11 December 2009

Christmas Crafting: Gift Tags

Printable Gift Tags

Here is a lovely selection of Free Printable Christmas Gift Tags from across the blogosphere for you. As long as you have Adobe Acrobat Reader, or something similar, to download the PDF's, you can get clicking, printing and holepunching straight away!

Just scroll down for the links.

  1. Sew, Mama, Sew or click straight to the PDF
  2. Creature Comforts Blog or click straight to the PDF
  3. Paperseed or click straight to the PDF
  4. Martha Stewart or click straight to the PDF
  5. Fog and Thistle or click straight to the JPG
  6. Angry Chicken or click straight to the PDF
  7. Delight.com or click straight to the PDF
  8. Living Locurto or click straight to the PDF


07 December 2009

Christmas Crafting: Ornaments

Sequined Christmas Tree

Taken from guest Blogger Living with Lindsay, over on Centsational Girl, this is one of the Christmas crafts I have started albeit, not yet finished. You should give it a go though, it's really quite fun.

  • Styrofoam / polystyrene cone ~8" tall
  • Sequins (8mm) in 2 colours e.g. blue and green
  • Beads (4mm) metallic or clear
  • Straight pins e.g. dressmakers' pins, with a large enough head so bead doesn't fall off
  1. Separate beads and sequins into sectioned boxes, e.g. tuperware, bowls, etc.
  2. Begin by sliding a bead then a sequin onto one of your straight pins.
  3. Starting from the bottom of the cone, push the pin into the Styrofoam base and make a horizontal row around the cone, slightly overlapping each sequin.
  4. Make horizontal rows around the cone, alternating between your 2 colours (or just use one colour, if you wish). You should also slightly overlap the sequins with the row below so that the Styrofoam cannot be seen underneath the sequins.
  5. When you have about one row left until you get to the top of your cone, fill in the flat top by putting one sequin in the center and then making a ring around it.Then finish the top row around the tree.

Alternatively, you could use a styrofoam ball to make a Christmas bauble decoration. For that, you make a ring of sequins around the ball vertically and then a ring around the ball horizontally. Incorporate some ribbon to hang your decoration. A good ball tutorial can be found at ThriftyFun.


03 December 2009

Christmas Cooking: Goulash

I have a lovely BBC Good Food winter recipe for you today to warm your insides and banish those icicles from your fingers and toes!

Quickie Sausage Goulash

Image: glitterboi
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 454g packet low-fat sausages, cut into big chunks
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp bouillon powder (powdered stock)
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • good pinch of sugar
  • 4 medium floury potatoes, cut into large chunks
  • 2 big handfuls shredded spring greens (I couldn't get srping greens so substituted them with leek, you could use any vegetable you fancy.)
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan and fry the sausage chunks until evenly browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Mix the remaining oil with the onions in the pan and cook over a high heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.
  • Pour in the tomatoes, stirring in the bits from the bottom of the pan, then add the tomato purée.
  • Fill the can up with water twice and pour the water into the pan. Sprinkle in the bouillon powder, paprika and sugar and plenty of salt and pepper. Stir well and bring to the boil.
  • Tip the potatoes into the pan, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Drop in the shredded greens and sausages and gently heat for 5 minutes or until the greens are tender. Taste for seasoning before serving.
I served mine with a generous portion of bread and butter!


02 December 2009

Christmas Crafting: Advent Calendars

Matchbox Advent Calendars

So while Advent begins the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, you can always join in a little late -- it just means you have to eat all the chocolates you've missed so far, oh how very awful!

Do you have some spare matchboxes lying around? Give these Matchbox Advent Calendars a whirl.
1. Christmas Tree Advent Calendar
    • 25 matchboxes
    • Pen or small rubber stamps (numbers)
    • Christmas wrapping paper/card
    • Glue
    • Your choice of sweets or chocolate
    1. Glue 9 matchboxes together to make the first row from the bottom.
    2. Wrap the entire row in your Christmas card/paper. Do the following with the other rows, decreasing the number of matchboxes in each row by 2.
    3. Glue each row together to make a Christmas Tree .
    4. Write numbers 1 to 25 on the sides of the matchbox in any order you like!
    5. Finally, fill your matchboxes with sweets or chocolates, you may decorate the top of the Christmas Tree with a star or angel, if you wish.

    2. Martha Stewart 'Chest of Drawers' Advent Calendar

    This advent calendar looks like a cute little chest of drawers, made up of 3 columns and 8 rows. And when each matchbox is removed, a Christmas image begins to emerge.

    • 24 matchboxes
    • Pen or small rubber stamps (numbers)
    • Christmas wrapping paper/card
    • Glue
    • Your choice of sweets or chocolate
    • Ribbon
    • Paint, felt tip pens or crayons
    • Scissors
    1. Gluing matchboxes in 3 stacks of eight.
    2. Glue stacks together to make the chest.
    3. Cut a strip of your Christmas paper/card to wrap around the sides of the chest, and glue it in place.
    4. Number the front of each drawer using paint, felt tip pens or crayons.
    5. Turn the chest around; paint a design of your choice on the back e.g. a Christmas tree.
    6. Remove drawers and glue a ribbon tab on the underside of each drawer on the numbered end.
    7. Cut a square of card to use as backing for the chest to keep drawers in place and hide the image; attach it at the edges with glue.
    8. Fill the drawers with your choice of sweets/chocolates, or even notes, and slip them back into the chest.
    Now all that's left is to eat the chocolate!

    There are so many more DIY advent calendars out there so investigate! Or perhaps get creative; design and make your own!


    01 December 2009

    Christmas Crafting

    Goodness me, it's already December!

    Image: Phil Stewart

    Every year I avoid the early Christmas cheer as the shops go all out with decorations, as early as November(!), in an effort to make you spend, spend, spend. However, as soon as it hits December, I start to adopt some Christmas spirit, especially when the ground is covered in ice and my choir has already begun serenading the public with carols.

    My goal this year is to be as thrifty and crafty as possible. It all began with the idea of making my own advent calendar and has been followed by the scouring of t'internet and da blogs in search of anything and everything DIY Christmas!

    Then I thought 'Hey, if I'm doing it, maybe you are, too?'


    Let's have a Christmas Countdown! And no, not an ordinary countdown but a crafty, DIY themed Christmas Countdown!


    Piggy-backing off Sweet Paul's idea, I have decided, between now and December 25th, I shall share with you some Christmassy DIY crafts, recipes, resources or gift ideas located somewhere across t'internet or the blogosphere -- the more the merrier. I shall aim to fuse it altogether with some Christmassy and wintery photography.

    So let's kick things off gently -- especially for those lacking some seasonal spirit -- with some December and Christmas calendars for your computer desktop. Head on over to Smashing Magazine for a selection of 45 desktop calendars. I managed to narrow it down to a good ol' Christmas Tree!



    Perhaps you have a tutorial, craft, recipe, gift idea or something you'd like to share? Or maybe Guest Blogging is your game? Get in touch! Visit the Contact Me section in my sidebar to the right.