A Crafty Christmas

Some of you may know I’ve had a really busy time lately. Not only am I trying to study for my final year at uni, but I’ve also undertaken the massive task of acting in panto. Argh! This year I need to learn not to take on more than I can handle – at least so that I can devote more time to making cute things. I had a couple of weeks off over Christmas, so was able to get back into the kitchen / craft room and get creative.

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In the kitchen, I cooked up a minor storm (with virtually no baking required!). I made some delicious peppermint bark for my family using this Martha Stewart recipe, which is pretty foolproof to be honest! I smashed it and bagged it up in little treat bags for sweet stocking fillers, alongside a bag of gingerbread truffles made using this recipe from A Beautiful Bite. I halved the ingredients, except for the amount of spices. I found when I halved the spices they weren’t able to cut through the chocolate. They were delicious, if very messy to make! I kept mine in the freezer for a good few days before handing them over with strict instructions to keep them chilled. (Photo from A Beautiful Bite)

Last year I tried hot buttered rum for the first time and damn, it was good! Sweet, spicy, fruity, warm and it didn’t even taste of alcohol.hotbu The Plough near us serves it and it is delicious. So, I decided to make my own as gifts. I researched the internet for recipes but they were all different, so I improvised using this Kitchn recipe. I stuck to the 1:1 ratio on butter and brown sugar and added cloves, cardamom, nutmeg and a little bit of cinnamon, blending it together until it thickened. I scooped this batter into a kilner jar topped with instructions to serve 1 tbsp rum and 1 tbsp of batter in a glass topped up with warm water and apple juice. The apple juice really makes this delicious – especially when you add a slice of apple to be eaten at the end!

I also wanted to make an advent calendar instead of buying one. I wanted something easy, though, to fit in around my schedule and found a tutorial for a stocking calendar on Martha Stewart. sytdtrTaking this as my inspiration, I grabbed some Christmas baby socks from Primark (12 pairs, of course!) and took a trip to Poundland to buy some mini pegs, some Christmassy crochet ribbon and some packs of mini Mars bars. It only took me about an hour to make but it looked so adorable hanging in my kitchen!

candycanesI still had loads of candy canes left over from my peppermint bark, so I bought a candy jar from Wilkinsons and some fake snow from Poundland (my new favourite shop for craft supplies!) and created the easiest display for my fire burner.I added some Christmas tree cuttings from the market and some larger Christmas ornaments and it looked so festive.Finally came the big day! I wanted my gifts to carry on my crafty theme and have a slightly rustic feel to them. I love kraft paper for wrapping gifts; it creates such a cute blank canvas to add embellishments, stamps or fancy ribbons to. This time I wrapped wrappingbaker’s twine around in festive coloured and created some tiny wreaths from sprigs of rosemary out of our garden. It took a few attempts to make enough wreaths without them snapping, but after plenty of soaking the sprigs were quite pliable. They smelt so good under our tree!None of these projects took me very long or cost me much at all, so it was a perfect way to get back into the creative spirit with little time or stress! Now I’m starting my Pinterest board for Christmas 2014…

E x

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One thought on “A Crafty Christmas

  1. Pingback: A Crafty Christmas | The Honey Bee

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