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Christmas wreath chandelier

Christmas wreath chandelier DIY I don't know how 2017 Christmas came round so quickly, but our house is still not there yet with all the DIY's. Although I am glad with current progress on our new kitchen that might be functional this year (yey!), when it comes to Christmas decoration I realised we are still not ready for an actual Christmas tree. For starters, children would rip it apart in few seconds. So not worth the stress...

Unless I can hang it? And this is how Christmas chandelier idea came around :-).Make your own Christmas wreath chandelier To begin with I made the wreath. For this you will need some sort of hoop. I ripped our old lamp shade apart to get the hoop that turned out to be a bit rusted (never mind), but maybe you can use embroidery hoop instead (the inner part)?? Anyways, this is why I categorised this project as upcycled ;-).Make your own Christmas wreath chandelier Because I ripped our old lampshade I also got an attachment to connect the hoop to the lamp. I covered both (the attachment and the hoop) with some greenery (mostly parts of the tree in my friends garden). Make your own Christmas wreath chandelierI used three treads to connect the attachment with the hoop. Hope it's visible in the picture bellow.Make your own Christmas wreath chandelier As for Christmas "tree" deco I chose baubles that I decided to customise myself. I thought to paint with the acrylic that I already have... very risky I know! But I have to be frugal sometimes. Turned out to be ok actually, not sure how long it would last. The black acrylic pain was a bit watery and run in places a bit, but created a nice sort of vintage look. Make your own Christmas wreath chandelierAfter hanging all there baubles on the wreath, there were few leftover. I mounted them above our mantelpiece so everything looks Christmas ready. If only we stayed at home for all the celebrations.Make your own Christmas wreath chandelierHope you feel inspired and ready ahead with Christmas decorating.

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Gingerbread advent calendar

How to make gingerbread cookie advent calendarI have not made an advent calendar for a while so this year I thought I better not miss out and count the days till Christmas in style . I thought I should at least try and make it for Lukas and I am glad that I did. I made it out of gingerbread which means it can be eaten day by day. The only problem is that I made it a little early, a whole two weeks before December! Now daily (sometimes hourly) Lukas asks me for "a bisc" which means biscuit in his language. It's wonderful to see him so excited but hopefully the calendar will last till advent begins without too many tears!How to make gingerbread cookie advent calendar I used this recipe to make the dough for the gingerbread cookies. I made sure I made a hole in each cookie before baking it so I can feed a tread through it and that way cookie can be hanged. How to make gingerbread cookie advent calendar I used basic icing (icing sugar mixed with little bit of water) to write the number on each cookie. I originally was planning to use food colouring to make it black, but I am glad I stayed with basics. Sometimes easy and simple stuff look best!How to make gingerbread cookie advent calendar Last job was to arrange the cookies. I first arranged the cookies on white surface so I can find the nicest arrangement before actually hanging everything. I used a little bit of greenery as it brings out a lovely contrast that I love. Gingerbread cookie advent calendarI been very lucky that we have picture rails in our house. I only now discovered the real purpose of them. Before I used to think that it is just a nice trim! If you would like an alternative hanging solution then check out here. I used a wire hanger to make my last advent calendar three years ago.How to make gingerbread cookie advent calendar How to make gingerbread cookie advent calendar How to make gingerbread cookie advent calendar How to make gingerbread cookie advent calendarHope you have been inspired and I am wishing you all an exciting Christmas season!

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Garlic rye bread and bean salad

Rye garlic bread and bean salad recipe It's becoming to look like Christmas and I decided to share a recipe for a salad that is traditional to have for Christmas Eve. It is that simple and tasty that my brother used to voluntarily go on salad making duty because of that. Hope you like it as much as we do! Rye garlic bread and bean salad recipe GARLIC RYE BREAD AND BEAN SALAD

Makes one medium serving bowl (I made half portion here)

  • 1 medium rye bread loaf
  • 6 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
  • generous amount of oil for frying
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 onions, finelly chopped
  • 2tsp caraway seeds, soaked in water
  • 2 cans of butter beans or cannellini beans, rinsed under cold water
  • bunch of parsley, finelly chopped (optional)

1. Slice the bread and then chop the slices into 1cm cubes.Rye garlic bread and bean salad recipe2.Fry the bread together with garlic in generous amount of oil (very necessary, sorry for dieters). Season to taste and put it aside.Rye garlic bread and bean salad recipe3. Fry the onion together with caraway seeds until onions are nice and slightly transparent. Add the beans and take the pan off the heat.  Rye garlic bread and bean salad recipe4. Mix everything together.Rye garlic bread and bean salad recipe Rye garlic bread and bean salad recipeHope you don't miss this humble salad at your Christmas table ;-).

Rasa xx

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Christmas village display

Christmass village decoration I must admit, I was a bit scared of Christmas this year because of what is going on around us. House DIY, Lukas often ill (I've been told he is perfecting his immune system) and our new baby on the way have added a lot of pressures already, but also I could not quite think what gifts I should get for the family. The major additional pressure I find at Christmas is buying those gifts.  Since when did we lose the true meaning of Christmas? When did it get so materialistic? I dread every year of this gift giving madness when I am pushed to get gifts that somebody may not even like. I prefer spontaneous gifts that I put lots of thought in it (such as handmade ones perhaps), not something I got from the amazon to fulfil set occasions. Thankfully our family was very understanding and agreed to gives us a little break this year. My mother-in-law even said "that's a relief", bless her. I am very lucky to have such a wonderful mum in law! I was relieved myself as well of course and started looking forward to Christmas already. I took some time to make our home slightly Christmassy with this winter village display. Something to brighten up our otherwise dusty home :D.Christmass village decoration So here is how you could make your own Christmas village display. All you need is a card (can be a brown cardboard from packaging, but I had some white thick cardboard instead). Use the template below (or make your own) to draw the houses a couple inches above the bottom edge.  Christmass village decoration christmas-village-deco-1 christmas-village-deco-template2The next job is to cut out the houses as well as their windows. I used a craft knife and tried a swivel knife as well. The basic craft knife worked perfectly while swivel knife was actually swiveling in a way i couldn't predict which made me feel out of control. Has somebody had any luck with this type of knife? It supposed to be really good with curves! Anyhow, choose whichever tool suits you best. Although I do recommend using a metal ruler for long straight lines.Christmass village decoration To make the village houses stand apply a card support on the back. I made some card strips and applied it using double sided tape. Tip: lightly score the strip to help it fold easily. Christmass village decorationPlace your Christmas village on the fire place, shelf, or window sill at least 5 cm away from the wall (I used sellotape to secure it).Christmass village decoration Fill the backside of the Christmas village with fairy lights!Christmass village decorationNow it's time to make the "trees" (I vandalised the local park again this year...oops). I cut the branches into small segments and attached some blu-tack so I could stick them behind my village display.Christmass village decoration Christmass village decoration Christmass village decoration Christmass village decoration Christmass village decoration Christmass village decorationHappy Christmas waiting :)

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Our Christmas tree this year

DIY fairy light Christmas tree I was about to say no to Christmas decorations this year (with all that going on in the house), until I remembered it can actually hide all the ugly interiors that we are not able to amend just yet. Few years ago I posted about controversial Christmas tree DIY's, I picked fairy light christmas tree for this years focal (and only) Christmas deco for our house. It is so simple to make that I could almost do it with a baby in one hand!

To make this fairy light Christmas tree you will only need 1. fairy lights (I had them since my house warming party in London!), masking tape & scissors (for attaching the lights onto the wall) and/or staple gun (more aggressive tool for attaching lights onto the wall if masking tape does not work).  DIY fairy light Christmas tree DIY fairy light Christmas tree I used a staple gun to attach and arrange the fairy lights onto the wall in fir tree shape because the masking tape just would not stick to the textured wall paper. I know you might be thinking that staple gun would destroy our walls. Well... yes and no! We are painting those walls among other things next year, so we will be treating and fixing those minor damages before doing that anyways. But I do agree the staple gun may not be a right tool for everyone (especially if you re living in the rented place).DIY fairy light Christmas tree As for gift wrapping I have been using what I have in the house (such as leftover wallpaper from London house I owned). I sort went with Art Deco style I would say (I am so in love with Art Deco style at this moment!).Christmas gift wrappingDIY fairy light Christmas treeHappy Christmas waiting!

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How to bake Kūčiukai (Lithuanian Christmas Eve biscuits)

How to make Kūčiukai (Lithuanian Christmas Eve biscuits) As I write this I am Lithuania and I thought it would be nice to post something Lithuanian to make for Christmas. Kūčiukai (Lithuanian Christmas Eve biscuits) are very traditional, but they might not be to everybody's taste.  Some might find them too bland but they are definitely fun to make, so please give them a chance! If you are trying to imagine what they taste like imagine a small breadstick but with poppy seeds in them. They are usually served soaked in poppy seed "milk" but can be eaten as a snack. Interested? Then read on ;-) How to make Kūčiukai (Lithuanian Christmas Eve biscuits) KŪČIUKAI

  • 500g  plain flour
  • 7g dry fast acting yeast
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 250ml milk (lukewarm)

1. Mix all the ingredients and form it into a dough. Kneed the dough for at least 5 min. How to make Kūčiukai (Lithuanian Christmas Eve biscuits) 2. Form the dough into a ball and place it into a bowl. Cover it with cling film and place it somewhere warm for an hour or so. When the dough has risen (at least doubled in size) then punch it to "deflate" it and cover it to proof for another half an hour. 3. Once the final proofing is done shape the dough into sausage shapes and slice them into small bits (about 1cm in size).  How to make Kūčiukai (Lithuanian Christmas Eve biscuits) 3. Bake these in preheated 190C oven for 5-7 min until slightly golden but not brown. How to make Kūčiukai (Lithuanian Christmas Eve biscuits) I must admit, this recipe is slightly naughty! Traditionally Lithuanians don't eat any dairy or meat during Christmas eve and this recipe certainly has some milk and eggs. If you want to try you can soak these in poppy seed "milk". To make the "milk" just soak some poppy seeds in sweetened water and mash them with a mortar and pestle. The water should turn slightly white and milk like. How to make Kūčiukai (Lithuanian Christmas Eve biscuits) Enjoy! Rasa ;-)

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Instructions for Christmas craft kits!

Make your own hanging birdie decorationMissed your chance to order Christmas craft kits? Well here is your chance to make your own hanging decorations with the materials you have. We have updated the original instructions and now they are exactly the same as you would have found in the Friendly Nettle craft kits. If you fancy making hanging birdie deco then click here or if you prefer to crochet then hanging star may be your thing ;-).make your own crochet star hanging decoAlternatively if you learn this triangle crochet pattern, you could make these super cute mini buntings!crochet your own mini buntingHappy Christmas waiting!

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My favourite mulled wine recipe this year

jam mulled wineI lost the count how many mulled wine glasses (or bottles) I drank this year. Many many glasses for sure! That's because I like mulled wine very much. So of course I have experimented with it a lot. Because I don't always have ready mulled wine in hand, I often make my own when in need. I have been inspired by Jamie Oliver mulled wine recipe this year. I came up with very smooth and thick mulled wine because of that. It almost taste like a spiced jam! jam mulled wineJAM MULLED WINE

  • 2 clementines, cut in half
  • 2 handfuls of mixed berry mix (frozen works well)
  • 100g sugar
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bottle of red wine (I like merlot most)

1. First heat sugar with clementines, berries and spices. Mash clementines and berries so the juice come out and the sugar dissolves in it.

jam mulled wine2. When everything dissolves, pour the wine in. Heat further till it warms but does not boil (you want to make sure that alcohol does not evaporate!). jam mulled wine Pour the mulled wine into the glasses and enjoy Christmas!

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Things I look forward to in December

Things I look forward in December, Christmas of course!

Well, could I be even more obvious? Of course I am waiting and anticipating for Christmas most! It's day 6 and 18 more to go!

1. CHRISTMAS DECORATION. I had a branch set up with these bird decorations (soon you could be making them yourself!). Right now I am loving my advent calendar (see the previous post)!Make your own birdie decorations!2. ONLINE SHOP RE-OPENING. We had our market last saturday where we were selling sewing and crocheting kits together with biscuits! If you missed it, not to worry! They are coming on to our online shop ;-). At Christmas market stall, online shop to be updated soon!3. TIME AWAY WITH FAMILY. We are going to Lithuania and back to UK. So lot's of upcoming traveling. We are currently deciding if we should take Leia with us so we are testing her on a short trip (Yesterday she took her first car ride!).Princess Leia4. VISITING SEASIDE IN WINTER. I wrote last year about one of my favourite seasides in the world. This year we are visiting it in winter while snowing (hopefully, fingers crossed). Can you imagine this in snow? I bet it will look magical!Seaside in Kursiu NerijaHappy December!

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Star advent calendar

Star advent calendar DIYI know, I know this might be a bit too late to make, but I really love how it decorated our house all Christmassy! I also like 1 candy a day diet very much, at least for now it's not harming anyone. I got this idea from here (even if it looks completely different, my lightbulb lighted up as soon as I saw that raindrop decoration). Star advent calendar DIYSo, to make your own star advent calendar cut out star pieces out of felt material.Star advent calendar DIY1. Embroider the number of the day on one felt star piece. I found chain stitch is the best for that!

2. Join two felt star pieces together by using buttonhole stitch.

3. Once you finished stitching two star pieces together make sure not to cut the string. It will be useful late on!

4. In the back cut the star open so the candy could be inserted. You can finish the edge off with buttonhole stitch as well. Star advent calendar DIY Star advent calendar DIY Star advent calendar DIYOnce all 24 stars are made then get a wire hanger and wrap it with pine branches (or fir or spruce or even cypress and cedar). I used a string to keep the branches tight on the wire. Star advent calendar DIY Star advent calendar DIY Star advent calendar DIYLast thing to do is to tie all the stars onto the hanger ;-). Enjoy!Star advent calendar DIYHappy Christmas waiting!

Rasa xoxo

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