Sunday, 12 January 2014

Festive making & baking

Christmas already seems so long ago that it feels strange to still be looking back. However, I wanted to show you what I'd been up to before continuing to move forward with the new year.

One of the things I most enjoyed over the Christmas break was having time to spend making and baking. The luxury of actually being able to plan to do some crafting and to do it at a leisurely pace, rather than squeezing it into increasingly fewer spare moments. If I was to make another resolution for 2014, it would be to find more of that kind of time rather than trying to cram in as much as possible. I really felt much better for slowing down, resting and feeding my creative side. Luckily, I don't make resolutions though because it would already have been broken.

But anyway, what making and baking did I get up to?

Starry lebkuchen biscuits with some dough I found lurking at the back of the freezer (and it was no worse from having been there since the previous year!).

I also ventured into baking with yeast for the first time with an apricot, chocolate and cardamom panettone. How exciting is it watching bread rise?! Why have I never tried this before? Bread making is definitely something I'll be coming back to when I can plan an 'at home' day.

The panettone should probably have been smaller and taller but I only realised at the last minute that I had the wrong size tin. Not that it made any difference to the taste. We ate it toasted for breakfast on Christmas morning with shop-bought Christmas tree crumpets and starry waffles.

This was a tree of a different kind made from a polystyrene cone. As you can see from the photos, I cut circles of Christmas fabrics with pinking shears and pinned them in layers to cover the cone. The idea came from the free Cloth, Paper, Scissors e-newsletter.

I also worked on my Father Christmas cross stitch which, I'm embarrassed to admit, has been on the go at least 5 years. All that remains to do is the outline stitching and more of the swirly snow. I've been in two minds whether to crack on and finish it or whether to keep it as a project to pull out each Christmas. I have another cross stitch project in mind though and I'm not sure if I have another frame so it looks like it will have to be finished.

No photos for this one but I've been working on my quilt too, transferring rectangles from piles of unsewn to sewn - a slow but therapeutic process.

And I wasn't the only one crafting for Christmas. Chickpea made this beautiful decopatch treasure chest as a gift for a friend. I was so proud of her: she worked so hard and really took time over all the details. Watching her enjoy crafting was one of my highlights of last year and something I love to encourage. This year, therefore, I'm going to continue being a craftlete, trying different crafts and hopefully finding others which she'll enjoy.


Thanks for the comments about the cookery book challenge. I was ridiculously excited making my first draw this week, quivering with anticipation of which of my lovely books I'd be using. Was I still excited afterwards? Well, you'll have to wait until my first update to find out :)


  1. Your baking looks great and well done to Chickpea, she did a great job making the treasure chest.

  2. What a beautiful little treasure chest, it's so lovely to have someone to share our crafting with. Love the Christmas tree idea, hope I can remember that one :) xx

  3. Wow, I really love that circle of cloths Christmas tree. It looks like your daughter has inherited your creative talent too, good for her!
    That cross stitch Father Christmas, I love it...the swirling snow is such a nice detail.

  4. Oh the baking looks so good - I love yeast bread baking - I bake all of our bread, it is nice to not have to run to the store for a loaf of bread. I love love love your christmas tree. At a yard sale last summer I picked up a big bag of styrofoam tree shapes - not knowing what I'd use them for - but for 75 cents I couldn't resist - now maybe I'll make a forest of different sized trees.

  5. All your festive baking looks delicious. I really love the little Christmas tree you made, it looks fabulous and I bet it was fun to do. I will be putting this on my list of things to make for next Christmas!
    Marianne x

  6. What a great set of projects- the tree is lovely and very festive- and the biscuits look delicious.

  7. Your bakes look delicious and I love your Christmas tree and cross stitch project.

  8. I've baked bread, but have hardly done any baking with yeast. You've inspired me to try again, as making your own pannetone for Christmas morning is such a lovely idea. But like you say, it's having the time to do these things as those recipes invariable take all day!

    Chickpea's decopatch box is great - she has inherited your creative talents! x