All the homemade Christmas people over here please, lets share our ideas :) - SECOND EDITION :)

(1000 Posts)


We were all on about pinterest, jars, and where we are up to in our christmas planning smile

Lets go...

Ambi Sun 09-Oct-11 12:45:58

Xmas Pud Rum:

250ml white rum
1tbsp muscovado sugar
4 cloves
A cinnamon stick
25g blanched almonds
25g raisins
orange zest.

Leave for a few weeks and shake every few days. It smells divine when done. I left it for months last time.

Lemon Gin:
250ml gin
pared zest 3 lemons

Vanilla Vodka:
250ml vodka
1 vanilla pod

So easy, did all three in small bottles for pressies and truffles the year after, they don't keep as well so would do the flavoured spirits again this year.

just marking my place on the new thread! thanks for starting it BabyDubs

reckoner Sun 09-Oct-11 13:40:16

I think I should join you smile

micku5 Sun 09-Oct-11 13:40:26

Thanks for that recipe Ambi, the Christmas rum one sounds good.

TwoNoisyBoys Sun 09-Oct-11 13:40:34

Oooh lovely, marking my place too smile. Just out of interest, have had an email from Pinterest inviting me to join, but my computer keeps beeping at me and saying "this email looks very suspicious to us so we've blocked it for our safety" is ok isnt it? My computers just over-zealous isnt it?

MartyrStewart Sun 09-Oct-11 13:41:30

Just marking my place smile

LiamW Sun 09-Oct-11 13:51:41

I've lurked for a long time on the old thread and have a few questions if anyone can help... It appears my wife is no longer willing to act as a proxy for me so I'll have to post myself :p

I've made a few lip balms (and destroyed a few :$) and it'd be good to have some nice labels to put on the top of them - as well as the chutney, jam, bath salts and sugar scrubs that are ready to be made. Does anyone know of (or use) any software that I can use to print off some tidy little labels? I have some label paper already and I'll pick up some more as and when. I've labelled a few by hand and they look shockingly bad..

I may have followed quite a few of you on pinterest to easier facilitate pilfering all your good ideas.. smile

Thzumbiewitch Sun 09-Oct-11 13:54:46

Liam - can you not just use microsoft Word? If your labels are standard labels, you should be able to print them in Word - having said that, I haven't tried to print labels in Word 2007 - you can definitely do it in 2003, not sure about 2007 though.

Am going to be making my wheat-free Xmas puds again soon - can't wait! smile

Thzumbiewitch Sun 09-Oct-11 13:56:08

OK - just checked - you can still do it in Word 2007 - click on Mailings and then Labels, then find the code for the label you have. smile

DawnOfTheDeementedDead Sun 09-Oct-11 13:59:24

I have a problem.

I want to make cherry bark with dark chocolate for manshapes stepdads birthday in a few weeks, but i don't like dark chocolate and manshape doesn't like cherries. So i need a tester. Any taker? i promise i won't poison you!

SilveryMoon Sun 09-Oct-11 14:03:12

Think i'm going to watch this thread if you don't mind.
I love the idea of making stuff for pressies.

How well do you all think Jaffa Cake Vodka would work? smile

MartyrStewart Sun 09-Oct-11 14:28:20

I think you would have to maybe make it with dark chocolate and orange jelly, I'm not sure what would happen to the sponge?

LiamW Sun 09-Oct-11 14:46:48

Thzumbiewitch - Perfect, thank you. Kind of ashamed I hadn't thought of trying that, I'll have a bumble at making something that doesn't look too tragic later.

BabyDubsEverywhere - Could you not pick up some cheapish Jaffa cakes and use only the dark chocolate and jelly mixture at the top? I'd imagine the sponge would do nothing other that absorb vodka, only to be strained out at the end. Might be a little wasteful (unless you like the sponge), but less annoying that finding the right consistency of chocolate to jelly ratio?

Thzumbiewitch Sun 09-Oct-11 14:53:42

Agree the sponge would not add anything to the vodka flavour but just make a mess. Try using G&B Maya Gold chocolate instead? (although I have this strong suspicion that the "smashing orangey bit" is not actually orange flavoured...)

Liam - you're welcome - hope you get a good result!

Thzumbiewitch Sun 09-Oct-11 14:56:48

Goodness - was looking up to see if the jam flavour was actually apricot, as I seemed to remember, and instead found this recipe for making your own jaffa cakes!! They apparently do use orangey stuff.

Trills Sun 09-Oct-11 15:01:15


Ooo that site is great thankyou

I have already bought some jaffa cakes so i will disect them and chuck (eat!) the cake part smile I'll let you know how it goes, wish me luck!

I will be making my labels soon, but I want an olde worlde look to go with the raffia ties etc. Im thinking about a real blue petter effort of gold pen on a tea stained label...Is that naff beyond words or acceptable do you think?

eggdipdip Sun 09-Oct-11 15:14:40

2nd thread! Wowsers,I can't keep up!

Dh came home yesterday with 2kg of strawberries that were going cheap at the market, so iv just made loads of strawberry jam. I added some edible glitter to a dinky little jar to make Christmas morning jam for ds1 - it looks really cool!

Ittybittysmum Sun 09-Oct-11 15:23:10

Got a bag full of quinces from someone at work and made quince candies. Does anyone know how long they'll stay fresh for? I thought they'd be good in hampers with lemon shortbread and gingersnaps but now I'm worried they'll go off.

shesparkles Sun 09-Oct-11 15:27:58

Marking my place! I found a vanilla bodyscrub recipe on pinterest earlier, which I think I'll do and pair with the lemon hand scrub...

shesparkles Sun 09-Oct-11 15:28:35

and now the PROPER link blush]

Baby good luck with the jaffa cake vodka!

shesparkles ooh vanilla bodyscrub sounds interesting

I'm going to make these later on, they look really lovely but I may halve the recipe as it says it makes loads. Cheated and bought some jars of mincemeat but I plan on making my own this year, I usually follow the delia recipe. I'm in two minds whether to to her christmas pudding or buy the heston one that I've seen everyone raving about!

Glad my dh finally posted! <waves at Liam> grin

Ittybittysmum Sun 09-Oct-11 15:34:47

Ooh, Cheese, I've always wanted to make my own mincemeat but never have. This year's my year! Do you have a good recipe?

Ittybittysmum Sun 09-Oct-11 15:36:05

(er, do you have a link to your good recipe, I mean. Far too excited. Must. Calm. Down.)

Thzumbiewitch Sun 09-Oct-11 15:48:36

I still use Robertson's mincemeat but must try and get around to making my own at some point blush

<<waves to C&G>>

DawnOfTheDeementedDead Sun 09-Oct-11 15:52:43

I've made my own mincemeat this year. It's currently all jarred up and in a dark cupboard awaiting maturity. It smelled divine when making though.

Hehe, the link is here it's really fab and if you make it now it will be perfect for Christmas, it's nicer if you leave it a while after making it. It's really lovely and also similar to her christmas pudding one which is also on that site.

Thumb <waves> I think the one I have is Robertson's actually, it looked like a good one smile

On a similar note, what could I do with 12 jars of lemon curd? Bought them from Tesco to use the jars! Think they were only about 22 pence each shock but I feel wasteful just throwing it away blush

Dee it does smell lovely when making mincemeat, I love the part where you leave it in the oven for hours and hours at a low temp, whole house smells like Christmas smile

DawnOfTheDeementedDead Sun 09-Oct-11 15:54:13

Lemon merainge pie?

Thzumbiewitch Sun 09-Oct-11 15:55:19

can you make lots of lemon meringue pies, C&G? Pretty sure that lemon curd is needed for that. smile

Never made that before, what else would I need for it? Would it freeze do you know?

electricslide Sun 09-Oct-11 16:28:47

I hope peI've done my first ever chutneys and am getting started on vodka. Do you sterilize the bottle that the vodka and sweets/spices is left in? I was going to use a coke bottle and don't suppose I can put it in the dishwasher. Do I need to Milton it?

electricslide Sun 09-Oct-11 16:29:52

Try again... I hope people don't mind me reposting my question on this thread:

I've done my first ever chutneys and am getting started on vodka. Do you sterilize the bottle that the vodka and sweets/spices is left in? I was going to use a coke bottle and don't suppose I can put it in the dishwasher. Do I need to Milton it?

Ittybittysmum Sun 09-Oct-11 16:34:49

Thanks for the link Cheese!

FlubbaBubba Sun 09-Oct-11 17:30:41

Bookmarking (sorry electric no idea about vodka sterilising)

Can't wait for my oven to be working again, then I can really get on and start the baking side of things smile

I think dh washed his in hot, soapy water first and then added the vodka/sweets, figured that with all the opening and closing and stirring and adding it wouldn't stay sterile for long anyway!

cartblanche Sun 09-Oct-11 18:08:25

Marking my place on the new thread. Feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment. I have been going mad buying ribbon, buttons, linen, jars, material, pinning left right and centre but have reached a state of inertia. The only thing I have really made is plum jam and Xmas pudding vodka (which is stewing).

I think I need to do myself a timetable! I think I will set myself a target for this week of:

Making some (at least 5?) heart and star-shaped Xmas decorations from red felt, gingham and hessian. There, have put it down in black and white now so HAVE to do it!

electricslide Sun 09-Oct-11 18:19:36

Thanks Cheese. Think I'll go for washing in v hot soapy water. Going to do skittles vodka first.

ZimboMum Sun 09-Oct-11 18:54:43

cheese could you let me know how the mincemeat biscuits turn out as I am thinking of making them too!

The biscuits were really, really amazing. They don't look like much but they taste lovely. 3rd batch just come out the over (I did 12 at a time) as the kids and dh (and I had 1 or 2) polished them all off! grin I quartered the amount in the recipe and made that many, small teaspoons of mixture and be careful as they spread a lot!

cleanandclothed Sun 09-Oct-11 19:46:07

Can recommend mincemeat flapjack for those that like mincemeat. 400g mincemeat, 200g glace cherries, 150g butter, 6 tbsp golden syrup, 450g oats. Heat everything but oats till melted, stir in oats, pop in tin and cook at 180 for 20 mins. I always end up adjusting amounts to fit what I have but it tastes good however I do it!

Todays success was membrillo (quince paste). Recipe looked a right faff as it started with peeling, coring and chopping, which after attempting I quickly realised would take ages and leave me with very little quince to actually use. So I just chopped, cooked with water till very mushy, and then sieved through a reasonably coarse sieve. Looks (and tastes) lovely so seems like it worked!

Marking place smile

Has anyone ever made (and bottled/jarred (?) ) home-made mustards?

We were given a selection of fancy-pants mustards as a present last week. They are from a local gourmet company and don't have any preservatives etc in them. I opened the fig mustard and have since had to hold myself back from eating it straight out of the jar with a spoon.

According to the label, it contains:

water, figs, raw cane sugar, mustard seeds, lemon juice, sea salt, pepper, chili

Another one we opened was garlic and chili mustard, and again is heavenly.

They are more like a sauce-like rather than what I would usually think of as mustard.

Anyway, I thought this might be a nice alternative present idea.
Has anyone ever made anything like this? I'm wondering about the sterilising (as mustards aren't actually cooked).

GrownUpNow Sun 09-Oct-11 20:18:32

Marking place. x

addictediam Sun 09-Oct-11 20:39:45

Just marking.

LiamW Sun 09-Oct-11 20:43:32

HopeForTheBest - Not sure if this recipe is of any use -

Appears to have the basic idea and you could adapt it to try and get a similar result to the gourmet ones you were given?

Zeeky use your Baileys for this which is delish and also looks good with cranberries mixed through:

egg I LOVE your sparky jam idea!

acsec Sun 09-Oct-11 21:52:40

Zeeky I make Bailey's chocolate truffles - YUM!

Loving sparkly jams!

I forget who asked about labels and wanting olde worlde look ones, I keep coming across them on Pinterest. If you do a search for labels there are loads of printable ones that come up. HTH.

ah, so sweet that we've got a married couple on here grin

deemented i'll be a willing volunteer if you seriously need someone to taste your bark! wouldn't it be easier to ask a neighbour though?

I made some really pretty looking chocolate truffle cookies. They look like they've got a snowflake on top of them! happy to post the recipe if anyone wants it

jetzombie Sun 09-Oct-11 22:28:21

It wouldn't be just jam, it would be glam grin

grin love it!

Seriously though - a jar of strawberry glam - who wouldn't want that in their stocking? I know I do!

startail Mon 10-Oct-11 00:05:33

CandC that flapjack sounds devine.
Always lots of homemade mince meat here. DHs family always made their own because of his sister being a veggi.
I generally make some for a Jewish friend who got a taste for it as a child and was really sad when she found out it normally has animal fat in it. I got such a grin when I offered her a piece of minced pie with SIL acceptable filling, she didn't realise you could get veggi suet.

Thzumbiewitch Mon 10-Oct-11 02:20:05

Sorry C&G - had to go to bed!
Try this recipe but read the comments below first. It's not freezable, it wouldn't be really - only made-for-freezing commercial LMP is freezable. Homemade stuff would just be wrecked. But still - lemon curd should last a while in the jar! I expect you could use it for other things as well.

Love the sound of the mincemeat biscuits - is that recipe on here or the previous thread?

There is an Open Group on FB called Back to the Basics that some of you might like to join - a group of mostly women who do lots of home-made stuff, many of them in the USA but some in the UK, Australia etc. I don't want to link to it because I'm not sure if it will link my account as well blush - and I don't 100% know if you can ask to join or if you have to be added by a Friend (I was added by a friend, hence my ignorance). Anyway - there are lots of recipe shares on there as well, might be interesting for some of you. smile

ZimboMum Mon 10-Oct-11 05:12:03
Thzumbiewitch Mon 10-Oct-11 06:22:58

Thanks zimbomum! smile

ZimboMum Mon 10-Oct-11 07:51:25

Talking of edible glitter, what do you reckon to adding some to the cinnamon honey butter? Or would that be weird?

prolificwillybreeder Mon 10-Oct-11 08:24:29

Mincemeat biscuits do you think I could make them and freeze them raw on a baking sheet? Defrost then whack in oven?

prolificwillybreeder Mon 10-Oct-11 08:26:06

I'll be doing nigella's Christmas spiced biscuits too. I need a piping bag, ah!

electricslide - no, don't don't bother sterilising bottle that you're going to put alcohol in.

I've made damson gin, blackberry gin this weekend - I want to make pear gin as there was a load of hard pears on my allotment yesterday but not sure how pear gin would be confused

Anyone made Pear Gin ??

DawnOfTheDeementedDead Mon 10-Oct-11 09:20:36

Hippyhippopotomous - that'd be fab, thank you - i'll PM you in a bit smile

Zimbo - ohhhh... cinnamon honey butter - do tell me more!

FlubbaBubba Mon 10-Oct-11 09:37:30

Prolific you can make a piping bag with grease proof paper - half a huge semi-circle and curl round.

addictediam Mon 10-Oct-11 09:47:57

It's probably better if you use grease proof paper, as you can have lots of them and they are very inexpensive to make.

Listzilla Mon 10-Oct-11 10:54:03

Ooh, I'm liking the homemade mustard idea! I bought a load of mustard seeds a while ago with the intention of doing that and never got around to it - and I have some teeny-tiny miniature kilner jars that would be just right for a special mustard. Hurray : )

Laurie Pear vodka works so I can't see why pear gin wouldn't.

Trills Mon 10-Oct-11 10:55:25

I have lots of little jars from last year so homemade mustard sounds fab.

<not really a homemade-er, just lurking>

Trills Mon 10-Oct-11 10:58:25
Listzilla Mon 10-Oct-11 11:02:51

So I went off to google homemade mustards and found this:

It's definitely worth a read if you're heading down that road.

Listzilla Mon 10-Oct-11 11:03:32

Trills, probably but there's no way I'd be able to track down those types of chilli!

Listzilla Mon 10-Oct-11 11:31:12

Right, I think this is the one I'm going to try first: She calls it Spicy Guinness Mustard but reading the ingredients, I can't help but suspect that I'll be labelling it Christmas Pudding Mustard, to go with my vodka.

I love this thread : )

Trills Mon 10-Oct-11 11:32:40

I wasn't planning on tracking down that chilli, was going to use my homegrown chilli, just wondered is any seasoned mustard-makers thought the general instructions looked sensible.

Thanks for the link smile

Listzilla Mon 10-Oct-11 12:47:57

Sorry Trills, didn't realise; the question wasn't entirely specific.

Trills Mon 10-Oct-11 12:50:24

Your answer was completely correct - it's not a sensible mustard recipe because it calls for ridiculously specific and hard-to-find ingredients - I should have explained what I meant better smile

(btw did you like my "seasoned" pun? grin)

ZimboMum Mon 10-Oct-11 13:04:04

dee the butter recipe was from another thread on here and is:

4oz butter
4oz clear honey
4oz icing sugar
2 tsps cinnamon

Mix all together with electric beaters and then pour/pipe into jars.

I've not made it yet, and just thinking aloud - does that sound like it might be a bit sweet? Might have to add the sugar a bit at a time and have lots of toast on the go to keep trying it!!

boohoohoo Mon 10-Oct-11 13:17:06

I wonder if anyone can answer a question please smile I am making the Christmas pudding vodka, some of the people are a little older and I thought I would write on the label what they could mix it with, any ideas?

This thread is absolutely fantastic, apart from the vodka I am making candles, body lotion, lemon scrub and chocolate bark, so excited.

One other plead (sorry, very greedy for help) anyone have any recipies for lavender shortbread?

Am sooooo looking forward to Christmas this year grin.

with all these recipes flying around between us, I hope nobody ends up eating lemon hand scrub and bathing in christmas pudding vodka grin

WhatWouldLeoDo Mon 10-Oct-11 13:21:37

I've been lurking on this thread (and the old one) for a while and have decided to get signed up to pinterest to help me remember everything! I've had my invite and see that you need to use twitter or fb to sign up - I don't want my interest posting onto my fb/twitter, will it do that? Can you break the link between accounts once you're signed up and have login details for pinterest?

boohoohoo - I'm sure I read on a blog post about Christmas Pudding Vodka a recommendation to mix with ice cold lemonade.

chirpchirp Mon 10-Oct-11 14:01:18

Hello all, thanks for the new shiny thread!

Re the Cinnamon butter - it is pretty sweet but it's delicious and worth the calories. When I saw it I had to make a small sample jar (which was demolished) It was likely actually eating Christmas on toast.

WWLD - When you pin things you get the option to share on your FB/twitter feed however it only does so if you tick the box to share. Come and jump aboard the Good ship Pinterest! - I'm here if anyone wants a nosey! -

Thanks for that recipe Thumb smile

Re the butter, do you keep it in the fridge and does anyone know how long they'll last for?

Sparkly cinnamon honey butter!!! [faints]

boohoohoo Mon 10-Oct-11 14:43:15

WWLD, thanks smile

I will definitely be making strawberry glam grin

Just finished making some coconut soaps - they smell lush and it was so easy. Just waiting for them to finish setting so I can package them. Going to wrap them in brown paper with a strip of farrow and ball wallpaper (free samples wink) tied with string and labelled with a brown luggage tag.

They were so easy to make; I'm getting quite into this!

Just got to wait for my jars to arrive so I can start on the body butter and face masks.

Don't know about everyone else but its so easy to get side-tracked by new ideas that I find it really hard to commit to ordering ingredients for anything!

Listzilla Mon 10-Oct-11 14:56:12

Ooh - my sister loves coconut stuff, have you a link? And has anyone else any recipes for coconut cosmeticy stuff?

WhatWouldLeoDo Mon 10-Oct-11 15:02:26

Thanks ChirpChirp. DS is having an unusual but well-timed nap - I'm off to lose myself on pinterest!

cartblanche Mon 10-Oct-11 15:24:04

Thunderboltkid entirely understand what you are saying about getting side-tracked - I still haven't sorted myself out with citric acid yet so haven't made the bath bombs OR the lemon hand scrub (cos I haven't got the essential oils yet). Trying not to panic though!! My mission this week is to make some felt and hessian decorations - just need to buy pinking shears (procrastinates some more) grin

cartblanche Mon 10-Oct-11 15:26:04

BTW Thunderboltkid your coconut soaps sound delicious as does your packaging - VERY stylish! What recipe you following for your soap and where have you got your supplies from? (too lazy to search back on the thread so apologies if you've gone over this a million times before!!)

Happy to share smile

I bought all the ingredients from here

The page I've linked to is for a soap making kit - if you look under 'attachments' it gives you the instructions. I was going to buy the kit, but realised that you can buy all the ingredients seperately on their website and its much cheaper.

It's so easy - you basically cut the soap base into chunks, melt it in the microwave, mix in fragrance and optional colourant (didn't bother with coconut) and then pour into moulds.

Have a look at their other recipes as well - I've not tried them yet but have the ingredients to do body butter, face masks and bath salts.

When the box arrived this morning it smelt heavenly grin

prolificwillybreeder Mon 10-Oct-11 16:27:21

Oh I am bad! I need to sort out...well everything! We are about to move house so I am blaming everything on that!
I need to get brown paper for wrapping
Dry orange slices
Take photo of dc for the family cards
Get jars for onion chutney and lemon scrub
Make and freeze biscuits.
Make a cake and pies
Buy presents

So not much hey?

Likeaheadlesschicken Mon 10-Oct-11 16:33:02

Hi all, been lurking for ages, I'm not normally a crafty type person but am pregnant with DC2 and am finding that rather than the traditional cleaning type nesting symptoms all I want to do is make things!! I have a couple of quick questions if anyone has a minute to answer them? How far in advance can I make peppermint bark, mincemeat flapjacks and the body scrubs, I'm itching to get started but don't want to waste my ingredients! Thanks

Listzilla Mon 10-Oct-11 16:38:03

Another question: how do you package your truffles, bark, gingerbread men and things of that sort, that don't go in jars? I've the glassware end of things sorted but now I need to make the rest look pretty without breaking the bank.

Listzilla I'm going to buy some bags from here and then somehow prettify the tops with labels/ribbons

zaphod Mon 10-Oct-11 17:21:51

Can I make the Christmas Pudding Vodka with Irish whiskey instead do you think? Should make a lovely hot whiskey, all you'd need to add would be the hot water and a slice of lemon. I've done the Skittles vodka, and the hand scrub but don't like the hand scrub, I think I made it too oily.

Excellent, was wondering why it had dropped off my list grin teach me to pay more attention!

FlubbaBubba Mon 10-Oct-11 20:16:20

Ooh, have just added an angel to my pom-pom snowman thingamy. Very sweet (if I may say so myself)! smile

FlubbaBubba Mon 10-Oct-11 20:20:34


Is what I speak. blush

Try again;

Ooh, have just added an angel to my Father Christmas pom-pom collection. Will post pics at some point.

Zeeky Mon 10-Oct-11 21:50:26

I picked up a few of these in Tesco earlier. Thought they would be good for filling with sweets/biscuits/peppermint bark etc.

biscuit jar

My buttons have arrived from ebay, so I'm all set to try making some of those christmas tree button tree ornaments. Also got some squares of coloured felt and some ribbon offcuts from ebay.

Still haven't got around to making ay flavoured rum or vodka. Does the quality of the booze matter? Was thinking I'd just buy cheapo stuff to flavour, but wasn't sure...

CB if you are still stuck for citric acid try bathbombbiz website.

LiamW Mon 10-Oct-11 22:46:51

Zeeky - We're using Tesco Vodka for the flavours we're doing. I know a lot of people on here were talking about Sainsbury's Basic Vodka being really good as well. Does the job just fine I think smile

Helenagrace Tue 11-Oct-11 00:11:06

I just made cleanandclothed's mincemeat flapjack (well I had to sample it before serving it to others grin).

It's lovely!

Now I need to try the White chocolate and baileys fudge. I make White chocolate and cranberry fudge (I have been known to soak the cranberries in vodka first) every year so I'm keen to try a new recipe.

Thzumbiewitch Tue 11-Oct-11 04:35:02

for mixing the Christmas pudding vodka, I'd think dry ginger ale would work really well - it's less sweet than lemonade plus it has the extra bit of ginger in for spiciness. I always have Pimms mixed with ginger ale instead of lemonade for exactly those reasons. smile

Liam - how did your labels work out?

FlubbaBubba Tue 11-Oct-11 06:51:09

zeeky how big are those jars?

Zeeky Tue 11-Oct-11 08:42:39

Flubba they are biscuit barrels so fairly large. Couldn't beleive they were only a pound (they're only £1.25 when full price!!)

Listzilla Tue 11-Oct-11 09:34:38

Has anyone tried making tablet, rather than fudge? I far prefer the texture and I'm sure you could tweak the flavours just as much?

DawnOfTheDeementedDead Tue 11-Oct-11 12:14:50

I haven't, Listzilla, but i wouldn't mind giving it a go.

For anyone looking for nice baskets to make a hamper up in, i was in Wilkinsons earlier, and looking for rattan type ones, but then i spied a gorgeous red basket, made of a cottony type material. It's quite strong and sturdy and was only a fiver, so quite reasonable, i thought as it could definately be used again afterwards. It's a good size too, and the red looks really festive looking. I've just looked on the website, but couldn't find it, but they were in the storage section.

Thzumbiewitch Tue 11-Oct-11 13:32:04

Oh Listzilla - that's reminded me of my Nan's "fudge", which was far more like tablet than fudge. I can't remember the recipe though sad. I infinitely prefer tablet to fudge - I find soft fudge horribly disappointing.
When we were little, there used to be a lovely delicatessen in our local department store that sold tablet-style fudge - it was Mum's treat for the month (and mine to nick a bit!) My nan always used to use vanilla in hers, sometimes rum and raisin but mostly vanilla. MMmmmmm.

LiamW Tue 11-Oct-11 14:28:29

Thzumbiewitch - Labels aren't going so well ha. Can't manage to find a template that fits the labels that I have and aside from whipping out a tape measure and inputting it all manually I'm not sure what to do. They're small circles, 6 across and 8 down on an A4 sheet.

I've just made a few jars of Christmas Bath Salts using a batch of the sweet jars that were linked from ebay on the old thread. They actually look quite good, red, green and white striped with a christmas spice scent from Gracefruit.

Once we manage to shift all the Lemon Curd that's loitering in the kitchen I can start making my Chutneys.. !

shesparkles Tue 11-Oct-11 14:37:55

That's the sloes swimming in the gin in the cupboard next to the picalilli!

DawnOfTheDeementedDead Tue 11-Oct-11 14:39:32

I know you already have labels, Liam, but would it be any easier to buy some plain A4 sticker paper, and that way you can print the sizes you want?

FlubbaBubba Tue 11-Oct-11 14:59:58

The fudge on my pinterest board has more of a tablet feel to it rather than the soft fudge type of fudge. Kind of crumbly and yummsh smile smile

LiamW what make of label do you have? Word will have a template for pretty much all of the big makes eg Avery. Can you see a code on them anywhere? like L172 or something?

Pigleychez Tue 11-Oct-11 15:36:37

Anyone help and suggest me what I can make for DD's Nursery teachers.

Thinking fudge or biscuits of some kind but wondering if you lovely ladies could give me some more inspiration.

Ive made little gingerbread men with their initials on so thinking a jar of something tied with a nice ribbon and their decoration hanging on it.
Ive added a pic on my profile of the decorations- Please be honest and say if they look 'too' Homemade! blush

LiamW Tue 11-Oct-11 15:59:42

HippyHippopotamus I got the labels with the lip balms tubs off of "ebay" but they don't appear to have any codes visible. I guess I need to look and see if there are any 30mm circular label templates in there on any of the brands. If not it might just be easier to pick some up in town during the week.

addictediam Tue 11-Oct-11 16:08:47

I made the bath fizzes today but they didnt work sad the mixture was too wet so puffed up and look silly. Still have some citric acid left so will have another go later

girlywhirly Tue 11-Oct-11 16:16:05

Pigley, the gingerbread men are gorgeous, I want one now! Very professionaly finished.

CupOfBrownJoy Tue 11-Oct-11 16:27:53

oh can I please join?

The sloes are in the freezer awaiting gin-ing this weekend, I've got two orders for Christmas cakes as well as my own, and the suet is making its way from the UK on Monday (I'm in Germany and can't get it here)

Here is my mustard recipe given to me by a professional, local mustard-maker:
100g yellow mustard seeds
50g soft brown sugar
5g salt
200ml cider or white wine vinegar
10-15g spices or herbs of your choice, to your taste

This will give you about 300g of mustard. Whizz it all in a blender, leave a few minutes and put into a clean dry container for a few days to let the flavours meld.

My favourite addition is smoked paprika, or pink peppercorn.

Does anyone have any good haw wine/liquor recipies? I've got a glut at the moment and I'm not sure what to do with them. Would gin work?


TimeForCake Tue 11-Oct-11 16:48:53

Pigley they are gorgeous! I'd be delighted if I was given one of those!

As someone else mentioned up thread, I am busily ordering buttons, fabrics and all things pretty, but have yet to actually make a thing!

RoyalWelsh Tue 11-Oct-11 17:04:51

All these things sound amazing - everyone is so much more organised than I am! BUT I have just been given permission to go and raid somebody's garden for their pears, so then I will have pears, blackberries and I have found a stash of crabapples!

FlubbaBubba Tue 11-Oct-11 17:21:07

Lovely little gingerbread men piggly smile

Kveta Tue 11-Oct-11 20:08:47

hiya, i'd lost this thread - hadn't realised we were on to thread 2!!

no more gifts made chez Kveta, I had a hellish busy week last week, and am so utterly knackered from being pregnant too!!

the homemade mustards sound incredible - I will probably try that at some point, I'm struggling to think of a gift for my ghastly sister, who can't have sugar. She thinks she's a gourmet chef too, so I was going to do some seasoning or flavoured salts, but mustard sounds good.

Zeeky Tue 11-Oct-11 20:17:35

Piggly - I LOVE your gingerbread men! I was planning to make some just like that but with 2011 on instead of initials! I don't think mine will look half as good though. Did you follow a pattern or just make it up?

Liam - are the jars nice? It was me who linked to them on ebay, but I haven't bought any yet as wasn't sure if they were nice enough.

Hallo , I've been loitering and pinching all your good ideas,
I need help !
I've made sloe gin for rhe first time , it's been festering away nicely . Just given at a little stir , and obviously licked rhe spoon for quality purposes.
It doesn't taste very nice . Last week it was rich and sweet tasting . This week it's just a bit thin and sharp .
Any ideas ? I was just going to add a bit more sugar and hope for the best .
Thank you .
By the way the limoncello and bramble brandy are both lovely.

Pigleychez Tue 11-Oct-11 21:33:16

Thanks for the nice comments guys smile Hope the teachers like them.

Zeeky- made from scratch with a simple drawn out paper template. Stuffed with cotton wool!

My first year of doing 'teacher' presents - What do you think would be best? Fudge, Biscuits or attempt these?

LiamW Tue 11-Oct-11 22:29:53

Zeeky - They're really nice, the only downside is that they're not 100% air tight (some of the lids are a little loose), but they do come with tamper proof seals that you "melt" on using a hair dryer. We've put some Bath Salts in some of them and the rest will probably get Sugar Scrubs or something similar. We're currently torn between keeping them as they are with the current lids and picking up a cheap pack of the seals you can buy for jam, etc.

Thzumbiewitch Tue 11-Oct-11 23:06:21

Liam, I have to say that measuring them and saving them as a Custom Label was usually the way I dealt with non-listed ones. You only have to do it once then, and they'll be there in the list for whenever you need them again.

If you go into the label lists, then select New Label, it will allow you to do all the measuring but of course it will still show as square labels. I've just had a look for an Avery code for round labels, and while they do one, it's not listed in MS Word as an option, so you'll have to stick with square and just make sure that your words will fit into the circle.

Good luck!

CupOfBrownJoy Wed 12-Oct-11 06:25:56

DoIlook if you've added about a pound of sugar per pund of sloes I wouldn't add any more. Its tempting to go overboard but if it goes too sweet its really sickly....

I don't taste mine at all mid-way so I can't help you with what its su[pposed to taste like I'm sorry... sad

Zeeky Wed 12-Oct-11 07:31:48

piggley I think I would stick to fudge or biscuits if I were you. The gumdrops look like an awful lot of faff & personally I don't like that kind of sweet. Also, make sure you let the teachers know that your little one DIDN'T help make the fudge/biscuits, as a lot of teachers I know feel a little nauseous at the thought of all the dribble, snot etc that may have made their way in from sticky little fingers!

ScreamingHeebieCJs Wed 12-Oct-11 09:54:36

Found you!

I have ground to a bit of a halt, basically because I'm dithering over where to buy jars grin. I need 250-300ml ones, and I've looked on the websites but somehow just can't bring myself to click and pay ...

On the upside, I've got a huge box of Amaretti biscuits which I'm going to scatter in hampers once I've made them.

Need to go out, but just marking my place so I can come back and Get Serious.

Kveta Wed 12-Oct-11 10:43:25

oh dear, a friend has just linked me some pictures of the IKEA christmas range, noooo! they will be my downfall! they have some gorgeous tins, cookie cutters, and bottles for homemade stuff. And napkins, table mats, etc etc. I've never had a house to decorate for christmas before, so may get a little carried away this year!!

How far in advance can you make fudge? I'm dying to get started and still have some tins of condensed milk in the cupboard from last year, so could make it right now if it will keep...

In the other thread someone linked to naturally thinking as a good place to buy jars and aromatherapy/cosmetic ingredients.

I've ordered a load of plastic and glass jars for my body butters and facemasks and have now received a 10% discount voucher if anyone wants to use it.

The code is AJB619I887 - only lasts until 10pm tonight though.

Feeling quite productive today. Just made my christmas pudding vodka and candy cane vodka. Off to pick some crab apples later to make schnapps. grin

FlubbaBubba Wed 12-Oct-11 13:19:45

Rue I don't know, but would imagine it keeps for a long time due to the high sugar content (and I've already made two jarfulls, so hoping it will last!! blush) but some answers range from a month to 6 months on yahoo answers sad

Thanks, maybe I'll try a batch and just keep an eye on it - no hardship if we have to eat it ourselves,really grin

Another question though: I was planning on making some gifts in a jar, and have saved our Douwe Egberts coffee jars which look quite nice and should do. But, what's the best way of getting the smell of coffee off the lids? The jars themselves are fine, just put them through the dishwasher. But the lids are part plastic and seem to hang onto the smell.

chirpchirp Wed 12-Oct-11 19:45:17

Finally got around to making my Christmas pudding vodka today, Have three 2 litre bottles made up so there will definitely be some left for Christmas should I not be able to resist a wee dram before then.

Got my Christmas cards through from Photobox and they look great and have also taken thumb print from DH and DS to make the reindeer/robin cards.

Had another trip to Ikea and picked up one of the candle lanterns that I'm going to fill with baubles and lights as a cute christmas decoration (as seen on Pinterest). So have also had quite a productive day!

sazzermol Wed 12-Oct-11 21:59:37

Hi chrimbles! Got started today- skittle, fruit salad, and vanilla vodka all stewing nicely. Found bargains in Asda today whilst wasting time waiting for hubby : candy canes £1 for 12 peppermint, 3 pack 550ml Kilner jars for £3.45, and 1 litre kilner jars for £1.45 each. Just need some baby sized ones and some pretty flip top bottles for the booze now! Very productive Wednesday afternoon

WhatWouldLeoDo Wed 12-Oct-11 22:10:06

I'm currently working my way through the last thread and taking lots of notes, so sorry if this has been covered but I had a question about sterilising lids. We don't have a dishwasher and the lids on the jars I've bought from ikea for my cinnamon honey butter are a bit plasticky I think so I can't sterilise them in the oven. Would a really hot soapy wash followed by cold water sterilising with milton suffice do you think?

I always use Milton to sterilise jam jars etc when I'm doing jam, don't see why that wouldn't work for your lids.

WhatWouldLeoDo Wed 12-Oct-11 22:32:56

Great, thanks.

MartyrStewart Wed 12-Oct-11 23:20:33

Hello you creative beauties.

This has dropped off threads I am on shock

So far have made -

xmas pud brandy <on the go>
Crayon roll
Sock monkey
Mincemeat <on the go atm - whole house smells of Christmas> smile

I am currently making the hair clips on my Pinterest board for my niece's birthday.

I will make it my mission to upload photos next week, have been lurking and loving, I promise! grin

Ittybittysmum Thu 13-Oct-11 05:34:57

RueDeWakening have you tried pouring a bit of baking soda on the lids and letting them sit for a day or two to get the coffee smell off?

FlubbaBubba Thu 13-Oct-11 06:30:06

I made my first three crayon rolls (have a lot of nephews and nieces) last night and am dead chuffed with them (realising that the expression 'dead chuffed' gives my age away so I can no longer claim I'm 21 grin)

Couldn't find any of those red storage baskets in my local Wilkos yesterday though sad so am still trying to work out what to present this all in without breaking the bank. Somebody suggested fruit & veg pallets? Anyone actually done that? Or any other good ideas?

DawnOfTheDeementedDead Thu 13-Oct-11 06:55:46

Flubba - if you want me to pick you one up and send it you, i'd happily do so? Perhaps i should take a phot first, just to see if you like it?

MyLifeIsStillChaotic Thu 13-Oct-11 07:58:29

Hello all

I've been lurking for a while and chipchirp kindly invited me to pinterest so I've lost many hours on there now and am loving my first attempts at/inspiration to do 'homemade Christmas'

I tried making the mustard yesterday that was linked earlier on the thread but it doesn't seem to have worked confused Ho hum.

I made a Christmas card holder (for my house rather than a present) last night and am really pleased with it. I hate having cards all over the place, partly as it's ds1's birthday in December so I have cards up for most of December. Very simple yet I love it.

I'm also hoping to make bunting with names on and personalinsed pictures (first leter of name type stuff) for the kids I would normally buy plastic tat presents for. Although I'm a bit behind on my timetable blush Am childfree tomorrow so hoping to get some stuff started.

I think I'll have a stab at flavoured spirits this weekend too - they sounds like great presents!

sazzermol Thu 13-Oct-11 08:14:54

Flubba I've been toying with the idea of plain jute bags with some christmassy decoration gluegunned on the front? Relatively cheap and reusable for carting pressies around etc.
This is mainly after i'd done some searching for old fruit boxes on Ebay (great minds think alike!) and found that they are now so cool that people want £10 each plus for them hmm ?!?

Flubba I found this website which looked quite good for various packaging materials.

Also, I was thinking of trying to come up with a little funny poem to put on each hamper - basically explaining that we're skint and that's why everyone is getting homemade presents!

Any poets among us who want to offer any suggestions? grin

chirpchirp Thu 13-Oct-11 09:59:23

No good at poetry but did see these fun gift tags that you could make smile

FlubbaBubba Thu 13-Oct-11 10:00:34

Thanks ladies. Just found this seller on ebay here

FlubbaBubba Thu 13-Oct-11 10:10:02

Ooh, and they get cheaper the more you buy, and free postage. Think I'll go for that. smile 5 inches is deep enough to put things in isn't it?

FlubbaBubba Thu 13-Oct-11 10:17:26

We wish you a good Christmas
It's not our usual flair
We've made these for you lovingly
Taste them (if you dare)

chirp and flubba you are both brilliant thanks

If only I could 'pin' little sections of MN to my board grin

TastesLikeBraiiiins Thu 13-Oct-11 12:45:42

I have a stoopidly easy Baileys Fudge recipe...

Melt four cups of dark chocolate (I find that is about 4 x 100g bars)
In a seperate bowl, mix 1 cup of Baileys into 3 cups of icing sugar until blended and 'smooth' looking. Mix the melted chocolate into the icing sugar/baileys mixture, pour into a clingfilm lined tray and put in the fridge overnight until set. Cut into very small pieces then hide in a room and eat it all yourself

I am going to experiment with making this with orange juice at the weekend, as DH doesn't drink or like the taste of baileys boohoo more fudge for me

if you don't have measuring cups, btw, it doesn't matter - just think in terms of equal measures.

Saltire Thu 13-Oct-11 12:53:07

Ok I am going to admit to lurking on this thread a lot grin. I don't have the time or willpower to make half the stuff you lovely lot are doing. However I might pop up now and agian with a question, so feel free to skirt round me, as I cannot spend hours on here keeping up grin

chirpchirp Thu 13-Oct-11 13:00:32

TLBs That sounds amazing and baileys happens to be MIL's favourite, think she'll be getting a few squares of that in her stocking!

Hi Saltire, ask (and lurk) away smile

Kveta Thu 13-Oct-11 13:08:51

I found a fig mustard recipe here

going to bottle all my booze this evening, then work out what else we need to make. I may try a batch of cake batter bark at some point, since my lovely American friend brought me some Duncan Hines yellow cake mix! I also have coconut M+Ms so will be making some coconut bark with them on top! <easily amused>

I just remembered about a gift my mum made for my dad when my sister and I were really small, and thought I'd share it in case any of you wanted to use it (not sure where the poem comes from - she definitely didn't write it though!). It was basically a framed picture with our hand prints in and a poem:

There used to be so many
Of my finger prints to see
On furniture and walls and things
From sticky, grubby me.

But if you stop and think awhile
You’ll see I’m growing fast
These little moments disappear
You can’t bring back the past.

So here is a small reminder
To keep, not throw away
Of tiny hands and how they looked
To make you smile someday.

It's still in my parents downstairs loo now; nearly 30 years later grin

Long time lurker (and repinner!), first time posting on this thread but I'm over excited to discover my lovely PIL have purchased my rather optimistic wish sewing machine from my amazon wishlist, for my birthday this month. So that's nearly 2 months to get making some of the lovely stuff from this thread and pinterest. I have the christmas pudding vodka already but I had stalled on everything else, and can't wait to get started properly.

DawnOfTheDeementedDead Thu 13-Oct-11 14:43:03

Kveta Please can you post the recipe for coconut bark on here as i'm not on pinterest - it sounds bloody amazing!!!

FlubbaBubba Thu 13-Oct-11 14:45:55

Ahh Thunder my DD2's nursery made me that poem with her grubby little handprints on last year, have of course kept it but hadn't thought of framing it - great idea! smile

chirpchirp Thu 13-Oct-11 15:27:52

Nice one crumble. I'm a bit rubbish and always end up hand sewing things like hems and sock monkeys as I think my sewing machine is under the stairs beneath a load of DH's junk. You may have inspired me to dig it out. What were you thinking of making?

ShirleyKnot Thu 13-Oct-11 16:15:05

<holds head in hands>

I should never have come here. Never.

Thanks to this thread, and the last one I have spent HOURS looking at pinterest and have now got at least 40 things I MUST try and make. Oh God!

FlubbaBubba Thu 13-Oct-11 16:34:22

Think that's why babydubs started this thread so early on in the year Shirley. FWIW I thought I was going to just sew an apron or two for nephews and nieces. Now I'm making everyone everthing, have probably spent just as much on essential homemaking goods fabric and ribbons and jars and sugar and am also having a table at a local Christmas craft fair!! So watch yourself indeed! grin grin

addictediam Thu 13-Oct-11 16:46:52

Thunder I love that poem. I'm going to steal it and do some hand prints with dd.

Kveta Thu 13-Oct-11 17:51:47

Deemented - bark here smile join pinterest, you know you want to!!

Flubba I'm the same. I was planning on getting some ideas for the older members of our families, maybe making some decorations as it'll be DC1's first Christmas and getting some good recipes for booze.

I'm making everything now, I've spent a fortune on molds and felt, my fingertips are toughening up from knitting and I'm doing a table at the Scout Christmas Bazaar grin

DawnOfTheDeementedDead Thu 13-Oct-11 18:05:33

Thanks, Kveta - yes i do want to join pinterest, but not until January at least, when i can sit down and make a list of everything i can make when i'm sat on the sofa BF DC5 who's due in Feb. If i look now i'll never get anything done at all!!!

A late joiner to this thread but I have done homemade presents for the past few years - I do hampers for my mum, dad & stepmum, FIL, grandmother etc. So far this year I've made apple sauce, apple butter, apple chutney (we have had a lot of apples from our tree this year!), strawberry jam. Usually make my own mincemeat and Christmas cakes, have previously made lemon curd (really simple microwave recipe).

Besides food I have also made a cute sock monkey for DS2 which I'm really pleased with - might make them for my little niece and nephew if I get time. Been making loads of candles too in the past week (thanks to laurie's famous candle thread!) Last year I made some nice body scrubs but used most of them myself before Christmas grin

FlubbaBubba Thu 13-Oct-11 18:52:16

grin Toria grin

Kveta Thu 13-Oct-11 18:52:46

I can't pin this recipe, but found a fab way to preserve walnuts, in case anyone has a surplus! walnuts in honey I've been gifted a carrier bag full by a friend who has a very productive tree, so will give this a go I think!

twolittlemonkeys i'd love your lemon curd recipe please!

Easy Lemon Curd
Juice of 2 large lemons or 4 small limes
2 eggs
110g caster sugar
60g butter
Mix the lemon (or lime) juice and eggs together and strain the liquid into a bowl. Stir in the sugar and then add the butter.
Cover the bowl with cling film and cook the mixture on high for 1 minute.
Remove the wrap and give the mixture a stir. Return the bowl, uncovered, to the microwave and cook on medium for 6 minutes, a minute at a time, until the lemon curd thickens. Whisk well after every minute, to prevent curdling.
Using oven gloves remove the bowl from the microwave and continue whisking until the mixture begins to cool down. Pour into a sterilised jar. Best kept refrigerated.

DawnOfTheDeementedDead Thu 13-Oct-11 19:18:58

How much crud does that make, twolittlemonkies?

DawnOfTheDeementedDead Thu 13-Oct-11 19:19:41

Curd, i meant curd blush

HauntForTheBeast Thu 13-Oct-11 19:31:46

Hahahahahahahaha Dawn grin grin grin grin

Best mistype I've seen for ages!

the crud looks good grin

Trills Thu 13-Oct-11 21:08:17

Mmm, lemon crud!

TastesLikeBraiiiins Thu 13-Oct-11 21:44:50

Lovely lemony crud - that is what it shall forever be named in my house now!!!

DawnOfTheDeementedDead Fri 14-Oct-11 06:18:02


<joins in the mocking of crud> haha grin

Had my first 'homemade' fail yesterday with my basil body butter - it smelt horrible and was just really greasy; had to throw the whole lot away. Typically it was the most expensive thing I've tried to make so far.

Success with coconut soaps and mango face masks though smile (and crabapple schnapps, christmas pud vodka and candy cane vodka all nesting in the downstairs cupboard)

TimeForCake Fri 14-Oct-11 08:42:13

Oh I love lemon crud!!! grin Has really made me laugh on a Friday morning. I am not a fan of it either, so lemon crud is perfect!! Shall be known as such in my house, from now! grin

ScreamingHeebieCJs Fri 14-Oct-11 09:28:19

Also grining at 'crud'. Does anyone have a recipe that doesn't involve a microwave? [luddite emoticon]

cartblanche Fri 14-Oct-11 10:52:36

Yes, I'd be up for a non-microwave recipe too please smile

It only makes 1.5 jars or 1 large jar, so not a cheap way to do lemon curd/crud grin, but soooo delicious, much better than shop bought! Amazing filling for a lemon tart/lemon meringue pie too. I expect you could make it in a pan on the hob, whisking regularly as with the microwave recipe. Haven't tried it though.

ZimboMum Fri 14-Oct-11 12:33:18

It's known as lemon turd in our house...

I like lemon crud much better!


Trills Fri 14-Oct-11 12:55:58

Do you homemadey people have any top tips for getting the labels off jars?

chirpchirp Fri 14-Oct-11 13:12:36

Run them through the dishwasher, or if you don't have one leave them to soak in water over night. The for any little bits left I use nail varnish remover and a scraper.

TimeForCake Fri 14-Oct-11 13:13:12

Lakeland do a bottle of 'Sticky stuff remover' which is great for bits of label that won't come off. I haven't used it on a big jar label but I'm sure it would get the leftovers off after soaking?? I'm no expert though! grin

Trills Fri 14-Oct-11 13:13:58

Thanks. Just water or water with soap in or something? (sadly no dishwasher here)

I hope you dug out that sewing machine chirp. I may be being over ambitious as haven't used a sewing machine much before but I want to give these a go for the ladies of the family with lots of very pretty fabrics (there is also a man's wallet version somewhere on that site. I'm also itching to go on gingerbread man garlands and little gingerbread men for the tree that lots of us have pinned on pinterest. This is my christmas board although I haven't repinned too much on it yet as I'm conscious of people I want to make for being able to find me on there.

FlubbaBubba Fri 14-Oct-11 13:43:49

I used white spirit as my nail varnish remover was pants.

DS woke me at 4:55 this morning shock sad shock, and although he fed and went back to sleep, I couldn't, so I got up at 5:15 and made three more crayon rolls by the time the rest of the house got up! grin grin

TimeForCake Fri 14-Oct-11 14:59:48

Trills maybe a squirt of washing up liquid too?

Zeeky Fri 14-Oct-11 15:27:16

I soak the jars in hot soapy water & then use a Brillo pad/wire wool to get the last bits off.

DawnOfTheDeementedDead Fri 14-Oct-11 15:32:06

I went shopping today and bought lots of ingriedients for coconut bark, peppermint bark, cherry bark and cinnamon honey butter.

Manshapes mother is coming up tomorrow for the day and i find the best coping mechanism for this is to keep myself busy wink

Has anyone got a good tablet recipe?

Dee let us know how you get on with the cinnomon honey butter - its on my list of things to try!

DawnOfTheDeementedDead Fri 14-Oct-11 15:58:23

I will do - my friend loves Cinnamon too, so will give her some to try and report back.

Trills Fri 14-Oct-11 16:15:44

Thanks guys smile

LittleChiefRunnyCustard Fri 14-Oct-11 16:38:45

I posted a microwave tablet recipe in recipes (obviously) last year - it works really well.
Just found this page - loads of good ideas. I am making knitted felted chistmas stockings like this:


WholeLottaRosie Fri 14-Oct-11 16:55:26

Cherry bark sounds delish, are you using cherry candy canes and if so where are they from please?

FeedDeeTilIWantNoMore Fri 14-Oct-11 16:58:36

I am indeed, WLR - i'm not sure where they were from, as MIL picked them up for me, but i can ask her tomorrow. Am going to put them on dark chocolate - You'd be welcome to be a tester if you like?

WholeLottaRosie Fri 14-Oct-11 16:59:15

Can I have the idiot's guide to making candy cane vodka please? Can I make it now or should I wait until nearer Christmas, and does it actually taste nice or is it like mouthwash?

WholeLottaRosie Fri 14-Oct-11 17:02:40

FDTIWNM If you could ask MIL, I can only find the normal peppermint ones and love cherry and chocolate together.

I would love to be a tester, perhaps I could do you a swap for some handmade labels or something paper-crafty?

Trills Fri 14-Oct-11 17:08:13

Linky for microwave tablet please?

Rosie I just put loads of candy canes in a bottle of vodka! (I think 12 to about half a little of vodka originally, but then I added another 6 I think)

It smells like mouthwash - I'm hoping it will taste nicer but not tried it yet! It's also not the lovely red colour that the picture on pinterest's a murky pink/purply colour hmm

WholeLottaRosie Fri 14-Oct-11 17:24:24

I think I like the idea of the fancy little bottles and handmade labels more than the actual vodka grin. Last year Sainsbo's had the small fat candy canes, maybe look nice attached to the neck of the bottle or glued on to the label.

FeedDeeTilIWantNoMore Fri 14-Oct-11 17:30:28

I think it was either the 99p shop or the local £ shop - but i'm probably wrong grin

I don't want anything for them - just that you'll give me your honest opinion is all. I don't like dark chocolate, and manshape doesn't like cherry, so i'm a bit stumped.

WholeLottaRosie Fri 14-Oct-11 17:32:16

Do you know how much they cost? wink

addictediam Fri 14-Oct-11 17:34:29

Ladies I need your help. I have my first (of 3) craft fayers next friday and I have -
3 red felt hearts
3 green felt hearts. (still being made)
6 button christmas trees
8 snowball balls
5 pencil cases of crayons
5 lemon hand scrub
5 lavender bath salts
4 children's bracelets
1 baby blanket (left over from previous fayres)

What other ideas can I steal from you! else can I make?

addictediam Fri 14-Oct-11 17:36:03

Sorry, that should say Saturday!

How about some sort of felt, pockety type advent calendar thing? Or, wheat winter warmers like this?

addictediam Fri 14-Oct-11 18:05:18

I've been thinking of both of thoes things thunder, but I wasnt sure where to get dried lavender from and I've been trying to use up stuff i already have... But that says you can add cinemon (sp?)That would be quite nice and festive! Oh dear, I guess more money on material and ribbon it is then! grin

Or you can just use lavender oil - might be easier to get hold of from Boots or something.

But yes, cinnamon would be nice (perhaps with cloves and nutmet and pass it off as a christmas pud winter warmer!)

FlubbaBubba Fri 14-Oct-11 19:25:34

I've made a few of them addicted and they're beautiful. I've picked my own lavendar (you only need a couple of Tbsps per bag). Look gorgeous. I've also made a more 'blokey' one with tea tree oil (as I had some spare). Your list is about the same as mine minus the scrubs.

About to get on with some decorating of fairy cakes for my DD's birthday this weekend smile smile so Christmas things are on hold for a couple of days.

micku5 Fri 14-Oct-11 22:28:37

Just to let you know I saw some peppermint and cherry candy canes in the 99p store.

roundabout1 Fri 14-Oct-11 23:04:12

Oooh I'm so pleased I found this thread, although you lot put me to shame as a lot of what I want to make will never actually materialise! Am I being a bit thick but what is a crayon roll?

acsec Sat 15-Oct-11 00:27:57

Made heart shaped crayons today smile

I'm hoping to have some stuff on a friend's craft stall at the school Christmas fete!

FeedDeeTilIWantNoMore Sat 15-Oct-11 07:48:09

roundabout1 - a crayon roll is a length of material with small pockets sewn in, that crayons can fit into. Then when child is finished colouring, it simply rolls up and ties together. Like this here

robino Sat 15-Oct-11 08:23:41

I give in! I have been lurking. I have been resisting. And now I have failed.

Sign me up for hand scrubs and body scrubs. And hopefully some other stuff if all goes smoothly in the land of 3DC under 5, a dog, a DH who works away most of the week and a dad who has landed on us and used up the very last inches of space in our already too small home while he waits for his house purchase to go through.

And as I've failed at resisting this I may as well fail at resisting pinterest too. Would somebody be so kind as to send me an invitation, please?

LittleChiefRunnyCustard Sat 15-Oct-11 09:03:41

Here you go Trills:

microwave tablet recipe

LittleChiefRunnyCustard Sat 15-Oct-11 09:05:08

Robino if you go to the Pinterest website (.com I think) you can apply for an invitation, mine came in less than 24hrs.

FeedDeeTilIWantNoMore Sat 15-Oct-11 10:41:08

Really silly question, but the cinnamon honey butter - i do have to sterilise the jar it's going in, don't i? And anyone know how long it keeps for?

CupOfBrownJoy Sat 15-Oct-11 17:56:35

Ok I have picked a couple of pounds of haws today - I want to do a jar of jelly and a drink of some sort...

The only drink recipe I can find uses brandy, and I don't really like brandy. Does anyone know if I can just bung them in with some gin and sugar same as for sloes? Does it work?

TIA smile

Trills Sat 15-Oct-11 19:01:00

Go for it - if it works with brandy it'll work with gin.

I made the garlic & chilli mustard from further up the thread today - the amount of vinegar specified made it quite runny, but hopefully the mustard seeds with absorb some of the liquid and make it stickier.

Just wanted to report that Jaffa Cake Vodka has been a success smile

Im straining all my alcohol today/ tomorrow. We have, Thortons Toffee Vodka, Green & Blacks Vodka, Christmas Pudding Brandy, and Jaffa Cake Vodka. All tasting lush! Feel so Christmassy smile

Trills Sat 15-Oct-11 19:34:01

Oh yes, I've stuck some toffees into some vodka too. Fingers crossed. I've ordered nice swing top bottles from here.

CupOfBrownJoy Sat 15-Oct-11 19:55:19

Thanks Trills, I'll play safe this year and just do a litre - see how it turns out smile

Zeeky Sat 15-Oct-11 21:16:14

Just made some Christmas pudding rum and some balckberry vodka, whilst listening to Nat King Cole Christmas CD and sipping hazlenut flavour baileys. DH is out for the night, so thought I would indulge in all things Christmas grin

When I was in WHSmith earlier, I spotted some lovely looking glass jars (some screw top, others kilner-style) filled with various types of sweets and tied with a red & white ribbon. They were basically exactly what I am aiming to make as some of my gifts. They were on 3 for 2 at £3.99 each upwards. I almost wonder why I am bothering to go to all the effort of making stuff, as by the time i buy the jars and the contents and ribbon, I may as well have just bought them from WHS angry

We bought some of the candy canes from the 99p shop when we saw them, can't quite remember what's supposed to be doing with them now though!

Trying to think of some biscuit/food type gifts that could be made and would last. Any ideas of the cinnamon honey butter and how long it would last if made now? Store in the fridge?

Listzilla Sat 15-Oct-11 21:47:08

Quick question: I've made Christmas pudding vodka and bottled it up. I've a pile of fruit left and it smells fantastic. Some of it is going to get mixed into nice vanilla icecream and tucked away in the freezer for emergencies but I'm wondering if I could use some as the basis for mincemeat, or would it be to boozy?

LiamW Sat 15-Oct-11 22:04:47

Trills - Those bottles are exactly what I want for the spirits we've made. We looked in Lakeland today but I just couldn't bring myself to spending 2.99 each, when I know we can get the job done a lot cheaper.

I don't think I'd feel so bad if I didn't have visions of family chucking the bottles away a few months down the line... would it be bad form to ask for the bottles back once their done? lol

BabyDubsEverywhere - Did you taste the Jaffa Cake Vodka, if so, what was it like? We've got far too many on the go now, but if it was nice I don't think I could resist making some :$ How long did you leave it stewing? Ours have been going for a few weeks now at least and I've not even thought of bottling them up yet!

WholeLottaRosie Sat 15-Oct-11 22:06:26

We bought some of the candy canes from the 99p shop when we saw them, can't quite remember what's supposed to be doing with them now though!

peppermint bark? candy cane vodka? using brown paper for wrapping presents and tying a cane on to the tag?

Trills Sat 15-Oct-11 22:12:15

I think screwcap bottles might end up in the recycling, but surely no-one would throw away the lovely pop top bottles?

IwoulddoPachacuti Sat 15-Oct-11 22:16:59

Ooh Jaffa cake vodka sounds divine!

Ive got Xmas pudding vodka in my cupboard just now and it it taking all my willpower not to drink it blush

I had a test run at making home made nutella with the kids and it is amazing! Not sure how practical it would be as a present though as it would only last a couple of weeks.

I bought some bottles from Ikea and am going to experiment with some more vodka flavours this week smile

WholeLottaRosie tying them onto presents rings a bell, thank you!

Still looking for mugs to make snowman soup in, definitely making some and possibly the candy canes were for them too? Hmm.

Zeeky Sat 15-Oct-11 22:35:55

Those of you who have made the button Christmas tree decorations - where did you get the star bead to go on top from? Also, what did you use to thread the buttons onto? Went to make one and realised I didn't have a clue what I was doing confused

addictediam Sun 16-Oct-11 03:08:17

I used ribbon i had lieing around and for the star a bead from the childrens section in hobbycraft. It was the only place i could find them! But pound shops sometimes have them? (we don't have one in our town! sad)

addictediam Sun 16-Oct-11 03:09:41

What's snowman soup? Sounds fun!

How do I hget in to Pinterest - think this could get additctive!!!!

FlubbaBubba Sun 16-Oct-11 07:34:41

If you PM me your email address I'll sent you an invitation madamecastafiore (and yes, it is addictive) grin

LiamW Sun 16-Oct-11 10:18:16

addictediam - Snowman Soup :D

Yes that's the general idea of the snowman soup, I'm going to look for some snowman/santa mugs to put it in smile

WhatWouldLeoDo Sun 16-Oct-11 11:59:35

WholeLottaRosie - I bought candy canes to crush for peppermint bark?

Have decided to go off piste now, I'm going to make a car roll for DS instead of a crayon roll - wider spaces and I reckon I can get 5 or 6 little cars in there. Might sew a 'road' to go along the top out of felt, too.

DawnOfTheDeementedDead Sun 16-Oct-11 15:20:34

Oh, that sounds great, Rue

You'll hafta do show off pics!

WhinGin Sun 16-Oct-11 16:00:07

For those thinking about making mustard there are a couple of recipes in the new Jamie O book

Jaffa cake vodka:
A bottle of asda own vodka and two packs of smart price jaffa cakes! £6. total smile

On the advice of fellow mumsneters i removed the cake part and (ate it smile ) and bunged the rest of the choc and orange part in a jar with the vodka, put the jar in a bowl of boiling water and give it a good shake so all the jaffa cake desolves. Ive left it for two weeks, and have done the boiling water bath four times. Worked pretty well, tastes very chocolate orange smile

Christmas pudding brandy also a success, its on its last strain as it was quite powdery from the spices. Ive bunged a cinamon stick in the bottle for presentation and spent last weekend tying together dried orange slices and cinamon sticks for attaching to the bottles.....really hope my ungrateful bastard rellies appreciate all this!

Ittybittysmum Mon 17-Oct-11 04:17:29

I tried a recipe for breadmaker panettone today but the bread came out about as heavy as my granny's fruit cake (which is fine for dark fruitcake that's been marinating in brandy for four months but not a fluffy airy panettone!

Does anyone have a good recipe?

Ittybittysmum try this Disclaimer: I haven't actually tried this recipe but it has lots of good reviews and I am planning on making one or two of these - don't think they'll keep long though...

Lisatheonewhoeatsdrytoast Mon 17-Oct-11 11:03:23

Right i'm trying to keep up now!! Between the old and the new thread!!! Love the idea of the vanilla brown sugar body scrub, now what size jar do you think i'd need? And this would keep ok till christmas now would it? blush

Next up I'm waiting on the waiting list for the pinterest sad

There is soooooooo many ideas, i'm not sure which ones to do!!! I have a brownie mix in a jar recipe that i'm going to do for my cousin.

And and and, i want sparkly jam recipe angry now!!! grin

Listzilla Mon 17-Oct-11 11:56:50

Just answering my own question, in case anyone else wonders - yes, you can indeed use the vodka'd fruit from your christmas pudding vodka to make mincemeat. It is indeed very boozy but I don't think anyone's going to complain : )

LiamW Mon 17-Oct-11 13:45:58

Lisatheonewhoeatsdrytoast - We've made the vanilla brown sugar and lemon sugar scrubs in little 250ml jars already. Assuming it's air tight, I don't see any reason why it shouldn't last!

I'm sure if you post or pm your email address then there's plenty of us that can invite away.

EllaDee Mon 17-Oct-11 13:48:28

Wow, I lost track of this for a couple of weeks and you're already into thread 2! I was posting under another name before, so may I say hi again here?

I've made pickled spiced plums (which are nice, we opened a jar to try since they've been maturing for a month), and lemon vodka, bramble vodka, and cherry brandy. Can I ask - what's your lemon vodka tasting like at the moment? I'm not honestly mad keen on mine! It tastes quite strongly of pith and doesn't have the lovely aromatic lemon-zest flavour I thought it'd have. Am I doing something wrong (there is sugar in it, in case you wondered!), or will the flavour develop into something nicer?

I have also just potted up paperwhite bulbs that I'd forgotten about - they were just starting to sprout (oops! blush) but they look nice just poking through the soil now. Hopefully they will be ok!

Right, back to read the rest of the old thread slowly! Your plans are all very distracting inspirational. wink

Lisatheonewhoeatsdrytoast Mon 17-Oct-11 13:53:23

I have pm'd you twice LiamW because i forgot my email in the first one blush Right i'm going to make this brown sugar thingy now then and i'm doing the lemon hand scrub thing too. grin

EllaDee love your name! The last thing I saw that actress in was a costume drama (Emma I think?) and I couldn't believe how utterly different from Ella Dee she looked.

I am suffering from Pinstress which is when you have amassed so many lovely ideas for Christmas gift making that even if you stop eating, sleeping and taking care of your children you will never have time to make them all sad

So far I have 'made' Bob The Builder and pirate notebooks for both sons and a pack of pirate mechanical pencils for DS1. I say made but the pencils and notebooks were plain Asda value ones (£1.86 in total) and I just put together and printed stickers to cover them in on A4 adhesive paper (£7 I think for 100 sheets on Amazon but I will use the other sheets too for other projects. Honest.) The little pencils look really cool covered in tiny pirate motifs and patterns - I am pleased with the way they turned out for such a small outlay! I have done a crayon roll for DS2 who is 18 months and adores a) crayons and b) putting things into little slots so that one is guaranteed to go down well. I am also in the middle of turning an old and lovely pair of his baby jeans into a little bag for him to carry around - next to putting things in slots and demanding total domination of the entire house his favourite thing to do is carry his big bro's lunch bag around so I think he will like having a bag of his own. I have made 3 sets of beanbags - plain and patterned denim ones for DS2 and stripey ones for his two toddling cousins with the letters of their names printed on the back (thank-you whoever invented printer transfer paper.) DS1 demanded I make beanbags for him too so now I am working on a set of three monster ones for him. I also made him a big activity book - I used printable wordsearches, crosswords, number puzzles, colouring in pages etc from sites like Activity Village and made up a few pages that are about his life (eg a wordsearch of the names of his 11 cousins, spot the difference family photo) and bound it all on a spiral binder. He will like it but we will like him having something other than non-stop talking to do now and again in the holidays wink. I also made him some hot chocolate spoons loaded with mini marshmallows to stir into hot milk using a spoon mould I already had.

I haven't been posting much because I was ashamed of how little I have got done blush but when I see it written down it doesn't look so bad smile

EllaDee Mon 17-Oct-11 14:29:54

ancient - thanks! I actually chose it because it's a homophone for my old one (sort of).

I love the sound of your activity book - makes me wish I had appropriate-age children in the family to give them to! Baby niece was born at the end of April so will not I think even realize it's Christmas. But she will have a nice starry quilt (if I can finish it in time) from me. I'll have to come back to this thread in a few years for more ideas. smile

Ittybittysmum Mon 17-Oct-11 14:55:09

Oh, thanks for the recipe twolittlemonkeys! I'll let you know how it turns out.

Zeeky Mon 17-Oct-11 16:13:22

ancient it sounds like you've made LOADS of stuff!! All of it sounds pretty time consuming too! I too have pin-fatigue - so much I want to do but not getting much done. I did manage to make some christmas pud rum & blackberry vodka and 2 batches of chutneys. Did a trip to hobbycraft yesterday for supplies & spent way too much. The problem I have is that we are trying to sell our house & every time I get all my craft stuff out ready to start something we get a viewing so I have to ram it all in the understairs cupboard tidy it all away! Frantically trying to get the smell of chutney out of the house before a viewing later on!

EllaDee Mon 17-Oct-11 16:58:56

The smell of chutney would encourage me to buy a house, zeeky! smile

Lisatheonewhoeatsdrytoast Mon 17-Oct-11 17:22:25

Has anyone found or has a recipe for Jelly Tot Vodka? I really want to give this a shot, for a cousin of mine!!!

Trills Mon 17-Oct-11 17:26:43

I imagine jelly tot vodka is like all other flavoured vodkas.

Put the thing in the vodka
add sugar (if needed)
repeat stirring and waiting
filter off anything yuck

I'd say leave out the green ones to get a nicer colour.

Lisatheonewhoeatsdrytoast Mon 17-Oct-11 17:40:54

yes i thought the same about the green!! I think i shall attempt this, is there something about leaving it for a couple of weeks, then filter it? Never made vodka before blush so completely new to the process?!

Trills Mon 17-Oct-11 17:44:15

Leave it til it's dissolved, then run through something like muslin in a sieve to get rid of any yucky bits.

mmm jelly tot vodka grin Let me know how it goes.

Tried out our vodkas this weekend - they are quite potent! They've only been brewing for a week but I think its definitely time to strain the Christmas pud one; it's rather strong!

EllaDee Mon 17-Oct-11 18:30:50

Have I let my lemon one go too strong then? I'm really not sure it's nice but I don't want to chuck that amount of vodka unless it's clear I've messed up. sad

WholeLottaRosie Mon 17-Oct-11 19:53:28

Has anyone tried making chocolate spoons?

AshaBoo Mon 17-Oct-11 20:27:12

Loving this thread - also Pin-fucked grin Been on it 2 days and have about 500 pins!

Made the melted rainbow crayons today with limited success (small steps)

Also working on handprint art, and considering liquorice allsorts vodka (would it work?)

Gonna start on felt decorations for the tree tomorrow.

Thank you for a lovely thread (pissed and emotional)

I worry that you might have done elladee. When you put the zest in did you put the pith in as well? If so that would make it bitter.

Sorry, not sure what the remedy is sad

Maybe through in a load of candy canes grin can imagine that overpowering anything!

ella could you try putting some sugar into it?

EllaDee Mon 17-Oct-11 20:44:49

thunder - oh, damn! I saw a recipe that said to peel off the zest with a potato peeler so yes, there is a little bit of pith because it cuts wide strips. I thought you were meant to. That will probably be it. sad

cheese - I'll try a bit of sugar. I was wondering why it wasn't nice and aromatic, but maybe the pith is covering that taste up.

Darn, darn, darn.

Zeeky Mon 17-Oct-11 21:15:56

Just made some totally sinful fudge - chocolate Baileys flavour. It was soooo easy & quick to make & tastes AMAZING!!! Obviously this is just a trial batch which I will need to sample copiously to make sure it is suitable as gifts wink

Ow Ella how annoying. I know from making lemonade in the summer that the tiniest bit of pith can ruin a whole batch sad

Try decanting some into a smaller bottle and adding 'things' to it to see if it can be improved.

EllaDee Mon 17-Oct-11 21:56:19

Thanks thunder - I will do!

I've made lemonade before - the brown-sugar version - and put whole half-lemons in there, pith and all, so it hadn't occurred to me. Stupid, because I know how bitter it is if you zest it into cake mixture.

Ah well ... if nothing else DH says it is still fine Russian vodka and he will do his patriotic duty to it.

Lisatheonewhoeatsdrytoast Mon 17-Oct-11 21:56:21

Ok, so i'm still going on about this jelly tot vodka!! Should i just follow the skittle type recipe, replacing with jelly tots?? And after i freeze it, when do i take it out and how do i store it until christmas??

Now been added to Pintarest that's moi! wink

EllaDee Mon 17-Oct-11 21:57:08

(Btw, the commiserations are appreciated - I feel so daft!)

acsec Mon 17-Oct-11 21:59:44

Lisatheone my bro says put the jelly tots in the vodka, give it a good shake, keep it somewhere warm like the airing cupboard, shake it every day until the jelly tots dissolve. Strain it through muslin or a sieve lined with kitchen roll et voila.

welliesundermeballgoon Mon 17-Oct-11 22:10:52

Ruede tutorial here for car roll there are some great ones if you can get road printed fabric too. HTH

Lisatheonewhoeatsdrytoast Mon 17-Oct-11 22:29:32

thank you asec will give that a go at the weekend!!

Ittybittysmum Tue 18-Oct-11 03:53:32

I started my first batch of vanilla extract last week and super easy, if anyone's doing baking gifts. It's just cheapo vodka with two split vanilla beans in per litre. Shake every few days.
So far it smells lovely and has started to turn a nice caramel colour. Presumably I'll have to strain it at some point (I haven't made this before).

LoveBeingAWitch Tue 18-Oct-11 06:06:19

Found you!

Looks like my homemade Xmas is being downgraded due to money sad but will keep up with the thread and think about all the things I want to do next year.

MrsJamin Tue 18-Oct-11 07:11:47

Hey everyone, anyone else going to make a christmas stocking - or two?! Thinking of buying something like this cotton bag and decorate it with the boys' names and some lovely buttons, etc. This would hopefully be their stocking bags for years to come. Anyone else got any ideas for making stockings? Ideally I'd like it to look like a sock shape but it would also need to actually contain their stocking presents, i.e. be big enough!

girlywhirly Tue 18-Oct-11 07:56:33

MrsJamin, could you alter the bags and cut a wide stocking shape, then re- stitch the new seams? They should still be able to hold a reasonable amount of gifts if you use as much of the original bag as possible.

mrsjamin if you're going to unstitch the bags anyway, you'd seriously be better off buying fabric and making them from scratch. it would be easier to decorate the panels if they weren't stitched together. I made quite a few personalised stockings last year so happy to help if you do decide to start from scratch

MumblingAndBloodyRagDoll Tue 18-Oct-11 08:39:39

Hello! I agree that its a false economy to pay 7 pounds per bag and then alter can buy cheap fabric by the metre for a couple of pounds. Or cut up somethiing you already have.

There are tonnes of stocking ttemplates online and they're easy to sew.

EllaDee Tue 18-Oct-11 08:50:04

FWIW, my mum made a stocking out of felt for my little brother (because it was easy and she had toddlers wanting to help). It's cheap and looked great with very little work because felt is the easiest thing ever to cut and sew - and still looks great over 20 years later! So if you are looking for shortcut fabric, that's it!

girlywhirly Tue 18-Oct-11 09:11:40

The bags MrsJ wants are made from strong canvas type organic cotton, so not expensive for what they are. But I agree if she can get the same quality fabric cheaper by the metre it would be better value if she wants to make stockings.

EllaDee Tue 18-Oct-11 09:19:35

I feel I let the tone of the thread down with my slacker option there, didn't I? grin

Sorry, back to your organic cotton everyone ....

addictediam Tue 18-Oct-11 10:49:27

Lol ella I was thinking the same thing (about the felt!)

girlywhirly Tue 18-Oct-11 11:30:43

Ella, not letting the thread down, the stockings were still homemade, and some people might be pushed for time.

Treats Tue 18-Oct-11 11:33:46

I have been planning on making a 'shortbread selection' for each member of my family and had got as far as deciding on a plain version and a dipped in chocolate version. So I was pleased to see that the masterclass in this month's 'Olive' magazine is on flavoured shortbreads. There's a recipe for rosemary and demerara shortbread, with variations for (from memory) salted caramel, preserved ginger and fennel and lemon shortbread, as well as lots of other suggestions in the text. Which all sounds a lot more interesting than what I had in mind.

What's also helpful is the method. Once you've made the dough, you just roll it into a sausage and cut into rounds, so no messing around with rolling pins and cutters and having to waste some of the dough. This means that I can make the sausages the right height for the boxes I plan to present them in (probably the 6 for £1 'takeaway' boxes from Wilkos, tarted up with some glitter and ribbon). I can also freeze the raw dough, in sausage form, and just cut and cook on Christmas Eve, so the biscuits will be lovely and fresh on Christmas Day, and also take up less space in the freezer in the run up to Christmas than if they were already cooked and boxed.

Just passing this on in case it's helpful to someone.

EllaDee Tue 18-Oct-11 12:24:41

treats - I wish I had a freezer, that sounds so practical! I love that you'll have bespoke-sized pieces for the boxes too. smile

After the mention of lemonade yesterday I was wondering - does anyone know how long it keeps? DH can't drink during Advent or on Christmas Day so I would love to make something a bit special for him to enjoy at that time.

<adds shortbread to list>

Treats have you thought about packaging them in pringles this?

Ella this recipe might be a good idea

Oops -sorry, just noticed the freezer comment grin

roundabout1 Tue 18-Oct-11 13:18:36

Oooh I posted about shortbread/cookie recipes & freezing in the xmas thread. Love the idea of not having to roll out although if dd is around think we'll end up rolling & cutting! Can they be cooked from frozen or do you have to defrost first does anyone know? I am currently trying to find the best recipe, only want plain & choc/choc chip as we have such a lot of boring, fussy eaters in our family! So am eating lots of biscuits at the mo, not very good for the waistline though!

MrsJamin Tue 18-Oct-11 13:26:11

Thanks all for your input! I could probably make the stocking myself but I have this horrid feeling that I wouldn't get round to it due to the fact I can't really sew around my small boys and I tend to just sit in a heap in the evening! So if I just do the decorative stuff it will be easier to get around to doing before decorating the house in December. The bags don't need to be organic (!) but it was just what came up in an ebay search, I just wanted something that will be durable from years of frantic children trying to get to their presents! I didn't think felt would be up to the job but perhaps I was wrong.

shesparkles Tue 18-Oct-11 13:29:17

I found this site this morning-loads of good ideas and recipes smile

Oh dear, think my christmas pudding vodka has gone the same way as your lemon vodka EllaDee I also used a veg peeler to get off long strips and now it just tastes of very strong lemon and not christmassy at all. Just bunged in loads more sugar and some christmas spices to see if it can be rescued before I read this thread but now I'm thinking I better strain it out and take out the large pieces of lemon peel so it can't do any more damage. In fact, off to do that now!

DevotionAndDesire Tue 18-Oct-11 14:20:48

Damn you.... i am now addicted to pintrest. lol

I am hoping to make lots of christmas gifts this year, and now have lots of ideas. grin

Ittybittysmum Tue 18-Oct-11 15:21:00

Ooh, Treats that sounds fantastic. I'm (hopefully) going to be working full time in a few weeks so having freezer-friendly shortbread dough would be brilliant. Time to go recipe hunting. Especially for the salted caramel type!

Mrsjamin When DH and I were young and penniless I bought us cheap felt stockings from a dollar store. We have had them for 11 years, they look brand new and I honestly wish they would fall apart as they're ugly and I'm so tired of them! IMO if you're planning a long-term stocking, don't be swayed! Make it what you want! wink
(No offense meant to felt-stocking-lovers. It's not the felt, it's the horrible colour!)

Treats Tue 18-Oct-11 16:21:29

I will double check but, yes - I think the biscuit dough can be cooked from frozen. Will return with details when i get home later.

LOVE the Pringles tubes! Think I'd have to eat a lot of Pringles to have enough and would then have to make quite a few biscuits to fill them, but it's a brilliant idea.

roundabout - have already made some star-shaped tree biscuits with DD. I rolled out and cut the biscuits, and she copied what I was doing with her Play-Doh. She's only 2.......

addictediam Tue 18-Oct-11 18:00:23

Treats Tesco do a cheap version of pringles (they are just as nice) and less than half the price around 90p a tube iirc so slightly cheeper. (I'm planning on using them I think)

Flubba Tue 18-Oct-11 19:00:46

Calling addicted - how did your craft fair go? (and can I be nosey and ask what kind of prices you charged for your felt hearts?) grin

I've pulled out of the face-painting side of my craft fair, so really need to get my prices right with the crafts I'll be selling;
pompom father christmasses (with wooden balls for heads so need to cover costs)
pompom angels (also wooden heads)
pompom snowmen
felt snowmen
felt hearts
felt christmas trees
cotton crayon rolls (with 16 crayons)
'winter warmers'
possibly also going to add children's aprons into the mix? (if I can get any done in time!)

Any ideas for prices please.

Also, do you think the 'cookies in a jar' thing would sell? (or would you only like them if you knew the person who'd lovingly squished them together for you?) grin

Witchthis Tue 18-Oct-11 19:42:53

just bought the Prima Christmas mag if you're interested to know what's in it. Lovely toy mouses, or should I say meeces! I'm feeling very behind the times compared to everyone here...I do have plans for a felt gingerbread house though...

Witchthis Tue 18-Oct-11 19:43:47

Flubba, your wares sound tempting!

Treats Tue 18-Oct-11 20:17:58

Thanks addicted - am definitely thinking about doing the Pringles tubes. I can still make the biscuits the right size.

Just checked the recipe again and it says that you can freeze the dough, then defrost and cut, or freeze the cut raw biscuits and cook them straight from the freezer. It doesn't give specific instructions for this, but the raw dough cooks in 10-15 mins, so I guess a frozen raw biscuit would need nearer 20?

I would reproduce the recipe but it's the current edition so that feels a bit unethical. You could nip into WHSmith and look it up!

addictediam Tue 18-Oct-11 20:58:25

My craft fayre is on Saturday. I'm planning on charging around £1.50 for the Christmas tree decorations, I'd only make a small profit but if I sell everything its around a £50 profit all together, not mega bucks but nice pocket money! (enough for dds birthday party!)

Whats the cookies in a jar?

Treats is that the olive mag. Christmas edition?

Zeeky Tue 18-Oct-11 21:37:59

Just made my first button christmas tree - it looks so sweet grin!

Zeeky Tue 18-Oct-11 21:40:18

Meant to put that I'm planning to make some apple, blackberry & cinnamon chutney off the Baking Made Easy programme. Anyone tried making it? Sounds lovely, and as I have been given a load of apples and onions by my mum and have a freezer full of blackberries from the local hedgerows, it will effectively be Free Chutney grin!!

Witchthis Tue 18-Oct-11 22:40:40

Got any pictures zeeky?

roundabout1 Wed 19-Oct-11 16:07:33

I trialled a shortbread recipe off Lorraine Pascale's cookery programme, it's a plain shortbread but I added white, plain & milk chocolate chips. They really were scrumtious, made a double batch but sadly had to send some in for harvest festival !

LittleChiefRunnyCustard Wed 19-Oct-11 17:53:57

Finished my stockings. Here are some pics:


Flubba Wed 19-Oct-11 18:06:12

Couldn't see your pics littlechief but I'm not a member of picasa (do you need to be?) confused

LittleChiefRunnyCustard Wed 19-Oct-11 18:08:27

Hmmm, I will check this out. Thanks for the heads up Flubba

LittleChiefRunnyCustard Wed 19-Oct-11 18:09:03

That better?

Flubba Wed 19-Oct-11 18:14:56

sad no sad it says That page was not found

LittleChiefRunnyCustard Wed 19-Oct-11 18:22:35

Any good photo?

Flubba Wed 19-Oct-11 18:48:00

Yay! Yes, very sweet stockings!! smile

LittleChiefRunnyCustard Thu 20-Oct-11 08:21:34

Thanks - they were really easy to knit and the needle felting was great fun.

MartyrStewart Thu 20-Oct-11 09:49:34

Cute stockings smile

My Mincemeat was a disaster! I forgot about it and nearly cremated my slowcooker blush

I have been side tracked this week making hair clips for my niece's birthday, so hope to get my Christmas on next week grin

ScreamingHeebieCJs Thu 20-Oct-11 11:16:00

Hi all, just catching up.

I made the salted peanut caramel shortbread last weekend. It was to die for. Very gooey, though - not sure about making it in advance. I might just make some and have it 'hanging around' at Christmas like I'm some kind of domestic goddess.

LittleChiefRunnyCustard Thu 20-Oct-11 12:58:16

Mmmmmm - salted caramel. There is no way I could make that for gifts - I would be completely unable to give it away.

cartblanche Thu 20-Oct-11 19:51:28

OK - so 10 days ago I gave myself the week to make 5 Xmas decorations and I haven't blush BUT I have given my Xmas vodka a stir and have cut out 30+ heart shapes in various sizes and fabrics (felt, gingham, hessian etc...) I have also made my first pine cone pom-pom decoration and it looks really sweet (sorry no pics but it looks just like the one you may have seen on Pinterest) and I have lots of tissue all ready and waiting for making those overblown pom-poms a la Martha Stewart (but they are just for fun and I am making some of those in Orange for Halloween).

Is anyone else starting to panic irrationally? I have to keep reminding myself that it is STILL only October. I cannot get into baking biscuits and sweet things yet because I would just eat them and they won't keep so I am going to leave them till later (early Dec?) - but perhaps I should have a practise run??

Still resistant to making a scrub even though the only things I am missing are the essential oil - has anyone had any real success with these - am afraid of ending up with a sad-looking oily sludge in a jar with a ribbon on! Bath bombs - am nearly there with all the ingredients just need the essential oil and the little spray bottles with which to "spritz" the mixture.

After seeing zeeky's sweet little felt stockings and browsing lots of fabric/craft sites in search of mini-felt pom poms, I feel myself getting sucked into the felting world - Nooooo I have enough to do (she says eyeing up a merino wool jumper that I shrunk many months ago!)

Anyway, ramble over smile

I've succumbed to the felting world cart - I followed advice earlier in the thread and ordered a tenner's worth of felt squares from the Felt Fairy on Ebay and some lovely and very thick wool felt with matching pompom and string from Blooming Felt to make a funky purse for my teenage niece. I've spent way too long on Pintrest looking at felt food and am already planning to make some little felt cakes for my toddler's stocking and felt food for various little relatives' birthdays next year. I think I have gone over properly to the mad side now....

Yes to irrational panic - on the page it looks like I have weeks and weeks of crafting ahead of me to get it all done but in reality by the time my toddler has emptied my sewing basket on the floor, eaten the pins, demanded my company on the sofa AT ONCE for a Bobthebuilderfest and insisted on sitting on my lap at the sewing machine I think I am actually managing to do oh I don't know - 20 minutes a day. I look at what other people on this thread have got done in awe envy

Flubba Fri 21-Oct-11 07:11:15

cartblanche have you been taking a sneaky peak at my sorry attempt at a scrub then? You've described it perfectly grin blush

Yes to panic too - although less irrational because I'm holding a craft stall in three weeks' time, so really need to get cracking. theancientmarinator my 4yo, 3yo and 8mo are also Very Good at Helping mummy with the sewing machine. hmm

I have at least now made two aprons for my nieces, and have developed my own little pom pom snowmen and angels. Am toying with buying yet more wooden balls for the heads... confused

addictediam Fri 21-Oct-11 08:44:19

Dd likes to 'help' too, but my pin cushion is a teddybear so she likes to cuddle it, and then can't work out why its hurting her!

Most of the stuff I've made has been sit on the sofa stuff or quick zip on the sewing machiene stuff so its not been too bad with dd.

Getting really nervous about tomorrow now. What if no one likes my stuff?
Still need to finish 2 stockings and 1 heart then buy a table cloth and I'm done!

Flubba Fri 21-Oct-11 09:55:48

"what if no one likes my stuff?" is my fear too addicted - in that case we'll be giving a lot of christmas decoration things to our friends and family this year!! grin hmm

How big is your table? How much stuff have you got to sell? Will be thinking of you tomorrow - wishing you lots of fun and luck! smile

cartblanche Fri 21-Oct-11 12:47:07

ooh good luck addictediam with your craft table - can't wait to hear how you got on. I keep swinging between just making stuff to decorate my own home and then have wild flights of fancy of going in to mass-production. Judging on my efforts so far, I'll be lucky to have enough to decorate my mantle piece grin

Flubba I promise I didn't sneak a peak at your scrub! I think there is some critical proportion of sugar to oil but I haven't even tried yet so who am I to talk. Have you tried again? I'm sure it's just a case of trial and error. You do sound like you have got sucked into the felt world! I have found some mini pom-poms after searching high and low so have been able to make my xmas pine cones BUT my shrunk jumper is such a lovely shade of green that I would like to make a bit of a pom-pom garland with it. I just need to know how to do that picky thing with a needle so am off to You tube some tutorials (or Tutes as they seem to call them on Pinterest!)

Keep the faith everyone!!

grin at keeping the faith. We will triumph! (said in manner of Meg Ryan in call box in Paris in French Kiss) [shows age].

Flubba and addicted we've all seen your pics and I don't think you need to worry!

Flubba Fri 21-Oct-11 13:27:16

grin indeed at keep the faith!! grin grin
And yes, we will triumph (or go down in a blaze of felt, lit by candy-cane vodka) wink

Thank you ancientmarinator blush

breadandhoney Fri 21-Oct-11 13:51:04

Hi all. Quick question. Have I left it too late to make blackberry vodka and skittles vodka in time for christmas? I saw the recipes on the old thread and decided to make them, but now it seems it is almost the end of October! Don't know where the weeks have gone! Will the flavours be strong enough if I make them this weekend, and strain and decant mid-December?

EllaDee Fri 21-Oct-11 14:18:12

I've not seen blackberries still on the bushes much - and they might be a bit sour by now! Taste and check, I would.

But I think you will be fine, because mine has been steeping for less time than there is to go from now until Christmas, and it is very tasty already according to DH! grin

I think it will just get stronger and more mellow the longer you leave it, but will taste good quite soon.

EllaDee Fri 21-Oct-11 14:23:22

Ok, I have a question - I may re-post on Fellatio's thread if no-one here replies as it's probably a shared interest.

Has anyone bought either of these from Cox and Cox in previous years, and do they work? And am I wasting my money (that site is eyewatering but so pretty!)?

mogs0 Fri 21-Oct-11 14:54:05

I haven't used those particular cutters but I love cox and cox. There is a discount code in the money topic - not sure ifnit still works though.

EllaDee Fri 21-Oct-11 14:58:41

Oooh ... I shall go and hunt the discount code, thanks for the tip!

I only found the site last year, and after I'd spent my budget, but this year it all looks so tempting!

SpannerPants Fri 21-Oct-11 16:40:02

Would someone be able to PM me a pinterest invite please? I've been browsing it all afternoon, it's so addictive!

shesparkles Fri 21-Oct-11 16:42:42

Spannerpants, PM me your email address and I'll send you one just now smile

Zeeky Fri 21-Oct-11 19:58:42

Quick question about bottles for the flavoured spirits - are ones with corks ok or should I really use the swing top ones? Saw these and thought they might do the job? They are a good bit cheaper than the much nicer swing top bottles.

SpannerPants Fri 21-Oct-11 20:11:04

Sent shesparkles - thank you!

EllaDee Fri 21-Oct-11 20:32:14

Zeeky - I would think the alcohol is preservative enough it doesn't really need a swing top?

Not read entire thread so apologies of already here but Baker Ross catalogue do great sheets of labels that say 'handmade by ...' and you can fill in your name.

breadandhoney Sat 22-Oct-11 10:12:26

Thanks Ella. Of course, you are right, there are no blackberries left on the bushes. I had toyed with the idea of using frozen ones. However, I've had a rethink and am going to forget about vodka gifts (except for skittles vodka for DBro, which I think is a make-a-week-ahead kind of thing) and go for chutneys and shortbread.

I'm now onto thinking about wrapping - is it too early to discuss this? - and would really like your solutions to a problem that plagues me every year. How do you attach gift tags?? I always seem to end up attaching them with sticky tape which looks unfinished and rough, or using those shop-bought metallic bow things.

This year I am going for brown paper and homemade red-and-white snowflake gift tags but have no idea how to attach them. Would love to use ribbon somehow but have nothing to tie it to!

EllaDee Sat 22-Oct-11 12:07:00

Oh ... blackberries in the freezer, that is so organized I didn't think of it! blush

I quite like tying ribbon across the whole parcel (in a cross, you know?), then tying the ribbon from the gift tag into it. It is very wasteful of ribbon though so I don't do it for everything, just for a few parcels to make them look posh. But I am keen to hear good ideas too, please?

WholeLottaRosie Sat 22-Oct-11 12:51:23

Breadandhoney invest in some baker's twine and it will last you the next five years. Nicer than string I think and cheaper than ribbon if you cross it over the parcel a couple of times

WholeLottaRosie Sat 22-Oct-11 12:54:15

There is a pic on my profile to show the twine with handmade tags, I did the brown wrapping paper with red & white last year and have a huge spool of twine left.

WholeLottaRosie Sat 22-Oct-11 12:57:42

another pic using twine and for posh presents you can tie a candy-cane with the tag too.

breadandhoney Sat 22-Oct-11 14:02:08

Thank you so much. Hadn't thought of using twine. I think that'll be what I'll do this year. Your tags look great Rosie! I'll only be doing it for my fancy gifts. The chutneys will have red "velvet" ribbon tied round them so I'll attach the tags to that.

Ella, ribbon looks lovely but I think the twine will fit nicely with the rustic look I'm going for with the brown paper.

breadandhoney Sat 22-Oct-11 14:10:27

Another question - can anyone recommend a source of 250ml glass bottles for my skittles vodka? Ideally I'd like ones with stoppers, as they look the best, but they're much more expensive than I'd like. I've been looking through tesco groceries but all their bottles of value ketchup, etc., are 500ml or so. Any ideas? smile

EllaDee Sat 22-Oct-11 14:33:27

Oh, yes, twine is very pretty! I think I may try that myself - though I wonder if rustic works best when it is constrasted with very elegant surroundings? Whenever I see pictures of rustic tree decorations and so on, they're set off by gorgeous stately rooms and huge trees. I think it might look just a bit messy in our little two-room flat with a tiny tree - what do you reckon?

Btw, if anyone has good tips for decorating a small space, can you share? I got a big vase of red roses and Christmassy foliage last year and will do that again, but in general it is tricky to think of those things that would make it special without taking too much room!

girlywhirly Sat 22-Oct-11 14:52:02

I think rustic works in any size of room, but if you only have a tiny tree look at other places to place decorations too. You could attach tree decorations to a garland, even a long length of country style ribbon, and hang across windows, or a wall. Or decorate a twiggy wreath, and hang from a picture hook (removing the picture first!)

I think the secret is to have a few focal points and not over-clutter in a small space.

For those of you after candy canes, I spotted them in 99p stores (NOT Poundland!) yesterday. About a dozen for 99p, they had cherry and peppermint flavour.

I'm also after bottles for flavoured vodka, any ideas anyone?

EllaDee Sat 22-Oct-11 15:10:57

Thanks girly, I like the idea of a garland with decorations in it.

What I am lusting after is one of those proper mantlepieces where you can put greenery and candlesticks on the top and have baubles hanging down ... they look lovely!

Would anyone give me an opinion encouragement if you have a minute, please? I have been making a quilt for my baby niece. I know her mum (my SIL) likes to dress her in strong, bright colours (no pastels), and so I have tried to choose the same for the quilt. I hope it looks ok - I had some very sniffy comments from the ladies at the sewing shops (but then I think they are of the view that baby girls must be swathed in pink, which isn't SIL's thing at all anyhow). I put pics on my profile - unfinished obviously but what do you think? Is it ok for a present or should I get a proper present and just ask them if they like the quilt or not?

EllaDee Sat 22-Oct-11 15:12:27

Btw, I am also thinking of some fabric decorations in the star shapes I used for the quilt, but smaller and in Christmas fabrics - cute, or not?

EllaDee Sat 22-Oct-11 15:21:05

I have just realized even though I took those photos outside they are quite dark (new camera, still a bit hit-and-miss on the settings). The very dark ones are either green or navy, and there are some brown ones in there too.

WholeLottaRosie Sat 22-Oct-11 15:30:43

EllaDee I think that is absolutely gorgeous, I would be thrilled to receive something like that.

EllaDee Sat 22-Oct-11 15:35:36

Oh, thank you! smile

I am hoping they like it - she's the first baby that generation in my family and I am so, so thrilled about her, just trying not to smother my DB and SIL because obviously the whole family is excited! This Christmas (or rather, early January) will be the first time I get to see her in the flesh as they've been out in Brazil since before she was born, but they're moving back to the UK now. I have to keep stopping myself from buying everything I see for babies! grin

WholeLottaRosie Sat 22-Oct-11 15:37:26

Anyone who is doing the brown wrapping with red and white hints, I found last year that it did need some other papers mixed in too otherwise it looked a bit flat.
Some presents I did the brown paper with white snowflakes stamped, some I used the same paper but cut a piece of clear cellophane to the same size and laid over the top before wrapping (quite a nice effect as it is rustic yet glossy), others I used a roll of normal wrapping paper in red or red and white patterned.
Hope this is helpful. I want to start wrapping now grin

WholeLottaRosie Sat 22-Oct-11 15:54:29

EllaDee if they don't like it then you need to smother them with the quilt (not the baby obviously).

Becaroooo Sat 22-Oct-11 15:55:25


I have fruit.

I have jars and lids.

And labels.

How long does jam/marmalade last for? How long prior to xmas should I make it? Better the week before xmas? Or now?

Am also making mince pies (last min thing) choc pistachio fudge and peppermint creams <<optimistic emoticon>>


girlywhirly Sat 22-Oct-11 16:17:29

EllaDee, I think the stars would make fab decs, you could also embellish them with beads/sequins if you like.

TimeForCake Sat 22-Oct-11 16:20:56

I love it EllaDee! The stars are soooo neat and it looks very effective! I don't have a daughter but I think it's very refreshing not to have pastel pink on everything. The stars will make fab decorations too.
I agree with the smothering plan if they don't like it smile

EllaDee Sat 22-Oct-11 16:21:34

grin at rosie.

beca - I've just used the last of my mum's marmalade from 2009! It was still delicious.

girly - yes, or maybe buttons? I'll do some experimenting.

I've just been on cox and cox buying stuff and thanks for the discount code whoever mentioned that - still working! DH and I have invested in some jigsaw-shape cookie cutters because we both saw them and said 'ooh!' at the same time ... now we just need small children to make cookies for ...

TimeForCake Sat 22-Oct-11 16:22:54

Oh and a definite yes to adding sequins or sparkles to the stars for Xmas, great idea!

EllaDee Sat 22-Oct-11 16:23:37

Cross-posted ... thanks timefor. The stars are neat because you sew them around cut-out pieces of diamond shaped paper - it's a dead easy cheat.

TimeForCake Sat 22-Oct-11 16:25:18

It looks and sounds complicated to me though! grin

EllaDee Sat 22-Oct-11 16:28:40

Well, if I can get away with pretending it was dead complicated, I'm all for it! grin

That quilt is amazing EllaDee, I'm the same and hate pastels and pinks on my dd and I would love that, that is perfect as a gift and I'm sure they will appreciate the effort you've gone to. Do you have an online tutorial for the quilt, or is there any key words I can google to find something similar?

I'm getting my birthday sewing machine tomorrow and I'm very excited to make a real start to things. I think I have rescued my overly lemony christmas pudding vodka with generous amounts of sugar and christmassy spices, and friend delivered 2 carrier bags rammed with pears from his garden yesterday so making chutney and pear jam this week. Eeeeeeee, I think this homemade christmas is really happening.

WholeLottaRosie Sat 22-Oct-11 18:11:07

I've been making apple butter (jam) today in the slow cooker, sorry don't know who posted the recipe but thanks! My house smells fab but it's made me feel hungry all day and my mouth keeps watering.
Another couple of hours and it should be ready to put in jars but I have a feeling it might only last a couple of days anyway so will probably just stick in a dish in the fridge grin

BestLaidPlans Sat 22-Oct-11 18:26:09

Ella Gorgeous quilt, like others have said, it's lovely to get things that aren't pink and pastels. We have the snowflake cutters, I love them. I made stained glass window biscuits with them last year by putting crushed boiled sweets in the gaps before baking. I have the jigsaw one as well and the gingerbread house cutters (though I haven't tried those yet as I bought them in the spring sale <cheapskate emoticon>)

addictediam Sat 22-Oct-11 18:43:36

Evening all, the craft fayre was bad sad lots of intrest but only sold 1 item. It was badly organised and not publicized at all. Still I have 2 more lined up this time at school christmas fayres so hopefully they will be better.

Who else was doing one this weekend how did it go for you? (or was it next weekend?)

Now you've all been chatting away today so I'm off to catch up

EllaDee Sat 22-Oct-11 18:51:00

addictediam - oh, that is rotten! It's so annoying when someone else's disorganization means your hard work goes to waste. sad

crumble - I don't have an internet tutorial, but it is really simple, so I''m just putting some pictures and step-by-step instructions on my profile. The most annoying bit is making the template for the diamond shaped paper pieces you need to begin!