Monday, 24 December 2012

A Merry Christmas to all

I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas, and enjoy your holidays!


 

x

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Christmas past - part 3

I remember this Christmas, I remember my brother loving that Roman-like shield and toy sword & not putting it down for weeks.  And we both had a huggy bear :) a cute teddy who literally hugged you (if you look at the photo you can see how), he also had a little hole under his chin where you'd put your finger to enable you to move his head rather like an advanced puppet.

I think I still have him somewhere :)

Christmas morning - December 1980
 I also spot a Terry's Chocolate Orange in the picture.  And that orange table was actually a container, which I used to play inside & roll around in!

We always went to the Christingle service at Church, coming home with the usual orange 'world', but we also went to the Candlelight service where we all had our own candle (doubt THAT would happen nowadays?).  Our hands were protected from the wax by a disc of thin cardboard which I remember we decorated ourselves in Sunday School beforehand...

December 1982 - the first Christmas in our new family home - & our first real Christmas tree!
I cherish all these Christmas memories and traditions. x

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Snowflakes

I decided this year that I wanted to add a little something extra to the gifts I'll be giving this year.  So I bought some wooden snowflakes online, and the fun began...

I painted them with white acrylic all over (rather fiddly)



Once they were dry, I brushed one side with some glue, then sprinkled it with a mix of two glitters - a white glitter & a sparkly holographic glitter - I LOVE glitter, so much fun to work with & it always gets everywhere (I had a sparkly doggy for a while!)

 
 
  


Leave to dry, then repeat on the other side

 
  
Add a length of ribbon, tie a bow & attach the snowflake to your gift :)

  
 
 x

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Christmas gifts, homemade style

Some years ago Hubby & I decided to make all our Christmas gifts for family & friends.  What resulted was a range of gifts, all of which I personally would have loved to receive, and which (so they said) so did the recipients :)

They included a Hot Chocolate gift - which included a bar of mayan chocolate, vanilla pods, cinammon sticks, mini marshmallows, a nutmeg & mini grater and a mini whisk, all in  a small bowl (the old-fashioned way to drink chocolate)


We made up hampers too, full of homemade goodies including: chilli jam, wholegrain mustard, pickles, olives, pears in brandy, flavoured vodka & more



I also made some yummy bath stuff, rose & geranium, lavender, and camomile bath salts
 


Earlier this year I bought a selection of vintage glass decanters from a charity shop.  Most charity shops seem to have decanters for sale for just a couple of pounds each...


I bought some lovely-smelling coloured foam baths, and filled up each decanter (they took about 750ml)



I popped on one of the glittery snowflakes I've made recently and they look so pretty, and are so simple to do, but I think will look lovely in a bathroom (hopefully so will the recipients) ...


Now, I just need to do one for my bathroom methinks :) x

Monday, 17 December 2012

Christmas past - part 2

I've always loved Christmas, and growing up my parents always made it special for us.

We would write letters to Santa (my Dad still has a couple of these that he treasures bless him) which Mum would "post"; Mum would take us to the amazing Christmas grotto in Lewis' (an amazing department store that used to be in Leicester) toy department, where Father Christmas was waiting at the end ...

My brother & I in 1978, looking smart (love my coat)

Some years we had a fake tinsel tree, but on those years when we had a real tree Dad would take my brother & I to get a tree as soon as school had finished; then we'd decorate it with Mum.  When I was very little I'd was an Angel in the Church nativity...

Angel - December 1978

Christmas Eve & of course we knew that Father Christmas wouldn't arrive until we were fast asleep; I still remember the feeling of waking up in the dark & realising that the sock (one of my Dad's long, grey work socks) on the bed felt heavy.  The sheer joy I felt touching that sock, always full of little surprises from Father Christmas, a tangerine & some brazil & hazelnuts at the bottom, ooo it was wonderful.

My brother and I would wake each other up once we realised Santa had been, and we'd rush into our parents bedroom to open our 'stockings'.  If it was too early we'd then be sent back to bed, but if it was a reasonable hour (ie after 6am) we were allowed to go downstairs to see what presents we had.

Christmas Day 1978 - in the playroom (funky carpet)

 The presents from Santa Claus would have our initials on them, and those presents from family & friends would have their tags carefully removed & kept with the present so we'd know who it was from to enable us to write thank you letters to them the next day.

Christmas Day with Mum - and my new Miss Piggy doll (& wearing my Miss Piggy & Kermit trousers) - the doll had one of those faces that many years later deteoriated (a 1970s thing)

We'd then get ready for Church, and afterward go to my Nan's house for an amazing lunch, playing games & enjoying our Christmas presents (we could always take a couple of them with us, I especially remember taking a new portable tape recorder with me in the mid 80's & taping everyone), then having a wonderful tea - I wish someone had taken photos at the time as I remember it all as looking so amazing. x

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Christmas past - part 1

Look what I found amongst some old bits & pieces...



My Dad might have some better ones (with actual things I hoped for), but this one makes me laugh, and it's nice to see I asked for presents for "us".

Do you have any old letters to Santa? x

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

A Christmas Playlist

I've pretty much had my Christmas playlist on repeat this past couple of weeks, and also popped it onto a cd for the car.  I'm surrounded by some of my most favourite Christmas songs that way, and it just makes me feel so Christmassy :)

I also play the wonderful She & Him Christmas Album (from last year) and my recent acquisition of the fab This is Christmas by Emmy the Great & Tim Wheeler (check it out - it's fantastic & has some very original songs such as 'A Zombie Christmas'), but I love the songs below.

I have a mix of old & new(er), some from favourite Christmas films, and it wouldn't be Christmas (for a child of the 70's/80's) without a bit of Sir Cliff ... (click on the song title for a link to a taster)

Christmas Wrapping - The Waitresses (possibly my absolute favourite Christmas song, & yes I know all the words)
Jingle Bell Rock - Wayne Newton
Carol of the Bells - John Williams (Home Alone soundtrack)
White Christmas - The Drifters
The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole
Frosty the Snowman - Bing Crosby
Winter Wonderland - Dean Martin
Buon Natale - Nat King Cole
Feliz Navidad - El Vez (from the film Sugar & Spice)
Step Into Christmas - Elton John
All I Want for Christmas - Mariah Carey (reminds me of Love Actually)
Mistletoe & Wine - Cliff Richard
Saviour's Day - Cliff Richard
The Christmas Song - The Raveonettes
Marshmallow World - Emmy the Great & Tim Wheeler
Snowflakes - Emmy the Great & Tim Wheeler
Home for the Holidays - Emmy the Great & Tim Wheeler
 
 
I never tire of these Christmas songs x


Friday, 23 November 2012

Owl Christmas pressies - part 2

Owls are everywhere this Christmas, yay!  Here are some more goodies...

John Lewis have a whole crafting range that's owl-related at the moment, so there's plenty to choose from for the crafter in your life (or yourself)...


John Lewis

one of which is this cute and handy travel sewing kit, for any small sewing emergency

John Lewis

this owl candle is almost too cute to light

John Lewis


owl nighlight

Celeste & Moon Owl - John Lewis

and bags for the kids
Skip*Hop - John Lewis

John Lewis

 For the tie-wearing man in your life (whether mister, brother, dad, friend), it's covered in little owls

Marks & Spencer

and these Scandi-inspired slipper socks

Marks & Spencer
x

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Owl Christmas pressies - part 1

Whilst I've been crafting some Christmas pressies, there's always one or two pressies to buy, so of course I'm always on the lookout for owl-related goodies, here are some I've found recently (more to come)...

super cute lip balm stocking fillers

Flamingo Gifts

or you could go for the deluxe version in silver or gold

Flamingo Gifts

or some super cute tee's
People Tree
 
 
Oasis
and I love this cute owl belt


Hobbs

and this eye mask is so cute!
John Lewis
 
as is this microwavable hottie - made with tourmaline beads, and scented with lavender
 
John Lewis
 
More owl gift ideas on their way x

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Au revoir Suffolk

This year we have been lucky enough to have one last trip to the caravan in Suffolk, and also to mainly avoid the rain!

We had a long weekend enjoying our last visit until March next year...

this beauty was sitting on the road in Southwold, all polished, waiting to be driven


 
bye bye to the Pier
 
  
 
 


we also visited Redhouse Christmas Barn, who had some HUGE pumpkins sitting outside


and inside was a cornucopia or gorgeous trees and decorations, including a UK-theme

 
 
I bought a couple of gorgeous velvet roses, but for either crafting or wearing
 



I also couldn't help buying this little gadget for our bathroom, apparently it's a bath thermometer!  And even if it isn't, it looks funky in our Victorian house

 

It was sad to say au revoir to Suffolk and I can't wait until 2013 for our visits to start again. x

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

More Christmas owl ornaments

Well, now Bonfire Night is over (thank goodness Dusty isn't bothered by fireworks, and sympathy for all those pets who are!), I can now (properly) start dreaming of Christmas, hurrah!

As usual I've been trolling for owl decorations and have found these lovely owl baubles for this year (follow the links in the captions):

some gorgeous tawny owls...

The Comtemporary Home (or via NotOnTheHighStreet)




Homebase

RSPB

or how about some colourful owls?
Lisabeth Dahl

or perhaps some snowy owls?

John Lewis



The National Gallery




John Lewis

These fellows are decorations rather than baubles, but oh so cute, I can see them nestling on the mantelpiece

Homebase

and this fellow is a tree topper - so cute

Pottery Barn


And, ok, so he's not an owl, but I couldn't not include this gorgeous squirrel...

Wilkinson
 Love 'em all. x