Friday, 10 January 2014

Memory Jar

I saw this idea posted on facebook and decided to try it, sounds like a nice family tradition to give you something to look back on and hopefully laugh/smile about and remind you of the good things in your life. However, without the time required to keep a diary, which I used to do but can never find the time for anymore. Even the baby book I was planning never materialized, but this needs only a minimal amount of effort. I also like the way the notes are secret, only to be revealed when the jar is opened at the end of the year/when it gets full, and that anyone can post a note inside, all the family can contribute and you're not influenced by reading what other people have written, like you would in some type of book. Actually this could be a good alternative for a wedding guest book! You could even ask guests to your house to contribute if they wish. 

Making the jar in the first place does require some effort, unless you don't mind it plain or you just buy one, but I wanted to save money and I wanted it to look pretty, so this is what I used (everything was stuff I already had):

Large pickled onion jar
Dried flower petals
Wooden clothes peg
Instant coffee
2 cotton face pad things (ordered these accidentally one time thinking they were something else!)
Pendant from an old necklace
Bit of ribbon from a clothes tag
String of beads from an old broken bracelet
Piece of white felt
Pomegranate tea bag
Elastic band
Coloured sugar paper

I put some flower petals at the bottom of the jar, discarded the lid and covered it with a piece of pink felt (it was white but I dyed it pink with the pomegranate tea as it had gone a yellowish grey colour having been lying around in my cupboard for years!), secured in place with an elastic band. I trimmed the edges and also secured a wooden peg (dyed with coffee, though this didn't work too well and it hardly changed colour, i originally wanted a dark brown peg but never mind).

I hung a pendant from an old necklace along with two cotton face pads dyed pink/brown by threading a piece of ribbon through them. I then covered the elastic and felt edges by wrapping round a long string of tiny beads (thanks Hana!) and draped the last part down around the jar. I cut a hole in the felt for posting and secured pieces of different coloured sugar paper (pink/red/yellow/orange/brown) to the side with the peg.

I plan to attach a pen to it too when I find a nice one, maybe wooden, but haven't got that far yet! You don't really need to attach a pen or the paper but it just means it's easier to use and hence people are more likely to use it, no one will bother if they have to hunt around for a pen and paper first!

Please tell me what you think! I realise most people won't have the same things at home as I did but I hope I've given you some ideas about to make your own, let me know if you do I'd like to see it!


Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Depression Cake

It was the day before our big monthly shop so we were running low on food and ingredients, no biscuits, no fruit, no cake to have with my tea! Fortunately, I did have some flour, sugar, cocoa and vinegar, which is all you need to make this amazing cake!!

Check out the recipe here, it is so easy, you don't even need a bowl! (although i used one cos i wasn't sure if I could mix it properly in the grease proof paper). It doesn't take quite as rich as a cake with milk and eggs, but it's really soft and moist and definitely chocolatey! Great for people with dairy/egg allergies too. You can also make other flavours, might try the lemon one next...

Oh, and it's name - this is the last thing that would make you depressed! Although maybe it's supposed to be made for depressed people to cheer them up? That would make more sense, but the name actually comes from the Great Depression in the US, which is when this cake was invented, I guess necessity really is the mother of invention! Now just need to wait another 1.5 hours before i can break my fast and eat some!

Fresh out the oven...

Ready to enjoy...!