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!!!