Thursday, 26 November 2009

HELLO KITTY LOOK-A-LIKE KNITTING PATTERN

This lovely little kitten would make a great stocking filler for a little girl and it takes only scraps of pink and white yarn. Get the pattern HERE!
Check out my growing collection of patterns for crochet and  knitted gifts!
More ideas for Christmas gifts HERE!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

MAKE YOUR OWN FESTIVE CANDLE HOLDERS!















It's lovely to have candles at Christmas (and it saves on electricity!) and little tea lights are so cheap. If you run out of holders it's easy to improvise with a pretty jam jar, scraps of ribbon, holly, ivy or cake decorations!
My small candle holder was put together from a French yoghurt jar (yes the French put their yoghurt in glass jars!) with some ribbon I saved from last year's Christmas cake, ivy I picked from a wall near my house and a decorative flower, also from a past Christmas cake.
The larger candle holder I made from a Bon Maman jam jar (I sense a French theme emerging here!) more ribbon, decoration and ivy all from the same source. It really didn't take me very long and I suspect that more elaborate decorations could be made given more time and materials, but these frugal ones work very well for me!

FREE KNITTING PATTERN TO KNIT THE LITTLE SACK BOY!

Something to cheer up all those knitters out there! This little toy makes you smile just when you see the pattern! What a cutie! Pity I don't have anyone to knit him for yet! Knit the little Sackboy, from the LittleBIGPlanet™ game and make some lucky person out there a great Christmas present!
Get the pdf. HERE!
More ideas for Christmas gifts to make HERE!

Check out my growing collection of patterns for crochet and  knitted gifts!

FREE KNITTING PATTERN FOR MR BEAN'S BEAR!

This knitting pattern is just like Mr Bean's funny old bear - and would make a fun Christmas present for someone who likes Mr Bean.
Get your free pattern HERE.Check out my growing collection of patterns for crochet and  knitted gifts!More Christmas gifts to make HERE!

FREE KNITTING PATTERN FOR THE ITV DIGITAL (AND PG TIPS) MONKEY!

Do you remember the Digital Monkey on the tv ads? He seems to have made a great come-back on the PG tips ads with his old friend Johnny Vegas! Well, you can still get the pattern to knit him! Unfortunately, there's no photo on the pattern, but if you've forgotten what he looks like, (how could you!) take a look HERE and HERE!
If you want to get your needles out and create your own Digital Monkey to make someone a fun Christmas present, get the pdf instructions HERE!

Check out my growing collection of patterns for crochet and  knitted gifts!

Monday, 23 November 2009

10 WAYS TO SAVE EVEN MORE ENERGY OVER CHRISTMAS!

Over Christmas and the New Year it's probably fair to say we use much more gas and electricity than usual. We have visitors, we are at home more, we cook more and use more lamps, Christmas lights and tree lights. So to try and cut your winter fuel bills here are 10 ways to save energy:
  • When you have visitors, turn your heating thermostat down - more bodies means more heat, so you don't need the temperature so high! Turn it down once everyone has arrived- that way the house will be welcoming and warm!
  • When your tree lights are on, turn off the main room light. You probably don't need it. Remember to turn any lights off anywhere in the house when you leave a room.
  • Make sure all your lamps and overhead lights have energy saving bulbs in them- they are expensive, but save you electricity and are usually guaranteed for around 8 years.
  • Cut down the length of time your Christmas lights are on - put them on when it gets dark and remember to switch them off when you go to bed.
  • When cooking, use the smallest appliance you can, like the microwave, slow cooker or grill and pack your oven full with several dishes when you do use it.
  • Keep lids on saucepans to cook food quicker (using less energy).
  • Try not to buy battery driven items, or invest in a charger and rechargeable batteries - it really will save you money in the long-term.
  • Keep room doors shut so that radiator thermostats can work properly, turning off the radiator when the room has reached the set temperature.
  • If you are going away turn off all those appliances that are sneaky electricty users e.g. the DVD player, radio alarm clocks and the microwave (do you really need another clock in the kitchen anyway?)
  • Only use the washing machine or dishwasher when you have a full load - probably not a problem over Christmas!
Happy Christmas saving!

SAVE ENERGY OVER CHRISTMAS!

We all like pretty Christmas lights - they brighten the dark winter days up to Christmas and cheer us up, but, they do use a lot of our very expensive electricity! I have recently been reading about a way to economise on this - LED lights!
Now, I'm not suggesting you bin your old lights and rush out and buy LED ones, (not very frugal!) but if yours happen to need replacing this year, perhaps you should think about the LED alternative before you buy.

LED lights use 90% less electricity than conventional lights so it's got to be worth thinking about!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

A REALLY FRUGAL STOCKING FILLER FOR SMALL KIDS!

If you have a mucky box full of tiny wax crayon stubs that tiny fingers can't really hold, then gather them together (try to group similar colours), break them into even smaller pieces and place in an old bun tin (shaped moulds are even better if you have them) and melt them in the oven at 150 degrees for around 20 minutes (until all lumps are melted), then take out and allow to cool.

If you don't have any old tins that you are willing to sacrifice, then carefully line tins with foil to protect them.
You will have new (bigger and easier to hold) crayons to fill the corners of Christmas stockings!
More Christmas gifts to make HERE!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

MMMMM! CHRISTMAS CHUTNEY!

Well, my Christmas Chutney is made - what about yours? I have to say, I haven't made us much as I would have liked to this year, which may mean I don't give any as gifts! I was lucky enough to be given two carrier bags full of eating apples - I think they were Russets, and they made no difference to the chutney at all (except to the cost!).
I'm also ashamed to say, I've already eaten one jar and started a second - I suppose I should really make some more soon! Of course that's the beauty of chutney - it does taste great if you keep it. I once found a 12-month-old jar at the back of the pantry - it was great! It had a richer stronger flavour, but actually you can make it right up to Christmas Eve and then enjoy it all the year round with cold meat or cheese- mmmmm!
For more Christmas gifts to make click HERE!

MAKE YOUR OWN CHOCOLATE SELECTION PACKS!

You know those chocolate selection packs that seem to be popular every Christmas? Well, have you ever really considered how much chocolate you are actually getting for your money? You get tiny packets of chocolate buttons, tiny fudge bars, tiny chocolate bar, in fact, tiny everything - and they're not cheap. Why not make your own this year? Think creatively - instead of a load of plastic packaging, put your chosen selection of chocolate bars inside a mug, glass, make-up bag or pencil case (depending on the recipient!). The size and shape of most chocolate bars is ideal for this and you can buy mugs, glasses, pencil cases and make-up bags in pound shops - or even charity shops! Depending on your budget, you can also pop in something else that is small (keyring, lipstick, batteries, biro, little fluffy toy - the list is endless).Then at least you are giving something useful and fun!
More frugal gifts to make HERE!
Happy frugal present making!