A novel Christmas tree

 

book-tree

Sarah writes…

If you love books like I do and fancy a pine-free tree – or just another tree to add to your collection – how about giving this book tree a go?

It’s pretty easy and only a little bit fiddly – and it’s guaranteed to make your festive poppers-in think you’re really literary and clever.

 

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Here’s how…

1  Get all your books together – it’s good to get a mix of large hardback, paperback and smaller books. A metre-high tree, like this one, requires about 30 or 40 books

2  Lay your foundations by arranging 6 books of a similar size and thickness into a flower shape. If you’re doing a massive book-off tree then you might want to use 10 or even 12 books in your first flower layer

3 Start building, bringing your books towards the centre of the tree a bit more with each new flower layer. Make sure to use books of a similar girth (oo-er) on each level to prevent the wobbles

4 When you’ve gone as far as you can with your flower layers, you can start using one large book or two smaller books to build up your tree, getting narrower as you go

5 When you’ve reached a height you’re happy with, add a few smaller books to finish it off – Jasmine’s tiny pop-up books came in handy here. At this point, you might also want to prettify your tree shape by shifting books around here and there

6 Drape your tree in lights – I’m a sucker for a retro coloured light as it reminds me of being a misty-eyed kid in the 80s and 90s. I topped off the tree with a flickering LED tea light, too, but you could go for a pine cone, or an angel or whatever floats your Christmassy boat

Important aside: if you have a marauding toddler like I do – you could secure your books with a bit of blue tack to stop it from being smashed over. Or even better, build your tree on a surface they can’t reach. Building your book tree on a low bookshelf means double the book-y joy

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Will you be decking your halls nice and early? We’d love to hear your DIY deco ideas..

You might have noticed that WMBL has driven back for Christmas – yup, we had a very extended summer break and didn’t blog during that time, which we’re slapping our own wrists for. No excuses other than we’ve all been manically busy with jobs and kiddos etc. But we’re back now and won’t be going away again! Thanks for bearing with us and see you again very soon. Merry early Christmas! 

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This December, we love…

WMBL WINTER

It’s the meteorological start of winter, if you live in the northern hemisphere that is. But this is not a weather report. Nor is it a hint of any sort about what we might want for Christmas…

This is just a round up of stuff we’re loving as the temperatures plummet, day light fades and the twinkly lights come out to play. Here goes…

1.This cuddly faux fur throw is perfect for snuggling under while watching The Bridge on BBC4 on Saturday nights. £39.99, Dunelm

2. Coffee shop Christmas coffee. We’d never normally order a black forest gateaux mocha but something just compels us…

3. Marks & Spencer’s Christmas food to order. In particular, its cheese boards. Serve with port. Or Prosecco. And repeat until 3rd Jan.

4. We May Be Little’s coffee cosy for an even Christmassier Christmas coffee. Coffee cup sleeve, £5, Etsy.com/shop/WeMayBeLittle

5. Why buy sequins now when wearing them in January will make you look like a Christmas tree who’s been put out for collection. Save pennies and buy beautiful sparkly earrings instead. Junk Jewels, Not On The Highstreet

6. Man knitwear. Casz but chic. Cosy but cool. And we’re liking the classy offerings over at Boden

7. Old-school Santa duvet to snuggle under? Why wouldn’t you. Prices from £19.50, M&S again

8. Now, this is an advent calendar. £29.50, Not On The High Street

9. How can a jumper look stylish? This answers the question. Plaited cable knit, £115, Karen Millen

10. These claret – or let’s say, port – skinnies are the perfect match for the above jumper. Darla trousers, £110, Reiss

11. The forever coat. A classic cosy parka. Women’s Charlie Fishtail Parka, £285, Parka London

12. And for men: £285, Parka London

13. Love you, steel grey Nikes. Nike Air Max Thea Premium, £95, Nike.com

14. What’s as cosy as snuggling up at home in an Aran jumper with candles flickering away in the background? Ah! Jumper candles and more from, Dibor,  Not On The High Street

15. White lights are nice an’ all, but didn’t the candy-coloured fairy lights of the 80s and 90s just feel more like Christmas? Go retro with these beauties. Fairy lights, £25, Ellie Ellie, Not On The High Street

16. And to finish? Why, a tangerine of course. Available at a supermarket/green grocers/farmers market near you.

Boozy hot chocolate

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Here’s something warm, soothing and boozy to sip on while you stick up your Christmas deco’s or start writing your cards. After all, we’re almost in December, peeps, and now is the time to put on two stone.

We like this boozy hot chocolate a lot. It’s like the sort of hot chocolate you’d get on a ski holiday: rich, thick, indulgent and guaranteed to leave you feeling a little rosy-cheeked and squiffy.

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Here’s what you need for four people: 1 pint of milk; 50g of good dark chocolate – grated; 2 tbsp of quality hot chocolate; 1 tbsp of cornflour; 2tbsp of icing sugar; a bottle of chocolate cream liqueur or Irish cream/Baileys.

Here’s what you do:

1.Grate your chocolate into fine flakes – keep a few flakes back for decoration

2.Pour milk into pan on medium heat

3.Tip your grated chocolate, hot chocolate, cornflour and icing sugar into a jar and shake to mix

4.When milk is starting to bubble gently, spoon in your dry ingredients mixture

5.Turn down the heat a bit and keep stirring until your chocolatey milk becomes smooth

6.Pour a good glug of your creamy liqueur into glass mugs – or hefty tumblers with stems. We went for M&S’s Chocolate Yule Log Cream because it seemed rude not to

7.Carefully pour in your hot choc

8.Sprinkle on your leftover chocolate flakes

9.Drink while doing Christmas errands/watching Christmas 24

10.Pour some more when finished and get gently sozzled because it’s nearly Christmaaaaaaas!

 

 

Make a Pawsome Christmas Card

Christmas is on its way, John Lewis said so. And with it, the impulse to get creative. Or drunk. We’ll do both.

First, however, we decided to get creative and make our own Christmas cards. With a dog theme, because why not.

So if you’re feeling festively crafty and craftily festive and want a bit of Scotty Dog Christmas card-making action of your own, here’s a nice how-to – courtesy of Alice. Who came up with this cute dog design in her very own brain.

Want to make this bugger now? Here’s how…

You’ll need: Plain white card/s and envelope/s; a piece of festive material; thin ribbon for the dog collar; cotton wool for stuffing; tracing paper; needle; thread; pins; scissors; nice pen; chopstick, and glue or a fancy glue gun – Alice does creative things for Topshop so if she didn’t have one she should probably be sacked but don’t feel bad if you only have a tube of Super Glue

  1. Create a dog template. If you’re a great artist, freestyle. If you can’t draw for toffee it’s time to go dogging. The best tip is to Google-image ‘Scotty dog silhouette’. If you’re not into Scotties, search for the dog of your choice

2. When you’ve found a dog you like, that’s the right size for your card, print it off and trace it. Then add 5mm around the edge for your seam allowance. Cut neatly along your line

3. Now fold your fabric in half and pin on your tracing paper dog. Next, cut around your template

4. You’ll be left with two little flat dogs (Sheila and Sandra). Put them right side together so the inside of your fabric is facing out

5. Start stitching anti-clockwise from the top of your dog’s right paw. Don’t worry if you’re no Vivienne Westwood, or even one of the workers from Underworld in Coronation Street.

The stitches don’t need to be ultra neat; they just need to be very, very close together – because you’ll be stuffing this bad boy and you don’t want its innards spilling out

6. Stitch all the way around until you reach Scotty’s belly. Then stop abruptly, tie a neat little knot and cut your cotton. Now turn your fabric right side out

7. It’s time to get stuffed. Rip your cotton wool into teeny pieces and start stuffing your mutt with the help of your chopstick, which will get into those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies

8. All nice and stuffed? 

9. It’s time to stitch up your Scotty’s tum

10. Let get this pooch dressed up. Tie the ribbon around her neck in a fancy festive bow

11. Cute, huh?

12. Now add blobs of superglue to your Scotty and whack it on your card. FYI, we bought a pack of 25 ready-made cards and envelopes from John Lewis’s craft department (hey, JL, fancy sponsoring us? That’s your second mention today)

13. Woo hoo, it’s pun time. “Have a Woof-ly Christmas”, perhaps. “A Winter’s Tail”? “Have a Pawfect Christmas”? “The Most Woof-derful Time of the Year”, “Dog Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”? “Bone Noël”? Let’s stop there. Time to proffer this thing to someone special.

14. Et, voila. A handmade original for Christmas, which your nearest and dearest will go ruddy barking mad for.

Will anyone else be crafting anything unique for Christmas? We’d love to hear from you…

Hot Spiced Apple

APPLEDRINK

Halloween and Bonfire Night are over for another year –  now it’s four more Sundays until December. What to fill them with? Warming drinks and River on iPlayer, we say.

And here’s a hot piece of toddy you might like to try for yourself. It contains spices that will fill your kitchen with autumnal/Christmassy smells and you can drink it ‘nice’ or ‘naughty’.

APPLEBIRDSEYE

Ingredients: 1 litre of apple juice (more if you’re sharing with more than 6 people); cinnamon stick; 3 star anise; 2 cloves; orange and lemon slices; something medicinal – we used dark rum for a fruity kick but whisky would work just as well

Method:

Slice an orange and lemon into wheels and gather together your spices

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Pour apple juice into pan and turn on hob to a moderate heat.

Plonk in your fruit and spices and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes

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If you’re going medicinal, pour a glug of your something naughty into a glass mug

– or just any old mug if you haven’t got the glass variety

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Now ladle in your spiced apple juice along with some of the fruit slices, for a grey-day take on sangria

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Remove mugs of hot spiced apple from kitchen, along with yourself. Position yourself on sofa, grab a throw and cover yourself with it. Find gritty yet poignant thriller on catch-up TV. Slurp hot spiced apple.

And continue until glass is finished. Then return to kitchen and repeat.

What are your favourite seasonal tipples? We’re thinking of trying a boozy take on a hot chocolate next. It may or may not involve Baileys. Watch this space…

Hello, new shop products

Author: Sarah-Louise

As you might have guessed, we love a bit of bunting here at We May Be Little. And the past week has mostly been spent working on said hangy stuff in all its various guises.

One of our projects is a bespoke commission from a local pub, which we’re quite excited about and which we’ll update you on, on here soon.

The second lot of bunting we’ve been beavering away at is of the Christmas and baby name variety, which is now in our Etsy shop.

So we wanted to introduce you and let you know they come handmade with TLC and a nice price tag.

After all, as soon as this weekend’s Halloween celebrations are up we’re practically staring down the gob of Christmas.

First up, here’s our Christmas bunting, perfect for festooning your fireplace, window ledge, fridge, whatever tickles your fancy…

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CHRISTMAS STAG BUNTING, £5 for a metre/ 5 flags – as pictured.

This is our standard bunting size and the perfect length for mantlepieces, shelves and chests (not those kind). We can make longer pieces for walls if you fancy it – just send us an email and put in your requests.

Here are some more patterns:

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RETRO BABY REINDEER BUNTING, £5 for a metre/5 flags

 

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CHRISTMAS VILLAGE BUNTING, £5 for a metre/5 flags

 

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SCANDI CHRISTMAS BUNTING, £5 for a metre/5 flags
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BESPOKE NAME BUNTING, £10 for up to 5 letters; £1 for each extra letter

We’ve also been going for it on the baby name bunting. Lucky Jasmine (my baby girl) can’t move for the stuff.

Here’s how the name bunting works. It’s a tenner for up to five letters – an extra £1 for each letter after that (so Jasmine would have cost £12 if we hand’t have made it ourselves. Though from a business point of view, maybe we should pay ourselves?) There are four different fabrics to choose from too, with more on their way: toadstools; owls; friends and flowers – see below.

 

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And there we have it. Remember, you could have a go at making your own bunting by following our mini bunting how-to. Or if you can’t be bovved with all that then we’ll make it for you. All of the bunting options above are clickable and go straight through to our Etsy shop. Otherwise you can click here.

 

Happy festooning!