Christmas Bedding!

ChristmasBedding

I am really impressed by the Christmas bedding range at Asda/George, the designs are lovely and they have something to suit all tastes (I had a hard time choosing which set to get).

I ended up buying the Christmas Cheer Village bedding, which is so sweet and I love the mix of colours. It is covered in tiny colourful houses and little trees, but the cuteness doesn’t stop there! The inside of the bedding has multicoloured dots on, and I really love it! Forgive the creased bedding- I don’t have an iron or the will power to iron bedding!

I was very impressed by the quality of the bedding. It is actually very soft material with poppers at the bottom. For £12 (for a double bed) I don’t think I could be any happier with this! In fact prior to this I was looking at far more expensive bedding, and I vastly prefer the look of this bedding.

ChristmasBeddingCushion

To go with this bedding my mum bought me the Christmas cushion of my dreams- the tapestry car cushion. It is gorgeous, and I feel looks much more expensive than the £6 it cost. It wouldn’t look out of place in John Lewis or M&S. I really love how this cushion looks- it is so pretty with the snow and the car and tree… Perfect for Christmas!

ChristmasBeddingHotWaterBottle

I am also using and loving the Cosimax hot water bottle I mentioned in a George home wishlist! The colours match superbly with the bedding and the pom poms are adorable. The hot water bottle also works really well, it stays warm for ages and is perfect to keep your toes warm when it is cold outside. It is a bargain for £5 I think!

At the bottom of my bed I just have a thick red blanket that I picked up from Threadless, which ties well with the bedding and just adds a layer of warmth to the bottom of the bed.

ChristmasBeddingSide

So here is my Christmas Bedding! I am really happy with it and it is making me feel very festive. If you are in need of Christmas Bedding I’d check Asda out- I kinda wish I had another bedroom so I had an excuse to buy another set!

Do you have Christmas Bedding?

American Light Christmas Cake Recipe

American Light Christmas Cake

It is the season to be baking now that we have reached December! I decided to post about this Christmas Cake now, rather than doing another post that I was planning on due to the fact that this cake needs time to rest for Christmas- leave it much later and it won’t be at its best!

I have been wanting to make a Christmas cake for several years now, but have never got around to it due to them being fairly time and labour intensive. And because I was never prepared enough to make it in advance!

This year however I was determined to make one. I used a recipe I found in Mary Berry’s Christmas Collection. It is a recipe book I got last Christmas and didn’t get around to using, but have been finding it invaluable for ideas this year around!

I decided on the American Light Christmas cake for a few reasons- it is supposed to be lighter than a classic Christmas cake that I often find too much, it contains pineapple and almonds which I love in cakes and it doesn’t contain any alcohol- which I thought would keep it lighter tasting.

Sadly I can’t try this cake yet as it is put away ready for Christmas. Hence the backdrop of tinfoil as I unwrapped it to take pictures! I will update with pictures of it cut, and how I liked it(and post pictures on twitter/ instagram) once I cut it. (It smells delicious.)

I used an 8 ½ inch deep cake tin instead of the 9in recommended as I didn’t have one and it worked fine. Ensure to grease well and line the base and sides with a double layer of greased baking paper.

American Light Christmas Cake

Ingredients

  • 350g glacé cherries (chopped into quarters and rinsed/ drained on kitchen roll.) Plus extra whole for decoration
  • 1x 200g can of pineapple in natural juice (roughly chopped and very well drained on kitchen paper-if left wet the cake may go mouldy.)
  • 350g no-soak dried apricots (Snipped with scissors into raisin sized pieces.)
  • 100g whole blanched almonds, chopped. Plus extra whole for decoration.
  • Finely grated zest of two lemons
  • 350g sultanas
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 250g butter, softened (the softer it is the easier it will be to make!)
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 5 eggs

Preheat oven to 160°C/140°c Fan. Make sure the deep cake tin is prepared as above. (greased and lined base and sides with greased baking paper)

Place the prepared fruits and nuts into a large mixing bowl with the lemon zest and gently mix. Add the remaining ingredients (Flour, sugar, butter, ground almonds and eggs) and beat well until smooth. Pour into the prepared cake tin. Level the surface and smooth. Decorate the top with whole blanched almonds and halved glacé cherries.

Bake in the preheated oven for around 2 ¼ hours until golden brown. Use a cake tester or skewer to test- if it comes out clean it is ready. After one hour, if the cake is getting too brown cover loosely with foil.

Leave in the tin to cool for 30 mins then turn onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

If desired you can glaze the cake by mixing 100g icing sugar with enough water to make a thin icing. Drizzle decoratively over the top of the cake (I haven’t decided whether or not to do so yet!)

Finally wrap in tin foil and keep in a cool, dry place. Mary recommends ideally making the cake 1 month ahead, so if you want to make it for Christmas make it soon!

It is a fairly labour intensive cake due to all of the chopping, and it takes quite a while due to the long baking time but I feel like Christmas is the time to have something a little special.

American Light Christmas Cake

I’d love to hear any Christmas baking recommendations people have!

Adventure Time Christmas Stockings

Adventure Time Stockings

Are you a fan of Adventure Time? If you haven’t seen it you should give it a go. It is an awesome cartoon about the adventures of Finn the Human Boy and Jake the Dog. Like many kids shows it has themes and jokes which are  not just for kids (or would go above most kids heads!). Personally I think it is a show for everybody- I got my dad and boyfriend into it as well.

One of my favourite episodes of Adventure Time is Bad Little Boy, which takes place in the gender swapped land first appearing in the episode Fionna and Cake. I love the characters Fionna and Marshall Lee, so much so that at an MCM Expo a couple of years ago my boyfriend and I cosplayed them.

Marshall Lee Fionna Cosplay

I was very into putting together the outfits, and I made a plush Hambo and my hat. (Would not recommend full face/neck/hand paint however. Made it difficult for the boy to do anything! And I had to wake up super early to paint him.)

It therefore seems quite fitting that when I wanted to make a new Christmas stocking for my boyfriend (as the one I made a few years ago wasn’t lined and is  too narrow to stuff full of goodies) I decided upon a Marshall Lee themed one. And once I decided on that it seemed a logical step to make myself one based on Fionna! Apologies for anybody who thinks it is too early to be talking about Christmas- I waited util after Halloween!

I got my stocking tutorial from the blog sewlikemymom it has the perfect shape that I wanted, complete with a lining and cuff and it has a free pattern to download so check it out.

This should be a fairly quick stocking to make if you have a sewing machine. I do not, so these two took me quite a while as I am not the quickest at sewing. Even if you are super slow like me there is still plenty of time to make one before Christmas.

Make sure you have an iron/ ironing board available to keep the stocking neat and crease free whilst working on it, I borrowed my mums!

I bought my fabric from John Lewis-basing my choice on fabrics I thought suited the characters and would not be too difficult to sew.  The felt for the two finger puppets I bought from the Ebay store paper-and-string.

I used a check red and black fabric for Marshall Lee, as it looks like his shirt, and a blue starry fabric for Fionna. Originally I wanted a plain blue fabric but plans change- there were no ideal fabrics in John Lewis, and I decided I  liked the stars!

To make the stockings matching (so that we could have cute couples stockings!) I used the other fabric for the accents on the stockings, namely the cuff and pocket.

Puppetsfront

To begin with I made some finger puppets, using the Adventure Time Crafts book. If you don’t have it just make up your own template based on pictures of the character and make it out of felt- I have done so previously for Christmas decorations. As I had been bought the book as a present I felt I should use it and its templates, and make some puppets! (The book has several more characters and a puppet theatre, it’s very adorable.)

I cut out the pieces using a tiny set of scissors and sewed on the faces and bite marks using thick thread. The main body for both were sewn together using a blanket stitch, and the other pieces were glued on using craft glue, but if you had the time and inclination sewing them on would also work well.

Fionna Marshall Lee Puppet Back

I made the pockets for the puppets very simply, basically I took two square of fabric, sewed them together with their design facing inward, leaving a space unsewn to turn them through. I then sewed up the space and ironed them flat, before eyeballing where to put them on the stocking and sewing them on at the sides and bottom. What I liked about doing it this way it that it means they are lined and a little more substantial than a single piece of fabric. The inside of the pocket matches the stockings!

puppetsinpockets

I lined the stockings with some fleece (leftover from making my Fionna hat!) which worked really well, although it was quite thick to sew through. I love it however as it is so soft and snuggly feeling inside- it will be a real pleasure to use as a stocking.

Inside Stocking Fleece

The great thing about the cuff on this stocking is that it can be turned up if you need extra room, although you won’t be able to use the ribbon for hanging.

A lesson I learnt from the first stocking is to make sure your loop of ribbon goes inside the pieces once you have pinned them together, I accidently put it the wrong way round- leaving the stocking with rough edges of ribbon and no loop once turned the right way. Other than that, check out the tutorial I linked, I found it simple to follow- if you have a sewing machine you could probably make a few in a day! They would be great personalised gifts, and if you don’t fancy Adventure Time just choose your own theme.

I’m not quite sure where I’ll put these up once Christmas period rolls around, wish I had a fireplace and mantelpiece! But I will post some pictures of them up once we have decorated for Christmas.

I am really pleased with these Marshall Lee/ Fionna Stockings!

If anybody has any questions about the stockings, or would like any more pictures just let me know.

I’d love to hear about any crafty projects people have been getting up to (or are planning to do) for Christmas!