Monday, 4 November 2013

Not all the best things come in small packages

Take elves. 

Pinterest is bursting with them and with my impending craft fair they seemed to provide the perfect opportunity for a middle aged woman to be let loose with some felt and a dolly peg. What could go wrong?

I was particularly taken by this lovely image here.

Oh joy. I sat at my little table and excitedly sorted out some colours.

Little grey trousers - check.

 A mulberry cape - check (yes it is a bit big but have you ever tried to cut a neckline for an elf?)
How about some green accessories? Mittens - check.

Oh yes it could have carried on in such a wonderfully whimsical way but sadly it was not to be. The first sign of the tinsel tide turning came with the hat. A nice pointy elf shaped hat. Let's try putting some ric rac on for a hangy thing.

Now let's try gluing it together.

Those of you who have ever been enthralled by the power of a hot glue gun will know that when it blobs on the end of your fingers there is little you can do but hop out of your chair and try and rub it off with your other fingers (all whilst merrily singing Jingle Bells in a rather cracked fashion). This then gives the hat freedom to purchase itself on either extremity whilst the hangy thing falls to the floor. Strangely I did not manage to record this episode for posterity.

At last a hat was put together that actually sat on top of the peg. It was way too big and slipped over his eyes but with some glue and a prayer it stuck - and it's staying stuck.

Now for the face.
Oh how I fretted.
Remember this?

Festive the Unfortunate

This little elf had to be right.
I practised on paper.

I practised on other pegs.

I used pencil, biro, fineliners.

I thought I'd cracked it - took a deep breath and, dot, line - dot, dot, line - dot, dot, line ...


If there was to be a festive version of the Joker this would be it.
Rather menacing I think.
If the hat hadn't been stuck on so blooming firmly I would have swapped it around and tried again on the other side - but it is most definitely stuck for good ...

So there he hangs - slightly too smiley - a cautionary tale to those who are too cavalier about their elves.

And as for the hare - he's in hiding!

Oh dear.



P.S. For those of you who might be taking part in Ladybird Diaries Christmas decoration swap don't worry - I won't be making an elf!


  1. Jane, I would be honoured to receive one of your elves, and I am hoping to be taking part in Marianne's swap, so if you get me, feel free to send me an elf! I expect that they are one of those things that the more you do the easier they get. Looks great to me. xx

  2. Love him, he likes eating liquorice...I've been making peg doll fairies with the same problem, tiny red dot for pout worked best...but not sure about pouting elves. xx

  3. I think your wee elf looks fab. Well done! :o)

  4. Oh Jane, you have me laughing aloud again! I did the Glue Gun Boogie over the weekend with my cross stitch hoop - and I always manage to have glue 'hairs', long strands of glue stringing off the end of a project. I hope you manage to sort out the elves' faces - perhaps a whimsical, mouthless face, just two wee dots for eyes? Call it artsy...and I would love one in the swap, or another Festive, he's priceless! Chrissie x

  5. He's a cutie and obviously very happy about something ... probably his new trousers ;) ... Bee xx

  6. HI Jane loved this post as it made me chuckle - I am incapable of getting a face right no matter how many times I try - did gingerbread men last year for the tree and they would have been much better suited to Halloween! Thanks for a great post Jane - would love to know where your fair is being held as I don't live a million miles from you. Big hugs Jane

  7. Love the little elves. Have a good week.
    Jacqui x

  8. Cute little elves, Jane! You had me smiling with the glue gun story too :) Have a great day! xoxox

  9. I LOVE elves! I just bought one this past weekend. Not sure if it's old or a remake of the old ones, but I have him out already! I think I will make some clothespin elves with my nieces. So cute.

    Cindy Bee
    Ps - found you through Bunny Mummy and picked you from her sidebar because of the elf picture!

  10. He's terrific Jane. I making leg dollies but haven't seen elves, well not until now that is. Yes I've most certainly had my fair share of glue gun jingles over the years it's a rather unique pain, that most certainly calls for lyrics quite different from the traditional song. Xoxo

  11. I love your little elf! He looks fab and anyone would be delighted to receive him in the swap!
    Marianne x

  12. So funny, as always. I think he came out cute! I haven't used a hot-glue gun in so long. I was always hurting myself with them, though. I am sure anyone would love to receive your little elf.

  13. They are cheeky, cheery and very Christmassy! :) x

  14. Oh Jane, I feel for you! I have a glue gun - somewhere. I just can't get on with it. And I like to keep textiles and glue firmly apart because I am pretty cack-handed - I know what the result would be! Your elves look just fine.

  15. Just found you, can't say anything... I was laughing so much. See one of your films is Mr Blandings, it's a favourite of mine also , especially the bit where she tells the decorators the exact shades she wants and the man just looks at the painter and says blue, yellow, green..

  16. He He ..... you gave me a good chuckle! that is so funny. Love it and love your Elf too!
    Ooooh those glue guns can me monsters to control!
    love jooles xxx

  17. I too struggle with creative things,they never turn out just so like other peoples things do.I blame Kirsty Allsop for glue guns,if it wasn't for her I wouldn't have got gluegun burn!! Your little elf is sweet and remember no elf is perfect and neither are we!TTFN Pam.

  18. I've never had a go with a glue gun, that treat still awaits me! I love the idea of making peg people. Your elf is so cute and he will always be part of your future christmasses.I might even have a go at making one myself!

  19. Ooh had a smile at two at these little chappies.. ) Great fun...x
    Thank you for your words on my 'uni' wish box post, you made us feel it is at least 'do' able...If you have the arty credentials
    Hugs and November blessing...Maria x....
    I have one of those sweet hares in my wish box too!
    LOVE them..x

  20. Jane - you're a no-reply blogger so I can't e-mail you with the answers to your questions on my blog. I've answered you over there but, in case you don't see it, I'll put the answers in here too. :o)

    Debbie charged £3 for a pair of pocket warmers. They measured 3" x 4" and were only filled with rice - no lavender. I don't know if that helps you decide on a price. She had some instructions on the label which said something like "As every microwave is different, it would be impossible to give accurate timings. We suggest you heat them in a microwave in 10 second intervals until they got to the desired temperature. Please be careful as the rice can get hot!"

    Hope that helps. :o)

  21. Oh he's precious! Hot glue guns are a nightmare. I get glue strings everywhere. xx

  22. Hi Jane

    I see that Marianne has paired us up for the christmas decoration swap, which gave me an excuse to come and see your lovely elves again! I'm not a no reply blogger, so if you want to e-mail me we can swap contact details if you like. I'm looking forward to swapping with you.

    Hope that you are having better luck with your glue gun. Amy xx

  23. Hello again Jane! Thank you for joining in the Christmas have been partnered with Amy from the blog Love Made My Home - more details and links etc on my blog. Happy swapping!
    Marianne xx

  24. I haven't burnt myself on a glue gun but I do get glue strings all over the shop!

  25. He's cute and I'd say well worth the effort. Here's a tip for you on the face (you know, for Amy's elf!). First paint the head with acrylic paint. That way the marker (or whatever you used) won't bleed into the wood. Thanks for the laugh today :D Wendy x


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