Click for fun fabrics and trimmings.........

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Happy Christmas each and every one of my lovely blog readers.

I hope that you all have a fabulous Christmas, and that Father Christmas visits you and brings you something pointless and frivolous that makes you smile!!!
Thank You so much to each of you for reading my ramblings and coping with the disappointment of expecting finished projects that never appear!!

I am pretty rubbish at replying to all your comments, or visiting the blogs of my new followers, so I'd like to say that I really do appreciate your friendship x
I'm ready to sit back now and not be worried about what hasn't been done, but to enjoy my family, I hope you all do the same!!
Have a happy happy Christmas xxxxxxx

Sunday, 20 December 2009

A final pause in advent

Its the home straight now as far as preparing for Christmas. In fact all I have left to do is brave the supermarket...probably tomorrow. Let the fun and laziness can begin.....My husband works very hard for our family - most weeks he leaves the house at stupid o clock on a Monday morning, not returning until Friday night or Saturday morning. Christmas is the only time that he takes time off to do nothing. I look forward to his week or so off, probably as much as he does!

Sarah at Red Gingham has today talked about time as part of her pause in advent...and time is what is important to our family at Christmas. It is the only school holiday where there is no pressure to fill up the days with activities. The only time all 6 of us are at home together. The only time we feel no guilt at 'wasting' our days in front of the telly and fire in our jarmies...definately the best part for us!!We will plough our way through the sweets and goodies I have been squirrelling away for the past 3 months, not to mention the too many to mention bottles of wine that are in the wine cellar..ha ha.... we also call it the loft!!!

We will read together, play cards, play games - board and brother is travelling from the north especially to (I quote) kick my husbands butt at golf on the wii!!!! We will walk together, eat together and very likely bicker together...but its precious time spent with my family, that is usually just snatched or rushed for the rest of the year.

I can't wait for Wednesday night :)

Before then I shall be catching up with friends, going to the panto with 2 of the boys and mum. It'll be C's first time, so very exciting!

All the presents are bought and wrapped, and sitting under the tree....

(I love my tree more this year than I did last year...said the same last year too!!)

This Christmas will not be 'the perfect christmas' , I haven't made all the decorations I planned to. I haven't shopped for new decorations like I planned. I haven't handmade everybody a gift like I planned. I haven't made a fabulous table runner like I planned. I haven't tested new recipes for Christmas meals like I planned. And I certainly haven't lost the stone in weight I planned!!! But I have had a relatively stress free advent. And I will have a very lazy, cozy and enjoyable Christmas - like I planned!!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Christmas Stocking Swap

One of the plus points of Royal Mail being busy busy during the festive season is Sunday parcel deliveries!! My parcel from Beki was delivered at the weekend, we were partnered in her Christmas Stocking Swap.
I had been holding out so I could take pictures in good light but as we have had snow and are expecting some more - its practically dark all day!!! So I'm making do and blaming the weather rather than my skillage!!!
The excitement kicked in as soon as the brown paper was torn off.

beautifully wrapped MY colours!! With lovely tags that have been reused on my tree!
Except this one - how fabulous is this..its a nail file!!

Love my christmas stocking its now hung on the fireplace.....

lovely scarf...which hasn't been taken off yet!!!sweeties - gone gone gone!!!

snuggly socks

christmassy tissues, candle and lovely pink smellies...

beautiful button heart and cute scented sachet...and fab bunting which will be hung in the bay window in the New Year.

I love love love everything xxx

Thanks Beki for being a great swap partner and a great bloggy friend xxxx

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

alternative wrapping....

I bought a pack of red and white checky tea towels from Tesco to craft with but gave up after cutting out one heart as I didn't like the fabric....(as in its not the easiest to sew!!!)so I have discovered another use...
gift bags -sewn up 2 sides...tied with voila!!!!
I have wrapped up little gifts and popped inside like a mini santa sack for the in laws, but I reckon you could just pop the gift in.....
Nearly there with the wrapping....I have used quite a few different wrappings this year - lots of brown paper though....and I have put lots of things inside cereal etc boxes before wrapping to make life easy for me....

bless the red and white wrapping done by my year I shall show him a neater finish lol!!!
I do like it when all my pressies are wrapped...and sat looking lovely under the tree. But I wished I had wrapped as I went along this year, it all got a bit overwhelming..and I have lost a gift somewhere along the line..oh and one of the boys currently is totally unwrapped!! So Father C better get a shift on!!!
Hopefully after tonight I can sit back and enjoy the fact I am all ready?! Just a few to go......

Monday, 14 December 2009

Pause in Advent - Week 3

This week I shall be taking the pause in the title literally. We haven't had the greatest of weekends. A weekend that started with such promise, a great night out on Friday, the arranged visit to see Father Christmas on Saturday and carols in the dark at a local Christmas market on Sunday. All, except my night out, was halted by a poorly little boy who couldn't go anywhere, and the extra washing produced by said poorly boy, which needed drying even if it was raining.
Also my big boys face some uncertainty in their life. And, as is the norm, are testing the boundaries with the one constant in their life...that'll be me!!! So yesterday was spent pausing. There was no rushing around and going out, filling our day with Christmas activities. We pottered. I tinkered with the Christmas trimmings, lovely husband and I painted the dresser (finished before Christmas!!), I wrapped some more presents,I opened a lovely parcel - thanks beki xxx, I cooked tea for my parents, I pickled some onions for my dad's christmas present...late I know but he expects them every year and I hadn't got round to it!!
You see one thing my advent calendar cannot plan for is when the boys will be ill, or for other unexpected changes ....but sometimes unexpected changes can be good, even if they are for a not so good reason. And one things certain, Christmas will happen whether we have ticked all the things off the list or not. This is the first year that I have got to the 12th of December and haven't got all the presents wrapped, or cards sent, or finished the house trimming..but also the first year I don't feel stressed. Maybe I am realising that perfection and list ticking off is not what makes Christmas....
This weekends pause in the plans meant that this got made.....

I bought a ready made wreath from the garden centre and wired in the hydrangea's and orange's myself. It is exactly the look I wanted, and I am rather pleased with how it turns out. I know my limitations which is why the wreath itself was pre bought, but it only cost £5 and the hydrangea's were snaffled from my neighbour's garden and the oranges didn't break the bank... I know I would have paid a lot of money for something similar online or locally.
And as mentioned the dresser got painted...its not finished, it needs another coat ideally, though thats not that obvious, but we forgot to paint the door catches and they are bugging me!! And may have to change the hinges - but i got 'the look' when I mentioned this yesterday so won't be bringing that up again before Christmas!
So by last night it was all trimmed up too.....

It has now started to turn chilly in East Anglia, so its definately starting to feel a lot like Christmas....Just 5 more days at school then we can snuggle in and enjoy!!

Friday, 11 December 2009

Handmade Christmas Swap

I mentioned yesterday that the postie had brought me a parcel from Pat. Her side of the Handmade Christmas Swap. The rules being send your partner a handmade christmas card, decoration and gift.
You know every swap I take part in I say this but wow! there really are some talented people out there....
First up I opened a package for my boys - Pat had kindly sent them some sweeties, fab christmas lollies and candy canes and footballs. They are very pleased that they were thought of. Chocs for me - that escaped the picture for some reason and they have gone now!!
Next up was a smelly bag (in a very good way), yummy yankee candles and a christmassy bath melt.
When I trimmed up my tree, I had a bit of a cull of decorations and only kept the red white or green ones...that left some gaps...Pat has now filled some gaps..... and here is how they look on my tree.... I love them they are fabulous and will grace my tree for years and years to come..
Also continuing the red and white theme, a lovely heart now hanging in the hallway....
And prepare to be wowed..look at my new bag!!! And the detail...I was poor photo's really don't do this beautiful bag justice...and I have to admit very pleased that I had wrapped up Pat's swap and put in the car to take to the Post Office and that I am very short of time otherwise I would have started again with my makes!!!!
It is very very me...thank you so much Pat for a fabulous swap (your 1st x) and I hope you are as pleased as I am x

Thursday, 10 December 2009

this week..

As well as decorating the Christmas tree...more on that another day, watching Kirsties Handmade Christmas...more on that another day and wrapping up some pressies...more on that another day too, we have been opening our advent calendars and looking forward to our daily instruction card.
I have to say out of all the ideas I come up with this has to have been the best...and when I say I came up with it, I'm sure you understand I don't mean I invented it lol!! I just introduced it to our home....
Apart from a blip last friday where I had written that today we could tidy the toybox ready for Father Christmas, C has been very enthusiastic. It is also making me do something with him everyday..I find it too easy to leave them to play by themselves whilst I cook tea etc etc...but with these activities we have to interact at the kitchen worktop or dining table.

Tuesday saw us making Christmas biscuits using a Nigella recipe. (gold dust cookies from the Nigella's Christmas book)
It was a really good recipe, I shall be making up another batch of dough to make biscuits for the tree as they are a good sturdy biscuit once cooked. (I did add an extra teaspoon of ground ginger and a teaspoon of mixed spice for extra flavour...)
The recipe has an egg in so R cannot partake..if anyone has a gingerbread biscuit recipe that does not need egg please give me a shout!!
Like the card making I let him go freestyle...I just oversaw the flour sprinkling ;)

Wednesday was making a snowman decoration - so easy and earned me tons of fab mummy points!!! C even got unlimited access to my button box... and the ribbon scraps too and made 2 lovely little snowmen that are hanging in the hallway...
Today we collected pinecones ready to make decorations next week - well I collected them in the park over the road while C scooted around, and also having given up on the sad pansies I neglected and failed to plant out, we had a visit to the garden centre and bought some more plants..primroses this time and they were planted as soon as we got back so I couldn't waste more plants!!

The postie turned up whilst I was mid planting and brought me a beautifully wrapped parcel from Pat. We were partnered for the Homemade Christmas Swap. It didn't stay wrapped up under my tree for I'll be back soon to showcase Pat's talents!! x

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Pause in Advent - week 2.

As I sit to write this post I am thinking this is a new tradition I would like - the choosing of the tree on the second Sunday in Advent.....we always do have a real tree, but I usually send out lovely husband to get it (with strict instructions obviously!!!) whenever we have a day that he is at home and we have no committments.
I like the idea that we will always know when we are putting up our Christmas Tree. I'm afraid I can't put it up in November. My mother would kill me for starters. Her rule was not before the 12th!!
So today (by sheer fluke that it is the second in advent...) we traipsed into the country to choose our tree. (we all wore wellies!!!!)The farm offered a tractor and trailer ride to the big fields to choose our tree to be chopped down. There were 2 very pleased little boys and a going along with it 12 year old one!! This will become another tradition in our family I think. It made the getting of the tree a much more special event than the usual getting in the car, collecting it, going home thing!!
(hmm this looks a good one...)(but I better check it fulfills mummy's strict height criteria!!)
The decorating of the tree will be done this evening when the small children are in bed. They can 'help' with their tree but not mine. I'm not precious about the tree, I like a rustic, traditional crossed with scandanavian style - ok anything goes!!! And although I lack the gene that allows me to decorate beautifully and with symmetry I don't like the 8 baubles on one branch look.

Here it is in situ after moving the furniture in my not overly big lounge around!! Lovely Husband refused to lug the very heavy chest that normally lives in the bay, its a long coffee table next to his armchair.So its a Christmas movie and mulled wine whilst trimming up the tree night tonight....
And of course the outing to choose a tree, gave me a more exciting activity to put in the calendar....which so far is working really well. A definate keeper for next years calendar!!