Friday, 30 November 2012

goodbye november

November has been and gone making way for December.

We've had fun this month with big family birthdays.  My dad turned sixty.  We've had family days out enjoying the crisp, frosty days lit with watery winter sunshine.  We've been baking, cooking, crafting and generally doing our best to stay cosy and warm.

But December begins tomorrow and brings with it the excitement of Advent and the run up to Christmas.  It seems like the right time to get properly festive.


We have a tradition for Advent.  Each day of Advent 'Mrs Christmas' leaves a little treat in her pocket for the wee ones.  Sometimes sweets, sometimes a tiny little toy or handmade gift and other days a handwritten promise of fun for that day.  Maybe Christmas crafting, the annual visit to Santa, a winter walk. You get the idea.

The little ones love the excitement of rushing downstairs to see what's in her pocket each day.  It doesn't need to be much.  It's a great way for them to countdown to Christmas day.

Do you have advent traditions?


Our advent calender is by Gisela Graham, bought a few years ago.  We named her ourselves.  'Mrs Christmas' is not her official title.

Apologies for the atrocious photos.  It is dismal here today, dark, grey and wet.  Bring back the frost and bright skies.

Monday, 26 November 2012

52 weeks of happy (8/52)

 My happy things this week.

My Kimmidoll.  My little fairy says the doll looks like her.  That makes me smile.

 My owl brooch from a lovely friend.  Thank you.

Our West German vase.  I just love the colour.

Reading the current issue of The Simple Things.  There are some lovely features included.

As always I'm linking to the lovely Jen at little birdie.

Hope you are all having a happy week.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

stir it up sunday

Today I am custodian of two bubbling saucepans containing my Christmas puddings.

I love the process of preparing and steaming the puddings, from getting the dried fruit drunk on rum the night before, to measuring out and mixing all the ingredients in my granny's old pudding bowl.

It is a tradition in our family to make the puddings on the last Sunday before Advent, stir it up Sunday.

Since I was a little girl I watched and later helped my lovely granny make the Christmas puddings. She continued making them until she was ninety when the baton was passed on to me. 

Granny passed away three years ago but I still love stir it up Sunday. It is a wonderful way to remember her.

The happy memories baking 'stirs up' please me no end, so for me it is stir it up Sunday in more ways than one.

My granny always insisted that all the family took a turn to stir the pudding whilst making a secret wish.

The pudding was always stirred from east to west to represent the journey that the three wise men made to Bethlehem and often had a coin hidden inside for wealth, health and happiness.

So the pudding making today and the delicious smell which is wafting through the house as the pudding steams means the festive season is firmly on its merry way.  Oh sugar.  I better get organised.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

making mania

Just a quick post on what I've been up to lately.  I've been crafting like a mad thing for the Hookin' with Laa Laa Advent swap. 

The parcel contents are top secret.  They must remain a surprise for my swap partner.

It has been fun trying to make little gifts which complement my partner's likes and dislikes.  Hopefully I have got it right and she likes her gifts.


I'm so flattered.  I have 100 lovely readers.  I never imagined anyone would be interested in my ramblings. As this is my first big milestone since I started blogging I think it may be cause for a little celebration, so I will organise a giveaway soon.  I will let you all know when I get organised.

Once again, thank you all so much for reading and to all of you who take the time to comment, I love to hear from you.  You really make my day. 

Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, 19 November 2012

52 weeks of happy (7/52)

The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.

Hope you are all happy this week.  Here are my happy things.
A gingerbread person my eldest decorated at school.  He is reading the story and the teacher brought them in so the little ones could get creative.  I say person because I can't quite identify gender due to the placement of the Smarties.

The vibrant red of these dogwood stems, more striking without leaves.

A beautiful rose blooming happily on a very frosty Sunday morning.

And enjoying doughnut muffins.  They went down a treat with the little ones.  I used Gilly's recipe.  Thanks for sharing.


Before I go, thank you for your lovely compliments on my Christmas wreath post.


Thursday, 15 November 2012

christmas wreath

So last night I escaped to the handmade Christmas class at my local craft shop for a few hours of blissful cutting, pinning, stitching and gluing.  And my creation, a Christmas wreath.

It was a lot of fun to make and was quite easy to put together in one evening. So what do you think?

I'm off now to watch Kirstie's Vintage Home on +1.

Before I sign off for the night I want to say hello and welcome to my newest followers. I hope you enjoy my ramblings.

Monday, 12 November 2012

52 weeks of happy (6/52)

What are your happy things this week?  Here are mine.
Admiring beautiful Georgian architecture.  I love the simple clean lines.

Finding some fallen lichen while out walking.  It seems to be lit from within.

A huge mug of hot, hot tea and a Toblerone.  What's not to love?

Cooking warming vegetable soup and eating it with buttered bread.  Just lovely.

Short and sweet this week as I'm rushing out to a meeting at playgroup.  Wishing all of you lovelies a happy week to come.

Linking up to the lovely Jen at little birdie.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

november weekend

Our weekend.  We had a lovely visit to Florencecourt House and Gardens.  We headed off early and enjoyed some lovely sunshine.

We admired the beautiful colours of autumn.

 And kicked through the millions of fallen leaves.

 We wished on pennies at the old watermill.

And played follow the leader.

We had some fun in the adventure playground and came home for lunch.  Now the little ones are all cosied up in their pyjamas after a bath and are playing snakes and ladders in front of the stove.

I have a late tea in the oven for Mr F and I and I am surrounded by crafty bits and bobs, making for the advent swap organised by Hookin' with Laa Laa.

I love that our weekends seem to follow the same pattern this time of year.  I hope you are all enjoying your weekend.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

lovely things: abigail brown

As you may have guessed I have a bit of a thing for birds.

I seem to be inexplicably drawn to all manner of beautiful art featuring our feathered friends so today I thought I would share one of my absolute favourites, Abigail Brown.

Abigail is a continuous collector of fabrics, either bought new or used items she gathers to give new life to. Her pieces might be formed from her old pyjamas, someone's curtains from the 1970's or her friend's old skirt. She loves the colour and vibrancy of the new fabrics but the life that still lives on in an old garment or piece of cloth, and enjoys the process of turning it into something new. Her work centres around animals because they fascinate and inspire her.

Her work is all hand made; hand sewn by Abigail herself in her studio. Each piece is exquisitely crafted with great love and attention to detail. Whilst pieces are often replicated, no two will ever be the same and that is what makes each one such a treasure.

Abigail is very talented, creating her beautiful little creatures using preloved materials and her amazing skill.  I find it astonishing how real the birds look. Pop along to the website and take a peep.  I promise you won't be disappointed.

source: all photographs property of Abigail Brown

I have one of the beautiful owl prints and I hope to save my pennies and one day give one of Abigail's little birds a home.

Monday, 5 November 2012

52 weeks of happy (5/52)

Following on with Jen's 52 weeks of happy, a weekly celebration of simple things which make us happy, here are four things that have made me smile this week.

This happy little ghost.  What a smile.

Our Hallowe'en pumpkin.  The little ones loved him and were a little perturbed that he wouldn't be around next year.

Fireworks display on Hallowe'en night.  So beautiful.

Spending Sunday afternoon completing wordsearches with my eldest.  He seems to have inherited my love of word puzzles.

I really enjoy selecting the things that make me happy.  It is a lovely way to record the happiness in our days although sometimes a little difficult to see,  it is always there when we take a look.

Wishing you all a very happy week.

Friday, 2 November 2012

felt street

Oh the bitter, bitter cold.  I spent an hour online yesterday desperately seeking out some thermal layers for the first time ever and I have a sneaky suspicion it is just going to get colder.

Anyway, cold, dreary weather equals more crafty time.  So I thought I would show you a recent make.  A felt street picture for our little fairy's bedroom.

The picture was quick and easy to put together.  I cut basic shapes from felt to make the houses and trees and then added the little details.  Stitching on the windows and doors and adding button and seed bead embellishments.  The felt pieces were stuck to white card with fabric glue.

You could add more background but I liked how the bright colours of the felt looked against the plain background.  I think it gives it a cartoon like quality.

I have been planning the little fairy's room for ages, pinning lots of lovely images for inspiration.

Now the weather has turned colder and we will be home more at the weekends I have high hopes we might get the room completed. 

In all honesty, we haven't been in any real rush as she is still in her cot and as she is very happy there we haven't bothered to move her yet.

All in good time, all in good time.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend.  Hopefully it isn't too dreary were you are.
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