Saturday, 19 December 2015

Christmas Make And Bake








 






 


Do you think the Gingerbread Man at the top looks like he's been at the Christmas sherry? And I hope you all appreciate the very festive Christmas Dinosaurs :o)

Blogging chum CJ wrote an interesting piece this week on her uneasiness with the increasingly consumerist side of Christmas. Something I agree wholeheartedly with. It makes me uneasy too and as each year goes by I grow more uncomfortable with it. So, in an attempt to diffuse this feeling and make the experience more wholesome and to contribute less to landfill, I make as many of the gifts we give as possible. 

This year I've made sloe gin, damson vodka, beeswax lip balms, pjs and pj bags, bunting, tote bags, purses and wash and makeup bags. I found an excellent tutorial on how to make tissue holders on Daisy Jones' blog which you'll find if you click her name. They take minutes to make and I think they make a lovely gift. M has done his bit too, creating homebrew and chilli oil. This afternoon I whizzed up a batch of gingerbread, some of which are going to hang on the tree as decorations (well above small-dog-who-does-a-mean-meerkat-impression-and-is-rather-partial-to-gingerbread height) but most of which will doubtless be snaffled by L (and me). Tomorrow, I have chocolate truffles to make, which look very pretty in a cellophane bag wrapped up with ribbon (hoping to find some plant-based bags for next year).

We do buy presents, but I try to stick to Leanne's excellent mantra: something you want, something you need, something to eat and something to read. I think that sums it all up nicely.

In other news, F has announced to us (and the world, via the ever-subtle Facebook) that he has a girlfriend. He is very proud of her. Mine and M's response: Oh, that's lovely. L's response? Imaginary people don't count. Aren't brothers lovely?

Meanwhile Poppy is really pissed off quite cross because some bugger one of her parents has put wire across the top of the plant pot she uses to stand on and stare over the fence. She's been forced to stand on her back legs on the patio instead, which is No Good At All because she can't see over. I have promised her a tree stump but she's not much mollified. She hasn't escaped over the fence again, but that's only because I'm watching her like a hawk :o)

L has broken up for the holidays at long last (yay all round- no more school runs for a fortnight). He came home at lunchtime yesterday, dumped his bag on the floor and said in a voice of furious dejection Guess what I've got to do over the holiday? 
Homework? I suggested, helpfully.  
Nope, he said. I've got to re-do an exam. An exam I got a B in, and lots of other people got Bs too but they don't have to re-do it.
Why? I asked, mother-radar immediately alerted. What else did you do, other than get a B?
I drew a picture of a lizard destroying school on the back of the paper. The teacher told me if I had enough time to doodle I obviously could try harder in the exam so I'd need to do it again over the holidays!
When I'd managed to stop laughing I told him I didn't know whether to scold him or applaud the sheer brilliant teenagerness of it.

Right-o, off to make up some more presents, fabric glue in hand :o)

Hope all are well,

CT :o) 


38 comments:

  1. I love the idea of home made presents I couldn't agree more that we have become so materialistic and buy, buy, buy all the time. I would love any one of those gifts you have made and I'm sure the recipient will. Yes, the gingerbread man does look as though he's had one over the eight. lol
    Briony
    x

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    1. A few years back we agreed with our collective brothers and sisters to down-size presents and so we generally give them something homemade or homegrown produce. I much prefer it x

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  2. All of your handmade presents look wonderful! Such lovely things to receive I am sure! I loved the story about the doodle and the exam, that certainly is a very smart teacher! Hope that he gets an A this time around. Happy Christmas, hope that you have a great time! xx

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    1. Thanks my dear. I take my hat off to teachers- they have to have eyes in the back of their head :o) xx

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  3. What, wonderful gifts, lucky recipients, x

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  4. Damson vodka! Gingerbread dinosaurs! Yes please!

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    1. Ah, if we lived nearer Si I would bag you up a biscuit and sling some vodka your way :o)

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  5. Wow, you're a whirlwind of creativity, I'm so very impressed. Thanks for the mention, I've been amazed by everyone's positive comments. Love the photo of P and T looking out of the window. They have their eye on something I think. Watch out birdies. L has made me laugh twice, with his imaginary people comment and with his lizard destroying the school picture. Fantastic. I think living with him must be entertaining and funny. Enjoy the rest of the weekend. CJ xx

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    1. It was a squirrel they were watching. It was sat in a tree holding a nut and blowing them a raspberry :o)
      L is pleased he made you laugh- he is known as the Family Jester in our house. I wish I had his razor-sharp wit and powers of observation xx

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  6. Wow you have been busy I am so impressed with all of your makes but especially those tissue covers!! So pleased to see someone making something
    From my tutorials... Thank ypu too for linking to me.
    Bestest wishes to you and yours daisy j xx

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    1. Thanks for the tutorial- it really is great x

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  7. You are a hive of activity on the creative front and I totally agree re Christmas...either make your own or support local businesses. That way its a win win.
    Still laughing at L - I am picturing a giant Godzilla devouring his school. I actually told my family about it over lunch and my 17 year old Claudia said that she always doodles when she's finished an exam...especially if she cant think of anything else to write.
    His B grade is pretty good...I think the teacher lacks a sense of humour. Poor L...I do feel for him. Frankly I thought it was hilarious.
    My mum got asked into school when my brother was in his early teens.. Shock - horror my brother had doodled swastikas all over his English exercise book. The teacher was horrified but my mum thought it was funny because the teacher's nickname in our house was Hitler. He had to apologise and mum had to buy him a new exercise book.
    I hope new girlfriend works out and L doesnt mention his imaginary friend comment in front of the new girlie.
    Hilarious household, full of love and laughter. The best.
    All is well here in Oz, cool change coming in this afternoon. We are melting and the state of Victoria is being plagued by bushfires yet again.
    Im in awe of all your creativity and the alcoholic beverages look so yummy...very River Cottage.
    Hope the Lizard re write goes well.
    Cheer me dears
    Sally x

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    1. Great story about your Hitler- we had an RE teacher at school whom we all called Mini Hitler because she was very small and very fierce. L agrees with Claudia. If I were him I'd be considering drawing another lizard on the new exam paper with an appropriate caption (perhaps this is where he gets his naughtiness from?) Glad your weather is cooling down. It's dropped 5 degrees here today :o) XX

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  8. Love love love this post.
    We try gifting each other small gift or handmade ones. Friend are
    always if you can't eat it, read it, use it plant it we do not give it.
    I am baking some Gingerbread Javelinas that has some Ancho Chile Powder in the cookie dough. I can't wait to try it.
    I haven't baked in many years. So here is my chance to start again.
    Love the photos of everything but especially P and T.
    Your gingerbread men are terrific.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Ooh your spicy gingerbread sound divine! x

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  9. Oh and by the way your first gingerbread man reminds me of the one from Shrek...I dont think it was just the sherry he drank!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;-) xx

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    1. Spot on! M says it looks like the smartie is there to preserve his modesty :o( How Rude! x

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    2. I agree with M...I thought the same but didnt know whether 'the blog' guidelines permitted such obvious comments!!!!! xx

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  10. Love your blog, always enjoy it. I too tend to make presents, not sure if they are always appreciated but at our age and stage of life, money is harder to come by than Christmas fruit cakes and small hand made for the tree. Hope you have a lovely Christmas.

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    1. Many thanks Penny, that's so lovely of you :o) I agree about handmade- much better value for money and just lovelier all round. Happy Christmas to you and yours x

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  11. As an ex teacher your comments on L having to re do his paper had me roaring with laughter. Give him one of your ginger biscuits as a reward from me.

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    1. He says thank you, the gingerbread went down well!

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  12. What fabulous presents, you have been busy! I have been very lazy with my present making this year but you have inspired me for next year. I would certainly applaud your son for such an imagination :)

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    1. I seem to remember it was your homemade hand warmers last Crimble that got me sewing again! x

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  13. Ha ha, teenage boys are brilliant, aren't they?! And dogs. Your gifts are all lovely.

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  14. Totally agree CT. Christmas spending and consumerism is awful, not to mention the waste of food and over eating and drinking. Not that I'm a killjoy, it's nice to stop and relax, which is what we enjoy most about Christmas. This year we both have two weeks off together which is lovely.
    We don't go mad with presents, just things we'd really
    like, usually a shirt for hubby, a book or a dvd, and for me usually dvds books and maybe a little treat of something pampering.
    I am convinced it's a government thing getting us to spend spend spend and then into debt, a sort of "keep the buggers down" if you know what I mean. That way we'll be too distracted by our own problems, to notice the mess they are making of things and the outrageous stuff they are getting away with.
    Love the photo of the dogs looking out the patio doors together and all your beautiful home made items.

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    1. It's good to take some moments to remember what it's all about and step back from the constant consumer messages we're all bombarded with at this time of year x

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  15. Brilliance all around! I agree so very much with the materialistic nature of the holidays -- and am happy to report that we've steadily down-sized over the years. The result being that the adults of the family do a 'Secret Santa' and so only buy for one other person. We've always been a practical bunch so it's always things that are needed. This year marks my first attempt at home-brew so everyone will be getting a wee jar of dandelion wine, some beeswax lip balm [infused with calendula from my garden] and half a dozen eggs. ;) Slowly and steadily I'm getting the family used to homemade stuff...I find it's not something that happens overnight. :)

    Thanks for the links - those tissue holders are brilliant!

    And I'm laughing at the sibling banter -- SO funny -- and the drawing on the exam which is exactly the sort of thing girl-child does...I'll have to warn her. ;)

    xo

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    1. Beeswax and calendula sounds lovely. Have you tried rosehip oil as a skin moisturiser? T'is beautiful stuff. Love the sound of the presents you're making and hope the Dandelion goes down well :o) XX

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  16. Don't you just love teenagers;-) I completely agree with you about Christmas CT, it's just got ridiculous over the years. I love receiving home made pressies and yours look fab.
    Have a lovely Christmas.xx

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  17. Hey CT,
    Give that boy a prize! And bah humbug to the teacher. Have they no sense of humour? Thanks for the mention re: my gift mantra. It works very well for children as they grow older. I find that that after the ridiculous suggestions for pressies (50" HD tv etc etc), they come up with very thoughtful suggestions. Obviously Olly has a stocking full of nonsense, but he is only little. I don't expect any pressies - Christmas is for children and all the rest - but I love a homemade gift.
    Leanne xx

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  18. You have been busy with all your lovely homemade gifts I don't how you find the time to do so much! I was helping out at a school Christmas fete a few weeks ago they had turned the gingerbread men upside down and turned them into reindeer! (They looked so good they are quite a few examples on the internet.) Sarah x

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x