Sunday, December 17, 2017

Homemade Christmas Treats

 
 
I am resharing two amazing, palate tickling recipes for homemade Christmas treats. If you were wondering what treats to make to surprise your friends and family for Christmas, think no longer for Boyana's has just offered a fantastic solution.
 
 
Hot Chocolate on a stick
  for 10 chocolate cubes
  • 200 g chocolate (i use dark, but also milk chocolate can be used)
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 5 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
  • 10 ice-cream or lollipop sticks
 
Melt the chocolate in a small saucepan over a pot of simmering water. Remove from heat, add the cocoa and sugar and stir until everything is equally incorporated. If it’s too thick, put the saucepan back over the hot water and continue stirring. Be careful not to let any water come in the chocolate, because it will seize-up.
When everything is mixed well you’ll have a thick, but still pourable mixture. Pour it in the ice cube tray, put a stick in the middle of every cube and leave at room temperature to harden. When the cubes are completely cooled and hardened, remove them from the ice cube tray and keep at room temperature in a air-tight container.
When you want a cup of hot chocolate, just dip the cube in a cup of hot milk and stir until it is dissolved.
You can add spices like cinnamon or cloves to the mixture or even a pinch of hot paprika for a Mexican hot chocolate.


 
 

QUINCE IN SYRUP
for a 400 ml jar:
  • 1 large quince
  • 300 ml water
  • 125 g brown sugar
  • 1 sachet vanilla sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • a few strips of lemon zest
  • 4 – 5 slices of fresh ginger
  • 2 tea bags black tea (I used earl grey)
Peel and core the quince and cut it into thin slices. Put it in a pot with everything else, except the tea bags and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a bare simmer. Add the tea bags and and let steep for 5 minutes, then remove them.
Cook the quince on low for 20 minutes, covered and then 10 more minutes uncovered, or until the slices are tender but don’t fall apart and the syrup has thickened a little. Remove the lemon zest and ginger slices.
Pour the quince slices and the syrup into a clean jar, close the lid, gently tap on the counter to release air bubbles and leave to cool to room temperature. Store in the fridge for a few weeks.



Recipes and images courtesy of Sitno Seckano.

Friday, December 15, 2017

4 Cute Christmas Crochet Ornaments - free patterns

 
 
Wow! There are so many adorable Christmas ornaments  shared on the Internet it is a wonder how I get some work done at all. I am constantly distracted by these cuties popping up in my feed.
 
 
What I chose for today:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Happy weekend!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Rustic Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas


In line with our Rustic Christmas Decorating we chose some fresh ideas how to use gifts of nature to wrap your gifts for Christmas.

The winter red berry bush  or mistletoe is an effective detail to add as a décor that will make gifts pop, especially if used on brown or white paper and tied with twine.  


 



Pinecones are the natural first choice and they have literally flooded the internet. Personally, I never grow tired of them and always mind to have a fresh supply, so our trips in the woods always end up with heavy loads of pinecones.

Here are some fabulous ideas how to use them:


 
 
 
Recycled paper with some greenery and "woodsy & leafy" things always catch attention and subtly point out conscious consumption and respect of nature.
 



 
All relevant links of images can be found on my board here

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Decorating for Christmas - The Rustic Lover

Via Pinterest

On our other website's blog,  we have started a short Christmas decorating series. Last week we wrote about how to  decorate for Christmas the traditional way, but today we'll focus on the Rustic Lover.

The sole word "Rustic" implies the smell of wood and pines, burlap, weathered antiques and warm, soft natural textures.

Via Domestically Speaking

The rustic Christmas tree is calmer in tones embracing ornaments in natural colors - those being white, beige, brown, grey with a great amount of golden or silver sprinkles, although red as a festive color is also included.

Via AnExtraordinaryDay

Via Pinterest
 

 

Via theroomedit.stfi.re

Rustic decorations come from the nature. You don't need much to give your place a festive look. You need lots of pinecones, pine branches, some wood slices to hold your handles, an eye-catching arrangement of all and the magic is on.

Via Curated Interior
 
If you want to make a fairytale fireplace, arrange the same gifts of nature into a wooden crate, add colorful baubles and winter berries branches.  
 
 
Wonderful Rustic DIY Ornaments
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I hope you enjoyed the post!
 


 
 
 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Christmas Crochet Patterns Sale


A quick note to let you guys know I am having a Christmas sale in my etsy shop. All individual patterns are 30% off until December 25th using the promo code CHRISTMAS2017. Hope you find something you like!

Use this link with the promo code already applied.

Monday, December 11, 2017

I've Got the Blues - Insta Feel

 
 

When on Instagram, I always go to the posts I've liked to seek for inspiration and feast my eyes on all the treasures my gallery holds. Scrolling merrily away these blues caught my eyes. Not flocked like this of course, but scattered throughout my gallery. I thought it would be fun to gather them all together and make an inspiration board.
Blue in an almost winter setting always makes me think of snow. We still haven't had any. Not in the city that is. The mountains have got their share of it. But here, huddled in the valley, we are eagerly waiting for it, searching the skies for the tiny white flakes, hoping they'll visit us soon.

(1) queen_babs (2) crochetconcupiscence (3) sibvintage 
(4) wildhoneypiedesign(5) the_art_of_dress(6) rairai_ws
(7) frompiper (8) jocelynlilangrand (9) alley_real

Friday, December 8, 2017

Crochet Flower Headband - new pattern available



This is the headband commissioned by Kindred Stitches for their special May issue, and now the pattern for it is available for sale in my etsy and ravelry shops.

You can buy the actual headband here.

I loved designing the netted headband and it is beautiful even without flowers; however the flowers along with the beads really make it stand out.






Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Crochet Jhumka Earrings - free pattern

 
 
 
Every time I see Jhumka earrings on the internet, a kind of sparkle lights up. I don't own a pair of such earrings; at least not until I decided to make crocheted ones. They are easy to make and I spent time designing the beading than actually crocheting them.
They do make a wonderful gift so you may want to save this post.
 
Materials:
I used sport yarn but with coarser weaving so it gave a bit of sturdiness to the earrings, which in this case was perfect so I needn't use any starch to make them stiff. 1.9mm hook.
 
This is just the crochet pattern - beading is not included, but at the end I do explain how I beaded them.
 
Pattern:
 
Ch5 and join to make a ring.
Rnd 1: Sc 5 in ring
Rnd 2: Sc2 in each st. (10)
Rnd 3: Repeat rnd 2 (15)
 
 
 
 
Rnd 4: sc1 in first 2 st, sc2 in next; repeat all round (20)
Rnd 5: repeat rnd 4 (26)
Rnd 6: sc in first 2 st, sc2tog in next; repeat all round (20)
 

 
 
Rnd 7: Ch 4 and make a picot, sk 1 and sc in next st. Repeat this pattern around. You will end with 10 picots in the end.
 
Cut yarn, tie knots, weave ends. Jhumka done! One more to go.
 
Now, for the beading:
I used glass, plastic and pearl beads.
Made a crown around the center of the earring and then combining plastic and glass beads on four sides of it - made strings - a bit longer so they follow the shape of the earring but do not peek beyond the picot. Sewed on 4 pearl beads between the strings. There are about 2 seed beads on each of the picots. For the top I also used a pearl bead which has a chain on the bottom and it goes through the Jhumka bead and on the other end I also added another such pearl bead.
 
It is actually not so complicated as it may sound.
 
 
 
 
 


 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Countriside Inspired Embroidery Art - Insta Love


 
 
I couldn't wait for Monday to come to show you one of my recent instagram discoveries!
In my pursuit for beauty, inspiration, eye and brain pleasing aesthetics I came upon Jane's stunning landscape pins. Quite out of the ordinary. My goodness! They are stunning little masterpieces, many resembling the art of Monet to my delight.



Now a proper introduction to the master stitcher - Jane Mitchell-Finch - a textile designer and her accomplice in art -her husband Ed, taken from their blog.

We trained in graphic design at Norwich School of Art when cut & paste was simply that - we used paper, pencils and pens to create our ideas. Though the years have passed and technology now plays a role in our lives, we're still as excited by art and design as we were then.


Having moved to a quiet corner of Suffolk, we draw inspiration from the countryside around us and the coast that's only a short drive away. We hand craft items using found objects and materials including: hand-painted pebbles, fabric collages, free machine embroidered pictures and greenwood carved spoons.

My personal favourites aside from the landscape pins are her adorable birds & insects, fruits & veggies and sewing machine brooches.






Explore more of Jane's world here.