crEAting, drEAming, fEAsting

sEAsons…and since we’ve no place to go

Finally I get to sit down and write.

The whole of December has been far too hectic this year, I am not sure why as I did not plan it to be quite so mad.

We closed the front door last night after saying goodbye to our final pre-Christmas visitors who had joined us for a festive drink and a few nibbles and it felt really good to wake up this morning and not be preparing for something or going anywhere – not even work as I have finished now until the New Year. Yeah.

I pottered around this morning doing the last of the washing and ironing, putting the tags and finishing touches on to the wrapped presents, even taking a few photos for my blog.

Gift wrap

After an early lunch we walked down to the village, dropping off a present or two for friends on the way, and collecting a sprig of eucalyptus and Hypericum berries from the local florist for my front door decoration.

The Flower Box

I decided against making a conventional wreath this year and have done something completely different to hang by the door, but you will have to wait until tomorrow for a photo.

It has been a lovely relaxing day and I have been able to sit back and savour Christmas.

Christmas china

mantelpiece

Nativity

Christmas tree

Christmas tree

The Christmas tree is adorned with mostly vintage baubles going back to the fifties, maybe even earlier, I love the fact that they have been part of our family and displayed on many trees down the generations.  Of course our usual tiny twinkly fairy lights failed this year when we got them on the tree so we had to scramble around and make do with some older ones that used to go outside.

I even attempted making my own Christmas card – I only had a couple of hours to come up with a design and make them so it had to be very simple – it turned out to be a bit of a disaster as you can see but I have included a photo of it here because I like to keep a true record – even of my failures!  My friends who have received them won’t mind – I know I always love to receive home-made cards.

Christmas card 2017

Christmas card 2017

 

Anyway to fill you in on the rest of my Christmas so far… last weekend was spent with much joviality at our family gathering on Sunday at the Black Swan in Fearby by courtesy of the owner – my daughter’s boss.

We had our best Santa hats and jumpers on, plenty of fun and games and our musical interlude…

and quite a few selfies.

Christmas Selfie

I have mentioned before that OH and I have been busy producing a Family Album photo book for my mum and it arrived just in time from the printers to give it to her on Sunday whilst all the family were in one place.  There are over 400 photos in the book covering almost 9 decades from when my mum and dad were children, through to their wedding and our appearance.  There were plenty of family holiday snaps, family weddings and christenings, first cars, Christmas get-togethers and of course many memories of our dear dad, in fact everyone who is connected to our family is in it.

This is the moment we surprised her in a true ‘This is your Life’ style…

Photo Book

Mum was so pleased she shed a tear or two and then at the end of the evening stood up and made a lovely little speech to thank us all and tell us how much these family gatherings mean to her.  In jest someone handed her the selfie frame and here she is holding it while she delivered her thank you speech.  I think this could start a new trend for the Queen’s speech.

Speech

At this same event we were also celebrating my younger daughter and niece’s birthdays and I made them a chocolate cake to share.

I bought some of those candles that spell ‘Happy Birthday’ in silver and gold to go on top but instead of putting them on the cake I wrapped each letter in random order between the layers of the pass the parcel together with a ‘Trivia’ type question and a Celebration sweet.

Chocolate Cake

When the music stopped and a layer unwrapped to reveal another candle letter they had to stick into the cake.  When the pass the parcel finished all the letters were in the cake and ready to be lit…however not necessarily in the right order!!  But it was good fun.

Chocolate Cake

Happy Birthday

After all the hard work I have put in to making Christmas so far I decided I needed a bit of a treat – Neal’s Yard have opened a new shop in Meadowhall – absolute joy for me as I love their Frankincense Intense concentrated serum.  So appropriate for the season – I can certainly feel the love and the assistant dropped a couple of free sachets into the carrier bag – I will skip the price on this one – you can guess it is not cheap.

Neal's yard

The golden pear was something I spotted whilst rushing through Next with my mum on her shopping bonanza – £2 for a bit of Christmas sparkle.

I was also lucky enough to find a copy of L’art de la Simplicite – How to live more with less – a book I read a while ago from the library and decided that it is one to keep should I find it – not only did I find it but it was free at Waterstones with my reward stamps.

So I am truly a happy bunny.

I will be posting one more time before the big day but I would like to say a big happy Christmas to all my readers and to all the other bloggers and friends whose blogs have kept me entertained all year.  I apologise for my lack of comments in the last couple of weeks – I have been reading along with everyone’s Christmas preparations but it has been so difficult to comment on everyone I read.

Thank you also to Simone at Linden Grove for the lovely card I received this morning – what a wonderful surprise – I promise I will be writing to you soon – just be thankful I didn’t send you one of my dreadful home-made cards!!

crafts, crEAting

50th Birthday Card in the making…

It was my colleague’s 50th birthday recently and I have a special card that I make for major birthdays as a keepsake which is made up of some of my watercolour sketches of my favourite flowers and this poem…

‘Your Birthday is a day of Promise’ by Emily Matthews

This is a day of promise
Of the beauty and warmth life can hold,
And of new dreams to dream
and more love to share
Through a year that’s about to unfold.

Daisy

 Firstly I print each individual watercolour that has one line of the poem running aross it on some off white A6 (postcard sized) card from Paperchase.

 

Fifty Birthday Card5

  I then lightly score them and neatly fold them almost in half leaving a little tab at the end to join one card with another with narrow double sided tape…

 Fifty Birthday Card 4

  like this…

Fifty Birthday Card 3

  I then print the outside cover which is another piece of A6 card that I score twice near the middle and fold to form a book spine.  I stick the body of the card to the outer leaf enclosing a length of ribbon between them…

 Fifty Birthday Card 2

after writing a greeting on the back leaf I then fold the concertina neatly into the outer leaves and wrap the ribbon round to hold.  The finished size is 10.5cm x 7cm or half A6 size.

 Fifty Birthday Card

She had a great time…

50th Birthday

 

Have a good weekend x

crafts, crEAting

My christmas crafty bits…

Christmas Crackers

We had a great Christmas this year with the whole family together for the first time in a couple of years.  To mark the occassion I made crackers for all sixteen of us – and they had jokes, bangs and a gift inside.   As it was after midnight on the day before Christmas Eve when I was making them I must apologise that they are a bit wonky but that all added to the charm.  The ‘boys’ had a range of small toys from Hawkins Bazaar to keep them amused and one of those whizzy long balloons that you blow up and (before you pass out) you let go.  The ‘girls’ had various Christmas earings from Sainsbury’s.  Much more of a surprise than the normal cracker gifts where you can see what is in them when you buy them.

Homemade Chocolates

My friends received a box of Handmade Chocolates – it is the first time I have ever made them and it was great fun.  I am now eager to make some more.  We finished the leftovers and mis-shapes very quickly.

There are two layers of chocolates separated by a piece of gold card neatly slotted into the box which I bought from Paperchase.  Eight chocolates all together and a mixture of dark, milk and white decorated with tiny white snowflakes, christmas coloured sprinkles or drizzles of white chocolate.

This is how they looked packaged in cellophane with a hand stamped white gift tag and tied with black raffia.