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  • Posted on December 6, 2016

    5 Projects You Need To Make This Christmas!

    Taking a cursory glance at social media over the weekend, it seemed as if all of our friends simultaneously put up Christmas trees and started decorating their houses. Well, yipeee! We are fully embracing the holiday spirit here at RPS and CICO Books towers, and if there’s one thing we like even more than Christmas decorations, it’s handmade Christmas decorations. Here’s 5 of our favourite projects that will ensure you have a lovely, unique home this year!

    Decorate your tree with Elspeth Jackson’s rag rug Christmas baubles. These are so cute, we’re considering keeping them up all year round…we won’t tell if you don’t! There's a video tutorial here.

    We shared this cute reindeer decoration to make with the kids last week over on instagram stories, and you all loved it so we popped the instructions up on our MAKEetc. blog. Check them out here.

    A garland of these silver stars would look lovely slung across a mantelpiece, or you could hang single stars in your tree to just catch the light like Juliet’s done here. Find the project here.

    This Succulent Wreath looks super effective, and you’ll stand out on a street of holly wreaths! Find the instructions here.

    Jazz up jam jars as tea-light holders with this project from Hester van Overbeek’s first book, Furniture Hacks. You could even use sparkly beads for an extra party feel!

    For more inspiration, check out our book Handmade Christmas and make sure you keep an eye on MAKEetc. for a free project or two over the next few weeks.

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    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Featured, News, News, UK, Videos, What's new and was tagged with christmas, christmas decorations, christmas craft, handmade, paper crafts, activities for kids, winter living, winter, 2016

  • Posted on August 17, 2016

    What to eat for the Olympics

    Last night we somehow found ourselves ensconced on the sofa, G&T in hand, saying things like “Excellent pike position there, shame about the rotation”. We were watching the Men’s 3m Springboard diving final and we are, of course, now experts. That’s the beauty of the Olympics. You get very caught up in sports that you had hitherto not even known existed and suddenly Jack Laugher’s silver medal seems like the most exciting thing all week.

    Speaking of medals, a flurry of Team GB successes over the last two days calls for something special and we think Will Torrent’s recipe for Pistachio and Strawberry Délices decorated with ACTUAL GOLD fits that bill nicely.

    How pretty are these? Head over to The Pantry’s YouTube channel to see a video of The Berkley's Head Pastry Chef, Mourad Khiat, building these beautiful cakes.

    It’s not all about Team GB though and we thought we’d share some Olympian recipes for the other nations topping the medal table.

    The United States are having a cracking Olympics – Simone Biles of their gymnastics team is our new hero – and we feel like it’s only right to honour such athletic skills with cheesey-goodness in the form of this Pimento Mac ‘n’ Cheese. Get the recipe here.

    Fold dim sum dumplings with the artfulness of 4½ somersaults in the tuck position (that’s Cao Yuan’s gold medal-winning dive for the uninitiated) with our video tutorial from Modern Dim Sum. Find it on YouTube here.

    Every Olympics viewing party needs snacks and with Russia and Italy doing so well, these two canapé recipes are topping our Must Cook list. Try Salmon Caviar Canapés from Mat Follas’ Fish (recipe here) and Courgette and Parmesan Crocchette, featured in Cicchetti by Liz Franklin (video tutorial here).  

    And last but not least, if you’d like to drink like a local head over here to find Mark Dredge’s top Brazilian Beers as featured in Craft Beer World. Cheers!

    We can’t wait to see what the last few days in Rio bring, but we’re sure we’ll be experts in a few more sports before next Monday’s closing ceremony!

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    This post was posted in Featured, News, News, Recipes, UK, Videos, What's new and was tagged with fish, canapes, savoury, event, italian, Will Torrent, vegetarian, snacks, photos, quick, sweet, Asian, Mat Follas, 2016, Loretta Liu

  • Posted on March 1, 2016

    Flowers that last forever

    We’re all about the homemade gift here at CICO Books Towers, and with Mothers’ Day just around the corner (for those of you in the UK at least), we thought it was time we shared some ideas. These lovely tissue paper flowers are taken from our new book Let’s Get Crafty with Paper & Glue which is part of a new series aimed at introducing even the littlest children to crafty fun! With just some lovely brightly coloured tissue paper, and pipe cleaners, you can make a bunch of flowers for Mum that will last forever!

    Tissue-paper flowers

    Delicate and pretty, these delightful tissue-paper blooms make lovely gifts when bunched up into a colorful bouquet. Look out for multicolored packs of tissue paper in art stores, or collect leftover pieces from presents and packaging to have on hand when you need to say it with flowers.

    What you will need

    Sheets of tissue paper in different colors

    Scissors

    Ruler

    Pipe cleaners

    Twigs

    1. Layer tissue paper: measure and cut 10 pieces of different colored tissue paper, 9½ x 12in (24 x 30cm). Lay them on top of each other.

    2. First crease: fold all the layers of paper over together by about 1.in (3cm) and make a crease.

    3. Make a concertina: continue to fold the tissue paper until the whole thing resembles a concertina.

    4. Shape the strip: cut both ends of the strip into either a curved petal shape or snip it into thin strips using scissors.

    5. Wrap the layers: take a long pipe cleaner, fold it in half, and twist it around the middle of the paper strips.

    6. Make petals: carefully pull each layer of paper out to form the petals.

    7. Attach to twig: twist the pipe cleaner onto the end of a twig. Add a leaf shape if you like.

    Let’s Get Crafty with Paper & Glue is available here. We have also published Let’s Get Crafty with Fabric & Felt, available here.

       

    For more Mothers’ Day gift inspiration, check out our Spring Flower Pot, Felt Tulips and Origami gift box video tutorials.


    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Featured, UK, Videos, What's new and was tagged with handmade, Mother's Day, Book Launch, crafts for kids, kids, paper crafts, activities for kids, 2016

  • Posted on November 25, 2015

    It's beginning to look a lot like...

    We had our first mince pies of the season in the office last week, and ALL OF A SUDDEN we felt Christmassy. Just like that. And now it’s merely DAYS until December and we feel like it’s totally fine to start talking about Christmas. Hopefully you agree… You might remember last year we made a Pay-It-Forward Advent Calendar, which went down a treat in the office (except with the people whose envelope contained making a tea round for the whole sales floor!) You can watch our video tutorial for the project here, but we thought we’d share the instructions on the blog for you too. This is a lovely alternative to the commercial advent calendars and best of all, can be re-used year on year – we can’t wait to hang ours up again!

    Pay It Forward Advent Calendar

    We love a chocolate Advent calendar as much as the next person. But we were thinking, wouldn’t it be good to give something back in the days leading up to Christmas, instead of taking? You can make up your own list of actions. Think about simple gestures such as smiling or holding open a door for someone!

    YOU WILL NEED

    Templates (download here)

    Pencil and pens

    Laminating sheets and laminator OR white card stock

    Glue stick

    Scissors

    Craft pegs or clothes pins

    Hot glue gun or strong glue

    Assorted scrapbook paper

    Assorted card stock

    Red ribbon, approx ¼ in (6mm) wide

    Single hole punch

    Baker’s twine

    1. Download the Advent Calendar Templates PDF and print it out.

    2. Photocopy the scallop shape template–you’ll need 25. Write the numbers 1–25 on each one and them laminate and cut out. If you are not going to laminate the numbers, you’ll need to glue them onto a thicker card stock and then cut them out.

    3. Ask an adult to help you use a hot glue gun to glue each number onto a craft peg or clothespin. Alternatively use strong glue.

    4. Cut out the envelope template. Use a glue stick to stick together pieces of scrapbook paper (we used Christmas themed paper) and colored card stock until you have enough sheets to cut out 25 envelope shapes.

    5. Type or write up a list of actions on white paper—stick to simple things that you will be able to achieve, such as “Give someone a hug” or “Bake someone some cookies”. Cut each one out and stick in the center of each envelope, on the card stock side. Fold each of the four flaps in.

    6. Use the hole punch to punch a hole on two of the facing round edges. Cut 25 pieces of ribbon, each 12in (30cm) long, thread through the two holes and tie into a bow.

    7. Take a long length of baker’s twine and use the number “clips” to attach the envelopes. Your Advent calendar is ready to hang up!

    This project is taken from Craft It Up Christmas Around the World by Libby Abadee and Cath Armstrong. Happy Craft-mas!


    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Featured, News, UK, Videos and was tagged with christmas, homemade, handmade, summer holidays, Libby Abadee, cico kidz, craft it up

  • Posted on September 30, 2015

    Real Cinnamon Buns

    Is there really anything better than the smell of freshly baked cinnamon buns... Apart from, perhaps, the taste of them?! With Cinnamon Roll Day in Sweden this Sunday and the recent launch of the fantastic new cooking and baking book, The Scandi Kitchen by Brontë Aurell, we couldn’t resist sharing Brontë’s traditional and simple recipe.

    Cinnamon Roll

    And, as a special treat, we have a brilliant video tutorial over on The Pantry where Brontë shows you how to twist the perfect cinnamon roll. Now, we’re not about to criticise the simple rolling technique of making these buns which results in something like the picture above (and is clearly very tasty!), but to ensure the delicious cinnamon flavours go right through the dough then check out the video and discover how to achieve a real Scandinavian twist on your buns... seriously, you won't believe how simple this method is either!

    How to twist a Cinnamon Bun video tutorial

    13 g/2 ½ teaspoons dried/active dry yeast or 25 g/1 oz. fresh yeast *(see below)

    250 ml/1 cup whole milk, heated to 36–37°C (97–99°F)

    80 g/ ¾ stick butter, melted and cooled slightly

    40 g/3 tablespoons caster/granulated sugar

    400–500 g/3–3 2/3cups white strong/bread flour

    2 teaspoons ground cardamom

    1 teaspoon salt

    1 egg, beaten

    plain/all-purpose flour, to dust the work surface

     

    FILLING:

    80 g/½ stick plus 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature

    1 teaspoon plain/all-purpose flour

    1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

    ½ teaspoon ground cardamom

    ½ teaspoon vanilla sugar

    80 g/¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

    egg, for brushing

     

    TOPPING:

    syrup**

    nibbed ‘pearl’ sugar or chopped, toasted nuts

     

    2 baking sheets, greased and lined with baking parchment

    MAKES 16

     

    *If using fresh yeast, add the warm milk to a mixing bowl and add the yeast; stir until dissolved, then pour into the bowl of the food mixer.

    **3 tablespoons golden/light corn syrup and 6 tablespoons water, heated in a saucepan

     

    how to twist a cinnamon roll

    Pour the warm milk into a bowl, sprinkle in the yeast and whisk together. Cover with clingfilm/plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes to become bubbly. Pour into the bowl of a food mixer fitted with a dough hook. Start the machine and add the cooled, melted butter. Allow to combine with the yeast for 1 minute or so, then add the sugar. Allow to combine for 1 minute.

    In a separate bowl, weigh out 400 g/3 cups of the flour, add the cardamom and salt and mix together. Start adding the flour and spices into the milk mixture, bit by bit. Add half the beaten egg. Keep kneading for 5 minutes. You may need to add more flour – you want the mixture to end up a bit sticky, but not so much that it sticks to your finger if you poke it. It is better not to add too much flour as this will result in dry buns. You can always add more later.

    Once mixed, leave the dough in a bowl and cover with a dish towel or clingfilm/plastic wrap. Allow to rise for around 30 minutes or until it has doubled in size.

    Dust the table top with flour and turn out the dough. Knead the dough with your hands and work in more flour if needed. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a 40 x 50 cm/16 x 20 in. rectangle.

    In a bowl, add the butter, spices and sugars and mix together well. Using a spatula, spread the mixture evenly over the rolled-out dough.

    Carefully roll the dough lengthways into a long roll. Using a sharp knife, cut 16 slices. (Or follow the video tutorial to give your cinnamon buns a real twist!)

    Place the swirls onto the baking sheets (not too close as they will rise further). Leave to prove under a dish towel for 30 minutes.

    Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.

    Brush each bun lightly with egg and pop the buns into the preheated oven to bake for around 10–12 minutes. Watch the buns as they bake: they can go dark very quickly and you may also need to move the buns around in the oven if they are not baking evenly.

    When golden, remove from the oven. Brush the buns lightly with the warmed syrup then decorate with the nibbed ‘pearl’ sugar or chopped, toasted nuts. Immediately place a damp, clean dish towel on top for a few minutes to prevent the buns from going dry.

    The Scandi Kitchen

    The Scandi Kitchen by Brontë Aurell is available here or, if you haven't seen it yet, then check out our video chat with Brontë to hear about the café, the book and how she loves to bake for her family!


    This post was posted in Featured, News, Recipes, UK, Videos, What's new and was tagged with baking, cinnamon, brunch, video, sweet, 2015, video tutorial, Scandinavian

  • Posted on June 12, 2015

    Recipe for the Weekend

    We’ve had a fun Friday today. We’ve posted the first in a new series of videos on our Youtube channel, The Pantry, called Jen and Polly Chat… (although our Rights Assistant has just pointed out, we really missed a trick by not calling them Jolly Chats!) We’ll be posting one a month, talking about new books, and recipes we’re excited for. This month we’re all about Summer Recipes. You can watch the video here, and to celebrate we’re sharing a recipe from one of the books we talk about: The Salad Bowl by Nicola Graimes.

    If you have any comments, advice or ideas about what you'd like to see in future Jen and Polly Chat... videos, please let us know by commenting on the video, or on Facebook or Twitter.

    Puy lentils, grapefruit & feta cheese with harissa dressing

    Harissa, the fiery North African spice paste, adds both colour and flavour to the dressing for this substantial Puy lentil salad. Oranges can be substituted for the grapefruit, if you prefer a slightly sweeter fruit. Serve with warm flatbreads on the side.

    250 g/9 oz. dried Puy lentils

    60 g/2 oz. watercress, tough stalks removed, separated into small sprigs

    60 g/2 oz. baby spinach leaves, tough stalks trimmed

    1 pink or red grapefruit, peeled, pith removed and segmented

    1 small red onion, diced a handful of mixed sprouted beans

    200 g/7 oz. feta cheese, cubed

    HARISSA DRESSING

    5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

    1 teaspoon harissa paste

    sea salt and freshly

    ground black pepper

    Serves 4

    Put the lentils in a pan and cover with plenty of water.

    Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer, part-covered, for 25 minutes or until tender. Drain and transfer the lentils to a serving bowl.

    Meanwhile, mix together all the ingredients for the dressing, season and set aside.

    Add the watercress and spinach to the serving bowl.

    Remove the membrane from the grapefruit segments over a dish and add the segments to the salad. Pour any juice from the grapefruit into the dressing.

    Add the onion and mixed bean sprouts and pour the dressing over. Toss the salad until thoroughly combined and sprinkle the feta over before serving.

    PUY LENTILS

    The French Puy lentil with its dusky, blue-grey marbled skin is ideal for salads as it keeps its shape after cooking.

    Adding lentils to a salad is an easy way to add substance, turning it into a complete meal, especially when  partnered with oily fish, lamb, poultry, eggs or cheese.

    The Salad Bowl by Nicola Graimes is available here.


    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK, Videos, What's new and was tagged with lentils, salad, savoury, recipe for the weekend, cheese, vegetarian, video, Nicola Graimes, 2015, healthy

  • Posted on March 26, 2015

    Easter Egg-cessories!

    With some of us in the office beginning to crave the chocolate or crisps that we optimistically gave up for lent, we decided that some eggciting lunchtime crafting might cheer us along... so last week we got into the Easter spirit with a session of hard-boiled egg decorating! Today we thought we'd share a few snaps to get you in the mood and a craft tutorial, so that you and the kids can have a go at making this handsome chap:

    Egg decorating project in 'A Year in Crafts' book

    Easter crafting

    Office Crafternoon for Easter

    We had a cracking time making lots of cute paper eggcessories from the project in Clare Youngs' latest book, A Year in Crafts, and drawing faces to create a range of eggstraordinary characters. Below are just a few of our favourites and head to the bottom of the blog post to watch an amusing video tutorial from Jen and Polly (such yolkers!)...

    King and Queen of Quicheville - Easter Egg Characters

    The King and Queen of Quicheville and their two lovely daughters, Olivia Omelette and Felicity Frittata.

    Benedict Cumberpatch - Easter Egg Character

    Benedict Cumberpatch

    Easter Egg Bunnies

    Easter Bunnies

    Mayor of Yolktown - Easter Egg Characters

    The Mayor of Yolktown

    While we would certainly recommend breaking out of your shell (sorry, these are getting worse!) and enjoying a spot of egg decorating over a work lunch, it makes such an eggcellent activity for the kids on their Easter holidays next week! So here's a quick video tutorial for them to follow (and if you're brains are a little scrambled from a busy day at work then you might want to follow these steps as well!):

    Easter Egg Decorating Video Tutorial

    Okay, we've poached plenty of puns from folk around the office and we're finally running out of steam here in the CICO box (and they've not eggsactly been that amusing anyway!), so all that's left to say is that we hope you all enjoy making your eggcessories and have an eggstremely fun Easter break! Over easy and out.

    A Year in Crafts by Clare Youngs

    For loads more craft ideas and activities to see you and the kids through the whole year, check our A Year in Crafts by Clare Youngs.


    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Featured, News, UK, Videos and was tagged with eggs, easter, kids, photos, activities for kids, 2015, video tutorial

  • Posted on March 11, 2015

    Make a Mother's Day Tea Card!

    With Mother’s Day only a few days away, there’s still time for the kids to hand make a thoughtful card to surprise mum on Sunday morning. So today we have a video tutorial showing them how to make a card that is perfect for tea loving mums. This fun card can be personalised with their favourite colours and stickers, and is really simple to make! Simply click on the video below to watch the tutorial.

    Video Tutorial for Kids: How to make a tea card!

    Polly and I had great fun making several of these tea cards and have sent them around the office to the biggest tea drinkers! So if the kids are enjoying the cutting, sticking, colouring, and stickering, then they can always make a few to send out to their grandparents, teachers, and friends, whenever an occasion arises! Have fun kids and we hope you make it a very happy Mother’s Day!

    Photo of Polly and Jen's tea cup cards

    More fun activities for kids!

    This project was taken from the new book, More Boredom Busters, by Caroline Fernandez, which includes over 50 awesome activities for children aged 7years +. The ideas all use simple materials found around the home or classroom and include great step-by-step instructions so that they are super easy to follow!

    Caroline is officially launching her book with a Twitter chat, including lots of fun ideas to keep the kids entertained over Spring break (or in preparation for the Easter holidays in the UK!) and a chance to win a copy of the book, so make sure you're there to join in. Details:

    Thursday Mar 12

    12-1pm ET (4-5pm GMT)

    #MoreBoredomBusters

    TOPIC: How to keep kids busy during Spring break

    More Boredom Busters by Caroline Fernandez

    For more information about the book and to see what other sorts of crafts and activities there are for kids to get stuck into, then please click here.


    This post was posted in Craft Projects, UK, Videos, What's new and was tagged with handmade, Mother's Day, gift, school holidays, cico kidz, crafts for kids, kids, simple, video, paper crafts, 2015

  • Posted on February 11, 2015

    Midweek Chat with Charlotte White

    With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we’re thinking about ways to impress our loved ones (whether that’s a partner, best pal or yourself!) and we’re in agreement that baking ought to do it! And when we think of baking, we can’t help but also think of Charlotte White’s wonderfully romantic, vintage-inspired bakes. Her latest book, Deliciously Decorated, is gorgeous and we thought we’d take this opportunity to quiz Charlotte about her life, inspiration and work!

    Hello, Charlotte, welcome to our blog. Do make yourself comfortable! Can you tell us a bit about Restoration Cake and how you got into baking?

    It’s the classic entry into baking really; my Nana taught me to bake when I was a little girl. She taught all of her Grandchildren to bake. I loved to make butterfly cakes and I think my Brother favoured sausage rolls. Very little has changed there really!

    Restoration Cake was born out of a time when I was working full time and baking provided the perfect remedy to a day spent in a corporate environment – which was not for me. Once friends and colleagues got wind of a baker in their midst, I started to receive commissions for celebration cakes and set myself up in business.

    The name has always confused people (which I love!) because it has nothing to do with restoration but rather The Restoration of 1660. I am a complete history geek and read a great deal about King Charles II, the Merry Monarch. For me, the Restoration represents a moment in history where the people moved from a black and white time into one of bright Technicolor, like the moment that Dorothy wanders into Oz. It was a time of decadence and opulence and glamour, the very best ingredients for any cake!

    From where do you draw inspiration?

    From all over! I’ve always said that I do not have an original idea in my head! Each of my cake designs is inspired to pay homage to something beautiful. The best places for inspiration are classic Hollywood cinema (I have a film degree and watch far too many old movies!), fashion, and art, though I have been inspired by song lyrics and architecture too.

    In Deliciously Decorated, there is a cake with a handpainted pattern taken from the green dress that Scarlett O’Hara wears to the Twelve Oaks barbeque in Gone With The Wind. There is also a cake inspired by a room in the Palace of Versailles. So long as it is glamorous, I can see it in icing!

    If you could bake a cake for anyone, living or otherwise, who would it be?

    Last year, Macmillan Cancer Support asked the nation who they would most like to share aslice of cake with and the number one celebrity was Stephen Fry. I was lucky enough to be the baker to make this cake for Stephen Fry!

    I feel like, with this power to explore the ‘otherwise’ option, I should say Marilyn Monroe. She could have used a girlfriend and a slice of cake. I would bake a big cake and invite Groucho Marx over to make us laugh.

    Can I say Woody Allen too? You’re all invited. I’ll get baking...

    [Ed.: erm, yes please!]

    What is your favourite bake from Deliciously Decorated?

     This changes several times a day depending on my mood! Today it would have to be my Jay Gatsby: Deco Decadence cake [see below] as I have just spent a happy few hours sketching a bigger and better version of this cake for a summer wedding with an Art Deco theme. I do love the simple colour palette of black, white, and gold.

    If you’re anything like us, we’re sure you’ve had some culinary mishaps! What has been your best-worst one?!

    I forgot to bake the sugar into a Chocolate Mud Cake once. I was rushing around and could not understand why the cake mixture was not pouring into the cake tins as usual. I still baked the cake and remember eating it with my friends and no-one could quite put the finger on why it was a little off. It took a while for me to work out my mistake!

    The moral of the story? Read the recipe and don’t rush.

    Charlotte's Art Deco 'Jay Gatsby' cake

    What is your favourite part of putting together a book?

    It is fun gathering ideas and inspiration and working out what the book is going to look like. After all is said and done, there is nothing like the feeling of receiving the very first copy from the printers. Up until that point, there is a slight disconnect that you are producing an actual real-life book that will sit on bookshelves and get covered with cake mix in kitchens.

    If you were going on a desert island, what would your one luxury item be?

    Music. I cannot live without it. My Spotify Premium account and a speaker with limitless battery power would do. If this is not possible, I’ll take either my ukulele or if I can only have one song, I’ll take Sympathy For the Devil by The Rolling Stones and work on my Mick Jagger impression.

    What three things are never out of stock in your kitchen?

    Sugarflair Red Extra food colour for Red Velvet cakes, LittlePod Vanilla Fold 2 Vanilla Extract, which is more intense than any other vanilla on Earth or in Heaven, and about 10 different types of sugar.

    And Sauvignon Blanc.

    A beautiful sugarcraft rose

    What advice do you have for anyone who would like to get into cake decorating, but is intimidated by seemingly complicated decorations?

    We all started somewhere. My first cake designs were not as good as the ones I can make now. Take your time and practice. It is a daunting prospect to look at all of the kit and techniques that the professionals use so choose your teacher wisely and start with simple designs (a covered cake with a few small handmade sugar roses or flowers made using Blossom Sugar Art cutters and moulds), adding more techniques each time you bake.

    It’s Valentine’s Day this weekend, any top tips for the baking-minded?

    Bake a Chocolate Mud Cake. Not only is Valentine’s Day the perfect excuse for all things chocolately, but the smell of this cake will fill your kitchen and entire house with a sweet scent. Maybe make a cake like my Judy Garland cake, in the shape of a heart with raspberries or strawberries on top. Instead of the blue gingham ribbon, you could tie your cake with a red ribbon or one with hearts on it!

    Get dressed up and go out for dinner. Drink champagne. Be in love.

    Wonderful advice – thanks Charlotte! And pop over to our Facebook to see a video tutorial on perfectly iced Valentine’s Day biscuits.

    Deliciously Decorated by Charlotte White is available here.


    This post was posted in Featured, Interviews, News, Recipes, Videos, What's new and was tagged with Valentines Day, baking, Book Launch, Charlotte White, cake, mid-week chat, 2015, video tutorial

  • Posted on November 13, 2014

    Make your own Pay it Forward Advent Calendar!

    We all love a chocolate Advent calendar, but the girls at Craft it Up were thinking, wouldn't it be good to give something back in the days leading up to Christmas, instead of taking? So they created this lovely Pay it Forward Advent Calendar, where each day you can open a note with a simple act to make someone’s day – including gestures such as tell a Christmas cracker joke or bake something yummy for a friend! You can make up your own actions to put inside these cute parcels, ready to open up each day as you countdown to Christmas.

    As today is World Kindness Day we thought it would be the perfect day to release the video, as this craft project is all about small acts of kindness! The calendar is super easy to make and can be done with your favourite festive paper, just follow the simple steps in the video below – why not do it over the next couple of weeks, ready to hang up on the 1st of December?

    This project is taken from the new book, Craft it Up Christmas Around the World. We have a great competition for you to win a copy of the book, with three copies to giveaway! All you need to do is follow us on Twitter or Instagram and tell us your favourite Christmas craft!

    Craft it Up Christmas Around the World is available here.

    Enjoy all your Christmas crafting and have fun thinking up some kind acts!


    This post was posted in Competitions, Craft Projects, Craft Projects, Featured, Featured, UK, US, Videos, Videos, What's new, What's new and was tagged with christmas, christmas craft, Libby Abadee, craft it up, 2014

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