Thursday, December 13, 2012

DIY Christmas projects digital download

Last month I had the awesome opportunity to collaborate with some fabulous bloggers to bring you a week of DIY Christmas projects.

Shannon and Dean from AKA Design, Allison from House of Hepworths, KariAnne from Thistlewood Farm, Laura from Finding Home, Sarah from Cozy Cottage Cute, Shauna from Satori Design for Living and myself all shared a DIY ornament or decorating project.

As promised, the digital download of all the project tutorials in book format is now available! Thanks so much to Shannon and Dean at AKA Design for putting this download together.

Just click the image above to view the PDF online. Once the new window opens and you are viewing the PDF, you can download it by selecting 'File' then 'Download' from the drop down menu in the top left corner of the browser window, under the book title.

Happy DIYing and Merry Christmas!

Note: This PDF is to be used for personal or gifting purposes only. Using this digital download for commercial purposes or to make any profit is not allowed. Thanks.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A partridge in a pear tree

Little by little I am getting my Christmas décor up. It's a lot slower process this year with my nearly one-year-old little guy underfoot!

Due to my limited time for decorating, I need projects that are simple to create, but still look elegant.

So here's what I came up for for the centrepiece on the sideboard in my dining room - a pear tree using my cupcake stand.

The pears are from the grocery store (obviously) and cost about $5 for a dozen. The glittery little bird came from the dollar store. Now I realize it's not exactly a partridge, but work with me here, OK?

I designed the banner on my computer and printed it. Then cut it out and taped some jewelry wire to the back of it so I could manipulate it to fit around the pears. It's secured to the pears with a bit of tape also.

And that's all there was to it!

One thing to note, is that using fresh fruit puts a limited time on your décor. I bought the pears about 4 days ago and they are already starting to get a little too ripe. I will have to replace them soon. Maybe I will look into buying artificial ones, but I think REAL pears have such an elegance to them!

I'm linking up to these parties this week. Check them out!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The smells of the season

The Christmas season is here! I guess I had better start pulling out the Christmas décor and getting the house ready! Christmas is definitely my favourite time of year and there's nothing to get me in the spirit than some great Christmas music and some wonderfully spicy-sweet smells.

Here is a re-post from last Christmas - a tutorial on how to make your own "Christmas smelly pot". It is so good, I just had to share it again! Can't wait to make this pot-of-goodness this year.


Christmas is my favourite season of the year! It is a time to reflect upon the birth of our Saviour Jesus and the hope of salvation He brought to the world.

I also savour the happy music, pretty decorations, sparkly lights, yummy food and special times with friends and family. And I can't forget to mention the smells. Oh, the smells!

Whether it's freshly baked cookies just out of the oven, a scrumptiously scented candle, a freshly cut Christmas tree or spiced apple cider brewing on the stove, the smells of Christmas are divine!

Last year I saw a friend put together what I have come to call a 'Christmas smelly pot'  – for lack of a better term. "Brilliant!" I thought, "I must do this." So I went about creating my own 'smelly pot', modifying it a bit to make the recipe my own. Now my house can smell like Christmas everyday of the festive season!

Here's how to create your own 'Christmas smelly pot' in a slow cooker.

Half an orange;
1 apple;
2 bay leaves;
2 to 3 tablespoons of whole cloves;
2 cinnamon sticks;
Splash of lemon juice.

1. Cut the apple in half so that the core makes a pretty star. Stud the orange with some of the cloves. If the skin of the orange is particularly tough, pre-make some holes in the orange with a pointy object (I used a chop stick).

2. Fill a small slow cooker with 4-6 cups of water, add all the ingredients listed above.

3. Set the slow cooker on low and let simmer away, uncovered. After a few hours the mixture will begin to darken in colour and fill your house with its lovely Christmas aroma. As the pot simmers the water will begin to evaporate. I just add more water a few times a day to keep it topped up.

4. At the end of the day you can place your pot in the fridge overnight. Take it out the next day and reheat for more smelly goodness. I usually use my smelly pot for 3 to 5 days before making a new one.

Note: Although all of these ingredients are edible, I have not tried tasting this concoction, nor would I recommend it – even though it does smell good enough to eat!

Enjoy and Merry Christmas!