Getting Crafty

I don’t usually get in Christmas mode until mid November, but I’ve realised that this year with the girls as active as they are, I need to start doing things a bit early.  It’s difficult enough at times trying to get organised without Christmas thrown into the mix.

I normally give my sisters hampers with my homemade chutney, Sloe Gin, jams, candles and a few Christmas baubles that I’ve made from Fimo.  They love this kind of gift and I love doing it.  However, it is pretty time intensive and I cannot bring my craft stuff in front of the girls.  Even if they are happily doing and making things with their own stuff beside me, as soon as my stuff appears, they want it!

So I have had to start making things now.  My apple harvest was poor this year and I got hardly any Sloes, so my chutney and Gin are a poor show this year.  I’ve decided instead to make them body sugar scrub, coconut bath salts, peach butter, apple and pear butter, Chilli Jam, some shortbread, biscuits and wax melting tarts.

During the summer, I went to a house clearance auction with a friend.  She was going to bid for a piano and wanted me along for moral support.  Whilst there, I spotted 2 boxes of brand new Mason and Kilner jars of various sizes and I wanted them.  I have a strange liking for jars, especially Mason and Kilners.  As luck would have it, the auction was almost entirely made up of men, not interested in glass jars.  I managed to get both boxes for £10.00 – what a bargain.  There were 35 jars in total from tiny Kilners, right up to 2 pint Masons.  I was in saddo jar heaven.

Anyway, I found great recipes for Candy Cane body scrub and coconut bath salts, in Mason jars and pinned them onto my pinterest for Christmas use, so in a couple of weeks I’ll tackle these.  Today I decided to make my wax tarts. A couple of years ago, I bought some tin moulds from eBay for about £5.  I buy Eco Soy wax, which has no paraffin, so no black smoke, it also melts faster and is easier to remove if you spill any.  I also bought Christmas Wreath, Gingerbread and Home for the Holidays scented oils and some wax dye chips to colour them.  The whole lot cost me £20 and I made 72 scented wax melting tarts. Wax tarts from Yankee Candles etc cost about £1.25 each, so 72 of those would have cost me £90!  I have enough to burn constantly myself and give my sisters a nice little bundle in their hampers.  They smell incredible and because they are homemade, I could decide just how much scent I wanted.  Our whole house tonight smells like Christmas trees, cloves and cinnamon :)

These really are so quick and simple to make.  Just put the wax chips into a Pyrex jug, add the scent, I usually add about 4 teaspoons per jug, add the wax dye and put it into the microwave for about 2 – 3 minutes.  Then pour them into the moulds and leave them to cool.  Once cooled they will just drop out of the moulds.  I then wrap them tightly in cling film and store them in a box in a cool dark cupboard.  Homemade tarts will burn with maximum scent much longer than the shop bought ones.  The brown ones are the gingerbread, red is Home for the Holidays and the dark green in the moulds are Christmas Wreath.  If you get a chance try these for yourself, you’ll never buy factory made ones again.

While I was doing this our youngest was scribbling with crayons and her big sister was making things from the CBeebies Christmas magazine.  There was a pompom elf included with the book, to stick together and add his features.  This is what they envisaged he should look like This is what he actually looks like in the hands of a 2.5yr old! A horror film Elf!

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