Follow me in merry measure…

Fa la la la la la la la la…

While I tell of Yule Tide treasure…

Christmas Flowers

Little posies of fresh flowers and foliage in empty decorated jam jars are presents to my friends this year

Homemade Chocolates

together with a few homemade chocolates

Gingerbread Houses

and some decorated Gingerbread

Gingerbread Houses 2

all packaged in cellophane

Handmade Chocolates

to give them a bit of Christmas sparkle

Christmas Presents

So my making and baking has come to an end now.

Christmas Cards

The Christmas cards are displayed

Christmas Mantle

The Mantlepiece decorated

Christmas Tree Baubles

and the tree is laden with vintage baubles passed on to me from my mum and grandma reminders of wonderful Christmases past at home in the fifties and sixties.  Underneath are the presents all wrapped and waiting…

…and finally there is just time to wish all my readers and new friends I have made this year

a very

Happy Christmas

Fa la la la la la la la la…

To get into the Festive Spirit…

…a sing along swing along song with Frankie

Sing up now I didn’t quite hear you!!

 

L1020316a

Only 22 days to go…and so far I have got the Christmas Tree up (but only this tiny cute glass one) and made some advent calendars for my two daughters.

The middle one was the prototype which I am going to use.  They are more of the old-fashioned kind with each window opening to reveal a Christmas picture – (no sweeties I’m afraid).  They are only A5 size so I had to use the tiniest rubber stamps that I had and just simple red, green, blue and gold inks.

Advent CalendarsThe Country Living Craft Fair was a great day out – 3 exhibition halls to look round.  By the time we got to the end we couldn’t remember which of the stalls had the items that we wanted to buy or where they were located!  There are some very talented artists and  ‘crafters’ out there and we fell in love with some beautiful things but I had to remember that we for one are trying to down size our belongings not add to them – still it was a wonderful opportunity to see so many lovely things in one place and we all came away with lots of ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

Are we really half way through January?

I cannot believe that already January is slipping away fast and there is still so much to do to turn my house from mess to order.  I seem to have begun to re-order so many areas and completed none as yet. So what have I done so far?

I had a pile (and I mean a pile) of old magazines to go through to tear out the articles and pictures that I wanted to keep.  Every month I buy Country Living and Country Homes my two favourite magazines.  I love the articles and pictures and even though I have tried to be ruthless and throw out as much as possible I find this process hard for three reasons firstly,  magazines are now so expensive and as I said before I hate waste so I feel in a dilemma that I need to hold on to something to justify the cost otherwise I feel like I am putting £4 in the bin!  Secondly, I spend so much wasted time organising the mountain of clippings.  Thirdly,  I find many of the articles and ideas quite useful if only I could remember they are there!

Unfortunately,  I do have a bit of a weakness when it comes to magazines and this is the first aisle that I see as I go through the door of my local supermarket and temptation is too much.  So on top of my two regulars I may pick up an additional craft or health magazine each week, whatever looks promising on the cover.  This all adds to my future clippings pile and my further frustration of organising them.  I am quite worried about myself when I find that I have a collection of clippings of every kind of Detox plan going only then to read that a lot of well-known TV doctors do not believe them necessary!

My new challenge to myself is to bypass this aisle (sorry Sainsbury’s – and I hope your profits do not take a dive!) unless I am specifically buying my two ‘allowed’ magazines each month.  Even better I have thought about having a cut price subscription which would save me money over the year.  But – am I strong enough not to be tempted back to browsing the magazine aisle?

My shopping at home plan is going very well and the stock in my cupboards should keep me going for a while until I have used up all those gifts and freebies of hand creams etc and multiple buys of cleaners and detergents.  All I found necessary to buy this past week apart from a small supermarket shop was some tissues – 2 for £2 at Boots and two display folders of 100 pages each from Rymans enough to contain my recipe and craft clippings, expensive I know at £9.99 but hopefully useful.  Oh and we bought a new bed!  Well it is not the kind of thing that I keep a stock of in my cupboard!  I can’t wait for it to come for a good nights sleep.   I only wish we could have decorated the room first but then we would have missed the special offer at John Lewis.  Decorating plans are in the pipeline once the house is decluttered.

The Christmas decorations are now returned to the loft and I have updated my card list and addresses for next year.  One of the messiest areas in my home was the office come craft room and taking one drawer or shelf at a time I have had a thorough clear out and re-ordered most of it.  There is still plenty to do in here and I will require a trip to one of my favourite stores – Muji  for some additional storage trays.

As I have bought quite a lot of blank cards in the past my second challenge to myself this week is to make time to produce some cards that will be suitable for birthdays.  This will not only help to reduce the space I need for storing all the blank cards and special papers that I have collected but will also save money on buying birthday cards from the shops.  I find that most of my friends and family like to receive the homemade ones so I need to get creative and think of some new ideas.  For some reason I find Christmas cards easier to do.  Below is the 2011 Christmas card I made using a ‘Snowflake’ stamp kit form Muji that I received as a gift last year and some white embossing enamel and glitter.  (Apologies again for the quality of the picture – I am sure it is me not my camera!)

Snowflake Card

For the rest of the day I have to look at some paperwork – balancing statements and shredding old receipts to make way for this years.  When I see the mountain of receipts that I have from the whole of last year I know we have to reduce our spending – I can’t believe how much time I must have spent on purchasing things – even just the necessities!  Living simply in a tent somewhere and becoming more self-sufficient suddenly becomes appealing as I would not have to deal with all this ‘stuff’.