Saturday, 14 December 2013

Free cross stitch Winter Christmas tree pattern PDF

Another free festive pattern for you to stitch up in an evening. It uses only full count stitches and no backstitch. You can choose to sew it on any colour aida, I personally like the blue as it looks like a winters night. 

Friday, 13 December 2013

Chocolate and cherry muffins recipe

I just baked these delicious muffins from this years good food vegetarian Christmas. I think they are a Paul Hollywood recipe. My only advice would be make sure the tinned cherries you buy are stoned. Mine were not and it took me ages to take all the stones out. Also eat them warm they are much better when the chocolate is still gooey.
Chocolate and cherry muffins recipe

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Christmas stockings

I made this Stocking for George for his first Christmas as I had made one fro William when his was born. I failed to look at the size I had made William's so Georges is considerably smaller. I used some remnants of Christmas fabric I had stashed and quilted it to give it a luxury feel. I also stitched the G from a pattern from 'The world of Cross stitching' Magazine and then added in the rest of Georges name.
 Close up of the cross stitched name.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Free cross stitch Holly Christmas pattern PDF

Here's a free Christmas motif cross stitch pattern for your to sew. It would look great on cards or used on Holiday decor around the home.
If you like my patterns please check out my Etsy shop where I have a range of Christmas and other patterns. Just click on the read more link to download the free PDF file.

Free cross stitch Holly Christmas pattern PDF

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Gluten free Strawberry jelly cheesecake recipe

This is such a retro looking pud. It definitely has the wow factor for your dinner guests and with the vibrant red of the strawberries and jelly it gives a very seasonal look to your table. It is also made with vegetarian jelly so all your guests will be able to tuck in.

Like this? You'll love

Friday, 6 December 2013

Free cross stitch Christmas Candles PDF pattern to sew

A heart warming Christmas motif. Christmas candles against Holly is yours for free! It's a simple design using full count stitches and only uses a limited pallet. If you like my freebie charts why not have a look at my Etsy shop as well? 

Free cross stitch Christmas Candles PDF pattern to sew

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Macaroni and butternut squash bake recipe

I got this recipe from the BBC Good Food Magazine Vegetarian Christmas 2012. I love this magazine and wait for it every year with great anticipation. I now have a back catalogue of them from 2007 and regularly turn to them in the winter months for recipes. This one is a real winner and goes down a treat each and every time I make it. Here is a link to the recipe so you can try it for yourself.

Macaroni and butternut squash bake recipe

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Sitting Santa decoration

To make this sitting Santa you will only need a few craft cupboard essentials and he is a great easy Seasonal activity to make with the kids that will look good adorning any shelf or mantle piece in your home. 
Sitting Santa decoration 

 You will need some red card, a black pencil crayon, some cotton wool, selotape and glue.
First draw around a large dinner plate on your red card and cut into quarters. Each quarter then makes a Santa. Then cut out arms and legs with boots on.
Colour the boots black, draw a face on and stick on a beard with cotton wool.
Form into a cone shape and secure with selotape.
Then stick on the legs bending them so he will sit on a shelf.
Stick cotton wool at the ends of the arms and stick onto the cone.
Finally add a ball of cotton wool at the top for a bobble.

 I think he looks very happy waiting in the playroom for William.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

How to make a snowflake garland.

This is a lovely simple make and look very effective when combined with twinkle lights for a snowy scene. You will need ultra suede or felt, organza, white embroidery thread, needle, scissors, pencil and a jam jar lid.
First draw around your jam jar lid on the ultra suede until you have as many circles as you want in your garland. 
 Then repeat with the organza. Do not worry if the organza starts to fray as this will add to the effect.
Then using two strand of embroidery thread. Secure your thread at the back and sew a 4 way cross in the centre of the organza overlaid the ultra suede. Then from each of the points make a long stitch with two smaller stitches to make a v shape at the end. Then add a French knot between each section.
 Repeat for each of the circles. Then add a loop of embroidery thread between each circle to join them and loops at the end to hang them. You can either hang in swags or for a more contemporary look in drops.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Made on Monday - pom pom scarf

I made this scarf a few winters ago and have been meaning to show it on the blog but only recently got around to photographing it as I had re-discovered it when pulling out my winter wardrobe. It took me ages to make as I used the traditional two circles of card to make each individual pom pom and then I threaded them all onto matching yarn. It is lovely to wear and has the look of fur without the cruelty attached. 
Made on Monday - pom pom scarf

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Tasty Thursday - Butterbean and butternut squash stew recipe

Tasty Thursday - Butterbean and butternut squash stew recipe
It may not look the prettiest but it will warm you from your head to your toes. Giving you a satisfying glow of eating something wholesome and nutritious that is an ease to make.
Serves 4 with crusty bread and butter
You will need:
1 tin of butterbeans
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 tin of passata
425ml of vegetable stock
350g butternut squash

Drain and rinse the beans.
Chop the onions and fry with the olive oil in a large pan for 10 minutes. Add the garlic, passata, stock and seasoning.
Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel, de-seed and chop the butternut squash into chunks.
Add the squash and the beans to the pan and simmer for another 20 minutes.
Serve with crusty bread and butter.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Made on Monday - Ribbon and crystal bead necklace

Made on Monday - Ribbon and crystal bead necklace
This is a sneek peek at one of the Christmas presents I have made this year. I was inspired by an article I read in last years Prima Christmas Makes magazine. It used up materials I had in my craft drawers so I've spent no money on this make, even better!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Sewing Sunday - Free Beano Dennis the Menace style cross stitch bookmark pattern

The must have for any Beano fan. 
Free Beano Dennis the Menace style cross stitch bookmark pattern

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Sweet Saturday - blackberry vodka recipe

This year we had a glut of blackberries. I had bake pies and cooked crumbles and still had some left. I often make the hubby a flavored vodka for Christmas and decided these would be a good candidate for a new version. The final outcome is delicious and if you want to have a go at making your own just click on the read more link. 

Friday, 22 November 2013

Friday Fun - how to make a paper holly wreath

This is a lovely craft to do with the kids. If they are smaller like mine (5) then pre cut all the pieces as I have done. If not let them cut out as well as assemble the wreath.
First draw around a small plate and a jam jar lid on green card. Then cut out to make the basic wreath shape.
So it should look like this.
Then using green patterned papers. I always seem to have a ton of craft papers stashed away! If not you could use different green papers or wrapping papers. Cut out a selection of holly leaf shapes. They do not all have to be matching or perfectly shaped as this never happens in nature.
Then using a glue stick glue the holly leaves around the ring so that the background colour is almost covered.
Then add red buttons for berries (again always seem to have a ton of buttons). Finally tape a loop of ribbon on the back of the wreath so you can hang it.
There you have it, a beautiful holly wreath that can be used year after year. 

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Tasty Thursday - gnocchi and tomato bake recipe

1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion
1 pepper
1 pack Gnocchi
1 packet passata
1 tsp dried basil
1 ball of mozzarella

Slice the onion and chop the pepper into chunks.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and then fry the onion and pepper for 5 minutes. Add the passata and basil and cook for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and then cook the gnocchi according to the packets instructions.
Drain the gnocchi place in a baking dish pour over the tomato sauce and then top with sliced mozzarella.
Grill on a high heat for 3 minutes.
Tasty Thursday - gnocchi and tomato bake recipe

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Tutorial Tuesday - How to create custom made luggage label gift tags

I think it is so nice when you can make the wrapping and the tags for something handmade you are giving at Christmas. So I've just compiled a collection of some of my favourite ways to customise Luggage labels, which I know most crafters keep in their stash.

First use papers that have a stitched design on them. I love these hearts and they came in a range of designs that look as if I've stitched them on. All I did was carefully cut them out and glued them in a central position. These are great for Christmas with the red tones but would also suit Valentines when giving a handmade gift to your loved one.
Tutorial Tuesday - How to create custom made luggage label gift tags
Tutorial Tuesday - How to create custom made luggage label gift tags
 Why not try decorating with buttons.
I know I am guilty of hoarding buttons. I often just have them to look at as they look great in colour organised jars but sometimes it feels good to break them out with a crafty activity. They are just perfect for decorating these tags.
Tutorial Tuesday - How to create custom made luggage label gift tags
To make the snowman simply find two white buttons one larger than the other and glue in place with some pva glue. Then cut out a hat from craft paper and glue on at a jaunty angle.

Tutorial Tuesday - How to create custom made luggage label gift tags
 To make the puddings find three brown buttons of varying sizes. Glue them on smallest to largest down the tag with PVA. Then with pencil crayons add holly berries and leaves.
Tutorial Tuesday - How to create custom made luggage label gift tags
 To make the tree you will need a collection of green buttons of varying sizes. It is best to play around with the arrangement first so you can make a triangle shape. Then when you are happy with the shape of your tree glue the buttons in place with PVA. Add a paper bucket shape and a star to finish.

 Finally wrap Christmas ribbon around for a classic clean finish.
Tutorial Tuesday - How to create custom made luggage label gift tags
 I bought these ribbons at Hobby craft last week and I have been dying to use them in my Christmas makes. These tags are easy to make and just require you to cut the ribbon so that it wraps and slightly overlaps at the back. Then use double sided sticky tape to secure in place.
Tutorial Tuesday - How to create custom made luggage label gift tags
I just had to use the starry tag straight away as it went so well with the gift wrap I made last week. The first handmade Christmas present (the cross stitch bunny for George) wrapped and waiting for Christmas. 

Monday, 18 November 2013

Made on Monday - cross stitch nursery soft toy bunny

Made on Monday - cross stitch nursery soft toy bunny 
I have just finished making this bunny for George for Christmas. The pattern was from the world of cross stitching magazine and I love the simple design. The colour choice and the circles really fit in well with decoration scheme in George's room. He has such a sweet face, I am tempted to make more for the other kids in the family. But at the moment it will have to be added on my to sew list which seems to get longer every day.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Tasty Thursday - Vegetarian sausage and butter nut squash pasties

These comforting pasties are packed with savoury vegetarian sausage meat and sweet butter nut squash. Perfect with a baked potato for home cooking comfort.

This will make four large pasties
1 packet dry vegetarian sausage meat mix.
1/4 butter nut squash
300g plain flour
150g margarine
1-2 tbsp of cold water.
1 egg beaten.

Preheat the oven to 200c gas mark 5.

First mix up the sausage meat mix with water following the packets instructions.

Then rub the margarine into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs.

Add the cold water and mix with a round bladed knife until the mix starts to bind together. Do not worry if you haven't added all of the water, as you do not want a sloppy mix.

Form into a ball and leave.

Peel and chop the butter nut squash into small cubes.
Divide the pastry into 4. Roll into balls and then roll out into circle roughly the size of a small plate.

Mix the sausage meat and butter nut squash together. Divide the mixture between the pasty circles.

Bring the edges of the pasty together and crimp by pressing your finger and thumb together along the edge.

Brush with beaten egg and bake for 35-40 minutes.
Tasty Thursday - Vegetarian sausage and butter nut squash pasties 


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