Yankee Candle Cosy

I was a little bit bored one evening so I decided my large Yankee candle needed a sweater! It’s a really quick pattern so it shouldn’t take too long.

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Equipment:

  • 7mm crochet hook
  • DK wool in any colour you like.

***I use American crochet terms in my patterns!***

Pattern:

  1. Make a foundation chain 38 sts long.
  2. DC into 3rd st from end of chain. Continue to end. (35)
  3. Ch 1. SC to end.
  4. Repeat 2 and 3 twice more.
  5. I added shell pattern stitching for the next few rows. I recommend this link for thorough instructions on how to crochet in this stitch.
  6. Repeat 5 twice more.
  7. Repeat 2 and 3 three more times.
  8. Fasten off and use the loose end to sew the sides together.

You can now pull the candle cosy over the top of the candle!

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This fits on all large Yankee candles, but will also fit any glass jar or candle of a similar size.

It’d be a great personalised addition to any gift (birthdays, housewarming, Christmas, etc)

(Pattern can also be edited to exclude the shell stitching. Another 3 repeats of steps 2 and 3 would do instead).

 

Advent Calenders

A little lae again … I take too long to upload my stuff…. oh well.

I made myself an advent calendar out of cardboard, empty matchboxes, wrapping paper scraps and a battery operated christmas lights.

First I covered the matchboxes in wrapping paper and numbered them 1 to 24. I bought the boxes on ebay for 3euro. I filled them with a piece of chocolate and a little note with instructions.

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Drew a Tree, made a shoot, coloured it in (badly… it was meant to be the prototype, it will end up staying this year.) stuck the light in from the back, filled the shoot with the matchboxes and lit it.

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I made one for my hubby too. Its a crate of beer with 20 different types of beer and each of them wears a numbered tag. We only need twenty because we’ll be gone for teh last 4 days.

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Hello-veen

 

Almost a month late… or maybe just ridiculously early for next year??

Here are a couple pics from our halloween party.

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A red light hidden behind a red ball wearing an old war gas mask and a glow in the dark fireman’s helmet…. yes these things are part of our “normal stuff”

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Light chain and fog maschine in the hallway. Later that night the fog flowed along the floor because we sent the fog through ice before letting it out onto the floor.

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avocado skull, chopped off fingers (with onion finger nails)

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cthulu’s tentacle. (made a mould from nwespaper around my arm, cut it in half, lined it with tinfoil -cling film is better – and poured in grape jelly and stuck some halved grapes in as suckers.)

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Again, the fingers…. and some “full of shit”eggs.

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Bowl of mud with worms.

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Yours truly and my other half.

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I made a brain. (stuck a piece of cardboard to a headband, glue a crocheted pink rope to it.)

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(camera phone pic) it looked pretty freaky in the dark cause you couldn’t identify my actual mouth. just looked like I dropped my jaw clean off. Also, manny te cat is on my shoulder. He kept a close eye on all the guests that night from his perch on the sofa.

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A vegetarian large intestine  (stuff spread  on filo pastry and sat in a bed of tomato sauce and baked.) I was told my Bowels were great! IMG_20131031_201622

sangria type witch’s punch  (with an ultrasonic fogger in it) .

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Spiced Apple Jam

Christmas is coming, so aside from the usual knitting and crocheting of gifts for people, I thought it would be nice to make some preserves as gifts for people. Nothing says “I’m thinking of you” like something you’ve invested time and effort into making yourself!

My grandad (and many others) absolutely love jams and jellies, so I thought this jam recipe was perfect for the Christmas season. I always associate apple and cinnamon scents with the festive season!

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg Bramley (or crab) apples
  • 1 kg jam sugar (contains pectin)
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • 1 tsp each of nutmeg and allspice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • If you have no nutmeg, allspice or cinnamon, 1 tbsp of mixed spice will do perfectly well.

NOTE: if you want to make jam quickly without delay, do step 8 in the hour the apples are stewing (step 4).

Recipe:

  1. Wash and core your apples and chop them into roughly the same sized pieces into a large pot.
  2. Squeeze lemon juice on apples to stop them going brown.
  3. Just cover apples with water and place the pot on the cooker over a high heat until it is brought to the boil.
  4. 2013-09-24 18.42.03Simmer for an hour or until the fruit is pulped.
  5. Add sugar and spices over low heat until it has melted into the apple mixture.
  6. Raise the heat and test frequently to see if the jam has set, using a sugar thermometer or the cold plate method.
  7. 220°C is the setting temperature of jam. For the cold plate method, if you have no sugar thermometer, put a teaspoonful of jam on a plate that was in the freezer for 10 mins. Wait 15-20 seconds. If the jam wrinkles when pushed with the tip of your finger it has reached setting point.
  8. Place your jam into pre-sterilised jars. Washed jars placed in an oven at 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3 1/2 for 10 minutes, a hot cycle in the dishwasher or just Milton should do the trick (rinse in plenty of water after Milton sterilisation).
  9. Enjoy your home-made jam.

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Jar labels can be removed with methylated spirits or by placing in water for a while and peeling off.

I have made my own labels and material lid covers 🙂

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Happy Halloween: Pumpkin Carving!!!

I’m sure nobody needs to be told how to carve their own pumpkin, so I’m just going to post a few pictures of the pumpkins I did this year and last year.

This was the owl pumpkin I carved last year. I just looked it up on Google images and drew it by eye with a permanent marker.

26102012465The permanent marker is a great way of making sure the design goes on smoothly (if you have no template). You can wipe off what’s left of it when you’re done with nail varnish remover (or alcohol) and tissue.

I did two pumpkins this year. One is just a creepy pumpkin face (design also found on Google).

DSCF7230This one was pretty easy to do because there were no delicate bits to contend with. Including all the scooping and clean up it took less than 2 hours. The second pumpkin was a bit more tricky. It’s a banshee that was carved part of the way through with a lino print tool.

DSCF7236This one took about 2 and a half hours, because of the delicacy involved and the fact that you must be very careful when using a lino print tool as it will slice through your finger without a bit of trouble!!

The only tip I can offer you with regards to pumpkin carving and display is to find some battery-operated tealights to put into your pumpkin to reduce the risk of fire and so you can leave it on the windowsill unattended even with the curtains drawn! They should also last all night so you won’t have to replace real tealights. Also, dip your carved pumpkin in diluted bleach to prevent it from going mouldy. It should last about a week that way.

Have fun, be safe and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

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