Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas Name Places

On Christmas Eve my family and I went for a walk in the local woods, and took along a couple of carrier bags to pick up any winter foliage that was loose or on the ground.

On Christmas Day (today!) i gathered bunches of green and brown branches, twigs and leaves and tied them together with garden string. The men of the family got holly berries on their plates, and the ladies had white flowers between the bunches.

I used a silver pen on black cards to write names, and then hot-glued the card onto the stems of the bunches and placed them around the table. 

I also put a spare serviette between each plate and the foliage in case of any dirt, and then put a clean one under each plate to actually use.


Monday, 19 December 2011

Friday, 16 December 2011

Puff Ball Decoration

Remember the blog post on these a while a go?  
Well here they are looking pretty strung up from he light fitting :)

Food Flags

2 Days To Go:
A very simple little craft, but aren't they pretty!

I'm going to use them for sandwiches, cheeses and sweeties.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Pin the Tail on the Donkey

Another favourite children's party game!

After numerous attempts to draw a donkey, I gave up and printed out a picture.
Using it as a template I pieced together felt and glued it onto a piece of red foam. 
I knotted, plaited and frayed some twine for the tails and put pins in the knots.

An easy craft to do, and lots of fun! I'll take tons of photos at the party so you'll get some action shots of people walking around with pins.

P.s. i'm sure there's a pun about pinning the tail on the ass of the ass just waiting to be phrased!

Fat Butterfly Piñata

First of all, please excuse the mess in the photos. 

Okay, so it's my birthday on Sunday 18th December, and I'm almost ready for my party. This piñata was supposed to be a butterfly, but its sort of turned out as a butterfly/bee/fly combo. I think it's pretty anyway. Here's how I made it:

1)Blow up a sausage shaped balloon, tie string to the end.
2)Papier Mache around the balloon and hang up to dry.
3)Papier Mache some more (you don't want it to be too easy to get the sweets out!)
4) Cut a hole in the top, fill with sweets, lollies, confetti etc..
5)Cover the top and bottom with tissue paper.
6)Fringe strips of crepe paper and glue around the body.
7)Shape wings from wire, twisting the ends to hold the shape and pierce into the body.
8)Use strips of crepe paper and glue to cover the wings.
9) Hang up and WACK!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Impatient Kitten.

Apologies for the long delay, i've been doing an intensive course in bespoke curtain making (eek!).

Today we put up our tree ready to decorate tomorrow, but before we even took the net off, a cheeky Bennie decided she must investigate ASAP. She didn't look terribly comfortable...

Saturday, 3 December 2011

20 Minute Frame Makeover

I'm in the middle of filling up a very long wall with a mismatch of different things and colours, and this is one of them. It started life in about 1996 as a framed poster of Bart Simpson.

A very simple makeover, all I did was:
 take the backing board from the frame
 wrap it in pretty paper like a present
 tie bits of string around and tape in place
put back in the frame
hang things up!

Of course if I'd painted it a different colour then it would've taken longer (am I the only one who constantly ends up with tiny finger prints on anything I paint because I'm too impatient?!). 
Luckily I already liked the colour so it was up on the wall within half an hour :)

Friday, 2 December 2011

Finished Advent Calendar

And here it is, strung up! Well, part of it, It was too long to fit into a decent picture :)

The chocolates are hidden in little pouches on the back of each number.
I'm going to try my hardest not to dip in to later days with the view of refilling them!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Miss Brennan's Fabulous Sausage and Apricot Rolls

I've been making these for Christmas for a number of years now,  and everybody raves about how tasty they are so it's time to share. Another simple recipe, and you can make them well ahead of time and freeze them for a special occasion (but prepare for very sticky fingers!).

Sausage Meat
Puff Pastry (Ready Rolled is a winner!)
2 Large Onions (Finely Chopped)
Dried Apricots (Finely Chopped)
An Egg (Lightly Whisked)

1) Mix the Onions with the Sausage Meat and Apricots into a sticky mush with your fingers.

2) Roll out the Puff Pastry onto a floured surface.

3) Lie a line of the mixture along a side of the pastry (making sure you have enough pastry to wrap the meat in!)

4) Brush the Egg along the edges of the pastry and roll up, use a fork to score lots of lines to make sure they don't unroll in the oven. 

5) Cook in the middle of the oven on a medium heat until they are browned on top and the pastry has puffed.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011


So after weeks of doing this piece by piece, and a lot of help from my multi-talented Pa the bathroom is finally finished. There's a new shower fitted, panelling and walls painted, new shelves, bunting, a decoupaged fish mobile, a new (well, antique) mirror and blinds.

And here it is! Much fresher and prettier and lovely!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Halfway Advent Calendar

Long time no blog! Today I've been working on an advent calendar, but i wont post the finished thing until December 1st when advent actually starts and it's filled with chocolates :)

A pretty simple method, cut out Christmas shapes from felt, sew most of it up, stuff it and then sew the rest! I've gone with mostly trees, some stars, Santa hats, presents and an angel for the 25th.

I experimented with the idea of cutting a patch out of some baubles and filling them with the advent chocolate, but I couldn't do it neatly enough so I gave up.

I particularly like the presents, made with purple felt and ribbon (I stitched the ribbon on to make sure it stays put!)

I used glitter glue with some extra glitter on top for the numbers, and will string them all up randomly, with some bows in between. I've sewed small pockets on the back of each one to pop the advent sweets into, and the best thing is that I can use it again next year!

P.S. look at these adorable embroidery scissors I swagged for only £3!

Monday, 21 November 2011


I've fallen in love with 98% of the stuff on this website so i thought it necessary to share...


Saturday, 19 November 2011

Appletizer into Candle Holder

Pretty self-explanatory, but they make nice decorations around the room. I had to shave off the base of the candle to make it slim enough to fit through the neck, made a new label to cover the sticky residue and voila!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Fish Mobile Decoupage

Like a fool I forgot to take a before photo, but this used to be an ugly 80's primary colours fish mobile that's been hanging in the bathroom for about 15 years.

Painted white, re-stringed and decoupaged with thread various patterns here is the finished product:

P.S. The bathroom should finally be finished this weekend, and I have to say it's looking good!

Christmas Glitter cards!

Today i've been making christmas cards, here's a simple method to make these:

1) draw a shape on to Foam, then cut it out with scissors or a craft knife.
2) cover the shape with Glue and then press on to Black Card.
3) sprinkle with  Glitter, and then shake off the excess.
4) neaten up with a ruler for straight edges!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Spicy Sweet Potato, Butternut Squash and Chickpea Soup

I discovered this recipe from Covent Garden's 365 soups cookbook, and think its so tasty that it MUST be shared. Its healthy, hearty, cheap and full of flavour.


  • 1 large onion, finely chopped; 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed; 
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds; 
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds; 
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds; 
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper; 
  • 1 teaspoon honey (runny or set); 
  • 340g sweet potatoes, cubed; 
  • 340g butternut squash, cubed; 
  • 410g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed; 
  • 1 small lime, zest and juice; 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil; 
  • 1200ml vegetable stock.

First: Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions and crushed garlic. Stir and put a lid on for 10 minutes on a low heat until the onions are soft but not browned.
Second: Add the spices, lime zest and juice, and honey and stir  for 30 seconds to make a paste.

Third: Add the boiling stock, sweet potatoes and butternut squash, stir and leave for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
Fouth: Add the chickpeas and stir, leave for a further 10 minutes.

Fifth: Blitz in the blender to make a smooth soup, season to taste and then shove it in your mouth!

It tasted so good that I happily tucked in and only remembered halfway through the bowl that I should take a snapshot of the finished recipe! I think it's best with a seeded roll and a lump of cheese to dip in.

Bon Appetit! 

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Cake Case Puffs!

I had the idea for this from another post, but I cant for the life of me remember which one! (sorry)
I think they're gorgeous, and will look amazing in different colours and hanging from the ceiling.

They're made by rolling up a ball of newspaper, and covering in tape to keep it in shape. Poke your finger into the cupcake case and pinch into a point. Then use glue (i prefer using a hot glue gun because its quicker but i guess PVA would work fine too) to stick them around the ball.

Once the ball is covered, have a prod around to check for bare patches and pop some more in if there are.  And Voila! A very pretty and quick decoration. I'm going to buy pretty patterned cases and make loads!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Finished Pinboard

Covered and studded, and full of magazine clippings, here is my pinboard! 
It got dark between the photos so the room seems to have changed colour (speaking of which the board clashes with the wall, but I'm planning to redecorate soon!)

Got the idea from Hodgepodge :) 

Sunday, 6 November 2011

49 days..

49 days until Christmas! So the countdown is a little early, but with a busy December coming up I thought I'd start now. I made this up as I went along and will do it better next time but you get the jist!

Here's how I made it:
1) Bend a metal rod using pliers into a Christmas shape (Star, Tree, Sleigh etc). 
2) Secure into place by twisting the remaining rod together and forming a loop to hang from.
3) Dip lengths of string/twine/thread into PVA, and pinch off any excess glue.
4)Wrap the lengths around the wire, tucking the ends underneath other string to stop dangly bits.
5) Sprinkle glitter over the damp string covered star, and hang up to dry. (shake off the excess!)

I think next time I'll spray the entire star with gold paint before I glitter, and spend more time and care shaping it to begin with. This one isn't great, but it'll still get a place on the tree!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Happy Bonfire Night!

Not exactly crafty, but here is my family having too much fun with sparklers last night. 
Our own private showing of a school fireworks show from Josie's roof!

Friday, 4 November 2011


Apologies for not having posted in a while, I've been lazy and keep forgetting about projects half way through! Here's what I'm working on at the minute:

I'm covering a cork notice board with fancy fabric donated by my Nan, I've covered it and studded it, and while show a photo of the finished product once I've made room to hang it!

I'm also decoupaging an old mobile which used to hang in the bathroom, I cleverly lost the photo I took of it before I painted it white, but you get the picture. I'll show it hanging when the bathroom is (finally) finished, complete with bunting, new curtains, walls, shower and trinket shelves. Eek!

Monday, 31 October 2011

Poppy Profusion

I bought a print of Simon Fairless's Poppy Profusion today to go in the bathroom. Isn't it gorgeous! I cant decide whether to make a frame for it or just give in and buy one, perhaps there's an old frame in the loft that I can rejuvenate...

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Bathroom Bunting

Today i've been making bunting to hang around a ceiling beam in the bathroom which is in the middle of being redecorated, easy to do but actually quite time consuming! You'll see it in all its beauty when   the bathroom is finished :) xox

New Project

I got this beauty from eBay, and cant wait to start restoring it. It still rides well, i think a paint job and some new tyres will have it looking adorable. Its a Philips 1953, that's nearly 60 years old! 

Bennie was determined to photobomb this shot, so I wont let her efforts go to waste:

Saturday, 29 October 2011


Today's owl has hopped in an envelope and will be on its way in the post tomorrow, but whom is it being sent to?! (its a surprise). Also I made a pretty bracelet this evening. I should get a virus more often, i seem to get more done!