Inspiration

Pretty Christmas Packaging Ideas

Following from my post on lovely handmade Christmas decorations. I thought it would be fun to put together some lovely ideas for packaging your makes or gift wrapping your gifts. Some are more Christmassy than others but the one thing they do have in common is that they are simply beautiful.

pretty packaging ideas

(A la Parisienne)

pretty packaging ideas

(Laughing with Angels)

pretty packaging ideas

(Citrus and Orange)

pretty packaging ideas

(Sweet William)

pretty packaging ideas

(The Original Pop Up Shop)

pretty packaging ideas

(Giochi di Carta)

pretty packaging ideas

(Rebecca Newport)

pretty packaging ideas

(Boxwood Clippings)

pretty packaging ideas

(Carnets Parisiens)

pretty packaging ideas

(Handmade Charlotte)

pretty packaging ideas

(Anastasia Marie)

Pretty Packaging ideas

(Offbeat and Inspired)

Pretty packaging ideas

(Minty House)

pretty packaging ideas

(Pinterest)

pretty packaging ideas

(Studio DIY)

pretty packaging ideas

(Creative Craft Love)

pretty packaging ideas

(Facil Y Sencillo)

Crafts · Sewing

Woodland Friends Felt Brooches

It’s an exciting day for me today. The first of my little felties will be listed in the shop!

woodland friends

owl brooches

pink and white

white owl brooch

fox

Each brooch is hand stitched by me using a beautiful quality wool mix felt from a pattern designed by Gingermelon on Etsy. I’ve really enjoyed making these cute little creatures, and I hope you like them just as much as I do. I will be listing these throughout the day. So please take a little look when you get a chance. They will be coming in a wide range of colours and if there is a particular colour you do like let me know and I will be happy to talk colours with you and make you your own custom brooch. They’re perfect little Christmas gifts or stocking fillers, maybe you are looking for something for your secret santa?

I will posting updates of when things are listed on my Facebook page, liking the page will give you the  best chance to see what’s going on and future sneak peeks. I will also be running a giveaway on there soon to celebrate the new range, but details of that will also be posted on the blog.

Thanks for looking!

Shopping

Shop Feature – Dinabijushop

I recently stumbled over Dinaijushop on Etsy, and oh my they have some lovely items. It’s the kind of shop where you just want to buy everything! From the Ukraine they make unique illustrations by artist Ksenia Kovalenko into wearable and very cute brooches and jewellery using polymer clay and polish. They are currently offering free shipping too!

fox

owl

catbunnykoalagirllionpandaowlowl2

So cute, I will be adding these to my Christmas wish list!

Baking · Chatter · Home

Cherry Yoghurt Bundt Cake

cherry yoghurt bundt cake

I’ve been meaning to buy a Bundt cake tin for a while now, and when I came across a recipe in The Clandestine Cake Club book, I was compelled to go out and buy one straight away.

The recipe was Raspberry Yoghurt Birthday Bundt Cake. The icing was a lovely bright pink colour and with raspberry being one of my favourite flavours I knew I had to try it.

The problem was when I went to buy the raspberry yoghurt there was none, so I made a snap decision to get cherry yoghurt instead, another favourite of mine.

I was pleasantly surprised how the cake turned out as I was not sure quite what to expect. Despite the only raising agent being 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda it was light and fluffy and yet had a delicious moistness from the yoghurt. It took longer to make than I thought it would as the cake needs to bake for an hour in the oven, you then have to wait for it to completely cool before you turn it out, I’m guessing so it doesn’t break apart? The recipe said to use vanilla essence but because I was using cherry yoghurt I thought it would be quite nice to use almond essence instead. I also flavoured the butter icing with a couple of drops of the almond essence which made it taste so good!

cherry yoghurt bundt cake

cherry yoghurt bundt

Please excuse the not so good pictures, by the time the cake was finished  the lighting was not so good.

Being more of a pastels sorta gal I decided to just add a hint of pink food colouring, but you could have some real fun with the colours!

The recipe suggested this was a birthday cake, and it would be a bit different. I would say it’s a healthier option because of the yoghurt but there was 225g of butter in it which was rather a lot, despite that it didn’t taste greasy, although I did have to pat it down with a kitchen towel once it was out of its tin.

 

Recipe:

For the Cake:

225g Butter, softened

450g Caster sugar

4 Eggs

350g Plain flour

1/2 teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda

1/2 tsp of Salt

250ml Good quality Cherry yoghurt (or another flavour you may like!)

1 tsp Almond Essence (or 1sp of Vanilla essence if you are using a different flavour yoghurt

 

Frosting

200g Butter, softened

450g Icing sugar, sifted

3 tbsp. milk

Pink food colouring (optional)

3-4 drops of Almond essence (optional)

Sugar stars to decorate (optional)

 

1. Preheat oven to 170’C / Gas Mark 3 and 1/2.  Grease and flour a 2.5-3 litre bundt tin

2. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy

3. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition, adding a tablespoon of flour with the final egg to help prevent curdling.

4. Mix the remaining flour, bicarb and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix the yoghurt and almond essence.

5. Sift a third of the flour mixture into the egg mixture and stir until just combined, then add half of the yoghurt mix. Repeat until everything is combined. Mix on a low-speed for about 15 seconds or beat with a wooden to spoon to give it a good mix.

6. Transfer the mixture to the tin, spreading evenly. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre. Leave to completely cool in the tine before turning out.

7. To make the frosting, beat the butter until softened, then gradually sift in the icing sugar until well combined, adding the milk to get your preferred consistency. Add the almond essence and food colouring and beat well until light and fluffy. Spread over the entire cake and decorate as desired.

Hope you enjoy!

 

Crafts · Inspiration

Lovely Handmade Christmas Craft Ideas

Lovely handmade christmas craft ideasPhoto source – Nana Company

We can’t deny it Christmas is fast approaching just over a month to go! It’s a great time for crafting whether it be gifts, food or decorations. Today I thought I would share some lovely craft ideas I have come across on the internet. I’m not normally a Christmas person, but this year I’m feeling less Bah Humbug and more festive, I will definitely be giving some of these crafts a go!

christmas mittens

Christmas Mittens by Nana Company

christmas bauble

Christmas Bauble by Bugs and Fishes

paper christmas tree

Paper Christmas Tree – Crate Paper Blog

christmas glass jars

Christmas Glass Jars – Julia Burger Craft & Creativity

diy painted ornaments

DIY Painted Ornaments – Fellow Fellow

christmas bunting

Felt Christmas Bunting – Ordinary Mummy

glitterpintoppers2

DIY Adorned Glittered Clothespin Gift Toppers – Creature Comforts

knitted bauble

Knitted Bauble – General Hogbuffer

DIY with the Sweetest Occasion

DIY Gold Leaf Pine Cone Garland – The Sweetest Occasion

rosemary-wreath-place-card

Rosemary Wreath Place Card – Spoon Fork Bacon

personalised starry bauble

Personalised Starry Bauble – Jackie’s Creations

christmas paper ornament

Christmas Paper Ornament – Karola Witczak

cinnamon candle holder

Cinnamon Candle Holder – Yuliya

mini gingerbread house

Mini Gingerbread House – Caketime

gingerbread christmas trees

Gingerbread Christmas Trees – Moje Wypieki

Happy Making! x

Crafts

Christmas Craft Fair Final Checklist – Sellers Guide Part 3

part 3

 

So following on from my previous two posts and the craft fair I did at the weekend I thought it would be handy for people to do a final checklist you can print off and check it off as you get ready. There were a couple of things I wish I had thought of which I have added to the list. Basically prepare for everything and anything. If you know of anything that I haven’t thought of then please feel free to let me know in the comments, I’d be happy to hear them! :)

Lockable Cash box and float – A mix or notes and coins I normally have a £10, 2 x £5, £10 of £1, and £5 mix of silver coins.

Table cloth – Make sure it’s ironed! Neutral colour like white is ideal.

Calculator – My maths is terrible so always handy.

Blu tack – Handy to help pin-up any posters or lights

Sellotape – As above or to use on packaging

Lights – Better to bring too many than not enough, it was very dark where we were so had to bring in extra lighting.

Extension Cable – Our plug socket was quite a way from the table so an extension cord was needed.

Plasters – Something I wish I’d thought of when I managed to stab myself with a pair of scissors!

Scissors – You never know

Needle and thread – For sewers if you want to do a bit of work while you are there

Jewellery pliers and findings – If you’re a jeweller you may be asked to make some on the spot adjustments to necklace lengths etc.

Phone and phone charger – Phone charger was another thing I wish I’d thought of, my battery failed to last the whole day, which luckily wasn’t a problem but it could have been.

Lunch and a drink – You will be grateful you brought this!

Pen, pencil, paper – Handy for taking customer details, or custom orders, also handy to make a note of sales to help with stock taking at the end of the day.

Packaging, bags, tissue paper

Business cards/ promotional material – Bring loads!

Phone number of the venue – Always handy if you get lost or stuck in traffic.

Price list – handy for any helpers

Warm clothes –  it may get chilly even if you are indoors, we were freezing at the weekend, so make sure you have a jumper or cardigan spare.

Comfy shoes – it’s going to be a long day so wear something comfortable you could be on your feet a long time.

Really corny but bring your smile! Leave any worries or woes behind, your customers don’t want to know about it.

Overall craft fairs are really good fun, I always enjoy meeting new people, especially the other sellers some have some great tips and may even know of other fairs you could do, it’s also great seeing all the lovely  handmade items.

They are very tiring but rewarding, it’s always nice to see face to face people appreciating your work and wanting to purchase it. There will be slow times, which it’s why its good to bring a friend and/or some work, but it will give you to have a chance to have a look around yourself.

Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to set up, even though I had a practice at home and had in my head what I wanted the table to look like, I changed my mind when I got there. It’s horrible to be rushed and you want to be sat down with a hot cup of tea for 5 minutes before the customers arrive. Under the table have your bags and packaging organised and your float un bagged and ready.

I wish you well on your fairs and hope this little guide has helped.

Happy selling x

Crafts

A well deserved rest and a bit of crochet

The past week has been so hectic with the run up to the craft fair and then the craft fair at the weekend. I had been sewing like a crazy woman. The craft fair was a two-day event so it was a loooong weekend.  The floors in our flat were covered with bits of felt, thread, seed beads and sequins. So yesterday was spent hovering and dusting and tidying away the craft fair bits and bobs. After a craft fair I like to take a few days off from my usual crafts but being someone who can’t not do anything crafty I had to find something to do. One thing that has been neglected for a few weeks is my crochet.

I taught myself to crochet about 2 years ago from watching You Tube videos. It was not the easiest thing to do being a leftie and watching it from a right-handed view but I was determined to make myself a granny blanket. It took me an entire weekend to master just one square. Two years on I have not been able to make anything other than a granny square, I’ve made four granny blankets now, and hub keeps saying to me can’t you learn a different stitch? The thing is the patterns have always terrified me and the abbreviations confused the hell out of me. A while back I saw a chevron crochet pattern and thought it was lovely, I would have loved to have tried it but my fear took over.

Well last night I was twiddling my thumbs and thought I would search a tutorial for the chevron pattern. After a bit of a search I came across blogger Attic 24 who had written a really good tutorial which was clear and easy to understand and plenty of pictures.   If only more patterns were this easy to understand. She recommends doing a trial run to get any idea of the pattern before attempting something bigger like a blanket. So it was just 31 stitches and four rows. It’s more wavy than chevrons but I think it’s really pretty.

Chevron scarf

But after the four rows instead of finishing off I decided to continue and make myself a scarf.

Chevron scarf

Chevron scarf

DSC_0033

I love that it has a wavy bottom too. I used a lovely soft baby bamboo dk wool and so its going to make a lovely soft and snuggly scarf. I’m sooo chuffed I have learnt something new and am really enjoying doing, I can’t wait to go out and by some wool to make a blanket.

Here is the pattern, but I do recommend checking her blog out to see her great tutorial if your a bit of a beginner like me, it’ll explain what all the abbreviations are too.

To begin, chain multiples of 14, plus 3 for turning.

ROW 1

1 tr into 4th chain from hook

1tr into each of next 4 chs

tr2tog

tr2tog

1 tr into each of next 4 chs

*2tr into next ch

2 tr into next ch

1tr into each of next 4 chs

tr2tog

tr2tog

1 tr into each of next 4 chs*

Repeat between ** ending last rep with 2 tr into last chain, turn.

ROW 2

ch3, 1 tr into same stitch,

1tr into each of next 4 chs

tr2tog

tr2tog

1 tr into each of next 4 chs

*2tr into next ch

2 tr into next ch

1tr into each of next 4 chs

tr2tog

tr2tog

1 tr into each of next 4 chs*

Repeat between ** ending last rep with 2 tr into the top chain of the chain-3 from previous row.

Repeat row 2 for length required.