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Monday, 28 November 2011

Nearly Christmas

The whole family is so looking forward to Christmas.  Esp. Mr 2 (nearly 3) who nearly fell over with excitement today when he saw Santa Claus at the shopping centre!
Mummy has FINALLY finished making all her hand-made Christmas Cards - 40 in total and needs to post them off now.  The children are eager to put up the tree and lights and decorate the whole house.
Mummy is looking forward to a gingerbread cottage workshop, probably making more cards and completing the Christmas shopping.  Hubby and I went shopping today and made a big dent in the shopping with gifts for the kids... or maybe it was a big dent in our bank account...
time to start planning Christmas menus and crafts...loving Christmas time of the year.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Christmas Card Tutorial #3 - Recipe Flap

This card doubles as a gorgeous gift... and if you want to add a jar of home-baked goodies as per the recipe card included... it will be even sweeter!
The card has an adorable little girl baking and a secret flap containing your favourite Christmas recipe.  I like to do sugar cookies or gingerbread and add a tiny cookie cutter adorned with matching ribbon to the card on to the envelope.


Step 1:  Gather your Supplies
 You will need:
* two pieces of christmassy coloured plain cardstock
* one piece of patterned paper (I've used green polka dots)
* Christmas tabs (or make your own using your cardstock scraps)
* A little printed label stating your recipe (eg. Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe)
* a cute image
* coordinating ribbon
* mini cookie cutters (if appropriate to your recipe)

This will make you about four matching cards!

I've added the little girl image here that I used, so you can use her if you like.

Step 2:  Mount the image
Mount your image on one of your coordinating cardstocks

Step 3:  Make your recipe flap
This is probably the only "tricky" part of the card.  Simply print out your recipe in an easy to read font.  I have used Martha Stewarts Sugar Cookie Recipe. 
Mount your little girl image on to a bent flap of your other cardstock.
Tape the recipe in to the opened flap and fold it in so it is hidden when the flap is shut.  I left a bit sticking out the top so I could add a tab and the name of the recipe.

Step 4:  Prepare your card base
I have pinking sheared the edges of the base colour, then added a top rectangle in the patterned paper.

Step 5:  Attach your recipe flap
then add some ribbon to the back of your card on either side...
this is then tied at the front of the card to keep the recipe flap closed...
add your cute cookie cutter (House store sell these little ones for about $2 each) with a ribbon matching your card.  Home-made card and gift all in one :)


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Christmas Card Tutorial #2 - Vintage

Vintage inspired Christmas card - really simply and beautiful.  I do wish now looking at it that I had "inked" the edges of the patterned cardstock and maybe even the flowers with a sepia coloured ink...just to age it a bit...

Step 1:  Gather your Supplies.
To create this gorgeous card you will need a simple vintage picture (I found mine on the internet - printed it off on heavy grade paper and cut it out!), a coordinating patterned paper, a plain coloured piece of cardstock (I used black), a couple of bought flowers or make your own.  A couple of brads (split pins) that match the cardstock, some lace, a basic plain card.

Step 2:  Prepare the Image
 tape / glue your image onto your plain coloured cardstock
Cut around to create a border.  I've used pinking shears.

Step 3:  Make your base
Using your patterned paper - mat it on your coordinating cardstock and tape/glue to your card.

Step 4:  Add your Image
Tape or glue your image where you like on your card.

Step 5:  Prepare your embellishments and add
Add brads or buttons to your flowers to coordinate with the plain cardstock.
Tape on a strip of lace, a couple of little folded strips of the coordinating cardstock and then your flowers... and it is complete!

Monday, 21 November 2011

The Kids Christmas Cards


The kids begged to make their own Christmas cards for their friends today.  Therefore, my own card making has been put on hold for ANOTHER day...  With Miss 5 made 13 cards together today, with Master 8 we made 24 cards together today... then Mr 13 yrs old says he wants five cards too... only a few scraps of card and papers left ... see above, they turned out okay!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Christmas Card Tutorial #1

Here is my first Christmas Card Tutorial.  Basically, I love to give home made Christmas Cards, but I don't have hours and hours of time, so I create simple designs and make multiple cards.  I use scrapbooking papers, but you can simply use any coloured cardboard, Christmas wrap, old Christmas Cards or any paper scraps you have - old sheet music is beautiful!

Step 1.  Gather your supplies
You will need:
* A pack of blank cards and envelopes (craft store), or make your own
* Coloured papers, particularly with Christmas designs and plain
* Double sided tape or a glue stick
* Scissors and Patterned blade scissors if you like
* A paper trimmer (or scissors and a ruler)
* Ribbons, buttons, scraps

Step 2.  Add a base colour
Simply cut a piece of card in a nice colour (I have used sparkly cardstock from the scrapbook store) and paste/tape to one half of your card.

Step 3.  Add a contrast
 
Add a piece of card with a nice pattern - I have used a Christmas scrapbook paper.  I have cut the edge that overlaps with patterned scissors, however, this looks just as good with the "ripped" style or simply cut straight.


 Step 4.  Make Flowers
 
 Buying fabric/paper flowers from the scrapbook store or craft store is expensive - AND you need to get so many so you have different colours to match everything.  I prefer to make my own, they are whimsical, sweet and CHEAP and match any card perfectly.  To start, cut out squares in varying sizes.


 Cut the squares (or rip) into flower shapes - wobbly is fine, they don't need to be perfect.
 Using your fingernails, bend the edges of the petals to soften them up.
Tape or glue two or more flower pieces together and add a button or brad to the centre.
There, two cute little home made flowers ready to stick on!

Step 5.  Add your embellishments
 Tape / Glue a piece of ribbon across the plain colour of your card.
Don't want to spend money on ribbon?  Use a piece of card/paper that matches the rest of your papers.
 Tuck the ends under.

 Add your flowers wherever you like.

Step 6.  Words
Although not necessary on a pretty card, this can just finish everything off.  I cut these words off an old Christmas Card from last year!  However, you can print words off from your computer, find words in magazines, buy sheets of word sentiments from scrapbook and craft stores, or simply hand write it yourself.  I simply mounted it onto some cardstock to contrast with my card and then taped it on.

Voila !  Your finished Christmas card in 10 minutes.  Don't forget to write on the back it was hand-made by you! 

Chocolate Caramel Slice



Base:
1 cup self raising flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup dessicated coconut
125g melted butter

Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Press into a greased or paper lined 28 x 18cm lamington pan and bake in 180oC oven for 10 minutes.

Filling:
1 x 400g can condensed milk
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan.  Stir over moderate heat until boiling.  Continue stirring for five minutes.  Spread gently over base.  Return to oven for a further 10 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool completely.

Topping:
150g Chocolate (the new Cadbury melts are awesome)
20g Copha vegetable shortening

Combine topping ingredients in the top of a double boiler, or microwave for 1 minute 10 secs.  Stir well until all melted together.  Spread over filling and pop in the fridge.

When set, cut into squares using a warm knife (keep knife warm by having a mug of hot water on hand and a tea-towel to dry it between each cut).  This will stop the choc topping from cracking or coming free from the slice and cut through it nicely.

Rocky Road

CHRISTMAS ROCKY ROAD

This is my recipe for the absolute BEST rocky road EVER !! 
AND it only takes 15 minutes to make.
Makes fabulous Christmas gift if packed in a tall glass jar and with a pretty label listing ingredients.

Ingredients:
2 family size blocks of good quality chocolate (I use Cadbury Milk - however, Nestle dark melts are good as well)
1 packet of raspberry jelly lollies cut each jelly in half with kitchen scissors
1 packet mini marshmallows
1 cup shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups nuts (I use pistachio's and macadamias)

Method:
Break the chocolate into small pieces. 
Melt the chocolate either over a double boiler or in the microwave for a minute and a half in a heat proof bowl.
Stir in all other ingredients and coat well with chocolate
Pour mixture onto a tray covered with baking paper and spread out.
Pop in fridge until chocolate hardens.
Cut into pieces and either put in gift bags/jars or simply EAT IT !!

Impossible to resist - but if you can, it will last about 2 weeks fresh in the fridge.