Sunday, 25 November 2012

Dotty about Spots

Love that bag!
 This week has had rather a spotty theme to it! I've treated myself to a new handbag for winter from the lovely Nicky at Love that Bag!

I've also made up lots of  kits, using the dotty bags that Becky from Dots and Spots supplies, as opposed to the old plain bags. I think they look brilliant if I say so myself!
Spotty bags
We also had to have a new kettle as the old ones switch had stopped working. and it was good-bye to the old spotty kettle and hello to the new!

Pickle-Lily and I have been busy making things for next week-end, as we have some really lovely events that we are looking forward to.
Saturday we are at Mells, for Christmas in the Barn . P and I visited it in the spring for their spring event and it was such a super event. Full of beautiful things to buy (which we did) and a gorgeous location. This Christmas we have been lucky enough to be invited as sellers and we are so looking forward to it!
Sunday I am at Exeter Castle for the Craft Hub's Christmas Craft Jam, another amazing location and it will be full of beautiful things to spend my pennies on!
Finally, Monday is the amazing Blackmore Farm Christmas shopping event. I was lucky enough to be there last year and have been invited back this year.
Today is Stir-up Sunday, the day when traditionally you make your Christmas pudding, and we have made ours today. A handy cooking tip - don't use your finger to clear the blender when making bread crumbs and then switch it on! It doesn't do fingers or blenders any good!
I'm off to check the water in the pudding pan, but should be back later in the week. In the meantime why not visit Handmade Monday and see what all the other bloggers have been up to?

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

It's Carnival!

Monday evening was Carnival night where I live in Somerset. Before I moved here Carnival to me was a Saturday afternoon in the local village with some tractors pulling trailers with the pre-school and primary school on.
Then I went to my first Carnival here - to be honest it just blew me and the kids away! My impressions were - the noise, the heat from literally tens of thousands of light bulbs, the detail and just how incredible the floats are.

For a video of this year's overall winner see here.
If you ever get the chance to see a Somerset carnival - go!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Festive Friday is back!

Pickle-Lily is making our big Christmas cake with the guides this year, but we also make mini cakes at home, which make lovely gifts.
Mini Christmas cake
So now is the time to bake your fruit cakes. This mix makes five mini cakes.
For the mixture you need
100g butter
100g of soft brown sugar
340g of mixed fruit
130g plain flour
1 tsp mixed spice
2 eggs

Cream the butter and sugar together and then beat in the eggs.
Fold in the flour and mixed spices.
Stir in the fruit.
Now the clever part! For the tins I use small baked bean tins - you'll need the sort with ring tabs. Give them a good wash after you've eaten the contents, and then using a tin opener, carefully open the the bottom of the tin. Let the bottom you've just cut drop through to the top. The cut edge will rest nicely on the small lip left by the ring pull lid, and voila you have a mini loose base tin. Be careful as the base is sharp!
Mini loose base tin for free!
I then lined it with a double layer of greaseproof or baking paper (no need to grease!) and filled my tins with the mixture.
5 little Christmas cakes
Bake them in the oven at 120 C fan / Gas 1 for about 2 hours - this timing really depends on your oven, and you may need to cover the tops with some foil or baking paper to stop them from burning.
allow them to cool on a cooling rack
When they have cooled, wrap them in greaseproof and then foil. I did mine individually and store in a cake tin. You can feed them if you want to.
A simple way to marzipan and ice to follow!

P.S. I was going to do a separate post for Handmade Monday, but as usual I ran out of time! Why not go and visit everyone elses blogs and see what they've been up to?

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Bobbles and Bunting

Girly bunting
During half term Pickle-Lily and I went to  Millie Moon's in Frome to have a girls day out learning to make bunting with the fabulous Jane from Dufflebobble.
Listening carefully
We had a lovely day together and between us made some 'girly ' bunting for P to put up in her room and I made some Christmas bunting to decorate my home with. The biggest problem we had was choosing which fabrics to use, as we could choose anything we wanted! Needless to say we came home with a bag full of fat quarters of fabulous fabric to use! Jane was an excellent teacher, very patient and clear with her instructions, as well as useful tips and ideas.
The next day we both made some more bunting - some Halloween for me, and P made some Christmas bunting to sell with her cushions!

Our lovely bunting!
Of course while in Frome  we had to visit Marmalade Yarns and like all the ladies I saw in Millie Moon, came out with a colourful bag full of pom-pom yarn called Jester. It is a great novelty yarn that comes in some really zingy colours, I brought a festive red and used it to knit myself a fab tea-cosy. I thought I'd share the pattern with you if you would like it?
Jester yarn
This week is back to a more 'normal' routine for me, apart from all the housework I have waiting to do! But I am planning a Festive Friday for tomorrow - so watch this blog!