Wednesday, 3 November 2010

A Homemade Christmas

I know that some of you dread hearing the "C" word this early, but as it is November & I love Christmas I am saying it anyway! Those of us who might want to make some gifts & decorations can also justify thinking along those lines as we do need some time to get things done!

I have made a start with some Christmas gifts by making some chutney with the last of my tomatoes & chillies from the poly tunnel & it does need a month or so to mature.

Making chutney in an Aga is really easy - just throw all the ingredients into a pot, stir & bring to the boil then put into the simmering oven & forget about it for 3 or 4 hours. Finally, bring to the boil again to reduce the liquid then pour into warm jars.

I tied brown card labels around the jars with colourful string & added a vintage spoon for serving - a simple & tasty gift!

Two books that I came across recently are good for inspiration - "Christmas Treats" is filled with recipes for cakes & brownies, muffins & biscuits, preserves & more, all of which can be made to serve to guests or given as gifts.

I like the look of the Christmas muffins & the cranberry preserve.

The second book is appropriately titled "Home-Made Christmas" & this is full to bursting with ideas for gifts & decorating with projects from simple biscuits for children to make to opulent wreaths for the front door.

The Christmas bunting looks very pretty in this hall....

I love the Victorian shoe style Christmas stocking.....

Not all decorations have to be pricey - these are just made with paper & it also shows how to make other decorations by recycling coke tins into hearts!

Isn't this little dog adorable? There is a pattern for knitting him as well as a funky reindeer...

Speaking of reindeer ("Oh no!" I hear you cry...".not this year too - the mad Christmas reindeer woman strikes again!)

And finally a few creative & pretty ideas on how to wrap up all those lovingly made Christmas gifts.

Are you planning on making gifts this year? I hope so, but if you aren't crafty you can always visit the Vintage & Handmade Christmas Fair on the 28th November & buy lovely handmade & vintage gifts from the talented stallholders there!

Book Details:

Homemade Christmas by Tessa Evelegh, photography by Caroline Arber, CICO Books

Christmas Treats by Linda Collister with photography by Linda Collister, Ryland Peters & Small


  1. I am not a big fan of Christmas - but I really do approve of your ideas to make things. That chutney looks yummy Jayne! xx

  2. What a lovely post! You are getting me all excited for Christmas now :)
    You can't beat chutney at Christmas, we get to the point of eating it with almost everything! x

  3. your chutney looks yummy i love the idea of adding the silver spoons to it. I made mine for xmas in sept ready so it would mature having never made it before i was amazed at how easy it was.But i have made enough to be given as xmas presents that was the idea behind it ;-) i would still like to make some other gifts. The books look great and full of lovely ideas. Thanks for sharing those i may have to look them up on Amazon. Dee x

  4. Gorgeous things, Jayne. I'm feeling quite festive already! Can't wait for the Fair...
    Hen x

  5. how very festive- lovely looking chutney n jars ;0) love all the decorations in the books very soooo in the festive mood- In the homes n antiques mag was a freeeee cd of traditional heavenly to listen too with the echo of the church walls- so worth the pricey of the mag x

  6. Hi Jayne I can't stand Christmas, I do enjoy sourcing pressies for people, but the day itself - no thanks. HOWEVER, I think that the added spoon to your chutney is inspirational, what a lovely pressie.
    Tracey x

  7. "just throw all the ingredients into a pot, stir & bring to the boil then put into the simmering oven & forget about it for 3 or 4 hours"...that sounds like ALL of my cooking! xx

  8. Absolutely gorgeous things Jayne, and I am like you I love Christmas and have already started selling my shabby chic hanging Santa's and Patchwork Christmas stockings!! I thought I may be a wee bit early but they sold at the fair I did last weekend. The chutney looks yummy by the way, lovely with sausage rolls.
    Jo xx

  9. Your new books look fantastic, I'm sure everyone will love their handmade Christmas gifts,

    Victoria xx

  10. A handmade christmas - sounds perfect. We're aiming for a quite alot handmade this christmas.

  11. Oh my, what a lovely post! Full of christmasy goodness.

  12. We're having two christmases this year (don't ask) and one is going to be 95% homemade, the other around 50%. Not too shabby.

    I so wish I could go to the fair but it is a smidge too far for me.

  13. Homemade chutney with a vintage spoon for serving....what a lovely gift!
    Julie x

  14. What a lovely post, I love christmas too! I would love an aga you lucky thing.

  15. Oohh such a lovely festive post.
    I love the look of those two books, I love my Christmas crafting/recipe books!

  16. What a unique stocking! I really love it! If you're looking for more stocking resources, I would definitely recommend 5 Knit Stocking Patterns eBook. It's the best page I've found so far. Happy holidays (almost!)

  17. are you still craving some american christmas magazines, or are you set with what you have?

  18. Thank you for your blog comment Jayne. Sometimes I am not sure how I do it either!! Have a lovely day in London. We want to hear all about it on your return. Lizzie xx

  19. My family makes homemade treats every Christmas and gives it to the less fortunate. I think giving is the true meaning of Christmas.
    gifts for hard to shop for

  20. Hi Jayne, 3rd time lucky leaving a comment.
    Thanks for leaving a nice comment for me, I agree with you on making handmade gifts. Its nice to see everyone joining in now.
    I love the Victorian slipper. best wishes Julie.C

  21. What a fabulous collection of inspiration! I love the idea of homemade Christmas treats and gifts, so I think I too will be starting to get creative for the festive season soon! Katie x