This week, I have been trying to finish some projects to free me up for my Christmas crafting. It has been a bit stop, start at times, but this week:
* I finished the dark blue satin table runners for the dining hall tables at our Christmas Fayre. The runners are 2m40cm and the fabric doesn’t really iron well, so I had to do a lot of pinning before I could sew and now have a lot of bent pins to bend back into shape!
* I made a bit of progress on the little Phoebe mouse I started a few weeks ago. I am making two for my daughters for their Christmas presents.
* I finished the crayon rolls I was making. The children wanted buttons on them this time, so I inserted a small piece of black elastic where I sewed the ribbon in the previous ones I made. They are going to purchase their own buttons to sew on.
* I am so almost there on my youngest daughter’s Owlet. I got a bit stuck on the short rows but thanks to the helpful folk on Youtube, I am now well on my way to finishing it. It is getting so cold now, I want to wrap her up in it as soon as possible. I had a nice half an hour knitting whilst my daughter had a riding lesson yesterday.
As I write, I am drying some orange slices in the oven, which we are planning to hang on silver branches amongst the paper angels my eldest daughter made to sell at the Christmas Fayre this weekend. Aren’t they beautiful 🙂
I also need some for a garland. They are really easy to do and look and smell wonderful. Here is a quick explanation:
- Cut the oranges into thin slices using a very sharp knife ( in my case a bread knife – our knives need sharpening!)
- Press them between two clean tea towels with the heel of your hands to extract some juice, but not too hard to break the middle. I did this with paper towels (my tea towels aren’t clean enough right now!)
- Arrange the orange slices on a metal rack ( such as a cooling rack), so that the air can circulate around them when they are drying in the oven. I used to use a baking tray, but I found they stuck a bit. If you do, turn them regularly.
- Leave in an oven on the lowest temperature for 2-3 hours, checking every now and then and turning them if necessary. When they are nice and dry, take them out and do what you wish with them 🙂 They will still be a bit sticky, but this is fine. They will air dry with time and even darken in colour.
Sadly my orange slices went soft and a bit mouldy in storage this year: they were in a plastic box with some salt dough ornaments that went soft – our eaves are rather cold/damp 😦 I would recommend storing them in a paper bag, or if they are in an arrangement, don’t store them with salt dough in a damp place!!
I am making some sugar-free carob sweets (my children don’t eat chocolate) in Christmas moulds so my daughters can enjoy one a day in the run up to Christmas. I only have one Christmas mould and one star shaped mould, so I will have to make some more again tomorrow! I thought I would share the recipe with you as it is so easy and sugar free 🙂
- 40g carob powder
- 40g lucuma powder
- 20g cococunt oil/butter
- 120g cacao butter ( I put this in the freezer for half an hour before so it is easier to remove from the container!)
- Grated rind of one lemon or orange or a couple of drops of food grade orange or peppermint essential oil.
* Melt the cacao butter and the coconut oil in a bain marie on a low/medium heat.
* Add the carob, lucuma powder and rind/oil to the bowl. Mix well.
* Turn off the heat and spoon into the moulds.
* Leave in the fridge for 3-4 hrs or overnight to harden.
This makes 25-30 carob sweets
Couldn’t be easier and a really tasty sugar free treat is born! Even our chocolate loving friends enjoy these. 🙂
That’s about all for today. I am planning to post about our Advent preparations tomorrow. Only two more sleeps until we start opening our lovely Advent calendars 🙂
Hope you are enjoying your crafting time as much as I do.
Joining Nicole at Frontier Dreams