Kirstie’s Homemade Christmas

December 12, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I’ve previously blogged about Kirstie Allsopp’s craft show ‘Kirstie’s Handmade Britain’ as it’s a TV programme which I truly enjoy watching. Incorporating a variety of different crafts techniques Kirstie brilliant showcases how rewarding crafts making can be.

A real triumph with creative viewers it came as no surprise that Kirstie created a Christmas special- ‘Kirstie’s Homemade Christmas’– a three part series which indulges in lots of different creations, all wonderfully Christmassy and homemade.

Unsurprisingly I’ve really enjoyed watching the Christmas craft extravaganza. It’s the perfect reminder that creating a little time to make something special for Christmas can be so rewarding. I find that we often get so caught up in the mayhem of Christmas we forget the good old days of making mince pies and getting the kids to create a decoration for the Christmas tree.

Kirsties homemade Christmas

In the series, Kirstie aka the Queen of Crafts, worked on a relentless list of crafts which are very impressive. Tackling everything from decorating Christmas Cakes, creating your own lino cut greeting cards, easy to make and kid friendly salt dough decorations, unforgettable homemade snow globes, a feast of edible Christmas goodies and a few things which are a little more extravagant cue giant candles, leather bound books and glass blown baubles.

However, as I deem Kirstie’s attempts as glorious others haven’t been so generous. Critics have sighted Kirstie’s Christmas crafts as ‘virtually impossible’. A recent article in The Guardian titled ‘Kirstie’s homemade Christmas: do not try this at home?’ dismisses the festive crafts because it’s so close to Christmas.

Second to that Sally Bercow the wife of the Commons Speaker took to twitter last week to voice her disapproval of Kirstie’s crafts. Tweeting: ‘Who’s got that much time on their hands’.


Of course time is most certainly of the essence at this time of year but I think that’s a poor excuse to be so negative. I’d prefer to think of the crafts as inspiration. If I don’t get time to make them before Christmas I’d use the idea at another time.

After all it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get time to make a lino cut Christmas card. Instead show off your skills later in the year but creating one for a friend’s birthday or made a bundle and use them as party invitations. Your options are endless as these crafts are so transferable.

So if like me you’re a big craft fan Kirstie Allsopp has create a range of books to accompany her handmade crafty series including Kirstie’s Homemade Britain and Craft– available online now.

Watch Kirstie’s Homemade Britain on Channel 4 OD now – click for link.

Annette’s Websites of the Week 31st October- 4th November 2011

November 4, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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 Annette's websites of the week website hosting National Sausage Week is a dedicated online community for foodies who enjoy great quality pork produce.

In the midst of Sausage Week the site is heavily focused around great British bangers featuring an endless variety of recipes, which display the diversity that sausages have in cooking. Like most, I instantly think of creating bangers and mash, sausage sandwiches or toad in the hole.

However, Love Pork has come up with some really exciting recipes from an Asian inspired sausage salad to sausage Paella creating a whole new take on sausages.

Further to its great recipe collection Love Pork genuinely knows lots about pork and how to make it a wonderful ingredient, which is delicious to eat and a healthy option. Featuring video tutorials, the site uses experts to tell you all about they’re take on pork, what they use it for and even how to make sausages from scratch.

prime cut

Learn more about pork and how best to cook it!

Most impressively ‘The Prime Cuts’, an interactive display featured on the site illustrates each cut of pork and which part of the pig it comes from. Detailing the best ways to cook and prepare specific cuts with videos. This is particularly insightful, especially if you’re looking to explore different (maybe more affordable) cuts of meat.

For more information on National Sausage Week including Noddy Holder’s sausage tour of Britain visit


Kirstie’s Handmade Britain- Yesterday I wrote about Kirstie Allsopp’s new TV show ‘Kirstie’s Handmade Britain’ which explores the world of craft making- an instant favourite of mine.

kirstie_allsoppAired on Channel 4 the show also has its own dedicated webpage on Channel 4’s website where visitors can revisit episodes and watch on demand. Further the webpage features all crafts, techniques and methods which Kirstie uses in the programme.

As a craft lover I’ve really enjoyed looking through the site as most impressively its features video tutorials and step by step guides on each craft. Perfect if you’ve seen something on the show which you’d quite like to have a go at, at home.

Additionally including recipes from Kirstie’s baking episode which is always a sure hit with me. The site also lists craft exhibitions, fairs and country shows here in the UK where people can enter their work into shows, and has a great selection of craft courses to inspire crafty people like myself to go and learn something new!

Overall a really great site to get lots of inspiration from, at least until the next episode!

Country Life- Recently Country Life, the publication which encompasses rural live, has joined the campaign to save Sealyham Terriers from excitation.

COuntry LifeAs an animal lover I feel strongly about ensuring that Sealyhams remain a breed which can bring pleasure and joy to families and this is why I’m happy that Country Life has chosen to celebrate Sealyhams with a front cover story and feature both in print and online.

Although I do read the magazine I hadn’t visited Country Life’s online counterpart until this week. I have to say that it’s a lovely site featuring all of the things which you’d expect- luxurious country properties which are exquisite, property news, country news, gardening tips, books reviews, fine arts, culture and delicious wholesome recipes.

A great alternative to the magazine- I’ll be returning for an easy read every so often.

Kirstie’s Handmade Britain – Craft show

November 3, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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As an avid patchwork quilter I was delighted to see that TV presenter and craft lover Kirstie Allsopp has a new television series on Channel 4.

‘Kirstie’s Handmade Britain’ explores the world of crafts from sewing, quilting, flowers arranging, paper crafts and even willow weaving. The series watches Kirstie immerge herself into a whole host of new and exciting craft techniques before entering fiercely competitive craft shows and fairs.

In each episode Kirstie faces new craft challenges ranging from making show worthy scones to prize winning needlework. Cleverly avoiding the classic ‘here’s the one we made earlier’ cliché the episodes document Kirstie’s creation from start to finish, capturing the ups and downs which Kirstie encounters along the way.

In the latest episode, which saw Kirstie create a cushion from scratch, premier quilter Jo Colwill was on hand to give Kirstie a few hints and tips in the right direction, which I definitely made note of.


Kirstie is undeniably passionate about crafting and incredibly creative. She won the Great Yorkshire Show’s winning cushion and the ultimate triumph of ‘Best in Show’ for her Yorkshire inspired creation. Utilising needlework techniques such as machine embroidery, quilting, patchwork and applique Kirstie showed that there is room for lots of techniques- offering inspiration to learn something new.

The show wonderfully demonstrates the many ways which we can become more creative. Whilst still highlighting the great amount of time and effort which goes into making a quality piece of craftwork- a pleasure to watch, one which I would definitely recommend.

Watch the series on Channel 4 OD here.

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