Monday, 29 July 2013

Menu and Name place setting thingys

I don’t know why but I love making sure everyones sat next to someone they ‘like’ and everyone knows exactly what’s to eat at Christmas and New Year.  It does save lots of repeated conversations but also I’m usually busy cooking so it allows people to look for themselves without ‘bothering’ me.

For this project you will need:

A4 Card
Smaller pre-folded cards or a card you have made yourself
3x3 inch square cards, these can be made yourself or I bought mine £2.99 for 20 from Papermania
Double sided tape
Colouring medium

I chose to make an easel card with a card attached to it for the menus and that is where I shall start to explain.  Fold the A4 card in half and then one side in half again.  This will be the triangle of your easel.  If you want to you can at this point decorate the easel with papers and ribbons, I also used buttons to keep the easel stood up.

Next make the ‘menu’ card.  Take a card and decorate the front using coordinating papers and ribbons, and a stamped image.  Check this image won’t be too big for your name settings.  Stamp your image once for the menu card and then as many times as is needed for the name settings.  Colour the stamped image and cut it out.  Adhere it to the card you have just decorated then using double sided tape stick the card to the easel.

Now colour the rest of the images to match the one of the menu and cut out the remaining images and adhere them with matching ribbon to the name setting cards. 

I have repeated this process using a traditional Santa in the chimney for Christmas and a Poinsettia for New Year.  

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Alternative Christmas Cakes

Both these cakes can be made at the last minute.  Tunis cakes are light yet still indulgent and Carrot cakes have all the smells and tastes of Christmas without the fruit.

Tunis Cake

325g self raising flour (sifted)
250g softened butter250g castor sugar175g ground almonds1 lemon juice, and rind4 eggs

- Place the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until pale,
- Add the eggs, flour, lemon juice, lemon rind and ground almonds, mixing thoroughly.
- Place the mixture into a 8in greased and floured cake tin and bake in a preheated oven at 150oC/300oF/gas mark 2 for one hour or until springy in the middle when pressed.
- Leave on a wire rack to cool.

To Decorate the cake you will need

 150g dark chocolate; 
40g butter; 
1.5 tbsp water

-Melt all the ingredients
- Pour chocolate icing over top of cake; smooth. Leave to set. Remove paper.
- There should be a good covering of chocolate on the cake.

Then decorate with Marzipan fruits, you can either buy these or make them yourself.

I've lost my photo of mine so this image is courtesy of Google.

Carrot Cake


  • 140 ml vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing

    • 2 eggs
    • 200 g light brown sugar
    • 300 g grated carrots (grated weight)
    • 100 g raisins
    • 75 g pecans or walnuts chopped (optional)
    • 180 g Wholemeal self-raising flour
    • 1 pinches salt
    • 1/2 tsp bicarbinate of soda
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon 
    • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1/2 tsp mixed spice


    1. Preheat the oven to 150C/gas 2. Oil and line a 13 x 23cm loaf tin with greaseproof paper.

    2. For the carrot cake: beat the eggs in a large bowl, then add the oil, brown sugar, grated carrot, raisins and chopped nuts.

    3. Sift in the rest of the dry ingredients and bring the mixture together using a wooden or large metal spoon until well combined.

    4. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, smooth the surface and bake in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

    5. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the tin for about five minutes before removing. Cool completely on a wire rack.

    I always use plain buttercream for the frosting but you can use a cream cheese frosting if you wish.  

    I also made my own carrots to decorate the cake but if you are using this as your Christmas Cake I suggest making little Christmas shapes, stockings, holly leaves etc.

    Sunday, 14 July 2013

    Door Hangers

    Well we are half way through the year and already we have produced some good simple and most importantly cost effective presents.  This will continue through till Christmas week itself.  There are lots to look forward to and I’m fairly sure some gifts you just wont want to part with. However I am feeling a little intimidated by my own blog at the moment and slightly worried about letting people down especially Shelley whose so kind in helping me out and extremely talented.  However I shall persevere and hope that someone somewhere is enjoying this and if nothing else I have my Christmas gifts made.

    Today’s post is about door hangers.  Remember those old door hangers that carried your name and hung on the outside of your door to tell everyone whose room it is? Well this post is all about them, of course these days you’re most likely to find them in the form of do not disturb signs on hotel room doors, well the films still have them even if real life doesn't. 
    Although these are the perfect gift for any child and teenagers they are also perfect for adults too. 

    I’ve created mine with crafters in mind and simply written the statement on letting everyone know that the occupant is crafting and not to disturb them.  I’ve also done one for an avid reader, letting everyone know that the person in the room is totally lost in their book and therefore won’t notice an entrant or anything spoken to them.

    To make these I downloaded and resized a template from the web but it wouldn't be difficult to draw your own, I've also seen them for sale at around 50p each so they aren't expensive should you wish to buy them.  I then used pva glue to adhere my papers to just one side of the card.  You won’t be able to see both sides so there is very little point in decorating both sides unless you are so inclined.  

    I then die cut a shape {but you could also cut a shape using scissors and inked it with distress inks.  I then hand wrote my text and adhered it to the door hanger.  Just to ‘finish’ them off I die cut a circle with a spiral and rolled it around my pricky tool and using pva glued it down for a rose.  I’m now aware that I needn't have bothered with the die, but at the time I wasn't aware it could be done my simple cutting a circle…so a nod to the wise, always check out how you can do things on the cheap before purchasing dies etc.  

    Sunday, 7 July 2013

    Small Christmas wreath

    This is another really quick and pretty cheap way to make a christmas decoration.

    This is what you will need:
    • Polystyrene ring
    • some ribbon
    • a sentiment
    • a Christmas image, can be stamped, a topper or even cut out from a Christmas card.
    • flowers or other embellishments (optional)

    Start by wrapping your ribbon around the ring over lapping each layer so it is completely covered, when you have covered the whole thing glue into place, you can do this with hot glue or a wet glue. When cutting the ribbon make sure you leave enough to make a loop for hanging, just glue the end of the ribbon to the back leaving the size loop you require.

    When the glue is dry you can start to decorate, you can really use any images and decorations you like for this bit, I have used a topper from Kanban and stamped out the sentiment I wanted to use, these have been stuck on with some wet glue.

    I hope you will be back next week to see what Sall has to show you.

    Shelley x