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!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011


We've all been laid low with horrible snotty noses for the past week, not too much fun.  J, a typical 2 year old, who despite being full of the cold wouldn't sit still for more than 15 mins and B who howled everytime I put him down. 
I was looking for fun, non energetic, indoor games to keep me sane J entertained! 
J is a huge sticker book fan, give him a pile of stickers and he'll keep quite 'till they're all stuck.  Not always the right way up, on the right page or even in the book!  In the spirit of reusing and recycling a new favourite is tractor stickers (he's a machine obsessed boy!). 

All you need is:
some paper for sticking the pictures on,
scissors or craft knife, glue,
some old magazines
and imagination. 

Cut out the pictures, stick some glue on the back and hand them over to your budding Picasso!  In our case, thanks to a stack of old Farmers Weekly magazines from my dad, we have tractor stickers! I even took some of the collages and drew on ploughs, balers etc to the back of the tractors.

I'm also a fan of this great website The Imagination Tree  that has loads of ideas for indoor and outdoor play and recipes for making paints, play dough etc.  I can't wait to try out her recipe for mouldable sand, just need to get to the shops to buy baby oil!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Childhood favourites

In case you missed it, today was the first Robert Louis Stevenson Day!  It was an article on the STV website, via Twitter (#rlsday), that brought it to my attention, and it started me thinking about my favourite childhood books. 

A huge favourite of mine was From Morn To Midnight and it included two RLS poems. 

I can't find an image of the front cover on t' here it is. You can buy it on Amazon though!

I loved the poems and the illustrations, and thanks to my boys I can now reread it!  Unlike some other favourites of mine, I still love it all.  
It was this book that instilled my huge love of poetry  and in honour of RLS, here are the two poems from the book. 

Did I mention I LOVE the illustrations?!

Sorry about the wierd yellow tinge on the photos, it's the lighting in our kitchen!

Did you know that's me on the swing, and the wee girl marching, circa 1983.  Well I was sure it was when I was wee! 

Did I say I LOVE the illustrations?!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Christmas decs

Well I've committed to a stall at a local craft fair on the 1st December so I've got a goal to aim for now! I thought I'd get the jumper out of the way first so it's all done and it's been worn already!

The jumper, sewed together again!

Next on the list was some Christmas decorations, I made a batch of salt dough and some clay and got the cutters out!

Some of the salt dough decorations drying.
Think I'll need to do a bit of experimenting with the paints to get a finish I'm happy with, but that's the part I really enjoy!
I'm off to bed now, with my notebook in tow, too many ideas in my head!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Busy, busy

It's been a busy few days.  Monday was spent visiting some previous work clients, trying to drum up some business. On Tuesday we braved Glasgow, Ikea and the beer shop.  Extra storage units bought and a some new beer kits for our Christmas brew! Today was Toddlers Thursday club and the lunch club, it's been all go!

I spent my spare moments today finishing unpicking the arms off a jumper I knitted for J, I started doing it weeks ago and thought I'd try and get it off my list.  In my rush to finish the jumper for J I sewed the arms on too tightly, so now that it'll fit B I'm altering them!

Arms unpicked!
 The pattern is Sublime, Matelot Sweater pattern 6013, knitted in Sublime baby cashmere merino silk DK.
Now all I need to do is sew it all together again!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Frosty night, sunny day

It was the first really frosty night here last night and it's been a beautiful sunny day, are we going to have a sunny, cold and crisp November..? Fingers crossed! I did my weekly bird feeder cleaning this morning and managed to break yet another seed feeder, they seem to last no time, maybe I'm a bit rough with them..! Thought I might try making one, Blue Peter stylie from an old drinks bottle, will add it to my list!

I thought I'd post some photos of my works in progress!

Some Twinkle Satrs drying out

A couple of nearly finished Wee Thingy bowls

Hearts for Hanging, almost done

Some of the moosies loose about the hoose
 I made some tablet today, it's turned out quite well, not as good as my Dads! I just need to make sure I don't eat it all myself, it all and then take the dog for a 10 mile hike!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Here we go!

My first foray into the world of blogging, exciting stuff.....well I hope so! 

At the moment I'm making some paper mache and paper clay objects, and thinking of selling them at some local Christmas craft fairs and maybe Folksy and Etsy.  Finding enough time to work on them is the problem.....but with an 8 week old baby and a 2 1/2 year old that's not a surprise. Finding enough time to brush my teeth is a challenge some days! So am I nuts adding another task to my list?!

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