52 Weekends No.12 – Getting into the Festive Spirit

This weekend (with just 9 days to go) we’ve decided it’s time to get into the festive spirit.  We’ve put the tree and decorations up, we’ve made and eaten mince pies and started watching Christmas movies, my favourite is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (I believe it to be a Christmas movie, it has snow in it and Father Christmas).

I made this tree two Christmases ago, it’s really easy to make and is a great alternative to a traditional tree. Just collect large sticks of various lengths and string them together  (best way to do that is to string it together whilst it’s hanging in position). This year I’ve treated us to a new Polar Bear decoration, as soon as I saw him I knew we had to have him… I love bears!

This year I’ve added to my decorations by making a PomPom snowball garland, which happens to tie in nicely with my gift wrap theme this year.

Alternative Christmas Tree | 52 Weekends |Stacy Grant

Pompom Snowball garland | Stacy Grant Craft | 52 WeekendsAs for the mice pies, I cannot recommend this recipe enough… honestly the best mince pies you’ll ever taste! And so easy to make too, recipe below. They’re a winner every year!

Best Mince Pie Recipe | Stacy Grant food PhotographyMince Pie Recipe (makes 9)

Ingredients – 112g cold Butter, 175g plain flour, 50g sugar and a jar mincemeat.

Method – Rub together the butter, sugar and flour until it turns into a dough. Then divide the dough into half. Roll each half into a sausage shape and divide and cut into nine discs. Flatten the discs into the holes of a patty tin and fill with mincemeat. Make lids out of the other half of the dough and press onto the filled bases with the warmth of your fingers then bake for 20 mins at fan 180C. Simple! And so yummy!

52 Weekends No.11 – Making Cards and Gift Wrap

How perfect it is to be snowed in at a weekend… no stress, nowhere to go and you get to just enjoy it.

It’s also the perfect time to stay,  keep  warm and make our Christmas and and gift wrap! I’m actually starting to feel a little festive! Contemplating making a pom pom garland later, we’ll see!

These cards were fun and really easy to make, a simple line drawing with a splash of colour. The gift wrap is really fun and easy too, just dip a pencil rubber into white paint and stamp away. The other paper is even easier, just hand drawn trees but looks fab! I love hand made Christmas stuff!

Make your own Christmas cards | Stacy Grant Make your own Christmas Cards | Design ideas | Stacy Grant Make your own gift wrap | Stacy Grant Make your Own Gift Wrap| Paper ideas | Stacy Grant

52 Weekends No.10 – Making Marmalade

This weekend, inspired by the Paddington Movie and the idea of making our own Christmas gifts we’ve been making Marmalade. As it was my first time I decided to use a tin mix where you just add sugar and water and bring to the boil… nice and easy. I loved the printed tin so much I’ve kept it to use as a utensil holder. We’ve made cute little labels and made the jars look very cute. I think they will make very thoughtful gifts.

Marmalade | Stacy Grant | 52 Weekends

 

Marmalade | Stacy Grant | 52 Weekends Marmalade | Stacy Grant | 52 Weekends Marmalade | Stacy Grant | 52 Weekends

52 Weekends – No.7 T-shirt Yarn Project

This week’s inspiring 52 Weekends project is a t-shirt yarn project. This is a great idea for recycling old t-shirts and a cheap way to make new things, and I am all for that!

Making your own yarn is super simple, all you need is; one old t-shirt, pair of scissors and boom… yarn. If you cut it in one continuous zig zag motion you won’t even need to join it together. Obviously there are tons of things that can be made with this fabulous yarn but I wanted to make a trivet (to add to my food photography props). And if I am completely honest, I had a helper this weekend, my Mum came to stay and she is a much better and quicker knitter than me, so she did the most work!

T-shirt Yarn Project | 52 Weekends | Stacy Grant

T-shirt Yarn Project | 52 Weekends | Stacy Grant

52 Weekends – No.5 Natural Dyes

This weekend I decided to experiment with Natural Dyes. I recently read that Avocados produced my most favourite shade of pink and Black Beans my favourite shades of blue, I had to see this for myself.

I made the dyes and tested them on various fabrics and materials to see what colours could be achieved and bought a blank tote bag to dye and decorate for this week’s project for my 52 Weekends.

I absolute loved this project as I’ve never done anything like this before, it was easy, the results was perfect and I’ve got lovely fabrics to use as props in my food photography props and a fab bag. (The ‘HOW TO’ instructions are below the photos).Natural Dyes | Avocado Dye| Black bean dye| Stacy Grant Natural Dyes | Avocado Dye| Black bean dye| Stacy Grant

HOW TO make Avocado Stone Dye – Use three avocado stones, washed so no green flesh remains, put in a medium size saucepan and cover with just enough water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 40 mins (the water will turn maroon). Turn off from the heat, cover with a lid and leave over night.

HOW TO make Avocado Skin Dye – Clean the skins of 3 avocados so no green flesh remains, then roughly cut up into 1cm pieces.  Then same as above recipe.

HOW TO make Black Bean Dye – 8oz of dried uncooked black beans, cover with just enough water, stir and leave for at least 24 hours, stirring occasionally and topping up water when required.

When dye is ready strain through a sift/strainer lined with a muslin cloth (or any cloth/fabric similar) into a bowl. Place fabrics into the bowl of dye and soak for 2-3 hours, remove and rinse in cold water, wring out as much water as possible then hang to dry.

TIP 1. Hand wash fabric before dying, place in dye whilst still wet.

TIP 2. Store used avocado skins and stones in the freezer until you’ve collected 3 or more.

52 Weekends – No. 4 Birthday Party

This weekend we had a birthday in our house so it was time for our family tradition of a cheese and pineapple lunch.

As well and the cheese and pineapple (cheese and pickled onions and cheese and cocktail gherkins) I made a Banana loaf birthday cake as it is sugar free and 3 out of the 7 around the table are on sugar free diets and I made goats cheese and caramelised onion puff pastry tart (easy, veggie and super tasty). Recipes for both below.

We have another birthday next weekend, so I get to do it all over again!

Birthday | Stacy Grant | 52 weekends

The banana loaf is super simple;

125g wholemeal SR flour

Half tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

50g melted butter

2 tsp vanilla essence

1 egg

1 tbsp milk

3 ripe bananas

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl, in another bowl mix all the wet ingredients together, then mix both together and pour into a loaf tin, bake for 40 mins at 160 (fan oven).

Goats Cheese and Caramelised onion puff pastry is even easier;

1 pack ready rolled puff pastry

1 pack soft goats cheese, crumbled

Jar of caramelised onion

1 Egg

Unroll the puff pastry keeping it on the grease proof paper in comes wrapped in and place on a large baking tray. Cut into 20 squares. Score 1cm inside each square. Beat the egg to make egg wash and brush over each square. Fill each inside square with a tsp of caramelised onion and then crumble over the goats cheese. Bake in oven 180 (fan) for 20 mins.

 

 

52 Weekends – No. 3 Autumn Joy

Making the most of the last of the warm weather and enjoying the beautiful light in October by spending the weekend in the garden tidying up and preparing the garden for winter.

My garden is currently full of pinks and reds, the fuchsia are thriving, the leaves are turning, the twigs on the Dogwood have turned vivid red and the Sedums (Autumn Joy) are at their deepest shade of dark pink. It’s my favourite season!

I’m also planning ahead and getting the garden ready for spring by planting bulbs and now is the perfect time to do so. This year I am planting tulips, big double fruit salad coloured (Creme Upstar) ones for me and black ones (Queen of Night) for my husband… very metal. I’ve also planted some Irises (in memory of my Nan who’s name was Iris) and some Snake Head Fritillary which I only discovered this year but was too late in planting them. What a great way to spend an October weekend!

52 Weekends | Stacy Grant | Autumn Joy| Photographer

52 Weekends No.2

This weekend, inspired by the current trend in Pom Pom craft and the colder weather, I decided to make a Pom Pom blanket.

I bought a super soft grey throw for (£1.50!!) in Ikea and wool that I already had in my craft props. I couldn’t decided whether to use the pink or the blue, as I loved them both I decided to do one half pink and the other half blue (turns out that’s the same as last weeks crate… oops, seems I have already created a theme in my projects!).

It’s a super easy project and you can make the Pom Poms whilst sitting on the sofa watching movies! I’m really pleased with how it turned out, I’ll definitely be making more especially as this one was supposed to be for a different bedroom but I thought it looked great in mine!

Craft Photographer Stacy Grant

 

 

 

Pom Poms | Stacy Grant | Craft Photographer