Saturday, December 20, 2014

Walking In A Winter Wonderland...

Hi folks...crikey what's with the weather...no sign of snow yet...in fact the sun's been shining and if it wasn't for the chilly wind you might just think it was Spring but I was transported into a wonderful winter wonderland yesterday on my visit to my local garden centre....I took loads of pictures but unfortunately the camera doesn't want to play ball...having a little won't switch on tantrum so until I can find some time to sit down and read the troubleshooting section of the manual...you'll just have to settle for a slightly smaller winter scene made with some left over bits and pieces lying around my workdesk...saves tidying them away...that's my excuse...
and the perfect excuse to use the little Christmas Tree LED light I picked up in M&S for no particular reason other than I'm a sucker for anything cute and dinky...

This is definitely the last Christmas Crafty Project of year...the cubbyhole is now closed for the holidays and this motley crew will be heading for the kitchen today to cook the turkey...the beef...the ham...a couple of meat loaves...the mince pies and a mountain of festive bakes and like any job there are perks...oh yes we will have our chief taster hats on making sure everything passes muster... it's a hard job but someone's gotta do it. 
See you all tomorrow
Hugs Kath xxx

Friday, December 19, 2014

Out With The Old...In With The New...

Hi folks...I'm on a mission to clear out the old before we hit 2015 and finally I've managed to find a replacement for this wobbly legged old storage tower...
a rather more streamlined "matching the rest of the storage units" affair I found at Argos and narrow enough to fit the space that was left...needs a few storage baskets and a bit of titivating...a job for a cold wintry afternoon me thinks...
and a certain member of the cubbyhole crew is uber uber excited at getting his snoozy space back...
he's asked Santa for a cosy bed for his special corner but that all depends on whether the big fat man in the red suit thinks he's ticked all the boxes in the "I've been good" department...only time will tell on that score.
I'm abandoning the cubbyhole and all thoughts of next week's manic Christmas Cook-athon today to meet up with a dear friend for coffee and a blether at my favourite place at this time of year ...a winter wonderland of all things sparkly...just the thing to get me in the Christmas mood.
See you all tomorrow
Hugs Kath xxx

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Memories...

Hi folks...well the weather has taken a turn for the better in my neck of the woods...after a brief snowstorm the other night which was all gone by morning...the sun's decided to put his hat on again and it's feeling rather mild...will we get a White Christmas I wonder...wouldn't it be magical to wake up to a snowy white sparkly carpet on Christmas morning...crikey hard to believe that it's only a week away.
But back to the crafty stuff and probably the last Christmas project of 2014...a photo album to hold all the precious Christmas 2014 memories...made from the grungeboard "Prancing Deer" Waste...



 and the inside...

another DT project for Inspiration Emporium which fits in nicely with this month's "Sing...Sing It Loud" Challenge over at Inspiration Journal....I know you're probably all busy with your Christmas preparations but you still have time to enter with a chance to win a fabulous $50 prize to spend at Inspiration Emporium.
Can't quite believe that I'm up to date with the Christmas prep with a few days to spare before it all kicks off again next week so I'm having an "organise the new storage" in the cubbyhole kind of a day with the intention of having another major clear out...coffee...cake and black bin bags at the ready.
See you all tomorrow
Hugs Kath xxx


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sharing The Christmas Cake Love...

Hi folks...things are looking up...the new washer has arrived and has been working it's magic on the pile of dirty laundry and woohoo the Fiskars project is in the bag...
the Christmas Day soup is done and dusted and heading for the freezer...
I've been busy ticking things off the "lots to do before Christmas" list whilst on the other hand my furry companion has been taking his sleeping partner role a little too seriously...some folks have all the luck...
and in reply to lots of e-mail requests I'm sharing the Christmas Cake Recipe...

12oz Self Raising Flour
1 Level Tsp. Mixed Spice
1/2 Level Tsp Nutme
6oz Caster Sugar
17oz Sultanas (or mixed fruit)
2oz Glace Cherries
4oz Mixed Peel
2 Large or 3 Medium Eggs
6oz Margarine
9 Tablespoons of Milk
1 Tsp Almond Essence
Sieve flour, nutmeg and mixed spice into a bowl.  Add all the remaining ingredients to the flour and beat until the mixture is well combined and has a soft dropping consistency. You may need to add a little more milk at this stage. Line a cake tin with non stick baking parchment, spoon in the mixture and bake at 170 or 150 Fan for 1.1/2 to 2 hours.
I'm no Mary Berry and I'm not trying to teach my Grandma to suck eggs but here are a few little tips I've learned over the years...
1. wash the cherries and dry with a soft cloth before adding to the mix (prevents them sinking to the bottom of the cake as it bakes).
2. Wrap thick brown paper around the outside of the cake tin and tie in place with string...this prevents the outside edge of the cake from over-baking.
3. After one hour cover the top of the cake with baking parchment to stop it going too brown.
4. The cooking time really depends on your oven...so check the cake after 1.1/2 hours and at 5 minute intervals thereafter until the skewer comes out clean and woohoo your cake is ready.
I'll be back tomorrow to finally share the Grungeboard Waste Project
Hugs Kath xxx

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Farewell Old Friend...

Hi folks...bah humbug...right on cue the Christmas gremlins have taken up residence at Chez Kath again...last year my faithful old Kenwood food mixer went to appliance heaven and yesterday for no apparent reason Mr Zanussi decided to join him...the one appliance that we all take for granted...has washed rinsed and spun for the last time...
now the death of the dishwasher would be a major inconvenience but the washing machine going kaput is an absolute disaster...we all know how quickly the dirty laundry can pile up but I can't really complain...3 Zanussi washing machines in 40 odd years ain't bad going and just like the Christmas Cake recipe...I'm a stick with what you know kind of girl so time to enlist the services of Mr Google...isn't technology wonderful...ordered online at 3pm yesterday and hey presto Mr Zanussi IV will be taking up residence today between 10.00am and 10.30am...wow how's that for service with a smile from the wonderful "saving my sanity" folks at Appliance Online Dotcom. But I'll need to get acquainted with my new friend...new dials to get used to...new fangled super quick economy washes to figure out and a manual that reads like War And Peace to pore through before the washing powder and water can work their magic on my smalls. C'est la vie...as they say.
The good news is Cake No 44 came out perfect...just waiting for his marzipan and royal icing overcoat and the job's a good un she says polishing her sparkly Christmas halo...
And just when I thought I would be sharing my Grungeboard Waste Project...lo and behold...a "thought I was done with the work stuff" Fiskars project has jumped right to the top of the crafty queue..,.
so I'm back in the cubbyhole for a big girl knickers...lots of coffee and a Costco Mince Pie or two kind of a day and just when you think you've had enough bad luck for one day...this happened...
but hey life would be a tad boring if everything went to plan
See you later
Hugs Kath xxx

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Christmas Cookathon...

Hi folks..with only 10 days left until the big day...crikey I feel as though I'm on a runaway Christmas train...time to head to the kitchen and nail the Christmas Cake...
I know what you're thinking...it should have been made a month ago but this is my foolproof Golden Christmas Cake...a recipe I found in Woman's Own in 1970...the year I was married and I've been making it ever since...surely this is not going to be the year it all goes horribly wrong....Cake No 44 ready for the oven to work it's magic...
and the modern day spatula is just too darned efficient compared to the wooden spoon of olden days leaving barely enough for that nostalgic Christmas pastime...licking the bowl...happy childhood memories of running home from school praying that Mum hadn't got round to doing the washing up...
And whilst the cake is baking...I'm nipping back to the cubbyhole to finish off my "waste not want not" Grungeboard project...
using up the last remnants of one of my all time Tim Holtz favourite Paper Stash packs...the gorgeous Merriment which I believe has now been discontinued....bah humbug on that one but...
no doubt Mr TH will be releasing equally gorgeous papers to tempt us at CHA in January so no point in hoarding old stuff...out with the old and in with the new is my motto and if everything goes according to plan I'll be back tomorrow to share probably what will be my last Christmas project of 2014 and a "I've done it again" gorgeous Christmas Cake...she says confidently.
Hugs Kath xxx

Sunday, December 14, 2014

"12 Tags of 2014"...December

Hi Folks...another year of 12 Tags done and dusted...doesn't time fly when you're having fun and I know I say this every time but this one has to be right up there as one of my favourites...
and hey just a teeny bit of adapt and overcome this time round...


 filed away in the 2014 Inspiration Bible...
And before I head off to the kitchen to start the great big Christmas Cook-athon...perhaps I can sneak in a little bit more playtime with the Grungeboard Waste...
See you all tomorrow
Hugs Kath xxx

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