Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Last minute Christmas stuff

I had such a hit with these last year I made some more for the friends who missed out last year. They are easy to do once you have gathered all the provisions you need. They look impressive but are a good gift as you can do them to whatever budget your pocket allows.

You need the following to make them-
  • Christmas (or other) Mugs
  • Candy canes
  • chocolate drink sachets
  • chocolate coins and sweets
  • Spoons (found these cute santa ones so added them)
  • tissue paper
  • good heavy cardstock for the boxes
  • cellophane - florists or online
  • ribbons, tags and pipe cleaners make excellent ties
for the box to package them Christmas - up some boxes you already have or use a simple base pattern HERE

I think I am being renamed the "Cellophane Queen" as its my favourite choice of paper to wrap gifts as it looks so festive and impressive :-)
Wrapped finished gifts
Tags made using my Cricut using the Snowfriends and Winter Woodland cartridges
Baby choices, sadly I couldn't get Christmas "sippy" cups and substituted Christmas bootees, gloves and toys for the drink sachets

My crafty head seems to be returning thank goodness and I need it to as I plan to develop my classes and tutorials for next year, what I planned for this house move all along. The dedicated craft room for classes remains a distant dream but I will use the resources I have and try to get started. Its nearly the end of another year, where has the time gone too? Its not been the best of years, what with the recession, a list of health issues etc. I won't be sorry to see a new one.

10 days to go :-) xx

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies in Baskets

Placed in decorated cellophane bags, I also placed them in zip-locks to keep them fresh till I give them away.

Made these for the older kids!! who can resist chocolate biscuits, worth making them just for the wonderful smell the house is infused with after the baking :-)

Recipe - makes about 30 (depending on size)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

9oz plain flour
3 oz Cocoa powder
8 oz margarine (block/hard)
4 oz caster sugar
4 oz light brown sugar
1/4 cup of milk
chocolate chips

Blend the sugar and margarine till well creamed, add the milk and blend again. Mix in the flour, cocoa and chocolate chips. Place teaspoons of mixture well spaced on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake 10-12 mins Gas 4 180 c/350 f

Cool on the trays. Melt chocolate and spread on each biscuit and sprinkle with Halloween colour sprinkles. Bag when they are totally cold.

enjoy xx

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween baskets and Toffee Apples

I made these to hand out over Halloween. The are really easy, I designed them with my cricut but you could do it by hand or with a cutter. It is a circle as large as you can cut from a 12" x 12" piece of paper, draw a small circle in the centre and then use a cup, sellotape roll etc to mark a rounded line from the outer edge of the inner circle to the outer edge of the big cirle at even spaces round the shape. Cut along these lines, the inner circle represents the base of the basket so don't cut inside of it. ***look at the bottom of this post to see the cut file photo, it may help you understand these instructions with a visual aid to look at.***

Cut them out of pattern paper for the outside and plain card this makes the inside. Fill with some shredded cellophane and lots of sweets. Wrap the whole thing in a large piece of cellophave and secure with a ribbin bow and a tag.
Bring each section round so the point is inside and punch a small hole and secure with a brad, work round till you have the basket base.

Cut 2 strips of paper 12" long and about 1 1/2" wide. On one strip use an edge punch both sides to make a fancy strip, I used Martha Stewarts Drippy Goo punch as it looks like blood! then secure this to the plain piece. Attach each end to the basket again with brads. I cut some Halloween shapes, Bats, Cats and Pumkins to cover the brads but you don't have to.
The finished gift
Now for the toffee apples, mine are simple just sugar and patience! Prepare the apples by washing and drying well. Put the sticks in but don't push to far you don't want them poking out the top. Place on a baking sheet on a piece of lightly oiled parchment paper. Now your ready to make the toffee.

Put a load of sugar into a pan (about 1/2 a pound for 6 apples) it will depend on the size of the apples so no precise measures here. Put it onto a medium heat and wait, shake and tilt the pan occasionally so the sugar does not burn. DO NOT STIR WITH A SPOON. First you will get a lumpy look like this
as it begins to turn you will see lumps plus some nice caramel beginning to form, remember NO stirring!!

In about 20 mins it will all be dissolved and the toffee is ready to use, it looks like this. Turn off the heat but leave pan on the stove
Take an apple at a time and dip it into the caramel twisting it till its covered, allow excess to drain back into the saucepan and them place the apple onto the oiled paper. Leave to cool, about 5 mins then wrap in cellophane and secure with ribbon and a tag

Left over toffee can be poured over some nuts, when cool break into pieces and put into bags
I also tried some on bananas but it didn't work, the bananas won't hold the toffee and you end up with a mess :-( still tasted good though :-)
Use stamps to make some tags for your apples

Use small card bags filled with mini marshmallows and decorated with stickers to put in your baskets

Baskets crammed with goodies

Wrap them in lots of cellophane and tie, all ready for a lucky child to take home
I made a few cards to send as well. I used my Cuttlebug, papers, stickers and ribbon to make these.
Cute spider sliders, for my Grandson Noah and Baby George

The cut file is listed below (hope this works)

n.b. If you use this file please hide semi circle contours as shown in this picture (the small half moons) right click them and choose hide selected contour. The curved lines need a little extra cutting in places.

Halloween Basket Cut file

Friday, September 24, 2010

Autumn Craft Fair is here

So after months of work my friend and I are finally ready for the Fair on Saturday. We have beaded for England and now have a nice selection to offer on the two days of this event. I took a few photo's of some of it set up on the "dry run" If I have time I will take some more tomorrow at the event of the final table before we start.

We decided on the name "Poppycrafts" as we love poppies - the flowers, her cat is called poppy and we love to craft...simples!!! :-)

Things we have made include, Charm bracelets, memory wire necklaces, bracelets and rings, Thong necklaces, beaded snowflakes, wine glass charms, key and phone charms and lots more.

Lets hope the sun shines to bring people out to shop. xx

Sunday, September 12, 2010

New Baby

We also had a new arrival to the family this week. My partner’s nephew and his wife had a new baby girl so it gave me the chance to have a go at a Nappy (Daiper) Cake and Wreath for them as a gift. These are so much fun to make and you can find instructions very easily if you “Google” it

For the Cake, I used new born size nappies rolled and placed inside a ring of card which I made with my Cricut. I cut using Storybook Font as its just so pretty for a new baby girl. I cut the name out of one piece and matted it onto another colour then stuck the letters in the gaps in a contrast paper. I cut some ducks and bootess with the New Arrival Cart and used a lot of ribbon to dress it up.

I found sticky foam tape was strong enough to hold it together without spoiling the nappies so they can still be used.

Bibs, flannels,bootees, a hat, spoons and a teddy complete the decoration. The base is a standard 9” cake board. If you want to wrap it in cellophane you can get it in most florists who are happy to sell you a couple of metres and I also used a florist pull bow to finish.

The Wreath is also made with nappies. Open them and wrap them over a foam/polystyrene ring then tie the top of each one with ribbon to hold it. Work round till you have filled the ring. I placed a teether in the centre and spoons, mittens etc also tied on with ribbon. The stork is from New Arrival Cart cut at 9” on the Cricut from Sparkly Sweet Paper by K and Co as are the ducks. I used small pieces of foam tape again to assemble it and made a ribbon loop to hang it on the nursery wall.

The card is made from Sparkly Sweet papers by K and Co layered with silver mirror card. The pram and words are from Celebrations and New Arrival Cricut carts and I used a border punch for the edge. A butterfly finishes it off. I cut some tiny prams to go inside for the insert.

Thanks for looking