Tag: christmas

Oh, Christmas Tree

It’s finally beginning to look festive at Crafty Chai towers. As our house is snug & compact, we have to get a small tree. For the last few years we’ve bought our tree from Appleton Christmas Barn, which is as awesome as it sounds! It really helps to get me in the Christmas spirit because as soon as you arrive, Christmas is all around you & can’t help but love it!

Festive RibbonAs soon as you enter, you hit with warmth from the wood burning stove by the entrance. Sadly, it wasn’t needed much when we bought our tree last week, but it has been essential in years gone by. They have absolutely everything you could possibly need to get your house ready for Christmas. I love the range of ribbons and stamps that they have, as it’s the little touches that help make Christmas extra special.

Christmas stampsI couldn’t resist buying a holly stamp this time, which has adorned plenty of envelopes, cards & gifts. As we only tend to go when we’re buying our tree, some of the products had already sold out. So we missed out on getting some new festive candles, but they always have plenty of games that are perfect for when the family comes round.

Christmas BaublesOur Christmas tree never really has a theme, as I made the mistake of having a silver & lilac theme one year and it was just horrid. Plus, our decorations are an amalgamation of both mine & my OH’s decorations from when we were single, with a few new ones that we’ve bought since we’ve been together. I prefer a full and colourful tree, with as much clashing of colours & styles as possible!

Appleton Reindeer Sleepy reindeerFor the second year running there were reindeer at Appleton Christmas Barn. It’s so great to see them up close. They were quite sleepy after a busy day of being festive and I was quite impressed with my iPhone photography skills and catching this one mid yawn! Cute or what?! We weren’t sure how Poppy was going to react to the tree, as she gets obsessed with things that move when she pokes them with her nose that ends in her barking at it, poking it really hard & running away. So when we got the tree home, we just put it up and left it for a few days before decorating it. Poppy couldn’t be less bothered with it if she tried! Once again, I worried over nothing. Will I never learn?!

Icelandic SantaWe decided to put our Icelandic Santa in pride of place on top of the tree this year, after Poppy gave his beard a little chew. I love this little guy! Our tree is shorter than ones we’ve bought in previous years, but it’s much bushier, which led to bauble issues! If I spaced them out, it looked bare, but some of the bigger ones kept touching. In the end, I just put on as many as I could get away with.

Cath Kidston SantaObviously my little Cath Kidston Santa decoration took pride of place. I’m still really impressed with those neat little stitches! Does anyone else find that the sap from the tree really makes their hands itch? I always have to stop and wash them so I don’t keep scratching them.

Christmas TreeIt was so sunny today that I really struggled to get a decent picture of the tree, so I’ll add one to Instagram over the weekend. We decided not to use any breakable baubles because of Poppy so we’ve mainly got wooden ones, which are my favourite to be honest. The only problem with a small tree is that you can only use so much tinsel. I am such a sucker for tinsel! Love that stuff!

Be MerryMy OH bought this banner last year and it’s one of my favourite decorations. I love the colour of the print and think it’s such a good way to reuse an old book. Plus, it uses the cute little pegs. I love them! I’ve seen quite a few peg-related tutorials recently so might have attack them with some glitter glue and washi tape!

Almost all the presents are wrapped, almost all the cards are written and posted and we’ll be buying the most important thing tomorrow – the alcohol! Can never have enough in my book! One of the things I love about Christmas is that it’s universally acceptable to drink prosecco with breakfast! Bon apetit!

Christmas Wish List – Nature Friendly

Christmas Wish List - Nature Friendly

It’s so easy to give throw-away gifts at Christmas. You know what I mean, the type you get because you don’t know what else to get or because they were on 3 for 2 at Boots. So why not be a bit inventive & find something a little more eco-friendly and a little bit different? (Because how many No 7 make-up cases can a girl really receive?!)

Christmas Wish List - Nature Friendly

Top Row: Bee Hotel. Book Brooch.

Middle Row: Dog Jumper.

Bottom Row: Lavender Bunny. Beano Paper Chain.

All these gifts are available from Folksy, as are many other sustainable and nature friendly products. Buying them would also support British makers too. Very ethical all round! I think they’re all really inventive ideas and love the Bee Hotel. We have a similar one in the garden and currently have about 12 Mason bees hibernating in it! How cool is that?!

Handmade Christmas cards

Crafty Chai Wreath Christmas Cards

Crafty Chai Snowflake Christmas CardsLast week I committed myself to doing something crafty every afternoon. And after a tweet from a friend requesting some handmade Christmas cards, I knew what I had to spend my time doing. Monday afternoon was all about research & design. Some designs worked…some didn’t (like making my own paper snowflakes – A three year old could’ve done better!) Then I made some prototypes. Thursday was all about baking. Finally, I spent most of Friday making them. I made 10 for the friend who’d asked for them and another 10 for my Folksy shop.

Crafty Chai Wreath Christmas CardsEach card is unique. This is because I collect ribbon and buttons from where ever I can. A lot of it is reused. I don’t like to throw ribbon out & friends and family know & understand my button addiction! I had so much fun making the cards, despite the fact that it took all day! I didn’t think that looking for materials, putting the designs together & then sticking them to the cards could so long but it did! (Though I did watch Water for Elephants while I was doing it!)

I have now run out of the perfect sized green buttons for the Wreath card above so I’ll either have to hit up my family for more or go shopping for some! Hmmmmm…looks like a shopping trip is in order! x

Crafty Chai Christmas Tree Christmas Cards

Christmas Cake

Christmas Cake

Last year, someone in work gave me a recipe for a Christmas cake. I never got around to making it last year but this year I was determined to make one. After realising I needed brandy, I finally got everything measured out. The recipe I had showed you how to change the amount of ingredients dependent on the size of your tin. So after not receiving all the ingredients in my shopping delivery and rejigging the ingredients to compensate, I got to it.

It was surprisingly easy. Preparing the ingredients was easy and it didn’t take long to mix up. As I was pouring in the mixture, it became clear that the tin was quite small. So after some frantic texting to my Mum, she said that it would be fine to use a second tin. She even said that, traditionally,a taster cake would be made so it looks like my OH and I have a lovely fruit cake to eat! At least this way, I’ll know if it tastes okay! Now all I have to do is to add the brandy. How much is too much?!

Christmas Cake

Have you made a Christmas cake? How are you planning on decorating it? Any tips? x