We spent some time this week putting up our Christmas trees and decorations. We’ve got a glistening artificial copper tree on the top floor and a real spruce on the ground floor.
In addition to some shop bought baubles, I decided to make some home made Christmas decorations using salt dough, just 3 cheap & basic ingredients were needed. Plain flour, table salt and water – in easy to measure and remember volumetric quantities: 2-1-1. Two parts flour, one part salt, one part water. Measure out your mix using any cup, spoon, scoop or similar container depending on how much dough you want to whip up.
I used cookie cutters to make a few different shapes – stars, crescent moons, hearts, medallions. Before you pop them in the oven, don’t forget to use a skewer to make a hole in each if you want to hang them on your tree or wall!
I’ve seen instructions elsewhere on the ‘net that you can use either an oven or a microwave on its lowest setting to dry out your dough. I used both methods to compare & contrast. The microwave method was very quick – this batch was done in about six 1-minute bursts. The oven method was much, much slower – about 4 hours at 110°C/225°F/Gas mark ¼. You can see the difference between the two methods in the photo below – the microwave method made the shapes puff up (unevenly); I prefer the way the ones made in the oven turned out.
I had a few bits & bobs of shiny, crafty things stashed away that I thought I’d use to embellish – glitter, ribbon, beads and sequins.
I even had a spray can of gold paint – I can’t remember where or when I bought that – but it came in handy!
We have a copper Christmas tree that these will look great on!
But my favourite salt dough decorations I made are these two garlands – very Scandi!
We’ve just gathered some lovely holly with nice red berries on one of our dog walks – and our garden is full of ivy with the most beautiful seed heads that look exploding stars. That will bring seasonal nature indoors and provide the perfect finishing touch.
I discovered Ampersand Design Studio’s Cream and Sugar range via the Hawthorne Threads webshop and immediately fell in love!
I had my Bernina sewing machine serviced recently but alas it’s been lying dormant ever since. This fabric is just the thing to make me get off my proverbial and get creating!
I saw this image of painted feathers on one of my Pinterest forays, it’s originally from the Free People blog. I’m always collecting pretty feathers on my dog walks along Rochdale canal or in the farmers’ fields up above our house. They’re normally from ducks, geese, crows and magpies – I’ve got a couple of beautiful jay feathers with their shock of blue.
I come across lots of drab ones that I don’t bother picking up but I may start pocketing those ones too – feather painting could be a new little hobby!
We bought this gorgeous little sewing/work box last week.
We often come across this type of concertina box at markets & auctions, but this one had that little bit of extra quality. It dates from the 1950s and has a lovely, rich colour. It’s cute & compact, but there are lots of compartments for small tools, threads & pins. It has little splayed feet and there’s a nicely turned wooden handle and knobs to top & sides. A real sweetie!!
We must have had dozens of vintage sewing boxes in stock over the years and this one has to be one of our favourites. Here’s a little montage of some of the others.
In last week’s Mapping the World post we talked about finally sorting out what had become a storage room after last year’s flood. It didn’t end after hanging a few maps, so here’s a short follow up to show what else we did in there.
It has evolved into a combined craft room & spare bedroom. We’ve put an old, rustic work bench in the large window area to make use of the natural light. On it sits a vintage Bernina sewing machine that’s just had a full service; also drawers, jugs & baskets full of thread, pins and craft tools.
When the sun goes down we have a couple of task lights – both have an industrial look. The first is a pale blue touch-sensitive desk lamp that we reviewed for John Lewis. The second is a vintage hanging work light with metal cage to protect the bulb.
And last but not least a bed – we bought this Victorian folding metal bed at a flea market for £20 which was a bit of a bargain. It looks lovely with its bright floral linen. If you overdo it on the crafting, you can just flop into bed a few feet away!
Not on the High Street has only been around for six years or so, but they’ve gathered together a growing group of British designers and crafters who produce very high quality, handmade objects. The website is full of items that can be personalised with the names of friends, family members, special dates etc… perfect for gift buying!
1. placemats | 2. mugs |3. rubber tamp
4. chocolate bar | 5. gift bag | 6. sloe gin