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