#CraftBlogClub Secret Santa Reveal

Hey!

So we’re into the new year now, and for me at least, this means the Christmas decorations are away (and every year I forget how weird and empty this makes the house look) and the majority at least, of the junk food has been eaten.

Here at Casa de Crafty, we’re still making our way through binge-watching Fringe, and have started season 6 of Sons of Anarchy on Netflix, eating the last of the festive chocolate and I’ve done two days back at work already! We’re fairly officially in 2015, so this of course means I’m posting about… Well, er, Christmas actually! And the #CraftBlogClub secret santa! I’ve blogged about them before, as well as a previous giveaway and you can read about that here and here. (Don’t worry links open in a new window so you won’t lose me).

I jumped at the chance to sign up to the secret santa swap with #CraftBlogClub on Twitter back in November! I already had a pretty good idea what I was going to make for the lovely Fiona, from Fizzi~Jayne Makes. Do click that link to visit her awesome blog too!

Here’s what I made:

CBCSS1.jpgAnd a close up: CBCSS2.jpgI got stitching pretty close to the due date, opting for traditional red and gold, as I didn’t know the scheme she was working with, I decided to decorate with simple stars, stitched with a gorgeous warm gold metallic thread! I’ve posted already about my Christmas Stocking Baubles and they are a joy to stitch! Seriously I absolutely love them!

I also sent along a handmade Christmas card, some Cornish Christmas Pudding flavour chocolate, and a Cornish Piskie which brings good fortune if you carry one in your purse (well if it helps it helps!) Though I’m not Cornish, living here I thought it would make my gift a little unique! If you read Fiona’s post HERE, she’s posted pretty pictures of it all together, because I reeeeeaallly didn’t think that far ahead.

What I received:

It felt like forever til I received my gift in return but it was SO exciting! My parcel and Christmas card arrived from Amanda at Gift Frippery (seriously check out her blog, if not to gaze in wonder at the photos of beautiful things she does to gift wrapping!)

Then this HUGE box arrived… Now those close to me will know, I’m one of those people that LOVES wrapping presents. I’m all about bows and ribbons and folding it so it’s all pretty, and being generally anal-retentive about the whole process… So imagine my delight when I opened the box and saw this!

CBCSS3.jpgI almost didn’t want to open it… I mean how gorgeous is that?!

The camera came out straight away (because I knew I’d have to document this moment here) and then I immediately opened my present (I had an audience as well, as Stu’s mum had come round for dinner that evening! The curious kitten on the left of the photo is Loki of course!)

And inside were these utterly beautiful rolls of hand-printed wrapping paper!

CBCSS4.jpgClose up:

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The deer paper is so classically festive and beautiful, as is the stunning bird paper!!

I almost didn’t want to use it, it’s so pretty! I wanted to do something else with it too, I’m undecided but thought I’d think of a few ideas. Though of course it is wrapping paper, and though I haven’t used all of it, because I wanted to save some for this year too, here is a little ‘in use’ shot for you!

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I hope I did it justice!

It was amazing, and I’m really glad I took part, I enjoyed making my present, love what I received and now I’m enjoying reading everyone’s blog posts too! I can’t wait to join all the #CraftBlogClub regulars from tomorrow, and don’t forget you can join in too every Tuesday at 7pm (UK time) for chats and tips and all sorts of creative goodness!

Until next time!

SIG

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#craftblogclub Challenge Launch

Hey!

Ok, so a random post for a Tuesday evening, but I wanted to share this on here, as something other bloggers may be interested in taking part too!

First an introduction: In September 2013, Emma at Life is Peachy (do give that link a click to head over to her blog) launched #CraftBlogClub on Twitter – a twitter chat hour for craft bloggers, lovers of craft blogs and crafting alike.  The aim was create a fun, non-competitive arena to talk about anything craft-related or, indeed, blogging related, as well as throwing in monthly challenges. [Her own words].

I discovered it a few months ago and have joined in (my posts HERE and HERE for example).

This month Co-Host Fiona at Fizzi~Jayne Makes (visit her too 😀 it’s a demanding post this really isn’t it!) has set the challenge, and has given me permission to copy her blog post (which you can find here) right here too:

#CraftBlogClub challenge launch….

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We haven’t had a challenge for a couple of months whilst we enjoyed the summer holidays, if you went away I hope you had a lovely break. Now the kids are back at school and we’ve had the last bank holiday until Christmas it’s time to lift our moods and set a challenge.

 

It may only just be September but there is certainly a nip in the air and I have even been tempted to put on the heating! (But I have resisted so far) so as we put the BBQ away and find our winter boots at the back of the wardrobe the theme for this challenge is Winter! Thank you to @kay_O who came up with the idea of a winter theme following a chat about knitting on #CraftBlogClub.

The rules….

  1. There aren’t really rules as you can interpret this theme how you like.  If you knit, crochet or sew, you may be inspired to make a winter garment/accessory or use a wintery colour palette to create something for a project of your choice.

I have set up a #CraftBlogClub Winter Challenge board on Pinterest to inspire you if you are stuck for ideas. If you would like to add your inspiration to the board let me know so I can add you as a pinner.

  1. Present your lovely project in a blog post by 7th October. There will be a linky set up on THIS BLOG to showcase your makes and do take some time to have a gander at the other posts, it’s lovely to see some of the amazing creativity we have in our #CraftBlogClub!
  2. Let us know how you’re doing throughout the month and use our #CraftBlogClub hashtag to keep up to date and also #WinterCBC.

I hope you will join in and I can’t wait to see what everyone makes!!…

fizzi~jayne x

As you may have noticed I got a bit of credit here *blush* for coming up with the idea! (It was a team effort honestly!) and I am indeed working on a knitting project I haven’t shared on here! So if you want to see what’s happening, and get involved, do visit us on Tuesday evenings (7-8pm UK time) and feel free to add me on Twitter @Kay_O.

Hope you’re having a great week!

SIG

 

Kay’s Easy Shortbread

Hey!

I don’t know about you, but when I started baking, I stuck to what I knew, eventually branching out and being (still not very) adventurous! Shortbread always intimidated me for some reason… But I’m here to put your mind at rest, seriously Shortbread is EASY!!!!!

I’m not even going to lie, this recipe comes from a stained, torn, food-splattered cookbook that was my Dads, and is now mine! It’s called “Cooking is Fun” which still makes me raise my eyebrows and bitterly mutter something along the lines of “Suuuuuure it is”.  Produced by those helpful people at “Good Housekeeping” and stolen from a high school a long while ago, with someone else’s name in the front along with their form room! (Looking it up on Amazon, it’s from 1976).

Here is the shortbread recipe, I am henceforth calling:

Kay’s Easy Shortbread!

Makes (lots, ish, depending on how you cut them…)

Here is a picture of some I made at Christmas: Pre Xmas Baking (6)

Ingredients:

150g Plain Flour

50g Caster Sugar

100g Butter

Caster Sugar for Dredging/Chocolate for dipping/Icing sugar for icing… seriously, you get the idea….

Method:

Preheat oven to 150°c/300°f/gas mark 1-2

Sift the Flour and Sugar together in a bowl. (Is “Sift” a mental word? Sieve it? Still weird… anyway….)

Work the butter into the dry ingredients by squeezing gently with one hand, keeping it in one piece until it binds together, (if it’s a bit too dry, I literally wet my hand under a tap to add a little bit of moisture…)

Lightly flour a board, and roll out, if you’re making “rounds”, divide into two pieces, roll to approx 1cm thickness keeping a round shape. If you’re making “fingers” roll into a rectangular shape to approx 1cm thickness, if you’re cutting shapes (eg stars) roll to 1cm thickness and cut them out, but try not to work the dough too much if you’re re-rolling it out…

Put your dough –  in whatever form you have so created –  into a lined baking tray (say’s greased in the book, but I use baking paper it’s up to you really)

Prick the surface of the dough with a fork  or a cocktail stick, or something pointy…

Place into the centre of the oven and bake for approx, 45 minutes (I know it’s ages!!!) it might be less for some ovens, and for smaller shaped shortbread so keep an eye on it! It’s done when the shortbread is firm and lightly browned

When cooked lift them onto a cooling rack (see why I use baking paper now!)  and Dredge* with caster sugar.

When cooled divide if necessary, and eat!

Lasts… I  have no idea, no more than a couple of days in this house! If they last a while for you I’d appreciate a timescale!

*Dredging, is something I had to look up  (see how unashamed I am here?!) It’s sprinkling caster sugar on top, seriously, why can’t they just say that!? But yeah, you can buy (or perhaps already own) a dredger, or you can use a sieve or a tea-strainer like I did!

For my christmas ones I dusted with icing sugar, which is a bit less dense… and looks a bit prettier.

The iced ones, I followed the packaging on my icing sugar, it’s essentially add water to icing sugar to desired consistency and GO NUTS, I decorated with edible gold balls… Leave to set on baking paper.

The chocolate ones, I melted some chocolate (can do this over a pan of water or in the microwave) and dipped the shortbread in once it had cooled, leaving to set on some baking paper.

EAT AND ENJOY!!

Kx