Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Huge thanks to Kirstie Allsopp! And other Christmas preparations!!!!

We all loved Kirstie Allsop's Christmas programmes. I've heard criticism - yes, some of the things were expensive, but lots were dirt cheap, and it was packed with ideas. And it was very Christmas-y. I just don't get why those who criticised it continued to watch it. I just love her enthusiasm.

Anyway, every year since the children were small and like lots of mums, I've made salt dough with the children. We've lots of salt dough decorations, but I'd never thought to make letters (strange, given how much I like making fabric letters!).

So on Sunday we cleared the kitchen table and the children made a Happy Christmas garland, helped by me and Him. But very largely their own work and design ideas went in.

We had sooooo much fun with this.

and when it came to the painting, they were all so imaginative.

It really is my most favourite home made decoration ever, and I'm so glad I watched the three programmes.

My creative 11 year old then decided she wanted to make the stocking that Kirstie had made.
So another thank you to Kirstie! She commandeered the sewing machine and disappeared for an hour...refusing to let me help. And this is the result.

She's good with sewing, but I have to say it was a very proud mummy moment when she unveiled it and I realized she's old enough to do things like this. (She knows about the mis-spelling of Christmas by the way... it adds to the charm, we think!)

I also had the children making decorations for the Christmas cake. Every year, hubs makes a cake. Good for him. He likes Christmas cake. I hate it. He and eldest are the only ones to eat it and it lasts 62 years. Oh, and my mum can usually manage a mouse-sized portion. Well, every year he then spoils it by going out and buying decorations for the top. This year I put my foot down and said the children could do it better. So we gave them the icing and colouring and left them to it.

They loved this task.

And this is the result. Even hubs had to agree it wins hands down over the finish in previous years. Aren't children useful!

Last night hubs brought this in:

This was destined for his boss, but she couldn't get in because of the snow. So she said he could bring them home to me. It was a lovely surprise for Christmas. I love getting flowers.

I've been very spoilt, because lovely hubs had already bought me some Christmas flowers and they are all looking so gorgeous.

I've also taken time to decorate my dresser for Christmas, which I don't normally do. But I'm pleased I did. It just looks very fresh and fun for the season.

We have two nativity scenes in the house... one is now on the dresser as the centre piece:

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Santa's washing line - a quick cheat!

Thanks so much for all your help over the felting. I've discovered some wonderful felting sites.

Quick post to show you what I picked up...and what I did with it. I found this wonderful Santa's washing line T-towel. I'd been wanting to make one, but just haven't had the time. So it was lovely to see a T-towel in the design. I bought one to use, and one to cut up and make a cheat's garland...

It got a huge thumbs up from the kids. And I'm ridiculously pleased with it.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Felt making kit advice HELP!

Isn't that a happy sandwich... made by my 11 year old. Just had to share!

Now, I need some help. Huge huge apologies for the quality of the pictures this time. My small camera is really playing up. A couple of weeks ago my children took part in a felt-making workshop, which they all loved. I was amazed at what they came home with. It was a cheap workshop, but they brought home these wonderful wall hangings... or we may make them into cushions.

A robin:

Birds on twigs:

And a cheerful ladybird:

They have all said they'd like felt making kits for Christmas, and I think you can get these for around £10, but I want to get something that's easy for them and recreates what they did. And I'm getting into a bit of a muddle looking online.

There's nowhere around me that would sell them over the counter that I'm aware of.

So if anyone could kindly point me in the right direction, I'd be very grateful.
Finger's crossed!

One last shot from the same 11 year old. She decided to make a Christmas postbox for her class, which was a popular idea as it turned out. She made this:

Cheerful, huh! Thank you all for your comments on my last post. I think I visited everyone. It's very Christmasy out in blogland at the moment - I'm loving it.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

The joy of mutual crafting get togethers. Yay!

I was lucky enough to be invited to a crafting 2 hours on Saturday, and it reminded me of how lovely it is to get together with people to craft. This was Christmas crafting, with funds raised going to a local wildlife trust. They made a lot of money (it was only £20 each), and we came away with lots of lovely Christmas things and having had such a lovely time (mince pies and mulled wine were also included, yum). I'm now planning on setting up a weekly craft club next year, as my new year's resolution. I'm hoping I actually do this one, as I know I'll get so much out of it. I love sewing, but I have to say, I love trying new crafts as well. So, what did I make? Well, I made a wreath for the door:

I've never made a wreath before. I'm thrilled with it, especially as I then sew one locally advertised at £65! Silly money for a wreath.

As it was based at a wildlife trust centre, all the things to use were sourced in the woods or from the organiser's garden, so they look really lovely together.

Actually, seeing this picture makes me realize that I really should do a post on my front door one day - it is rather special, and has quite a story behind it. Literally behind it! I'll leave you guessing on that one until the new year. ;-) I've also realized with excitement that I've reached 100 followers, and I'd thought I really ought to do another giveaway once I got to 100... but I can't before Christmas, so I'll sort that out as well next year. So watch out for that one.

I also, very quickly, made an angel, which I'm very proud of, as I didn't think I would be able to.

She needs eyes, poor thing. Next, and don't laugh, because three people did on the day. I made Rudolph logdeer:

Apparently he has buck rabbit teeth, a pig's nose, and silly antlers. Well, me and the kiddies love him to bits! So there! ;-)

I made something else, but I haven't got a photo yet. Sorry. But I've got this instead:

I rescued him from being dumped a couple of Christmases ago. I can't believe people just dump things like this - complete with lights as well! Mary, if you stop by, please note the bare plaster walls behind him! I was not kidding when I said I've lost count of the Christmas we've had to decorate and ignore the plaster and holes and polyfiller behind the decorations. It's kind of expected now. Haha.

Sewing wise, I've been making more coasters... chicken ones this time:

And cushions:

That's all for today. Thanks so much for dropping by, and if you've made it this far, huge huge thanks! x

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Meal time!

Stir fried veggies and noodles anyone, as cooked last week for one evening meal by my 13 year old. It was yummy (sorry for the poor photograph.. which has now unfortunately disappeared!).

Has anybody else been interested in this latest survey, regarding the meals us mums are meant to cook ALL THE TIME???

Here's the list of the top 9 meals UK mums are supposed to rotate.

1. Spaghetti Bolognese
2. Roast dinner
3. Shepherds Pie/Cottage Pie
4. Pasta dish
5. Meat and two veg
6. Pizza
7. Casserole/stew
8. Sausages and chips/mash
9. Indian/Curry

There's nothing actually wrong with the list. It all sound yummy, and more than reasonable as a rotated list given how busy parents are. But it got me thinking. Do I? Well, yep, I do bolognaise. And we love our roast dinners (surely that counts as three or four with the different meats used?!). And yep, give me a shepherds pie any day. And kids always love pasta. And yes, I cook the rest. But I also cook stuffed vegetables (peppers are a particular fave in this house), pancake pie (admittedly stuffed with bolognaise, LOL), lasagna, and my hubs does a lovely roasted chorizo/veggie thing we all love. Plus there's the stir fries of course. And there's no mention of fish - I love a good fish pie. And lots of vegetarian food. Plus all the things you can do with chicken wrapped and cooked in foil. The list is endless.

I always treat these surveys with a bit of healthy cynicism.

I thought I'd add a heart, just to fit in a pretty photograph! :-)

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Felt brooches and more fabric letters

I'm beginning to feel very Christmas-y this year, maybe because last year things rushed by and so I'm starting earlier this year so the same doesn't happen again. Or maybe it's all the Christmas fabric I'm playing with. Just look at this scrummy detail of Santa's sleigh.

Any guesses what it is? It's going in the Sew Happy shop later if I can get a decent photo of it, which is increasingly unlikely as all the pictures I've taken of this particular item are turning sideways. Inbetween the Christmas crafting, I've been busy crafting more letters, which I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with. But mostly I love doing them. I've done a few of these, which are different to the ones I usually do:

I think it's working pretty well. To be honest, it takes almost as long as the letters I do which are backed with felt... I was trying to find a quicker way. Fabric letters are beginning to pop up everywhere. Even Anthropologie has them. I've also been doing lots more felt brooches, because they are fun and because I don't see them everywhere I look (maybe because I spend too much time browsing fabric shops!) ...

I'm trying to blog a little more often, but I'm finding it difficult to squeeze it in. I love reading all your comments. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Order out of chaos!

I've had a bit of a day of it today, in that everything I've done has gone wrong. Well, almost everything. My fabric letters (thanks to all those who have ordered these!) take time to do. Well, I'd spent 30 minutes to a letter N for a Christmas NOEL that my local shop has asked for, only to discover the above. Haha. I'm going to keep it to remind me how back to front things can sometimes get!

Earlier, and before I got the children off to school, I wanted to sew together the pieces for a doorstop I'd been planning a then pinned and unpinned repeatedly because I couldn't get the roof to sit right. Finally satisfied I'd done it, I sewed it up. Only to discover it was on backwards. Big growl. It's looking better now, and needs some stuffing. I owe a huge thanks to the wonderful Bloomin' Myrtle for her inspiration and vision in my making of this, because the windows were pinched from her lovely beach huts. If you are lucky enough to be on her blogshop link here when she posts a few items, snap up immediately. She is amazing.

But then things went better with my JOY fabric bunting, which I've popped into the shop. So something has gone well today!

Happy Guy Fawkes all!

Monday, 2 November 2009

Memories of summer

I love the run up to Christmas. I really do.

But the darkness of the evenings, and the early time it's hitting is really getting me down, more so than ever before for some reason.

So I wanted to remind myself of the lovely day I spent at the lavender farm this summer.

Now that was truly blissful.

I think I'm a summer gal at heart. : )

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Fun in the half term holiday!

We've just arrived back from such a lovely week. We badly needed to recharge our batteries, and we certainly found the way to do it. We met up with my lovely fellow blogger over at Hedgecombers and she really made our week. She's a fabulous friend, and not only did she and her OH take our three for an unforgettable bushcraft day (think making fires, shooting, ferrets, stew cooking over said fire, wood carving, pointed stick things (arrows! :-) ), making sparks ("That's not a spark, this is a spark!" LOL, and so much more), me and hubs were treated to a lovely stew around the campfire, in the woods, after dark. Yummy. And not only that, but they lent us their adorable canoe, so we could explore... right turn, anyone?!

All five of us fitted happily in the canoe, and thanks to the mildest late October weather for a long time, we stayed out on the river and exploring the inlets for a good 5 hours! This was our favourite place, as there was a fab village shop selling delicious homemade icecreams.

Later in the week, we found one of the best if not the best riding stables I've ever been to, and believe me, I've tried a lot. The littleys had to be led, which they were happy about as it's some time since they rode (3 years, I think!). But they had a brilliant time.

Lots of Arab in some of the horses, and all beautifully schooled and well behaved, and alert... so many riding school horses are bored out of their poor minds. It was refreshing to find that it can work.

And I found time to sew:

So all in all, a lovely week. I hope you all had fun as well. I'm now aiming to sew a lot, to stock the blogshop up for Christmas. I'm beginning to feel a little bit Christmas-y. Not long to go!