Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Christmas Done. Now Roll On Spring!!

Hello my lovelies, did you all have a nice Christmas?

For the first time in a few years we hosted. As we prepared several dishes in advance and because Mr G is fast becoming a better cook than I, it was all pretty stress free.

Christmas Eve is my favourite day of the year and after a bit of a stressful start (we got to the stables to find one of my horses very lame with an abscess) we had a lovely day. W and I slipped into our onesies (couldn't get one for Mr G & H refused point blank in the way only a teenager can) then we made Jamie Oliver's Epic Hot Chocolate and cuddled up to fall asleep in front of watch "Scrooged".

We cooked a turkey crown as we like lots of leftovers and had our traditional Christmas Eve dinner of cold meats, pickles and Mr G's Amazing Homemade Chips (there is nothing that man can't do well with a potato!!)

W humoured me by putting out some cider, a mince pie and a carrot and trotted off to bed. We tried to persuade W that at 13 years old there was no need to be up before dawn on Christmas Day and managed to compromise with 7.30am.

For the first year I forgot to take any photos while they were opening their presents!! I didn't realise until just now and I'm kicking myself!!

Soon it was time to set the table for lunch:

Naturally all set with mismatched china, glass and cutlery.

The lovely appliqué tablecloth was a charity shop find last year and though a little small for the table I had to use it. The hand appliqué is so perfect and neat. I feel a bit sad when I find people's work like this in charity shops and my bleak mind can't help but wonder if that is what will happen to my makes eventually....

Still I shall love it....

Our parents arrived at 1.00pm and we were very civilised this year and decided to wait until after dinner to do the gifts. So I sat with my lovely Mum and MIL drinking cocktails and having a good natter while Mr G took control of the dinner.

It was a very successful feast:

Clockwise from the back: our eldest son H; my Mum; Me!!; Stepdad; MIL; our youngest W

FIL & MIL; W and H; my bingo wing....

We went to my sisters for Christmas Tea which was lovely once we were there but I must confess I was rather cosy at home come the evening and rather fancied slipping into my onesie for a TV fest!!

I was spoiled and got some lovely gifts including a pink leather Joules purse; a Nook eReader; velvet slippers and the Bear and the Hare book from Mr G:

MIL & FIL got me some make-up; some of my favourite Badedas bubble bath and Chanel Coco Madamoiselle among other goodies. My Mum & Stepdad got me a lovely hare ornament and a gorgeous china bird that sits on a lampshade as well as a bird feeding station and gorgeous teacup bird feeder:

(I'm sat in the conservatory writing this and have just seen the first bird to use it. A little blue tit!!) Mr G has naturally been making the expected remarks about attracting tits to the garden, fnarr fnarr....

My Sis got me the new Hairy Dieters book; some gel nail polish and this gorgeous very retro, candy striped, flannelette duvet set:

So that was our Christmas. Mr G is off until 6th January so we are having a lazy time and I've slipped into hibernation mode. Can't be bothered to go out/see anyone due to winter vomiting virus risk and am very happy just cosied up in my little house, with my little family.

Roll on spring....


S x


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

This Is The Best Part Don't You Think?

The anticipation. The goodwill towards others. Looking forward to gathering your loved ones around you for a wonderful feast. The gifts!!

I just love the run up to Christmas - particularly the week or so before. The preparations are coming together, the groceries have been ordered, (most) of the gifts are sorted - I love the anticipation. In complete contrast though I detest the period from Boxing Day-Spring so I'm trying to savour every second of this next week.

This year Mr G has already finished work until 6th January as he had holiday he needed to use up and so we have a few days to ourselves before the boys break up from school on Thursday.

I've been dividing my afternoons between spending time in my cabin, which has its own little tree:

Or curling up in the conservatory with the candles lit, something festive to watch on the iPad and some crafting.
I love the little traditions we have this time of year - one I've done for ages is to sit down with the Christmas issue of the Radio Times and my highlighter to - highlight my Christmas viewing:
I'm trying to start a new tradition this year and get Mr G and the boys to wear a onesie with me all day Christmas Eve - the plan being for Mr G and I to prep for Christmas Dinner in the morning and then curl up with our festive once-year-indulgent-hot-chocolate (Jersey milk!! Real chocolate!! Cream!! Marshmallow!!) and a movie or two.
W has his onesie which he got a month or so ago and LIVES in. I ordered one for H at the same time but it was out of stock so didn't manage to get one until yesterday.
He point blank REFUSED to even try it on. You should have heard the fuss. It was full on Kevin The Teenager.
Out of principal (and due to his total bad attitude!!) we insisted he try it on at the very least and despite fitting nicely needless to say he won't be wearing it.
I'm still struggling a bit with the transition from being parents to sweet little boys who adore you and think you are the best thing since sliced bread to being the parents of teenagers who don't want anything to do with you and generally just think you're there to make their life difficult....
We had a bit of a tree disaster when the new white tree (which had the flimsiest plastic base) collapsed and broke in heap:
And so we had to dig out the old green tree and put that up - luckily we decided we liked it better:
As always I've been busy crafting - I finished these Edwin Creme wrist warmers for my Sis's birthday (pattern available from Susie Johnson on Ravelry):

I've also been making a fairy - I first tried a simple Tilda style doll but wasn't happy with it so with the power of the internet I taught myself a bit of needle sculpture to make more detailed doll.

It's a LOT easier than it looks. Basically you stuff an egg shaped head and then use a needle and strong thread to make little stitches that pull in the stuffing to form the shape of the eyes/nose/lips. I then painted the eyes using acrylic paints. There are links to loads of tutorials here.

For my little niece E we have got her a life size toy sausage dog. She would LOVE a real one but my Sis doesn't do animals and so when I saw this chap I thought he'd be perfect. He needed a jumper and so whipped one up for him:

I have a few more bits to finish (and start if I'm honest, lol!!) so better get to it!!


S x


Monday, 9 December 2013

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

On Saturday last week (30th November) Mr G had to work all day. I always trim the tree on the 1st December and so to keep myself occupied while he repaired to the cabin I put on my favourite tunes and put up the Christmas decorations.

When we were children we always put them up the weekend of my sisters birthday (11th December) but since we've had our own home I can't resist putting them up on 1st December.

I've been feeling really festive since about mid-November. Mr G says I am going to peak too early. Indeed I usually start to feel a bit down by Christmas Eve as it's nearly all over!! And soon it's the part of the year I hate the most - Boxing Day-March.

First up Mr G dragged the numerous boxes on from the garage. There are a few housing deccies from my childhood-present day.

It was hard to know where to start, but I began with the main tree in festive red and white:

Despite Mr G initially vetoing any stags/antlers AT ALL he bought a friend for my white stag (which he bought me last christmas) and so they had to have bows and baubles:

Out went the little festive hardware shop:

On the windowsill sits the "Knitivaty" that my Mum made a few years ago (before I learned to knit) - it's so detailed and took her a whole summer to complete. My Stepdad built the stable for them.

They have to reside in the windowsill so they can sit safely behind the curtains at night to prevent Bear (one of our Tonkinese cats) kidnapping them. He ADORES wool and given half the chance will have the holy family dipped in cat food before you know it. He loves to take a bite of wool and then a bite of Kitekat for some bizarre reason known only to himself.

There are also two shepherds and three wise men....
This year I ordered a white tree for the conservatory because I wanted a tacky-and-kitsch-in-a-good-way look. The vintage style baubles were a fab find in Homebase - £15 for 100. They are very tacky but that is just what I'm after here!!
The tree only cost £20 and has the flimsiest base ever resulting in the cats having had it over several times already!!
Ideally, I would always choose a real Christmas tree - the old-fashioned sort (not the fancy kind) that fill the whole house with the scent of pine but after the year in which we had to chuck the tree out the week before Christmas due to it becoming bald we have since had to be satisfied with fake trees.
On the windowsill in the conservatory is a pitcher filled with painted hazel twigs and on these I have hung my small collection of Swarowski stars - it's our wedding anniversary on 20th December and on years when we are flush (not often!!) Mr G buys me an ornament.

These branches are also home to my homemade decorations:

I filled a bonbon stand with dried oranges, cloves and cinnamon sticks - I love to sit in the late afternoon/early evening with the candles lit....

Outside I made a garland of holly and ivy from the stables:

So by the time Mr G returned from the cabin things were looking pretty festive around here and he was also greeted with his favourite cake:

When do you put up your decorations? Can you not wait like me? Or are you one of the (strange!!) folks who wait until Christmas Eve?


S x


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Look No Pink!!

Hello my lovelies (is there anyone still out there?!!)

I'm starting to go into my hibernation mode. This time of year my anxiety levels crank up and I become even more of a homebody than usual - leaving the house only to go to the stables or do food shopping and preferring to stay tucked up in my little home.

Part of the reason is to avoid nasty germs, my phobia of vomiting is always worse in winter especially when the media crack out their "winter vomiting virus" horror stories (it's only a matter of time - just give them slow news week).

This time I've even hibernated from the internet - my blog has been a bit neglected of late and I've even lost my Instagram mojo and in the last few weeks have barely been on there either (I don't think anyone has noticed!!)

I have been busy playing in my cabin, decorating and crafting though - I have to be making something!!

I had to take this pic as I thought how pretty the cabin looked in the autumn sunshine....
Our youngest son W moved into my ex-sewing room and as he got the smallest room I promised to decorate it first for him. I tried my best to steer him towards something tasteful and not-too-chavvy but the lack of pink or shabby-chicness is taking a bit of getting used to:

It's all so boyish!!

I did manage to insist of a couple of vintage bits - this 1930's gentleman's wardrobe was £16 from eBay - I'm going to paint it so it matches better, it's rather scratched up so I'm happy to paint it.

W wanted a New York poster and so we added another little vintage touch my agreeing on this one - "Lunch Atop A Skyscraper" was taken in 1932 and makes my head swim if I look at it too closely (I don't do heights!!)

W also requested one of my signs, so I made one out of some of the tongue and groove that was left over from the cabin floor:

And I modified a plain black lampshade by using a needle to pierce a skyline into it:

I also made name signs for both the boys doors:

BTW the boys are not named after the royal princes!! H is named after my Granddad & W was the only boys name we really agreed on!!

H got the bigger room and we scored a fab 1930's bed off Freegle and I managed to win a matching wardrobe on eBay for £10:

After Christmas we'll decorate H's room - he doesn't care what we do so I'm going for a hunting lodge type look with off white walls, plaid and tartans and maybe even the odd stags head!!

Thanks for reading....


S x




Thursday, 24 October 2013

Log Cabin Tales - Interior Ta-Dah!!

The inside of the cabin is all complete and I'm moved in!!

Having shifted all the stuff from my sewing room to the bottom of the garden (in the pouring rain) we have decided that we are never moving house - just that one room was more than enough Thank You Very Much!!

I've been hoping to take some photos with our proper camera, but I've lost the thingummy to download them onto my iPad and so I'm afraid these phone shots will have to do.

Would you like a peek?

This is the right hand side as you come in through the doors - under the window there is going to be Mr G's desk. I've won a lovely vintage dressing table on eBay that fits the bill perfectly. The plan is for Mr G to work out here. All along he said he'd work out here all the time but now he reckons it'll just be when he needs peace (i.e when the boys are off school).

My jars of buttons and trimmings are on my shelves, painted with my own mixed blue shade of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

We plan to oil the floor eventually but daftly didn't decide that until we moved everything in *rollseyes*

The sofa bed was an eBay bargain (£16!!) - I plan to cover the checked cushions and the footstool. The mirror was £4 from Gumtree. These are getting harder to find at such bargain prices as they are now so popular - another reason I'll be glad when vintage goes out of fashion!!

The suitcases were another eBay find, £10.50 for four of them. I intend to decoupage them in fabric eventually but I love them as they are. They have my larger pieces of fabric in and the top one has my scraps - I was a bit ruthless and threw a lot out for the move.

The pin board I made using an old frame I found in a charity shop, I added stiff foam to the back (from a child's foam floor jigsaw) and covered it in patchwork fabric.

The captains chair was yet another bargain (gotta love eBay!!) - a pair for £13.50.

My desk is my Dads old dining table. I love the fact it's his old table that we always sat at when we visited him. I made a skirt for it using my nieces old curtains and the top is covered in Cath Kidston oilcloth.

The lamp is one of my few new purchases for the cabin - I just love it as it not only looks like the Pixar lamp, but its pink!! And at £20 I thought it was a good price.

The thread rack I made using an old kitchen cupboard door and pink plastic lolly sticks!! I painted and decoupaged it and the Mr G drilled holes for me to add the sticks, secured with a blob of PVA glue.

The stool was from the tip - £4!! Painted in my own mixed pink shade of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

We don't have the electric connected yet hence the extension lead, we need to run an armoured cable from the house and that should be done soonish.

Of course there has to be fairy lights!! And paper honeycomb spheres....

So, that's the inside, more or less done.

The exterior still needs work as the rain has meant we haven't been able to finish painting it yet, but I'll give you a sneaky peek so you can get the general gist:

It was getting dark so you'll have to excuse the poor photo and wait until its revealed in all its glory once its done!!

Thanks for reading....


S x