Tag Archives: Christmas

Pom Pom Wreath

For the first time ever, Chris and I are hosting the family for Christmas. Excited is not the word…I am ecstatic . Apart from obviously spending what is one of the most special times of the year with family, it also means that after years of reigning it in due to the fact that a minimal amount of people were going to see our efforts, I am finally going to be able to go full force on the decorating front!

So I thought I would start early this year and in order to get as much Christmas cheer (I’d like to think) into the house as possible, I have already made a few decorations in preparation for the fastly approaching Christmas day. Yippppeeeee.

The theme for this week’s post is all about making a Pom Pom Christmas Wreath and as you probably saw in my last post ‘Shake Your Pom Pom’ I am still obsessed with my new-found Pom Pom makers and all the lovely sizes of fluffy wonders I can make.

With a love of all things colourful I wanted to make a Christmas Wreath with a slight difference this year. After picking up the essentials from Hobby Craft – a Polystyrene Wreath and Glue Gun, I started the nightly duty of making many, many Pom Pom’s (you will need quite a few, I needed about 40 on a 200mm sized wreath – using varying sizes of Pom Pom’s). Some of you may think that is quite a lot of Pom Pom’s to make for one decoration, but fear not… it’s surprising how many you can churn out sitting in front of I’m A Celebrity each night. Just persevere.

POM POM INGREDIENTS

POM POM GLUE 2

POM POM HALF WAY

Once you have all the Pom Pom’s made, you are onto the easy and fun bit…getting sticky with the glue gun. Enjoy the process, make a pattern, colour co-ordinate or stick at random. All I would say is that you should try to cover all of the Polystyrene itself on the front and sides. Pin a ribbon onto the reverse of the wreath and you have a great alternative to your traditional Christmas decoration.

2014-12-03 08.16.42

Brussel Sprout Slaw

I have to apologise in advance: This is a recipe with brussel sprouts. Yes I know! “BRUSSEL SPROUTS!?” Don’t worry, I’m totally with you. There’s nothing more terrifying than being handed a bowl of these on Christmas day. Sure, you can cook them with bacon or cover them in goose fat, but that’s just the point. They’re so bitter they need all manner of tastier items to disguise them.

Needless to say, working out how to get them into our Christmas menu is keeping me busy. Well, that and trying to work out what Anna wants for Christmas……but that’s a different story altogether. Technically, they’re just little underachieving cabbages, so why not treat them like a cabbage and make a slaw. So that’s what I did, but with with a bit of Christmas spirit.

2014-12-07 14.22.00


Dressing

Brussel Sprout Slaw with Red Onion, Preserved Lemon and Parmigiano-Reggaino.

320g Brussel sprouts
1 small onion
1 preserved lemon (juice and zest)
pinch of salt
Teaspoon honey
Tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of salt
Tablespoon finely grated Parmigiano-Reggaino

Finely slice the red onion and soak in a bowl of cold water for about 15 minutes. In an old jam jar add the olive oil, preserved lemon zest, lemon juice, honey and salt. Shake up until combined. Set aside.

Trim off the hard outer layers off the sprouts. With a sharp knife slice the sprouts and discard the hard root edge. Then with your fingers gently break apart, but throw away the hard middle root. It’s the bitter bit and you just want the soft leaves.

Drain the sliced red onion and add to a large bowl with the shaved brussel sprouts. Pour in the the dressing and cheese. Gently mix together and serve.

2014-12-07 14.39.16

A Giant Christmas Pom Pom Decoration

Now for a different kind of Pom Pom, not as soft and fluffy as the Pom Pom’s in last week’s post, but certainly just as pretty and effective. In fact I had so much fun and got so much satisfaction from making these, that I got carried away and made loads.

When I say these are easy to make, I mean they are so easy to make, you could fill your house in a day. And what is even better is that they are so cost-effective, it wouldn’t even cost you a lot to fill!

I bought a pack of 5 sheets of tissue paper (75cm x 50cm) and cut them in half, therefore having 10 sheets in total. After laying them on top of each other, I folded them back and forth in a concertina fold, at a measurement of about 3cm.

TISSUE POM POM INGREDIENTS

FOLD MEASUREMENT

After folding, I used some fine floral wire to secure the middle of the folded paper, leaving enough wire to make a loop (to use as means of hanging the Pom Pom). Once the middle is secured, fan out the sides and on one side separate one of the top layers of tissue paper. Gently manoeuvre the tissue paper up to the centre of the fan. repeat this on both sides, raising at least 4 sheets of tissue paper on both sides.

POM POM FOLD

POM POM CURVE

POM POM FAN

Once that is done, turn the Pom Pom over, being careful not to crush the sheets you have already pulled into place. If you want, use the wire loop as something to hold onto. Repeat the process on the underside, pulling up to 4 sheets either side. You should then be left with the final middle sheets. Pull these apart and fan them out, being careful not pull them apart too much. This way you are forming more of a circle with your Pom Pom.

POM POM FANNING

All that is left to do is a bit of fluffing, to make sure all the sheets are evenly spread out. Then attach a lovely piece of metallic thread or fishing line to hang from wherever you please.

2014-12-03 08.14.17

I’m dreaming of a beaded Christmas

I blooming love Christmas! It always gives me the perfect excuse to rummage through my craft cupboard and whip up a Christmas thing or two. Every December, I always start out with the best intentions of sitting in front of a much loved Christmas movie, drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows on whilst I make my Christmas cards. Christmas bliss right?

However and I don’t quite know how, but 2012 seems to have run away with me and before I knew it December was upon me and I hadn’t even unpacked my Christmas decorations, let alone even begun to think about how I was going to make this years Christmas cards.

Therefore, I needed something that I could make quickly as I did have around 45 cards to make, but also looked seasonal, fun and put a smile on people’s faces. The answer came in the form of picture beads. After looking for some inspiration online, I found some great images on a beautiful blog called craftandcreativity.com. Using this as inspiration I set about buying the materials needed to create my Christmas cards.

I already had some seasonal red and green card and envelope sets left over from last year, so all I needed to purchase were the picture beads and Hama boards themselves. After speaking with the staff at hobbycraft they told me that the best board to make snowflakes (my chosen Christmas shape) was a circle. A circular board in hand, plus a star shaped one (just because I love stars…), some red and white beads and some ironing paper I was ready to start making some picture bead shapes.

Templates

Always starting from the center of the board, build your snowflake outwards. Remember to make it symetrical by counting the beads as you build each stem outwards. The fun part about these beads are that you can really experiment with these shapes and be as creative as possible. Mix your colours if you like or keep it simple like I did. I needed the shape to fit easily onto the front of the card so I kept my snowflake quite small.

snowflake forming

After you have made your shape and are happy with it, you need to cover the board and the beads with the ironing paper. Then heat your iron on the hottest setting. Once ready to go, gently iron over the shape, slowly melting and fusing the beads together. Be careful not to press too hard and keep the iron even, as I learnt quite quickly when I ended up ironing the board as well as the beads. Lets just say I bought a couple more boards the next day, just in case.

ironing

Once the beads are fused together, leave them for a couple of minutes to cool down. I placed them in between two books to keep the shapes quite flat.

melted snowflake

I then placed the cooled snowflake onto the front of my card and sewed it on with a contrasting coloured thread. It added an extra hand crafted dimension to the card that I really liked. I actually enjoyed the ease of this process so much that I got a bit carried away and made several decorations, some gift tags and a star for the top of my tree! Easy peasy and quite effective.

card

 

close up snowflakes