This has been a great project for the year. I’ve really (for the most part) enjoyed a weekly picture. And discovering the different image types I can use to portray the character of my girl. There were weeks where it was really hard to find a picture, not just a picture of her per say, just a picture of anything at all! I find that my photography has an ebb and flow character and particularly in the saddle seasons life become fuller and more stressful and my photography gets but to the back of the pile. But thats ok, life’s like that!
I may keep going next year as a sort of challenge to myself, but I am also going to do my own monthly picture. Probably themed a little and simply titled according to month. Published on the 30 of each month (except Feb obviously – 28th for that month)
So should anyone fancy joining me – January’s word is ‘Recharge’ – which is exactly what this family needs after christmas and before the excitement of nana visiting in February!
Little excerpts from our day. Opening her gifts from santa. Having her buddy round to play at brunch time. More opening. Much outfit changing, she wanted to wear her new denim pinafore dress but as the mercury rose to above 25 degrees slightly lighter options became more appealing. Fairy wings. Bubble chasing.
A stollen at Christmas was a tradition for my mum. She made one every christmas. So this year, for the first time I decided to uphold that tradition and make one for our home over christmas. Actually I got slightly over excited and made 4. In 2 days.
I use a basic recipe I found on the web and adapted it to make it taste like mums.
To make the yeast sponge
1/4 cup of warm water
3/4 cup of warm milk
tsp of honey (or maple syrup if that’s all you have in the pantry)
About a tbsp of yeast (I use a basic dried yeast)
Combine the water and yeast, then add the milk, honey and flour. Combine and leave to bubble and rise for about 30 mins (can be longer)
A cup of raisons/candid fruit mix – this is personal, I prefer slightly less raison/fruit in mine, you can add up to a cup of each if you prefer a fruit filled Stollen. I soak mine in a little orange juice but you can use rum or brandy if you want.
1/2 cup of chopped almonds – toasted (optional) It tastes more like mums without, but I like it with!
tsp of mixed christmas spices
1/3 cup of honey
tsp of salt
tsp of spices
1 large egg
1/2 cup of melted butter
I mix all the wet ingredients together, and add to the yeast sponge. Then combine in 2-3 cups of flour, adding about 1/4 of a cup at a time, mixing well until the dough binds together – turn out onto a floured surface and knead until elastic and smooth. Then grease bowl and pop in, cover and leave to rise for between 45 mins or whenever you remember to go back and shape it.
Spices to sprinkle on
Marzipan – I think mine was a 300g block that did 2 smaller loaves.
To shape turn out onto a greased surface and flatten out into a sort of oval, or 2 oval if your making 2 small loaves. Sprinkle with spices and granulated sugar (you can omit the sugar if your popping marzipan in the middle) I rolled out my marzipan so its the same length as the dough, put it along once side and roll up the dough around the marzipan sausage. I then slightly flatten the long sausage of dough (with its marzipan centre) and fold it back on itself.
Leave to rise for, well, until is double in size or until you once again forget it, and then remember it.
Bake at 190 degrees for about 25 mins
Joining Soulemama for This Moment ~ A moment from this week that I want to pause, savour and remember. A special moment.
Breaking the no words rule. SUMMER IS HERE!!
Who doesn’t all love handmade dolls. Seriously who doesn’t covert those amazing Waldorf and OOAK dolls on Etsy and Felt. We have big doll lovers in this home.
So when Lisa told me she was working on a very special project. A vintage style doll that can be sewn at home, by a mama. That could be made from materials we can all source, by someone with basically no doll making experience. Well, I was intrigued and excited and asked to pretty please be included on testing the pattern.
Lisa has made a wonderful pattern, with excellent instructions that break the sewing and making into bite sized chunks.
The face is all hand embroidered. Lisa has written a really comprehensive guide to the embroidery and how to do everything. I was a little nervous of doing it as I’ve never embroidered before but it was actually all done and dusted in one evening; sitting by the fire. Even hubby was impressed! Her little ears are also stitched on – possibly one of the cutest little details that I adore. Her hair is simple to create and her hairstyles are all beautiful.
This was meant to be a set of pictures of my second doll. Madams Christmas gift. All finished and dressed. But life interrupted art. So here’s a sneak peek of her in a very ‘work in progress’state. Full reveal later in the week.
The clothes included in Lisa’s pattern are delightful. Machine sewn and finished with lovely little details. I found the kimono dress could be made with either a back opening or as a fully functioning kimono wrap. And the knickers can be lengthened if you want.
This is ‘Polly’. She is made to Big Little’s ‘Fleur’ pattern. You can win her. She is looking for a home for life. She’s made of organic calico and stuffed with locally sourced Alpaca roving. Her hair is alpaca boucle and her dress is Michael Miller fabric. She also has lovely little navy shoes which she will come with.
Pop by Big Little on Etsy and use the code FLEUR15 to get 15% off the pattern, right up until Saturday. Just pop the code in at the checkout. It would be a great gift for a friend or to make for a little person for Christmas.
And the big question. If you bought the pattern today could you make her for Christmas? Yes, yes you could. Honestly, if you can find a few hours and a few 10 min moments here you can make her before Santa comes calling. All the notions you need are easily sourced.
Now if you are looking at this and thinking. That’s all very well for you, but all I’ve ever sewn before are straight lines. Don’t be put off. She is so achievable and rewarding. Give it a go.
If you would like to nominate a child to win Polly who is pictured in this post (pink haired doll) please use the link below, tell us who the child is and why your’e nominating them. The nominations are open internationally but be aware that she will only arrive in time for Christmas if you are in NZ (or possibly Oz if the post is favourable!!) You can also nominate through Instagram using the hashtag #biglittledollgiveaway
Its a grainy iphone pic, of her being brave and proud, standing with her friends for ‘The 12 days of Christmas’ (kiwi version) at the library Christmas Storytime. But I love it. 12 months ago she would never have stood there, so tall and staunch with her best friends.
Joining Soulemama for This Moment
I will confess right off the bat that Ive never tie dyed anything before. I may have done something as a young child with a t-shirt and crushed blueberries thats the extent of my experience.
I bought this kit and some thrifted white bed sheets and a ruffled edged white pillow slip as I have the vague idea that I’d try dye dying a large piece of fabric to use in some project or other. After a bit of googling I decided to try a spiral pattern and madam and I got up to some fun.
The kit was super easy to use – fill the bottles with water and off you go. I watered down the bottles after doing the pillow slip so the duvet colours after a wash are actually quite soft and pastel. After dying we wrapped the fabric in cling wrap and left it sitting for about 6 hours before rinsing out and washing.
I think decided that since I have one sheet dyed and one sheet plain i would make madam a duvet cover as she keeps complaining her Peter Rabbit one is for ‘babies’. And I know we have some very cool ones coming with a visiter in the new year, but the handmade one would tide us over nicely. Also the thrifted sheets they are lovely pure cotton so perfect for summer.
Totally unrelated to the tie dying but a pic of the curtains I made for madams bedroom for her birthday. They are a long way from perfect and are a little small (I was being a cheapskate!) but they have blackout lining and do the job 95% of the way. The fabric was on offer at spotlight and the pinkly sum of 4.95mtr, the blackout lining was about $8mtr and they are the exact width I needed – so un-gathered when closed. So I’m calling success.
If I can get another 2mtrs of the fabric I’ll all a bit extra to them to create a better fit. But I’m not to panicked about it.
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