cracker crazy

Traditionally for Christmas but great table decorations at any time of year, home made crackers will contain goodies right for your gathering and you won’t feel guilty about the plastic ‘gifts’ that go straight in the bin. Why not make Easter lunch special?

Easy to make I trimmed quality paper to 12” x 8.5” but standard A4 would work as well with a little tweaking.

For the round version, I scored at 2”,2.5” and 3” in from each side and also 0.5” at the bottom. For the rectangular barrel version I added three more width-way scores at 2.5”,4.5” and 6.5”

Fold the 2, 2.5 and 3” scores into a ‘w’ ie mountain, valley, mountain then clip out v shapes as shown.

Cut out the bit of the 0.5” score as shown, then tape the rest of it. Stick in a tube or fold and stick as a rectangle for the square version.

Then poke in a purchased snap if you want a ‘bang’. I tape the ends to the inside of the cracker as well. Finally slide in your goodies then tie string, ribbon or raffia around the concertina cut edges.

Ideas for contents: beauty samples, packets of seeds, miniature bottles, sweeties, memory sticks, rolled up money, printed messages, jokes, photos and of course a daft paper crown. I made mine on the scan and cut using the offcuts from the paper.

Tag Tuesday

Use it up or throw it out! That’s the 2023 mantra for the craft room. The button bowl is overflowing, so a few have been used on tags plus some wandering Christmas cards were chopped and/or die cut as well.

I even used up a few stars from the Christmas embellishments bag before it got packed away.

Vinyl signage

I over-ordered some exterior vinyl for 2021 Christmas projects so was pleased to use some on this lovely piece of wood we received at Christmas this year.

I used the scan n cut inbuilt font for the lettering. The font was stretched up to make it fit the wood fully.

After carefully applying the vinyl, resident DIYer drilled holes for the cord loop which he stained to tone it down.

Upcycled cards

I am stitching on cards this month, but it is a long process so these upcycled Christmas cards were stitched on the sewing machine.

Each card has a tailor made envelope using the plain side of 12x 12” patterned paper. The stash for Christmas 2023 is underway!

2023 resolution: Luxury on a budget

Marinated goats cheese, today’s indulgence

This year’s resolution is to enjoy the good things, to seize opportunities and avoid unconscious waste. I’m calling it ‘luxury on a budget’ though your idea of luxury and mine might be quite different, I hope you get the idea.

Today I stumbled on super post-Christmas bargains which seem to fit the bill so a pack of French goats cheese has been preserved by freezing half and marinating half for future indulgence.

To marinate: flavour olive oil with dried herbs and spices. I used rosemary, bay leaves, peppercorns, cumin seeds and chili flakes. Cut the cheese into cubes or roll into little balls and drop gently into the oil. Top up the oil so the cheese is completely covered.

This will last in the fridge for a month. The frozen cheese is good for 6 months.

Pineapple preserved…

One bargain pineapple becomes …

The peel is dehydrated to become pot pourri and car freshener

The core is simmered with spices and caster sugar to become a syrup for boosting soft drinks (and adding to rum of course)

Half the flesh is cubed and fried in brown sugar. Half of that is eaten hot with yoghurt. The other half is added to cubed left over turkey in a tangy burrito.

The remaining flesh is cubed and simmered in vinegar, spices and sugar to become relish.

Finally the leaves are boiled and the water strained and sweeten to make a (reputedly) healthy tea