Thursday, 29 December 2011

Another Phone Pouch

Hi everyone!!
I did it! I left the house this afternoon :) hihi, not so weird you may think... BUT! I have spent the last several days inside, eating and watching tv and just enjoying the fact that I dont HAVE to do anything (well, the usual laundry and cooking but on the whole that is really minimal). I really wanted to sew or bake or something but I really didnt know which project to sew first and I figured my waistline is not going to be happy if I bake much more, especially that cinnamon bread. That was just to die for!

So today I dropped some stuff off at the charity shop (really, I cant recycle/re-use everything!) and I just happened to catch the tube in time for the hobby shop. Oops... *angelic smile while polishing halo*. Strangely enough I hardly found anything for myself. Really, the items on sale just didnt appeal to me at all. But then I literally bumped into a shelf full of discounted Warhammer paints! And a ton of the colours the bf needs to his Warhammer projects. And all at 55% off! SCORE! Yes, I pretty much cleared the shelf of all the good stuff, all the reds, and one of each of the remaining ones as I had no idea which other ones he needed. I went for the dramatic effect by giving him one jar at a time, hihi, that was so funny! But I think he liked it and now he doesnt have to buy paint for a while :)

It seems I have been bitten by the December-Shopping-Bug but I didnt buy everything. I also made something. Sadly enough not nearly as much as would have liked, but worked has been crazy this past month. So crazy, in fact, that I even forgot to pay my credit card bill on time! There goes £12 I could have used for something better... But this time it really wasmy own stupid fault so I have now added a calendar entry to never forget again.

You wondering what I made as a Christmas present then? The ONLY Christmas present I actually made? Well, I made the cookie-in-a-jar gifts as well of course, but I mean an actually SEWN present. Long ago, after seeing my sister's Blackberry pouch that I made, my niece asked me for a phone pouch also. I am indeed very guilty in making this at the last minute but in the end she got it on time, and she loves it :) Below is the result:

Side one

Side two

This one doesnt really have a front and a back. I used the colours that she asked for, something burgundy with silver in it. The B&W fabric has silver stitching in it, it's hard to see in the photo. Plus she loves mandalas so this is right up her alley. I am so glad she liked it!

Hopefully next year will be a better year than this one. We didnt think it could be worse than 2010 but it turned out to be anyway. Well, it wasnt awful but I do hope that 2012 will bring some progress anyway! Next year I am going to back to frugality. I have bought some nice containers and will start making bento lunches for the bf and myself from Jan onwards. I just have to find a way to make this the night before so I dont have to get up at 5am... Any tips are welcome! :) I will also try to buy most of the crafty items I need now before the year changes and the prices and VAT go up again so that will hopefully also save me some money. What are your plans for 2012?

Anyway, I'm sure I will blog some more before the year is out, but just in case something prevents me to do so, I want to thank you all for following my blog and for staying with me even through tough times when my 'busy craft life' turns out to be my 'busy work life' for a few weeks. So thank you all and see you soon!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Our Christmas 2011 + Recipes

Hello again everyone!
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas with friends and/or family and lots of food :) As for me, it was quiet but relaxed and nice. Well, I didnt have to cook so it was definitely relaxed, hihi...

Because I HATE travelling around this time of year (really, someone is always on strike, flights are packed or delayed, luggage gets lost, and my present never fits into my suitcase), the bf and I just stayed home and had some nice food, some presents under the tree, and a LOT of television for the last few days. I had honestly forgotten what it was like to just sit around and don't do much at all! Slowly but surely the work-stress is leaving me and I seem to find myself baking a lot. Joy for my creativity, not so much for my waist line ;)

At the moment it is 1am and I can't sleep. Luckily I dont have to work tomorrow (am off for nearly another week, whoohoo!) but it might have something to do with a coffee I had at 1pm today... and of course I only just realised that I could have just for decaf actually oops! I've been planning to write this post for days now but just didnt get to it. Yes lazy... Originally I had planned to write all separate posts with each recipe etc, but in the end it was easier to just share my Christmas with you and link to the recipes as we go along. Hope you dont mind!!! Let's start (in true Hobbit style) with the food:

So Christmas Eve had started (as per my rather German upbringing, we give presents on Christmas Eve, giving you at least 2 days to enjoy them), and as we started giving presents, the bf had prepared this lovely plate of caviar (the cheap version) on blini and a lovely Kir Royale for little me. So far so good! :)

The main course was quail with grapes, green beans, and fries. This was made from a recipe from the Larouse cookbook so please dont ask me...

As always, I made dessert :) The bf put in a request for apple pie and voila, I made a proper American apple pie (this caused my sister to burst out laughing btw, but I can assure you that nothing weird happened to this pie, it was baked and then eaten!). The recipe for this yummy pie can be found here. It was so easy, that even for my first proper pie it came out really well :) Plus I got to use my purple pie dish of course.

For breakfast the next day I made bacon and eggs in a basket, courtesy of our dear Martha Stewart. I didnt have slices of bacon so I used bacon bits which you cant see as they're underneath the egg. The bf was very pleasantly surprised :) Recipe can be found here.

And to go with the coffee I made this gorgeous cinnamon bread. Despite owning a bread machine I made this using my purple mixer, meaning I had to wait and wait and wait each time for the dough to rise. It sure was worth it though! The bf found it a bit too cinnamony (I love cinnamon! But I did stick to the recipe so this time it wasn't me), so I ended up eating nearly the whole thing myself. Oops, there goes my waistline! The original recipe can be found here, really you must try this.

Now with all this food, you must be wondering if we still did presents... We sure did :) But we didnt take a lot of pics so I'll share the ones with you that I took the day after when it was daylight (still not a reason to do presents in the morning LOL).

Behold my sewing basket :) It's it pretty! I dragged the bf out to the shop and actually carried it to the register (bf: 'eeeew it has colours, am not carrying that!' Hihi, hilarious) and I love it :) My old one was just a plain box and the contents was spilling over so I opted for the largest one in the shop.

The inside. It's actually a lot larger than expected and even with only the tray filled up and the box about 1/3 full, am a little worried if the handle can hold the weight but it is mainly meant to sit snuggly near my desk looking pretty than be carried around a lot. I love it :)

And finally after years of trying to persuade me, I now own my very first official Doc Martins. Well, Solovair which are the English-English docs. They're even bought at the first even Doc store! Am I showing off? Maybe a little... I just looove them! And yes, they're purple *huge smile*. Some persuasion took place in the colour department but in the end I won. I haven't actually worn them yet, but I surely will soon. I need to mentally prepare my feet for weeks of torture first ;)

That was it, our lovely little Christmas. I think we were both quite exhausted from work etc so it was just perfect.

So better late than never: Merry Christmas!!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Christmassing - 2011 Preparations

Heyhey everyone!
OMG it has been so long! So sorry for not being online more, but work has been insane these past few weeks. BUT today my holidays have started and I can finally relaaaaxxx... well, after cleaning the entire house but maybe I'll start that tomorrow ;) As you have realised, I havent really been sitting still and Christmas preparations are well underway. Christmas Eve is tomorrow, oh my! So let me show you what I've been up to:

I put up the Christmas tree

Used some of my collected jars to make new Christmas lights for in the stairs (still prefer the Halloween ones though!)

Made 19 (!) Christmas crackers

Made cookies in a jar as a present for the girls at work

And upcycled jar lids to make some Christmas tree decorations for some people at work also.

See, some projects were still done ;) I will share the how-tos and links later, need some nice sleep now where I know I dont have to get up for work in the morning. Whoohoo!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Homemade Pepernoten

Heyhey everyone!
Wow it has been a while... We went on holidays a couple of weeks ago and even though I had pre-blogged to keep all of you entertained while I was away (does that sound very bad?), I didnt actually manage to blog since we returned as I caught a really bad cold on the way back and was out of the running for a couple of weeks. Now that I am a little better I'm busy buying Christmas presents and trying to find time between work and social life to make some as well for friends and family who have been
promised some handmade gifts. Aaarghhhh! So busy!

In the meantime, tomorrow it's Sinterklaas. To be fair, I dont really have the energy for it right now, but I do want to celebrate at least a little bit. So why not celebrate on Sunday when we have the whole day for it? Because I just spent the entire day trying to buy presents before the major rush starts... So tomorrow morning I have to decorate the house before I leave for work and then in the evening we do the presents (we each get one small present and some chocolates). Although really, I forgot to buy chocolates!! Oops... Oh wait, I can use the ones I had planned for Christmas hihi...

I did take some time out to make some pepernoten myself (last year my best friend sent me some) and they didnt turn out great but not too bad either. Most of them will go to my work colleagues anyway ;) I even pimped a plastic container with some wrapping paper to make it look nicer. Below are today's kitchen achievements:

My pepernoten, there are some in the container already as well. One batch is about 1/3rd of the container and I already spent 2 hrs making that one batch!

Some banana muffins in case the pepernoten are a disaster... I hope these are nice as I havent tried them yet...

So lots got done today... I still need to make a phone pouch for my niece and some lights for on the stairs... so much to do, so little time! Let's have some tea first :) Hope to be blogging again soon, just bear with me :)
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