4 Dec 2008

Christmas trees

Handmade Christmas trees.

Another decoration I love at Christmas is the tree, the official Christmas tree that we decorate the first Saturday after school finishes for the year and little ones like the ones above, dotted around the house.

I made the softie ones, they were very big in blogland a couple of Christmases ago and probably still are.They are wonderfully easy to make and are great gifts as well as decorations for your own home.
The painted wooden ones I bought at the school fair some years ago.

We also have a paper mache cardboard one, amongst others, that I made with Louis when Andy was just a baby, so about 16 years ago.
Louis wanted a tree for his room so we cut a shape out of a thick cardboard carton ,attached it to a toilet roll middle trunk and covered it with layers of butchers paper to make it strong then we painted it with some rich dark green paint.
We stood it in a small clay pot with newspaper pressed around the trunk to hold it stable and left it to dry.
While that was happening we made some popcorn in the fry pan, and strung some popcorn to make a garland for the tree. We made tiny paper chains out of the front of old stored Christmas cards and used the back part to make some star shapes that we coated with glue and sprinkled with glitter.

Every year that tree comes out, no longer kept in the boy's room, sometimes now in Kate's room but usually we put in the kitchen on top of the sleeping wood stove.
Amazingly it is still in good condition.
I'll show you when we put it up this year.


We are making our way through the Advent calendar although the boys don't show much interest, just me and Kate.
I bought the calendar from the Oxfam shop some years ago.
It has a little amiguri crocheted figure in each pocket plus I add a chocolate or two or three.


Time to share another Christmas recipe that I discovered last year and this one was such a great hit that it all disappeared before I could get a picture.
You will have to make do with one from the magazine that holds the recipe.
It is last Christmas' Donna Hay magazine.
I'm pretty sure you can get this magazine in the UK and I think also in the US but I don't know about Canada and Europe or Asia and Africa.

So the recipe is Turkish Delight White Christmas.

The original white Christmas recipe calls for copha and coconut in large amounts - two of my least favourite cooking ingredients although a little dessicated coconut is OK especially if I don't know it's there.
Both the original and the Donna Hay recipe are uncooked slices , always popular at this time of year in Australia when the temperatures are on their way up and keeping the house and kitchen cool become important.


500g ( 1 lb) white chocolate, chopped

250g (8oz) Turkish delight, chopped

1/2 cup dried cranberries.

Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over simmering water until melted and smooth.

Remove from heat and stir through the Turkish delight and 1/4 cup of the cranberries.

Spread on a baking tray lined with baking paper and sprinkle with the remaining cranberries.

Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set and then cut into pieces to serve.

I know it's not a very local recipe for Tasmania.
I suppose you could make your own Turkish delight, I have a friend who does this and says it is quite easy, and you could replace the cranberries with dried cherries or dried strawberries or raspberries.
Louis loves dried cranberries and so we followed the recipe.


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Now somebody asked why there are not more photos of me on the blog.
Well it's mainly because I am the one taking the photos and I normally write the blog when everyone else is at school or work.
Also I tend to look a bit peculiar in photos , doesn't everyone feel that way, I inherited an unphotogenic nose from both sides of the family .
There are a few snaps of me here and there on the blog you just have to search.

To save you the trouble I found this one that was taken last winter, I was standing in the bathroom feeling a little foolish.

I know Jewels kindly said I have smiling eyes but now you see why we normally refer to each other in private as Miss Crinkley Eyes.

15 Responses to “ ”

  1. What fun to see your picture! Lou is asking for a real tree in her room this year. I'm not sure what we'll do about that. Last year she went out and cut a little one herself and stuck it on a nail that was pounded through a piece of plywood. It got very dry.

  2. Hello Jenny- just introducing myself as I've been lurking a while and it seems rude not to ,now that I can see you! Now I'll know who to say hello to if I go to the Civic Market again (I live in Hobart but was in Lonnie recently for the weekend and visited the market).I don't think you were there, and in any case I'm a bit shy:) but I was very tempted by a lovely honey jar.
    Ps: I love your blog!

  3. oh hush up, jenny, it's great to finally see the woman behind so much beauty! and your nose is just fine!

  4. The handmade christmas trees are nice, and I love the idea of making popcorn into a decoration to. Oooh!Turkish delight yum that will be worth a try thank you.Julie.C

  5. I love the photo! You look warm and creative and happy, which makes you beautiful. (your nose looks fine to me!)

  6. Jenny, you look great! And I love the Christmas ornaments.


  7. Hi Jenny, your little Christmas trees are so cute.
    Thanks for sharing another photo of yourself,(and of course there is nothing wrong with your nose) aren't we all the same, rarely happy with our photo?

  8. Jenny, so much fun to see the real you! I love this photo, and I'm afraid to say that as an Australian woman, crinkley eyes go with the territory....even tho' the Taswegian glare isn't as grave as in other places!

    I love love love the Christmas tree idea with paper mache. I've been saving the Sydney Morning Herald monday edition (which is the only one I buy) for a few weeks, so we have plenty of paper.

    Would you care to make a recommendation for glue as I've little experience with it.

    Thanks. Lisa x

    p.s. great to hear Kate's on the mend. What a saga.

  9. You look warm, and kind and creative - just the way your blog is! I love crinkly eyes, lot of smiling made those "crinkles", I would say!

    Thanks for sharing your photo.

  10. Lisa, I have found the best glue to use is watered down white craft glue ( like aquadhere)Cover the bottom of a glass with glue and then add about an inch of water and mix them together. I paint it onto the paper with a larger child's artist brush, you know the kind you have for your children now. This makes a strong and slightly water resistant bond. Makes for a devilishly strong pinata if you use it for that. You can use wallpaper glue if you have some lying around, it's a much cheaper option but only if you don't have to go out to buy it but it does make things wetter and more inclined to warp and of course takes longer to dry.

  11. I asked and you look as I imagined.Kind, warm,contented and your inner happiness shines through.

    A male colleague said my "crinkley" eyes were very sexy!!!


  12. You are beautiful!
    I love all of your charming Christmas decorations....

  13. i have to agree, the more crinkles around the eyes the warmer the heart that smiled them there...you are beautiful, and so is your blog :)

  14. Jenny,

    I am enjoying your blog so very much. I thought it was time to pop in and stop lurking, I am beginning to feel like a peeping tom!
    Yes, quite right,snow in Sydney, at Christmas mainly!
    I am enjoying preparing for christmas with you and other bloggers of the like.
    My blog is in its early stages but please pop in if you feel.

    PS I also feel very grateful for our healthcare system, there are so many things we have in this country we must not become complacent about...hope the new nose is graceful and strong!

    cheerio, lovely day to you

  15. Yes, Jam, tis true, you *are* beautiful *inside and out*. Now about that "inherited unphotogenic nose"...hmmm...I've been really straining my eyes to see, and for the life of me I cannot see *what* you could possibly be talking about. Do you think I might be able to see a real nice (big) close-up shot of it (and a few of the relatives--on both sides, too) so that I could make a better evaluation and judgement? ;o) ;o) It just gets all distorted (and still looks *cute*, sorry to say :o) when I enlarge it to 400% on my laptop :o) So glad to hear that all went really well with Katie and that everyone was so kind, caring and respectful. Aren't you just immeasurably grateful for the kindness shown in situations like this. Me, too.
    Crinkling back at you in the old friendly way (with winking and nose-scrunching to boot :o) :o)
    Sweet dreams, sister.
    Much love, Jewels


Thanks so much for taking the time to chat. I don't always have time to reply but I do read every message you leave.