Thursday, 27 December 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you had a great few days of family, food and presents and you haven't had to go back to work yet.

Here's a few snapshots from my Christmas.

homemade cranberry sauce recipehomemade cranberry sauce recipe

Homemade cranberry sauce (cranberries, caster sugar to taste & one squeezed orange)

espresso martini cocktail recipe

pointsetta cocktail recipe

Cocktails (crafting, right?)  - Espresso Martini / Poinsettia

chcolate covered star pretzels

 Chocolate covered pretzels


Puppy break!

gingerbread house kit

Gingerbread house

Did Santa bring you any crafty presents?

Friday, 21 December 2012

Christmas Shortbread

I'm very happy that I still have Christmas shaped cookie cutters in my life.

To make these cookies, prepare a basic dough recipe - mine is shortbread, you could also try chocolate or gingerbread. Dust a surface with flour and roll out to 3mm thick. Cut out the shapes and bake. Once cooled, prepare icing sugar and water to a runny consistency and drizzle over the cookies from a height.

Friday, 14 December 2012

German Paper Stars

Here's a really lovely papercraft project for Christmas - German paper stars or "froebel stern".

how to make German paper stars, craft of paper, froebel stern

You will need:
Coloured or patterned paper: 4 strips, A4 length and 1cm wide.
It is worth taking the time to cut the paper straight, it makes the project a lot easier!

Rather than make a guide I will point you to the excellent tutorial at craftideas - click here. They have really clear instructions, lots of photos and they have used 4 different coloured papers so that you can see what goes where. There is a good youtube video here if you want to watch them being made.

german paper stars froebel stern

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Orange & Cinnamon Christmas Decorations

Something to use up any cinnamon & oranges you have left over from your mulled wine!

You will need:
Dried oranges and apples (I recommend you dry slices in a low oven as it's very difficult to dry a whole fruit)
Cinnamon sticks
Pine cones & walnuts etc, you can spray these gold
Festive ribbon

orange cinnamon christmas tree decoration

cinnamon dried apple christmas decoration

For something similar but a little easier try my orange & clove Christmas decoration.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Christmas Cross Stitch

I find these little kits the right amount of cross stitch - they're finished before you run out of time and/or patience. Everything you need is provided and you can do them in a couple of hours. 

They are perfect for doing on the sofa on a rainy afternoon.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Paper Cutting

Have you heard of papercutting? If you know of artists like Rob Ryan you may have, he's done a lot to popularise the art. I hope it gets more popular - it's surprisingly simple but the results can be stunning. 

I did a class with the amazingly talented Poppy Chancellor. All you need to have a go are a very sharp scalpel, a cutting mat and some paper - thin paper to cut the design in, and thick paper to mount it on (use a small amount of PVA for this). 

The hardest part of the process is creating a design - you have to make sure all the parts are connected, it's very easy to end up cutting parts off! Try drawing the design and shading in all the parts you want to keep. There's not many templates about on the internet yet, but there are some nice books about. I encourage you to have a go!

Here's what we did at the class - the first two are Poppy's designs that we practiced on....the last one was my design (with a lot of help)!

papercutting, template, instructions, paper crafts

paper cutting template instructions

how to do paper cutting template

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Easy Chocolate Fudge

This is the easy way to make fudge, you don't need melted sugar and thermometers - perfect for baking with kids. It's chewy, rich and SO delicious.

Easy chocolate fudge, kids recipe, edible gift, homemade candy

You will need:
125g good quality milk chocolate
125g good quality dark chocolate
60g butter
1tsp vanilla extract
200g sweetened condensed milk
Tube of smarties (or M&M's)

Line a 6inch square tin with baking parchment. Put a saucepan on the heat with a little water in the bottom and heat this to near boiling. Choose a heatproof bowl that fits over the saucepan but does not touch the water. Break the chocolate into small pieces into the bowl and add all the other ingredients except the smarties. Put the heat on the lowest setting and keep stirring until all the ingedients are melted. (You can do this in the microwave (in 20 second bursts stirring well in between) - I would start by part melting the chocolate first as it takes longest. I prefer the water in this case as heats everything slower so you won't burn anything.) Stir well and pour into the baking tin. Wait an hour before putting into the fridge. Chill overnight.

Easy chocolate fudge kids recipe

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Button Christmas Cards

I've been branching out on the button Christmas card theme...

button card, homemade card, christmas, paper crafts

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Christmas Tree Cupcakes

I believe this is the perfect combination of cupcakes, chocolate, glitter and Christmas. They are however, rather labour intensive. Only make these if you are very patient, or for someone you love very much.

christmas tree glitter cupcakes, decorating, chocolate buttons

You will need:
Cupcakes (6oz butter, sugar & flour plus 3 eggs + 1 tsp vanilla extract)
Christmassy cupcake cases
Chocolate buttons - lots!
Icing sugar
Green glitter
Makes about 20

For the cupcakes, cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs, flour and vanilla extract. Bake at 180C for about 12 minutes, until a knife comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Make some thick icing sugar paste (using icing sugar + water) - this is the glue to hold the buttons on. Place a little on the back of a button, then dip the edge of the button into the glitter. Place on the cupcake in circles working into the centre.

christmas tree glitter cupcakes

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Cross Stitch Bookmark

I can't even remember how long ago I started this bookmark, and I dread to think how many other unfinished projects are lurking in my craft cupboard. However I finally got around to finishing this one and I think it's lovely. I love anything with Westies on! 

Amazingly they still sell it - you can buy the kit here.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Homemade Christmas Crackers

Homemade crackers are the best because you can make each one personal. Plus, you can put two bangs in each one for an extra surprise! 

You will need:
A toilet roll per cracker + 2 extra
Wrapping paper - nothing to thick, as it has to rip easily.
Matching ribbon 
Cracker bangs
Christmas hats and jokes (the worse the better)
Various presents - games, posh chocolates, mini liqueur bottles, homemade gifts etc
Name tags if they are personalised 


Step 1: Measure out the wrapping paper so that it is as wide as 3 toilet rolls and wraps all the way around them. 

Step 2: Stick the bang to the inside of the middle toilet roll. Fill with hats/jokes/presents.

Step 3: Using the string, carefully tighten each end of the cracker. 

Step 4: Remove the string. You may want to make small cuts in the paper at the joins, as this makes them easier to break. Tie each end with ribbon.

Step 5: Remove the 2 extra toilet rolls. Decorate the crackers with place names, ribbons, holly etc.


Sunday, 28 October 2012

Christmas Cards 2012

Do you remember my embossed snowflake Christmas cards last year? I mainly remember spending ages holding those cards over the toaster waiting for the powder to melt! (Toaster = much cheaper than the heat gun)

This year I have made quite a simple design using buttons as baubles. I have amassed quite a large collection of buttons (there should be a word for a button addiction) so it's great to put them to good use. Plus, buttons always look cute in any project.

There's currently a few different colour combinations. I'm sure the design will evolve the more I make. Here's the trial runs:

Homemade christmas cards button baubles

Monday, 22 October 2012

Toilet Roll Christmas Garland

It's officially the beginning of crafting Christmas! I have been pulling out all my craft books and pins on Pinterest to collect ideas for ideas for Christmas presents. Here in England it's raining, the leaves are turning red and there's nothing better than sitting in the warm with a cup of tea and planning out projects.

Here's a simple one to get you started....remember my post about things to do with toilet roll? Well I was inspired and have been collecting loo rolls to make this simple but effective decoration.

christmas garland decoration gold silver toilet roll craft idea

christmas garland decoration gold silver toilet roll craft idea

You will need:
Toilet rolls (one per star)
Double sided tape
Gold & silver spray

Measure and mark each toilet roll into 6 sections. Squash flat and cut these out. Place a cm square of double sided tape on each piece and stick the sections together. Spray half gold and half silver, hang them up to dry and then thread them on the ribbon or hang individually on the Christmas tree.

christmas garland decoration gold silver toilet roll craft idea

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Washi Tape

Washi tape (pronounced wash-ee) is a kind of paper tape from Japan & has recently been big on Pinterest - it looked so cute I had to get some. It hasn't really made it over to the UK yet but you can find it in a few places (try searching for craft paper tape). 

It's really versatile and once you start it's difficult to resist the urge to tape everything in the house.

washi tape ideas homemade gift tags

washi tape ideas homemade gift tags

washi tape ideas flower

washi tape ideas cande decorating

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Fabric Coasters

Homemade gift fabric coaster easy sewing machine projects
You will need:
Coloured fabric
Medium weight fusible interfacing (for stiffness)

Cut two 11x11cm fabric squares. Put the right sides of the fabric together and stitch around the edge leaving a 1cm margin. Leave a gap of about 1 inch along one side.

Cut the interfacing to 9x9cm and iron onto one side of the mat. Using the gap, turn the coaster right side out, and iron flat making sure that the open inch is tucked in. Topstitch around the coaster a few millimeters in from the edge to finish.

I'm planning to make some Christmas ones next!

Homemade gift fabric coaster easy sewing machine projects

Homemade gift fabric coaster easy sewing machine projects

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Crafty Weekend 1st Birthday Round-Up

I can't actually believe it was a year ago that I started blogging...but happy birthday Crafty Weekend!!! In honour of this momentous occasion I've purchased my very own domain, so welcome to :)
As a little round-up, here's my favourite posts from the first 12 months. Thank you all so much for visiting, I hope you've enjoyed the posts and got some ideas for your own craft projects :)

1. "The only chocolate chip cookie I will ever need to know how to make for the rest of my life".

2. Learn to crochet / Learn to knit
I've learned both this year and linked to some great resources and simple projects if you want to learn.

3. Stained glass window biscuits

4. Sloe gin
with champagne....bliss!


 photo homeeee_zps214aed0e.jpg
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