for the quiet moments to happen though!

  18. Hi Gillian. I've only just come across this post. How nice of you to write such lovely things! It's Carole from MaggieMagoo Designs by the way 😊 Your blog is great, I never seem to have the time read blogs so this has been a treat on a rainy Sunday morning x


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