Category Archives: A Home Made Christmas

A quick “Hello!”

Hello! I do hope everyone had a lovely Christmas.

We had a lovely day and both Big and Little A were well and truly spoilt! However Harry and Rosie did not get to make their appearance due to more machine trouble.

However, my wonderful Dad has come to the rescue and I am now in possession of a pretty old singer which may just do the job perfectly – I shall however have to wit until later on today to find out!!

If I do get Harry and Rosie finished before Hogmanay, I promise you will be the first to know!!

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Cranberry Sauce

Ok, so here is the recipe for the cranberry sauce I mentioned in yesterday’s post. It really was super easy to make and tastes divine!

Ingredients:

  • 400g  fresh cranberries
  • 1oog  caster sugar
  • 150ml  fresh orange juice
  • 20 – 50ml of gin ( add to taste)
  • 1 clove
  • ¼ – ½ nutmeg, grated very finely

 

Method:

  • Put all the cranberries, juice, gin, sugar and spices in the pan.
  • Stir well

  • Leave to simmer for about 15 – 20 mins until the cranberries start to burst.
  • Pop the lid on and simmer gently until the liquid has reduced, stirring frequently.

  • Remove from the heat and pour into sterilised jars.

  • Leave the jars until they are completely cool before putting the lids on. The sauce will set, but not to a jelly like consistency. However I prefer it like this.

Store this in the fridge and it will last well ( if it’s not all polished off in the first day or two!).  For eating with Christmas dinner, remove from the fridge and allow to come up to room temp before serving.

This is also gorgeous on goats cheese or brie paninis / ciabattas. Yum!!

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Phew!!

So, here it is. The first glimpse of Harry!!! I am so excited  – I can’t wait to see Big A’s face when he get’s him on Christmas morning!

Harry - well, almost!

All I have to do now is attach all the limbs and head to the body.  I think I will sew Rosie up tonight and stuff her and sew on her face. Then tomorrow night I can sit in comfort on the sofa and attach all the limbs etc to the bodies in one go as they will need to be sewn on by hand.

Rosie all marked out

Rosie cut & pinned

 I have decide to keep you all in suspenders though! Pictures of the finished Harry & Rosie will be posted on Boxing Day!!!!

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Filed under A Home Made Christmas, Fabric obsessions, Harry & Rosie - the bear and the cat, Sentimental Old Me, Sewing Woes!

Disaster!!!!

Picture it – me, sitting at the kitchen table, head in hands. Material and thread everywhere. Not a stitch done – and I mean that literally. I could have cried.

There I am sat at the table all ready to go. I needed to fill the bobbin and it took ages – the bit the bobbin goes on whilst filling kept springing off and resulted in a mass of tangled thread being frustratedly pulled off by me! Then, afer several attempts I finally got it done – only to then for the bottom thread not to pick up!

Parts were taken off, out, removed, put back in. Several times! It was no use and eventually after wracking my brains for a way to get Harry and Rosie done I admitted defeat, packed everything away and headed for the shower.

I have to say, I felt better after a shower and came downstairs with a (sort of) plan. I appealed on facebook groups I am on. I advertised on gumtree and freecycle. I decided to call the lovely ladies at the fabric shop in the morning to see if they could point me in the direction of somewhere that had a machine I could hire.

So after dropping Big A at school I beat a hasty retreat to the house where I got straight on the phone. No luck.

So resigned to the fact that it would be a new machine that was needed I set about looking at what was on offer. This was going tobe an expensive week!

I knew I wasn’t going to get anything done on the H & R front, so decided the best plan of action was to make the cranberry sauce for Saturday!  I will do a separate post in a bit with the recipe etc, but I can tell you that it’s gorgeous!

At lunchtime Mr A called  – he was sure his Gran had a machine and he would give her a quick call to find out. Very nice of him, only i’s information I could have used at 9pm last night!!! Luckily Gran came to the rescue and Mr A is off to collect it tonight.

So, all going well I will be back tomorrow with Harry and possibly Rosie to show you!

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Cut and Pinned!!!!!

Hooray! I have now got Harry cut and pinned ready for sewing and stuffing this evening once Big A and Little A are in bed.

I am actually very excited  – Rosie is tomorrows job and then I will be keeping them hidden until the big day on Saturday. My intention was to pop Harry & Rosie in the children’s stockings, however their stockings are smaller than I remember, so I am having to have a rethink on how to present them – I feel like wrapping them but am not sure if I really want to. I am it has to be said probably a much bigger child than the children are when it comes to Christmas!!!

So, check back tomorrow for pictures of a sewn and stuffed Harry and a cut and pinned Rosie!

All drawn out ready for cutting

Cut and Pinned!

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Salt Dough Decorations

This week I have been busy making and baking salt dough decorations. I have made several batches for use on our tree, for gifts to various family members and for tomorrows messy play date with friends in our kitchen!

There are several recipies for salt dough, but I find that this one works best for me:

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup table ( fine) salt
  • 1/2 cup water

Put the flour & salt in a bowl and mix well, add the water and form a dough. The dough should not be too wet or it will stick to everything and spread while cooking. It also shouln’t be too dry or the finished items tend to be a bit crumbly.

All you have to do is flour the surface lightly, roll to about a 1/2cm thickness and use whatever cutters you fancy!

Cooking – as far as I can make out, everyone has a different way of cooking salt dough, but I have found that the following method gives me good results.

  • Cover a baking tray with grease proof paper
  • Place the decorations on and place in oven for around 2-3 hrs on half a gas mark.
  • Remove from oven and alow to go touch cool and gently remove from paper
  • Place back on the papered tray and leave to cool compleatly ( i leave for a good 2 hrs)
  • Return to the oven on Gas 1 for another 3 hrs

You need to check regularly during the second cooking to ensure they are not going over done. You can tell when they are done by tapping on the bottom of the decoration and you should hear a hollow sound.

You can then paint & decorate however you like!

First batch of salt dough decorations

 

Painted and ready for sparkle!

 

All sparkly!

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Practice, practice, practice!

So, I thought it was about time that I make a proper start on Harry and Rosie the stars of the show!!

Whilst Big A was away at my parents for a couple of days and Little A was napping I decided it was time to bite the bullet and just go for it! And the result wasn’t to shabby  – for a first attempt at making a stuffed toy!

An old pair of curtains and a fair bit of mess later and I had all the parts of the practice bear made and stuffed and this was the result ( minus the ears which I forgot to do!):

 His feet are a bit odd because I was experimenting with how best to stuff and sew them. But, I did get his legs attached – not great I have to admit, but they are on! Eyes and nose are currently drawn on, however on Harry and Rosie they will be embroidered on.

 

The only thing I am concerned about really is the size – I am going to make the finished Harry and Rosie bigger, so Mr A was sent off to work yesterday morning with a pile of patterns to enlarge on the photocopier! They look much better now though and am pleased with the size – so much so I already have several in mind for presents and having seen the practice bear also have several requests!

What have I gotten myself into?

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Filed under A Home Made Christmas, Fabric obsessions, Harry & Rosie - the bear and the cat, Sentimental Old Me