Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Cocoa and Chocolate

Although I have been away from Thrifty Lodge blogging, I have very much been in my Lodge over the last week. I had a couple of days off and we had big plans to go on a road trip to Scotland, but decided this might be too overambitious, expensive and cold! So instead, I spent some blissful crafternoons working on Christmas cards and gifts (more on this later). I also had a bit of a clear out and came across these charming old JS Sainsbury Cocoa tins from 1995, which had been wrapped in tie-dye and used as pen pots by my childhood self:

As December looms tomorrow, I am determined not to spend much on Christmas this year, both as a matter of principle and because of our saving-for-a-mortgage-super-thrift-drive. Thrifty Christmas kicks off this coming weekend with my Step Dad's family, so we have started preparing some tasty Christmas goodies. I have to confess that I had nothing to do with the Christmas chocolates for my cousins below, as it was Dave was slaving away in the kitchen:

The moulds for these were found in a homeware store back home and have been well worth the investment (£1.50 a piece!) particularly when you get a bit creative with different types of chocolate as above. Now we just need to get them all wrapped up. There are lots of good chocolate moulds around, my favourites are these cute gingerbread men and candy canes, this one which has all kinds of different shapes and these tree ornaments, which could be used really creatively.

Above all, I am excited to make a cookie Christmas tree tower with our new set of cutters. I have been lusting after these ever since I spotted them last year, so I look forward to sharing the results soon!

Enjoy your first day of advent calendars tomorrow, here's ours all filled with little things and ready to be delved into:

Tuesday, 22 November 2011


As a nod to Dave's American heritage I have been doing some thanksgiving-themed cooking and craft!

We had our lovely friend Sean round for a big roast this weekend, and I made a rather tasty 'thanksgiving soup' with the leftover roasted veg and potatoes:

I then got out one of my favourite books- The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook (a gift from Dave's lovely American sister indeed) and made these very cute pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese icing:

I also had fun crafting some house moving cards for some friends who are moving in together, and for Dave's Mum, who moves house this weekend. Captain Sew was quite cooperative with the card, even if it was a bit tricky using rather stretchy (and prone to curled edges) t-shirt fabric:

This one was made using scraps of wrapping paper on card cut from a folder divider (good thrip!), very simple design but I like the colours:

Happy crafting and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Christmas Cards

It's that time of year again- time for getting out the glue and scissors and producing Christmas cards that look like they came back with a 3 year old from nursery school! So this year, I am determined to produce more sophisticated Christmas cards. This means less of the glitter and PVA and more...

Red card with pretty decorations cut from old gift tags:

Use of the craft knife to cut words with a background from recycled wrapping paper:

Not completely satisfied with either of these ideas yet, but maybe with some refinement (and a sharper knife) they could be good.

In the end I couldn't resist a few glittery ones...

Happy Christmas crafting everyone!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Sparklers and Chocolate Brownie Cake

This week has been a bit of a blur so far and I haven't really found the time to focus on one project, so here are my various pursuits (and some photos from fireworks night too!)

Learning to knit:

Sneak preview of a project to finish later this week- mini reversible bags for the little cuties I used to look after as a nanny:

Cirencester fireworks display:

Sparklers in the garden:

I have been feeling rather blue today and promised myself I'd go to zumba after work, but I didn't muster the energy. However, I did manage to do some Pilates with my new favourite book- 15 Minute Everyday Pilates. I then rather ruined this effort and indeed my recent health kick by making this delicious chocolate brownie cake, still in my gym clothes... does that count as a workout?