Tuesday, 30 December 2014

14 Pictures of 2014

Blog meet goodies from #ccbloggers meet up. Brad got in my yarn stash!
Vintage -spired brooch making with 1940's rug making techniques
Daffodils corsages from a Spring Crafternoon tea
Embroidery project for a Crafternoon

Pretty Snowdrops from my vintage garden

Handmade rings made by old buttons and jewellery findings

China ready for a glamping Crafternoon tea

Dabbling with papercraft and silk flowers for a friend's birthday

Yummy classic sponge cake in icing and sprinkles

My love of vintage patterns for the #vintagepledge challenge

Summer roses and gift wrapping for Father's Day

Salt dough crafting at home
My very first Summer Wedding fair
A lovely photo shoot Christmas present to our family and friends captured by Marie-Louise Hall Photography

What are you top pictures of 2014? Drop me a link in the comments box and I'll pop over for a look.

Happy New Year!


Thursday, 25 December 2014

Looking Back At My Christmas Week 2014

Pretty silver wreaths around the home with ivy and holly from the local castle grounds. The greenery from early December is starting to fade, so we wrapped up warm and went to find some more to freshen up the home.
My favourite Christmas recipe I use year after year is from the amazing chef Dan Lepard. It's a panettone recipe (isn't fresh panettone amazing?), I keep this cutting in with all my recipe tears from magazines. Am I the only one to do this?
We made a gingerbread house using the Ikea cutter set and then took it apart and ate it! It was really satisfying to use and fitted together with just four pieces. Our first attempt at a house construction! It took 12 minutes in the oven on the special heat proof mat in the kit. I would really recommend this for a Valentine's cake. 
The house smelt of NEXT festive spice candles as I wound down the Crafternoon tea parties for 2014.
I've been chatting to other bloggers about how special handmade mince pies are? The bought pastry ones are just like cardboard. On Sunday I held a family fuddle (party) and made these very cute pies for our celebration with a Christmas tree and snowflake cutter. On vintage glass stands they looked very festive.
On Saturday it was the monthly farmers market in the local town. We bought a selection of yummy treats from this stall. Buying local is always good and supporting small businesses in the area.
I realised this week that I hadn't handmade any Christmas gifts. Just bakes for parties and friends this year. So I use looked through the Docrafts Christmas magazine and found some lovely upcycling craft ideas. This tea light holder took just fifteen minutes to make using the Docraft's festive charms and buttons, fabric scraps and ribbons. The upcycled jars were filled with scented tea lights to give as gifts.
And my last photo is of our ginger kitty, all wrapped up by Little L for bed.

What did you get up to last week? Was it super chillled or crazy partying and festive fun? Leave me a comment below!

Happy Holidays!


Merry Christmas!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Cheaty Handmade Christmas Party Bakes


Christmas tree mince pies

I love celebrating at Christmas and after a super weekend of partying, I wanted to share some of my cheaty handmade party bakes. Make them ahead so you can enjoy the party season. Handmade is so much better than from the frozen party section of the supermarket!

I always make ahead and freeze or store in an glass jars in the fridge.

Mince Pies

Handmade mince pies are just yum, they taste handmade. I make my pastry ahead, chill in the freezer and work with it quickly. This weekend's mince pies had whisky brushed on the pastry and orange grated on the mincemeat just before the lids went on. Once cooled they were frozen straight away to keep them fresh.

My pastry tips are from Nigella's Christmas book and freeze it to rest before rolling out. The best pastry tip I know.

Other cheaty makes include  -


Using puff pastry for pretty canapes. Here we used roasted peppers and mushrooms with Italian herbs. The vegetables were roasted ahead and stored in the 'fridge in oils. Make the day before and part bake.

Star canapes


...freeze ahead just after cooling and decorate just before the party. I usually make mine the week before. Less mess and washing up when you want to get the home ready to stage the party.

cupcakes can freeze for up to 3 months but I usually turn freeze for 2 weeks so I can keep note of stock rotation


 Roasted garlic is great for bruschetta, canapes and dips. I make it a few days before. Blend roasted garlic with olive oil and store in Kilner jars.

And finally...

Look out for quirky festive cutters. The best place is the magazine rack in the supermarket! These beauties are from Essential magazine.

These lovely cutters and 201 calender came with Essential Magazine

Happy baking,


Thursday, 11 December 2014

Handmade Bath Delights for Christmas Giving!

On Tuesday night...

The lovely Kirstie Allsopp was on CH4 making her Handmade Christmas . It's becoming a bit of a tradition now. 

After the programme I rushed up to my craft bookcase to find some of my most happiest makes over the last few years. The one that stood out was the bath bombe project from 2012. Honestly, it's so easy and really rewarding.

Bath Bombes, I gave them as presents last Christmas and my friends loved them. I was really touched! I wrapped them in little acetate bags and tied the tops with raffia.
They started with these...
Here are a few pictures from in the mould...
bath bombe hearts

Devonshire lavender I picked on holiday

 I was so flattered when Canny Crafty made these in 2013...

They are gorgeous little mince pie bath bombes. How pretty?

The bath bombe making is perfect for Christmas but could be made for hen party or birthday party thank-you.

I advise you, go and try this at the weekend. Most of the recipe is in your cupboard at home.

Bye for now!

Samantha x

PSSS... Have you checked out our 'Night Out in London' competition? 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Spring 2015 Treat Size Crafternoon Tea *now available*

After a great Autumn of crafting at Pickford's House in Derby, I'm pleased to announce three new sessions here next year. All are still only £10 per session with tea and cake served throughout plus lots of craftiness guaranteed!
All sessions are from 2pm - 3pm. We are lovely gift vouchers for the perfect crafty Christmas treat. Please email samanthaschofield@hotmail.co.uk to book your place
Saturday January 10th 2015      Craft A Vintage Memory Board
Is your new year's resolution to learn a new skill? Use your creativity to decorate a chalk board with vintage button, ribbons and fabrics to display your pictures and memories on.
Saturday February 14th 2015 Create Textile Jewellery
Want to make an accessory that's one of a kind? Then this class is perfect for you! Using old fashioned fabrics plus high quality jewellery findings to create your own jewellery. A perfect Valentines gift.
Saturday March 7th     2015 Stitch A Pretty Postcard 
With Easter just round the corner, stitch and sew a postcard style quilted embroidery. If you are new to stitching or looking for new ideas, this class caters for all experiences. We will be looking at embroidery used in the Georgian period that you can add to your creation.
Looking forward to it!

Bye for now,


December's Crafternoon Tea Parties...

Hello lovely blog,

Last week was a really exciting week at Crafternoon tea hostess as we had our first double party weekend! Hence a very quiet blogging period.

The weekend was full of our Christmassy crafts, boxes of vintage haberdashery, pretty fabrics and glitter!

 I packed up the Crafternoon cases and went out to meet some lovely folk that were all already to create vintage style fascinators and lovely Christmas keepsakes.
 vintage, www.teacakecraft.eu

Our first stop was at a hen party in a new local bar, 'The Blacksmiths Lounge' . As the party was early in the evening, it wasn't too busy in the bar and the girls had half of the ground floor to themselves. We covered the tables with our protective covers so no glue or crafty mess found it's way onto the lovely decor.

The bar would have made a great start to an evening out in the city, it was nice and cosy enough to have a chat but posh enough to wear your best heels!

Over 90 minutes we made over 20 vintage fascinators! Everyone was up for a lots of laughs, smiles and crafty makes. With the party geared up for any level of crafter, I supported and helped the girls to achieve a perfect crafty fascinator for the big day!

Here are a few snaps from the evening...
Making Fascinators for a Hen Party!

The lovely hen party organiser sent me this email after the party....

"The Vintage Fascinator workshop for my friends hen night was such a lovely way to get everyone together in a social, fun environment and also learn a new skill. It was a surprise for the hen and she couldn't have been happier with the evening, the piece she made and how much everyone enjoyed the night!

Our hostess Samantha was so lovely to be around, warm, friendly and very knowledgeable about the history of fascinators and the techniques we could use. She was available for any questions and help we needed to also allowed us just to chat and experiment ourselves too and the range of buttons, beads, feather, ribbons, lace to choose from was incredible! Several of the girls have said that they would do the evening again and we are already planning when we can arrange something for next year"
So, after unpacking and repacking in less than 24 hours, the office was looking like a very healthy crafty (organised) and beautiful mess. Boxes and cases from one party stacked in one corner and the rest ready to be checked in.

Our next party was hosted at the beautiful Pickford's House in Derby. I love this Georgian museum and this was my last time here this year. 

This Treat Size Crafternoon was a drop in session around the gorgeous kitchen table. I think these hour sessions are a bargain at only £10 per session and that includes tea and cake. It is great that with the support of Derby Museums this event is possible and we can give you a taste of a Crafternoon tea.

Spring 2015 parties coming soon! 

Our table ready to go, go, go!

And the table is set for cake!
The tea is on!

               christmas, www.crafternoonteahostess.co.uk
Making Georgian Inspired Christmas Decorations

Thank-you to all the Crafternoon crafters, venue staff and suppliers for creating a great weekend!

Now, it's time for some Christmas trimmings at home.

See you soon,

Samantha x

PSSS... Have you checked out our competition? 

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Whilst Over On I.G....


Happy December*

My November on Instagram was full of crafty posts and my most viewed was a picture of my vintage style customised stamps. I love old fashioned looking pens, stamps, cards and fonts so I am really happy with outcome. After so many companies promising me a clear readable stamp I finally found one. As a new business, it's such a waste of money to throw away something that just doesn't work. So hooray!

November was a milestone too as I reached 500 followers! A big thank-you to everyone who is following me. I really appreciate all the comments and small business support.

So here's to December!

*(posting a day late due to bad connection )

Image made with PicsArt by me at http://picsart.com

See you soon,


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