Friday, 31 December 2010

Answers and Winner to the Festive Fun Christmas Quiz

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and enjoyed the festivities.

Thank you to everyone who took part in the little Festive Fun quiz I set on Christmas Eve.

 Here are the correct answers:

1. The last Sunday before Advent was known as 'Stir-Up Sunday' where, in the kitchen it was considered good luck for everyone to give the mixture a stir. What was the mixture for?
Answer: Christmas Pudding

2. Name three spices you're likely to find in mulled wine.

Answer: cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, allspice

3. 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens was about Ebenezer Scrooge - name three other characters from the book.
Answer: Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, Jacob Marley

4. Name the inventor of the Christmas Cracker.

Answer: Thomas Smith

5. Why are mince pies so called, when they contain no mince at all?

Answer: In Victorian times, the ‘mincemeat’ filling contained just that - minced meat, mixed with beef suet, dried and fresh fruits, citrus peel, almonds, sugar, spices - and plenty of alcohol!

6. Name the well known poem written by Clement Clark Moore about the night time visit by Santa Claus.

Answer: ‘The Night Before Christmas’

7. Which Royal introduced the decorated Christmas tree to England in 1841?

Answer: Prince Albert

8. The Twelve Days of Christmas - when do they begin and end?

Answer: 26th December and 6th January.

I double checked the answer to the last question as apart from one, all the entries said 25th December to 5th January. 

(Source: The Victorian Christmas - Wharncliffe History Magazine)

There was only one winner with all eight correct answers -

Congratulations Viv 

 The Sleeping Jester Doll prize will be in the post to you.

All that remains is to say a big THANK YOU for visiting and commenting on my blog posts throughout the year, 
I wish everyone a very Happy and Healthy New Year.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

...and finally, Dress Up - December

Here's my last dress for the Dress Up challenge organised by Margaret on her blog

I started this 'Dress Up' year with January's dress being a bit of a Cinderella's work apron so wanted to end with a kind of Cinderella's ballgown!

I started with a card base sprayed with Dylusions 'Gold Stars' mica spray.  I rubber stamped a floral image onto the bodice, embossed it, then applied some metallic rub ons.

For the skirt I used kitchen towel coloured with the same mica spray - I love how it turned out, it looks like silk taffeta - how fitting for a beautiful ballgown for Cinders!

To finish off I added a silk ribbon sash around the waist complete with a charm (from one of the various charm swaps I took part in this year).  I edged the top of the bodice with some Stickles (Platinum) and added a few beaded buttons again stuck on with Stickles.

Here's all twelve dresses in their wardrobe

I've enjoyed making them all and would like to say a big thank you to Margaret
for organising this project.

If you'd like to do something similar next year, Angela from
 will be hosting a challenge and all details may be found on her blog.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Fabric Tag Book

The current swap challenge on the Art 'n' Soul Flickr group is to make a tag book.  Any shape and any medium, but the theme is 'beautiful buttons'.

I chose to use fabric for my book which consists of four pages.

I cut the tag shapes with a Sizzix Bigz die 'Tag, Super Scallop Crescent' using various fabric scraps.

Each tag page is a sandwich of fabric, light wadding, brown paper and more fabric.  I embellished the pages with various buttons, lace and ribbons.

Here are all the pages

Try as I might, I just cannot get the photos to appear side by side (I managed it with the first two - don't know how!)

The challenge runs until 30th January, so I'm nice and early!

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Sleeping Jester Doll

I made this based on a little doll I bought many, many years ago from Liberty in Regent's Street, London which originally had a little pair of embroidery scissors attached to.  

I've always thought I'd like to have a go at making something similar and finally got around to it!

First step was to take apart the original doll!

I pinned the original fabric to paper.

Cut around it to make a paper pattern.

The original head was quite small so I used a clay face (moulded from air dried clay) as these faces are quite flat, I stuck it onto a cork and stuck another cork onto the bottom so there was something to insert into the body.

I cut out two pieces of new fabric, used new wooden beads for the hands and feet and stitched it together leaving an opening at the top - I stuffed it with some toy filling, inserted the head and stitched closed.  (I coloured the head with gold and copper dabber paint and highlighted the features with Stickles)

I attached ribbon to the hands for a hanger, although it looks as though the doll is hanging on a swing.

Here's what the back looks like.

This doll will be the prize for the little festive quiz I set on Christmas Eve - I'll announce the winner on New Year's eve sometime, so there's still a few days left to enter.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Post It Note Holder

I made this post it note holder for a dear blogging friend and now I know she's received it I can post it here.

The covers are mountboard covered with kitchen roll stained with Brusho powder paints.

The 'tiles' are Stampbord squares again coloured with the Brusho.
The image is rubber stamped (Stampotique 'Prom Queen') and covered with a couple of layers of Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (UTEE).  I outlined the edges with a silver pen.

Inside I covered with old book pages and rubber stamped some more Stampotique images.

I finished the holder off with some co-ordinating fibres and beads.

I want to blog about some ATCs I made for Christmas too, but am not sure yet whether they've all been received so will leave that until the new year.

Thanks for looking x

Friday, 24 December 2010

Countdown to Christmas & Christmas Eve Blog Party - Everyone welcome!!

Yes - it’s finally here, Christmas Eve …..woooohooooo!!! Time to party (well in a virtual blog type of way - lol) Get yourself a drink (mulled wine for me!) and some nibbles and welcome to the party - it‘s great to see you here!

The party is being hosted by Gayle of Altered Orchid and if you’d care for a little blog hop to get you even more in the mood for Christmas than you probably already are, I’ll put the list of participants at the end of this posting - I’m sure each one would love you to visit them and join in the party - go and see what festive fun they’ve in store for you - I’ll be hopping along myself shortly, maybe I‘ll see you there, be sure to say hello!

As for me, I have a couple of things to share with you - two matchboxes and a Festive Fun Christmas Quiz - (try saying that after a couple of glasses of wine!) - and there’ll be a prize for the winner - are you excited now? Does your glass need topping up yet (mine does!!), so get a refill, sit comfortably and I’ll begin.


Back in August of this year I signed up for the Countdown to Christmas
matchbox swap hosted by Linda on her blog A Swap For All Seasons. The idea was to alter 25 matchboxes to a Christmas theme and include inside each one a small gift. All the boxes were sent to Linda (and there were 71 participants in total - that’s a lot of matchboxes!), she then mixed them up and sent out to each of us 25 different boxes to showcase on our blogs one a day from 1st to 25th December. It’s been like a virtual advent calendar! As I may be a little busy tomorrow (!!) today I will showcase my final two matchboxes - days 24 and 25. Here goes!

Matchbox No. 24

This one was made by Sandi of

It’s in a very traditional style and I love the dark brown ‘Merry Christmas’ ribbon she’s edged her box with top and bottom.

Here’s what’s inside

I really took a shine to these cute little earrings, I think they’re fabulous and may be able to get away with wearing them other times of the year too!
Matchbox No. 25

Well, this is it, the final matchbox and it comes from Francie of

How lovely and fitting that it depicts the Nativity scene on the front of the box and a gold star with a little jewel for the drawer pull. I love the rich gold edging top and bottom and the gold ribbon hanger too.

…and inside, the final gift is this

A metal charm in the form of a crown bedecked with jewels for the King of Kings, baby Jesus and we mustn’t forget that this is what Christmas is about after all.

Thank you Sandi and Francie for my final two boxes, and also to Linda for organising the whole event. 
I mounted all 25 matchboxes I received on a baking tray (cookie sheet)

If you want to see the matchboxes I made for the swap, click here.

That's enough about matchboxes!!! Now for something completely different…….

Festive Fun Christmas Quiz

Here's a little quiz based on an English Victorian Christmas.  If you want to take part please email me your answers (email button can be found in my sidebar) and leave me a comment here saying you've done so.  If more than one person gets all the answers right, I'll do a random draw to decide who wins a little mystery prize I will put together. 

I'll announce the winner and the right answers here on New Year's Eve sometime.
So without further ado, here's the 8 questions!

1.  The last Sunday before Advent was known as 'Stir-Up Sunday' where, in the kitchen it was considered good luck for everyone to give the mixture a stir.  What was the mixture for?

2.  Name three spices you're likely to find in mulled wine.

3.  'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens was about Ebenezer Scrooge
 - name three other characters from the book.

4.  Name the inventor of the Christmas Cracker.

5.  Why are mince pies so called, when they contain no mince at all?

6.  Name the well known poem written by Clement Clark Moore about the night time visit by Santa Clause.

7.  Which Royal introduced the decorated christmas tree to England in 1841?

8.  The Twelve Days of Christmas - when do they begin and end?

Good luck!

Now, I promised you a list of Christmas Eve Party Blogs, here they are:

Hope you get time to visit them all, enjoy the party and most of all,
Merry Christmas to you xxx

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Countdown to Christmas - Day 23

Day 23 of the Countdown to Christmas swap!  These December days have  whizzed by - just two more sleeps before the big day!

Today's matchbox has been made by Amanda who has a year long Christmas blog called

Inside her delightful box was a cute little hanging gingerbread star decoration.

Thank you Amanda, for a lovely box and gift!

Hope you come back tomorrow to see the last two matchboxes.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Christmas Crafting!

My two favourite little people came to spend the day with us yesterday Chloe aged 10 and Aaron aged 7.  Their Mum (my little sister!) wanted to do some Christmas shopping so while she was gone we all did a bit of crafting for Christmas!

Kelly (the Mum in question) loves a cup of tea and also always uses shopping lists (unlike me, I try to keep it all in my head and usually forget something!).  I thought they might like to make their Mum a shopping list holder using the free stamp of a cup and saucer from the latest Craft Stamper magazine.

 They stamped a few images on various pattern papers and cut them out.

Not sure if this is allowed - rubber stamping AND eating crisps!


For the shopping list holders we used mountboard to make front and back covers, which they then covered with their choice of Decopatch papers - not surprising, Chloe chose a pink one and Aaron a blue! 

For the back cover they used some water colour crayons, I think Aaron enjoyed this bit the most!

We had a bit of a production line going then punching holes (with the Bind-It-All machine) in some plain paper to go inside the holders.

What great team work!

They then had to decide how they wanted to bind the covers and papers together.  Aaron chose to use the wires and Chloe went for some fluffy fibres!

They embellished their covers with glass pebbles and fun buttons - Chloe went for the 'less is more' option, but Aaron decided 'more is more'!!  It was at this stage that Aaron decided he liked his book so much, he'd keep it for himself!  We agreed that he'd make another one for his Mum some other time!

This is what they looked like inside

and when closed

Chloe wrote some words on pink paper which we stuck under the pebbles with Glossy Accents.

Isn't that lovely!

Here's the two happy crafters with their finished shopping lists.

If you're wondering what became of the stamped cup and saucer images - they were stuck onto the back cover of Chloe's book (not pictured) as the papers on the front covers were a little too busy for them to have shown up.

Thanks for a lovely day kids, who enjoyed it most - you or me!!!!

Countdown to Christmas - Day 22

Naughty but nice!! 

 This is box number 22 I received in the
Countdown to Christmas matchbox swap.

Well, it's more than just nice it's wonderful!  I love the vintage image showing the three girlfriends who look as though butter wouldn't melt, but they've obviously been up to something!!   I wonder if they got what they wanted for Christmas that year - lol.

This lovely box was made by Linda from Pennsylvania, USA of

Here's what's inside

A lovely beaded bracelet!

Thank you Linda for the great box and gift!

Not many to go now, hope to see you tomorrow for box number 23!