Monday, 30 November 2015

Christmas lolly jar scene's

These Christmas scene's are so cute and festive and only take about 10 mins to make. They will certainly add that little bit of something special to your Christmas decorations this year.



You will need:

Large lolly jars

fake Christmas snow

some Christmas tree decorations

other decorations of your choice ( I used a snowman and a santa claus)






Directions:

First wipe your jar out so it is free from dust. Then pour in some fake snow to make a layer on the bottom of your jar.

Add your Christmas tree and other decoration of your choice and replace your lid.


Hope you enjoy this quick and easy decorating tip. It's something that will add that little special touch to your Christmas d├ęcor.



ENJOY

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Easy lemon cheesecake

This is my all time go to cheesecake recipe. I have used this recipe for many, many years now. It only uses 4 ingredients for it which makes it so quick and easy to make. But you do need to leave it set overnight.



INGREDIENTS:

1 packet of scotch finger biscuits

600 ml's of cream

1 can of condensed milk

and the juice of one lemon (it's need's to be the juice of a fresh lemon not the bottled lemon juice because that is what makes it set.

METHOD:

1. Firstly lay out your scotch finger biscuits to cover the bottom of your tray. I use a Tupperware slice and store container and it works really well.



2. whip your cream with a mixing bowl until it has formed stiff peaks. Don't over whip though.



3. combine your condensed milk and the juice of your lemon in another container and fold the 2 ingredients together until they are combined.





4. Now you want to transfer your condensed milk and lemon juice mixture into the bowl with the cream and fold the 2 together. Don't whip them just gentle folding motion.

5. Once these are well combined pour that mixture over the top of your biscuits and cover and place in fridge overnight. ( you do need to let it set overnight for the mixture to set and the biscuits to soften.)




Hope you enjoy this simple recipe.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Christmas pine cone decorating

Today we will be decorating pine cones. I have 2 versions for you. Spray painted pine cones and snow pine cones. These look great displayed in a large glass bowl or large glass vase. (you want them to be clear glass so you can see them) You can also use them for decorating wreaths or  any other Christmas decorating.



For the first version you will need your pine cones and some spray paint of your choice. I used some gold, bronze and silver. I also made a few in turquoise to go with my Christmas colour scheme.






All you need to do for these ones is simply spray paint your pinecones. ( I did 2 coats of paint on mine and let them dry between coats) Once they are completely dry you can pile them up in your glass bowl or vase or use them to decorate with.



For the  second version you will need your pine cones, some craft acrylic pain in white and white glitter , a paint brush, and plastic disposable plate. Use your paint brush to paint the edges of your pine cone, you don't want them to be completely covered just the edges) while your paint is still wet with the paint roll your pine cone in the glitter. (I found it easy to put the glitter into a disposable plastic bowl) then let your pine cones dry and add them to your glass bowl with the other painted ones.







Wishing everyone a fantastic weekend.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Decorative christmas lolly jars

Today I have a great idea for a homemade Christmas gift idea for those of your friends and family that love lollies. These would also make a great teacher's Christmas present's for all  the hardworking teachers that help our children all year round.



What you will need:

First of all you are going to need a  lidded glass jar. ( I used a recycled pasta sauce jar and gave it a good clean and removed to label and boiled them to sterilize them)

Hot glue gun and extra glue sticks

scissors

Christmas ribbon

pre-made Christmas bow (or you could make your own)

Lollies of your choice

Christmas scrapbooking paper

craft glue

pen

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Start by measuring how much ribbon you need to fit around the jar. I wrapped mine around and then cut it about 1 inch bigger than I needed.

Then add a small amount of hot glue to one end of your ribbon and attach it to jar and wrap it around the jar. ( I used a dot of hot glue around the half way mark) then you will need to also run a bead of glue at the end of your ribbon to attach it down to where you started from.



Take you bow and hot glue that on to your jar. ( I glued mine over where the ribbon joined up to hide the join)

Fill your jar with your desired lollies.



Use your lid of your jar to trace out a circle to the right size onto your Christmas scrapbooking paper and cut out. Use your craft glue to glue it to the top of your lid. Once your glue has dried you can write a message on the paper that sit on top of your lid.






Enjoy

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Twiggie twinkle lights

I have been planning this project out in my head for a while now but it wasn't until I was in the process of making it that it all fell into place and came together.



For this cute project you will need


Some sticks

A small packet of battery operated Christmas lights

spray paint (colour of your choice)

ribbon or twine

paper towel (optional

scissors

lighter (if using ribbon)

small Christmas baubles

A clear glass vase


To start with spray paint your sticks. Also if you want your lights to match the colour of your spray paint you will need to take the light part out of where it sits and plug the hole with some paper towel and spray paint them too.







Once they have both dried, take your vase and put your painted sticks into it. Place some of your baubles in and around the sticks to support them.

Then  take the paper towel out of your lights place your bulbs back into the strand of lights. Cut some ribbon long enough to be able to tie your lights to the sticks. I just tied double knots but you could also do a bow. Then start attaching your lights starting from the first light after the battery pack and tie them on with the ribbon or string. Keep feeding the lights up and down your twigs attaching it with your ribbon at each light of every second light until you have used all your lights. If you do have a few left at the end just tuck them into the top of your vase.




Hope you enjoy this project.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

DIY christmas baubles

Nothing says "Christmas" quite like a tree decorated with handmade Christmas decorations.

Today I am going to show you how to decorate these plastic DIY baubles that you can purchase from a craft store. ( I went with the plastic one instead of glass because I have a kitty that may pull the Christmas tree over this year).


When you are selecting the filling required for your baubles, remember not to choose anything that is too heavy. You will also have to bear in mind that it has to fit through the hole in the top of the ornament.




What you will need for this project:

DIY plastic baubles. ( I bought mine in 2 sizes 60mm and 80mm)

Scissors and tweezers

funnel

fine cord or thread

Filling for your baubles
( I used cotton balls with glitter, pom pom's,  chopped up tinsel, fluffy yarn, fake snow, crinkle paper, chenille sticks, and  Christmas confetti)
Your possibilities are endless

Gently remove the cap at the top of the decoration. Use the tweezers or funnel to position your filling inside the bauble and replace the cap.



With your bakers twine of cord, cut a length of thread or cord to your desired length and attach to the cap to hang your bauble.

These look great hanging on your tree or if you are looking for something different cut your small and large bauble strings at different lengths and alternate the sizes hanging across a door way or on a curtain rod in your window.  I ended up using a stick from my back yard and put the baubles on and used some more bakers twine to make a hanging attachment .



Hope you have fun with this activity and I would love to see your creations and any other idea's for filling's that you choose. If you try these out and you are on instagram use the #vintagestringschristmas to tag me in them.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Spray painted rubber band jars

These jars are so easy and fun to make not only for Christmas time but you could make them in any colour you would like for any season or anytime of year. The possibilities are endless and they turn out just fabulous.



First of all you are going to need some glass jars of some sort. I just recycled some pasta sauce jars and soaked of the labels and gave them a good clean. Let them dry well for a few days before you want to spray paint them. However you could also buy jars from a craft store.


Next you will need some rubber bands. You are going to probably want to buy a large bag of these.  You can use as little or as many as you like of these to get the desired effect you want. Start wrapping your jar with the rubber bands and you can get creative with this as much as you like and just wrap some around the bottom of the jar or space them out and do some at the top and bottom or just some around the middle. I like the effect of crisscrossing them on sections of the jar too.



Once you have the desired amount that you want take a can of spray paint in your colour of choice and spray the jar all over and a little bit inside the top of the jar. You will need to do several coats depending on your brand of paint. Mine took 3 coats of paint and I let them dry for about 1 hour between coats of paint.



Then I let the last coat of paint dry over night before I removed the rubber bands. Add a tealight candle ( I like to use the battery operated one's inside these taller jars for ease of use) but look at the effect that you get. You can change up your jars and sizes and group them together. Make table centre pieces with them the possibilities are endless.



I hope you all have fun with this project and I would love to see all your finished tealight holders.

Take care and stay safe.

Monday, 23 November 2015

For all you christmas lover's

I love Christmas. It's my favourite time of year.



I love to Christmas craft, bake and make homemade gifts for all my family and friends. So for all of you out there that are like me I want to welcome you all along on this journey with me as my first Christmas as a blogger.



 As a special treat for you all I will be doing a blog post a day from tomorrow  the 24th November to the 24th December. I will be sharing with you some yummy Christmas recipe's and treats, Christmas crafting and DIY, Christmas tradition's that I love and also how I like to get organized for this crazy time of year  whilst living with chronic pain.



 I get a little obsessed with crafting at this time of year and have been purchasing crafting items for sometime now. So get ready to get your CRAFT on.






If you are a Christmas lover or just like to bake or craft stay tuned for some exciting things to come over the next month.

Bonnie & Camille dream mini quilt swap

The Bonnie & Camille dream mini quilt swap is the next swap that has just wrapped up. For this swap we were to only use Bonnie and Camille fabric ranges along with Moda bella 97 (which is a slightly off white tone). This swap was also a secret swap so we didn't know who our partners were until our sweet little packages arrived in the mail. They were all due to be shipped by November 16th 2015 and it was open internationally.



Now that these dream mini quilt's have been posted and received I can share with you all what my sweet swap partner  Laurie made for me. She made me this gorgeous mini tulips which is a pattern from Thimble blossom. You can find the link to buy this pattern HERE. Thimble blossom has so many wonderful patterns so it's so hard to choose a favourite but I think this tulip's patterns is probably close to number 1 for me. I will share with you some pictures  of this sweet little mini that Laurie kindly made for me.



She was also very generous and sent me some awesome extra's. This cute little hand made knitted dish cloth/ face cloth, some chocolate and this beautiful 12 days of Christmas panel, which is so cute that I have already started working on it to try and get it ready for Christmas this year.



My partner that I was to make for was Leah. She did an inspiration mosaic and in her sign up she had selected a few mini quilts that she liked and one of those was the mini spools also by Thimble blossom. If you like this pattern and are interested in making  one for yourself you can find the link for the pattern HERE. This was such a great pattern to make and came together so quickly.



I also sent a few extra's along with my mini to my partner Leah. I sent her this cute little fox note book and some handmade button bookmarks.



Thank you all for reading and stay tuned as there will be a second blog post tonight with a special announcement.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Schnitzel & boo mini quilt swap part 2

Back a few months ago I decided it was time to start joining in on a few instagram swaps. The first swap I decided to join  was the Schnitzel & boo mini quilt swap.
 

 
Now that my partner has received her little parcel of goodies I can share with much anticipation the gorgeous mini quilt that my partner made for me and some extra's that she sent along with the quilt.  
My swap partner Emma made this stunning mini  and it came all the way from the USA.  She used a natural coloured linen (which I absolutely love) and she mixed it with bright colours which is another favourite of mine.
 

 
She was also so generous and spoilt me rotten with these awesome extra's  that she sent along with the mini quilt.

 
 
I also had so much fun working on a mini for my swap partner Lydia and it also went on a long journey  all the  way to the USA.  I will share a picture of below.
 

 
I made her quilt using some gorgeous Kaffe fasset fabrics mixed with some bright solid colours.
And here are the extra's that I sent along with the mini that I made for her.
 

 
After completing my first instagram swap I have learnt a lot. Not just about quilting for other people but also that I love the challenge of making things that I may not normally think about. I loved the mini that I made for my partner so much that I decided to make myself one too and i can honestly say that I really enjoyed participating in this swap. I enjoyed it so much that i have joined quite a few other swaps since then. I can now see how easily swaps can become addictive.
 
 
Wishing everyone an awesome weekend and take care.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

World prematurity day 2015

Today is world prematurity day, November 17th 2015.

 
 
The statistics are that 1 out of every 10 babies around the world are born prematurely. I have had 5 children in which 3 of those were born prematurely. So today I will share a little bit about those births to mark the occasion of world prematurity day.
 
My first 2 children were born at 39 weeks with no complications but then when I was pregnant with my third child I started having complications around 28 weeks. I woke up one morning with really bad stomach pain. Not contractions but a really bad burning sensation down the right side of my stomach and had a small amount of bleeding. I headed off to my G.P to have it checked out and he sent me straight off to the hospital where they admitted me for a few days. They came to the conclusion that I may have had a small tear in the placenta but the pain settled and they let me go home. Then 4 days before I turned 32 weeks pregnant my water broke out of the blue. I was admitted to hospital until I went into labour on my own or they felt they needed to induce for some reason. Four days later at exactly 32 weeks gestation I went into labour naturally and delivered a little boy weighing 1575grams or 3lb 7 1/2 oz He did fairly well in hospital with only one minor infection and he came home 4 weeks later.

 
 
My 4th child was also born prematurely. At 25 weeks and 5 days I got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and my water broke with him too. Once again I was admitted to hospital for the duration until he was born. With him I only lasted 2 days and I got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night (at the hospital thank god) and I felt something strange and called for a nurse. They discovered that the cord had prolapsed and that I needed to be rushed in for an emergency C section. Things were so rushed that they gave me a spinal block but didn't give me enough and I felt the whole C section taking place. He was delivered at exactly 26 weeks gestation and weighing  948 grams or 2lb. He suffered a lot more complications at birth with collapsed lungs and heart issues.  We finally got to take him home a very long 10 weeks later. His stay at home was short lived though and a few weeks later he became very ill. I had taken him to the doctors and hospital several times and they kept sending me home. Then one night he kept frothing at the mouth and I was wiping it on a bib and realized after it had sat for a bit that it was turning bright green. So I took him back to the hospital and they were about to send us home again saying that I was over reacting when they realized that his saturation levels were dropping. So they admitted him and a few days later we almost lost him and he ended up in ICU with Severe pneumonia and his left lung had fully collapsed and most of his right. A few days later he also turned septic. We ended up spending another month in hospital. After that we had about 2 years of issues with reflux and the normal cold and things but then he has thrived since then.
 


 
My 5th child was born at 35 weeks. She was a planned C section due to complications from the previous C section delivery. This time around I had to see the professor of the obstetrics department and he was the one who delivered my baby. I had some rare complications  that are not seen very often these days and because it was a teaching hospital I ended up with about 35 doctors in the room watching. She was born weighing 2575 grams or 5lb 13 oz and only spent 1 night in the special care unit then spent the rest of the time on the ward with me. She got to come home with me and after having 2 babies previously that had to stay behind it was a dream being able to bring her home and not leave her at the hospital.

 

Sorry that the photo's are not of the best quality but this was back in the day before digital camera's and camera phone's.
 
Our little premmie babies are such little fighters and have to learn how to fight well before their time. They are our little hero's. We are so lucky that we live in a world where it's possible for these little miracle's to get the help they need to keep them fighting.
 
So lets take a moment to honour these babies that are born way too soon and have struggled to survive and for those ones who sadly lost their fight for life.