Sunday, 30 November 2014

Christmassing - Fabric Advent Calendar

Hi everyone,
It's been a while! As you may remember, I got a nasty cold on Halloween night. And I still have it! Yes, it's the one-month-cold as I've been told. Lots of people I know have and it's mainly a major throat ache that just won't go away. Very annoying... so I spent the whole of November taking it easy, only going to work and doing a bit of yoga. No major projects for me but only a few small things here and there.

Which brings me to this: December is just about here! And that means I can finally put up my shiny new advent calendar :) I actually had this finished about 6 weeks ago. Even before Halloween! I found the tutorial here, I came across it via Pinterest. It has a great tutorial with pictures :) Apart from the fabric (and oh my I never knew I had quite this much Christmas fabric!) the supplies would have been fairly pricey to buy in the UK. But luckily I could buy them from Joann's and have them shipped to the UK for free by some wonderful people. Thank you all! I mean, £20 for some bingo numbers?? I paid around $5 now. Much better :) The main reason that I needed a new calendar was that the old one has been thrown away two years ago I needed one with larger pockets so have some more variety and not only chocolates.

I won't post the how to or anything, please visit the original website for that. You can also find the instructions and what you need exactly. In the meantime though: check out my result!

Am quite proud of myself here *smile*
It all started weeks ago with lots of cutting...

I actually managed to have each baggy have a different design. One fabric was used once for the front and once for the back. For some fabrics I only had just enough for the front bit so that is even more special :) Once I had 24 baggies, I was all set.

I glued the bingo numbers onto the red pegs using my glue gun. The numbers I bought had 1-31 which was great as I didn't need to buy the numbers until 99 as would have been the case in the UK

With all the baggies sewn up and all the pegs glued, it was time to assemble the lot. 

A good start! I just had to have the baggy on the left be number 24, it was the most Christmassy one of all! And the best thing is that I'll probably disagree with that next year, so then I can just mix them up again. 

I hung the giant rickrack onto the door (we don't have a mantel or a wall that is large enough to house this size calendar) and actually kept the numbers in order. It somehow called for it I thought. 

It looks so neat with the baggies empty! I spent a good few weeks shopping for this as I needed 48 tiny presents which were not only chocolate but also funny things. I can't go into detail yet as the bf is reading this blog, but I'll let you know after Christmas.  

At the moment it looks like this, ready for December 1st and the first present to be opened. Yes, I did wrap all of them, one each day for me and one for the bf. I'm so curious if he likes his! It's so tricky to shop for men... 

A big Thank You to Skip To My Lou for this excellent tutorial, I had great fun making this and am sure it will be treasured for years to come :) Roll on December 1st!

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Halloweening - Halloween Dinner 2014

Hi everyone and happy post-Halloween!
I hope you all had a great time at whatever you chose to do last night. As I mentioned in my previous post, I took the day off to prepare for Halloween dinner. I had to decorate the house, carve pumpkins, make dinner, so I really needed that day. It started off in style... I'd ordered groceries online to avoid having to carry pumpkins. The shopping arrived, no pumpkins. Honestly, London must the be only place where you can't find a single pumpkin on 31 October! It took us over an hour to find a pumpkin. We went to at least 6 shops, and ended up at the market. But at last we found one! Only one but better than nothing... So after spending all this time looking for a pumpkin, I needed some breakfast and a break as my cold was really starting to kick in... on Halloween night!

But after some food, I got all my decorations out of storage and I got the place Halloweenified :) Then it was time to cook and carve and set the party table.

With only two people, there was a lot less stuff on this table of course. I'd carved the pumpkin, made muffins, had veggie sticks with dip, and eye ball radishes.

For the pumpkin I chose this design. Since it was the only one, I couldn't exactly make an easy one ;) It came out quite well I think. Although I can't say how long this took me as I was trying to bake muffins in the mean time.

The muffins came out really well! I'm not a fan of butter cream so I tend to make muffins rather than cupcakes. I used the same stand I'd brought to the party so it looked better :) I do have to buy a new one next year as it was ready for the bin after two uses.

Here is a closeup. I used only things I still had in the cupboard, such as this Halloween cupcake kit with wrappers and toppers. The ones with the sprinkles were rhubarb, the ones with the icing shapes are lemon. The lemon ones actually had three colours:

Isn't that the coolest?!

Time for dinner! We had the original black & white Addams Family on and the table looked lovely. I love this new glitter candelabra, from the Poundstore!

As a starter we had mummies in a blanket. I was going to give them arms and legs but I was so late in making them that this would just have to do. They tasted great nonetheless :)

The piece de resistance: Severed Foot Meatloaf. Find the recipe here, it's amazing! And so authentic! Once it's cooked it looks a tad different, especially as my dish wasn't large enough so the meat had nowhere to go (no pun intended LOL) and it came out looking like this:

But it still looked great, only the toes were not as defined anymore. Of course one foot was way too much for one person, so this was just for the piccie. I had to freeze the other. Now there is something I never thought I'd say...

We had muffins for dessert, and watched horror movies. At this point my cold was full on and I was just lying on the sofa. So much for my Halloween party... In the morning I was still not feeling well, but made some Halloween eggs for breakfast:

 This is so simple. Boil eggs, crack eggs (don't peel them!) and put them in blueberry juice or cold water with food colouring for about 10 mins to cool down. Peel eggs, and there you go! The dye will have gone into the cracks of the shell giving this veiny effect.

And that was it for Halloween 2014. Gutted that the cold caught up with my after all. Hopefully next year I will be all healthy, am missing all the parties this way! On the other hand, 3 parties is not too bad for one year ;) In the mean time, I need to get better first....*cough cough*
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