Natural Christmas Crafting

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A very quick Christmas Eve post to share some recent festive makes with you, as promised! They are all very simple to create, so you could even have a go this afternoon if you have an hour free! Personally, I’ll be enjoying some (relative) peace and quiet with a mince pie, mulled wine and the carols on the radio!

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Scandi Dala horse decorations, made from white fimo (oven-bake) clay, cut out with a horse shape cookie cutter and decorated with red ceramic paint. I painted both sides, so that they look extra pretty as they hang on the tree. Remember to make a small hole for a hanging loop before baking – I forgot to do this with the first batch!

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The house is decorated with natural greenery from our garden and the surrounding fields. The beautiful mistletoe was a lucky find from our local farm shop, where they were very generously giving away bunches to all customers – small acts of kindness like this are what Christmas is all about for me, and whilst this is important throughout the year, somehow these small gestures feel a bit more magical during the festive season.

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A garland made from dried orange slices and star anise (just in shot) and the Dala horses packaged up in gift boxes. Als0, a batch of apple strudel vodka, recipe thanks to Elinor, Beach Hut Cook, who shared it on her site recently. It is the best! I am really looking forward to experimenting with some apple strudel cocktails over the holidays.

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I decorated the bottles with more of the dried orange slices and cinnamon sticks – I thought they might be nice added to Christmas cocktails or mulled with something! The gift tags were an online printable, found via Pinterest, which I personalised using PicMonkey editor and then printed onto white cardstock.

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A little homemade gravadlax experiment, which I am trying for the first time. It smells amazing, and will hopefully be ready for Christmas day snacks before lunch. I mixed loads of fresh dill with salt and sugar and covered a fresh salmon with the mixture. It has been marinading for two days in the fridge and looks almost ready.

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Using fresh rosemary and sage from the garden I made several mini wreaths. Each one only took ten minutes to make, and was so satisfying – I love easy projects like this! I used some green florists wire as the base and wrapped the herbs around this, carefully tucking in the ends of each stalk. I have hung the wreaths around my house; by a mirror, on a blackboard and in the kitchen and they provide a gentle herby scent to the house. I have also made some festive-scented hessian bags of dried orange, cloves and star anise, and place these by the radiators in the evening. Again, these provide a lovely subtle Christmassy scent to the whole house.

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And of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas Eve without a mince pie. Made with Mia and Joe’s help, although they both mainly wanted to eat the raw pastry!

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas (or non-religious festive celebration) and enjoy the rest, cosiness and time with loved ones that this time of year allows. Wishing you peace and love for the New Year xx

 

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Christmas In Oxford: The Independent Oxford Christmas Market

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Having accidentally taken a little break from blogging, I’m back and have so much to share. I’m sure everyone who blogs or writes occasionally gets writers block, but I have had the opposite recently…a huge amount of ideas and loads to say, and no time to bring that here! I’ve been sharing away on Instagram though…do pop over and take a look if you’re not following. My personal life has been a little crazy, with a high-stress house move that all seems to be happening very quickly, and a whole host of other things, plus Christmas…it’s only four days away!

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Back at the end of November I got to spend the day at the Independent Oxford Christmas market with the loveliest bunch of bloggers. We enjoyed a fab workshop with Chloe from The Annie Sloan Shop, learning how to use the paint to make beautifully distressed candlesticks.

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There were so many amazing makers and local indie businesses at the market that it was spread across two city centre venues, the Turl Street Kitchen and the Old Fire Station. The prints above are by Smart Creative and the sweet dress below from DoLittle Dumplings baby and children’s clothing store. I found a cute superhero mask for Joe from the shop which matches his superhero cape perfectly.

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Just my kind of Christmas decorating scheme at the Turl Street Kitchen, lots of natural greenery, eucalyptus bunches and vintage paper decorations.

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Some of my favourite items from Rosie’s shop A Rosie Life how amazing are the sparkly dino necklaces and brooches?! Rosie has a pop-up shop in Oxford’s covered market at the moment, if you are local or visiting before Christmas.

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Festive scents and the most gorgeous packaging from Little Bird Soaps.

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We enjoyed lunch at newly opened Pint Shop on George Street, a restaurant and seriously impressive gin bar inspired by Beer Houses of the 1830s!

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As well as the delicious food at Pint Shop, and an impromptu yet fascinating tour of the kitchens, I loved their secret party room. I’m sure it would be the perfect venue for a big get together (saving this idea for A’s 40th in a couple of years).

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Our day of Indie Oxford fun continued with a modern calligraphy workshop hosted by Merrie of Merrie & Bright Calligraphy. Merrie had prepared beautiful personalised calligraphy work books for each of us, and guided us through the key elements of forming letters using the calligraphy tools.

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Drawn in the amazing scent of the ink and how relaxing the gentle repetition of letters was, I decided I could easily become quite addicted to calligraphy. The perfect slow-living antidote to all of the Christmas rushing around!

It was a lovely way to kick off the festive season, and a day spent with fellow creatives is always a source of so much inspiration (plus lots of chatting and hot chocolates!). Huge thanks for Rosie and Anna of Independent Oxford for hosting the day.

Indie Oxford host events throughout the year, including the very popular Instameets – take a look at their site or Instagram for more details.

I will be popping back here before Christmas to share some of my festive making and decorating ideas!

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