Friday, 28 December 2012

Christmas 2012

I've slipped up somewhat this Christmas as I neglected to take many photos. Partly due to Mr G and I waking up with colds on Christmas Eve and thus we didn't really feel 100% - I was very glad my Mum had offered to host Christmas dinner and I didn't have all of the prep that it usually entails.

This meant we had a quiet Christmas Eve, of pottering about, nipping up to the horses, watching movies and drinking festive hot chocolate (made with real chocolate, double cream and whole milk - delicious!!)

I was excited to open my Instagram Christmas swap - we had all decided to open them Christmas Eve:

How beautifully are they wrapped?

I got such a lovely selection of goodies - my IG friend Claire really spoiled me!!

I was pleased on Christmas Eve when W (aged 12) humoured me enough to put out cider, mince pies and a parsnip (we had no carrots!!) for Father Christmas and Rudolph.

H (aged 14) was having none of it however and I find it sad that he'd rather be on his own in his room than with us :0( - releasing those apron strings is hard....

Come Christmas morning W was raring to go at 7.00am and so we trooped downstairs, all be it sleepily, to see if the big man had been.

W was delighted to receive an iPad:

H got a new graphics card and big new monitor for his PC and Nannie got him a fancy headset:

As part of our bid to prevent H becoming a hermit we have his PC downstairs in a hideaway cupboard so he is at least with us. He chats all the time to his friends whilst playing and so it's not quite as insular as it may sound. I think we have had to realise that teenagers socialise in a different way to how we did when we were kids and a lot of it is via technology.

Mr G spoiled me with an AirPrint printer so I can print from my iPad without having to bother him (I've been having to email whatever I want printing to him and then usually wait an age for him to get around to it!!)

It's white so blends in with my sewing room:

He also got me a big hardback sketch pad; a bottle of Cosmopolitan; some lovely fancy soap and a deer head!! Yep, after all his objections he gave in and got me a little one!!:

Mr G and I repaired back to bed for a couple of hours before it was time to leave to go to my Mum's.

My sister and I had all brought some components of the meal and it all came together to make a delicious dinner after which it was time to open presents:

I got some lovely gifts including:

Kirstie Allsopp houses - the big one (from my Mum) is a biscuit jar and the little one (from MIL) has a notepad inside....

Gorgeous electric kettle (yep, electric!!) from my Mum....

Cath Kidston enamel canisters (also my Mum!!)....

Beautiful table runner handstitched with my favourite lilies by my Mum - gosh showing all these shows just how much she spoiled me....

My sister got me a lovely Pip Studio purse (no picture of that), a CK voucher and this:

Isn't it just fab? So retro!!

MIL also got me some CK goodies, my favourite Badedas bubble bath (she buys me a big one every Christmas and it lasts until about September) and some cash which I have spent on a vintage Art Deco dressing table mirror from eBay - will show it off when it arrives.

So, I was thoroughly spoiled.

Boxing Day Mr G and I spent the whole day in bed, alas not in a good way but in a we-feel-rough-and-the-weather-is-vile kinda way.

Christmas is over once again. I'm looking at the deccies and can't wait to take them down - I usually do it New Years Day and just leave the cards up until Twelfth Night. Not because I'm sick of them per se, but because I think when it's over it's over!!

I must confess that I detest the period from Boxing Day to about March and just can't wait for spring. I wouldn't mind if we had clear, crisp, frozen winters but all this rain is just yuck.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas....


S x


Saturday, 22 December 2012

We're All Still Here Then!!

Hello, my lovelies!! I'm delighted to see that we are all still here!! My inner cave woman was a teensy bit apprehensive about the 21st and one little 12 year old had to sleep in Mummy and Daddy's room:

Are you all ready for Christmas? We are more or less there, we need to pop to the local retail park for one more thing and then I fully intend not to leave the house until at least the 27th!!

Except for Christmas Day of course, which we are spending at my Mums, along with my Sis and family and Mr G's mum and dad.

Have you been socialising lots? I'm afraid my fear of winter bugs has put me in hibernation mode, but my Sis, BIL, nephew and niece did come over for some dinner last night, they brought a bottle of fizz which lasted all of five minutes and the most delicious banoffee pie:

We did a silly selfie:

Some people think we look alike but I can't see it!!

I'm currently awaiting the delivery of our Tesco order, I'm hoping it all turns up or else we'll be rather like Margo and Gerry in The Good Life (love that show!!) when their Christmas isn't delivered!!


S x


Thursday, 20 December 2012

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Wafflings (For Want Of A Better Title!!)....

I have a spare 15 minutes so thought I would do a quick blog post, I really must try and post more regularly.

So, what have I been up to?

Last week I went to visit my dear friend Ashley from Country Rose to meet her gorgeous new baby:

How gorgeous is he? Made me very broody!!

I too the opportunity to take few little gifts over:

After a few false starts I settled on this little stripey cardigan, which is the first ever garment I have knitted that I am happy with!!

The colour way was inspired by the movie Labyrinth - the baby in that wears a lovely red and white striped babygro:

When my boys were little I wanted a babygro like this for them but could never find one....
Of course I couldn't leave Ashley's daughter Rose out and so I made her a little rabbit following a pattern from Mary Janes Tearoom:
I highly recommend these patterns, they are so easy to follow - in fact one of these rabbits was the first pattern I followed after learning to knit.

I made Ashley a little vintage style felt brooch among other things:

I've also found time to knit Milo a festive jumper:

I have been working on my first ever paid embroidery "commission":

And of course there is always time for cake!!:

I always find December tricky, on the one hand I love Christmas but on the other I often find that my anxiety is bad. You may remember I have emetophobia (fear of vomiting).

It is so bad that I had to give up work because I was so fearful of coming into contact with "germs" that might make me ill and as such all these horror stories about bugs are freaking me out!!

I then become so worried about being sick that I start to feel nauseas and then don't know whether its real or my imagination!! The mind is a powerful thing and its not good when, sometimes, it doesn't seem to be on your side!!

So, I'm giving myself lots of "talking to's" and downing the old Rescue Remedy in the hopes of keeping things in check!!


S x


Friday, 14 December 2012

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas....

I have been completely slack again and let the time between posts slip once again, but here I am and I thought I would show you how I have made Shabby Chic Towers look festive this year.

The first thing to go up was the tree, this year I have been a sheep and gone for the very popular red and white theme and (for the first time ever) no obvious tinsel. In actual fact, it does have tinsel, it's just matt green to hide the wires of the lights plus a bit wound round the very centre of the tree to give some depth:

(It looks quite rubbish here)

I got some really lovely new decorations from Wilkinsons and Poundland:

To the right of the tree you can see the fabulous nativity scene that my Mum knitted for me before I could craft - my Stepdad built the stable and I adore it:

We also have a lovely little shop all lit up for Christmas that Mr G's Mum and Dad treated us to last year:

The local garden centre has a massive display of these every year and I was so chuffed to get one!!

Since we had the conservatory built across the back off the house five years ago we have had two trees - although I love, love, love real trees we gave up on them the year we had to chuck one out on Christmas Eve because it was as bald as a coot!!

The second tree is not quite as tasteful as the first:

(Not sure what is going on with that errant branch!!)

I decorated my sticks with decorations I had made from the Cath Kidston Christmas Decorations book:

I'd read some less than flattering reviews of the book and nearly didn't buy it, but I am glad I did because I thoroughly enjoyed making the little felt decorations:

I also knitted some little hearts using this pattern from Ravelry, though I "cheated" and backed each heart with fleece instead of knitting both sides:

Other favourites that are new this year are my little stag and gingerbread house:

I bought two and I shall leave them out all year round, even though they are glittery....

From Poundland, would you believe?!!

So that is how things look here. I still have lots of Christmas shopping to do, but most will be done online although next week we are going to have our traditional outing to Winchester Christmas Market.

It's our 16th wedding anniversary too next week and we also need to make a trip with the boys to the garden centre to choose a bauble each, I do so love our traditions - I'd love to hear about yours?


S x

PS My absence has been in part due to my anxiety which is often bad this time of year, I think probably due to the added stress of Christmas....


Thursday, 29 November 2012

Are you a saver or a splurger?


I was pondering recently whether we are in the minority because we don't have any savings speak of. We have a very small disposable income and having been silly with money in our youth have never managed to save up a rainy day fund. We have a very bad habit of relying on the credit card if we need and emergency repair or other mishap sorting.

Every year we say we are going to try and accrue some but we always find it's the case that if we do manage to save a few coppers then something will break so we have to blow the savings on that.

I do wonder whether the ability to save is a genetic trait, either you can or you can't. I'm very much a splurger!! I've always found that money burns a hole in my pocket, I love shopping and always have something on my wish list - very rarely are the items on my list extravagant but there is usually something I am hankering after.

I can't remember ever managing to save up for anything unless you count selling things on eBay until have the amount I need - that's how I raised the money for my iPad.

My sister is exactly the opposite and from a young age she liked nothing more than counting her growing collection of pennies into her red cash tin - she now is very good with money, so it's my opinion that you can probably tell early on whether your children a going to be a saver or a splurger!!

However, I must confess that the advice given to me by the 101 year old lady in the pub on my birthday springs to mind - she said "Let me give you some advice, my dear. Spend your money. Don't save it. Spend it and enjoy. Don't save it like I did. It's no use to me now."

Maybe she had a point....


S x


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Mini Makeover....

This weekend we made over a little spot in our (tiny) kitchen that had hitherto been an eyesore.

Ever since I saw Cherry Menlove's gorgeous open white shelves I have hankered after some of my own but the problem was where to put them.

I also really disliked the cooker hood and splashback we had above our range:

We used to have a stainless steel range that matched the hood and splashback, but after that finally gave up the ghost we found this fab Aga-like Leisure range on eBay for the bargain price of £150 and for well over a year I have put up with the mismatch (some kinds of mismatch are NOT good!!)

I got to thinking about what we could do to prettify this area of the kitchen - this involved laying in bed at night hatching all manner of plans - 99% of which are rubbish in the light of day - and decided we should remove the hood (we never use it as its not connected to the outdoors and just "extracts" back into the room) and build some sort of unit or shelves.

Then came the persuasion of Mr G.

It took weeks.

And in the end I had to put my foot down.

So on Saturday I marched him to the wallpaper shop, we chose paper and on our return the hood came down and the paper went up:

Already looking soooooo much better!!

The conversion of Mr G to all things floral, vintage and shabby chic was proved complete when he came up with the idea to paper the back of the plate rack.

On Sunday, off we trotted to B&Q where - following a brief hiatus for a row over fairy lights - we got the material for the shelves.

Mr G got down to one of mans most hated tasks - erecting shelves:

I was beyond excited!! I danced about waiting for the moment when I could fill them with pretty things:

I've ordered new Cath Kidston labels for the flour jars!!
We're sooooo pleased with how they have turned out - Mr G went as far as to say it's his favourite makeover to date - which is high praise indeed considering he was against doing anything in that area.

I still dislike the stainless splashback and will now work on getting Mr G to tile over it - resistance is futile.....


S x