Thursday, 31 December 2009

Goodbye 2009...

It's been a very good year...

...full of Love...

...and magic...

...and very good friends!

Thank you to everyone who made my year special! Everyone who supported my little shops, sent stamps and left lovely comments, you all made my year...

Hope you all have wonderful evenings and 2010 brings you all the love and magic you wish for!
Love and Hugs

Saturday, 26 December 2009

'Twas the night after Christmas

Hope everyone had a very merry Christmas and is enjoying an equally merry lazy holiday weekend.

Love, hugs and Christmas Wishes

Monday, 21 December 2009

You have to make these!

Homemade marshmallows are the scrummiest!

They are hands down tastier and meltier than ones from packets and they are just the best!

I was half expecting to have to come back and say 'We shall not talk about the marshmallows...' It usually takes me a couple of tries to get the thing I was supposed to end up with, but these really worked first time. I now think everyone should go and make them... you have to!

I used this recipe, which is for 12 larger marshmallows which is insanely large sized as I managed to get 50+ regular sized pieces (though I did use a longer oblong tray as well). Plenty enough to fill a sugar jar and create a Marshmallow mountain...

...which I must say from looking at these pictures has quickly become a marshmallow mole hill!

hmmm... I'm sure I only had a couple :)


Sunday, 20 December 2009

Snow and Pie Puffs

It's been all Christmassy and we have had a good layer of white stuff fall...

 I didn't think to take a pic until the thaw had really began and I didn't feel like venturing to the deeper snow to get a really good one today... its so cold outside! Instead there's the garden and all the footprints of the birds, squirrels and my little dog, who has been having a marvellous time decorating his ears with snowballs. As it hasn't been safe for me to take my tiny car out, I have been hidden away. Which isn't too bad as I finished my gifts as the snow came and all my parcels are sent so I can do some homely Xmas things... decorate the fireplace while watching movies and fill the house with Christmas cooking. Once I post this I'm making snowy cupcakes, white chocolate and coconut with little deer on the top , and later I'm going to try to make marshmallows! I love marshmallows with hot chocolate and I've heard homemade ones are the best so I had to see for myself. I'll probably drink hot chocolate while nibbling on these little mince pie puffs I make every year.

They are much lighter than mince pies, almost bitesize... two or three bites at the most and so easy to make. I first made them years ago when I wanted to bake mince pies but didn't have the proper ingredients and was feeling too lazy to go to the shop to get them so I used what was to hand with happen to be ready roll puff pastry and mixed dried fruit. I've tweaked it and now I make them like this:

In a bowl I place all the dried fruit I have about. Whatever you like really... this year it was a bag of raisins, a packet of dried cranberries, a tub of mixed peel and some chopped glace cherries... I love putting red and yellow fruits in as it makes it looks festive. I put in a couple of good big tablespoons of sugar and a couple of teaspoons of mixed Xmas spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc) to just coat all the fruit before half a cup of orange juice and a good swig of brandy. I leave the fruit to soak up all the juice and just keep added juice, brandy or spice if I think it needs it. Once the fruit is plump and juicy with a tiny bit of syrup at the bottom of the bowl and it smells like Xmas, its ready.

I then take a packet of puff pastry and roll it out (I do it in two halves rather than the whole pack) Cut into smallish squares and make tiny slits like in the pic to make a lattice pattern. I can make 16 from half a packet.

In the centre of each square, I put a heaped teaspoon of the fruit and then bring the corners of the pastry together and squeeze to close into a parcel. Place cut side up on a baking tray and brush with egg and sprinkle with sugar before baking in a hot oven for 10-15 mins until the pastry is cooked.

Eat at least two before calling others to say they are ready :)


I'm sure this isn't my idea but I've never used a recipe for it so I thought I'd share. I can't really tell you about any of the other things I've been making as they are all presents (and need to be secret for a little while longer) and I just love to share! Thank you so much for all the lovely comments about the Sweet Snowman tags. I had the sweetest message from Meninheira saying she had made them into this sweet garland and I hope everyone else is enjoying them too!


Monday, 14 December 2009

Make a Sweet Snowy Garland

I thought of something cute to do with the Sweet Snowman printables...

...there they are at the bottoms and tops...

...with snowflakes and hearts...

... as Sweet Snowy garlands!

Last Christmas I decorated the hall with a curtain of paper snowflakes. They were lovely and big and I planned to make more, and as I was sat with my Snowmen and ribbons and buttons and pens and paper and well, everything supply I could think of, I had this idea...

First I cut out my Sweet Snowman gift tags which I printed on plain old paper and then little hearts from red paper (they are 4cm (1.5") and I cut 10)...

...then with the plain old paper I cut some 11cm (4") sqaures and snipped them into pretty snowflakes. I think most people remember how to do this from school but in case you need a little nudge (I did!)

*Fold your square diagonally in half and then again and once more*
*Snip little bits out of the sides carefully*
*Play around until you have pretty paper snow*

I took my six Snowmen, 10 hearts and 8 snowflakes and lay them out on the floor in the order I would stitch them... snowman then heart, snowflake, heart... and a snowman on the bottom. You can put them however you think is prettiest and as long as you like but do put a snowman a the bottom of each...

Then I forgot to take a photo of them being stitched on the machine and of course you could sew them by hand. I'd use a long thread and stitch top and bottom of each piece with extras in the middle when needed...

*Pull a long thread tail through the foot (this will be your string to tie your garlands up later)
*With your first Snowman tag open, stitch through his back...
*Once the paper has gone through, keep tension on the thread and do a couple of stitches (this makes your gap)
*Sew through a heart...
*stitch a gap...
*Sew through a snowflake...
*stitch a gap...

*Once your last in the line of hearts and snowflakes is stitched, sew half way down the back of another open snowman.
*Fold the Snowmen and glue them closed. The double thickness and a bit of glue will act like a bit of weight and hold the garlands straighter... see there is a reason :)

Make as may as you like and hang them everywhere!
My snipping made 3 garlands which are now hung between the banisters of the stairs, but they look good hung together from the ceiling too...

If anymore does make a garland, I'd love to hear!

I'll be trying to make more to fill the stairs every time I settle in to a Xmas movie... I think I'll need a lot of movies!

Friday, 11 December 2009

Festive Freebie

As promised a little Xmas cheer for all to share...

Sweet Snowman Folded Gift Tags for you!

Just download and print the page from my Flickr here
I've been printing them on to thin white card and using them on my pressies and parcels but they would a look cute hanging on the Christmas tree (just add a blob of glue to stop them unfolding).
I'm also thinking they would make a fun garland so I'm off to play with paper, felt and ribbons to see if I can come up with a little project you could make this weekend.

I've been watching Kirstie's Homemade Christmas Home and it gotten me in such a festive crafty mood. I've been secretly stitching gifts all week and have began to gather yummy treats for baking. If you are sharing Christmassy goodies and projects or have found some fantastic ones about your travels through blogland, I love to hear about them :)


Monday, 7 December 2009

And the winner t'is...

I am saying "T'is" way too much and there quite incorrectly... there is some christmassy about it in a Dicken's kind way.  Just one last time, then I promise to be more carefully with them...

T'is time for the random picker to a lucky name for the Santa Sack goodies!

And the picker picked...

Comment number 3 which was...
Please email me your address and which Flatie and Pin you would like and I'll get them in the post in time to join you for Christmas

Thank you to everyone who joined in, its so much fun to hear where everyone is from and all your brilliant ideas for what to make with the fabric, I may have to stitch up a couple of things myself... after I work out a little Xmas 'gift' for everyone, of course! In a couple of days there will be a little something waiting for you here...

And speaking of projects, it been a while since I share how my stamp journal page is going and I feel a little bad about that as you were all so generous...

These are the very last of the Stamp pins as I now have plenty of stamps to fill my page Hoorah!
I can't say thank you enough for helping me out with this slightly loopy little project. I'm waiting for the perfect quiet day to sit and do something special with all your stamps as gluing them in willy nilly just doesn't seem right. It will be soon... in a moment of pre christmas calm and I'll share them straight away. I'm sure I won't be able to contain myself :)

I still have many Thank yous to say and pics to share before then like...

...These wonderful stamps from Patricia. They are bright and colourful and from so so so far away... Patricia was so kind to send them all the way from Argentina! I was absolutely gobsmacked to receive them! Thank you so much Patricia!!

Don't you just love how everyone is a neighbour in blogland?

Thursday, 3 December 2009

T'is the Season Giveaway!!

T'is indeed the time for a Chrismas Giveaway and here is a bunch of goodies for you...

A Mini Santa sack filled with:
Two Sweet Snowman Softie Baubles
Four Christmas cuties folded gift tags

A set of Snowbunny Notecards and printed bauble
and a fabric bundle tied in a bow...

The fabric bundle has twelve 7" squares of fabric including my gocco printed gingerbread sweethearts and a snowbunny, red and green felt, spots, checks, teddy tartan, heart, faux bois, stars, tiny trees and 2 metres of gingerbread lollipop ribbon (Theres a pic here if you fancy a closer look). All tied up with a metre each of white hearts and red ribbon.

...and finally a Flatie bauble and felt pin of your choice from the little shop!

If you would like this little sack of treats, leave a comment below... just a hello or something Xmassy or what you might do with the fabric, I'd love to hear your ideas!
I will pick a random name out late in the evening next Monday the 7th December. I'm happy to send it to anyone anywhere* so the more the merrier!

Lucky Wishes!

*I have been a little unlucky in my planning of this that I have missed the recommend Xmas post date for some part of the world - most places outside of Europe and North America I'm afraid. The parcel may arrive a little late for Christmas but I wouldn't want that to stop you from joining in :)

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

"We Tree Things,

Look good on gifts too..."

As much as I wish I could, I will not make a sing-a-long blog.
It is December and I am feeling very 'T'is the season' today... 'We Three Kings' is playing a merry loop in my head, my tea is in a santa mug and I have Christmas pud in the fridge. The pud is actually leftover from the fauxmas dinner I had on Sunday with my Grandparents who are going away for the real thing. I know the idea was to celebrate but I was a little bah humbug about it being November... What a difference 2 days can make!

Anyways, I have been planning a little Holiday offer for the little shops and today was photo day. What a difference your tips made! White sheets really bounce at bit more light in there (Thanks Emme!) and photoshop is a squillion times better than what I've been using (Thanks Flora!) I was having more problems with backgrounds for snowman so I grabbed the presents I'd wrapped this morning for the Boy to use as props and found the Flatie baubles and felt pins looked incredibly cute as tags for decorating gifts too!

In the little shops, you can now get Three Tree Baubles sets and Matching pin and baubles sets at special "T'is the season" prices...
And I've gotten rid of all my second item shipping cost, now you just pay shipping on the biggest item... Hurrah!
And I'm gift-wrapping everything! Just because I love this paper and I love my shoppers.

Merry December Everybody!