Monthly makes – September

September was a pretty busy month for making things. Aside from crafting with the children, which happens pretty much every day, there was also some baking with carrot cakes and a lovely Victoria sponge. There was the finishing off of WIPs and making a start on handmade gifts for Christmas so I thought I would write about my Monthly Makes.

The month started with the London-themed ATC I made for a swap. I embroidered a London bus (from a pattern in Annela Hoey’s Little Stitches). I received a lovely ATC from my partner, she created a sandcastle and used a variety of textiles and stitches and it’s beautiful.

I tried making a few felt decorations for another handmade decoration swap I joined in with. I made a felt Christmas tree and felt bird but I didn’t feel they were good enough. Instead I made a felt peppermint candy and felt snow globe and was finally happy to send them off.

felt snow globe decoration

My embroidered hexagons from Wild Olive’s Winter Stitching Club are coming along nicely. I’m working on my seventh our of thirteen so I’m getting there.

Winter Stitching Club

I ticked off a small applique from my handmade Christmas list which is a present for my sister. I made it using a pattern in Home Quilt Home and there are so many more things I would love to make from there.

felt Christmas tree

Last night I completed a felt gingerbread house which I must have started last year. I made the house but finished the felt cookies and candy canes. My children have been having fun playing with it but I can’t wait to make a couple of real ones when the weather starts to cool down.

I’ve read some great craft books this month too. I’ve finished Sewlicious by Kate Haxell, Mollie Makes Christmas, Stitch along by Jenny Doh, and felt-o-ween. They’re full of post it notes as I have so many things I would like to make. I’d better get on with it!

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Filed under crafts, handmade, Handmade gifts, sewing, swaps

Monday happy things

So it’s only the second time I have written my Monday happy post but already it’s making me happy just thinking about what to write about. I’ve decided to pick 5 things which have made me happy over the last week but I could easily have written more:

On Saturday we booked ourselves on a tour of the beautiful Red House, the only house commissioned, created and lived in by William Morris, founder of the Arts & Crafts movement. He only lived in it for 5 years but it still retains some pieces of furniture, wall paintings and decorations that he designed.

IMG_6817my two favourite people

My husband bought me a dozen red roses to celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary

I took my 2 year old daughter with me to the West End to the Orla Kiely sample sale. You know I adore Orla Kiely and saving money so an Orla Kiely sample sale is right up my street. Unfortunately the sample sale was really poor with only a few handbags, old iphone cases and clothing – nothing I wanted or needed. However, we had a wonderful walk through the West End and she happily ran around the empty fountain in the Brunswick Centre for what felt like hours, so we had a great day out.

I had another sale in my Etsy shop - lost and found things. I love wrapping up my vintage finds and sending them on their way.

I finished a small wall hanging for my sister which is a Christmas present. I used a pattern from Home Quilt Home which is one of my favourite sewing books. I can’t say too much more as my sister reads my blog but I enjoyed making it and am feeling super organised about Christmas.

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Filed under days out, Handmade gifts, National Trust, Orla Kiely

10 gingerbread foods to bake

You know by now that I love gingerbread, not just at Christmas but all year round. I’ve drawn up a little list of 10 of my favourite gingerbread foods to bake. We love making gingerbread men as much as anyone but some of these are just a little bit different and so much fun.

10 gingerbread foods to bake - the gingerbread house

10 gingerbread foods to bake

You can make gingerbread biscuits in any shape or size. I’ve been collecting vintage cookie cutters for years and my children love to rifle through the collection to choose their favourites. I have a never fail gingerbread recipe and sometimes the most simple shapes are the best. Did you know you can turn your gingerbread biscuit upside down to make reindeer?

Katrina has only improved the traditional gingerbread man shape with her gingerbread sandwich cookies. They are filled with marshmallow and chocolate for a tasty treat.

If you like something traditional then you could also bake gingerbread house biscuits. They are great fun to decorate and you can set up an easy invitation to play with tubes of ready made icing and colourful sprinkles.

Tinkerlab shares her instructions for drizzle and painted gingerbread cookies, she whips up some royal icing and uses a piping bag for some creativity in the kitchen.

I love this edible gingerbread wreath made of stars, but I’m not sure the biscuits would last long enough in our house to be made into a wreath!

Perhaps slightly easier is this pretty gingerbread cookie garland of trees and people, the icing really finishes them off.

There are so many lovely shapes to make but I found some amazing examples thanks to Pinterest. These gingerbread Christmas trees are so simple but effective and I would love to have the patience and skill to make these beautiful Santa Claus gingerbread cookies.

If you love to decorate with gingerbread then these stained glass gingerbread cookies from Nurture Store are really fun. They would make lovely handmade gifts too.

If you’re celebrating a birthday how about making pinata gingerbread cookies? Emma at My Little 3 And Me has a great tutorial for them which I’d love to try.

Finally if you want to make something other than a biscuit you could always try gingerbread cupcakes using gingerbread hot chocolate, we made some and they tasted divine and were a fun alternative to chocolate.



Filed under Christmas, gingerbread, Handmade gifts