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

21 comments:

  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

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  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

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  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

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

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

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  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

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  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

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  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

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

    Victoria xx

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

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

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  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.

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

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

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

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  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!)

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

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  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

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  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

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  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

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  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

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