Friday, 28 December 2012

Back to work

I have been fortunate enough to spend the past 6 years at home raising my children. This has given me the time to be creative with them as well as for them. I have relearned how to cook and bake without using dairy products and more recently I have been able to enjoy craft and art activities with them. Now they are both settled in school, I need more to do in the day than making and baking.

So, from 7th January, I shall be back in the full-time work force. Luckily, I shall be working school hours and term times only so I won't need to arrange child care, but I won't have the time to be so creative and the blog is likely to suffer. I am sure I will be updating from time to time, so look out for updates, but for the first couple of months back in work I'm likely to be too shattered to even open the laptop!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Snowflakes and more

Today's Christmas task on our advent calendar was to make paper snowflakes to go on the windows. I have made them in the past and let the girls stick them on, but this year they made their own for the first time, and loved it. We also made some strings of Christmas things - robins, trees, reindeer and angels. Charlotte was amazed at the hearts that were made when we cut certain shapes out of the paper and was soon busy throwing them around the room like confetti.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Chocolate ginger cupcakes

A fair few months ago I went to a friend's baby shower and her sister-in-law had made a selection of delicious cakes. My favourite were her chocolate ginger cupcakes, a name which does not begin to describe the mix of flavours hiding inside. I made a version of them for the cake sale at the school Christmas Market today, here is the recipe.


4oz brown sugar
5oz self raising flour
1/4tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp ground ginger
1/2tsp ground cinnamon
1/4tsp ground nutmeg
4oz soya margarine
2 eggs
2tbsp golden syrup
3oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped


Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl, then add the eggs, margarine and syrup.
Whisk with an electric whisk until smooth then add the chocolate and mix together.
Spoon into 12 cupcake cases and bake at 150c for about 20 minutes, until cooked through.

When cool, the original recipe calls for whipped cream on top with chopped Crunchie bars sprinkled on top. I made frosting with philadelphia, butter and icing sugar, then sprinkled the Crunchie on top. To make them dairy-free, I have spooned cooled, melted dairy-free chocolate over the top, then topped with chopped honeycomb pieces.

Lots of Christmas makes

It was the school Christmas Market yesterday, and I paid to have my own stall selling home made decorations and gifts. My mum and I have been working hard making stuff, and that is why I haven't put anything crafty up on here for a bit. Here are some of the things that I have been making:

Malteasers with a foil covered chocolate ball in home-made packaging

Rattan ball with organza and crochet ribbon details.

Rattan balls, sprayed with enamel paint with ribbon details.
Crystal and bead decorations.

Robin Christmas cards using origami papers and black pen.

Hand-made stockings with ribbon and button details.

Enamel sprayed curtain rings with crochet, ribbon, rattan and salt dough additions.
Salt dough, ribbon and confetti decorations.
Red fleece and embroidery decorations.

Salt dough with tissue paper decoupage decorations.

Salt dough and vintage comic decoupage decorations.

Cookie cutters, butchers twine and mini bells decorations.
The complete stall at the Christmas Market.