Every year before Christmas I get together with a group of friends at our local village hall and we make wreaths for our front doors. We make a brew of delicious hot apple & cinnamon (heat apple juice in a saucepan with 2-3 cinnamon tea bags, serve in mugs), put the Christmas tunes on and get crafting!
You will need:
A mixture of non-deciduous greenery (I used bay and Leylandii. Holly, laurel, fir and conifer also work well). Secateurs or strong scissors. Florist’s wire and wire cutters. Wire ring (30cm diameter). Optional: dried oranges & cinnamon sticks, red berries (real or fake). Ribbon for hanging.
Step 1: Cut 3 pieces of greenery approx 25cm long.
Step 2: Bunch together and wrap wire around, twisting the ends together.
Step 3: Using the same piece of wire (or a new piece) attach the bunch to the ring, wrapping wire around tightly and twisting ends together to secure.
Step 4: Repeat steps 1-3 always adding bunches in the lying in the same direction on the ring. If your leaves are looking a little wayward (pic 6 above) you can tidy them up by tying extra pieces of wire around the ring and leaves (pic 7).
Step 5: Wrap wire around berries, twist ends together and attach to ring, wrapping wire carefully through leaves and around wring.
Step 6: Take 3 dried orange slices and arrange as shown in pic 9, poke a piece of wire through in one place so they stay in the arrangement. Twist ends of wire together and attach to ring.
Step 7: Thread ribbon through wire ring at back of wreath, hang on your door.
Voila! A lovely festive wreath, happy holidays everyone!
We all absolutely LOVE the Liberty Christmas Shop at Alice Caroline – it’s a haven of Christmas inspiration at this wonderfully festive time of the year. So, I thought I would share a few of the Liberty shop Christmas scenes with you – if this doesn’t get you in the festive spirit then nothing will!
It’s a tradition in my house to buy a Liberty bauble or decoration every year – this year I just couldn’t resist buying beautiful clear glass baubles with a little sparkle. For the children, a ballerina fairy and of course a nutcracker soldier. The choice of decorations is stunning, so every year we take a trip to the world famous Liberty store to choose some beautiful things for the home.
I, and everyone at Alice Caroline would like to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.
We are so excited to tell you about our trip to the SOS Children’s Village in Hemeius, Romania, to donate Liberty quilts, each made with love.
We have had a fantastic response to our Quilt SOS project. Launched in July this year, the overwhelming enthusiasm for the project has ensured that we will be running it again in 2017.
By November we received 47 unique, beautiful quilts, each one stitched by a wonderful and warm-hearted lady.
Seeing the quilts stack up in our office, the anticipation for our trip grew. We’re excited to show each quilt in forthcoming blogs and we’ll share some of the stories from our makers.
Our three day trip to deliver the quilts was a mission! At 3am on Monday morning we set off to the airport with a loaded car. We flew to Bucharest with Ryanair, who very kindly donated the baggage allowance for our enormous cargo. Having collected our hire car, we packed it up to begin the 200 mile drive north to Bacau County, where Hemeius is situated. Along the way, we couldn’t resist stopping to photograph some of the quilts against the Romanian landscape.
As soon as we got out of Bucharest, our journey took us through farmland almost all of the way. Wine, onions and potatoes were for sale on the roadside, and when we stopped over for dinner and some sleep, we talked to our waiter Andrei about the extraordinarily delicious flavour of the fruit and vegetables – he was passionately proud of the local produce, and in a mad moment we pondered how we could take sacks of potatoes home with us (the moment passed).
We saw many beautiful domed churches along the way, but also witnessed the tough conditions in that part of the world; the Hemeius SOS Village is in one of the poorest areas of Romania. The children cared for within the village face the challenges of trauma and abandonment, but also the realities of an economically deprived environment. The love and care offered by the village’s SOS mothers offers hope and support against this backdrop. With this project our aim was, in whatever way we could, to show our own support with the warmth and brightness of a quilt for each child.
We received a very warm welcome from Rodica, an amazing social worker, who explained the setup of the village. Rather than a big impersonal orphanage, the model of the charity is to build a village where 6-7 children live in each house, as a family with an SOS mother. She also told us about the kinds of issues the children face and about the SOS mothers, whose work it is to raise the children every day with enormous love and compassion.
We visited the village in the late afternoon, when all of the children were back from school and their varied after-school activities. We were really honoured to be invited into the children’s homes, taking a bag of quilts to each of the seven houses.
Welcomed with biscuits and sweets, we sat with each family as Rodica explained the story of why two English ladies had appeared in their living room with a massive mystery bag! Unknown to us, we had arrived on Sfântul Nicolae, the day when children wake up to find out whether Saint Nicholas (Father Christmas) has left a gift in their shoe placed by the front door.
Eyes widened as the bags were opened up and we spread the quilts out for the children to choose. I’m not sure we will ever forget the children’s faces; some were very shy, hanging back before choosing; some knew straight away which was the one for them; one girl spent a long time deliberating, stroking the fabrics, saying ‘they’re too beautiful, how can I decide?!’. Quilts were hugged into chests, or held out delightedly; examined for the hidden messages from some quilters; pored over for details in the fabrics or in the designs. One boy, who had run up to us when we first entered the village clutching a tiny, fluffy puppy, wrapped his quilt around his shoulders and danced around, the traditional ‘my team’s scored a goal’ dance. Whether young or teenaged, we were moved by the many expressions of pleasure and happiness brought by their new quilts, to be kept forever.
The children pictured here were happy to be photographed, but we took few photographs at the village. We felt privileged to be meeting them in the private surroundings of their family home and took the decision to prioritise their privacy over our wish for images. Thank you to Rodica, the mothers and all of the children, it was a delight to meet all of you.
Partnering with SOS Children’s Villages has been a brilliant experience. They are a fantastic charity at the forefront of supporting children in need around the world. Their work over the past 67 years has focused on caring for orphaned and abandoned children, and children whose parents can no longer care for them. They also work in communities to support families at risk of breaking apart. Creating a stable, loving environment for a child is their priority, so that they flourish and reach their full potential; we were very lucky to see this in action during our trip.
I always struggle to find original presents for the men in my life so I decided that this year, I would make sets of rainbow Liberty hankies for them. This is a really easy project to whip up just before the festive season and is great for using up left over fabric from other projects.
I used up lots of Liberty pieces of fabric from other projects and then used a few extra fabrics from the studio to complete the colours in the rainbow. I’ve made these hankies for the men so have tried to use prints I thought they would like. I’ve snuck a few girly florals in there too – I think you can get away with it for hankies don’t you think?
I’ve used the following fabrics for my rainbow Liberty hankies:
I’m launching the Alice Caroline Advent today with this lovely Liberty Christmas Baubles project. Visit my Liberty advent section every day to find brilliant gift ideas and Christmas crafting projects. I want to share my love of Liberty with you this festive season.
December 1st: Liberty Christmas Baubles
I have shared these wonderful Liberty Christmas baubles with you before, but know that you go slightly crazy for them each year so I thought I would remind you of this really cute and easy Christmas crafting project. They are such fun and really easy to make so it’s a project for anyone. Take yourself away from any stresses of Christmas preparation to make something really beautiful for your Christmas tree. It’s a great project to do with any little people in your lives – my children had loads of fun making these last year.
I love dreaming up new ideas of what to do next with my vast stash of Liberty fabrics. Christmas is such a busy time that it’s quite refreshing to take some time out and do something I love – making pretty things out of Liberty fabric. I made them in Christmassy greens and reds but they would look amazing in multi colours or a colour to suit your Christmas colour scheme
Here’s a reminder of how to make your Liberty Christmas Baubles:
Step 1: Get hold of old baubles (by delving into your storage space!) or buy new ones from any crafting shop, buy some PVA glue and get some Liberty scraps here
Step 2: Cut the fabric scraps into small pieces (the right size depends on the size of your bauble) – random shapes is fine.
Step 3: Glue the cut pieces of fabric onto the bauble making sure you use lots of glue. It’s fine to cover over the top of the fabric with glue as it dries clear. Cover the whole bauble with the different fabrics.
Step 4: Let them dry overnight and then hang up at Christmas time to decorate your home.
So, today I have a whole load of perfect Christmas present for you. My Alice Caroline range of accessories gives a whole load of ideas of things to buy loved ones this Christmas.
The Wiltshire Liberty range you can see above is really beautiful and is a very classic Liberty print. Many of you Liberty lovers will recognise this as a well-known Liberty fabric which makes it a perfect choice this Christmas.
I have lots of contemporary patterns in the collection too – you can see the full colours and patterns below.
I have been perfecting this range over the last 12 months and am so happy with the accessory range. I am using lots of the products myself – Misti Hot Pink is my personal favourite pattern but I do really love them all.
I have also just brought out a brand new range for men! Hurrah – it’s the end of not being able to find a decent wash bag for the men in your lives.
Aubrey Croft is my new range of wash bags for men. Smart and practical, the collection harks back to a time of classical British elegance. The range includes both classic and contemporary Liberty designs, a selection curated from some of our top-selling Liberty fabric prints.
All of my men’s products are made in the UK from Liberty Tana Lawn fabrics with a matt finish water proof coating.
Shop the men’s perfect Christmas present range here.
I really hope this helps with at least some of your Christmas present shopping – it’s a very long but fun job in my house.
Anna in the studio has made this dreamy cot quilt from the Garden of Dreams Collection. It’s for baby Fen – the most adorable baby I’ve seen in a long time. Fen loves the quilt and plays and rolls around on it in the daytime and snuggles underneath at night.
The Garden of Dreams collection is perfect for quilt making and perfect for cot quilts too. The combination of small florals and bold designs make it bright and sensory to capture the attention of little people.
Dreamy cot quilt fabrics used:
Anna has used a selection of the Garden of Dreams fabrics for the front of the quilt and it is backed in Flowers A
This beautiful collection is based around the poems in Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘A Child’s Garden of Versus’ and was designed specially for childrenswear. There are gorgeous flowers and patterns that capture your childhood memories in Liberty designs. As it was designed for childrenswear it is absolutely perfect for a baby quilt.
The front is based on squares and there are 48 in total on the front of the quilt (6 squares by 8 squares)
It’s bound and backed in Flowers A which is really vibrant and fun. This is matched in the front of the quilt pattern by bringing contrasting fabrics in with this.
I hope you have been inspired to make something wonderful from the Garden of Dreams collection – whether it’s a cot quilt or something inspired by one of these beautiful prints.
The finished quilt is really lovely and am sure will make baby Fen very happy for years to come. A quilt like this makes an heirloom for years to come and knowing that it’s made from Liberty fabric is a wonderful thing.
I am excited to announce that we are holding another one of our really popular Liberty Remnant Sale days this November. It’s on Saturday 19th November 2016 starting online at 9am and in store 10am – 4pm. Hurray – there will be lots of Liberty bargains on offer!
I have loved seeing you at our sale days in the past and it’s so great to meet you. I love to hear about all of the wonderful sewing projects you have on the go. I have delved deep into my huge stores of Liberty fabric to bring you another new massive selection for this sale day. Come along to grab yourself some big Liberty bargains.
Fabric prices for the Liberty Remnant Sale are:
Tana Lawn – will be priced at £11 per metre – which is around 50% discounted off the original Liberty price.
Silks – will be £16.50 – 66% discounted off the original price.
Please come and see us – my studio is based in Gloucestershire (address below) opposite the Yew Tree pub in Conderton. If you can’t make a visit to the studio then visit my website on the day where there will be a separate online sale.
Hope to see you there! Love Alice x
Studio address: Alice Caroline, Darkes Barn East, Conderton, Tewkesbury, Glos, GL20 5PP, UK
After a long anticipated wait, finally, the official release date for the collection is here. This means that we can finally sell this stunning collection to you. Thank you for waiting!
I love this Liberty collection so much – it’s a collection of original Liberty designs for childrenswear based on the poems of Robert Louis Stevenson in ‘A Child’s Garden of Verses’.
Written in 1885, ‘A Child’s Garden of Verses’ gives a wonderful insight into the minds and lives of children, and this simply beautiful collection captures all of your childhood memories using Liberty designs created specially for childrenswear. The collection is based around the magical world of a child and their thoughts and dreams – a magical world beneath the flowers and leaves, where tiny creatures played hide and seek and ate miniature picnics atop toadstools with bluebirds that brought strawberries to the feast.
I have been so excited about this wonderful collection for such a long time now. It’s simply beautiful and has lovely links to the poems of Robert Louis Stevenson. I remember reading the series of beautiful children’s poetry when I was a child and it’s the perfect inspiration for a childrenwear collection. The fabrics really take you back in time and have such a cute retro feel to them. I can’t wait to make children’s clothes and quilts from the gorgeous fabrics. I’ve also created some lovely fat quarter packs from the collection.
You can buy the Liberty Collection Garden of Dreams fabrics here.
Sorry to mention the ‘C’ word everyone but I wanted to give you some ideas for a Liberty Christmas! I know, I know, it’s only October but I do like to plan ahead especially when it comes to making lovely Liberty Christmas things! Planning for Christmas is my favourite time of the year and so I thought I would share some of my designs with you.
So here they are – my Liberty Christmas range of things to make for the home. Some of these are from last year but there are some brand new Christmassy things to make including a great Christmas Cushion, and my personal favourite a lovelyLiberty Stocking.
This stocking kit is really pretty and has such wonderful Christmas colours. You get everything you need in this kit to make this lovely Liberty stocking. It’s a great little patchwork project and is one you can give to a friend or family member for them to hang out for Santa.
Here’s my kit to make two Christmas Cushions also in the lovely Liberty Christmas colours of the stocking. Brighten any room during the festive season with these stunning cushions.
The Liberty Christmas Table:
I’ve designed a Liberty Placemat too which will make a lovely centrepiece for the Christmas table. You get enough fabric to make two placemats in the kit. You can choose to place the Liberty stars anywhere you wish depending on the look you would like.