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Christmas

Our Christmas Eve & Christmas Day 2020

Merry Christmas 2019

I set the date of this post to Christmas Day 2020 so we can easily find it when we want to look back, but it didn’t get written until 11th January 2021.

December last year was hard for us all as we had a death in the family. My son’s dad, who was also a second dad to KayCee and Ella and a dear friend to Ant and me, went into the hospital with Covid-19 and didn’t make it home.

Christmas Eve

Covid-19 cases were on the rise in December and the country was split into different tiers.
This meant no Christmas Eve party and restricted numbers in households on Christmas day.
We still had a buffet tea and KayCee and Ella got dressed up. It made a change to have such a quiet Christmas Eve.

KayCee and Ella Christmas dresses 2020
Christmas Eve pjs

A Quiet Christmas Day 2020

We usually have Grandad, Jervais and Jerome for dinner on Christmas day but this year we just had Jerome.
Grandad and Jervais had dinner with Kellyann and Nanny.

Despite everything, we enjoyed our Christmas day. I just hope, though, that this year Christmas will be back to normal.

Christmas Morning

Aiden’s presents
KayCee’s Presents
Ella’s Presents
Ant’s Presents
My Presents

Christmas Dinner

Have A Creative Christmas With Design Bundles

merry1

This is a collaborative post.

When I got my Cricut in February 2019, my first project was to make a wedding gift for my cousin and his wife.
I didn’t really know what I was doing, having never used a Cricut before but I managed to figure it out, eventually!
The first SVG file I ever used was from Design Bundles; as soon as I saw it I knew it was perfect for what I needed.

Butterfly Bouquet Cutout Framed personalised wedding gift

Early Christmas Decorating

We put our decorations up on November 29th. We’ve never put them up in November before and I always said I never would! However, after the year we’ve all had thanks to Covid-19, we all needed something fun to do and something to look forward to.

Gnome tree decoration from Design Bundles
I love these gnomes. They’re super easy to make.

Everyone in the country seems to have gotten into the Christmas spirit a bit earlier than usual. We’re grabbing hold of it like a lifeline and even though it’s not going to be a normal Christmas, it can still be a brilliant one.

A Design Bundles Crafty Christmas

Christmas is my absolute favourite time of the year and one of the things I look forward to is crafting with the children.
We used to do lots of different crafts when they younger and I loved spending the time with them. Nowadays they prefer social media to crafting with mum but I can sometimes cajole them into crafting with me!

I downloaded loads of Christmas svgs from Design Bundles. They have so many you’re spoilt for choice! I use Design Bundles a lot so I decided to sign up for the Plus Membership. I can now choose new files every month using my Plus Credits 🙂

We’ve made tree decorations, 3D layered scenes, Christmas cards and Christmas t-shirts.

3D layered deer scene from Design Bundles

You can find tutorials below for some of the things we’ve been making.

3D Layered Penguins Scene Tutorial

This 3D layered penguin scene is simple and fast to make. All you need is a Cricut or other cutting machine, the 3D Christmas SVG papercraft bundle from Design Bundles, your choice of coloured/glittered card for each layer and some glue.
An optional extra is to add some wired fairy lights that you can put inside the scene behind the first inner layer. The finished product looks lovely when the lights are on.

3D layered penguin scene

Step 1 – Cutting

Cut all the pieces using your cutting machine. If you’re not sure how to use an SVG file, I have an in-depth tutorial here.

I used:

Black card – 2 outer layers
Silver glitter card – inner layer 1
Cream card – inner layer 2
Light blue card – inner layer 3
Dark blue card – Inner layer 4

Design Bundles penguin 3d scene

Step 2 – Assembling

Glue the 2 out layers together using the flap on the front piece.

mmm

Step 3 – Insert inner layers.

Starting with the back layer, insert all inner layers by slotting the tabs into the holes.

Penguin 3D scene - adding the layers
Design Bundles - Penguin 3D scene - adding the layers
Penguin 3D scene - adding the layers
Design Bundles - Penguin 3D scene - adding the layers

Step 4 – Closing the frame

All you need to do now is to apply glue to the tab on the outer back piece and stick the front penguin layer to the back.

Glue the flap

Christmas Tree Decorations Tutorial

This is a great project to use up all those card scraps; if you’re anything like me, you’ll have boxes of them!

We made our bauble decorations to go in the kitchen window rather than on the tree and they look lovely when they spin and catch the light.

All you need is scraps of card, glue, ribbon/string and adhesive gems.

Step 1 – Cut your pieces

I resized all the bauble files when I got them in Design Space because they were huge!
I resized them to around 10cms and changed the colour from black, making each design a different colour so they would be placed on different mats by Design Space.
If we were going to hang them on the tree, I’d have made them smaller but ours are going in the kitchen window so we need them a bit bigger.

Bauble files in Design Space

Step 2 – Duplicate and Flip

Now click on each bauble in turn, right click and duplicate then with the duplicated piece selected, click on Flip and flip the ornament horizontally.

Flip the duplicate piece horizontally

Once you’ve saved your work, click the Make It button in the top right corner of Design Space and cut all the pieces.

Step 3 – Assembling and Decorating

Put glue on the back of one the pairs of ornaments then stick the other piece to it, making sure they’re lined perfectly.

Using adhesive gems or any decorations you choose, decorate both sides.
If you’re using glitter card like me, it’s a good idea to put a dab of glue on the card where you want a gem to go, even though they’re adhesive, they sometimes fall off when put on glitter card.

Hang them using ribbon or Christmassy string.

Iron-On Vinyl T-Shirts Tutorial

My last tutorial today uses iron-on glittery vinyl to create some Christmas Movie watching t-shirts for KayCee and Ella.
Now before I start, I have to say I’m no expert when it comes to working with iron-on vinyl. I was really excited to try it when I first got the Cricut but I didn’t enjoy it the way I did when working with card.

I haven’t mastered layering yet so this is a one colour vinyl tutorial. I have to say, though, I do love the glitter and the svg files I got from Design Bundles made this a quick and easy craft.

KayCee and Ella wearing thier Christmas movie watching t-shirts

Step 1 – Choose Your SVG file

Go to Design Bundles and in the search box, search for Christmas Movie. This search term is enough to give you hundreds of results.

Choose your design and add it to Design Space.

Set the size and click Make It.

Step 3 – Cutting Your Design

The most important thing to remember at this stage is to MIRROR your design. I totally forgot with the second t-shirt and I wasted a whole sheet of glitter iron-on!

Design Space glitter iron-on settings

Click Continue then select Glitter Iron-On for the material.

When the cut has finished, weed away the excess material and your design is ready to be put on the t-shirt.

Step 4 – Applying The Iron-On

I used the Heat Press 2 with the following settings for Glitter Iron-on, a Cricut t-shirt and using the Cricut Easy Press mat:

Heat press 2 settings 1

Centre your design on the t-shirt and use the Easy Press to stick the design to the t-shirt. Let it cool before trying to peel off the carrier sheet.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the tutorials. I’ll be back tomorrow with some free Christmas printables I made using gorgeous artwork I bought at Design Bundles 🙂

Personalised Christmas Gift Ideas

Girl wearing Mrs Claus skirt with red and white striped tights, surroundd by Christmas presents
Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? Christmas is just around the corner so you may want to start thinking about the gifts you’re going to buy for the special people in your life.
Here you’ll find a selection of personalised Christmas gift ideas for people of all ages 🙂

Personalised Christmas Gift Ideas For Her

Personalised birth flower scarf – Not On The High Street

This gorgeous pashmina can be personalised with a birth flower and a name or initials.

Personalised birth flower scarf from Not On The High Street

3D Laser engraving – ArtPix 3D

A luxurious black gift box arrives in the mail. You open it and find a flawlessly cut crystal nestled in the satin lining. It catches the light and sparkles brilliantly. The magic begins when you upload a photo to our website. ArtPix3D talented team of designers will prepare it for the etching process with state-of-the-art conversion software that transforms your 2D picture into a 3D model. The resulting 3D photo crystal is a unique work of art designed to last for over a lifetime. When you view it from the front, you’ll see your loved ones and pets depicted with incredible realism.

ArtPix 3d laser engraved crystal

For Him

Personalised dad’s superhero book – Not On The High Street

Create a superhero book all about daddy. The book can be personalised all the way through and can be from one child or numerous children.

Personalised Superdad book

Personalised engraved decanter – Prezzybox

This engraved decanter is perfect for any celebration including birthdays and father’s day.

Personalised engraved decanter

For Babies & Children

Baby’s first Christmas bauble – Studio

This gorgeous Tatty Teddy bauble can be personalised with a name on the front and your own message on the back.

Personalised Tatty Teddy baby's first Christmas bauble

Personalised Unicorn Notebook – Mulberry Bush

The unicorn lover in your life is sure to love this personalised notebook.
Also available at Mulberry Bush is a pack of personlised unicorn pencils and a personalised unicorn pencil tin to make a lovely set this Christmas.

Personalised unicorn notebook

For Teens

Personalised Rose Gold Ladies Watch – Getting Personal

Roe gold accessories are very popular with teen girls right now and this pretty watch will delight your special girl.

Rose gold personalised watch from Getting Personal

Personalised Gaming Light – Menkind

A retro style games controller light with six colours to choose from and can be personalised with upto 12 characters.

Gaming controller light from Menkind

Our Christmas Day 2019 Photos

Our Christmas Day 2019 wasn’t as enjoyable for me as it usually is.
If you know me at all, you know that I LOVE Christmas and plan for it all year.
This year was no different except that I couldn’t enjoy it as I usually do because the hernia pain that started on Christmas Eve carried on for the whole of Christmas Day.

I couldn’t move much and everyone else had to clean up the mess, set the table for dinner and clean the kitchen afterwards.
Ant cooks our delicious Christmas dinner and I always clean the kitchen after. I felt terrible having to leave it to everyone else this year.
Also, like Christmas Eve, I didn’t get to take many photos and I’m sad that I didn’t get any of KayCee passing out the presents.

A&E On Boxing Day

The pain was getting worse and I ended up sleeping on the reclining chair as I couldn’t make it upstairs.
The next morning, instead of going to Derbyshire to visit my family, I had to go to A&E. I spent all of Boxing Day in the hospital until around 7 pm when The good thing is that I was allowed to go home after the surgeon was able to put everything back in place without surgery 🙂
The bad bit was not being able to see my family and not having any photos to do my usual Boxing Day photo post.

Ella - Christmas day 2019
Ella
Aiden - Christmas day 2019
Aiden
Christmas presents under the tree
We didn’t go overboard with the presents this year as KayCee and Ella had new cabin beds last week and we had to buy a new cooker the week before Christmas due to both ovens not working!
Delicious Christmas dinner cooked by the super wonderful husband
Christmas dinner
KayCee, Ella, Jervais and Jerome playing board games after dinner

Aiden’s Presents

KayCee’s Presents

Ella’s Presents

Ant’s Presents

My Presents

Merry Christmas 2019

My family and I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas 2019 and we hope 2020 is a wonderful year for you and yours.

Merry Christmas 2019

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Music composed by Hugh Martin, lyrics by Ralph Blane

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on,
our troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on, 
our troubles will be miles away.

Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.

Through the years 
We all will be together,
If the Fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
And have yourself A merry little Christmas now.

2016 – Merry Christmas
2017 – Merry Christmas
2018 – Merry Christmas

Gingerbread Fudge

Welcome to day 24, and the final day of our Countdown to Christmas Sweet Treats recipes.
Today we’re making gingerbread fudge.

Gingerbread Fudge Ingredients

  • 230g Condensed milk
  • 300g White chocolate
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Method

  1. Cut a piece of non-stick baking paper to the same size as your baking tray. We used a –x– cm baking tray.
    Using a damp cloth, wipe the cookie tray before applying the baking paper. This will stop it from moving around.
  2. Place the chocolate and condensed milk in a microwavable bowl and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring each time until it’s all blended and smooth.
  3. Pour into the prepared baking tin and spread out the mixture.
  4. Refrigerate until set, approximately 2 hours, depending on the thickness of your fudge.
  5. When set, remove the fudge from the tin using the baking parchment and cut into bitesize pieces.
    Store in an airtight container or package into cellophane bags and give as gifts.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our countdown to Christmas sweet treat recipes and we wish you all a very happy Christmas.

Minty Grinch Bark Recipe

Welcome to day 23 of our Countdown to Christmas Sweet Treats recipes.
Today we’re making minty Grinch bark.

Grinch bark

Bark Ingredients

  • 300g White chocolate
  • Green food colouring
  • Peppermint flavouring
  • Green chocolate beans
  • Red heart sprinkles

Method

  1. Cut a piece of non-stick baking paper to the same size as your baking tray. We used a –x– cm baking tray.
    Using a damp cloth, wipe the cookie tray before applying the baking paper. This will stop it from moving around.
  2. Put the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove the bowl and stir the chocolate.
  3. Microwave on high for 30 seconds then stir again. Repeat until all the chocolate has melted.
  4. Add the peppermint flavouring and the green food colouring to the melted white chocolate and mix well.
  5. If you prefer, you can place the chocolate in a heat-safe bowl over a pan of simmering water and melt it that way. Make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the simmering water.
  6. Pour the chocolate into the prepared tin and spread until even.
  7. Sprinkle the green chocolate beans and the red hearts then refrigerate the bark until set.
  8. Remove from the fridge and using the baking paper take the bark and peel off the baking paper. Break into pieces and serve or package into Christmas themed cellophane bags to give as gifts.
Grinch bark

Tomorrow, for our final countdown to Christmas recipe we’re making gingerbread fudge.

Oreo Fudge Recipe

Welcome to day 22 of our Countdown to Christmas Sweet Treats recipes.
Today we’re making Oreo fudge.
Now, I’ll admit that this isn’t the most appetising looking fudge in the world but OMG, the flavour more than makes up for the muddy looking mess!

Oreo Fudge Ingredients

  • 397g Condensed milk
  • 24 Oreo cookies
  • 300g White chocolate

Method

  1. Cut a piece of non-stick baking paper to the same size as your baking tray. We used a –x– cm baking tray.
    Using a damp cloth, wipe the cookie tray before applying the baking paper. This will stop it from moving around.
  2. Place the chocolate and condensed milk in a microwavable bowl and melt for 30-seconds then stirring.
  3. Continue melting in 15-second increments and stirring well each time until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Keep 4 Oreos for the topping and place the rest of the Oreos into a plastic bag. Use a rolling pin to break up the Oreos.
  5. Add the crushed Oreos to the fudge and mix well until combined.
  6. Pour into the prepared baking tin and spread out the mixture.
  7. Break the 4 Oreos into pieces and sprinkle over the top of the fudge, pressing them in gently.
  8. Refrigerate until set, approximately 2 hours, depending on the thickness of your fudge.
  9. When set, remove the fudge from the tin using the baking parchment and cut into bitesize pieces.
    Store in an airtight container or package into cellophane bags and give as gifts.

Tomorrow’s recipe is for Grinch bark.

Toffee Popcorn & Marshmallow Bark Recipe

Welcome to day 21 of our Countdown to Christmas Sweet Treats recipes.
Today we’re making maple bacon popcorn bark.

toffee popcorn and marshmallow bark

Toffee Popcorn & Marshmallow Bark Ingredients

  • 600g Milk chocolate
  • 100g Toffee popcorn
  • 100g Mini marshmallows

Method

  1. Cut a piece of non-stick baking paper to the same size as your baking tray. We used a –x– cm baking tray.
    Using a damp cloth, wipe the cookie tray before applying the baking paper. This will stop it from moving around.
  2. Put the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove the bowl and stir the chocolate.
  3. Microwave on high for 30 seconds then stir again. Repeat until all the chocolate has melted.
  4. If you prefer, you can place the chocolate in a heat-safe bowl over a pan of simmering water and melt it that way. Make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the simmering water.
  5. Pour into the prepared tin and spread until even.
  6. Sprinkle over the popcorn and marshmallows and press gently into the chocolate.
  7. Refrigerate the bark until set.
  8. Remove from the fridge and using the baking paper take the bark and peel off the baking paper. Break into pieces and serve or package into Christmas themed cellophane bags to give as gifts.
toffee popcorn and marshmallow bark

Tomorrow we’re making Oreo fudge.