Wednesday, November 28, 2012

{Christmas Guest Feature} 5 DIY Christmas Ornaments by Max and Me

I came to know this special and amazing lady through a mutual friend this year and you know when you can tell when a person has a super duper big heart and a kind, generous nature towards everything and everyone? Yup. She is one of those beautiful souls.

Tamsyn has her own fantastic blog Max and Me and I highly encourage regular trips over there to see what she is up to. She is up to ALOT nowadays. Her creativity is limitless so you'll be able to find lots of clever easy DIY projects... but if you just want to look at delicious newborn baby pictures, you should head over there now too! There has just been a lovely addition to her family and he goes by the name of Lincoln. Cluck cluck. Congrats Tams!!
Also, to finish off the list of her Superwoman abilities, she runs Max and Me Homewares where she sells lots of her handmade home decor creations.

Tamsyn is seriously the QUEEN of DIY so when she offered to do 5 DIY Christmas decorations for her guest blog post for Chibi Run, I felt like a kid on Christmas who had just been offered a generous selection of candy. 

Thanks Tams for this amazing guest post! 
Please do welcome Tamsyn!
It'll be tough to pick a favourite out of these 5! 

I love Christmas! It’s easily my favourite time of the year, the food, family, festivities and the chance to fully embrace my other great love - DIY. There is something about Christmas that turns my crafty tendencies into complete overdrive. This year I’ve been busy making my own Christmas ornaments and I’m so excited to share them with you!

These sweet little wreaths are super easy and cheap to make and are perfect for traditional style Christmas decorating.
1.    You’ll need
    - bakers Twine (from Chibi Run of course!)
    - mini hoop (I got mine from spotlight)
    - clay stars (here’s a great recipe)
    - sequins
    - glue gun
    - scissors
    - string for hanging the ornament
2.    Hot glue the end of your twine to the hoop and start wrapping.
3.    Keep wrapping, stopping to add a dab of hot glue to the back every now and again.
4.    Once your hoop is completely covered secure the twine with more hot glue and then glue on your ceramic stars and sequins.
5.         Add some string for hanging and you’re done!

Hang one of these kissing balls in your house and make sure to use it to your advantage!
1. You’ll need:
- styrofoam ball
- Christmas fabric
- 2 types of ribbon ( I used one thin and one wide ribbon)
- twine
- Christmas greenery (mistletoe if you can find it)
- scissors
- rubber band
2. Cut a square of fabric big enough to cover your ball (with enough extra to give a nice finish at the top), wrap your ball and secure with twine.
3. add rubber band above the twine and thread a long piece of the thin ribbon under the ball, through the rubber band and tie in a knot at the top for hanging. Add another piece of thin ribbon, crossing over at the bottom as shown and tuck into rubber band. Add more twine to secure the ribbon and remove the rubber band.
4. Tie a pretty bow around the twine.
5. Add leaves and trim the fabric done to look pretty.
6. You’re done, now get kissing!!

These are one of my favourite ornaments this year. They’re so simple to make, but a little time consuming. I recommend putting on a few episodes of your favourite show while you make these (Mad Men wins for me).
1.    You’ll need:
    - sheets of paper (I aged mine using this technique)
    - styrofoam ball
    - ribbon
    - string for hanging
    - scissors
    - hot glue
    - paint brush (or something similarly shaped)
2.    Cut your paper up into little squares (mine were 2cm x 2cm).
3.    Tie a piece of string (I used really thin gold ribbon) in a loop and hot glue to the top of the styrofoam ball.
4.    Fold a piece of paper around the end of your paintbrush, add a dab of hot glue to the point and attach to your ball.
5. Keep going until the entire ball is covered.
6. Tie a pretty bow and then hot glue it to the top of the ball, then step back and admire your creativity :).

These little rope mirrors are perfect if you're planning a beachy or nautical themed Christmas (I also think it could look really sweet hanging inside a dollhouse).
1. You’ll need:
    - small mirror
    - chipboard circle
    - jute rope
    - Christmas ribbon
    - scissors
    - hot glue
    - string for hanging
2. Hot glue your mirror to the centre of your chipboard and then hot glue a piece of ribbon to the chipboard (glue it on facing the wrong way as shown).
3. Cut a piece of jute to size and then glue around the outside of the mirror.
4. Repeat until all of the chipboard is covered.
5. Loop the ribbon over the joins in the jute and hot glue to the back of the circle (adding a piece of string for hanging as you go.
6. Reflect on how clever you are (couldn’t help myself, sorry!!).

These little hoop ornaments are incredibly quick to make and add you can make any shape you like. I’m planning on making one for each of my family members with their initial on them. Sweet and simple :).
1. You’ll need:
- small embroidery hoop
- hessian
- pencil
- cardboard shape to trace (I printed out a star shape and cut around it)
- scissors
- pencil
- sequin strand
- fabric glue
- twine for hanging
2. Cut out a small square of hessian, secure in hoop and then trim down the excessive fabric.
3. Trace your shape onto the fabric.
4. Draw over your pencil line with fabric glue.
5. Carefully position your strand of sequins along the glue lines.
6. Add some twine and hang and admire!

So there you have it, 5 easy DIY Christmas decorations to make this year. Let me know if you make any of these for yourself, I would love to see how the turn out.

Thanks so much for having me Germaine, Merry Christmas!

xx Tamsyn

Monday, November 26, 2012

You need to make this Salted Chai Caramel Slice for Christmas.

This week has been a good week.

Simply because it was my birthday on Sunday!!
I really can't keep track of how old I am anymore.
All I know is that my Miss 5 goes "WOW!" when I tell her how old I am.

It was good because I got to meet up with LOTS of friends over separate occasions over this week.
And it was really special celebrating an old uni friend's engagement with the rest of the crazy bunch.
One good way of feeling old is getting together with uni friends and seeing the good, bad and the ugly videos we had of all those roadtrips we had together!!!!

Well. That was my weekend.
How was yours?
I do hope you had a lovely one.
I've spied a few lovely Christmas trees going up!
I do love Christmas.

I baked this last Friday and it was ABSOLUTELY delicious.
Even my hubby who is not a Chai-fan agreed that it was good!
It is the Ultimate Salted Chai Caramel Slice that converts even Chai-haters!
I do like how subtle the chai flavour is, but yet at the same time, it goes so well with the salted caramel.
And I do like sharing the calories!

I found the original recipe off the Taste website a while ago in one of the forums but it was called Salted Caramel Slice. 

Salted Chai Caramel Slice

¾ cup plain flour
½ cup brown sugar
120g unsalted butter, chopped
½ tsp ground cinnamon

50g unsalted butter, chopped
¼ cup golden syrup
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 stick cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
1 Earl Grey tea bag
395g can condensed milk

220g dark chocolate
30g unsalted butter
1 tsp salt flakes

1 Preheat oven to 160’C. Line base of a 20cm square tin with baking paper
2 Put flour, sugar, butter and cinnamon in a food processor and process until combined.* Press mixture evenly into prepared pan. Smooth surface and bake for 14-16min or until lightly golden. 
3 To make filling, put butter, golden syrup, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and tea bag in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until butter has melted. Gradually bring to the boil and cook for 1 min. Remove and discard tea bag.
4 Add condensed milk to pan and cook, stirring, for 2-3 min or until mixture has thickened and slightly darkened. Remove cinnamon from pan and discard. Pour mixture over base. Bake for 8-10 min or until bubbling and lightly golden. Remove from heat. Set aside to cool until caramel is firm.
5 To make topping, put chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and heat until almost melted. Remove from heat, then stir until smooth. Spoon topping over filling, smoothing surface with back of spoon.
6 Sprinkle salt flakes** over topping, then refrigerate for at least 4 hrs or until set. Cut slice into thin wedges and serve.

*I'm not a big fan of food processors, so this time, I just made sure my butter was slightly melted and mixed it with the rest of the flour, sugar and cinnamon in my cake mixer. Base turned out fine. 
** I highly recommend sea salt flakes. So much more OOMPH! 

And of course me being me, I forgot to take any decent photos of it so this is it below, next to some also very yummy Chocolate Balls I made.
Enjoy :) xx

Monday, November 19, 2012

{Christmas Guest Feature} Free Christmas Tag Printables by Kuku Couture

Alright. Hands up. Who has their Christmas tree up already? 

I love Christmas. I love how it also means that the end of the year is drawing near. I really can't wait any longer. Whoever thought of the invention of gift giving at Christmas is a very clever clogs indeed!
As most of you probably know, I love all things paper and packaging.

To welcome Christmas this year, I'm SO happy to be sharing with you a few special ladies who possess the same love for paper, creating and just simply good, happy design. 

I'm delighted to call these ladies friends whom I've known since starting Chibi Run and each of them are just wonderful and awesome in their own styles and personalities. 

There'll be a new guest post each week and we'll have lots of free printables, DIY great Christmas decor ideas and even have a sneak peek into someone's creative workspace.
I'm EXCITED just thinking about it!!!  

To start us off, I would love to introduce Julia, the creative force behind Kuku Couture.
Four Words.
Pretty. Special. Custom. Invitations.
Julia creates wonderful designs, something that I could never do and something I truly admire her for.
She also juggles her work with looking after her two gorgeous boys, Leonid and Maksi. 

Today, she has come up with some really fun, sassy and stylish free printable gift tags for us!

I love how she has used completely non-traditional Christmas colours.
Please welcome her! :) xx Germaine

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket PhotobucketJulia: 
Christmas is truly my favourite time of year ( cliché I know)

It’s the Family time I love. Everyone is on holidays and just focused on enjoying each other.

The only problem is I am not the most organised Muma. I have a large family. So the mammoth task of buying presents for everyone requires lots of time and thought, lists need to be made, siblings and cousins need to be consulted and finally decisions need to be made.

This year I decided to do all my shopping online and it is going gangbusters. I have purchased and wrapped more than half the gifts already.

I decided to use non-traditional colours this year to make things a little more fun and informal.

You can download yours here. {Free Printable Download}

If you love these and are looking for some custom Christmas cards you can head over to Kuku CouturePhotobucket
(those boys are my babies aren’t they adorable :) ) Julia xx
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