Homemade Christmas Damson Gin…

If you are new to these parts and are thinking…great! last minute homemade Christmas present then you may be disappointed, BUT you are very welcome here though and I may suggest how to cheat at the end, which might just get you out of that last minute hole. 

This process commenced way back in August

making damson gin...
making damson gin…

I have been really very disciplined and I have been gently shaking the gin each week and more importantly (and amazingly) I have not drunk any…if I did it would have been purely for quality control purposes!!! 

So today was the day to open and taste and Oh Joy…it is absolutely gorgeous, the type of sticky, sweet alcoholic gorgeous that one would expect when drinking a damson gin…the type that warms you from the inside. 

With a little bit of help from my brewing genius brother I sterilised my newly purchased gin bottles and began to fill them up. 

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Brewers sterilising fluid…

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Sterilised bottles ready to fill…
x5 lovely bottles of Damson Gin
x5 lovely bottles of Damson Gin

With the addition of a cute little cork heart they are going to make a lovely Christmas stocking filler don’t you think?

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detail added with a sharpie…
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a perfect stocking filler…or tipple for Santa!

Ok, so I said I would help you out of that last minute hole.  You could buy some bottles, sterilise them, add purchased alcoholic beverage and add a cute little label, but only if you promise to be more organised next year and make your own!!!

xxxxx

 

 

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Wow…

Humph!!…did you hear that…or is it just my tinnitus again?  I think it was the sound of me falling onto the sofa from a parallel universe; where the last few weeks have spun by in a blur and may have possibly been the fastest few weeks in history. 

A fleeting glimpse of the super moon...
A fleeting glimpse of the super moon…

I was hoping to have posted this weekend about the second tea cosy in the Grandma Collection, but that may well be next week end now…so sorry.  It would have happened, but I think that in exiting the parallel universe I left my little pencil case of hooks as  I can’t  seem to find them…most distressing. 

There has been quite a bit of Christmas hooking going on, but that will have to remain under wraps for now, enough to say I am in love with the pattern and can’t wait to share it with you all. 

So, whilst I acclimatise back into the earthly realm, I will leave you with a little snap shot of the last few weeks…

An Autumnul walk
Autumn is slipping into winter
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but glorious colour can still be found
and if you know where to look you can still find cosmos
and if you know where to look you can still find cosmos…
The boys are still being boys...
The boys are still being boys…
getting balls stuck up trees...
getting balls stuck up trees…
I do love them so...
I do love them so…

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taboggoning at the snowdome was pretty awesome also...
taboggoning at the snowdome was pretty awesome also…
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A sneek peek of some of the lovlinesss in store for the second tea cosy in the Grandma Collection….

Oh ok then, just a  very quick look at some of the Christmas hooking…

just don't tell anyone...promise.
just don’t tell anyone…promise.

xxxxx

Making damson gin…

Well what is a girl to do, when she is given a surplus of damsons?…

Gin of course!

I have read that many recipes for damson gin, I became confused.  What follows is a conglomeration of several.

WP_20160823_18_17_48_ProThe ingredients are this simple…

550g of damsons (because that is how much we had!)

250g of granulated sugar

1 litre of gin

1 litre mason jars x2.

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First I sterilised the jars with boiling water. 

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Then skewered the damsons with a sterile darning needle to get their damson juices flowing.  I divided the damsons equally between the jars. 

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Next, I added 125g of sugar into the first jar and 125g of sugar into the second jar. 

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Finally, adding 500ml of gin into the first jar and 500ml into the second jar.

I gave the jars a little shake and then popped them on the larder shelf where it is dark…this is important storage information apparently! 

I’m not sure if it is a good thing that there is an air space in the jars or not.  Looking at the unopened gin bottle there was an air space.  So I think I am going to have to do a bit more research.  I may be topping up with a bit more gin, but I will let you know if I do.  The jars will need a little shake each day for the first week and then weekly after that. 

All the recipes differ on how long to leave the gin until you crack it open.  Some say 3 months others 6 months and then others a year!!!  I  should imagine it is when desperate!  Again I will let you know.  I am hoping it will be in time for Christmas, unless I get desperate before that!!

 xxxxx

 

 

A lost yarny Angel

Do you remember these…I think I must have given all mine away last Christmas, because I’ve searched everywhere for my host of angels and can’t find them…I think it will be off to the shops tomorrow for some pipe cleaners and some sparkly yarn.

This divine angel is made by hooking 2 small granny squares and assembling with a few bits and pieces.  I made mine in a white yarn with a silver sparkle…the pattern is by the very talented Priscilla Hewitt  (search Granny square angel on her site) and is super simple to follow and in no time at all you could have your own host…. 

 

bones and ribbons

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A crafty little tutorial today…Christmas dog wreaths, for the pooch in your life!

Easy peasy to make, here is what you will need…

wreaths...these are bought, cost £1 each, but you could make one from some coat hanger wire...
wreaths…these are bought, cost £1 each, but you could make one from some coat hanger wire…
your dogs favourite biscuits...
your dogs favourite biscuits…
raffia, or ribbon
raffia, or ribbon…
cut raffia into lengths...
cut raffia into lengths…
tie onto wreath...
tie onto wreath…
Attach a length of raffia to top of wreath to hang...
Attach a length of raffia to top of wreath to hang…

Easy Christmas dog wreath.

xxxxx

A yarny Angel

This divine angel is made by hooking 2 small granny squares and assembling with a few bits and pieces.  I made mine in a white yarn with a silver sparkle…the pattern is by the very talented Priscilla Hewitt  (search Granny square angel on her site) and is super simple to follow and in no time at all you could have your own host…. 

 

a look over my shoulder

This is my end of 2014 review… a chance for me to look over my shoulder and reflect on the last 6 months…yes…this little sanctuary of mine is 6 months old and as we trip in to 2015, I feel both excited and content, which I think is a good place to be.

June 2014 saw not only the birth of ayarnyrobin… but the completion of my friendship blanket.

already a firm favourite!
already a firm favourite!

and the Robin’s nest!

tree house rules... "there aint no rules, there never was none, there aint never gonna be none"!!
tree house rules…
“there aint no rules, there never was none, there aint never gonna be none”!!

In July I completed charity headbands

basket of headbands
basket of headbands

a happy ripple blanket

happy ripple in progress
happy ripple in progress

a vintage tea cosy

these little roses are gorgeous to hook
these little roses are gorgeous to hook

and wrote my first tutorial

my first tutorial
my first tutorial

as well as spending some ‘down time’ on the river

messin' about on the river
messin’ about on the river

August saw me settle outside to crochet in the warmer weather and do a spot of blog hoppin’.

crochet corner
my crochet corner

I also broke into my sumptuous alpaca stash

 

alpaca yarn - Louisa Harding yarns - Orielle
alpaca yarn – Louisa Harding yarns – Orielle

and enjoyed the summer holidays with the boys, making some special memories

down by the canal
down by the canal

and completed a light weight summer scarf

lightweight glamour...
lightweight glamour…

and wrist warmers ready for the autumn

fingerless wristwarmers
fingerless wristwarmers

and a much needed Summer break away was enjoyed also.

Tenby harbour
Tenby harbour

September saw the struggle with my hook to complete this basket weave baby blanket

basket weave baby blanket
basket weave baby blanket

which led to a frivolous yarnpom in the park

yarnpom
yarnpom

and the arrival of Jess!

Jess
Jess

I lost my crojo completely in October…partly Jess’ fault

crocodile flower by Joyce Lewis
crocodile flower by Joyce Lewis

eventually finding it, after much help from some lovely readers, and completed a couple of beanies for the boys.

brainwave beanie with ear flaps
brainwave beanie with ear flaps

and more than a few poppy brooches,

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poppy brooch

and Summer turned to my favourite time of the year…Autumn.

 

walking the dogs x
walking the dogs x

In November I hooked myself a beanie

my beanie love
my beanie love

and had a great time at the circus

balloons
balloons

and was very kindly nominated for the Leibster award

 

Leibster Award
Leibster Award

and very proudly offered my first free pattern.

my first pattern
my first pattern

I continued to enjoy the changing landscapes walking with the dogs and rellished the tranquillity that the peace allowed in my mind.

Gloomy day
Gloomy day

and then there was the last minute Christmas hooking in December,

Cosy blanket by Attic 24
Cosy blanket by Attic 24

which did get completed in sort…and which I have yet to post about in finished splendour (I will in the New Year…I promise).

The 'his' cosy blanket by Lucy of Attic 24
The ‘his’ cosy blanket by Lucy of Attic 24

And finally a traditional Christmas spent with the people I love the most… a perfect way to celebrate my most favourite festival.

our Christmas tree
our Christmas tree

And there you have it… my 2014 review.  May I take this opportunity to thank all of my lovely readers for sharing this journey with me.  I have honestly loved sharing my journey with you and appreciate you all so much.  I guess all that is left to do this year is to wish you all  a very peaceful and healthy 2015.

xxxxx

This Cosy Journey continues

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 I posted earlier in the week about my big disaster in the Christmas present crochet arena… a calamity which at any other time I would have perceived as a mishap, but at this time of year, has escalated into an undue burden, helped only in that it was as a consequence of a school girl error on my part…in short I only had myself to blame!!

almost done!
almost done!

After long evenings of hard pressed hooking I have completed the body of the ‘her’ part of the ‘his and hers’ blanket set…and have commenced the ‘his’ blanket.  To relieve the pressure, I have decided to set my goal more realistically and I aim to have both blankets finished to border stage…after all Christmas is all about love and as the intended recipients are my Mom and Dad and they love me very much…I can complete the borders if necessary on Boxing Day.

even the ends have been woven in!
even the ends have been woven in!

The Cosy Cottage blanket is just so beautifully girly and I have, despite my error, loved, loved, loved hooking it… I think my Mom  will be so pleased with the colours too.  I have followed the colour sequence that Lucy from Attic 24, used in her cottage ripple blanket, take a look if you want all the details of Lucy’s  exquisite colour placement.

colour therapy
colour therapy

This is how the ‘his’ blanket, which I am naming the Eastern Bluebird Cosy blanket is looking so far…

6 bands done!
6 bands done!

I love how the essence of the blanket changes and grows with each colour band that is lovingly added. 

for my Dad
for my Dad

Guess what I’m off to do now…. yes, this cosy journey continues.

xxx

 

 

A peek in to Christmas

One of the things that I have really enjoyed this December, when peeking into other blogs and generally taking a good look around, is glimpsing how other people do Christmas… so here is a little peek around the robin’s nest.

our Christmas tree
our Christmas tree

I love the designer trees and the minimalist trees in the shops and I always catch myself thinking how I would love to get one.  This year I fell in love with an all white one with sherbet coloured decorations… but I adore more, our tree, decorated by the boys with our mismatched decorations that we have accumulated over the years, most of which are attached to a lovely memory…like the spherical robin bauble at the bottom of this photo, gifted to us by dear friends.

deck the halls...
deck the halls…
pretty Christmas bows
pretty Christmas bows
stockings...just waiting to be filled
and stockings…just waiting to be filled
party shoes!
party shoes that I just couldn’t resist!
the nativity
and the nativity

Certainly the most important part of Christmas for us…the reason for Christmas…the birth of Jesus.