Friday 23 December 2011

The Cuckoo's been a busy bird!

Here's a bit of our Christmassy stuff, makes and bakes.
I love how Mini is waving at me in this photograph. Shame it's blurry.

Photographing Christmas trees is a bit tricky isn't it! I really must learn how to use a camera properly. 

Thank you to Bunny Mummy for sending me this owl to cheer me up when I was blue.
What a delight! Love it.

I made these decorations years ago, this one needs crutches.

Of course I had to make a set of these stockings

I realised last year that I have a love / hate opinion of tinsel. 
I think it is tacky and cheap yet I
the twinklyness of it and how it transports me back to the happy Christmases of my childhood.
So this year we have tinsel and I am enjoying it. To hell with bad taste!!!

One poorly baby who should have been in bed hours ago!

Polar express

Nativity scene

The Shepards and the Kings have little lit up lanterns

The details in this Nativity set that Granny gave us are amazing.

I have wrapped a trillion presents

I made a last minute Christmas cake as I thought my Cousin in Law was doing one again this year. She made a really sweet one with marzipan penguins on it last year.

Can you see the two eggs at the bottom are a deeper yellow?
They are from my Yicks

All wrapped up and ready to be baked and then fed booze in a binge drinking style.

I had fun decorating the cake. Just as I finished it I went on a cheeky blog surf and saw that my bloddie Ashley had decorated hers in much the same way! Great minds hey?

The bunting came from the lovely Jooles of Sew Sweet Violet fame. She has a wonderful Etsy shop but it is now closed for Christmas.

So the Christmas cake DID look nice for a few hours.......but.........two naughty little urchins decided to pick off some of the sparkly holly leaves and gobble them up!

Little devils. I have a bit of repair work to undertake now. Not that I'm stressing too much. I didn't get the royal icing to the perfect piping consistency and I am out of practice so my piped lines are a bit wibbly. Therefore I'm not overly worried about the damage. So long as the cake tastes nice.

Little Cuckoo made Christmas tree biscuits to give to his preschool teachers. I helped him a bit but for the most part he did them all himself and worked really hard. Especially so for Licola (Nicola) who is his bestest favourite.

Mini helped us by rubbing all the icing into the floor.

I felt like Little Red Riding Hood with my basket full of baked goodies
to take to Preschool

Now I must thank pinterest for the following ideas, the Christmas tree cookies, the beribboned plate and the melted snowman biscuits.

The pink trees sold really quickly at the School Fayre but the melted snowman ones didn't do very well at the prescool party.

English coconut macaroons for the Knit Club party in my bon bon dish
 which was a gift for me when Mini was born.

AND NOW FOR THE FATHER CHRISTMAS LEG CAKES!!! which I mentioned in a previous post and a few of you asked for more info.

I was certain the idea cake from Bakerella but I can't find the actual post and now I'm wondering if
I saw them elswhere.

Who would like a quick, ill photographed tutorial?
You would?
OK here you go.

You will need fondant icing in red, white and black with some tylo powder or gum tragacanth mixed in to set the icing hard. A little royal icing. A knife and a spoon and a pair of hands.
Roll out a long thin sausage and chop it up into lengths about 3cm long

Roll a blob of white icing into a flattened ball to stick on to the leg
with some royal icing

Now roll out a larger black ball for the boot

Shape it into a flat oval

Press your spoon in to the the black icing about a third of the way in.
I used my babies weaning spoon as it had a thick curven edge
that worked nicely.

Stick the boot on with a dollop of royal icing

Make 48 and be warned you will end up with a numb brain.

My top tip is to allow the legs to harden before sticking the white cuff and the boot on.
The pipe butter cream onto your cupcake and stick the legs in at jaunty angles. Then sprinkle with sugar or coconut and edible glitter (of course).
Take them to the fayre where they will sell swiftly and make up for the fact that the melted snowman biscuits didn't sell well at all (oh the prickling shame!)

Little got the baking bug and so he and his elder brother made "Jam hearts". I have told him they are tarts but he still calls them hearts. It's sweet, so I'll correct him no more.

The best bit for them is playing with the off cuts of pastry.

I made some mince pies to take to WI which I then couldn't go to. So I did the honourable thing and ate them all up myself. What a pig.

I was making these sugar stars as a gift but they were a real faff and I gave up with only half a kilner jar full.

Little and I also made a huge batch of coconut ice which I managed to eat most of without even noticing. I swear I'll need dentures in the new year.

Did you spot a bit of crochet there?

I got on the band wagon and made eight jar cosies as gifts for Big's teachers and for a couple of my friends. I first saw them here and obviously had to copy. There seems to be little that Vanessa does that doesn't give me the making urge and turn me into a blatant copy cat. 

Yes, I have been busy, I'll show you the rest after Christmas once the handmade gifts have been received. I'll leave you now with this photograph of the glorious sunset we had the other day. I couldn't capture it properly as it wasn't just how it looked it was how it smelt and felt. There was a feeling of sheer peace and I could smell wood smoke and hear the church bells.

Merry Christmas to all of you!



  1. Some great inspiration for next years gifts :) I was hoping to give all handmade gifts this year but failed, so I'm going with the "there is always nex year :)"

    Hope you have a fab Christmas and a very happy new year x x x x

  2. Can I come a cook with you.........? The Jam Hearts looks absolutely yummy, as do the Christmas Tree Biscuits. Pretty decorations on your tree. I think those upside down Santa Cakes look rather fun!
    Jule xxxxxxxxx

  3. and now..... reeeeelaaaaax!! Crumbs you've been busy. x

  4. What a fabulously Christmassy post! Lots of "ooh"s and "aaah"s from me as I scrolled down the page!!! :-) What an amazing lady you are! There's clearly nothing at all that you can't do!!! I have to say that I especially love the little melting snowmen - what a clever idea!
    I agree that Christmas trees are VERY tricky to photograph - I gave up on posting a 'full-length' shot of mine. I'm going to look out for tips on that (ready for next Crimbo).

  5. What a lovely post! I have just finished icing my cake (nowhere near as good as yours) and P has iced the little cakes, except she spilt water on the worksurcace covered in icing sugar and made a huge sticky mess!
    Sorry to have missed you at KC and Wi - so have alovely, lovely Christmas and see you in the New Year.
    Jo x
    LOVE the covers used as tea-light covers.

  6. Tis all ever so amazing.........
    Merry Christmas
    Nattie xxxxx

  7. My goodness I'm drooling on my keyboard! Your baking goodies look amazing! I had planned to make the snowman cookies but ran out of gas, so I will just stare at yours. The Father Christmas legs cupcakes are great, and that cake is just beautiful. I bet your little boys will remember these Christmas baking days forever. Have a wonderful Holiday and thank you for all your lovely posts this year! xx

  8. Goodness you've been busy. It all looks so lovely.
    I am having one of those days where nothing works - even using the bought royal icing sugar that you just need to mix with water, I just can't seem to get it to the right consistency (used it before no problems!). It was too runny when I put it on the cake so I had to scrape it off only for the bloody cake to fall into the bowl of icing. When I attempted to extract the cake half the marzipan stayed in the bowl with the icing.... So, much swearing and thoughts of just chucking the whole lot into the bin... I patched up the marzipan as best I could and made the icing a bit thicker. I have iced it but it looks horrendous. I am going to need a lot of ribbon around the sides...
    Happy Christmas to you and yours! xxx

  9. How you managed to do all that with three children is absolutely amazing. I did a very casual, easy peasy afternoon tea a couple of days ago for Little Miss B's 3rd birthday and I was knackered before it even started, but I did have to clean the whole house too!

    I am so jealous of that beautiful long bench in your kitchen. I am making do with a dodgy ex-commission house in which the bathroom and kitchen seem to be an afterthought. Did the builders really think that the occupants weren't going to bathe or cook? Hmmm.

    Hope you and yours have a marvellous Christmas, and by the looks of it you already are.

    xXx Helen

  10. Wow you have been busy, love the Santa legs cakes great idea. Happy Christmas to you and your family.

  11. OMG you mean there's more but you just can't show us because they're Christmas gifts?! Cripes. I honestly cannot believe how much you manage to cram into a day, you make me feel so lazy. Your baking is lovely, especially the pink trees and the santa cupcakes.

    Get you guys with your home cinema screen! Can I come over to watch my fave Christmas film - Muppets Christmas Carol? I can be there with a bag of snow bites and a box of Quality Street in no time at all....

    Have a fab Christmas! I am kind of hoping you'll get tipsy and give us another drunken post. How I enjoyed that!

    Chin chin, lovely xxx

  12. My middle boy ate tinsel (the strandy stuff I hasten to add) and made for a sparkly nappy the next day....what could be more christmassy?!

    My goodness you've been working your socks off! Time for a relaxing, happy, fulfilled and perfect Christmas with your boys. Merry Christmas!

  13. Boys cooking!!!!! how gorgeous do they look, omg mini has grown so much. Love all the baking, am very envious of the decorating, I made ginger bread cookies yesterday and the decorating is revolting, however it will give the recipients something to giggle over. They taste delicious tho. What is the secret to HARD icing???? Your home looks beautiful and I can smell that sunset too. I made some of the jar cosies too, but they look a bit different to yours, wonder if I am getting my stitches mixed up??
    Have a wonderful day tomorrow, wishing you many happy memories. I will be hitting the champagne tomorrow to get me through a very busy long day, right am off to clean the house now, then out for dinner tonight.
    xox Sandi

  14. Ooooh you have been busy and your baking looks amazing...good enough for the great British
    bake off.
    Lovely of you to blog my little owl...he looks very at home on your tree :0)
    Have a wonderful Christmas Cuckoo and much happiness in 2012.
    Jacquie xxx

  15. What a wonderful post! All those Christmassy goodies - so gorgeous!! I adore your Father Christmas leg cakes and can't wait to make some. Have a fabulous Christmas hon. Take care. xx

  16. What a lovely, lovely post!! You have been so busy!!

    Your home looks so festove, cosy and welcoming!!

    I too made a last minute cake courtesy of a half price Delia kit (so a cheat!!) I'm yet to ice it though, yours looks gorg!!

    I can't believe the melted snowman biscuits didn't sell well, they are fabby!!

    Bless your littlies, looks like they have been busy too - I had to smile as W used to call them jam (and bakewell!!) hearts too!!

    I saw your sweet comment over at Ashley's, maybe in the spring sometime we could somehow all get together - meet halfway or something?

    Hope you and yours all have a truly magical Christmas....


    S x

  17. How many more hours in your day do you have than the rest of us?!!!!! Seriously, how do you pack it all in with three young boys! I'm in total awe Cuckoo. Love the pics of the boys, love the santas, but seriously drooled over the pink Christmas tree cookies......oh my word......I'd have eaten the lot! You make everything look stunning, wowzer, I seriously need some tips!

    Big hugs to you all, Happy Christmas and New Year!

    Much love

    Vanessa xxxxxxxx

  18. What a great post - I love everything in it, particularly Mini rubbing the icing into the floor! I can't understand why the snowman biscuits didn't sell, they look fabulous! Happy Christmas!

  19. I don't know how I missed this post? I wish I could start Christmas all over again now, you made so many fab things. You are a clever lady! I've got lot's of ideas for next year now. I hope you had a fab Christmas......I'm about ten stone heavier!

    Lou xxx

  20. ooooooooooh mmmmmmmmmmmy gggggoodness! Splendid! Simply Splendid♥
    Merry Christmas (a bit late) and have a marvelous 2012!

  21. I am new to your fabulous blog (recommended by darling Leah at, so I have to tell you how gorgeous it is. I love all your creative wonders, especially the melted snowmen and those gorgeous girly pink xmas tree cookies! However, that photo at the end does it for me, I used to live in Somerset, so your photo conjures up memories of crisp, cosy winter evenings at Xmas with that lovely smell of woodsmoke in the air - bliss!

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