Christmas is Coming

Well I missed Stir-it up Sunday as I was drowning under a sea of baby clothes and toys from the loft!  (Don’t ask) But on Monday, I managed to actually make my Christmas Cake!  Hoorah!

It’s a pretty simple recipe, basically 8oz (or 225g if you’re into metric) of flour, sugar, each of the fruit (sultanas, raisins, currants and cherries), and butter,  4 eggs,  1 tsp mixed spice, pinch salt, 4 oz flaked almonds and 2 tbsp brandy.

Christmas Cake ingredients

I was surprisingly organised this time and the kitchen didn’t resemble a warzone for a change!

Back to the recipe.  I creamed the butter and sugar, then added the eggs (slowly) then the flour, spice and salt (slowly) and then the brandy.  Once all combined in went all the fruit and nuts (slowly).  Then all the mix went into the lined cake tin.

Christmas Cake mixed
Making sure to add a dip in the middle as I didn’t want a cake that looks like mount versuvius!  Not this time!!

In it went for three and a half hours on 150 degrees.  The house smelt fabulous and I got to lick out the bowl!  (There is a reason I made this while little one was at school -I am mean when it comes to Christmas cake mix).

I haven’t a photo of the finished cake as it was too dark to take one, sorry!  But now it’s time to start feeding it with the brandy – I reckon twice a week until Christmas aught to be about right, what do you think?

Well it’s back to the card orders now and thoughts of Christmas mincepies!

Happy Baking!
x

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Christmas Market Review

Saturday was the Christmas Market and after a day to recover, I can now objectively reflect on the day.

As anticipated the venue was amazing. The market was held in the Arts Centre at Bolton School. This building wasn’t there when I was at school, but it is truly stunning. The main hall would make a fabulous wedding venue. We had plenty of room and it was very well attended.

Inital stall set up

My lovely new crafter friend Jill shared my stall for her very first craft market.  She makes the loveliest hairslides, hairbands, badges and bookmarks.  Great stocking filler ideas for girls (and boys) who are into Hello Kitty, Peppa Pig, One Direction, Minecraft and Monster High (to name a few).  Contact me for more details of her stock.

Jill selling her hairslides

The Santa Raffle proved a draw to the stall, as did all the hairbands.  It was a fairly successful day for both of us.  A shame I wasn’t able to display my cards as I think they would have sold well.  My gift tags, little stockings and knitted characters were popular.

Of course, I ran into an old school friend at the fair.  Nice to get the opportunity to look round the old place in a less formal situation than the organised reunions.  Can it really be 23 years since we left?

Me and EmmaThe market was a fun day and again I have learnt a lot about displaying on the stall, and what items are popular.  There is definitely something in the theory of appealing to small children, and I think Santa and Jill’s hairband characters helped a lot!

Time now to get back to the orders and think about another stall in the next couple of weeks.  I’d like to have an opportunity to show my card collections.  But there’s the local community group Christmas Fair and a couple of visits to friends and family to fit in as well before the Big Day!

Thanks to Jill for coming along and keeping me company for the day, and huge thanks go to Hubby and daughter for being so patient, helping out and driving!    Here’s to the next one and a Happy Christmas for all.

Me and Jill

Happy crafting
x

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Santa Raffle Winner

The draw has been made and the lucky winner of Santa, with sack and teddy is……….

Ticket number 42, belonging to Carla M from HSB in Manchester.

Congratulations Carla and I hope you enjoy your prize.

Father Christmas

Thank you to everyone that bought a ticket.  The total raised was £170.  This is all going towards the Barry Project 150 for Christie’s.

Thank you
x

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Bolton School Christmas Market

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It’s the Bolton School Old Girls’ Christmas Market tomorrow!  I shall have my stall set out stocked full of Christmas Tree decorations, gifts and gift tags.  Plus come and see my friend Jill with her lovely hairbands and slides.

I’ll also be selling raffle tickets for Santa and making the draw.

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Old Girls’ Christmas Market 2013 Saturday 16th November 12-3pm The Arts Centre, Bolton School

Come and buy your Christmas gifts and stocking fillers – jewellery, handbags, cards, skincare products, children’s books, games and more…

Sample, buy and enjoy quality Christmas food and drink – cakes, cheese, chutneys, pies and wines…

Plus, take part in the Great Bolton Bake Off! (Contact the Development Office for further details).

Entry: £3 adults and £1 children, includes mulled wine/hot vimto and a mince pie.

Please buy your ticket on the door All profits to charitable causes

All welcome – bring your family and friends!

I’d love to see you there, so come and say hello!

Happy Christmas (!) x

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Christmas Stockings

Recently, I was asked if I could make a couple of large stockings with names on.

This was quite a daunting task initially as I usually stick to small items, but I thought, why not and decided to have a go. I adapted the tiny stocking pattern, using super chunky yarn and 6mm needles, and then scaling up the number of stitches. My first attempt was far too big and took forever! So I scaled things down a bit. Then I decided it would be nice if the stocking had a turnover at the top, which would be ideal for adding the childs name. This meant increasing the length of the ‘leg’ still further. I finally added a crochet hanging loop and embroidered the names – a first for me doing lowercase letters!

Personalised Stocking

Personalised Stocking Tops

I was asked to make them in black with names in silver.

I’m going to add these to my Christmas range, however, they will be made to order and I will not carry any stock. They will be £15 each and made to your own colour specification. I’d love to know what you think of them. Please leave me a comment on here or on the facebook page.

Happy Crafting
x

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Christmas Market Preparation

With less than a week to go to the Christmas Market, I’ve been pulling together my stall and making lots of lists!

On Saturday I did a quick mock up of the stall, without going too mad! I didn’t get tall the stock out of bags or but the Christmas tree up, but I’m quite pleased with the range and stock levels that will be available.

Christmas Market Practice Run

The majority of the stock available will be knitted gifts and decorations, however, I may have a few sneaky cards under the table if you want any.

It’s back to the to-do list now – labels and raffle notice!

Hope to see you Saturday
x

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Christie Raffle Last Chance to Enter

There’s only 1 week left now to buy a ticket in aid of the Christie to win my knitted Father Christmas.

Father Christmas

I’ll be taking him to the Christmas Market at Bolton School next Saturday and will be making the final draw there.

So come along and buy a ticket for such a worthy cause.

Happy crafting
x

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Poinsettias

This Christmas season I have decided to stick with my loose themes of hearts and flowers, by making use of my fabulous new Sizzix Tim Holtz die. I absolutely adore the poinsettia. The die itself is really robust and it cuts beautifully.

Poinsettia Gift Tags

Poinsettia Gift Tags

Poinsettia Cracker Cards

Poinsettia Cracker Cards

I have so far concentrated on cutting card and paper, but I’d like to try some other mediums, perhaps making some felt brooches and tree decorations.

I hope to have a little bit of time to play with some felt and other fabrics to see how they get on! It would be a nice change to get out needle and thread! Hmmmmmm, maybe I could add some of the lovely beads and buttons I’ve bought on my travels……..

Happy crafting
x

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Personalised Christmas Cards and Gifts

Over the last couple of months I’ve had quite a few requests for personalised cards and gifts. So now that half term is over I’ve been able to make a start on the Christmas personalisation.

I’ve been making lots of little stockings to use as tree decorations, and have been asked to add some initials.

Persnalised Christmas Stockings

I’ll be taking a good supply of these stockings to the Christmas Market in a couple of weeks time, and I have plans to offer personalisation on the day.

In addition to the stockings, I’ve been making some specific Christmas cards which has involved some hand-drawing of caravans! This has not been the simplest of tasks, but I have put together a pack of 15 individual cards which cover the brief – caravan Christmas!

Caravan Christmas Cards

Caravan Christmas Cards

The next order I’m working on is a couple of personalised knitted Christmas stockings to fill with presents. I’ve had a trial run and have chosen a black chunky yarn, they will have a turnover at the opening and names in a grey and silver mix dk yarn. Time to get back to it.

Happy Crafting
x

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More Half Term Crafting

As the week progressed and the weather deteriorated, I had to find more interesting things to do round the house.  So out came the box of crafty bits and the TV!  We watched an episode of Mister Maker (one of our favourite shows) which was followed by an extra Halloween make, and of course inspiratiion was found.  Halloween themed pencil pots.

Ghost pencil pot
I knew keeping toilet roll tubes would come in useful at some stage!  These were minute makes for Mister Maker, but for a four year old they take a little longer.  Above was the first attempt, a ghost.  We had to make do with paper as we didn’t have much fun foam, but I think the second attempt of a bat worked quite well. 

Bat pencil pot

All made with bits and bobs from around the house and a lovely gift for Dad or Grandad’s desk.  We may try Santa and a snowman for Christmas.

Happy Crafting
x

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