Category: Christmas

Crafty Christmas Presents

p1040208Just a few crafty bits and bobs I got for Christmas. A new copy of Selvedge magazine which is stupidly expensive, but has pretty pictures and articles on artisanal* crafty things.  A book of 20 different fabric flowers for me to try making, and some pretty silver tape. Continue reading “Crafty Christmas Presents”

Felt Christmas Decorations

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I made some felt birthday decorations for boyfriend’s birthday and did the same thing again for Christmas.  I made a garland/banner with felt letters that spelt out Happy Christmas, and stuffed the letters with toy stuffing.  I made the letters smaller than the ones I did for the birthday banner but this made them fiddlier, especially for the stuffing.  So next time I’ll make them bigger, and they’ll have more impact that way too. Also I might use a template for the ‘S’ because they came out a bit wiggly!

Below are some from a few years ago which I’m pretty proud of. I think they look pretty cute, I did a gingerbread house, a present, a Christmas tree, and a gingerbread man.  Then I strung them onto sparkly ribbon.

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Merry Christmas

It seems like every year Christmas Day is my schedule post day so I can bid you festive salutations.

Of course if you don’t celebrate Christmas then just close you eyes and randomly press keys on your keyboard until this Christmas message goes away.

I wanted to muse on Scrooge.  Scrooge, as you may recall, is the protagonist of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.  I’ve read and enjoyed the book a few times. If you haven’t read the book you can see anyone of about 7,000 films and TV programmes.  The Muppet’s Christmas Carol, Scrooged with Bill Murray, and A Christmas Carol from 1984 with George C Scott are some of the best.

You probably know the story of rich misanthrope Ebeneezer Scrooge who is visited by three spirits (actually 4 but who’s counting).  He’s shown his past with his cold and distant father, the present with the ill Tiny Tim, and the future where he dies and is consigned to Hell. Through this visitation he is transformed into a kind and generous man full of Christmas Spirit.

The key message should be that Christmas Spirit is generosity to your fellow man (or woman).  And that it’s never too late to change. Scrooge’s transformation is celebrated by the fair old city of London,

He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew

And yet we continue to use the name Scrooge as a derogatory name for people who fail to be sufficiently joyous at Christmas time (so from about Sept until halfway through January). Why don’t we use the name Scrooge to describe the man he became rather than the man he was? I guess because Dickens spent so long convincing us that he was a big ole meany, and once he’s changed the story kinda just stops.  Still just something to ponder on.

Also why do we put pressure on people to be jolly during, what can be, a difficult, tiring, stressful time of year? I’ve done it, and I’ll do it in the future I’m sure.  I get very annoyed at people complaining about Christmas shopping, people who start they’re Christmas shopping on December 18th or something, people that complain about how busy the shops are on a Saturday afternoon in December, people who complain because they hate Christmas and all the people they have to shop for. The same people that mocked me and my spreadsheet back in October.  Don’t blame the season for your lack of planning!

But still the true spirit of season is not shopping, presents, or Christmas jumpers but generosity to our fellow men and women (and everyone else) and sometimes that means if they don’t want to wear a Santa hat then don’t make them!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Mosaic Candle Holder

Mosaic Candle Holders

Mosaic Candle Holder Crafty CreativeI got a mosaic kit from my Crafty Creative subscription box last week which came with mosaic tiles and three glass candle holders (and the adhesive and tweezers).  It was a really easy project, all you needed to do was add a blob of the adhesive to the candle holder and then place a mosaic tile on the glue.  It took a few hours for the glue to dry so I left them overnight and they turned our pretty good!  My rows aren’t the neatest but it was quite easy to knock them out of position when the glue was still wet.

CollagesmosaicMosaic Candle Holders Crafty Creative

Ginger Biscuits

How To Make Christmas Ginger Biscuits (Moose Shaped)

Ginger Biscuits1A long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away) I bought a moose cookie cutter and have finally got around to using it!  It came with a Swedish recipe for ginger biscuits so I though I’d give it a bash.  I had to change the recipe though as it called for cardamom which the shop didn’t have, and I used half plain white flour and half rice flour (yes that is a thing) because I didn’t have enough plain flour.

These are the ingredients I used:Ginger Biscuits

  • 1 lb Flour (mixed plain white and rice)
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 12 oz butter
  • 14 oz sugar
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  1. Beat the butter and cream in the sugar.Ginger Biscuits
  2. Add all the dry ingredients (apart from the flour) and mix.
  3. Add the water, syrup, and the flour and mix into dough (mine was a bit too runny so I had to add more flour).
  4. Leave the dough for 24 hrs to rest, I wrapped in cling film and put it in the cupboard.
  5. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius and butter and flour a baking tray.
  6. Rolled pretty thin and use the cutter to cut out the biscuits.
  7. Cook in the oven for about 5 mins (keep checking though)!

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Chocolate Truffles

How To Make Chocolate Truffles

Truffles are delicious and easy, a good one if you want to make some party food for the festive season.  Making the truffles is pretty quick but this recipe does call for you to refrigerate them for a few hours (I left mine overnight) so you might want to start the day before you need them.

  • 150g Dark Chocolate
  • 150ml Double Cream
  • 25g Butter/Margarine
  • Oil based (not water based) flavourings such as orange or vanilla extract, liqueurs etc.
  • Toppings such crushed nuts, icing sugar, or cocoa powder

Truffles

  1. Melt the chocolate by breaking it up into the smallest pieces and placing it in a bowl over a bowl of boiling water.  Once the chocolate has melted take it off the heat.
  2. Melt Truffles1the butter in another pan, add the cream until it reaches simmering point then pour over the chocolate.
  3. Mix the cream and chocolate until it’s smooth.  Then add any flavourings (split into separate bowls if you want to make batches of different types) and mix them in.
  4. Place mixture in the fridge and chill for at least 4 hours.
  5. Take out of the fridge and ball up, I just used a spoon and molded them with my hands.  Place the balls on grease proof paper.
  6. Roll the truffles in the toppings.Truffles
Felt Christmas Wreath

Christmas Wreath

Christmas Wreath

This is the felt Christmas Wreath I made for my mum.  I gave it to her for her birthday because if I waited until Christmas it would be too late to put it up!

First I made a paper template of a holly leaf and then I cut out the leaves in green felt, in total I cut out 48.  I then paired them up and sewed the pairs together, I filled them with toy stuffing and made 24 of the 3d leaves.

Christmas Wreath4

 

 

 

 

I then sewed 11 of them together in a rough circle, and another 11 inside as an inner circle.  I added the last two at the bottom because wreaths always seem to have a couple sticking out of the bottom like that.

I then added the bow.  I cut three strips of red felt and folded two into loops and attached them to the bottom of the wreath.  I folded the third red strip into an upside v shape and sewed this all in place on the wreath.

I’m pleased with it, even though it did come out kinda lopsided.

So anyone else been making Christmas decs?

Christmas Crackers

How To Make Christmas Crackers

You can get sets to make Christmas crackers but it’s actually pretty easy to make your own anyway.   This is what you need:

  • Cracker snaps (I bought them from Hobbycraft for 79p for 12)
  • Toilet toll tubes (Just hang around outside cubicles in public toilets waiting for people to finish)
  • Pretty paper (like wrapping paper)
  • Pretty ribbon
  • Elastic bands (2 for each cracker)
  • Tape or glue
  • Perforated rotary cutter (I bought a little one for a few pound but you could also use scissors)

And here is what you do:

Crackers

  1. Cut your paper to at least 28 x 15 cm and use the perforated rotary cutter to perforate across the paper around 5 cm in.  FYI this is how crackers work- you may have thought you were super strong last Christmas when you won all the cracker toys but really you just got lucky and pulled the perforated end,
  2. Place tube in the centre of the paper and insert the cracker snap through the tube.
  3. Tape or glue the ends of the cracker snap to the paper.
  4. Wrap the paper around the tube and tape or glue in place.
  5. Carefully place the elastic bands around the paper at the end of the tube, tie the ribbon around the elastic bands.   And done!

You can see a video of this tutorial here!

Christmas Crackers