Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Santa did a whoopsie!

When I saw Barbs card on Haunted Design House using Elfin Miller I wanted to do something similar and asked if I could use her idea, she kindly said yes :)

So here he is....
Once again I tried many different colours before settling on my fav.

The pants arent on the original digi image but with a bit of reworking I printed a few I'd found on clipart and stuck them on.
Underneath it says..
"Well I was ACTUALLY thinking of Santas List
when I said I wanted to make a good mark"
(written by Barb's friend, Beverly)

Underneath some others it says
"well I dont THINK its coal hes left this year"
Yes, I know, its devoid of all apostrophes etc but thats because they dont look right with the font I was using.

Now all I have to do is write the ones I need to hand deliver :)
How are you guys getting on with your christmas cards, do you send any?

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Pink & Green Christmas Cards

When I saw Simply Betty Stamp's Emo Christmas digi stamps I felt inspired, even more so after seeing Barbs card on Haunted Design House. I just couldnt get the pink and green out of my head.

I tried a variety of skin tones, colouring techniques and even sizes.
before settling on my favourite...
Can you see whats on her headband? Its the skull & holly that inspired me to make my own holly & the ......skull hairclips HERE.

The skulls in the tree also gave me the idea to make my own which you can find at the bottom of THIS blogpost.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Holly & the .... skull!

I gave Carmen a sneak peak at one of my Christmas cards, and began whittling onto her how the digital stamp I'd used was inspiring me to make a certain type of hair clip - the girl on the digi stamp was wearing a head band decorated with them, I shall show you these cards tomorrow, I just want to give them a chance to reach their new owners first
Carmen loved the idea and said once done she'd like to buy one off me ... so I decided to make her 2 as a christmas pressie instead.
Holly but instead of berries theres a skull! These are attached to simple black hairclips.

I made myself a larger one to attach to an alice band.
I'm loving finding ways to get skulls into Christmas :)

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Modern Vintage Pearl Bracelet

So a few pressies are filtering through the postal system and are finding their way to their owners ... one of which found its way to my polar opposite Kate from Liberty Cottage. If Kate & I were in a super hero movie we'd definately be arch enemies, thats how different we are, but we're not in a movie so we get on great instead :)

Kate mentioned on her blog a few weeks ago she liked this pearl bracelet, having learnt she likes these kind of bracelets I decided to make her one of the ones I make.
The flower is actually a brooch so can be worn with the bracelet or removed. The bracelets can then be worn as 1, 2 or all 3. Kat could even tie a ribbon aound them and into a bow as is the fashion at the moment.
The brooch was formed by a piece of lace sewn onto a circular piece of material and 3 "pearls" added. I added a brooch pin to the back to complete it. It easily goes over the 3 bracelets.

I love making pieces that people can easily change the look of to go with the style they are wearing and I think this bracelet does it quite well :)

Saturday, 18 December 2010

A Sticky Wreath

I dried out some sticks I'd collected and used them to create an egg shape (I was going for circular but it just wasn't working) which was to be the base of a wreath. I added some smaller twigs I'd received with some "rustic" decorations (they were tied in bundles to hang on the tree **shrugs**) around the wreath, and then attached 5 cinnamon sticks to the bottom to act as a framework to attach other bits and bobs. I then sorted through my other natural(ish) looking decorations and after finding positions for them that I found visually pleasing I attached them with the glue gun.

I attached a piece of twine to hang it by but found it lacked something so added a pinecone to the top and hung a rustic wooden christmas tree from it  :) It just kind of balanced it off a bit more  and gave my eyes something to focus on.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Matching a new colour theme.

Previously my hallway way decorated for Christmas using the colours silver and blue to match my denim curtains, as the colours in my hallway have altered I wanted to alter the christmas colours as well.... to classical red & green.

Last year I made this card wreath
This year I took it down to its bare ring and then turned it into this....
Much more in keeping with my christmassy theme :)

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Altering Baubles

At this time of year I am rather busy, and the kids are rather excited so just before December, on one day that the kids were being particularly annoying lively I decided to get my spare baubles out for them to play.

It was a lot of gluey, glittery....
....good fun
They happily decorated their own trees with these on December 1st.

I even had a play later using papercrafts sticky back velvety roll.

Yes, skulls have even made it onto my christmas tree, YAY!!

I know Nicky from Creative Flourishes has done similar on her baubles to make characters, and v.posh looking baubles.

Have you tried altering any baubles?

Royal Mail has a Black Hole for Blog Prizes....

....obviously I cant prove this but its the way things look.

I have been lucky enough to win a few blog prizes over the past couple of years but I would say only 25% arrive. Other parcels arrive fine so why not ones I've won on blogs? I'm sure we'd all come up with similar theories. I feel a bit embarrassed contacting the blogs about this & response ranges from being ignored to, "I'll see if I can send another" (which ""surprisingly"" never arrives also). Maybe I should start naming & shaming but then I would feel like I was being mean and doing something wrong. I cant help getting excited when I win something but have learnt to wrap it up in a pretty little box with a bow until the prize arrives. Never count your prizes until they've hatched arrived.

To end on a happier note, here is a prize I recently won from I Speak Melsh
The book Mel made herself, as well as the card and embellishment.
The vintage papers are gorgeous and I now really want to get some in 12x12 to use in scrapping.
As for the chocolate, nom nom nom, I made them last all day :)

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Elderflower Champagne

Another addition to my hampers is Elderflower Champagne
4 litres hot water
700g sugar
Juice and zest of four lemons
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
About 15 blooming elderflower heads (I freeze mine to kill bugs as well as to store for making later)
A pinch of dried yeast

Put the hot water and sugar into a large container (I used a bucket from poundland) and stir until the sugar dissolves, then top up with cold water so you have 6 litres of liquid in total.

Add the lemon juice and zest, the vinegar and the flower heads and stir gently.

Cover with something like a clean cloth/tea towel and leave to ferment in a cool, airy place for a couple of days. Take a look at the brew at this point, and if it’s not becoming a little foamy and obviously beginning to ferment, add a pinch of yeast.

Leave the mixture to ferment, again covered with cloth, for a further four days. Strain the liquid through a sieve lined with muslin and pour into sterilised plastic bottles (a good deal of pressure can build up inside as the fermenting brew produces carbon dioxide, so plastic bottles previously used for fizzy drinks are essential).

Seal and leave to ferment in the bottles for at least a week before serving, chilled. The champagne should keep in the bottles for several months. Store in a cool, dry place.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Raspberry Vinegar

I grew up being given watered down Raspberry Vinegar when ever I had a bad cough - it cut through the phlegm, and left a warmth that I now tie in with being comfortable & cozy on a dark winters night.
My nan always would make my Mom a bottle for the family and as the one who suffered the most with bad coughs I probably had most of it.

Since my nan died over 5 years ago I havent had any so I decided to use her recipe this year to make my own and not only use it myself but include it in the hampers I'm making for my brothers families.

To each pound (lb) of  raspberries add 1pint of malt or wine vinegar and allow to stand for 4 days.
I used frozen raspberries but fresh ones give a much stronger flavour.
Strain through a fine sieve (do not press the fruit)

To each pint of strained vinegar add 4-5 oz of sugar.
Simmer for 10mins.
Allow to cool and bottle in sterilised bottles

You may recognise 2 of my bottles as being from a well known brand that I drink way too much of, to make them a bit more christmassy I cut red foiled paper into a circle and then placed over the bottle top, securing with an elastic band and finishing off with a bow of green rafia.

I have recently found out that raspberry vinegar is delicious as a dressing for salad, over vanilla ice cream, and also combined with oil and poured over carrots before roasting them.
To use as a cough drink dilute like you would cordial - not advised if you have a stomach ulcer.

I've frozen the pickled, left over fruit until I've worked out what I can do with it, its a pickled raspberry mush ... anyone any ideas?

Thursday, 25 November 2010

The Snowman Jigsaw Blocks

When I was little my brother and I had a set of building blocks that when fitted together formed different pictures. I decided to make a similar item for Kai for Christmas.
I took 6 old building blocks and sanded them
I then painted the edges white just to ensure no colour peeped through when all was done.
I had a set of snowman papers that I cut each one to the size of the 6 cubes combined, & then each one into 6 to fit onto each cube.
I covered a side of a cube with pva glue and then stuck one of the pieces of paper on.
I repeated this with the same picture on the other 5 blocks.
I did this with the other 5 pictures and then covered them with glossy accents to seal them and hopefully prevent the paper from peeling or being knocked about so easily.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Twinks infamous hobnob recipe

After their rave reviews I've kept meaning to make Twinks hobnobs and finally got round to it.

I made them up as directed and then split the mix in half so I could add choc chips to half the batch.
They cooked wonderfully and my only mistake was not pressing them down a little bit more as I thought they'd spread slightly more.

The whole family enjoyed them, and this huge batch only lasted about 3 days :-O
Next time I shall try melting chocolate and coating the tops of them after they've cooked and cooled so they'll be like chocolate hob nobs, mmmmmm.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Drizzle cakes

The lovely Moor Mummy mentioned on twitter that she had made cupcakes & was going to drizzle vanilla syrup she'd made over them. Now I'd heard of doing it with Lemon but never anything else, it had never dawned on me that I might try other flavours!!! So after discussing techniques with her I thought I'd give it a go.

I made plain & simple "weight of an egg" cupcakes. While they were cooking I melted some sugar with a tiny bit of water and vanilla flavouring. When fully melted I put the "syrup" into a jug and placed in the fridge until the cakes had cooled.  I pricked the cakes and poured over the syrup

It soaked in lovely, leaving a glossy top, almost as if I'd finished them off with glossy accents (I'm not QUITE that addicted to the stuff ..... yet). It left the cakes moist & rather vanillary-delicious.

I shall be making more of these cakes & playing with other flavours .... do you make any of these syrups? Which ones do you recommend to make, & which ones to avoid?

Friday, 12 November 2010

Nappy Cakes

Last Christmas I made my niece & nephew a 2 tier nappy cake each....

I thought they were perfect for babies who dont really understand Christmas, and dont need many presents.
I filled it with lotions, potions, nappy sacks, photo frame & a teething toy. These were surrounded by a layer of nappies, held together by elastic bands, and then a baby hooded towel around those. Finally a ribbon tied round completed the bottom layer.
The second layer was a solid layer of nappies tied up with a ribbon and bow.
The "decoration" on top was a pair of snowman booties.
To give it a professional look I wrapped the entire thing in cellophane

There are lots of tutorials online for making nappy cakes, or even nappy trikes!! They are a little fiddly but if you dont fancy making them there are also plenty of people who sell them online to order as well such as..
Tiers for Rears & Butterfly Meadow


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