While I was busy the Sparrowhawk made a brief appearance before being seen off by a Magpie and the Robin kept me entertained by singing between mouthfuls of grubs.
Seeing him sitting in the Holly tree obviously made me start to think about Christmas in six weeks time. When I came inside I spent some time visiting craft sites and picking out some nice ideas. Now I hope you are sitting comfortably because this is going to take up your time!!
These great little finger puppets are wonderful to make with/for young kids. I think they would be a lovely surprise for inside a home-made Christmas cracker on the table too. The instructions can be found on Urban Comfort - I spent ages on this site as it is full of beautiful ideas for the home. The author, Suzonne Stirling, is a professional crafter whose work is featured in top magazines.
Another interesting site was Fave Crafts. These felt hearts are in the Valentine Day section - there isn't a Christmas section - there is a Jewish holiday section though. They look easy to make and I thought they could be used as gift tags on presents or sent instead of Christmas cards or, obviously, used to hang on the tree. I liked the country kitchen look of them!
This site doesn't look very inspiring but it's author is Robert Sabuda - he is a brilliant Pop- Up Book artist. A couple of years ago I spent hours cutting out body parts so a turkey popped out of the Xmas card. He had posted it in the Thanksgiving section. This one looks classy and pretty straight forward compared to the turkey. There's a snowman, a Santa and a snowflake too.
You may need to translate the text on Craft and Creativity - Google will do it for you at the push of a button! Would you prefer to get a present in a shop carrier bag or one that is beautifully wrapped? The delight of opening a huge bow and removing the coloured paper is part of pleasure. These covered gift boxes will turn the simplest trinket into a real treat. You can get quite cheap wooden boxes of all shapes and sizes from Boxy Lady.
'Peas' should be pronounced 'Peace' as these little pods are made from felted wool and designed for the front of a Christmas card with the message 'Peas on Earth. Good wool to all men!'. You can find the instructions at Betz White.
All Free Sewing has a wealth of ideas including an free ebook explaining how to make Christmas Ornaments.
As you would expect Martha Stewart has masses of ideas for Chritmas.
If you want ideas for hand-made gifts you will be spoilt for choice at Purl Bee
I have some rather clever friends and relatives who make Christmas cards every year: