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The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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A Week of Making and Baking, Se7en’s Christmas Gifting…

December 28th, 2013 · 7 Comments

It has been a week spent creating and making and baking… ’tis the season for our kids to spend some time at the table making and creating gifts.

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One person supplied us with eats and treats…

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Because someone has to sustain the troops with Christmas cupcakes…

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And lots of mixing…

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To finally get our spicy christmas cookies on the go…

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And then we forgot about them till late on Christmas day…

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Gifts for Friends


Grapefruit Curd:


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You will need:

  • 2 grapefruit
  • 2 lemons
  • 400 g of sugar
  • 100 g butter
  • 4 eggs + 2 extra yolks

Carefully peel and cut one of the grapefruits into segments, removing the pith. With the other grapefruit, first grate the rind off using a fine grater and then squeeze the juice out. Also squeeze the juice of the two lemons. Place the grapefruit segments and juice, the lemon juice, the sugar and the butter into a pot and very slowly warm them until the butter have melted. Then beat the eggs together and strain them into the mixture, stirring all the time. Cook very gently for about half an hour until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of your spoon. You have to keep the mixture from boiling, else it will curdle, just gently heat it and patiently stir it… it will thicken eventually and you can store it in jars.

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Hot Chilli Chutney

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Roughly chop these ingredients in a food processor and then place in a large pot:

  • 2kg of Tomatoes
  • 1/2 kg of onions
  • a head of garlic peeled
  • 4-5 deseeded chillies
  • Add to the pot:

  • Tie some leafy celery stalks and hang in them in the pot.
  • If you own a teach caddy or a spice bag: then hang some coriander seeds and cloves into the pot and remove them later.
  • a cup of cider vinegar
  • 1/2 a cup of brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of Paprika

Boil the mixture up and then leave to simmer for about half an hour. Remove the spice bag and the celery stalks and store in jars. We use this as it is on pasta, as a pizza base, as a chip dip… really for anything you might need a sauce for… it’s good, try it!!!

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Plum Jam

Honestly this is so easy that we have made it again and again… love it!!!

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Caramel Sauce and Fudge

Well the Caramel Sauce didn’t last long enough to get it’s photograph taken… so quick and easy. Here’s how to make caramel sauce: Put eight table spoons of butter and two cups of brown sugar and a cup of cream in a pot. Let the pot simmer and stir it for about five minutes, then add a teaspoon of vanilla essence and stir for another minute. Your sauce is ready and you can keep it in jars… though it won’t last long enough to keep.

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If you are looking for the quickest, easiest fudge recipe in the world, then follow this link. The fudge will last marginally longer than the sauce… in fact you may even be able to leave it long enough to cook and to wrap up.


Se7en’s Secret Sibling Gifts

Every year our children pick names from a hat and make a gift for one of their siblings for Christmas… it has to be something the other child will like, and be made from stuff we have lying around at home… it is a “no-shopping-required” kind of gift and mostly we have all the necessary materials somewhere around the house, they just have to figure out a way to use them. If you follow us on instagram you would have seen these gifts as they were created.

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For two days our kitchen table looked like the epicentre of a hurricane of craftiness… and this is a gallery of gifts that emerged…

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A packaging box, transformed into cubbyholes to be come a lego-display case.

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A traveling chess set for the keen chess player. The fabric for the board was woven and then stitched and then a fabric backing was stitched behind the board on three sides, to create a pocket for the bottle-top pieces.

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A Scrap diary: Every couple of pages a new calendar month was popped into the notebook and an envelope placed on the page for collecting and gathering little bits and pieces throughout the year.

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A favourite pair of old jeans was chopped into useful pieces and then stitched back together to create a book bag with dozens of pockets of all shapes and sizes.

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Much needed bookmarks by the littlest guy for a big brother, because everyone needs a book mark or three!!!

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A traveling sewing kit for the avid little sewer that keeps trailing sewing bits and pieces all over the house.

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A Royal Mouse: with a special pocket for her baby.

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Some painted wooden spoons, that were really quick and easy to make.

And that’s us, fun crafting gifts… until next Christmas!!!

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Tags: Holiday Crafts · Tuesday Art Task

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Julia // Dec 28, 2013 at 9:49 am

    I love ALL of these. So easy and cheap! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. xx

  • 2 Vanessa from StyleandShenanigans.com // Dec 28, 2013 at 11:55 am

    I love this!

    Especially the gorgeous gifts for and by siblings. It is just adorable. My older boys would love a Lego display shelf like that too.

    The food looks amazing too. YUM!
    Vanessa from StyleandShenanigans.com´s last blog post ..Happy Christmas & Thank You

  • 3 Nita // Dec 28, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Cute homemade gift ideas- very doable.

  • 4 se7en // Dec 28, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Hay Julia, thank you, so glad that you enjoyed our gifting!!! We all have a lot of fun creating and honestly my loathing of the shops (Which may have something to do with having se7en + 1 shop assistants) means that anything we can create with what we have already is a huge bonus!!! Wishing you all the best in 2014!!!

  • 5 se7en // Dec 28, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Hi there Vanessa, So thrilled you stopped by and enjoyed our gifting!!! I have to say a passion for lego crosses all age-groups and my kids all play with it with a passion. I have to say that I was quite impressed with the Lego display box myself, I can think of a million ideas for it and lego is the least of them… hope you are having fab holiday-time with your family!!!

  • 6 se7en // Dec 28, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    Yes Nita, doable is the way to go… my kids have been doing this “gift swap” tradition for years – we all love it and they really do rise to the occasion and make something fab for each other. Wishing you all the best in 2014!!!

  • 7 The Week That Was... #6.29 - se7en // Jan 28, 2014 at 10:40 am

    […] And a sewing frenzy… inspired by our Christmas makings… […]

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