Sunday, 30 November 2014

November Days

It's been mostly cold, dark and wet this November. Every week
 one or two of us had been sick so it hasn't been a great month
 for us health wise. We've spent a lot of days at home, keeping warm,
 nursing colds, achey heads and tummies. But it's still been good.
We've had lots of family time and we've enjoyed many lovely,
simple things together. I'm thankful for these. They are the things
 I'd like to remember as we say goodbye to this November and
welcome in December. Today's the beginning of Advent too,
that beautiful time of excitement and anticipation before Christmas.
We hope for good health, warmth and happiness in the festive days
 and weeks ahead and time to spend and enjoy with friends
and family.

So bye, November and hello December -
we are welcoming you with open arms!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Christmas gift tags

One evening last week I spent an enjoyable hour making
Christmas gift tags. With a cup of tea and my favourite salt and
 caramel fudge to nibble on, I traced various shapes on cardboard
using Christmas cookie cutters, covered them with paper tapes
and then cut them out. 

I used a darning needle to make a hole at the top of every shape
that's been cut out, threaded some string and they were done!

They were really simple and easy to make and I'm hoping that they'll
add a nice touch to our festive gift wrapping. I'm also pleased with
the tapes I've used. The green one was from The Works while the rest
were bought from Aldi. Yes, Aldi. I didn't expect to find them there
but they actually have some really good Christmassy things and
food stuff (their stollen bites are very nice) and they're worth
checking out. These paper/washi tapes come in sets of three with two metallic markers for £1.99 and each roll of paper tape is 5 metres long.
 I think they're not only good, they're pretty good value too.

So my festive preparations have begun but I'm not planning
to make as many presents and decorations this Christmas as I did
last year. This time I want to take it easy and just enjoy the days
in the run up to Christmas instead of feeling a bit stressed and
getting too busy finishing projects. That's my plan anyway.

Have you started your Christmas prepaprations? If you have
I hope it's all going well. Have a good week!

Friday, 21 November 2014

This week...

.......I started my Christmas making.

Nothing big, just gift tags using these paper tapes - a nice little project 
to get our festive making underway. I'll show you the gift tags
next time.

.......the yarn I ordered came through the post and they're as
lovely as I'd expected.

I'll be using these to make a present for my mother-in-law.
I can't wait to get started!

......I bought a new crochet book.

I don't think I need another craft book but this has pretty
and useful projects that I'm interested in making (the pot holders
and table runners are my favourites) and it's only £3.99. It was a good
bargain and I couldn't resist.

......we made orange and almond cake.

It's been a long time since we've made this cake and yesterday
we were reminded by how simple it is to make and how delicious
it tastes. We'll be baking this again soon.

.......we've all felt a bit unwell.

Markie was the first one to get sick and had to miss three days of
 school. Thankfully she's well again and went back to school yesterday.
The rest of us are still not a hundred percent well but we're getting
better everyday and hopefully by the end of this week we'd be rid of
all these nasty germs and bugs.

So that's a bit of our week so far. Hope yours is going well and
you're all keeping warm and healthy. See you soon!

Monday, 17 November 2014

Lovely Happy Things

These are some of our happy things from last weekend:

coffee with sticky sweet baklava,

a look round an art gallery in town,

fresh flowers on the mantel,

new activity books to keep little girls busy and happy,

finishing Markie's scarf,

a new Timbergram,

and thick slices of lardy cake, toasted and buttered to yummy perfection.

These small and simple pleasures have brightened and cheered us
through a weekend of miserable weather and minor illnesses;
we're so grateful for them. Fingers crossed we'll all have a much healthier and sunnier week ahead. Take care and see you soon!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

New Treasures

When we were in Derbyshire a few weekends ago
we stopped by one of my favourite second hand shops,
the Carlton Emporium in Castleton. The old guy who owns
and runs the place was there and we got chatting to him.
He's quite a character, a bit of an eccentric. Well, not just a bit.
We found out that two or three times a day he gets visitors
to re enact the Titanic with him. We missed this 'show' when
we were there in spring but couldn't really avoid it this time.
He played that Celine Dion song and passed around a microphone
to get everyone to sing along. And we all had to wear sailor hats!
My husband gamely sang with him while I tried not to laugh
out loud. The girls, bless them, didn't really know what was
going on. If anyone had come in the shop at that time they'd have
 wondered what on earth they'd walked into. It was just so funny
 and bonkers! Luckily our little show didn't last long and it didn't
put us off from having a browse around and making a couple of purchases. Although I think next time we'll head for the exit
as soon as we see those sailor hats coming out!

Anyway here are the lovely old things we got from there:

These melamine coasters with sweet little cherries
(only 50p for a set of five--yes, please!)

and these wooden figurines. 

I like the details in her dress, her earrings and the basket 
she's carrying. She looks very graceful and regal. He looks 
rather plain next to her but he's got a fine looking moustache
and together I think they make a handsome couple. I had to
take them home. 

So those were our finds from that funny old place in Derbyshire. 
This next new found treasure was recently given to us by my
husband's parents. It was my husband's when he was little and
was found amongst a box of old toys and baby things in their attic.

It's a set of five wooden nesting houses, each house with
a different coloured roof. Aren't they cute?

They're all in great condition and we're so delighted that the girls
can now play with them too. It's one of those things that is not
worth much but holds a lot of happy memories. They will
definitely be treasured!

That's all from me for now. Hopefully next time
I'll have a finished project to share with you.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Little Stitches

I've finished my cross stitched picture for Markie.
It's only little but we like cute and we think it's
lovely and perfect for her bedroom wall.

The motif is from Sweet Stitches from the Heart
and we both chose it. I think the girl looks a bit like her.
She says the girl has plaits and she likes that.

I used 18-count Aida with a three inch embroidery
hoop. It's the first time I've used 18-count Aida and
I've learned that the slightly tighter weave of the fabric
requires slower, more careful stitching. Nevertheless
it was still enjoyable to work on and we're happy with
the result. Here's the finished picture on her bedroom wall.

I'd love to do more cross stitch and embroidery.
 I've just joined Pinterest and I've created a board
 for my favourite cross stitch projects. I'd like to try
making those stitched pendants and brooches.
Hopefully one of these days I'd get the chance to.

Wishing you all a fun Bonfire Night!

By the way, thanks for all the lovely things you said
about our autumn tree. We're glad you like it too.