Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Christmas Cards

homemade christmas cards stamps embossing

I love to make my Christmas cards if I have the time. I try to pick a different idea every year, not every card is identical but they are all on the same theme. This year I have chosen embossed snowflakes - gold and silver on different coloured card. Embossing is brilliant - you can use it with stamps but also on biro so you can draw or write a design of your own. If you don't know what it is, click here. You don't need to buy the expensive heating tool to melt the powder - just hold the paper over the toaster and watch the magic happen.

Hopefully you can see the embossing a little better here. It gives a lovely raised and shiny finish. I just love these snowflake stamps!

homemade christmas cards stamps embossing

Monday, 19 December 2011

Mince Pies

What can I say? It's just got to be done :)

easy homemade mince pie recipe

You will need:
500g plain flour
250g butter (or a mix of butter and lard)
1 egg
2 jars of mincemeat
Cookie cutters
Makes 24 mince pies or 12 mince pies plus one large pie with a lattice top

Sift the flour and rub in the butter until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and mix with a knife until the mixture forms large lumps, then combine by hand. Roll out to 1/2 cm thick and cut the bases, place into a buttered cupcake tin. Put a spoon of mincemeat in each one and cover with a pastry top. Brush with milk to help them brown. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 180C. I love mine warm with cream. Merry Christmas!

easy homemade mince pie recipe

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Homemade Tags

No need to buy any tags for your presents this year! These tags are made from last year's Christmas cards, all you need is a hole punch and some sparkly thread and you're all set.

homemade christmas present tags

Monday, 12 December 2011

Stained Glass Window Biscuits

I think these biscuits are aimed at children but who cares...I love them. I can't decide if I had more fun making these cookies or photographing them!

homemade christmas tree decorations stained glass window biscuits

I won't repeat the whole recipe on this blog as you can find it here

These will last this year if you want to hang them on the Christmas tree, but you can also varnish them if you want them to last longer. 

homemade christmas tree decorations stained glass window biscuits

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Orange & Clove Christmas Decoration

Just a short post today as I have got to get on making Christmas cards and mince pies (more on that later). Here's something I made yesterday which really captures the smells of Christmas. 

homemade orange pomander clove chirstmas decoration

You will need:
1 orange
Red ribbon

Wrap the ribbon around the orange like a parcel and tie a knot at the top to secure. Tie a bow or second knot further up so that you can hang it.

Dot the cloves in the orange in any pattern you like and keep in the airing cupboard until the orange has dried out. Enjoy the amazing smell!

homemade orange pomander clove chirstmas decoration

Friday, 9 December 2011

Stitched Cards

This is a really unique way to make homemade cards. It's a little more effort than the usual scissors and glue, but worth it I think. The amount of different designs and patterns you could do are endless.

homemade stitched cards pattern

You will need:
Blank card
Stitching pattern (search google images for "stitched cards patterns" or click here for snowflake or bauble)
Embroidery thread
Card liners (optional)
Stickers to decorate (optional)

Stick the pattern to the front of the card to keep it still. Use the needle to make all the holes in the pattern - the thimble helps here as some card can be tough to puncture. Placing the card on scraps of paper or card will protect your table if you don't have a craft mat. Using 1 strand of embroidery thread, stitch the pattern as required being careful to tie off the ends or stick them down with tape. To hide the back of the pattern, stick blank card over the or use a card liner. Decorate the front of the card if you like - I of course have gone for a Christmas theme!

(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

homemade stitched cards patternhomemade stitched cards pattern

homemade stitched cards patternhomemade stitched cards pattern

Friday, 2 December 2011

Mint Chocolate Crisps

These chocolates are perfect for a dinner party or for Christmas presents. They taste exactly like the ones you can buy. One of the best bits (for me anyway!) is decorating the package you put them in.

homemade mint chocolate crisps gift

You will need:
A bar of good quality dark chocolate
Demerara sugar
Peppermint oil

Very slowly (in 15 second bursts) melt the chocolate in the microwave until it is three quarters melted. Melt the rest by stirring until the remaining lumps. This helps keep your chocolate shiny and dark. Stir in enough sugar to add a good crunch and a few drops of peppermint oil to taste. You don't need much at all.

Spread the mixture out onto baking parchment or onto plastic - the plastic wallets you put in ringbinders is perfect for this. You can spread it as thick as you like depending on if you like your mints chunky or wafer thin. If you want neat shapes, cut the chocolate as it is nearly dry. If you like a more random look (or like me, you forgot to cut it up while it was dry) leave it in the fridge before cutting.

homemade mint chocolate crisps gift

Wrap in cellophane bags with ribbon or in pretty boxes

homemade mint chocolate crisps gift

I think this is best served from the fridge.

 photo homeeee_zps214aed0e.jpg
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