Saturday, 20 November 2010

Time for some R and R

As usual things have been as hectic as ever at work and I have been fighting a sinus infection for weeks now. I am now off for a week and it is such a relief. I haven't taken part in any challenges for ages but I have been making cards, for some birthdays and also for my Christmas stash. I have spent some time making some foodie goodies for Christmas presents. Last weekend I made some mini Christmas cakes. I am not a massive fan of fruit cake but I saw a nice recipe in the Good Food magazine for a chocolate fruit cake, so I thought I would have a go at it. It is a really simple recipe, as you bung most ingredients in two pans before mixing them together. The smell from the fruit, brandy and chocolate in the saucepan was absolutely delicious. If you would like to have a go the recipe can be found here. The cakes came out brilliantly and are now in the freezer. When they come back out closer to Christmas I am going to decorate them and post some photos.

I also decided to make some jalapeno jelly, which I have never seen in the UK to be honest. I noticed the recipe when I was looking at the internet. I could be wrong but the recipe apparently comes from Canada. I must admit it was a bit hit and miss, as I wasn't sure if I had all the quantities right, due to following a US recipe. I also had a bit of a nightmare trying to figure out how much Certo pectin I needed to use. The smell was quite intense when I was boiling the mixture up, so much so that it does make you cough. I had to open a few windows! The first time I potted it up, I didn't put enough pectin in, so I had to return it back to the pan and add more. In the end it has gone off and become thicker. I have tried some with cheese on a sandwich and it gives it a nice little kick. I got the recipe from the wonderful little blog oodlekadoodle primitive here.

As you can see my attempt is not so clear and green.

The weather has been so miserable and our poor garden is suffering. I have not been able to get out and tidy it up. I am hoping that this week I can get out there and sort it out. Our herb garden is now winding down so I thought I should cut a lot of them and dry some for the Winter. I thought I would team this up with drying some orange and apple rings for using in some pot pourri and decorating. I have tried this before but had a disaster and the oranges burnt. This time I kept my beady eyes on them and they turned out well. 
I have mixed them with some dried bay leaves, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, dried flowers and dried berries. The smell is amazing and I am looking forward to bagging it up properly. So Christmassy.  

It was one of my friend's little girls birthday and I decided to finally get round to using some DCWV paper, Safari Kids Matstack with glitter, that I had. My friends little girl is a typical little girl and loves pink so I couldn't resist a lovely glittery hippo from the stack. I came up with this cute little card...haven't found out yet if she liked it.  Hope she did :) This tied in nicely with the new Wee Memories Challenge which asked for people to '"Put a Little Pink" . 

Challenge #32 - Sponsored by The Stamps of Life

Paper: Die Cuts with a View: Safari Kids with glitter
Stamp: Big Candles by Hero Arts
Ribbon: Stash from The Range.
Ink-Versafine Onyx Black.

I am patiently waiting for some scrap booking materials to come, so I can have a go at Shimelle's Journal your Christmas. I am a little apprehensive, as I have never done it before. I have so much to learn so all being well it will work. I am collecting bits and bobs that I see to possibly put in. 

For the time being I am concentrating now to get as many Christmas cards done as possible. I got some amazing stamps from Waltzing Mouse, so I have been experimenting with these. Here is one that I cased from Julia Aston

Stamps: Waltzing Mouse Festive foliage
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Peeled Paint & Fired Brick Ink.
Ribbon from The Range.
Right I best toddle off to get a hot water bottle. Tis freezing here tonight!
Till next time. 

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