Wednesday, December 19, 2012

25 Days of Christmas 2012 - December 19th......A Beautiful Christmas Wreath

Hi Scrappy Bloggers

Have a look at this.....

Is that  the most gorgeous Christmas Wreath ever? It was made by our lovely friend Melanie at French Blue and Peachy Pink. And if you think that one's pretty, you should see the pink and blue one. Here's a sneak peek......

Want to see more? You can see more lovely pictures right here:


Aunty Vera :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

25 Days of Christmas 2012 - December 18th......Chestnuts & Frosties

I know, I know.....this is supposed to be a SCRAPBOOKING blog! But hey, anyone who knows me will tell you that at this time of year, I can usually be found in the kitchen!

So here's my take on "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...."

It's WAY too hot here in Sydney, Australia to be roasting chestnuts! So I've made red velvet cupcakes with chestnut icing. Simply mix equal parts of whipped cream and sweetened chestnut puree and pipe onto your cupcakes. Easy and so yummy! And of course I've sprinkled some white Wilton's sugar pearls on them. They're just my favourite cake sprinkle at the moment!! And the baking cups / cupcake liners you see are Wilton's Decadent Baking Cups. I just love the traditional red and gold theme on these.

And heres my "Frosty the....not really a snowman..!!.." lol...

Red velvet cupcakes with whipped cream and chocolate ganache.

So - how many cups of tea do I need to make..?..

Aunty Vera :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

25 Days of Christmas 2012 - December 17th....Cranberry Date Slice

Hi Scrappy Bloggers

As Christmas gets closer, Aunty Vera's kitchen starts to busy up.
Here's a lovely Christmas treat I like to make every year. The original recipe has pecans in it but I've changed it to macadamias....just 'cause they're so yummy!

Here's the recipe....

Cranberry Date Slice

125g unsalted butter , at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tspn vanilla essence
1 egg
1 and 1/3 cups plain (all purpose) flour
1 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn cardamom
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped macadamias (or any other nut)

Preheat oven to 180. Grease a 20cm square tin and line with baking paper.

Use electric beaters to beat the butter, brown sugar and vanilla essence until pale and creamy. Add the egg and beat until well combined.

Add the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined.

Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Cool in tin on a wire rack.

When cool, cut into bars and dust with icing sugar.


Aunty Vera :)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

25 Days of Christmas 2012 - December 16th.....Christmas Tree Brownies

Another hot hot day in Sydney....but today I got up bright and early so I could fire up the oven before the day got too hot. Here's what I made....

My apologies to the clever person who first thought of the idea......I found a piccie on the internet a while ago but can't remember what website it was from. Such a great Christmas twist on the traditional brownie - just cut them up in triangles, decorate and stick half a candy cane through the base. I decorated some with metallic cashous and Wilton sugar sprinkle......

....and others with Wilton Sugar Pearls...

Of course they're all gone now. Brownies never last long in my house!!

Aunty Vera :)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

25 Days of Christmas - December 15th.....Gingerbread Houses

Well, I know I meant to do some Christmas baking today but the weather in Sydney was soooo hot that there was no way I was going to turn that oven on! So the dried fruit has been put away to soak for just a little while longer and the favourite Christmas recipes have been put aside. Instead' let's look at some Gingerbread Houses. And I don't mean ordinary gingerbread houses......I mean more something like THIS....

Yep, that's a gingerbread house! An 18 foot gingerbread house..!!!!...from Chef Danielle.
here's a smaller's only 5 foot...!

I love all the gorgeousness at Sweetopia. Check them out for some lovely gingerbread house ideas as well as icing instructions. I love this pretty pink one....

...and classic red and white.....

And how about this beautiful house from Svadobne Medovniky....

I love the detail on the roof. Just amazing!!

And one more.....what a great idea from Lisbeth Sin Lille Verden....

I hope these have brought inspiration and a great big smile!

Aunty Vera :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

25 Days of Christmas 2012 - December 14th and 15th....Funny Foto Friday!

Ok, so I seem to be perpetually running a day behind with this thing so can I squish two days together? How abouts I do that and make it......




I know, we haven't had one for a while so let's have a look at some funny pics with a Christmas theme...and there are a few of them around my house at the moment.

Well, the first one greets you as you approach the front door, for sitting in the window with all his Christmas lights aglowing is no other than out friend.......

BILL! Yep, that Bill sure is getting into the Christmas spirit this year!! And he'd want to in a house where there are stuffed toys at every turn. You see, one of my sons went through a few years of buying himself one of those singing and dancing Christmas toys every year. He's kind of outgrown them now, so I seem to have inherited them. So every Christmas, a few of them like to sit on the stairs......

MINUS the batteries!!!!! Here's a pic of some of the cute ones without Grinch's big green head getting all the attention.....

Oh, and there's a MONKEY too!! .....

Yeah, that one plays music and SPINS. Can you imagine the NOISE when all of them are on together as the Christmas Band!!

Then there are the bears in my tree. I love teddy bears and have a few Christmas ones that only come out at Christmas time and usually sit under the tree. This year they decided to take up residence in its branches!

Vintage Christmas Bear is my fave!

Ok, so that makes me officially up to date! Yay for Friday and here comes the weekend. We might have to get some Christmas baking happening tomorrow. Hope to see you then.

Aunty Vera :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

25 Days of Christmas 2012 - December 12th.....A Very Shabby Christmas

Hi Scrappy Bloggers!

Don't you just love this Christmas banner made for me by my friend Melanie at French Blue and Peachy Pink?

Mel used Christmas papers from Crate Paper and Echo Park, but you can make these lovely quick and easy (ooh - you know how much we love those two words here at Aunty Vera's) banner using any of your favourite Christmas collections. Look at this - even the back is pretty.....

And don't forget the bling and ribbons!!

These banners look gorgeous just about your tree, hanging across a wall or over a doorway....

I currently have mine in the front window of my house as a lovely welcome to Christmas visitors.
You can find step by step instructions right here - French Blue & Peachy Pink Christmas Banner

Aunty Vera :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

25 Days of Christmas 2012 - December 11th.....Christmas Village

Hi Scrappy Bloggers!

Ok, time to get your Chrsitmas crafting on! Though from the look of what I'm about to show you, I reckon I'd have to start now to be ready for NEXT Christmas. Here are some amazingly clever people and the Christmas Villages they have created........

The Artful Maven has created this gorgeous village centrepiece inspired by tags....

....and it LIGHTS UP!....

You can find this piece of awesomeness right here: Artful Maven Village.

Ally Scraps have reposted a beautiful project from a couple of years ago.........vintage style Village Houses on boxes.....

Aren't they just amazing? You can find more piccies and instructions here: Ally Scraps Christmas Village

And if you're a visual person like me, head over to One Lucky Day for the pictorial step by step instructions for these 3 lovelies....

Love them? Here's a close-up on my fave....

Just so pretty! You can find them here: Artful Christmas Village.

Hope these have brought you much inspiration. Make sure you pop over to each individual blog as there are heaps more piccies to see!
Aunty Vera :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

25 Days of Christmas 2012 - December 10th......Nutcracker Sweet Christmas Cards

Hi Scrappy Bloggers!

Here are a couple of the Christmas cards we've been making over in Aunty Vera Land....

We used G45's Nutcracker Sweet collection. Such gorgeous papers! And the colours suite both your traditional Christmas fans as well as those of us who want a purple or PINK Christmas (yes, you know who you are!!!!). And they lovely heavy duty papers, so they stand up to card making really well.

The Enchanted Journey page just screams "distress and ink me!!".......

....while Christmas March is a fussy cutter's dream!.....

And of course it's not a Christmas card without a bit of bling!

We used an ivory Sticky Bling Pearl Runner.....

...and Ruby too....

...oh, and tinsel too! ....

'Cause Christmas card making should be fun!

Aunty Vera :)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

25 Days of Christmas - December 9th....Christmas High Tea

Hi Scrappy Bloggers!

We have a lovely tradition here on my street. Every year around Christmas time, our neighbours come to visit and we have a Christmas-time get together. We call it our Christmas High Tea.

The afternoon always starts off with my husband's awesome Margaritas. And there's always just WAY too much food!!

Of course there were chicken and almond ribbon sandwiches....smoked trout and avocado mini rolls....sausage and caramelised onion mini rolls........a Christmas Buche.........mixed berry fruit mince tarts.....

.........peppermint bark........

.......little fruitcake chocolate puddings (I served these up in Wilton Secret Santa mini baking cups and decorated some with white Wilton Sugar Pearls).....

....and little chocolate mousse pots (these are really cute served in shot glasses).....

We even had a special appearance from our friend........


Hoping your day was as fun as mine!
Aunty Vera :)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

25 Days of Christmas 2012....Getting my Christmas Baking On!

Hi Scrappy Bloggers!

Oh boy, have I had a fun day in the kitchen!
Tomorrow is our annual Neighbours Christmas High Tea. Our lovely neighbours come to visit and we spend a lovely afternoon chatting, laughing and enjoying baked delights. And margaritas!

Here's a sneak peek of what I've been up to....

....tomorrow I'll share the finished treats. It's Christmas High Tea and you're all invited!!

Aunty Vera :)

25 Days of Christmas 2012 - December 7th....G45 Christmas Card Sneak Peek

Hi Scrappy Bloggers!

How is your Christmas card making going?
Here at Aunty Vera's we've been very busy making our cards using the G45 Nutcracker Sweet collection.
Here's a sneak peek at some of our cards for 2012.....

I just love love LOvE the Enchanted Journey page. As soon as I saw it I thought "wow, these need to be cut out and distressed" and there you go - all my Christmas cards this year are going to feature a cut-out from this page with quotes and music from the Nutcracker Suite.... or 'Sweet' .... I so love G45's naming.

Wow, this December count down is going way too fast!!

Aunty Vera :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

25 Days of Christmas 2012 - December 6th.....Oh Christmas Tree!

Hi Scrappy Bloggers

Poor Aunty Vera has been quite ill today with a dizzy head.

So today I'm going to hand the reigns over to my lovely friend Melanie at French Blue and Peachy Pink.
Mel has taken a huge leap out of the Traditional Christmas Tree Box and created an amazing Pink and White tree.....

Isn't it oh so pretty? You can see more piccies of Mel's tree and decorations right here: French Blue and Peachy Pink

Aunty Vera :)
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