More Christmas crafts

30.11.12 - 12:30
This week I've been working on more crafts for the festive season. One of the things I've made I've actually been wanting to make for ages. It's a really old Martha Stewart project where you use jingle bells to make a wreath. Not like a giant door wreath, more like a decorative item that you can put on a door handle so you get a festive sound every time you enter the room.

Here is my attempt. It looks okay. I tried to make it a bit bigger by using the biggest size bells I could get. Unfortunately the bells are not very jingly so it is staying on a wall rather than a door.

Also they seem to be quite popular this year, so maybe I'll just buy a proper metal one from TK Maxx.



Ali Edwards & December Daily

25.11.12 - 21:00
This year I've attempted a couple of Ali Edwards' projects.
They've been semi-successful.
I had a go at documenting a 'Week in the life'. Actually I documented it quite thoroughly through photos, I just didn't quite transfer that into a book or onto scrapbook pages. I enjoyed making a template, but ended up with just too much stuff to fit on the pages. I found it difficult to choose what to say.

In an effort to help that issue and improve my writing skills I tried her journaling class too. It was called '31 things' through Big Picture classes. It was interesting as it gave you a prompt everyday to write about one thing. You can only write one story, so you have to pick. Say the topic is jewellery, you have to decide if you are going to write about your favourite necklace or a ring that belonged to your Grandma.

Again I did the writing, which was useful for helping me choose which things to say but didn't do the part where you make a book,which sounds like the fun-est part! I wonder if it felt more like work once I'd done the challenging part?

Now its time for another one. December Daily. There are lots of Christmas projects that people do, but this one seems to fit with me at the moment. I love Christmas so maybe that will be the imputus I need to finish a project. I also means that I can do some work on it now in preparation whilst I'm excited about it.

I've chosen to use a 6x8 folder as its not too big. I'm not going to buy a lot of things for this project mainly because I have lots of craft stuff already, but also, I'm not sure if I can keep up for 25days! Wish me luck.



Dear Santa

18.11.12 - 23:11

If someone would like to make this I would be really pleased. The pictures don't even have to be sticky, I've got five different kinds of tape. Thanks.   



Christmas Crafts

16.11.12 - 12:00
This year I am attempting to start my Christmas crafting earlier. I usually get dead into the idea in December when it's getting a bit late really. So this is my newest tree decoration. A tiny knitted sweater!

I've not done a lot of knitting before. I already knew how to 'cast on' and do a basic knitting stitch but I had to learn the how to 'purl', do a 'stocking stitch' and 'cast off', from you tube. I love the internet.

I found the pattern at Just Crafty Enough when I was looking for a pattern for tiny mittens (which they also have) but they were way too difficult for a beginner like me. They are done on circular needles. eep.

You'll see that Kathy from Just Crafty Enough has knitted a cute little pattern into her sweater. No idea how she did that. I'm thinking about sewing a snowflake into mine with white wool. I'm not sure if that will work.

Anyway, I'm really pleased with it. It didn't take too long either so I might manage another. Probably as close to knitting an actual jumper as I'm going to get any time soon.



The Most Tastiest Cookie of Them All

14.11.12 - 12:00

Do you read a lot of food blogs? I've noticed there tends to be recipes or techniques that 'do the rounds' and everyone wants to try them. Like cake pops. I've not tried them yet. But I am little behind the times trend-wise.

This chocolate chip cookie recipe is one from ages ago. It's by a guy called Jacques Torres who has a chocolate shop in New York. Apparently he has the best cookies ever in his shop and he shared the recipe with the New York Times. So what? I hear you say. Well, his recipe calls for the dough to be chilled for 24 to 36 hours before you bake it. 24 hours! Now, as someone who doesn't make bread because you have to wait an hour for it to rise ... I was skeptical. Two different flours, two sugars, 5 inch cookies? Skeptical.

I made a quick batch (scaled way down from the NYT recipe) with what I had in the house. They aren't complicated. And baked them straight away. They were pretty good.

So I picked up all the stuff (not the expensive chocolate) and gave it a go. I made half the recipe and left it in the fridge. The dough was delicious on its own. I made it late a night so I wouldn't be tempted to throw them straight in the oven.

Next night I split the dough in half and made it into 10 balls. (I don't think 5 inch cookies are helpful for portion control. I'd still eat two. So I made normal size cookies.) They were fantastic. The best cookies I've ever baked. The salt on the top was perfect.

I cooked more the next night even more yummy. I also keep a few balls of dough in the freezer and when I baked those - they were awesome too!

I am totally convinced. This is most definitely my new favourite cookie recipe.      



Happy (belated) Halloween

12.11.12 - 12:00

I pretty much missed Halloween this year due to being poorly. Not happy.

My Husband went to a horror film festival and still had time to do this creepy/cute pumpkin.

I decided I really really really wanted to make those 'broken glass' cupcakes that were on Martha Stewart's site last year. But I was still not feeling fantastic and they turned out less than great. I'm not awesome at making cake anyway but they ended up looking gruesome. Not a-bit-creepy-ooo-it's-halloween-gruesome, actually gross.

The main issue is the 'glass'. It's made from a very light caramel, poured on to a tray and then broken up. Unfortunately I used a non-stick mat with has a slight texture. It ended up making the glass look frosty and dirty and like it was found in a back alley somewhere ...

Anyway. I'm looking forward to Christmas now. So let's just forget about this whole episode and move on.