Miniature Elf Fun!! by Carolyne

30 November 2013

I have created a set of really cute and magical miniature items for Christmas!!

They are perfect to use with the Elf on the Shelf or as just a fun Christmas activity with the kids!

There are three books in this little collection: An Elf Recipe book which includes 6 yummy christmas recipes, A colouring book with 12 images to colour, and an amusing little joke book with 12 pages of jokes!

As well as the books there is an elf letter and envelope which comes in two sizes. This letter is fully editable by you before printing!! This means that the elves can write as many letters as they need to your young ones this Christmas!

The set is printable and is supplied as a PDF and comes with full instructions!

The books and letters can be bought individually (just click on the links):

Recipe Book

Colouring Book

Joke Book

Letter & Envelope

Or as a set:

Set of 3 Books

Set of 3 Books Plus Letter and Envelope

Have Fun!!


p.s. We also have an etsy shop if you find that easier. Here's the link:

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Christmas!! by Carolyne

24 November 2013

Christmas is almost here! Here are the links to some of the free Christmas crafts and activities on our site:

Just click on the links to view

Santas footprint printable

Crocheted iceskate ornament pattern

Free printable Tumbling Penguins

Christmas wreath cookie recipe

How to make sugar mice

Free printable reindeer herd

Free print and colour angel

Christmas tealight lamp

Free print and colour mousehole

Have fun!


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Necklace kit by carolyne

18 August 2013

I have put together an oh so pretty necklace kit!

The kit makes 6 necklaces! They are a perfect match for our Bird & Lace party, or any party as a party activity and/or party favour. Or indeed as gifts for friends and family. My daughter has made so many for her friends and they keep asking her to make them more!

The kit is easy enough for a 9 year old + to do by themselves, younger children might need some assistance with cutting in a circle.

No toxic glue is used in this kit, infact it is not messy at all!

The only thing that you will need to make these pretty necklaces is a pair of scissors!

You can find the kits in the crafts/kits section

Enjoy :)





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Nest Cake by Carolyne

17 August 2013

This cake is not only easy to make, it looks wonderful and believe it or not, tastes delicious :) My family can't get enough of the chocolately crunchiness of the nest!

And it goes perfectly with the bird and lace theme.

What you'll need:

  • 1 large bowl
  • 1 smaller glass bowl that will fit inside the larger bowl with about an inch around it
  • 1 box of bran sticks
  • about 400-500g chocolate
  • chocolate cake mix
  • fondant icing
  • food colouring
  • chocolate buttercream icing or ganache

To make the nest break the chocolate into small chunks and melt in a bowl over boiling water. I used a mixture of dark chocolate and milk chocolate.

Then pour the melted chocolate over about 500g of bran sticks. My chocolate looks lumpy here because the dark chocolate that I used had cocoa nibs in it.

Stir the chocolate thoroughly into the bran to make sure that all the "twigs" are coated. Then use the back of a spoon to make a well in the centre of the "twigs".

Place the smaller glass bowl into the well and kind of push down and swivel it around until it fits in nicely and still has about an inch of "twigs" at the bottom.


After a few minutes you can take out the glass bowl and then leave the nest to set for about 4-5 hours or overnight. I cannot stress this enough, you need to let the chocolate set completely!! If you don't the nest will fall apart. It is not a complete disaster if this happens because you can just heat the twigs in the oven until the chocolate has melted and reform the nest but why create the extra hassle, just wait!

While you are waiting for the nest to set you can bake the cake. Grease the glass bowl that you used to make the nest. Make your chocolate cake cake mix and pour it into your greased bowl. Bake until cooked and turn out and let cool.

Colour your fondant and shape into eggs and flowers.


Once the nest is set place the cake inside and ice it with chcoolate buttercream or ganache. Decorate with the fondant pieces you created.

And that's it! I hope you enjoy it as much as my family do :)



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Barefoot Sandals Pattern by Carolyne

13 August 2013

I wrote this blog post a month ago! I was waiting for my new crochet hooks to arrive so that I could work out which size hook I used for this project because the one I had has no size on it...they took a month to arrive! It was worth the wait though because I now have 22 new hooks to play with :) So yes, although it is still summer, it isn't quite so hot! These sandals still look great with high heels or flip flops or of course if you're going away on holiday :)

We have a heatwave here in England! Wooohooo! Summer dresses, time on the beach and going barefoot! I took my crochet hook and some yarn to the beach and made my daughter some barefoot sandals. My daughter loves them! She is a big Lord of The Rings fan and said "this is something the elves would wear!" So really I should have called them elf sandals :)

These would be great for a beach wedding or party!

So, I tried to make the pattern as simple as I could, I wrote the pattern and also drew a lopsided diagram :)

The pattern is written in US terms. To convert to UK all sc become dc, hdc is htr, and dc is a tr

I used a size 1.5 hook but I think that it would still work with a bigger hook. I used No 5 cotton in an ivory colour.

Row 1 : Ch  6 and sl st to join

Row 2: Ch1 sc into ring, *ch3, sc into the ring* repeat * to * 7 times, ch 1 hdc into 1st ch of this row. You will end up with 8 petals or chain spaces.

Row 3: ch 1 and sc into hdc, *ch 5 and sc into chain space*  repeat * to * 7 times, ch 2 and dc into 1st ch of this row. You should now have 8 larger petals or chain spaces.

Row 4: ch 1 and sc into dc of previous row, ch 4, sc into 1st chain space, ch 3 and sc into the same chain space, ch 4 and sc into the next chain space, ch 6 and sc into the next chain space, ch 3 and sc into the same chain space, ch 4 and sc into the next chain space, ch 4 and sc into the next chain space, ch 5 and sc into the same chain space, ch 4 and sc into the next chain space, ch 4 and sc into the next chain space, ch 3 and sc into the same chain space, ch 6 and sl st  into the 1st ch of this row

Row 5: sl st twice into the 1st chain space to get you into the middle of the space, ch 1 and sc into the same chain space, then make a picot (ch 2, sl st into the sc, ch 2 sl st into sc, ch2 sl st into sc)  Ch3, sc into next chain space, picot, ch 3, sc into the next chain space, picot, ch4, sc into the next chain space, picot, ch 4 sc into the next chain space, picot, ch 3, sc into next chain space, picot, ch 3, sc into next chain space, picot, ch 4, sc into next chain space, picot, ch 4 sc into next chain space, picot, ch3, sc into next chain space, picot, ch 3, sc into next chain space, picot, ch 4 sc into next chain space, picot, ch 4, sl st into 1st ch of this row.

You should end up with 12 picots.


For smaller flower

Row 1: Ch 6 and sl st to join.

Row 2: Ch 1 sc into ring, ch 3 and sc into ring 4 more times, then make a chain of about 25 to go around your toe and sl st back into sc. Then Ch 3 and sc into ring 3 more times,  ch 3 and sl st into 1st chain. Ch 3 (or more depending on your preference) and join to larger motif).

 Attached yarn to the corner or the triangle and make a long line of chains, do that for the other corner too.

And repeat

I have included a chart below to help you. It is a little lopsided though :) I shall make a neater one soon. 

If you need help just contact me :)




For personal use only! The pattern is not to be distributed without written consent from the author. Links to this page are welcome though!

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Blackcurrant Cordial by Carolyne

10 August 2013

Living in the countryside and making things from scratch just seem to go hand in hand, so that it just what I started to do when we moved here about 6 years ago. I had a very tiny baby , a toddler and 2 small children back then so if I managed to make a loaf of bread that day I would feel that I had accomplished something :) I soon moved on to making jams and chutneys and finally started making my own cordials.

Another thing I did when we first move here was to plant stuff, now I am not a gardener and after the initial weeding and planting the only thing I manage to do is to water the garden, so whichever plants survive then that's what we have :) I must have done something right though because we now have a good sized and flourishing herb garden, gooseberry bush, raspberry plants, an apple tree and a massive blackcurrant plant!

The kids eat most fruits straight off the plants but backcurrants can be quite sour! So this year we have made cordial! It is delicious and summery and such a gorgeous colour! And the great thing about cordials is that they are so easy to make!

What you'll need:

  • 500g of blackcurrants (you can add other berries too to make a summer fruit squash, there are lots of cherries about right now)
  • 300g sugar
  • 300ml water
  • 1 large lemon or 2 small lemons (I have used limes in the past, too)
  • Empty 1 litre bottle

Wash the berries and place in a pot with the water and sugar and put on a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.

Wash the lemons, squeeze the juice and add to the mix and also plonk in the skins.

Simmer for about 5 minutes or so. Don't be tempted to keep simmering because you will end up with jam! Yes, I have made "jam juice", as the kids put it, before :) Which, I might add, is still as delicious, you just need to stir the juice once you have added water to your glass :)

Sterilise your bottle (I do this in the oven), I used an empty wine bottle.

Once you have left your fruit mix to cool for a few minutes, take out the lemon skins and strain the cordial through a seive and pour into your bottle.

If you have fruit mush that won't go through the seive don't throw it away! Put it in yogurt or on icecream!

Refrigerate. To serve pour a little cordial into a glass and top up with cold water. Enjoy!



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Ribbon! by Carolyne

09 August 2013

I have found the most gorgeous ribbon which I had to add to the site for you all to enjoy! They can be used for wrapping gifts, decoration or craft projects! How wonderful would handmade gifts look wrapped and tied with the measuring tape ribbon, or crocheted with love?!!

Of course, I went through many, many ribbons and found my favourites; beautiful and well made, you will not be disappointed!

All the new ribbons can be found in the crafts/kit section of our site.




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Bird Wand by carolyne

03 August 2013

I have put together a complete craft kit to make these cute bird wands!

They go perfectly with the bird & lace party (see here) as both decorations and/or party favour and activity. They would be lovely for a wedding too :)

The kit, which makes 6 wands, includes:

  • 3 coloured sheets of felt
  • Lace
  • beads
  • Paper sticks
  • 3 different coloured skeins of embroidery thread
  • toy stuffing
  • 3 different coloured ribbons
  • Pattern and instructions

My girls love them!

Find the kit here

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Bird & Lace Party by Carolyne

30 July 2013

We have a new party! And it is soo pretty!

Originally designed for my daughter's 10th birthday, this party design could be used for a birthday, wedding shower, christening, engagement party, or a teaparty.

Wanting something different, elegant and pretty? Then this is the perfect party!

And what's more, we now offer not just the designs as printables (pdfs) but printed items will be available soon, too! Something I'm VERY excited about! :)

The whole set includes:

  • Invitations
  • Thank you notes
  • Bottle labels (which can also be wrapped around chocolate bars or bubble bottles)
  • Food labels
  • Favour labels
  • Cupcake wrappers
  • Cupcake Toppers
  • Cones
  • Bunting
  • Birdhouse favour boxes/decorations!

Not only are there lots of beautiful party designs but I have sourced matching partyware, lace, feathers, party toys AND I've put together some gorgeous bird craft kits which have been child tested (coming soon!) :)

Also, bird party games will be added to the Activity section of the site!

On top of that I will give you the recipes for the very easy and simply devine nest cake, my never-failed-me-yet macarons, and my lacy sugar cookies.

This party was truly a delight to design, bake for and give! All the children had a wonderful time and loved how it was girly and grown up at the same time :)

To see more of this party click here

Did I mention that not just this party but all of the parties will soon be printed!! EEEK! :)

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2 Ingredients Chocolate mousse by carolyne

23 April 2013

My youngest son's rugby coach said to him "If you score a try I'll give you one of the biggest chocolate bars in the world". He scored the winning try of the game! Next rugby training he came home with an enormous 5kg bar of belgian chocolate!! My son's rugby coach is a chocolatier :)

We now have ALL this gorgeous chocolate to play with so I decided to try a recipe that's been on my todo list for yonks....chocolate mousse with only two ingredients! That's right, only chocolate and water!

What you'll need:

  • 120g good quality chocolate - we used milk chocolate because we have it in abundance :) but dark chocolate would be divine!
  • 80ml of water.

Heat the water in a small pan and add the chopped up chocolate, stirring until melted.

Put some cold water into the bottom of a large bowl and place a smaller bowl inside. You don't want the water to overflow, instead it's there to cool the chocolate.

 Then pour the chocolate into the smaller bowl and with an electric mixer mix until it starts setting. You want to stop just as it starts to thicken, too much and it goes grainy - (it still tastes nice even when grainy!) If it does go grainy just melt it down again.

Once at the consistency that you are happy with quickly put it into pots or serving dishes.

And that's it! It is a different consistency to regular mousse, it isn't as wet (I think that's the way I'd describe it but try it and see what you think) it is very rich and delicious! Obviously, VERY chocolatey!!

A great stand by pudding using ingredients you can keep in your cupboard (if you can keep chocolate in the cupboard!) which takes minutes to prepare.




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