Here to Save the Day!

You can admit it here, to me Dear Reader, that you are stressed about Christmas. Aren’t you. Yes. Well its ok, its alright, Lady Moss is here, Hark the Herald Angels Sing.

We have been inundated with rain this November, which delights me! It not only gets Lady Moss into the Christmas spirit but it allows one to put aside a number of crafty creations using materials I already have in the cupboard.

The two I’m going to show you today are internet favourites, Martha Stewart’s Candy Cane Mice and Salt Dough Decorations.

You see, Lady Moss isn’t here to reinvent the wheel, particularly at this time of year, there are already decent mulled wine recipes out there wouldn’t you agree? We simply do our research throughout the year, bookmark several projects in advance and when the time comes its an easy matter of recreating in a stylish manner.

The Candy Cane Mice are fantastic as a class present or a sweet little post package for friends far away. A simple matter of googling dear Martha’s template, cutting from your choice of felt and following the directions. We whipped forty ahem yes forty up in a couple of hours, or in a bottle of Pinot Noir if that is how you mark time.

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A favourite craft in Rainbow Lane is to make Salt Dough Decorations. Being an avid reader of this blog as I’m sure you all are, you would remember the Easter Eggs we made last year. I decided to craft an obscene amount of decorative beauties to bunch together with ribbon and give as gifts.

There are many many recipes out in Google land. The basic premise is:

1 1/2 cup plain flour

1/2 cup salt

1 tbs vegetable oil

2/3 cup water

Mix the dry ingredients together, make a well in the center before mixing the wet. Bring the mix together with a fork, transfer onto the table and begin kneading your frustrations out with an epic arm workout. The more you knead, the more malleable the dough will be which gives far better results.

Use flour on the rolling surface if necessary but your dough really shouldn’t be wet enough to warrant it. Once you’ve achieved your desired thickness use cookie cutters to create ornaments. The Littles pressed their hands into several rounds I cut using a bowl as a template. Keep the dough under clingfilm and use in one session as it doesn’t last well.

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Lay the shapes onto baking paper covered trays and place into a 100 degree C heated oven. I keep mine at this low temperature as I’ve had experiences with my dough bubbling which is caused by high heat. Not such a great look on a designer Christmas Tree non?

IMG_3415I bake mine for several hours (read 6) before cooling on racks. They need to be rock hard and shatter should you drop them as apposed to simply thudding to a dull end on your floor.

A fantastic way to decorate is to paint each coat before returning to the oven for another heat through. This seemed to bond the dough with its paint and glitter giving a gorgeous finish. In fact Mossy commented that they looked rather French and believe me when I tell you he does not give compliments lightly. Unless he meant Shabby Chic in which case I’m not quite sure which way he was swinging…..

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