Posted in Blogmas, Christmas, craft, Seasonal

Christmas Eve – Vlog Link: A Secret Santa Unwrapping

Christmas vlog link header

Now that my Monday thing is going to be this Vlog/Blog link, here is what I have vlogged about this week;Unwrapping my bloggers SecretSanta Gift

Continue reading “Christmas Eve – Vlog Link: A Secret Santa Unwrapping”

Posted in Blogmas, Christmas, craft, Guest Post, Regarding polly, Tips & How to's

December 23rd – Last minute Christmas wrapping –

Hello and thank you Polly for letting me loose with this guest post on your blog – it’s such an honour. (The honour is mine! – Polly) 

 Polly is like Twitter Royalty in my book!

We thought we would exchange some crafty ideas for you this Christmas, and mine is a last minute gift wrapping idea.

Imagine it is Christmas Eve, you’re wrapping the last few small gifts, the shops have shut and horror of horrors, you have RUN OUT OF WRAPPING PAPER 😳

Don’t panic! Do you have an A4 envelope and a pair of scissors, because that’s all you need for this “hack” (not my favourite word but it seems to be a buzz word) …


Here are the steps to making a gift bag from an A4 envelope:


Cut the top off the envelope, making sure you cut below the sticky bit.


Fold in each side about 2-3 centimetres and do the same at the bottom. Turn the envelope over and fold back the other way along the same lines.

Next, put your hand inside the envelope and push the bottom and sides out, making the gift bag shape. Sharpen the crease lines.


You will see two triangles form at the bottom corners. Make them flat then fold them underneath. Glue or tape them in position.

Fold the top of the envelope inwards all the way around to make it stronger and neater.

Place your gift inside and either tape the top closed, or punch holes and tie with ribbon. Don’t forget to add a label.


I hope you have managed to follow my instructions. Do have a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Please can we do this guest posting thing again soon Polly? It was so much fun!

Love Craft Owl (Marie)








More than welcome anytime, Marie!
Don’t forget to check out The Craft Owl site, as well as  Marie’s Main blog, her Instagram and Twitter

And if you want to see my post for Marie, it is here, over on The Craft Owl site.





Posted in Blogmas, Christmas, craft, Seasonal, Tips & How to's

December 19th: An Easy Christmas Craft

Dec 19th - Blogmas

You were going to make things this Christmas, weren’t you…

You had so many plans; you were going to do so much, but now it is less than a week until Christmas and you haven’t done any of it. There are the cards to write, decorations to put up, presents to wrap – that’s if you have even finished buying them. One thing you definitely don’t have time for now is crafting!

What if I told you…

…that there was a way that you can tick ‘do a craft’ off the Christmas Bucket List, sort some cool, sweet, snacks and get some decorations sorted all in one go, and in less than ten minutes?
Let me show you how.

What you will need:

This is all you will need, and chances are you have this stuff lying around the house right now.

All you need is Candy
Some scissors might also be a useful addition to this lot

*An even number of candy canes
*Sticky tape
*Aesthetic raffia, or string, or that shiny stuff you tie around presents…anything like that.

That’s it.
Now you just need to attach the long ends together with the sticky tape,as per the photo below, and then stick the ‘hooks’ together to form a heart shape. When you stick the top part together, remember to include a loop of your chosen cord.

Making christmas, Making Christmas
Making Christmas, making Christmas, Is so fine… (Wanders off to kidnap Sandy Claws…)

You can then hang these candy cane hearts on the tree, give them as gifts, used as gift tags on presents, or you could just eat them. Either way you have created something very christmassy and you should be very proud of yourself – in fact reward yourself with a swig of something seasonal and a munch on a spare candy cane (yes, that one, the one you broke while trying to stick them together the first time)

How did your candy canes go? If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, tag me in any photos you put up so I can congratulate you on a job well done. Share you link in the comments so I can come see. Maybe we should invent a hashtag? #PPTKOCandyHeart or something…

Posted in Blogmas, Christmas, craft, Seasonal

December 17th – Vlog Link: Gift Wrapping Solutions

Christmas vlog link header

Now that my Monday thing is going to be this Vlog/Blog link, here is what I have vlogged about this week; I have been chatting about gift wrapping solutions.

Wrapping is not just about paper

I did a post about present wrapping on the blog last Christmas, in which I mentioned the furoshiki cloths I picked up in Japan – and subsequently ‘put somewhere safe’…so safe I can’t currently find them… but it is fine, the vlog offers a few more material based suggestions for those of us who don’t currently have access to a Japanese 100 Yen shop.

Luckily, 2017 Polly had the forethought to grab a load of gift bags in the sales, so I am pretty much set for all the gifts that are going elsewhere, while the kids each have a box with all of their gifts in. My kids are now at an age where they are quite hard to buy for; I can’t get away with small toys anymore and I am opposed to tat, but that doesn’t really leave me a great deal to buy. They will be getting a box of food goodies too, and money for clothes as I don’t want to get that wrong! They will need something tidy to wear to my Mum’s on Christmas Day, so I have been searching for that, but buy and large, I am finished shopping.

This means I should have time to try out my experimental paper/ sewing idea – which may potentially go terribly wrong, so keep tuned for the results of that later in the week!

Be sure to check out the vlog and I will see you tomorrow for more Christmas blogging!

Posted in Blogmas, Christmas, craft, Seasonal

December 10th – Vlog Link: Crafting Christmas

Back in January 2016, I made a video; an introduction to my 40×40 Bucket List. since then I have made one every week. It has since evolved into a Kettle List vlog, what with me turning 40 and getting a new list and all, but the basic premise remains the same – I chat about Bucket List stuff, albeit sometimes somewhat tenuously.

As I now have a blog, it would be a bit remiss not to plug my vlog and try and accomplish my dream of 50 subscribers (which I now have, thank you guys!, so I have upped my dream to 100), so from now on, once a week, this will be my Monday Thing: A rundown on the week that has passed, and what I have vlogged about.

And this week I have been chatting about my Christmas crafts.

Dec 10th

I bought a massive job lot of tissue paper with the intention of making some puffy snow balls to hang from the ceiling over the tree, but after buying some laser cut snowflake coasters I had an idea…I thought I would go ‘extra’. While my Christmas bucket list calls for me to make some paper snow flakes, I have decided to make an entire cloud!
You can hear me chat about what I planned to do in the vlog

My Snow Cloud

I am quite happy with the results…and as they are more ‘wintery’ than ‘Christmassy’ I intend keeping them up until March 21st, after which I can trade them in for some Springtime craftiness.

Paper Craft in Action

My craft basket. My paper flowers are slowly forming a cloud.

The cloud on the wall

The cloud looked better on the wall, thanks to Command Brand wall hooks.

Let it snow
Here it is, complete with strands and snow flakes

While at B & M’s today I was able to pick up these lights for just £4. Each light has a little box to add letters to so you can spell out messages,except for Merry Christmas, as there are only 2 ‘R’s’! They come with 90 spare letters, hearts, stars and numbers and I can keep them up all year to spell out ‘Happy Birthday’, ‘Congratulations’ or ‘Put the bins out’. Those Command hooks came in handy for the lights too.

Christmas lights
I will need to experiment with phrases that fit into 20 letters or less… ‘Turn the lights off’

So how goes your Christmas Crafting?

Not a fan? What do you enjoy making this time of year?

Posted in Blogmas, craft, Lifestyle, Project 333, Seasonal, Tag

December 9th -Ugly Jumpers

I am a bit fussy about clothes – I have a minimalist capsule wardrobe to prove it- and, as such, am not a fan of the whole ‘Ugly Christmas Jumper’ craze.  Why invest in a piece of clothes you can only wear for one month?  At least gloves and hats are useful and can be worn all winter …and spring in England…and much of summer to be honest!

While Hannah has a comprehensive Christmas couture Collection – one of the many benefits of volunteering in a charity shop – my seasonal sartorial selection is very limited.  But if I ever find the Navy/Grey/Pink , slightly Nordic, jumper I have in my head, I will buy it.  Until then we have today’s advent present: Gingerbread Ugly Jumpers.

9th Dec

 We are not Bakers

Last year we attempted building a gingerbread house.  It was an unmitigated disaster.  In the end we declared it an art piece that represented modern society, in that it was broken; it had fallen down, and the once white icing looked yellow and as if someone had peed against the crumbling walls of the sorry looking biscuit based hovel.  We actually own special cookie cutters that would enable us to bake and build our own house, which we laughingly decided against.  Aldi sells a pre-made house, complete with the icing to decorate it, but even that seemed beyond our skill set, so to compromise, we used this box.

Christmas Biscuit Decorating
Ignore the ‘dead inside’ eyes – he is actually very happy to be making biscuits… well, he is happy to be eating biscuits…


I am not being uncharitable when I state that icing is probably not my family’s medium.  Ethan chose to use ALL of the sugar stars, while Toby went for a more minimalist look  AKA ‘couldn’t really be bothered and just wanted to eat it’



I am now waiting for Hannah to return from work to redeem the family’s artistic honour… I will hopefully have an improvement on the above to add to this post later this evening.

edit: Han came home and made her biscuit, as her jumper picture was WHOLLY unsuitable for the internet, I made her add a few sprinkles.  Suffice to say, my  assertion that we are indeed NOT bakers has been wholeheartedly confirmed.

Are you a seasonal baker? What are your best makes? Should ugly Christmas jumpers be thrown in a fire and burned to keep us warm this season? Let me know in the comments!

Posted in Blogmas, Christmas, craft, Lifestyle, Seasonal

December 8th – Pound Shop Haul

In a complete contradiction to everything I have previously stated regarding sustainability and minimalism, I do love me a bit of Christmas tat. If you do it cheaply, you don’t mind if it doesn’t last too long either. To this end I have visited the Pound Shop – this is not a sponsored post, I am just a big fan of their work.

8th Dec

My Christmas Aesthetic

I am a girl of limited colour palettes; my capsule wardrobe contains blues, greys and a splash of peachy pink. My living room as also fairly neutral, so this Christmas I fancied blue, silver and white, so I could co-ordinate my clothes. Apparently not all of the shops got the memo, and they are still selling all of the traditional red, green and golds. Luckily, as ever, the Pound Shop has got me.

Less is More
Deck the halls with colour specific and coordinated balls…fa la la la la, fa la la la….

I was pleased to see their tableware range; I was able to pick up paper plates, bowls, serving platters, a cotton runner, table cloth and serviettes. Even managed to sneak in a tea towel. They are navy, white and silvery grey, with a stag motif and the phrase ‘ The most wonderful time of the year’ on them.


Christmas Crafting

I hope to try out a few crafts this season. We have already attempted cards, and I have a wreath and an experimental art piece to try and get done. There are also paper chains to go up. I have therefore bought some pre-cut chains that I will assemble this week, some tissue paper in various blue and silver hues for my ‘project’, led battery powered bell lights to weave into my wreath and some beautiful smelling potpourri, purely because I begrudge paying cash for pine cones that fall off of trees freely, and I can use the silver ones that are in this frankincense pack to go on my wreath. The rest of the pack can sit in one of the many glass bowls I have filled with fairy lights.

Crafty bits for just £1 each

So now I need to get on with my crafting, although it is entirely likely I will force my in house elves ( i.e. the kids!) into helping me out.

What bargains have you bought this holiday? Do you use the same decorations every year or do you like trying out new looks and colour schemes? And what colour are you going with this Christmas? Let me know in the comments.