Thursday, 24 December 2009

merry christmas

The mince pies, carrots and a glass of port are waiting expectantly on the hearth, we've read 'Twas the night before Christmas' and 3 very excited children are upstairs trying to sleep. So, just before I embark upon a long evening of stuffing stockings and drinking wine by the fire, I wanted to wish you all a very....


love Jo

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

cranberry and pistachio biscotti

I didn't realise December would be so busy. Along with all the activities the end of term brings I seem to be making endless visits to the supermarket. Partly to stock up on Christmas goodies but also to buy ingredients for various gifts I've been making with the children.

I'm really chuffed with this recipe I found for Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti. It's really easy to make and looks wonderfully christmassy with the jewel like cranberries and amazing green of the nuts.

We've put a load in a kilner jar (decorated with ribbon & flowers) and plan to give it as a gift with a bottle of Vin Santo, an Italian dessert wine. For best effect, and a decadent Christmas, dip the biscotti in the wine! A good alternative for non drinkers would be some really good quality coffee.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

the great iced cake

This weekend saw the arrival of our Christmas cake. The one the children helped Granny make in half term. She always keeps the cake so that she can add the apricot jam, a wodge of marzipan and a thick, solid layer of icing. All in all almost doubling the size of the original cake.

Then there is the cake decoration. It's not that it's mum's forte but each year it is different and each year it is a surprise. And this year it was very different...

Any regular/astute readers may realise that the inspiration behind this years decoration is a painting by Alan Peacock. And with the talk of snow (possibly) arriving over the country tonight it seems rather apt.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

sew pretty christmas homestyle

If you still have some Christmas presents to find and would prefer to sit in front of your sewing machine rather than traipse around the shops in the cold and wet then take a look a sew pretty christmas homestyle.

I've recommended the original in this series in an earlier post and this book is done very much in the same style, so you spend a lot of time admiring the pictures and lusting after the fabrics.

I was instantly struck by the angel wings and absolutely had to make a pair for baby and as I don't seem to have any fabric that is remotely fitting I raided hubby's wardrobe and used one of his old shirts. I have to say that I think the result is enchanting and it really didn't take much time to make. A perfect Christmas present for any little angels out there!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

a cold and frosty morning

When Sarah wrote her post about Attic 24 I really enjoyed having a browse through Lucy's blog. November was such a grey and dreary month and the site was bright and full of welcome colour which really made me smile.

Thankfully November has ended and what a beautiful start to December today was. Jack Frost had been and covered the view out of our window with tiny ice crystals and the early morning sky was bright and clear with just a hint of pink (I chose to ignore the shepherd's warning). If this wasn't enough excitement for the children, who were eager to 'skate' to school, it was also the first day of advent and there were windows to open.

Before children I used to make hubby an advent calendar every year. Now, as with so many other things, he's been relegated and the children are the benefactors. Last night, once Boy's birthday celebrations were over and the children were tucked up in bed, we set to making little numbered envelopes with which to make advent bunting. Inside each one is a paper elf to be hung on an 'arrangement' of sparkly, glitter covered twigs over the next few weeks.

Envelope 24 contains a Father Christmas so come Christmas Eve he'll have 23 little helpers to fill those stockings and hopefully we'll also have a nice table decoration for Christmas Day.