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. 

Brewers sterilising fluid…

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?

detail added with a sharpie…
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!!!






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
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…


taboggoning at the snowdome was pretty awesome also...
taboggoning at the snowdome was pretty awesome also…
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.


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.


First I sterilised the jars with boiling water. 


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


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


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!!




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


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.


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…. 


This Cosy Journey continues


 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.




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.

16 days to go!

colour therapy
colour therapy

Just a short update this week and here is why…..

It is with great panic that I have to report that I am still hooking the main body of this blanket, which is my Mom’s Christmas present (I have one to start for my Dad, yet, hence the panic!!)

I had almost finished it last week, when I noticed a distinct increase in stitches, meaning the sides were not straight.  The reality of this meant that I had to rip out over a weeks worth of hooking and so now I am behind…seriously!  My ONLY saving grace might be that I finish work on the 18th so may be able to make some time up then.

My error…simply becoming complacent and not counting every 4th row or so as this is such a simple pattern.  Anyway, let’s not dwell, lesson learnt and it is such a lovely pattern that I am still very much in love with it.

Now, I must get back to my hook