It has been a very cold few weeks months...actually it feels like forever. But there have been some amazing sights out and about.
We had some fabulous frosts before the snow hit.
Having deliberately left some dead plants in the garden to create structure (mmm) I felt very pleased with myself as they looked fantastic covered in the thick frost.
When the snow hit this week we took the opportunity to walk the few hundred yards out of our garden to the most sledgiest sledging hill. I love that we can take our kidlets to do this. When I was their age we never had any snow or hills and had to make do with sledging down a heavily frosted path. I can still remember watching Sesame Street and the children were making tunnels in the snow, it was sooo thick. I was very jealous.
So to take my kidlets sledging was a real treat. Of course they only lasted half an hour before they got too cold and there was an unfortunate incident with some salopettes , but it was fun.
The sheep look on with boredom!
This week there have been some quite amazing icicles outside our windows and some of the shrubs have been turned into ice sculptures.
Don't you hate it when chefs on TV bang on about 'how quick this meal is to make'? When, what they actually mean is, how quick it is to cook.
'Yes, Gordon, it may only take five minutes to fry it all together in a wok, but it's going to take me two hours to cut that amount of vegetables that thin, without my own sous chef and twochildrenin the house!'
So here is a quick project that really did only take me fifteen minutes.
We have an old picture from IKEA that Mr Lemon Drizzle purchased many moons ago and has since been relegated to under-the-bed. So I dug it out (that took up five of the minutes), took down the lovely picture my Mum painted and made a seasonal card display.
I taped some Christmas wrapping paper around the front. Then pinned some ribbon across it, I even had time to measure the distance between them equally.
Hung it on the wall and Bob's your Uncle, an attractive way to get the cards off the window shelf where they constantly fall over.
Oh yeah Gordon, stick that in your wok and fry it!
ps I have alot more cards on it now, we are quite popular really.
This is a little story about some of the residents who live on Hooty Street.
It is a fashionable street on the nice side of town and attracts many admiring glances from passers-by.
It is the kind of street where people move to raise their owlets and then never leave.
Here, at number sixteen, live Red and Ken.
They have recently married and this is the first house they have purchased together.
Red loves kitsch vintage and Ken likes anything blue...they have very different tastes. Sometimes Red gets annoyed that Ken is sooo conservative in his decorating. Especially when she is the one who has to do it, as he is not very handy (or should that be wingy) at DIY. She hopes that with a little coaxing he can learn to love her 1950's plastic pineapple and retro cushions.
Ken hasn't told Red that he has already taken the pineapple to the charity shop!
However, given time to sort out the wrinkles, they will have a long and happy life together on Hooty Street.
Next, onto number Twelve. This is the house belonging to Daphne and Raymond McTooty, and their owlets Janey, George and baby Pickle.
Janice is jealous of Red and Ken and their beautifully designed house. She remembers when she and Raymond were so excited to be moving into their own house together. They had a wonderful time buying second-hand furniture and up-cycling it into something gorgeous. But since her three owlets came along, there hasn't been time to scour the thrift shops, and what furniture they did have hasn't worn too well with three pairs of claws jumping up and down on it.
She would love to be the kind of mother owl whose house is a monument to taste, but she can't help filling it with all the artwork her owlets are so excited to give her. And they are prolific painters!
Finally, I'd love to introduce you to Margaret and Barry at number Fourteen. Their owlets have grown up and left the nest some time ago. They look at the other owls with a mixture of nostalgia and thankfulness that they were able to raise their family in such a lovely place.
Margaret always make mouse fudge for her neighbours at Christmas. She takes some to Red and admires her house. She drops off an extra large portion to the McTootys and sympathises with Daphne's problems: Pickle is teething ,and Janey has turned into a moody teenager overnight.
Then she flaps back to her house and settles down with Barry in front of the TV. They each have a large egg nog and watch 'Dancing With Owls'. They sigh with contentment.
Download the sheet, print it out and then with a 2 1/8" round craft punch cut out your Santas. You can then either punch out a plain circle of card for the back or have a double sided cupcake pic with two Santa's.
Glue the two sides together with a cocktail stick in the middle. If you are feeling extra festive you can even add some glitter!
I am appearing on Three Counties radio today with a Christmas cupcake recipe. I shall be on Lorna Milton's show again at 2.00pm, you can listen here. So I thought I would share it with you lovely people too.
But first a story;
Once upon a time there was a young girl. Ok... lets make that a young talented spark of a girl! She loved to create but had never heard of the internet or blogs or online magasines! Poor thing, what a world she had yet to discover. She had to make do with her Mother's collection of 101 Ideas Magasines which were actually very interesting.One day her mother came to her and randomly gave her some old Christmas cake decorations that had belonged to her Nana. She looked at them and thought 'Mmmm' because they were a bit tatty and sparkly bling was in, but she filed them in her box of 'things I feel too guilty to throw away but don't want to use'. The years passed and vintage was in vogue. So she dug out her Nana's decorations and thought 'Wow! these are so on trend, I must use them for something fabulous!'
And here it is.
A recipe for Christmas flavour cupcakes.
I shall be announcing the winner of the giveaway tomorrow but I'm afraid it will close today at 12GMT. However tomorrow there will be a freebie for everyone else!