Monday, 29 December 2008

Bracing escape!

Much as we love to be in the festive home, full of our favourite people and decorations, there comes a time every Christmas when we need to ....
get into warm togs and boots...
and head across the fields for a bracing yomp!
Crisp snappy air and cold grey skies.
No walk would be complete without the 'halfway grump'!
Happily not much further to these lovely creatures who distract us whilst we stop for a restorative snack!
The Alpaca Farm is a great favourite with visitors and regulars alike. They are such adorable and inquisitive characters!
The thistles are already planning to take over in the hedgerows! Sadly we shall be downwind of this juicy specimen when it spills it's seeds into the air!
The view from there before the walk home....
to the December View from Here.
Hope you're all relaxing and recovering from a very merry Christmas. t.xx

Thursday, 25 December 2008

It's here!

The chair is home!
The cake is decorated!

The stage is set...
the kitschen is ready....
The calm before the storm!!
Have a lovely day everyone! t.xx

Sunday, 21 December 2008

A load of old baubles..

The kitschen is starting to get it's festive frock on!
Friends have been over to ice biscuits...
Mums joined in, of course - I mean what's the point of letting them make all that mess if you can't join in?!
It has been said I can be bauble obsessed this time of year....!
I LOVE our Christmas tree decorations. They are all stored, from twelfth night to December 1st, in a high cupboard in protective boxes, each item carefully wrapped up in vintage paper napkins (which makes the re-wrapping more fun). Once they are unwrapped I check for damage, reminding myself just why I love each one. Remembering their history in my family, asking hubby about his memories, sharing it all with the beautiful boy. And for the ornaments we have thrifted over the years, wondering what other trees they have adorned in the last half century, looking forward to putting them all together on our tree.
I have so many favourites. The delicate glass ornaments, many hand blown which have survived many years of wrapping and moving and re-wrapping. I thought I'd share a few.
The hand painted ones are especially precious. Who was the person who stencilled this angel or frosted that little black glitter snowman? I love them both!
And then there are the plastics! Oh how I love the kitsch plastics! These are very much the decorations of our childhoods. And Christmas wouldn't be complete without a pipe cleaner santa!
And every year we add one or two very special new ornaments. This year we bought mini nutcrackers. Isn't he a handsome chap!
Of course as well as the baubles and ornaments, there are the paper lanterns. This is an especially favourite one.
And since this year, for the first time, we have found that we have more vintage baubles than we can find room for on our tree, I have made garlands. Two obsessions in one festive flourish!
I hope you are all enjoying the season. I shall be back before the big day to sign off! Meanwhile, glitter, mincepies, trifle recipes, making the last few special gifts.... not much to do.....
Happily I actually gained a whole day this weekend when our local baker informed me that, if I wanted to collect my bread order for Christmas Eve, I would have to come by on Wednesday not Tuesday.... well, I've been busy, I get muddled.......bye! t.xx

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

And the winner is....

Thank-you to everyone for taking part in my give-away! Puppy is tickled pink by so many offers of a good home!
Well, we wrote all of your names onto pieces of paper using a pretty pink pen, we wrote some of you twice, thank-you again! And then we popped them all into the hat!
I did say it was a very special hat! A 'long oval, light weight' bought when Grandpa was a young officer in the R.A.F.!
Grandpa's old Bowler hat is a great favourite of the beautiful boy. He practices Cabaret-like routines ...
not always with the desired outcome! (not that he has seen that particular film!)
Amusingly the beautiful boy refers to the hat as 'Grandpa's tombola hat'.
It's one of those misnomers which are so amusing as to go uncorrected. The idea of Grandpa going around with a tombola drum on his head is very amusing, but for current purposes quite apposite! So, back to business; stir them all up a bit;
No peeking!
Ta DA!
Kim of Ragged Roses, puppy is so very excited to be coming to stay! Send me your info and puppy can be with you for Christmas lunch, bunting over the table!
That was fun. Now, I also mentioned some awards but with Christmas suddenly everywhere (what did they do with the first two weeks of December?), I think I'll do awards in the New Year when we're all in the doldrums after the Twelfth Night tidy up! Lots to do. Must dash. I have a parcel to pack! t.xx

Monday, 15 December 2008

Memories of Christmas Past!

I thought you'd like to see the finished brooch! I love it! I think we'll have to get started on another one for mummy to keep!We baked piles of snowflakes for the end of term class treat!
I just LOVE hologram flakes - so pretty and sparkly!
And with the end of term our thoughts turned to family Christmas cards. With the exception of a couple of years when life has been particularly tricksy, we have always made our own cards.
I thought I would share with you some of the ones we made in years gone by!
Time was, I designed and painted all of our cards by hand .... who knew I'd ever be so busy I would no longer have time to do this?!!
This one was from 1991 - everyone received a slightly different colourway or pattern of fruits
This is a favourite - from 1992, the year I graduated Art college.
Not sure when this one happened.
Then I started my first 'career' job in 1994 and look! A monoprint, re-produced by copier but still hand tinted! I can remember us sitting and doing dozens of these at the dining table! Probably fuelled by the props from the picture! It was called 'Christmas Essentials'! What else did a girl need?
This one reflects my love of all things Green Man, a figure well represented in local monuments and especially Norwich Cathedral. My chap is a bit more festive than most!
This one from 2000 may well have been gin fuelled as well. The eagle eyed will notice a slight issue with the foliage on one of those trees ... given the time of year?! By this time we were using a scanner to enable me to print as many copies as we needed. The days of truly hand made cards were wiped out by a demanding career and a house building project!
And then .....WHAM!
As any parent will recognise, our priorities changed in 2001.
The only image we could imagine showing all of our friends and family was that of our darling baby boy!

... the 'B' side of this card was sent to a more exclusive list!

Ooh look - he made it onto gift tags too!
And the trend was set from here on....His first Nativity..
His first Nativity as Joseph.
His reindeer impersonation!
I know...parents! What can you do with them? They're obsessed with their children!
And this is 2008!

Merry Christmas everyone!
And all the very, very best for 2009.

Now, I'm off to play with my baubles! But that's another post entirely!
Don't forget you still have time to enter my Puppy giveaway and Good Luck to everyone who has taken part so far!
An especially big thank-you to Vintage Magpie who gave me the biggest laugh I've had in ages by asking to be included in the giveaway.....with an anonymous comment! HA! Glad we sorted that one out!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

A Speedy Recovery and a Giveaway!

Puppy is being very impatient, but first a quick catch up! Thank-you all for your kind messages about our beautiful boy! The poor little chap had tonsilitis! Not in our plans for this week! Nativity plays, Santa Express steam train trip, Christmas Lunch and Carol Concert but decidedly NOT tonsilitis! Thankfully by Monday midday his little system was already fighting it off and the kind G.P. gave him vile tasting anti-biotics (think undilitued orange squash!) so, by Tuesday lunchtime he was back on fighting form and I took him into school so that we could see our little King in his last Nativity!
Not that I had realised it.
That this was his last Nativity.
Apparently after Year 2, no more Nativity. Did I cry a few tears? You bet I did! Another milestone passes. Another little stage of his childhood closes. I weep for every one. Sad to see it go and feeling so very lucky to have him and to be able to share every precious moment!In addition to all the other goings on, he has been keeping me company in the workroom in the evenings making gifts for his teachers. I love to watch him sew. That steady hard concentration...
and a particular way he has of holding the needle so that the thread doesn't slip out at a crucial moment. This tree decoration is finished and ready to be wrapped..
I especially like his idea to add triangle 'spikes, to make it all three-dimensional'. Just perfect.
This brooch is still a work in progress and will be finished off tonight. I find it so hard to give these works away but he makes them with such love for a particular person in mind that they really aren't mine to keep!
I have also been busy and have stitched more Retro Owls and Big Dogs so that I can keep my Etsy store stocked into the New Year.And now...

Ta DA!

"About time too!!" I hear you cry - "We have been waiting ages!"

My '10000 visitors' giveaway!
A Pinkest Pink Patchwork Puppy and a length of vintage fabric party bunting!

Puppy is handmade from vintage recycled fabrics, stuffed with fresh new polyester filling, and trimmed with vintage buttons and hand embroidery.
Puppy measures approximately 18 cm long by 14 cm high to the tip of that fidgetting tail.
Please note this is not a Christmas giveaway. I know, the timing and all, but it's really not! A puppy is for life not just for Christmas and I wouldn't want you to think I was encouraging anyone to think otherwise!
Plus there is nothing Christmassy at all about the bunting. It can be used all year around and that's just what we do here in the kitschen- any excuse; Birthdays, special visitors, holidays, sunny days - every day feels better with a bit of bunting!
So, if you would like to give puppy a home, leave me a comment on this post and I will do something very technical to randomly and impartially select a winner!
If you would like two goes in the hat (I know, very technical! But it's a very fine hat!) just link to this post and tell me where to find your link and I'll pop your name in twice!

Good luck everyone. I'll make the draw at 6pm on Wednesday 17th December!