Santa’s little helper

Christmas has the annoying habit of sneaking up on you when you least expect it. I mean, I know it comes every year at the same time, it’s just that I always feel like the jolly festivity must be hiding under the bed for ages biding its time until one day, without notice, it jumps out screaming “HAAAAA! WHERE ARE THE PRESENTS FOR YOUR FRIENDS/PARENTS/SIBLINGS/OTHER HALF/COLLEAGUES/MILKMAN/CAT/ANNOYING RELATIVE THAT YOU WILL BE FORCED TO HAVE LUNCH WITH BECAUSE OH-C’MON-IT’S CHRISTMAS?? WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING ALL YEAR?? UH? UH??”

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I actually love Christmas. I love the cold and the occasional snow here in the UK (where I come from it never snows and the closest thing to a fir tree is a palm tree…) I love the cheesy music in the shops and the smiling carol singers, I love Christmas trees and all sorts of decorations (okay, maybe not the cheap OTT ones that make an otherwise normal house look like it’s been taken hostage by a swarm of lightning bugs on coke..) I love the silly Christmas drinks that pop up in all the coffee shops mid-November and that take 15 minutes to order (“can I have a grande eggnog/gingerbread/toffee/orange/cherry mocha flat decaf to take away please?” [breathes] “with whipped cream, please” […aaaand relax]) I love.. ok, you get the picture.

This year, just as every other year in the last (quite a few) years, I decided I was going to be smarter. “A-ha! I’m going to start buying a few presents in advance and the remaining ones will be handmade things which won’t take too long to make.” Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Smarter. NOT.

So, I spent the last month finishing a pretty large wall-hanging (more on that in the next posts, watch this space), making coasters, make-up bags and place-mats for my lovely customers and now, less then a fortnight from my flight back home, I still have place-mats, a handbag, make-up bags, tissue-holders, coasters and theoretically a mini wall-hanger on my to-do list. Oh, did I mention I also accidentally have a daytime job?

I was too busy making things to remember to take pictures (read: I’m getting more and more self-conscious of my appalling photography skills) but here’s some evidence that I was in fact producing things and not just drinking cinnamon lattes..

Place-mats in the making

Make-up bags (picture and hands belong to HappyCustomer Ildi)


Happy holidays everyone! 🙂


Quick and easy make up bags

Today I took a break from quilting the bedspread and/or working on at least one of the new projects I have in the pipeline – ah, the sweet art of procrastination!..

Quick projects are fun to make, and these little things are going to be very useful! 🙂


The “big sister”on the left will end up in my suitcase, it can easily contain toiletries and make up for a week or two.

It was made with a pre-quilted fabric that I bought on a whim for its really funky colours.

I’m usually not a fan of pre-quilted fabrics, but cutting and sewing the bag in less than one hour really has no price! Plus, no lining, interfacing or interlining were harmed in the making of the bag.


The little one was made with one of my favourite Ikea fabrics and a lovely japanese-inspired cotton fabric for the lining. Fusible fleece for a bit of structure, a chunky zipper and voila’, if you use a serger – as I did – the whole thing is also done in less than two hours.


I made the pull tabs with the same fabric I used for the lining:


As you can see, the brown bag is small enough to go in pretty much any “normal” handbag – and by normal I mean any handbag that can contain an umbrella, a book AND a kindle, a “just in case” cardigan/scarf/top, a small bottle of water, a granola bar, tissues, lipsticks, blusher, mascara, nail varnish, a purse, a coin purse, some random letters/bills, a phone that weighs like a kitten and all the indispensable things we girls always carry around…


All in all, not too bad for a lazy Sunday afternoon!