Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Christmas Bread & Butter Pudding - A delicious way to use up stale bread - Christmas craft along...

Hello friends.  I have something a little unusual to share with you today.  I'm not really sure if cooking counts as a craft, but I thought it would make a nice change to do something different.   I always like to cook a nice roast for Sunday lunch and finish it off with some kind of homemade pudding.  During the week we try to be a bit more healthy, so the weekend is time for treating ourselves, especially as it's almost Christmas.

Although I do love to cook, I am not really much of a baker.  All that faffing around weighing stuff and being precise, it's just not me.  I like to experiment and just chuck stuff in when I'm cooking, so I tend to stick to a few deserts that I can make, without needing to check a recipe or watch Youtube.  Bread and Butter Pudding is one of my goto puddings, as it's so simple and can be adapted to suit your mood.  One of our favourite ways of making it is with chocolate spread sandwiches.  So yummy!  So I thought why not try and make a Christmassy version.  The finished pudding was so delicious, I knew you would like to try it to, so here it is...

Christmas Bread & Butter Pudding

Ingredients (serves 6)

8 slices of bread (slightly stale is best)
Soft butter
2 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp mincemeat
A handful of dried cranberries
Orange marmalade
2 eggs
2 cups milk (or 1 cup milk, 1 cup double cream)
Icing sugar
Brandy cream

  • Grease a medium sized oven dish
  • Butter each slice of bread and lay half of them butter side down in the dish
  • Spread the other side thickly with marmalade and dot the mincemeat over the top
  • Sprinkle with cranberries
  • Lay the remaining slices of bread on top butter side up
  • In a jug whisk the eggs, milk and sugar and pour over the top of your bread slices
  • Leave for 30 minutes to allow the bread to soak up all of the custard mixture (the pudding can be frozen at this point if you want to make it in advance)
  • Bake in a medium hot oven for 30 minutes, until golden brown.  (160°C or 320°F)

Sprinkle with icing sugar...

...and serve with Brandy cream for extra decadence... 

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I hope you will give this recipe a try.  What do you like to cook at Christmas?  Let me know in the comments below and make sure to subscribe for more posts like this...

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Sunday, 8 December 2019

2020 New Year Stashdown Gorgeous Grannies Cal - Crochet a granny a day all through January...

Hello lovely people.  Is it too soon to be thinking of the new year?  I don't think so.  All the festivities of Christmas will be over before you know it and then we can all chill out with a little downtime and some nice relaxing crochet.  I always like to tackle my ever growing stash at this time of year and thought what better way to do it than with a good old crochet along.  If you are like me and your stash has taken on a life of its own, then why not join me all through January as I crochet a granny square a day.  By the end of the month we will have enough squares for a small blanket and will have made a nice dent in that stash pile.

I will be running the cal through my Facebook Group, where you will be able to share all your lovely photos.  I will post a link to that day's pattern each day and don't worry if you don't use Facebook, I will add links here too, so make sure to bookmark this page.  I am planning on using solid colours for all my squares, so the finished blanket will have a patchwork look to it.  You can use any colours you like, that's the beauty of granny squares.  Just use up that stash and make something pretty.

How To Join In

  • Check either here or on the Facebook Group each day for the pattern link.
  • Choose what weight of yarn you would like to use and correct hook for that yarn ie. 4mm hook for DK, 5mm hook for Aran / worsted.  Use this for EVERY square.
  • Follow daily instructions (each pattern may need to be altered slightly to give the correct size).
  • Feel free to post photos.
  • Once all squares are complete, check back here for finishing instructions.

Daily Pattern Links

(Coming soon, January 1st...)

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I can't wait to get started, I do love to bust through my stash.  I hope you will join me.  Oh and don't forget to subscribe...

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Have a great day!

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Friday, 6 December 2019

Last Minute Christmas Crochet - My top selections, for quick and easy projects, to decorate your home with...

Hello friends!  I'm sure you are all super busy this holiday season, but there is always time for crochet right?  It's so nice at this time of year, to be indoors, all cosy and warm.  With your Christmas decorations up and feeling festive with a little something Christmasy on your hook.  Go make yourself a nice cup of coco, get your hook out and crochet up one of these lovelies...

You can never have too many baubles on your tree and these crochet ones are so pretty.  I love the way the gaps in the crochet allow the ball underneath to shine through and the sparkly yarn adds extra glitz.  You can find this pattern at Annie Design Crochet.

Christmas Baubles

This time of year is always so busy, busy, busy.  What with all the shopping, decorating and cooking, but you can still whip up this super cute, crochet Santa in no time at all.  Add a hanging thread for an adorable tree decoration, or you could make lots and use them for gift toppers.  The pattern is by Little Johns Yarn.

5 Minute Crochet Santa

Want something squishy to cuddle up to this Christmas?  Then look no further than 3amgracedesigns' cuddly candy cane.

Candy Cane Kawaii Cuddler

I'm not a big drinker usually, but I do like to have a little tipple at Christmas.  A nice glass of mulled wine or maybe a Baileys over ice.  This festive tree coaster will have you feeling merry and bright in no time, along with a glass of sherry and a mince pie?  The pattern is by Fluffy Stitches.

Tunisian Pine Tree Christmas Coaster

Another little something to hang on your tree.  Isn't he just adorable?  I love this pattern by my good friend Marjan, which you can find on her blog here...

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

Every fireplace need stockings at Christmas and this design by Sincerely Pam is so quick and easy, you can make it in just a few hours.  The pattern is perfect for beginner crocheters too.  Make them for gifts or just hang to decorate your home.

Alex Stocking

Lastly we have another hanging ornament and this one is such an unusual idea and is reminiscent of a vintage Christmas.  This pretty ice skate pattern is by Crochet Cloudberry.

Crochet Ice Skate Christmas Bauble

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Thanks for stopping by and I hope you found something you liked.  Which was your favourite?  Let me know in the comments below...

Have a wonderful Christmas and I will see you all again soon...

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Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Velvet Stocking - Make this soft & cuddly Christmas stocking - Christmas Cal

Hello everyone.  It's Christmas craft along time again and this week I have a super cute pattern to share with you.  I have been really enjoying experimenting, with Bernat's Velvet and will be making lot's of new patterns using this yarn.  Bernat Velvet is so soft and snuggly, you just cant stop touching it.  Have you tried this yarn before?  It really is beautifully soft, albeit a little tricky to work with.  So what to make first?  I needed a Christmas gift for my niece and nephew and just thought this yarn would make great Christmas stockings, perfect for a baby's first Christmas or just to make your home look extra festive.

Velvet Stocking


1 ball each in 2 colours Bernat Velvet yarn



Approx. 15 inches (38cm) long


US terms  (UK conversion)
sc - single crochet (double crochet)
hdc - half double crochet (half treble crochet)
sl st - slip stitch
ch - chain
st - stitch

Other notes:  This pattern is described as intermediate, purely because of the nature of working with the velvet yarn.  This type of yarn obscures the stitches and requires some skill to determine where they are.  It is recommended for this reason to count your stitches as you go until you become familiar working with the yarn.

Stocking Toe

With contrast colour, starting with a magic loop.

Round1 Right side, ch1, (does not count as st), 8hdc into ring, join with sl st.  (8hdc).

Round 2 Ch1, 2hdc in each st around, join with sl st.  (16hdc).

Round 3 Ch1, [2hdc in next st, hdc in next st] repeat around, join with sl st.  (24hdc).

Round 4 Ch1, [2hdc in next st, hdc in next 2 sts] repeat around, join with sl st.  (32hdc).

Rounds 5 - 7 Ch1 sc in each st around, join with sl st, turn.  (32sc).  Fasten off.

With main colour and right side facing, join with sl st in 1st st of round.

Rounds 8-21 Ch1, sc in each st around, join with sl st, turn.  (32sc).  Fasten off.

Shape Heel

With contrast colour, joining with sl st to 8th st to the right of the back seem, (there is a slight seam visible from the joining sts).

Row 1 Ch1, sc in same st and in next 15 sts, turn.  (16sc).

Rows 2-4 Ch1, sc in each st, turn.  (16sc).

Row 5 Ch1, sc in next 10 sts, sc2tog, sc in next st, turn.  (12sc).

Row 6 Ch1, sc in each st to last 6 sts, sc2tog, sc, turn.  (8sc).

Row 7 & 8 Ch1, sc to last st, sc2tog over next st and 1st st from previous row, sc in next st, turn.

Row 9 & 10 Ch1, sc to last st, sc2tog over next st and 1st st of previous row, turn.  Fasten off.

Body of Stocking

With right side facing and main colour, join with sl st to 6th st of heel.

Round 1 Ch1, sc in same st and next 3 sts, sc2tog, sc4 down left side of heel, sc2tog over side of heel and 1st st of main body of stocking, sc in next 14 sts, sc2tog over last st and side of heel, 4sc up side of heel, sc2tog, sc in next 3 sts, join with sl st, turn.  (32sc).

Rounds 2-20 Ch1, sc in each st around, join with sl st, turn.  (32sc).  Fasten off.

With right side facing and contrast colour join with sl st to 1st st to the right of seem.

Rounds 21-40 Ch1, sc in each st around, join with sl st, turn.  (32sc).  Fasten off and weave in ends.

Hanging Loop

With contrast colour ch30.

Row 1 Sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch.  Fasten off.

Sew hanging loop to top of stocking.

I added a cute wooden tag, you can get these at Amazon...

If you would like to help support my work, you can purchase an ad free pdf version of this pattern in my Etsy store.  This pattern is also available to download this month, for my Patreon subscribers.  You can subscribe from as little as $1 a month and can cancel at any time.  Head on over there for more details...

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Velvet Stocking Pattern purchase from Etsy.

Velvet Stocking Pattern only $1 this month at Patreon

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Saturday, 30 November 2019

Christmas Giveaway! - Win 10 Lullaby Lodge PDF's & some super cute Christmas labels...

Hello friends.  It's that time of year that is meant to be all about giving, so I have decided to do a Christmas giveaway.  One lucky winner will receive the first prize, of ten Lullaby Lodge PDF's.  This will include a mix of Christmas themed patterns, blanket patterns and printables...

...and five runners up will receive these super cute personalised Christmas labels.

So how can you be in for a chance to win?  Just use the Rafflecopter below.  There are lots of ways to enter and you don't need to do them all, just choose the ones you would like to do.  The more points you get the higher your chance of winning.  You will need to give your email address to enter (this is how I will contact the winners).  I will not use your email address for any other reason.

If you have any friends that you think would like to enter, please share on your social media.  The giveaway entries close on 14th of December and winners will be announced on the 15th.

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I wish you the best of luck and a very merry Christmas.


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Monday, 25 November 2019

Candy Cane Dishcloths - Add some Christmas cheer to your chores, with my Candy Cane Dishcloths - Christmas Cal

Hello friends.  It's craft along time again and this week I would like to share with you my pattern for these festive Candy Cane Dishcloths.  I have also added 2 bonus patterns for you to enjoy.  No one likes to do the dishes, especially after eating a big Christmas lunch.  These cloths will make wash up time less of a chore and put a smile on your face while you tackle that huge pile of dishes.  Dishcloths and washcloths also make great last minute gifts.  Each cloth only takes a matter of minutes to make and if you add one of my festive labels, you will have gifts for everyone in no time at all.

Candy Cane Dishcloth


Aran / worsted weight cotton yarn in red, white & green
Darning needle


4.5 (7) hook

Abbreviations US Terms (UK Conversion)

sc - single crochet (double crochet)
ch - chain
st(s) - stitch(es)
sl st - slip stitch
sk - skip

Other notes: Change colours every 2 rows following the colour sequence white, green, red.  Do not fasten off when changing colours and carry yarn up the side of work.

With white ch37

Row 1 sc in 3rd ch from hook, [ch1, sk1, sc in next st] across, sc in last st.  Turn.  (18sc, 18ch1 sp)

With green

Row 2 ch2, [sc in next sp, ch1] across, sc in last sp (this will be the turning ch).  Turn.

Repeat row 2 keeping colour sequence correct until a total of 19 stripes have been formed, finishing with white.  Fasten off green and red yarns.

Continuing with white we will now work 1 row across each side...

Row 1 ch1, sc in next st (around post of first green st), ch1, sk1, sc in next st (around post of first white st), [ch1, sk1, sc in next st] across, ending with ch1, sl st to corner st.  Fasten off.

Joining with a sl st to the opposite side, repeat row 1.  Fasten off and weave in ends.

Merry Granny Dishcloth


Aran / worsted weight cotton yarn in red, white & green
Darning needle


4.5 (7) hook

Other notes: Starting with white yarn, follow my pattern for The Perfect Granny Square and work 9 rounds in the colour sequence white, red, green.

Final round: With white join in any st, sc in each st around and [sc, ch1, sc] in each corner, join with sl st to first sc.  Fasten off and weave in ends.

Festive Splashtime Washcloth

2 colours cotton 4ply (red & white or green & white)
Darning needle

5mm (H) hook

Other notes:  Using red and white yarn or green and white, follow my pattern for Splashtime Washcloths.  If you would like your cloth to end up the same size as the other Christmas cloths, ch30 to start.  Continue until piece measures approx. 8.5 inches.  

These dishcloths look very merry in their Christmas labels, making them perfect for gifting...

Or alternately you can purchase them from my Etsy Store.

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Thursday, 21 November 2019

Christmas Belly Bands - Printable labels for all your holiday, knitting & crochet gifts...

Hello friends, I have been really busy creating these super cute belly bands for all your handmade Christmas gifts.  They come in 2 sizes making them great for dishcloths, spacloths, scrubbies, hats, gloves, socks and more.  They can be easily printed off at home and look great on both white and kraft paper.  100gsm or more is recommended.

The labels are available to buy from my Etsy Store, or as a free gift when you sign up to my Patreon page (this is by far the cheaper option).  You can become a patron from as little as $1 a month and can cancel at anytime.  Other benefits of becoming a patron include...

  • Exclusive patron only content
  • Sneak peeks at patterns in the making
  • Opportunities to pattern test
  • Special offers and coupon codes
  • Pdf patterns
  • Pattern support 
  • Private messaging service

The small labels are great for dishcloths...

...and the larger ones shown here, with a beanie and mini hot water bottle.

So be sure to head on over to Patreon and claim your free gift, or purchase from my Etsy Store if you prefer.

Happy holiday hooking!

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