making | baking | creating

How to Make Pom Pom Sparklers

 Oh, it's a beautiful day, isn't it.  Lets cheer it up with a bit of sparkle.

We can thank Kirstie for a recent wave of pom-pom mania, but if you’ve been visiting this blog over the last year, you’ll know I am a huge fan – particularly around Autumn/Winter as it adds a bit of cosy decoration and you can make them in any colour or colour combo you might like.  Today, I have a small pom-pom sparkler [non-edible, though if you fancy those, try here and here] that can be used as a drinks stirrer, cake topper or food decoration – anything that needs a little sparkle and glitter really.
Made in exactly the same way as these, I chose some wool with glitter thread woven through:
...but if you don’t have this, or have a particular colour wool already that you would like to use, wind in a glitter/silver/gold sewing thread alongside the wool, or incorporate them by wrapping them around your templates in alternate layers to create your own:

Once made, attach to a skewer/cake pop stick to fix in place and pop these in pots, vases, as food toppers and drinks stirrers to cheer in the New Year:
[use this post if you fancy stringing a whole batch together to create a pretty sparkly garland]
...and if you are short of time, you can buy ready made versions, perfect for skewering in place:
Happy New Year!
see you in 2014 x

Ribbon Garland

Hello!  I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas break and enjoyed your time from work, whatever you were doing.  Do you have any New Year plans?  As most of our efforts go in to Christmas, we’re quite happy for a quiet December 31st, but it doesn’t stop me decorating a little and adding even more glitter and sparkle to my home.

Last year, I made a gold tassel garland from crepe paper and this year I wanted something similar, but a little less time and paper consuming, so I went for one of my favourite colour combinations - mint green, pastel pink and silver – and two of my favourite materials - crepe paper and tissue paper – to create a simple ribbon garland.  These are perfect for backdrops, to hide away anything you don’t want seen or just as decoration and they can be as small or large scale as you need.
The first version of this I have is a little more large scale and therefore, shows the more simple version of putting it together.  Taking each colour of paper, I folded the length widthways and then made 4cm wide cuts across the length to create my ribbons [to the length you will need + around a 5cm hem].  
I then arranged each colour in the order I wanted them to hang:

Taking a length of thin gold thread and with a little glue, I attached the tops by folding them over the thread and sticking in place at the ends.  This way, the ribbon can move along the thread and be a little more flexible, if you change your mind about the colour ways or order:

Continue in any colour way or pattern you need, for the width you want to hang.....

....and then attach in place:
With all the folding and cutting, your ribbons will probably be a little creased, so I recommend 
placing on an ironing board, covering with a tea towel and on a low setting, ironing out the creases - unless you are perfectly happy with the look:
This will straighten out your ribbons and then you can cut the lengths to the same measurements, 
or to the length of the area you are hanging the garland:

Perfect as a backdrop, or for covering an area that you might like out of sight:

If the garland is not quite as 'full' as you would like, or like me, your cuts weren't as straight as you may like, you can take this hanging and roll the ribbons up again, cutting into each strip to create several cuts across it [around 5 ribbon strands]:
You can see the difference between the two sides - the left side has had each ribbon strand on the right rolled up and then cut into five [stop before where the strip is glued to the thread], creating thinner ribbons and a more full garland.  Steam the creases out again if needed to create straighter ribbons.

The second version of this ribbon garland is smaller, created with thinner strips, folded in half over the hanging thread to double the ribbons and then attached at the tops with a little glue for hanging:



I'll have another simple and quick decorating post tomorrow, so see you then x

Christmas Chocolate Breadsticks

Hello and Happy Tuesday, 24th December.
Christmas Eve!

This is one of my most favourite days of the year - I am at work until just after lunchtime [why was I so unorganised as not to book these last two days off?] and then don't set foot in the building until the New Year - I cannot wait.  Today, as the last post in this mini Christmas sugar series, I have the simplest of all Christmas treats - Christmas Breadsticks:
Made in exactly the same way as these, these and these - with a Christmas twist:
... these add some festive colour to your table and are great to make with any children 
you may have staying with you or paying a visit over the next few days.
 
If you have any Mikado's - they are mini versions, already covered in chocolate - perfect.
Have I covered all the holidays with my breadsticks now?........
Oh, Valentines and Easter - you've been warned.
Thank you so, so much for visiting the blog in 2013 - I can't wait to see what 2014 brings.  I'll be back with two very quick and very simple New Year themed posts on the 29th and 30th December, so hope to see you back here then.
I wish you a very Merry Christmas, filled with fun and lots of laughter.  
See you on the other side x

Christmas Marshmallows

It's Christmas Eve Eve! I can hardly believe it, but I am still at work, so please watch bad TV, eat Quality Streets and lounge on the sofa playing charades for me today.  If you have time in between, perhaps you might fancy making some of these, or any of the Pudding themes treats I can't seem to stop making - you can find them all here.

Last year, I made some yummy Marshmallow Pops for a party and then Christmas Pudding Marshmallow Pops.  This year, I've made a few more, but minus the pop and as little Marshmallow Puddings to wrap in a pretty bag instead:
But I couldn't stop there as we've been making a habit of Hot Chocolate and Movie afternoons and I'm pretty sure they will continue over the next few weeks.  All you need are some marshmallows, chocolate/sprinkles/decorations and maybe a candy cane or wooden skewer.

Simply, the marshmallows are dipped in melted milk/white chocolate or icing and before they set, covered in coloured icing, sprinkles, crushed candy canes or anything you want.  Leave them to set:




For a marshmallow kebab, skewer your marshmallows and they are ready to be served as a treat 
or as a hot chocolate stirrer.  Prettier marshmallows for your hot drink you never did see.
...and if you want to stand a few up in a glass and help keep them i place, fill it with sprinkles:
For a pretty hot chocolate, I took my candy cane stirrer from last year a step further and used it as my kebab stick - push through a couple of the marshmallows.  If you have trouble with them sticking in place – make a hole in the top with the handle end of a small spoon or skewer and coat the inside with icing sugar – then thread on to the candy cane and set in place with a little chocolate or icing if needed:
These are also perfect snack foods if you're throwing a New Years hoopla or party.
see you tomorrow x
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