Thursday, 23 December 2010

Merry Christmas from Me!

Just popping by to wish all my blog readers a Merry Christmas!
I am off for a well earned Christmas rest, the presents are wrapped and my work is done.

Hope you all have a lovely Christmas, see you in the new year!
Thanks so much to everyone who has read by blog and bought my jewellery this year.


Pin It

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

shop updates

A quick update of some new jewellery in my shops, stop by in January for my sale!
From the 22nd - 30th December (whilst I am away) I will be offering Free Shipping on Etsy. 

Happy Christmas everyone :)

Pin It

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Snowed Under!

I feel like I have been snowed under recently, with the weather and with shipping out jewellery orders (thank you to everyone that has given me their custom this Christmas) so my blog has been a tad neglected. Have you made mince pies since I last blogged?

I have made another batch since then, with slightly different pastry, delicious again.

We have had lots and lots of snow over the weekend, about 6-7 inches on the ground which is a lot considering the weather said 'light snow.'

Everyone has probably seen lots of snow pics but here are a few from me, and you get to see my new house a bit too. We are hoping to get away to Kent for Christmas, fingers crossed the roads are ok!

PS - Today is the last day to order from my shops for shipping tomorrow, after that I will be going on holiday til the 30th December.

Pin It

Monday, 13 December 2010

Easy Peasy Mince Pies

I love homemade mince pies, shop bought ones are always disappointing, too much filling and horrible dry pastry. Mince pies are also very satisfying to make, they seem like a big achievement but they can be really easy.

I was given a jar of homemade mincemeat which went into these pies, it was much lovelier than shop bought - not too sweet, boozy and well spiced.

The pastry contains no liquid, just butter, flour and sugar. A lot of butter, which is what makes it stick together. The resulting pastry case is very close to shortbread but crisper and sweeter. I think these took me just over an hour to make, most of the time was spent because I had to bake in two batches.

They are not the prettiest mince pies ever, not neat but what I like to call 'rustic'. They taste brilliant though, which is what matters!

I played around with the mincemeat, the first batch had pure mincemeat but the second I added some chopped hazlenuts and grated apple (spotted that tip on Kirstie and Phil's Christmas) which added lovely texture and also meant I could eke out the mincemeat more.

Makes approximately 16 - 18 mince pies
adapted from BBC Good Food

225g very cold butter
350g plain flour
100g granulated or caster sugar
1 jar (about 300g) mincemeat
egg or milk to brush over tops

Add your flour to a large mixing bowl, then grate in all of your butter. Grating cold butter means that you have finer strands in your flour which allows you to incorporate it better. Rub into the flour til you have a texture like fine crumble. Mix in your sugar and start to knead into a dough, the butter will be warmer now and so you will be able to work into a dough. Try not to add any liquid as your pastry will shrink in the oven later on.
Once it starts to form knead briefly and it is ready to use.

Preaheat oven to 200c (180c fan) or gas mark 6.
Lightly grease a nonstick cup tin, you don't have to but I wasn't going to trust my tin entirely after last year!
To form the bottoms you can either form walnut sized pieces of dough, flatten and then spread out into each cup to form a base. Or you can roll out the dough carefully (using plenty of flour) and use pastry cutters. I found the pastry cutters a better method although a little more time consuming. Form tops using pastry cutters or small sized balls squashed out.
You can also go for a lattice effect (which may look neater than mine, I am sure) or top with chopped nuts - both of which are delicious.

Brush the tops with beaten egg or milk, bake for 20 minutes til golden brown.
Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes before taking them out of the tins.

Pin It


Christmas has arrived in our house!
I have baked a batch of mince pies (recipe coming up in the next bloggage), the tree is up and the cats are very (too) interested in it. We have a real tree this year and it looks so lovely in our olde worlde house.

Pin It

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Christmas posting dates - USA & Canada & Eastern Europe extended


Just popping in with a quick reminder about last order dates for my jewellery shops.

I have a lovely day off tomorrow (yay) so I'll be able to extend my last order date for USA, Canada and Eastern Europe to the end of today - 9th December. As long as I receive your order by tomorrow morning then it will be posted in time to arrive for Christmas.

Other dates as follows:

Western Europe - 12th December
UK First Class - 19th December
UK Special Delivery - 22nd December (at extra cost, please contact me beforehand).

Thank you to everyone who has shopped with me so far, and those of you who will!


Pin It

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

my favourite shops - christmas gift guide

I spend a lot of time on Etsy, and I have to say probably a lot of money too. It is hard being a seller because you find yourself amongst all this loveliness all the time! I have lots of handmade things so I thought I would share with you some of my favourite sellers, just in time for Christmas!

Moo Cow Hand Knits

not only is moo awesome but she also knits the best! I have one of her oatmeal drop stitch scarves, a beautiful purple swing top , rose corsages and a cuddly cowl neck jumper. She also handknitted a beaded purple wrap for my wedding, and I have just ordered some pumpkin coloured armwarmers too! I have more moo things than I thought I did!

Fabulous fabric flowers!

A cute little orange spice flower adorns my windowsill in the living room and some ffflowers nearly always find their way amongst my christmas shopping. I have a tendency to kill every plant that I own, I have so far only kept one alive for about 3 years, with about a dozen being killed in that time, so I much prefer these because they always look fresh and nice. Helen also makes little brooches, ooh and hairpins.

Sweet Treats Bakery

The yummiest foodie shop on Etsy. I have some smoked salted caramels winging their way to me right now, they aren't for a gift, I'm keeping them! I have bought their marshmallows before and they are to die for, the lemon meringue in particular. Go stock up on sweet things, I want to dunk my head in their caramel sauce.

Ink Me Up

Beautiful hand drawings turned into prints, lavendar bags and totes. I have a litle chicky drawing, a wren print and an avocet print, all beautiful! These are really well received gifts for bird lovers and the new kitties, chickens and foxes are cute!

Asking for Trouble

Pure cute! I have bought notebooks as gifts before and the little book marks, and cards. I love the Jammy Dodger mug!

Quercus Silver

I couldn't not include Su, she made my wedding ring! I really ought to buy some more of her jewellery, I love the juicy colours and also the simple silver work. I have my eye on some of her gold work too.

I hope you've found something lovely here and will shop handmade this Christmas, I am! :)

Pin It

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

wordless wednesday - 1st December

Pin It