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Monday, 30 December 2013

Christmas Craft and Farewell to 2013

With only a matter of hours left until 2014 joins us I thought I better get a wriggle on with sharing my Christmas Crafts. 

Christmas has passed and most people are probably wondering if now is too early to take their tree down. Not me, I believe in the 12 days of Christmas and I'm clinging on to that Christmas feeling, unlike the shops who have already rid the shelves of the yummy festive nibbles and treats! 

Here is what I managed to get up to in the run up to Christmas. Not as much as I would have liked, but there is always next year and I have loads more ideas on the horizon!

Maple and Pecan Cupcakes

My first soirĂ©e in the kitchen involved cupcakes. I made these for a charity bake off at work. Quite challenging for me, I even made my own sugar shards. 


Advent Calendar

This year I was keen to make my own advent calendar with different themed pouches to put presents in. Both David and I bought 12 presents each, wrapped them in tissue and popped them in one of the felt pouches. I'm pretty chuffed with the result, so cute! It did take me most of December to finish though!! 

Homemade Mulled Cider

Nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, oranges, satsumas, pomegranates and of course 2 litres of good quality cider. Yum!  

Dried Fruit Wreath

Here is my first attempt at making a homemade dried fruit wreath. Unfortunately I burnt some of the fruit so the wreath is mini....better luck next year!!
Grapefruit, oranges, apples, limes and lemons were all dried out and then cinnamon sticks added in later. 

The Decoration of the Tree

I love putting the tree up and having a look at all my decorations. This year I got some Scandinavian decorations and some Norwegian flags to hang on my tree. We always had Norwegian flags on the Christmas tree when I was growing up so it's nice to carry on with the tradition. The toadstools I crocheted also made it up this year as well as the fabric heart decorations from last year.

Homemade Christmas Gift

This year I decided to try and make something new, I found the idea of using frosted glass spray in Homemaker magazine and thought it would look fantastic on a candle holder.

I pinned lace onto the jar and sprayed the frosting spray over the whole jar. Any part of the jar covered remained transparent. It worked well and you can see the lace pattern, looks even better with some flickering candles inside. A fantastic present idea! 

Norwegian Meets British Christmas

Another tradition my family always had was we would have a typically Norwegian Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve followed by the traditional British Christmas dinner on the 25th. Over the last few years I have begun to carry this tradition on if I'm not spending Christmas with my mum. 

I do a combination of the two meals on Christmas Eve as we usually go elsewhere on Christmas Day. Fillet of pork and surkal (Norwegian sweet and sour cabbage) is served along with the British classics such as stuffing and pigs in blankets. Delicious!!

That's all for 2013! Happy New Year to all of you and best wishes for 2014! Here is to some more crafty makes....keep those eyes peeled. 


Sunday, 13 October 2013

Ready...Steady...Get Your Christmas Craft On

It's getting chilly outside, the nights are drawing in and the skies are full of honking geese flying south, that can only mean one thing, summer is gone and winter is looming.

With winter comes Christmas!! Now I know it's only mid October so there is still loads of time, but I don't know if its the weather making me want to get cosy but I'm starting to feel a bit of a glow and excitement for Christmas.

This year I want to make more of an effort, with decorations, cooking and creating all those little things that make a house feel more like a homely Christmas. I am officially declaring 2013 as my homemade Christmas and I'm so excited about it.

So where better to start than the humble Christmas tree decoration, even better as they are relatively quick and help get you in the spirit of Christmas....not that I think I need it.

Getting your tree and decorating your house is one of the most exciting parts in the run up to Christmas, who else feels depressed at how empty their house looks and feels come the 5th of January?! 

Thanks to a bit of surfing on Pinterest and Ravelry I found my first make. A cute little toadstool crochet pattern. I'm not quite sure how relevant toadstools are to Christmas but it is super cute. 

I was lucky enough to get the pattern free from Ravelry - from Drops Design, Garn Studio.

Those of you who read my blog know I'm no crochet queen but I am getting better. I admit my first toadstool looks rather questionable but I'm pretty happy with the second one! 

See for yourself....

                Top of Toadstool #1

           Toadstool #1 - a bit of a fatty
Toadstool # 2 - looking more promising

             Toadstool #2 - finished

Toadstool #2 - now that's more like it! 

                     Double trouble! 

But this is just the beginning!! My brain is bursting with lots of Christmas make projects. Keep tuned to find out what else I have up my tinsel covered sleeves! Speak soon :) 

Friday, 30 August 2013

Day 30 - And That's It Folks

Here we are Day 30 - The end of the 30 day blog challenge. I've come out the other side and managed to produce all but one post. Ok so I didn't necessarily blog everyday but I still got there in the end. Going from a couple posts a month to a post everyday is quite a change and quite a challenge! It is tough to produce interesting content and not just blog for the sake of blogging. 

So what haven't a learnt? Well that I can produce blog posts regularly, I just have to make time. Planning posts is also a key to succeeding. My blog acts as a catalyst for me in terms of my creating, it ensures I keep going and find inspiration. So maybe I need to do my blog more for me rather than for the few readers I've picked up along the way?

For those of you out there that do keep up with my blog posts you can expect to see some more regular postings, at least weekly!

So here is to my future posts, cheers and see you soon! 

Day 28 - Some Interesting Storage Ideas

As part of my house revamp I'm trying to consider some interesting and clever storage ideas. We don't have room for anymore actual pieces of furniture but I'm sure there are better ways that we can utilise space for storage.

Here are some clever ideas I found on Pinterest which have got my brain in ticking mode!

Now to have a look through the contents of the shed to see what I can rustle up!! 

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Day 27 - Putting My Stamp On Everyday Items

A few months ago you may remember I showed you all the stamp mirror I had made for my living room. I've not written a post specifically about it so thought this was the perfect opportunity. 

It all started with a bunch of stamps, some glue and a plain photo frame. A friend of mine, Jennifer came over one Saturday to make some stuff and I suggested covering things in stamps as I'd been wanting to try it for a while. 

The photo frame, took me ages!

The photo frame in detail

Jennifer and her photo frame

The box, not quite finished

The mirror begins.....

The mirror finished

The mirror in detail 

I have to say its a really effective technique. I'm thinking I might create a marine/sea themed stamp covered mirror for the bathroom...cue the PVA glue....

Monday, 26 August 2013

Day 26 - Crochet Part 5 - Crochet Picture Frame

My next crochet project (even though I'm still working on the previous ones) is a crochet picture frame. I saw this in my latest copy of Simply Crochet magazine
and thought it was a pretty cool idea.

Simply crochet magazine

Keen on the crochet frame idea I decided to have a look on Pinterest to see what others have also created too.

Here is the early stages of my attempt at the crochet picture frame. I'll keep you updated as the project progresses!

The template in the magazine and the template cut out of thin card. I've used a cereal packet.

Double crochet around the cardboard template. 

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Day 25 - The Gardening Seems To Be Working

For those of you who read Day 1 of the blog challenge you will have seen that I started to grow some windowsill herbs which consisted of basil, chives and parsley from the seed. This was from a kit I picked up in B&Q. You can have a quick recap here:


Here is how the herbs looked 24 days ago:

I also planted some beetroot, cress and pansies at the same time. The cress has since all been eaten but the beetroot and pansies are coming on well and will get planted out soon. 

Here is how the herbs looked before I potted them up earlier today. 

Basil and parsley

The herbs today! 

Here are the beetroot and pansies:


The pansies
Here are my herbs all planted up in their own pots:

The grown up herb family 

Looking good!

Growing tall!