Friday, 21 December 2012

Have a Very Merry One!

Design Copyright Littletree Designs

So...Friday the 21st...the longest day and the official start of winter. Although we all know it started about 2 months ago! But it is also the last of my posts for the enjoy your time with friends and family, eat far too much, watch the Dr Who and Downton xmas specials...and then fall asleep...but most of all...

Have a Very Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and I will see you all again soon!!


Thursday, 20 December 2012

bird designs

All Designs Copyright Littletree Designs

Hi guys! Just a quick post today updating you on the new designs and co-ordinates from my new collection 'Bird City' which you may remember from this post here...still not sure about the name, might re-think that! Any ideas?

I have been working on this the past few days even though I have other work that needs doing before xmas gets in full swing! Why does that always happen? I'm working on a top secret assignment along with some of my other ABSPD graduates that will be revealed in the new year but for now it's all hush hush! Have a good day friends x


Wednesday, 19 December 2012

littletree visits...Perrywood Nursery

All Photos taken by me

A little sparkly Christmas decoration-ness today in the form of some photos taken on my visit to one of my favourite places at local garden nursery Perrywood's. The stylists here go all out dressing each section of the store to perfection using stunning props such as the old bicycle, doors for the wreaths and the staircase! Although my favourite decoration this year had to be the giant reindeer festooned with endless fairy lights...I bet he looks magnificent all lit up at night!

I love this place at anytime of year, the gift and homewares section is always packed with the food at the cafe is delicious with scones the size of your head! I'm not exaggerating here, they really are enormous! And they come with proper clotted cream too...x


Tuesday, 18 December 2012

a super simple last minute gift...

Today I have a really easy last minute gift idea...a jar of ready made Muffin Mix. And I have even included a handy printout for you to give with baking instructions and flavour ideas! I gave this one above to my sister for her birthday recently along with a muffin tin and some funky paper cases.

Ingredients for ONE lot of mix (this makes 12 muffins)
  • 9oz Self Raising flour
  • 1tsp Baking Powder
  • 4oz Caster Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
*Weigh out one lot of mix at a time unless you know how much your jar will hold.*

This jar held about three lot's of muffin mix and was a bargain from Ikea at £2! I added a painted wooden spoon as a little extra and I think it finishes the gift, but you could add muffin cases or some chocolate chips too. Now all the recipient has to do is add 1 Egg, Oil and Milk to make scrummy muffins!

You should be able to click the above image to copy and paste into you chosen program, if you have a problem then email me and I will send you the jpg directly! x


Monday, 17 December 2012

blog crush...Yvestown Blog

Hello blog peeps, hope you all had a nice weekend? I was working at the shop but it's quite nice at Christmas everyone does tend to be in a good mood...well apart from the odd stressed out shopper desperate for inspiration!

Today I have a lovely blog to share with you which I discovered on Friday thanks to Holly at Decor8...Yvestown Blog run by Yvonne. I just fell in love immediately, the photos, dreamy interiors, decorating, styling, all of it! And especially Boo Boo the cat...she has recently photographed her house all decorated for Christmas and it is just beautiful you have to check it out here.

Whilst scrolling through the archives I came across the picture below, taken in Yvonne's house, of this lovely magazine rack displaying all her Jamie Magazines and I thought 'ooh what a lovely way of showing off a collection of pretty magazines!' Lucky for me Yvonne had kindly added a link to Amazon where you could buy the very same one! This is definitely going on my list of things for my new study when I move!

Blog Banner & 1// Yvestown Blog  2// Amazon

 Have a good week friends. x


Friday, 14 December 2012

littletree bakes...chocolate candy cane muffins

Happy Friday everyone! And as it's Friday it also means that today is the last day of my special week of food and DIY posts :( But we are finishing on a high note...what could be better than Chocolate Candy Cane Muffins?! Don't they look like little snow capped mountains of goodness? These are essentially a simple chocolate muffin with a fancy frosting, so if you have a recipe you like to use then that's fine, if not then I have given you a basic chocolate muffin mix below...

  • 9oz Plain Flour
  • 2tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 6oz Caster Sugar
  • 5tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Egg (lightly whisked)
  • 3floz Vegetable or Sunflower Oil / Melted Butter
  • 8floz Milk
  • Chocolate Chips (optional)

Let's Bake!
  • Preheat your oven to 190-200c. Line your muffin tin with cases.
  • Weigh all your dry ingredients into a large bowl.
  • Add in the Egg, Oil/Butter and Milk, stir all the ingredients together until just combined.
  • If you want to this is the time to add the chocolate chips.
  • The mixture will look lumpy but this is fine, just make sure no flour or cocoa powder is visible.
  • Pop in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  • Leave to cool before icing.

Candy Cane Icing!
  • 2oz Softened Butter
  • 4oz Icing Sugar
  • 2 Candy Canes crushed lightly
  • A few drops of Peppermint Essence

Simply beat the butter until super soft and creamy, gradually add in the icing sugar stirring well after each addition. Lastly add in the Peppermint Essence and crushed Candy Canes, stir to combine. I used a palette knife to ice these muffins but you can pipe them into fancy swirls if you like!

I cannot describe how yummy these are, especially if you love mint chocolate like myself!

All pictures taken by me!

I really hope you have all enjoyed this special week of posts, I know I did making it! Have a great weekend and I will see you all again next week. x


Thursday, 13 December 2012

littletree makes...paper heart garland

Day four and I have a easy peasy DIY garland that is something a little different to the traditional paper chains...Paper Hearts! This is a great one for the kids as it really is simple and only requires the use of scissors and a it is so satisfying watching your chain of hearts grow!

What you will need
  • Two pieces of ribbon or string
  • Staples and stapler
  • LOTS of strips of thin card/paper! You can make them any length depending on how large you want the hearts to be, just beware thinner paper won't hold up to being to long and the heart shape will stretch. Width wise I would stick to around 2-3cm.

I used a variety of paper/card including brown parcel paper, thin red card and even some pages from a book. You really can use anything you like from what you have lying around!

Let's Make!
  1. Start by folding all of your paper strips in half. Take your first folded strip and in the crease staple in the ribbon/string. Give it a light tug to make sure it's secure.
  2. Bring the two ends around to meet each other and you will see the heart shape starting to form.
  3. Take another folded strip and tuck the end of the first heart into the fold of the new strip of paper.
  4. Staple the end as shown securing both the end of the first heart and the new one.
  5. Fold the ends around like in step 2 and another heart has been made!
  6. Keep on repeating steps 2-5 and your heart garland will grow before your eyes!

All photos taken by me

For our last day tomorrow I have a very special christmas cupcake recipe that you won't want to miss! See you then! x


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

littletree bakes...super special mincemeat

So it's day three of my special week of posts and today I have a recipe for one of the most important parts of a traditional Christmas here in the uk...mincemeat for your mince pies! Now I am not the greatest lover of raisins and currents etc but I will eat mince pies, my mum and sister on the other hand cannot stand them! So this year I thought I would make a very special homemade version without the bit's they hate...aren't I nice? So if you or someone you know is also a raisin hater then this would be a lovely treat for them this Christmas...

  • 2.5oz Dried Dates
  • 2.5oz Dried Cranberries
  • 2oz Dried Apricots
  • 1oz Dried Apple 
  • 1 Orange Zest & Juice
  • 1.5oz Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Mixed Spice
  • 1 Fresh Apple

(You can use any mixture of dried fruit for this recipe as long as it totals 8oz)

Let's Bake!
  • Chop all of your dried fruit as finely as you like, I like mine fine-ish but chunky is good too! 
  • Put all the fruit, sugar and spice into a large saucpan.
  • Zest and juice the orange into the pan too. Add an extra splash of suitable fresh juice (orange/apple) so the juice covers the bottom the pan and some of the fruit.
  • Heat the mixture until steaming (not boiling) and give it a good stir to combine all the flavours.
  • Turn the heat off and leave to stand. Stir occasionally until the fruit has soaked up all the juice.
  • Pop into a sterilized jar and store until needed. 

Making Mince Pies!
  • When you are ready to make your mince pies just scoop out the mix into a large bowl and add in one grated Fresh Apple, it adds a nice fresh zing to the mincemeat.
  • If you are making your own pastry for the mince pies a little tip I learnt from my mum is to add a little orange zest into the pastry, it makes it taste soooo good!

Tomorrow I have a super easy paper heart garland for you to make! See you soon x


Tuesday, 11 December 2012

colour inspiration...leaf tones

picture taken by me

I took this gorgeous (even if I do say so myself...) photo from my frosty walk post last week and I loved the mix of colours so much I knew it would perfect for a little colour inspiration...x


littletree makes...button baubles

Hello again friends, welcome to day two of my week of creativity! Today we are making Button Baubles...I pinned this image last year and (as with most things that I pin) never got around to making them, so this year I was determined! Plus I had acquired so many more buttons my poor button jar was overflowing! I made mine super colourful so they can hang all year round...but you could easily make them all white/pearl, red/green...whatever you Christmas colour scheme is.

What you will need...
  • Polystyrene Balls (mine are about 15mm)
  • LOTS of buttons!
  • Pins with covered ends, multi-coloured or pearl
  • Craft Glue (something that dries relatively quickly)
  • Ribbon

Let's make!
  • Cover a small section of the bauble with glue and start to stick on your buttons arranging them as close to each other as you can.
  • Keep adding more and more buttons in this way, gradually working your way around the ball. Don't forget to use a variety of sizes.
  • I found covering half and letting it dry before covering the rest made the process a little less messy and less likely for you to accidentally move the already glued buttons.
  • Once you have completely covered the balls and they are dry take the pins and some smaller buttons to cover any larger gaps. Try to dot them evenly around the ball.
  • Finally tie a loop of ribbon and using a pin secure to the bauble.
  • And there you have it!

If you wanted to you could decoupage the bauble with coloured paper first so you don't see the white of the polystyrene through the buttons...I was just lazy!

Photos taken by me

Pop back tomorrow for a Super Special Mincemeat Recipe...No raisins, currants or sultanas involved! x


Monday, 10 December 2012

littletree bakes...sweet & spicy nuts

Happy Monday everyone, I hope you all had good weekends? Can you believe that it will be Christmas Eve in two weeks time?! Where has the year gone...anyway, this week I have a special week of Foodie Gift Ideas and Christmas DIY's. Perfect if you are stuck for a simple homemade present and I promise they are all super easy so no stress either!

Today I am starting with a simple recipe for Sweet & Spicy Nuts. This is an adaptation of a Jamie Oliver recipe, but it's so simple it can barely be called a recipe! These nuts are an ideal hostess gift, perfect for a foodie friend or just nice to keep for yourself as a Christmas nibble...

  • 300-350g of Mixed Nuts (any kind you like!)
  • 1 Egg White and a Tablespoon of Cold Water
  • 85g Caster Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Mixed Spice
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg

Let's Bake! 
  • Preheat your oven to 150c and line a large baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
  • First you need three bowls, a large one for the nuts, one for the sugar/spice mix and one for the egg white/water.
  • Whisk your Egg White and Cold water until frothy, tip into the Nuts and stir until all the nuts get a good coating.
  • Next tip in your Sugar and Spices and again stir through until well combined.
  • Tip you mix onto the lined baking sheet and spread out. I add a sprinkle of Sesame Seeds at this point just because!
  • Pop in the oven for 40-45 minutes. 
  • Turn the nuts every 15 minutes or so to make sure that all sides get nice and golden.
  • Once they are done leave them to cool on the tray, try to resist if you can...
  • Then pop into a pretty airtight container or cellophane bag. Write a gift tag and tie with ribbon and there you have it!

photos taken by me

I really hope you give these nuts a go as they as so easy! 
Have a great week everyone and don't forget to pop back tomorrow for more foodie treats/DIYs! x


Friday, 7 December 2012

pinterest pick of the week...

pin from my board Birds and more...

Happy wet and grey Friday everyone! Well wet and grey here in the uk...thank you to everyone who left a 'get well soon' message, I am feeling much better today despite the weather! Although I don't think going for a walk in the snow on Wednesday helped aid my recovery in remembrance of our fleeting snowfall this week I have this cute picture of three feathered friends off out on a stroll in the snow. Have a good weekend friends! x


Wednesday, 5 December 2012

bleugh...struck down with cold

image HERE

Feeling a little like this guy at the I'm spending the day in bed and plan on drinking alot of tea, water, juice and well anything to try and flush this bug! Think I have possibly gone through half a box of tissues since yesterday... gross...x


Tuesday, 4 December 2012

littletree loves...a cold frosty walk

 A slightly different littletree loves today...a lovely montage of photos I took whilst on a walk last week when we had some beautiful frosty mornings. How gorgeous is the blue of that sky against the fading yellow leaves? And I love the thick frosted edges of the leaves hidden in the shade...especially when walking through them and they make a satisfying crunch underfoot.

all pictures taken by me

You might just be able to make out my big orange bobble hat in my very large has not left my head since! Ooh and of course a childhood favourite...cracking the layers of ice that have formed over puddles, shattering the pieces of natures glass...and the best part? Coming home for a steaming cup of tea and an early mince pie. Perfect. x

PS - Did you spot the dog with a very cold nose?


Monday, 3 December 2012

littletree's little things / top 5 blogs december

Hellooo December! Wow...can you believe it is here already? Well I can because my friend Sara starts the countdown to Christmas in September...yup she loves it and I guarantee the tree went up in her house this weekend! I will admit I am not the biggest Christmas fan, I just find the global takeover a bit adverts, christmas songs on the radio and at work, not to mention the shopping madness that seems to overtake normally same people!

But this year in the spirit of enjoying the 'little things' I have listed four of my favourite things that make Christmas special to me...

image HERE

As you all of course know I love to bake and Christmas is the best excuse for doing more than normal! This year I have planned to invent my own twist on Mince Pies by making a mincemeat without any currants/raisins/sultanas, because my Mum hates them! I'm thinking dates, cranberries, sour cherries...sounding good?

The best thing about decorating the house for Christmas is that trip into the loft, getting down the tree and all the old tins and boxes with years of collected ornaments (and memories!) all to be discovered again...

I LOVE wrapping!! It appeals to my love of pattern (obviously) but also my insane neatness, getting every corner sharp and folded there is all the extras! Twine, bows, ribbons...that really satisfying feeling from curling the ribbon into the perfect springy coil...or is that just me?

*Friends & Family*
The excuse to spend more evenings out with friends having meals and drinks, making the rounds to drop off presents and cards...just making that extra effort to spend time with the people that are important to you.


And no I didn't forget! Here are this months Top 5 Blog's...enjoy!x

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