Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I've been sewing, library bags and christmas stockings

My close group of girlfriends do KK within our group every year. We usually do a dinner with just the girls, no partner or children, so we have a proper gossip. I made these Christmas stockings for my close friend and her husband, who are having their first Christmas together as a married couple and have also just moved into their first house. At dinner, my lovely friend R also announced that she's expecting her first little bubba. I'm soooooo excited, it feels like i'm going to get a little niece or nephew, we've know each other since we started high schools and my friend is an only child, so we are particularly close.

I made these four library bags as Christmas gifts for some little children who are starting school next year. They can use them for school without fear of having them confused with anyone else or they can keep them to use when they visit their local libraries. I'm quite pleased with how they turned out, they're very durable. I prefer the look of the name along the bottom, next time, i'll ensure the letters are small enough to fit along the bottom, like Leila and Zara's.

Excuse the photos, Mr Sweetpea changed the lens on the camera and this one doesn't zoom. I don't know how to change it back to the normal one that I like. Nevermind.

The library bags are going into my store as a custom made item as well. Finally my long neglected store will see some life.

Hope you are all having a fun and not too stressful lead up to Christmas. We went for our Santa photo this morning and couldn't get out of there fast enough. I picked the one photo in which sweetpea 1 hadn't actually wriggled out of Santa's arms and Sweetpea 2 wasn't screaming, and I mean REALLY screaming. Oh well, at least i've gotten a few more things off the list in the past 24 hours.

Mary xxx

Saturday, December 18, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a LOT like Christmas

Our tree has been up for a little while, however last night I finished wrapping the last of the presents, although I still have a few little things to buy/make. I counted that I have 25 people to buy for, not including my two sweetpeas. Some of those people are getting more than one thing. No wonder Mr Sweetpea keeps asking me where all our money is going. I did suggest moving somewhere far away last weekend, in a huff. Preferably somewhere sunny and close to the beach. Perhaps this will make Mr Sweetpea reconsider, we surely couldn't post all of these gifts, hehe. All those gifts do look pretty under the tree though, although this was only for the purpose of the photo and they're all about to go back into the spare room/study/junk room so they remain intact, oh, and because Santa is brining them, of course.

Here are the Christmas chocolates I made. Don't they look lovely. I used silicone cupcake moulds to get that lovely shape, you can just put them on baking paper though. However, you can't use saucers, you will be forced to pry them of, chip by chip and eat them. Don't ask me how I know, I just do :)

Here is one part of a gift I am making. The other part is a book. Can you guess what this is going to be? I have another 5 of these to go, although as two are for my sweetpeas, who each have a massive haul of gifts (from Santa, to start shopping early is not a good idea if you just keep going, right up until Christmas), i'm not too phased if those two don't get finished in time for Christmas.

I hope everyone is enjoying the festive season and remembering those who are less fortunate at this time, financially or through bad news at this time.

Ending on a happier note, i'm off to make banana pancakes with grilled nectarines. Planning to mix mashed banana through the pancake batter and will top with the grilled nectarines with a little brown sugar and some vanilla yoghurt. Or not, just noticed the time, raisin toast it is, but I know what's for breakfast tomorrow, yum yum!

Hope you all have fantastic weekends lined up with plenty of good food, good friends and festive cheer!

Mary xxx

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Food Gifts

I am really great at planning, if I do say so myself. However, my performance on the follow through leaves a lot to be desired. Starting last year, my extended family decided that we would give an edible gift for each family and just buy gifts for the children. I'd been pushing for this (or KK's for the adults) for quite a few years now, as it seemed a bit crazy buying for each of my aunts and uncles etc. Everyone usually ended up getting little gifts which generally weren't that great. Not that they weren't appreciated, it was just that when buying for so many people, on a strict budget due to the number of gifts required, it was hard to find something truly useful or that would really be loved.

This year, i'm planning some super lovely hampers. Time will tell whether all of the elements get completed and they come together in time. Let me share the Christmassy goodness that I hope will get into each of the four hampers I need to create:

Raspberry and Lemon Cordial: image from

Almond Bread: Picture and recipe from

Peach and Vanilla Jam: picture and recipe from the lovely My Tartlette,

Bejewelled Chocolates: picture and instructions available at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial who has oodles of fantastic ideas,

I'm also thinking of making quite a few extras to give as small gifts to people like the staff at the daycare centre that my girls go to. I think they'd look great wrapped in cellophane and tied with a ribbon. They'd also look very christmassy if you used cranberries and pistaccio's as your "jewels", like in the nougat below.

Dulce De Leice: This is also from the very clever Fig Jam and Lime Cordial,

Pistaccio and Cranberry Nougat: This picture and an accompanying recipe are from, although I will be using Donna Hay's recipe from her "Christmas" book.

Poached Pears Infused with Cinnamon, Cloves and Star Annise: Picture from

One of the most difficult things so far has been sourcing the packinging (ie. bottles and jars etc). I bought a whole bunch of what I believe are preserving jars at the Reject Shop for $2 each, which is not too bad. I still need a whole bunch of smaller jars and smallish brown glass bottles for another Christmas project (more info to come shortly).

I have found a lovely idea for a gift basket that you can make from card.

Picture from the ever inspiring Fig Jam and Lime Cordial and instructions are at:

These boxes would look lovely filled with Christmas treats and wrapped with cellophane a lovely ribbon.

Hope that I've inspired you!

Have a great weekend, Mary xxx

P.S. Stay tuned for another post coming shortly which will show all of the lovely non-edible gifts that I hope to make in time for Christmas.