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181  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Re: My book pine tree on: November 08, 2010 05:38:12 AM
I love it, saw something similar in a magazine made out of a paperback book but as someone who cannot bring themselves to 'damage' books I just couldn't do it...maybe now I've seen yours as well I'll give it a go Smiley
182  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Re: Felt decorations! on: November 02, 2010 07:35:25 AM
Thank you! Yes, I can't wait, probably a bit early yet though Smiley
183  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Felt decorations! on: November 01, 2010 05:37:44 AM
I made a few Christmas decorations last year but wasn't happy with some of them, I sort of ran out of time! So I thought I'd start earlier this year  Roll Eyes They're all my own design, I'm having fun doing them even if it means I get distracted from other things...oops. Here's just a few of what I've made so far...Love to see what you think!






184  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: microwaveable recipes on: October 31, 2010 10:55:54 AM
There's the classic steamed sponge pudding - perfect in the microwave (I'm better at puddings than mains I'm afraid Smiley ) It's so simple, I often make this when we suddenly decide we want pudding in the next 5 mins!

3oz butter/margarine
3oz sugar
3oz self-raising flour
2 eggs
...plus whatever flavourings you want!

Cream the butter and sugar, beat in the egg, fold in the flour and loosen with a drop of milk if you need to. I often put a couple of teaspoons of cinnamon, mixed spices etc in with the flour and then put chopped apples, sultanas and cranberries in the bottom of a greased bowl, pour on the mix and microwave for about 4 mins - you'll know when it's done.

You can also use golden syrup to make a good old-fashioned treacle sponge (in place of the fruit) with the zest of 1 lemon in the mix; or try cocoa powder in with the flour and chocolate spread in the bottom. Mmm!
185  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: What's for supper? on: October 31, 2010 10:47:23 AM
Garlic-chilli beef with pak choi, water chestnuts and bamboo shoots...mm! Maybe not traditional Hallowe'en feast though...
186  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Quick question about homemade tea bags on: October 30, 2010 02:13:14 AM
I have made tea bags a few times and having experimented with a few different ideas, decided that the paper bags really are the best. I have tried different materials and some have been more successful than others, I did once use a really fine mesh that did ok but in the end the paper ones have always worked out the best. I also prefer that they are biodegradable and you can buy the unbleached paper as well if you're feeling very eco-conscious! Look on ebay etc, I think I paid something ridiculous like 1.20 for 150 teabags! I just got the ones that you fold over and I either seal them with a stich (when I attach my labels) or a staple.

What tea are you making btw? My favourite was a lovely light Christmassy one with white tea leaves, orange and lemon zest, ginger root, cardamom and various other spices
187  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Misc. Gift Idea Brain Blockage / Christmas gift for 14 year old boy? on: October 27, 2010 06:43:24 AM
Ok, I have plenty of ideas for the rest of my family but I'm struggling to think of something to make for my nephew. Last Christmas he was the only one I didn't make something for because I genuinely thought he'd turn his nose up at a handmade present, but he looked very disappointed so I'm making something for him this year! The question is...what?

He's very bright, likes playing computer games, watching TV, reading books - horror, fantasy, and plays rugby - basically fairly typical! We're very close and I want to give him something he'll love but I'm stuck! So, any ideas? I really need some help! Thanks!
188  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / Saffron in M&P soap? on: December 09, 2009 02:14:13 AM
Hi, I 've not posted here before but I have a question about M&P soap that I can't find the answer ton on the FAQs! I'm making soap for xmas pressies and thought it would be nice to use saffron to colour some and make it look lovely...but will it discolour white m&p base? I have got a tester sitting next to me but I can't really wait weeks to find out if it's going to go brown! I just wondered if anyone knew the answer? Thanks!
189  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Re: Looking for suggestions - handicapped child on: December 01, 2009 03:22:56 AM
Hey, there's loads you can do with him. My mum used to work with disabled kids and they always loved crafting for Christmas! Try stars made from lolly sticks (think you call them popsicle sticks in US?) You can buy them from craft shops either natural wood or pre-coloured; then you paint them if needed (just dip them in trays of paint) or just cover them in glitter (dip in watered PVA glue then have fun with glitter!) Make them into stars by sticking 3 together in the middle (like an asterix *) and hang them everywhere! They look great hanging in groups and they're so easy to do, hand-eye co-ordination not needed!
If you want to make gifts with him you could try making papier mache bowls or animals? Blow up a balloon to whatever size you want then cover with scraps of multicoloured tissue paper dipped in a mix of water and glue. If you want to make bowls only cover half of the balloon, to make animals do the whole thing. Pop the balloon when its dry and add googly eyes, pipecleaner wings etc for whatever animal you're after. The bowls look great filled with wrapped sweets.
Have fun!
190  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Fleecy rice/corn bags on: November 03, 2009 06:26:56 AM
Firstly I am new to this site but I am loving it, there are so many inspiring ideas on here!
Ok, I want to make some rice bags (the sort you put in the microwave) for my family and friends, and I was thinking that I would make them from fleece as it is so cosy Smiley But I saw somewhere on here that it's best to make them out of cotton as synthetic materials might melt in the microwave...It does sort of make sense but I'm sure I've seen fleecy ones in the shops - what should I use?!
Thanks in advance! 
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