Tuesday, 27 December 2016

2016 /- a quick look back

At this time of year we can be so busy looking forward to the new year full of promise and plans that we neglect to reflect on the glories of the out going year and the lessons we have learnt along the way.  With this in mind I have selected one post from each month to reflect some of the things that I shared with you through out the year


In this post I brought some gold rimmed white china teacups and saucers, I planted some crocus bulbs in them and watched them grow.  I posted updates on Instagram of their progress

tea cup and books http://snadralovesblogging.blogspot.co.uk/


I celebrated St Valentines day with my hubby and a home made card that involved lots of tiny pieces of colored tape, I really enjoyed the end result

Valentines card http://snadralovesblogging.blogspot.co.uk/


As well as enjoying a lovely family Easter I pulled out my paintbrushes and attacked a couple of pieces of furniture



I had lost my Sew-jo so I dressed my newly painted mantle-piece with some of my vintage sewing haberdashery.  I can't say that it light a fire under my sewing ambition but I kept it up until I decorated for Christmas.



I finally got round to taking part in Me Made May. my pledge was to wear me made at least once a week and this was easily achieved.


WOW no wonder I was challenged for my decision to start preparing for Christmas in June, I revealed my crazy plan to create 50 makes for Christmas



I cracked on with my Christmas challenge and made, what I think are, lovely felt holly garland



 In the height of summer here I am making Christmas cushion covers out of tea towels, in my little world this makes complete sense!



My production of Christmas projects started to hot up a bit in September and included these cute felt toadstools for the Christmas tree



Despite a great out putting of Christmas makes I still found time to take my camera for an Autumnal walk



Into November and our little world changed forever when our beautiful Granddaughter came into the world.  My brother refers to me as first Grandmother on scene which makes me laugh, I was privileged to be there for the birth and got to cut the cord which I found very symbolic.  Granny duties only slowed me down slightly in my Christmas challenge and this snowglobe was one of my favorites



So here we are in December with all 50 makes for Christmas completed.  My favorite is the  Christmas stocking I made for baby Esme.


It has been a very eventful year for our family with the focus being my daughter and her boyfriend buying a house that need a complete renovate and then deciding to build an extension not knowing that she was pregnant!  It only needed George Clark and a Channel 4 film crew to turn up for the full cliche.  The renovations are completed and the extension is watertight but is still under going the fit out.  My husband and her boyfriend have done everything but build the extension themselves along with help from the other set of parents and family and friends.  It has been an amazing adventure but I will be happy when it is completed and we can just go and visit without there being a list of jobs to do!

I hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas and that Santa was kind to you.  It has been fun looking back and I feel that I can claim a sense of achievement for all the projects I have completed in 2016. I would love to know which one was your favorite or if you were inspired to have a go at any of them yourself

Thursday, 22 December 2016

50 makes for Christmas 41 - 50

Woo hoo I reached the end of my 50 makes for Christmas and here is the final roundup

50 -Gin truffles

49 - Making paper chains

48 - Twiggy Stardust

47 - sprout, sprout and more sprouts!

Image result for brussel sprout graphic copyright free

46 - Marshmallow snowglobes


45 - Washi tape Christmas trees

44 - Christmas bulbs


43-Christmas wreath


42 - Christmas potpourri


41 - Granddaughter's Christmas stocking


And that concludes my 50 makes for Christmas.  My favourite make by far was the stocking for my granddaughter even though she will only be 6 weeks old on Christmas day I hope she will appreciate it in years to come, although I think it is more likely to be the contents she will be interested in!

There are links  here to the previous 40 makes.

Thank you for taking an interest in my project and I hope you might have found something of interest or even inspiration.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Gin truffles 50/50 - 50 makes or Christmas

My 50th and final makes are gin truffles, they will be a Christmas present for two of the men in my family. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of this make as I wont be making them until Christmas Eve and it dawned on me that with family arriving on the 23rd and still having a to do list that doesn't seem to be shrinking I was unlikely to find time to blog.

I will be using this recipe from Kitty Hope and Mark Greenwood at the BBC.

The other recipes I looked at includeThis one for Gin and Tonic truffles

This one from the BBC Good food for chocolate truffles with suggestions of how to add different flavours.

So make number 50 has ended up with a to be made! I am happy to be at the end of my 50 makes for Christmas, it has been a long journey and I would like to thank you for reading and for the support and words of encouragement that I have received.

In case I don't get time to post again I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and I hope Santa brings you what you wished for xx

Sunday, 18 December 2016

I've only gone and made paper chains 49/50 - 50 Makes for Christmas

I remember making paper chains when I was a kid, licking the end of a bit of paper and realising that it wasn't the sticky end! but loving seeing them all completed and pinned up criss crossing the room. I seem to recall a certain amount of rivalry between myself and my brother and sister about who could lake the longest chain I think my sister being the eldest always won. They seemed to disappear from fashion for a number of years and I am nostalgic to see them back again.

I wanted a little something to finish off the area where I put up the washi tape forest so paper chains made from a Christmas wrapping paper is the order of the day. I went for a small dimension as I felt it fitted in with the washi tape trees. I didn't measure anything as usual and just started off with a small scrap and cut and stuck until a little chain began to evolve.

There are many available to buy if you don't fancy cutting your own, like these from dotcomgiftshop.

Paper Chain Kit Vintage Party

And these festive beauties from paper chase

They are a little bit more polished than my own efforts.

So that is my penultimate make of my 50 makes for Christmas with one final make to complete. There was a moment in the middle where I had a little wobble thinking that I may not reach the end but it is well and truly in sight.

I hope your own projects are coming together, I would love to hear what you have been making, were any of them inspired by my 50 makes?

Saturday, 17 December 2016

twiggy stardust 48/50 - 50 makes for Christmas

When I made my Christmas wreath I cut more foliage than I needed and I have held on to it thinking "it may come in handy".

The Hydrangea heads I have popped in a jug to dry out, although I think this may not produce the skeletal effect I am hoping for and could well be destined for the composting bin in the not too distant future.

A holly sprig here and there in an old bottle adds a traditional touch to the Christmas decorations.

The dogwood I have decided to make into a twiggy star, festive, rustic and biodegradable. I had thought I would make a small one but I had plenty of stems to play with so I went for a really big one,  I have propped it up outside the patio doors so I can enjoy it from the inside out.

Only two more posts before I complete my 50 makes for Christmas project I am so very close to completion!

I alway forget how long it takes to do the Christmassy jobs like writing the cards, it not the actual writing its the time it takes to hunt down all the addresses too! at least it is another one to tick off the list.  Have you got round to writing your cards yet?

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Sprouts, sprouts and more sprouts!! 47/50 - 50makes for Christmas

One of the most controversial vegetables on our planet, is the brussel sprouts loved by some. hated by many and very often overcooked.  My daughters boyfriend shared this Christmas sprout interpretation with me that he got from a chef at a country house.

Image result for brussel sprout graphic copyright free

Image taken from google search and is not my own please let me know if it yours and I will gladly credit accordingly

Streaky bacon - chopped

Sprouts - thinly sliced

Pear - chopped

Red wine

Blue cheese - crumbled

Walnuts - chopped or crumbled

Add the bacon to a frying pan and cook in its own fat and juices until crispy.  Remove the bacon and deglaze the pan with some red wine picking up all the crusty bits, add the shredded sprouts and stir, followed by the pears and another stir. cook for a bit, throw in the bacon, walnuts and the blue cheese cook for a little bit and serve.

I have made variations of this by adding and omitting what ever I have or don't have to hand, eg fruit juice for wine, fruity chutney instead of pear, any cheese instead of the blue cheese.

To save money I cut the tails off bacon rashers when I make bacon butties at the weekends and pop them in the freezer to use instead of buying streaky bacon.
Give it a go if you fancy something different and it uses a frying pan instead of a saucepan which can be quite handy when cooking Christmas dinner

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Marshmallow snow globes 46/50 - 50 makes for Christmas

I am still being inspired by all those amazing jam jar snow globes that everyone has been making over the past couple of years this is my latest effort.


You will need

A little marshmallow mood music

Clean and dried empty jam jar with lid ( these were from the £shop a few years ago and have done a sterling job collecting dust in the spare room!)

white mini marshmallows (you will be left with a jar of pink mini marshmallows, scatter them over the top of your mug of hot choccy)

A small foil covered chocolate bar/snowman/santa/reindeer etc (remember they are your presents an should not be eaten by yourself under any circumstances!!)

Something sticky (sellotape/double-sided tape/sticky fix/glue dot)


Attach the bottom of the figure to the bottom of the jar with your sticky fix

Pile in some of the mini marshmallows so that it looks like the figure is standing in snow.

Pop the lid on and keep it upright.

I am giving mine along side some nice quality drinking chocolate.


A quick little make that will get wrapped up with some posh hot chocolate for a Christmas gift,

Have you done all your present shopping yet? I still have a couple of bits to find but no clear idea of exactly what it is I am looking for (shopping for male members of my family of course!)

Monday, 12 December 2016

Washi tape Christmas tree 45/50 - 50 makes for Christmas

The big day is getting ever closer and its starting to showing in my home.  As usual my inspiration for this is courtesy of Pinterest and all it takes is some washi tape and a suitable surface, I added a few Christmas stickers too.

This is my efforts, yes I did get a bit carried away!

and this is some of my inspiration

60 Wall Christmas Tree – Alternative Christmas Tree Ideas:

Washi Tape Christmas Tree on my Kitchen Wall:

38 Fabulous DIY Christmas Trees That Aren't Actual Trees:

This DIY washi tape tree is a no-fuss way to display the holiday cards that arrive in your mailbox each day! It comes right off the wall when you're done.:

This has to be one of the simplest makes I have done in this project of 50 Makes for Christmas.

Have you put your Christmas tree up yet? We brought ours on Friday but I only started decorating it last night but once the Christmas boxes come out its more than the tree that gets trimmed so things are looking a bit chaotic at the moment, peace and harmony will be restored.... at some point!

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Christmas bulbs 44/50 - 50 makes for Christmas

I love to see hyacinths in flower around Christmas time, I have tried to find out the history of when it became part of the Christmas festivities but could only find lots of helpful advice on how to force the bulbs.  It makes sense to try and brighten up the dark winter months with some natural beauty so I guess it is probably as simple as that.


I have been keeping an eye out in the charity shops for odd pots and bowls to use for this project and settled on a little pudding basin for 50p I like to think it may well have been the home of someone's Christmas pud at some point in its life.


I added a few badly drawn snow flakes with a sharpie, I tried popping a little red wooden heart on but it seemed a bit out of place.  Somewhere in my hordes of Christmas stuff I have a few plastic toadstools on wires but I just cant seem to put my hands on them at the moment, I will post an update should I find them and use them.


I purchased the bulbs from Lidl they cost just under 3 pounds and came in a little wicker basket with a plasticy holly decoration, both have been saved for future projects.

We brought a fresh tree this year and I am waiting for it to settle before I attack it with fairy lights and baubles.

Its begining to look a bit like Christmas ...........que the music

Make 44 completed so only 6 more to go in my 50 makes for Christmas

I hope your own plans are all coming together, I really must write the few Christmas cards that I send. Every year I promise myself that I will send them out nice and promptly at the beginning of December and I almost always end up sending them at the last minute!

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Fresh Garden Christmas Wreath 43/50 - 50 Makes for Christmas

I was thrilled with the dogwood wreath I made last year so it was a no brainer to include it in my list of things to do this year.  Of course I need to change it up a bit from last time when I kept it very stark with only a grey linen ribbon and a few clay ornaments.


This year I am looking to hide the dogwood away with a wealth of foliage that I have collected from mine and my daughter's gardens.  I had intended to use plenty of holly as we are planning some changes to the bottom part of the garden and this involves removing a much loved holly tree, it came from my Mum's garden as a little twig of a thing and seemed to struggle for a while before picking up and growing into a fine healthy specimen.  I had hoped to have uprooted it and replanted it at my daughters as she has a fairly large garden, however there are many holly trees already established and plenty of self seeded saplings so we will need to have a little think about what to do with it.


The Dogwood base was made by creating a circle with one stem and securing it with some wire. More strands were woven in to give it some substance.

 I then bound on the base foliage using florists wire and followed this up with bunches of foliage and flowers that were also bound on with the wire.  I had a few false starts before I got it where I wanted to to be so my advice would be to play around and learn what works best for you.


The final arrangement is now hanging on my front door and I am hoping it will not fall to pieces all over the postie!

I made a second wreath for my daughter and tried to give it a more modern look with a bit of tinsel and a few baubles. This hides that I was running short of the base foliage and the tinsel was a bit of improvisation to fill in some of the gaps.


I had a lovely but very cold morning exploring this new craft.  I don't think the local florist has anything to worry about but I shall be making wreaths again next year.

Make 43 completed from my 50 makes for Christmas challenge with just 7 more posts left to completion.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Home made potpourri 42/50 - 50 Makes for Christmas

I looked up the definition of potpourri and it has two meanings

 a) a collection of dried petals and leaves used to make a room smell pleasant

 b) an unusual mix of things.

I think my potpourri is a bit of both of these descriptions!


In no particular order I dropped the following into a big glass hurricane lamp jar

  • Dried Orange Slices
  • Pinecones
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Cloves (Left over from the Orange Pomanders)
  • Christmas Scented oil (I brought this in the sale from M and S about 10 years ago and it is still smelling strong!!)
  • A few clay tree decorations


It smells like Christmas!

I have a feeling that there may be a few more decorative items dropped in over the next few days and knowing my family they will probably put in toy from a cracker to see if I am on the ball!

That is make 42 ticked off the ever changing list and only 8 yes 8 left to complete my 50 Makes for Christmas!

Its not too late to still make a few things for your own Christmas celebrations