Monday, 20 December 2010

20 :: Not part of the plan…

I don’t feel very well.  My throat is sore and so is my head.


No2 has been to see the doctor and she thinks he may have glandular fever.  It would explain quite a lot as he’s been ill for over two weeks now.


I’m going to bed.  N’night.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

19 :: Twinkle…

My shopping arrived at 1am, on the dot.  I felt so sorry for the driver – he must have had a horrendous day but he was still smiling as delivered my shopping!  No2 and I carried it into the kitchen, put the fridge and freezer stuff away and left the rest until this morning!

In case you are interested, I did the ironing, made the tiramisu (I must post this recipe one day.  It was given to me by an Italian lady who lived next door to my friend when she lived in Warwick.  It is heavy on grappa, but oh, so good), wrapped a few presents and did some hand-quilting to while away the hours!


Christmas tree lights bokeh (2)

My Christmas tree is now in the living room and I spent a leisurely afternoon decorating it after clearing the car and drive of 8 inches of snow.  That’s a lot of snow for London.


Christmas gold bauble

At last, I have some twinkle.


Christmas tree in evening

When my parents moved house they gave me a couple of boxes of old books that belonged to my uncle’s father.  I decided to use them to decorate my fireplace.  I had put a couple on the mantle a couple of weeks ago and so added some more to the hearth.


Christmas fireplace


Some of the titles are quite intriguing.  I think I might read them and better myself.


Old red books

I am enjoying sitting here by candlelight, listening to my latest teenage tendency that has been on repeat for some time now.


Fireplace detail

Fireplace pinecones


I have lit my orange and clove candles and the room is filled with a Christmas aroma.  Just wish I’d made some more mince pies… perhaps tomorrow.


Living room fireplace

Saturday, 18 December 2010

18 :: Cards… done…

At last!  It feels as though I have actually done something productive for Christmas.


merry chiristmas labels

My cards have been made…


Christmas card making

From the scrap basket…

Christmas ornament card (2)

Inspired from here


Tree cards


We had snow.  A lot of snow.  In a very short space of time.

My plans for a weekend of carefully planned festive preparation are verging on disaster!  I have felt very pleased with myself by organising my Christmas food shop to be delivered tonight… but I have just had a call to say they are running THREE HOURS late and they should be here before 1am.  1am!!! 

My Christmas tree is currently snowed in the garage instead of making the living room twinkly. 

Perhaps tomorrow, I can plead with No2 to help me clear a path so I can bring it in then… but to be fair, he is feeling very under the weather and has been for almost 2 weeks now.

So now I've got three hours to kill.  I could do my ironing or wrap some presents or do some embroidery or make a tiramisu or some mince pies for the freezer…

Friday, 17 December 2010

17 :: More bling…

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any more sparkly…


Jasmine's cupcakes

…last night I helped my niece, Jasmine, bake some cupcakes for her Brownie hostess badge. 


She pays no heed to the less is more school of thought!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

15 :: nest…

Today I made a new discovery! 



Not too far away from home and with a good friend living in the very same road, so more than one excuse to go visiting.  This amazing wreath in the window was actually made of yarn!  Then woven with ivy and berries, clever huh?


Nest window

I felt very sorry to have been all bought out what with Christmas and a pile of WIP’s that have exactly one week to become presents, because there was plenty to tempt me inside.


Nest interior

Gorgeous colours at every turn.


Nest yarn


Nest felting tops


There was a very inviting sofa and snug that was crying out for some knitting/crochet/chatting/laughter of the bloggy kind!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

15 :: Bling…

Have you heard about Heston’s bling for Christmas?

Gold leaf

I thought… why not?


Gold leaf in jar

The teenagers will approve when it is on top of the Christmas Pudding!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

14 :: Hurry up…

…and grow!  You’ve got 10 more days to get there.

Amaryllis going slow

Pretty please?

Monday, 13 December 2010

13 :: Anemones…

I’m not sure why, or if indeed, it is normal, but the anemones in my garden are still flowering.  Only a couple at a time and they are very small.  Rather than let them be wasted and unseen out there though, I have been bringing them in to enjoy.

Kitchen windowsill December

Red anemone centre macro


Red anemone profile

Sunday, 12 December 2010

12 :: Bokeh…

I have a fixation for capturing this type of blur and my Christmas lights are the perfect subject.


Pink and purple bokeh (3)

Pink and purple bokeh (4)


Garland bokeh


Red bokeh 

White bokeh

Saturday, 11 December 2010

11 :: A start…

The box is out of the loft.

Christmas decs box

A quick check through sees everything I need to make a start.

Christmas lights boxes

Little by little, I think, this year.

Christmas decs in box

Memories have been stirred.

Christmas snow globe

Mince pies have been made.

Mince pie recipe

For sustenance, of course.

Mincemeat (2)


Have you started?  Or finished, perhaps?

Friday, 10 December 2010

10 :: Irresistible…

…I couldn’t help it.  It was the perfect card for No2 but possibly the naffest thing I have ever bought!

Charlie's Christmas card


It gets worse!



His reaction? Sick.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

8 :: Imagine…

Celia asked if anyone could remember where they were 30 years ago when the news of John Lennon’s murder came through on the news.

Strawberry Fields NYC

I was on the school bus going to a netball match.  It was about 9.30am and I remember being absolutely stunned.  For some years, I had had posters of John Lennon on my bedroom wall rather than the newer faces of the music scene in 1980 (I can’t even remember who they would have been).  Music was a very influential part of my upbringing as my parents were huge music lovers and The Beatles and in particular, John Lennon were at the top of their charts.

Only a few years earlier, I can vividly remember my Mum locking herself in the bathroom on the news of the death of Elvis.


Strawberry Fields NYC close-up


When I last visited New York in 2007, I wanted to visit Strawberry Fields in Central Park to see the memorial dedicated to John Lennon.  I will always remember that I did.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

7 :: The Den, part 2…


As promised, this one is all about the cushions.  They have been mentioned briefly before here and here but now I can reveal them in all their glory.

I bought the pattern from Oh, Fransson ages ago just because I liked it and so it sat in my documents waiting for inspiration to strike.  I had to adapt it slightly because I wanted rectangular cushions rather than square.  I just followed the basic construction of the wonky blocks until I got the pieces to fit my cushion pad.  I was on a much tighter fabric allowance, particularly with the linen than what was suggested in the pattern.  In fact, for the cushion below, Elizabeth said to use the plain fabric on both sides of the printed fabrics and then you cut them off afterwards and I certainly couldn’t afford to do that with my linen.

Den cushion front

As I mentioned before, the grey linen is from here and is just wonderful.  The colour is perfect and it was so good to work with.  I had no fear in machine-quilting the layers together. I decided to buy a fat quarter bundle of the Birch Fabrics from Ray Stitch after seeing it at Fabricworm back in the summer.

Also, I didn’t want to put zips in, so I made envelope backs as is my usual practice.  This time I decided to move out of my comfort zone and experiment with the one-step buttonhole foot on my sewing machine.  I selected some coordinating buttons from my button jars and added three to the back on the closure.  This also saved some linen as I didn’t have to have extra forming the flap underneath because the buttons stopped it gaping.

Den cushion back

This one uses All Star 2 that I bought from Hawthorne Threads.  Their delivery is superb – sometimes my fabrics arrives quicker than it does from the UK!


Den cushion All Star front

Den cushion All Star back


For this one I used a variety of fabrics that went with the bee fabric that I bought a while ago, (from here, I think) and the gorgeous Anna Maria Horner voile from Saints and Pinners, plus some grey geometric from my stash.


Den cushion front ochre

I love the buttons on this one.


Den cushion back ochre

For the last one, I used up the remaining fabrics from the bundles I had bought, in an effort to tie them all in together.

Den cushion front mixture

I think the difference in colour of the linen on three of the pieces is where it was starting to get really tight in the linen quantities and so I think the weave must be going the other way!

Den cushion back mixture

The cushion pads are 40 x 60cm and I bought them from John Lewis.

I have ideas for some more cushions to go with these, but it is a good start and they have got the seal of approval from No2.  So I’m happy!