Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Finally, a Christmas walk!

After five days of having to stay in and entertain, or visiting others, we finally got out for a much needed walk on a beautiful crisp sunny day - the 29th December.

Don't get me wrong, I love seeing friends and relatives at Christmas, but I do tend to get cabin fever because of being trapped in.

We took a train to Leatherhead, and walked to Dorking. Now this route proved to have helpful metal signs laid into the ground every so often. We took advantage of the rest one, as it had a lovely view, and we had the hot horlicks I'd packed. The walk itself was only about 5 miles, but it took us a leisurely 3 hours 30 minutes, because of course walking with littleuns makes it an adventure of exploring every tree, and river bank... (we walked a lot along the river mole).

And I think we all needed it very badly. It was biggun's birthday choice. Happy birthday Biggun.

We usually walk around Boxhill, so it was good to walk on the other side of it.

Lots of scrambling up through deep leaves proves a major distraction.

All finished off with a lovely meal in Dorking, which managed to satisfy my eldest's constant craving for pizza as well as everybody else's tastes.
I hope you've all had a wonderful Christmas.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Christmas gingerbread men

I love having the children at home. I love having them at home for any holiday, but the Christmas holidays are so special now, as they have two whole weeks at home. And all three of them at the same time! Yippee.

We've had a lot of fun over the last couple of days, packing, doing gift tags, and making gingerbread boys, girls, teddies, holly...

I love the way that in the hands of a child, a broken foot or arm becomes a shoe or a bag...
or a daddy, mummy, and baby monster head family ...

I love you three. You make me laugh so much.
Mr Lace... we missed you today! Shame you had to work. But always and for ever. x

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Pretty things and a decision for next year

Two of our children had their school carol concert this week. They are lucky enough to have it in a beautiful chapel, and I got the best shot I could. It was a fabulous service.

Today we went shopping, and then broke off for a coffee... couldn't resist taking a peek at one thing I bought at Cath Kidston, which I want to use as a feature on the odd wall here and there.

I've also decided to do a craft fair next year... a big decision for me, because I don't have a lot of confidence in my sewing skills. I've therefore got to get creating. I've been playing with pinboards this afternoon and can't decide whether or not they work... I'd be really grateful to know what you think. I wanted to make them a bit differently from those I've seen, but haven't fixed the ribbons and buttons in place yet. So please be honest.

And the other one...

I also wanted to post a picture of my advent calendar. My lovely mum bought me this when I lived in Bath, and she visited in early December. This was in the early 1990s. I loved it. I loved the fact she'd brought it on the train, and brought lights, really pretty ones, and an advent booklet which was filled with 24 mini books to hang on the tree. The booklets each have a lovely story or song and feature beautifully drawn mice.
We open one a day up to Christmas, and I've always had it in my bedroom ever since, putting it up on the first December. The children love it as well, but I've never seen the set of books since. So it's become a very precious part of Christmas. What special thing do you do every year?

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

What to do with a chocolate tub!

It was sitting there... Empty.

An empty Celebrations tub started calling to me, because it had a message...

So I pulled out my overflowing pile of scraps and set to with some glue...

top and sides...

I'm thrilled with my make do and mend tub. And it will fit a whole lot more fabric scraps in than my last one...

Now a huge thank you to Melmel for my award. I love it. I haven't had many awards, and it's always lovely that anybody thinks my blog is worth an award. Melmel's proved such a good friend, and helped me see through some difficult times. So thank you for this.

I'm guessing that most people have had it, but I'd like to award it to Emma at Lavenderhouse, who is just so brilliant at blogging, I simply cannot keep up with her. And Angel, who has become such a lovely friend and more than deserves awards aplenty, and the lovely Dollydollop, who regularly updates her smashing blog.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Advent and a beautiful swap surprise

I love advent. This year we've made an advent table, backed by a beautiful advent calendar which runs across the back of the table we've set it up on. The little houses light up, and we've added lots of scenes. We've also added a crib scene, but hadn't set it up when I took the pictures. I'll try and add pictures of it.

Of course, with three children, one advent isn't enough. We have three. My son's beaver group did a fabulous advent on tinsel. They mixed up the pictures so he never quite knows what he's going to open.

It's a fab idea. And perfect for an 8 year old boy! Apparently they all loved doing it.

We've also made quite a few decorations for the kitchen, where it's snowing!

I received my lovely Christmas swap from Littlegem on the shabby chic forum. The packages were so beautifully wrapped, I didn't want to open them for a while...

And here are the fabulous contents - all so gorgeous.

I'm thrilled with the heart garland, and the stocking, and the homemade decorations.

And chocolate santas! Yummy. And bath fizzers... but the home made stuff is terrific. Little Gem, you are so talented! I love it all. Thank you!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

IKEA and rosali and Cath Kidston

July 2011... Just to update... IKEA have now brought back lots of rosali to UK stores. If you want it, keep checking, because I'm sure you'll find it. However, for some reason, they haven't popped it onto their online site. Not sure why! There's the fabrics, curtains, duvets covers were in 2010, but not sure they are available now, the lovely large throw... so a lovely selection.

I've watched IKEA's rosali items (not sure whether it's actually Cath Kidston or not, but people on ebay say it is, and it's certainly very Kidston-inspired) on ebay for some time. It sells for extraordinary prices. Most way too high for me. I couldn't find a picture of my rosali curtains, so I've popped in the picture above of Maisie 2, nestled into the curtains.

I'm also aware that rosali is available in Europe - definitely in Amsterdam, and in Germany. Apparently it sells out very quickly. So, as it's no longer available here, and it's a sure fire seller, I emailed customer services at IKEA. The first request got a standard response:

Thank you for your e-mail. Unfortunately there are no plans at present to bring back the ROSALI fabric to the UK. I apologise for any inconvenience caused.

So, I emailed back, pointing out the high ebay prices, and saying that in the current recession, I thought they were missing something here. I got this back...

Thank you for your email and comments. Unfortunately IKEA have no plans to start selling this range again. All IKEAs work separately and there decide what items are popular. If an item is not a big seller they are usually discontinued. Assuring you of our best attention at all times.

Now, I think they've totally missed the beat on this one. It's a curious thing when you just know a company aren't getting it.

So, all you rosali lovers, please email IKEA at:
and put in a plea for them to consider bringing it back.

Actually, I think it's Maisie 3 - Maisie 2 has a gingham tummy and has galloped off onto ebay. Maisie 3 is at home in the curtains! ;-)

Monday, 8 December 2008

Swaps - a big thank you!

My wonderful swap arrived from the lovely Claire at Dolly dollop (this was a swap organised by Melmel and Lesley). I was overwhelmed by the care behind this wonderful package, with 'a cosy night in being the theme'. Just look what was in the box...

All beautifully wrapped ...

And with chocolates sprinkled generously in...

We had such a lot of fun looking in all the packages, and this is the lovely contents of that box (arranged by my eldest, who always does it so well)...

The Christmas book has some fabulous ideas inside, and I'm itching to make the boots on the cover...

There's a little bottle of wine, angel decorations, crackers

Bath roses and a scented candle, lovely yummy flavoured coffees... and chocolate chocolate chocolate. Every girl's dream of a cosy night in. Thank you so much, Claire. You really made my week. I just hope you enjoy my swap as much.

Now, when I went to Liberty, I mentioned I bought some fabric. I thought you may want to see it...

It still is £125 a metre.

I got mine for £10, and there's at least a metre, if not a bit more...

Look at the work on the back. The amount of embroidery threads is incredible.

And finally, please wish me luck. I've put one of my Maisie's onto ebay at 99p. Now, Maisies costs £5 just for stuffing (one whole bag) and fabric. That's before the 3 hours she takes to make up. So I thought I'd test the market... I'm not sure ebay's the place, but we'll see. But this is Maisie...

And here she is playing with her friend, Maisie two...

I don't expect to cover my costs, but I think I'll cry if she goes for 99p! So please wish me luck!!!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Meet Cath Kidston!

While we were in John Lewis in Oxford Street at the weekend, we spotted this... if anybody's interested and can make it, the Friday after next.

I fell in love with these cute little sewing boxes...

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Decorate my tree!

Hi all

Not long to go! I've added a Christmas tree on the right hand side, for you all to decorate when you visit - now, let's see what it looks like at the end of the day.
Apparently you can redecorate every day!!!

Oh no - Lesley just decorated it for me and it doesn't save the decorations. How silly is that! I can see that this tree won't last long!!!

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Hey littleys! Our weekend!

Recognise him? Bit more later...
Well, I promised to tell my children all about our lovely weekend, so this is a post especially for them. So, we went to London for a special do at a very lovely hotel...the entrance (they call it the foyer) had twinkling lights in the ceilings:

We walked up three flights of those stairs rather than get a lift because I liked the lights! We had champagne in a very twinkley room, then all had to find our tables in another room which had a lit up ceiling as well! There were about 1,000 people there, so it was a big room.

Our table had a lovely flower decoration, and lots of bottles of wine, which grown ups sometimes like a little bit of at these sorts of dos...

The white wine was nestled in an ice bucket to keep it cold. But it looks nice like that as well (but it drips all over you when you get a bottle out, so tip for the future - let somebody else pour if you find yourself with bottles like this in the distant future ;-)).

Then we had food. The starter looked a little like cat food, I have to say, but it was delicious. I could have eaten three!

Then we had some entertainment from The Blues Brothers, who were great fun. Dad's going to do it for you at Christmas if I find the hat and tie! We were very lucky to have a table close to the stage so I had a good view.

Then came lots of speeches. The speeches started at about ten past eleven last night, so mummy was almost asleep! The man on the left on the stage is Tony Robinson, who does that Time Team programme,

but people of my age know him as Baldrick in Blackadder, which was a very funny programme in the 1970s. That's a picture of him in his Baldrick gear at the top of the post.

The speeches were for people who have done very good work in their jobs, and they were given awards, which is a way of saying how much people like what they've done. They then had to have pictures taken.

I pinched a picture with Tony Robinson, who was charming, but badly jet lagged after flying in from Australia earlier yesterday. I felt jet lagged as well because I've had almost no sleep lately. What do you reckon?!

This is how he looked in character (the one sitting at the bottom - he was always at the bottom!). You'll recognise Rowan Atkinson from Mr Bean - he played another funny character in Blackadder.

We then had a band playing in another room with more twinkley lights in the ceiling, and had to do lots of dancing. Daddy kicked my foot because he was so enthusiastic with his dancing, so my dancing was mainly carried out on one leg because you know how big daddy's feet are! We then got back to the hotel at around 3am because Dad kept forgetting to phone for the taxi! That's why mummy's looking so grey today, and not managing to say a lot.

Now, today, we went up to Oxford Street, which is a shopping street in London. We saw lots of lovely windows, which you'd love, in Debenhams. They were the best windows we saw, which was a surprise because when I was young we used to go up to see the Selfridges windows. But they were half as good. So I didn't take pictures of them.

In one, they reminded me of the Blues Brothers from the night before!

What do you think?

In one shop we saw this dinosaur. You sit on him and he moves and blinks and makes funny noises. Well, a child sits on him and he moves. He'd probably collapse if me or daddy tried to sit on him. He's about £250, so you guys just get a picture!

Next we dropped into one of my long time favourite stores. It's called Liberty, and it has lots of lovely things inside, as well as being a beautiful building. I've been visiting there since I was a toddler, because I used to go with my mum.

This reindeer made me smile. Again, all you get is the picture, because sadly he was about £400. Actually, I meant the unicorn... thank you, Angel! I was still very tired when I wrote this.

They had funky mirrors from one of my favourite sofa companies, Squint.

That's all wrapped with fabric. Don't even ask the price - I fell over.

And cool pigeon lights, at £49.50 a pop.

And I bought a piece of fabric, but more about that in another post!

So, we had a fab time. Grandma tells me you all had a fab time to. But I did miss you all! There's nowhere better than home, even though it's nice to play out sometimes.
Love mummy. x