Monthly Archives: December 2014

My Blogging Year in Pictures 2014

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January saw Grandsons sixth birthday and  “whale of a cushion”

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February found Mum, Sis and myself in Blackpool having a gel manicure each for the first time EVER!

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March I taught my Grand daughter to knit ( or tried to!)

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April we held a cake sale in aid of Help for Heroes.

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During May we walked through Bluebells.

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June was enjoyed in Cornwall, sun, sea and sand.

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July we returned to Blackpool Tower Ballroom for Mum’s 88th birthday

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August we had a bucket and spade holiday in Wales.

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September a girl friend and I went to Port Patrick, Scotland.

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October we saw Autumn in the Lake District.

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November there was the village Bonfire.

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December we had Shepherd and Snowball fights, family and friends, gifts and gratefulness for a wonderful year. Happy 2015 to you all my friends.

Gifts Galore

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The shawl mentioned in the previous post was a great sucess on Christmas Day. My Mum was very pleased, even if I’m not sure that she will remember to wear it! Christmas was good in my part of the World and I hope that it was in yours also.

I can now show you the cushion that I made for my little Sis. The fabric was purchased from a craft show and I was advised to wash it before sewing because of potential shrinkage. I was amazed at the amount of dressing or starch that did come out of it when washed. It was purchased as “shabby chic” fabric and indeed ended up as very “shabby chic” if not just “shabby rag”! Because of this I chose to quilt the cushion using a backing of quality batting. This worked and I am pleased with the end result.

I made two nine patch quilts to which I appliqued hearts and flowers. I used contrast threads to give the cushion a country, simple look. I machine quilted in the ditch and a little around each patch to give it some body.I also attatched a border of a contrasting lace frill using a tiny red Cross stitch which is very effective. I also added pretty buttons to the flower centres. Over all, after a disappointing start, I  am very pleased with the outcome, and more importantly so is Sis

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Finished At Last!

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At last I have finished Mum’s Christmas present! It is a wrap / shawl / keep warm thingy! I can’t imagine why I have only finished this gift the day before Christmas. I have had it finished for ages so there is no excuse. It seems a lot bigger than I thought but it is a “U” shaped snugly wrap. I’m sorry that the photos don’t do it justice as the yarn is a lovely royal blue with a silver fleck. The buttons are for show only but I splashed out on luxury ones from John Lewis. Overall I’m very pleased with it. Mum complains of draughts on her neck so it should keep her snug. I’m not sure that she will wear it but I don’t mind! Every stitch was knitted with love so you can’t get a better.

If I can I will try to get a better picture of her wearing it after Christmas. By the way the yarn is  Bergere Eclair, as is the pattern The pattern says 8 balls of yarn but I only used 6 of them as did a friend, so be careful not to over buy as it is quite expensive. Maybe someone will be getting a hat or scarf in the remaining wool next year!

Bobbins and Christmas Trees

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On a recent trip to Chester I visited the Grosvenor Arcade, which is a beautiful shopping centre. I suppose an original “mall”! The Christmas decorations are beautiful, extravagant and in keeping with such an iconic setting. Sadly the shops are very upmarket and my budget didn’t stretch to the Three carat diamonds!

Another shopping trip involved taking my Mum to a local garden centre. This was also decorated in a festive display of consumerism. Here I also resisted buying the Christmas baubles due to the inflated prices. Bah Humbug! Mum spotted the HUGE cotton Bobbins which were disguising the industrial pillars. Clever, as they were positioned in the craft centre. Mum thought that they would provide a good photo opportunity.

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My Best Ever Christmas Present

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I found the above pictures on Pinterest when looking for novel ideas to wrap my Christmas Presents. It made me think what was my best ever Christmas gift?

When I was about seven years old my Dad made me a wardrobe. This piece of “furniture” was about three feet high. It was made from varnished ply wood which he had bent to make a curved top to the wardrobe. There was a single door which was opened using a wooden knob. Inside my Dad had include a shelf and mini wire coat hangers. On the hangers were……….Clothes for ALL of my dolls and Teddies!!

My Mum and Nanna had been knitting and sewing for months before that Christmas. I had a lot of dolls. Baby dolls, a teenage doll (fashionable pre Barbie!) and Teddies. All these much loved dolls had new clothes. There were knitted sweaters for Teddy, Sewed dresses for the dolls-often with matching knickers and even a crotched pram blanket on the shelf. I played and played with this gift and have never forgotten the love and work that had gone into making the perfect gift for a dolly mad seven year old little girl.

After that lovey wollow in nostalgia I must get back to wrapping those presents.

Lush Gifts

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A Lushous Christmas is about to happen for some lucky folk! I bought two of Lush bath bomb wands for my Little girl neighbours. These are multiple use foamy bath wands and are to be swished in the bath water. Swish, swish make a wish! They are yummy, scrummy, foamy treats. I am sure that my mini neighbours will enjoy them.

I also had to buy a “secret Santa” gift for a girl friend. Again I turned to Lush and purchased one of their boxed gift sets. I have included a list of contents as there are loads of products inside. I hope that the recipient enjoys it as much as I have enjoyed buying it. I have to admit that I have a couple of the boxes from previous years and love them so much especially as they are now full of my precious vintage photographs. (Ps the photos smell gorgeous!)

Just as a matter of interest, I generally visit Lush, Chester. Today the shop was heaving with customers but there was a happy, jolly Christmas atmosphere. Happy Christmas!

Opportunities

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You do meet nice people at craft fairs! At a recent Christmas Craft Fair I met a lady who has just renovated a property, converting it to a venue for craft workshops. These workshops are about to get up and running and she has asked me to run a workshop making my up cycled bunting. This is pictured above and I use worn out or damaged embroidered lace doilies, tray cloths and table cloths. So if anyone has spare vintage embroidery or lace you know where it will find a good home! The bunting I had made was not for sale but just used to dress up my candle stall but maybe next time!

The workshops are to be held in a near by village called Caerwys, check out http://www.coachhousecaerwys.co.uk This is a beautiful location and an original “coach house” fabulous.

Whilst cruising through Pinterest I spotted the recycled tote bag as pictured above. Maybe just maybe, this could be the inspiration for another workshop. Perhaps I could use recycled beads?  I could incorporate quilting, embroidery, buttons. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! The list is endless!

School Nativity Play

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Gorgeous Grandson starred in his school Nativity play last night. The location was the church to which the school is attached. This is a lovely, large, fairly old building with beautiful stained glass windows and lots of space. Space was needed to accommodate all the children, parents, carers and teachers. Gorgeous Grandson starred as a shepherd wearing the obligatory tea towel head dress, and for some reason, a crown. The children enjoyed performing the traditional Christmas story. The Christmas Carol, Away in a Manger, brought a tear to my eye, and the highlight was when the three “camels” galloped down the church aisle with the three “kings” on their backs!

The best and most credit worthy thing about this presentation was that there is a child in that class who is profoundly deaf. For this reason the whole Nativity was not only narrated and sung by the children but signed in deaf sign language throughout. The children accept that sign language is part of their lives and all can use it to a certain extent. The inclusivity for the deaf child is a great thing and full credit to all of the teachers at that school.

It goes without saying that the star of the show from my point of view was Gorgeous Grandson!

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Christmas Wrapping

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I am am a self confessed fan of Lush Handmade Cosmetics http://www.lush.co.uk

Following a random poll of my friends it seems it’s a “Marmite” reaction to Lush shops, you either love it or hate it! Well I love it!

This Christmas they are offering a gift wrapping service using scarfs to wrap the chosen gift. This is “Knot-Wrap By Lush” a reusable fabric package in a Japanese style. Lush suggests wearing the fabric as a scarf or a belt, or do the traditional Japanese thing and kindly hand it back to be used again. The ultimate recycling . Personally I think that the scarves are too gorgeous to give back I will treasure mine!

I called into the Chester Lush shop to take these pictures. I also love their “Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter” a real treat for softening hard bits around nails. No wonder I have fabulous nails Ha! Ha!

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Enjoy your Christmas wrapping wherever you are this year!