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November 2006
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January 2007

Phoebe on TEN news

Phoebe made an appearance on Ten's 5 o'clock news the other night. A group of kids from Northbridge Soccer was given some coaching tips at our local oval during the news, while Frank, the weather man, did three live crosses from the oval while the kids were playing. They had such a fun time, all the crew was fantastic with the kids, even as it started raining! Phoebe and her friend were the only girls amongst the boys, and it was easy to pick her out with that blonde hair!

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Bye for now.

Fiona

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gingerbread house

Thank you everyone who has commented and emailed about the gingerbread houses. I have a recipe that I have used for years, for both gingerbread biscuits and the houses (below). I leave my gingerbread in the oven a little longer to dry out, giving a crisper biscuit. I also cook the gingerbread in advance and store in an airtight container, it does really last a long time this way.

My GINGERBREAD RECIPE is:

  • 115g (4oz butter)
  • 175g (6oz) brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 340g (12oz) plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 beaten egg

Put the butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan and stir them together over a low heat until they have melted.

Sift the flour, ground ginger and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl. Add the syrup/butter mixture and the beaten egg.

Mix everything together then knead it into a ball. Chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.

If making biscuits: Roll the dough out on a floured board until it is about 1/2 cm thick. Cut shapes with biscuit cutters and lift the biscuits onto a baking tray. Bake for 10-15 minutes until they are golden brown. Lift them onto a wire rack to cool.

If making the gingerbread house: I use a cast aluminum mold to bake the side and roof pieces of the house. The mold can be seen HERE. Makes it very easy. If you don't have a mold, you bake large sheets of the gingerbread and cut to size.

ROYAL ICING (very important for sticking the house together, I've heard of people using melted marshmallows with not so good results, if you know what I mean ;-))

  • 3 egg whites (at room temperature)
  • 4 1/2 cups icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • pinch of salt
  • water

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and salt. Beat on medium-high speed until mixture forms stiff peaks and is nearly triple the volume, about 7-8 minutes. (Fiona's note, we mixed as directed and did not increase the volume as mentioned, blame it on the weather - a humid Sydney day, whatever. This did not effect the performance of the royal icing at all.) Cover tightly with plastic wrap and store at room temperature. Before using, beat in water (medium speed) by tablespoons, until desired consistency is reached. This recipe gave enough icing to hold two houses together AND for all the decorating as well.

When assembling the houses, take your time. The icing did take a while to set hard and it is worth leaving it to set hard BEFORE starting the decorate. Assemble the sides first and leave to set, then add the roof pieces and leave to set. Adding the roof pieces too early will cause a house collapse (yes, personal experience, but we live and learn!)

Decorating is the fun part. Add the icing to areas of the house where you would like it to look like snow. Dip the lollies into the icing and add to the house.

AND HAVE FUN!!!

Fiona

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gingerbread houses and a lot more

Time seems to be flying by very fast at the moment...

Last weekend the girls and I finally had fun decorating some gingerbread houses. I made the gingerbread through the week, as I needed several bakings to have enough parts for the house and roof (times two - one for each daughter). On Sunday the girls had some fun decorating their houses.

Gingerbreadhouse2

Efcgingerbreadhouse1_1 Pccgingerbreadhouse1_1

Here's Emily's house:

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And Phoebe's house:

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Emily has been sewing and decorating little Christmas trees for some gift boxes. They looked so pretty altogether:

Efctrees1 Efctrees Efctrees2

The girls also decorated little Christmas trees over the weekend with ribbons. They were so excited when I appeared with a bowl full of ribbon scraps for them to use:

Ribbonchristmastrees 

The first of the Maya Road DT challenges is up on the Maya Road blog. Lots of projects from the design team girls can be seen over there. Below is my contribution to the challenge, an album cover which I decorated with the new chipboard Vineyard Swirls.

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The school year is nearly finished. The above album was a gift to Emily's teacher. Inside there was a photo of each child in the class and and area for each one to write a message to their teacher. Emily's teacher organised a Christmas party for the class last week. I went up to help set up the room before the kids arrived. Their teacher went to so much trouble to lay the room out, and she created such a festive atmosphere. Here's one last photo for this post. It is the class room all ready for the kids. It looked so lovely:

Classroomparty

Hope you are having a good week!

Cheers

Fiona

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Christmas card swap

My Christmas card for the card swap organised by Julie is finally made. I've enjoyed making this little card, getting back to my sewing. I'm very late sending it off, but I promise it's in the mail this weekend.

Being the practical person I am, I've made a tree decoration which has been stuck to the front of a card. Soooo {hopefully whoever gets my card} will take the tree from the card and hang it on their tree, or where ever they wish, really!

Here's the card:

Felttreecard

And here is the decoration hanging on our tree:

Felttreehanging

Have a good weekend everyone.

Fiona

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do you like my new blog banner?

Change is always hard.... but I've finally changed my blog banner. My cute fluffy chicks have gone.

What prompted the change?

I found some new Christmas doodles by Fee Jardine last night over on the Digi Chick site, and I just had to have them (as well as a few other bits and pieces I added to my shopping cart). Here's the link:

A LIL BIT O CHRISTMAS DOODLES

Love, love, love them!

I've also used one of the doodles on the Ribbons Galore blog banner.

The Christmas tree's gone up here at our house this weekend. We've had the Santa photo taken at David Jones (Emily has said she will only have the Santa photos for another two years!!!), some Christmas shopping has been done, the gingerbread recipe is out for some gingerbread house baking later and the Christmas cards have been started... Christmas is well and truly here!

Hope you're all having a good weekend.

Thanks for visiting.

Fiona

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christmas cheers

I know everyone is saying it... but it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. My girls are starting to get excited. Phoebe took little presents, with lovingly stamped tags attached, to her give to her school friends today. Emily is organising her presents for friends and making cards. {I haven't even started making my Christmas cards yet... but I'll get there.}

I have borrowed mum's fruit mince recipe and I intend buying all the lovely fruit to make a HUGE jar this Christmas. I love fruit mince tarts. I keep the little frozen short crust pastry cases in the freezer, so I can to make up a quick batch of fruit mince tarts when needed. One of my other favourite uses for the fruit mince is to mix it through really nice vanilla ice cream, place it in a pudding bowl and make a frozen Christmas pudding (yum yum!!!)

I created a Christmas Gift Frame Set. I stuck magnets on the back of my frames so I can stick them on my fridge. 

Fridgemagnets

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Have a good week.

Thanks for visiting.

Fiona

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catching up on a Friday

Every week seems to fly by a little faster at this time of the year. I love the whole Christmas experience, and today being December 1, we are now on the countdown to Christmas here in the Carter household. The chocolate Advent calendars were enthusiastically opened very early this morning by my two girls.

Last weekend I taught my last class for the year out at Scrapabout Australia. Two groups of lovely ladies joined me and worked hard on their projects. I would like to thank Leanne at Scrapabout Australia and all her lovely customers for having me at the store this year to teach.

The latest Scrapbooking Memories is out. One layout of mine in the Christmas gallery uses some of the yummy Paper Salon Dazzle papers. This layout has lots of snapshots from our Christmas day last year.

Christmasday2005

And another layout recent to share.

Reflections

Emily did an A.M.E.B. Drum Kit music exam last Saturday. She was really well prepared and had practiced a lot. The exam went well and she was awarded an A. {Proud mum moment}.

Lots of Christmas ribbons over at Ribbons Galore too, take a look sometime. 

If you have read this far, thank you. Have a good weekend.

Cheers

Fiona

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