Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Christmas sweeties....sweety!

We all had a brilliant Christmas.  There was a bit of manic visiting to all the rellies before the big day, but it was all fitted in and the handmade presents were all thankfully received...I think!!

The last few days before Christmas were spent making sweeties.  It's not something I've ever done before, I was always put off by the mysteries of sugar thermometers, but I've really enjoyed it and it's not as complicated as I thought.  Organisation is key though, I almost had a disaster when half way through one recipe I realised that I'd not got a tin ready to put the mixture in, eek! A lesson was learnt!
I thought I'd share the recipes, all very easy but they taste fabulous!

  1. Soft chewy caramels from joy of baking.
  2. Panforte, nutty, chewy and chocolaty, what's not to like, from joy of baking.
  3. White chocolate candy bars, fruity and nutty from joy of baking.
  4. Chocolate bark, fruity and chocolaty and looks beautiful, from joy of baking.
  5. Delicious chocolate truffles from good food channel.
  6. Peppermint creams from all recipes

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Christmas packaging round up!

I've already mentioned that I am making sweeties for Christmas presents this year and I was on the lookout for some packaging ideas.  So in the spirit of sharing here are my top three favourite finds.....and amazingly they're all free!

I found these fantastic labels to finish off celephane bags at, free to download.

These cheery designs are available to download for free from Activity Village, it's also a great website, full of resources and crafts for kids.

Lastly but my no means least, these beautiful, stunning boxes are from The Pretty Blog I love them and...... they're free to download!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

It's all Christmassy!

I put up our christmas decorations yesterday.  We decided last year not to have a christmas tree because of the inquisitive nature of a small boy, now we have two small boys we will probably be tree-less for a couple more years! Instead we put wires up on our ceiling, threaded branches through the wires and hung our lights and decorations off the branches. 

Unfortunately I can't claim credit for the idea, JH has seen it in a pub somewhere years ago (I suppose it stopped anyone crashing into the tree at closing time!)  I took a bit of convincing that it would look ok, but I have to say it looks totally amazing and grotto like, in a good way!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Mouldable sand

I've been meaning to make mouldable sand for a while and I've got round to it at last.  I got the recipie from the imagination tree, there are loads of great play ideas on the website and recipies for making paint, chalk and playdough!

  • 5 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup baby oil
Mix together and play!

I also added some glitter for a bit of extra bling!

As you can see, J loved it and despite being reminded that the "sand" was to stay in the box, about half of it landed on the floor! You can just see the dog under the table "tidying up", I'm not sure it did her digestion much good! I tidyed up the rest (much to Patchs disgust) with the hoover, and it all washed out of his clothes very easily!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

What a week!

Last Thursdays windy day was one to remember, 102mph winds were recorded by the Met Office at Glen Ogle which is about 10 miles up the road from us.  Our electricity went off at 11am and didn't come back on until Saturday at 10pm.  We've got a woodburning stove and an open fire so we didn't freeze.  I could cope with out the computer, tv and radio (just!) but having no hot water was really hard work, we constantly had a pan of water boiling!  Back to normality now, thank goodness!

Two friends have moved house this week so I've been making some housewarming gifts.

Firstly this set of Christmas tree decorations from air dryed clay, cut out with shape cutters, stamped with letters and then painted.  I had quite a few attempts with the letter stamps before I was happy, but the good thing is all you need to do is roll them back into a ball and start again!

Second on the list was a paper star wreath, it's really easy to make but they look so elegant and complicated!

Christmas presents will be the name of the game from now until Christmas, lots to make but I think sweeties will be the biggest portion!  I'm off to make a shopping list, can't wait to see the checkout assistants face as I arrive with bags of sugar, butter, chocolate and not much else!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Christmas Craft Fair

My first craft fair is done and dusted.  It was a bit of a rush to bring it all together in time but it was good fun and I had some really nice feedback from people, someone even told me I had the nicest things at the fair! 

The stall, all set up!
I thought I'd be doing well to make £30, but in the end I made £75, less 10% for the stall fee (which I rounded up to £8 as the organisers had bought some decorations from me) so I came home with £67 in my sky rocket, absolutely delighted with myself and feeling like I could conquer the world! 
I also got a comission to make another paper star werath and a possible commission to make place names with paper roses for a wedding!!

Paper rose gift tags
I could have sold a lot more star wreaths, I'd only made 3 and I was surprised that I sold all the gift tags, I only really made them as extras.  I didn't sell as many of the tree decorations as I thought, all the ones that sold were either heart shaped and/or the pinky purple colours.
Tree decorations
What next on the business side of things?  I'm not sure, I got really positive feedback from people and I've got lots of ideas for various other items but finding somewhere to sell them might be the biggest challenge, ho hum!

On a different note, it's snowing really hard outside! We had about 2 inches on Sunday night and there's about the same again now...we'll see what the morning holds!

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