Saturday, 10 December 2011

A little Christmasy post

Well, first let me start with an apology: I am sorry I have been a useless blogger of late. I can assure you that this is entirely due to 'real world' happenings and that I have not gone off blogging at all! You see, Christmas is just around the corner, but before it arrives I am meant to have sold a house and bought another one. As you can imagine, this is making my life a little stressful at the moment. Well, that and the 'review' at my workplace, where business analysts are checking us over, looking for what they politely term 'efficiencies', which we all know means savings! Fingers crossed that I won't be one of those 'efficiencies'!

So, that is my apology and explanation out of the way. Now let's get down to Christmas!

I have always been a big fan of Christmas; the sparkly lights, the sharing time with friends and family, the food and the fun always make me really happy. But this year, I am having more fun than usual in preparing for the big day (house move aside). As we haven't been able to decorate our house this year, I decided to spend my time doing all manner of other Christmas things, starting with making little felt tree decorations.

My obsession with felt all began with a visit to the Fabric Rehab website, where I happened upon some lovely little kits for making decorations. I promptly ordered three, and this is what I made:

Aren't they adorable?! The kits come with everything you need (apart from the stuffing) to make two of each of the decorations and they really make me smile.

And then I got carried away! I took a trip to my favourite haberdashery, Millie Moon, who have recently opened a new store in Wells. Whilst it's not as big as the Frome shop, it is still filled to the brim with sewing magic. I bought a stack of beautiful, brightly coloured felt and set to work on making more decorations. This is what I have made so far:


For my next trick, I decided that this was the year to attempt to bake a Christmas cake. This is something of a surprise both to me and to my husband! We both know just how much I hate anything containing any form of dried fruit or peel, but as this year I am a goddess-in-training, it seemed only right that I attempt this staple Christmas treat. After consulting my friends on Twitter, I plumped for a classic Delia recipe and set about baking. I hadn't realised quite how much goes into a Christmas cake, either ingredients-wise or time-wise. You have to soak the fruit the night before, the cake has to bake for what turned out to be 5 hours and then you have to 'feed' it every few days in the weeks leading up to Christmas! And you don't even find out if it'll taste good until the big day! I really hope this is a good one and that my dad loves it - I made it for him really.

Here's a piccie of the cake when it had just come out of the oven. I shall endeavour to blog again once it is decorated.

And finally, yesterday was my Christmas Shopping Day. This is an annual event, where my husband and I each take the day off work and do all of our Christmas shopping in one go. This year we chose Bath and bought some utterly lovely things in some of the independent stores and little boutiques. Once we had managed to park, it was a lovely day. And when we got home, it was time to wrap the presents. 

Every year I try to make my presents prettier than the year before. I am a sucker for beautiful packaging and I like to make the gifts looks as appealing as possible under the tree. Two years ago I potato printed brown paper with sparkly red stars, last year it was brown paper and a rubber stamp, and this year it was Mollie Makes-inspired brown paper with white gel pen decorations! I posted a pic on Twitter and got so many complimentary comments that I thought I ought to show some more here. It took me three hours to decorate 10 presents. I really hope the family like them!



 
You've probably guessed already, but the gift tags are from Cath Kidston. I think they're super cute! If you like the paper designs, feel free to copy for your own gifts, but here's a little plea that you don't copy for profit. I've heard some nasty stories about that happening recently and it makes me sad. 

Anyways, I've probably kept you for quite long enough now, so will leave you to your cups of tea and slices of pre-Christmas cake. In case I don't get another chance to blog before Christmas I will sign off with a great big "Merry Christmas" to you all. I hope that you all enjoy yourselves, however you are planning to celebrate. 

Love and kisses! x