Thursday, 31 December 2015

2016 is on the way

I have been enjoying some lovely slow days with late starts and nothing more strenuous planned but hanging out with the family and the odd game of cards while still making our way through the mince pie mountain!

I must have been a goodish girl all year as I got quite a lot of things from my Christmas wish list and several that weren't there too. They were mostly sewing related; I will post an update in the new year, but all I will say is Hubby did pick very well.

One of the items on my wish list was this set of three notebooks the covers were styled by Sarah Moore, the author of Vintage Home, who's work I greatly admire and find very inspirational.

I have decided to use one of the note books to start planning projects for next year.  At the front of the book I am going to put in all the projects that I have started but not finished or those where I have brought or collected the necessary items but not actually executed the deed.  Each project gets it's own page this way it can be removed once a decision is made about it's future.  I thought that this would

  • Give me a bit of a shock when I see how many WIP projects I have
  • Analyse why they haven't been finished eg lack of skill, don't like how it was coming together, needs something to finish it, didn't have enough time when I was making it
  • Realise I got carried away when I brought/collected it and it's not something I really want to make
  • Help me get organised 
  • Stop me me spending too much in the January sales (ha ha ha)

At the back of the book I have started putting in new ideas for the coming year.  I think my mantra for 2016 should be to complete one project before I start another, I know that this will be quite challenging as often I start out with one idea and it grows into something else and suddenly I am completely absorbed by the new idea but I guess this is also part of the creative process.

The second notebook will go into my handbag, I always keep one in there and find it handy to

  •  Jot down ideas and do little doodles of things I want to make. 
  • Keep a note of people's sizes for when we are browsing in Charity shops - we are always on the look out for clothes that would be suitable for when we attend the Goodwood Revival
  • Sometimes you just need a bit of paper!
The one I am currently carrying around is almost out of pages so I will transfer any useful information then do the swap.

I will hold onto the third book for now maybe it will be used at the beginning of 2017 to record all the projects that didn't get completed in 2016!

Wishing you all a very fond farewell to 2105 keep all the good stuff and leave the bad stuff behind x

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Christmas countdown day 24

Yipee made it to the end of the challenge, you will be relieved to find the last of the cheesy jokes is just as bad as all the others.

"What do monkeys sing at Christmas?"

"Jungle bells, Jungle bells"

Sorry as promised cheesy and groany to the very end! now for a little music to get us in the festive mood

The photo challenge is "Advent Calendar" and this is what remains, I will sort through and find any reusable bits for future projects, the remainder will be recycled in one way or another.

I wanted the final Advent post to reflect on the homemade elements of my Christmas preparations
Draw string Advent calendar bag
White clay Christmas ornaments
Button Christmas decoration
Our twiggy Christmas tree
Free Christmas Wreath
Best mince pie recipe

Thank you for taking this Advent countdown adventure with me I hope you enjoyed it, I am planning to spend some quiet time with family and friends over the next few days so there may not be any more posts this year.  I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, thank you for all your support in 2015 and I hope you will pop in to catch up with what is happening in my little corner of the world in2016.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Christmas countdown Day 23

Well we are almost there, just one more blog after this and the Advent countdown will be completed. Click here if you haven't heard enough cheesy Christmas music

Time for a little sparkle, courtesy of the photo shoot today, having so many homemade decorations around I am rather limited on the amount of sparkle that has been incorporated in my decorations this year.

Last year I was a little bit obsessed with cars that had Christmas trees tied to the top of them, personally I blame Pinterest!  I have ended up with what can only be described as a festive traffic jam.

Time for a giggle, only one more of these left so make the most of it

"How do snowmen travel around?"

"On an ice-icle!"

The penultimate Advent pack is one of my felt heart decorations, the large red heart is a little brooch that I will remove and wear.

My "to do" is shrinking with just the final tidy round, last loads of washing/Ironing to get done. I have already worked out anything that needs to be taken out of the freezer to ensure that things are properly defrosted.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Christmas countdown Day 22

Its Christmas jumper day on the photo shoot, rather take a selfie I have opted for the "e-bay" sweater pose!

I brought this in the Next sale during the summer I must have been barking mad!  It is I believe in the height of bad taste and there will be finger pointing  and dogs howling whenever I go out in it, OK that might be a slight exaggeration, maybe just the howling dogs then!

I do feel that a Christmas jumper is a big extravagance, due to the limited  period of time it can be used, I was hoping to get plenty of use out of it, however, the mild weather has mean that it has only been seen out twice so far, the spirit of Christmas might get extended this year.

I think that decorating a jumper you already have is a cheaper option and handy for a last minute solution if you don't own a beauty like mine.

One of my little sewn bags on the Advent calendar today, I think this design is my favourite of the three.  I am looking forward to the post Christmas period, having some downtime and making some plans for 2016 that will include a few sewing projects.

Hokey Cokey time for a jokey

"What do you get if you cross a snowman and a shark?"

"Frost bite!"

Only two little packets left now, its getting closer!

Monday, 21 December 2015

Christmas countdown Day 21

21  today, 21 today, no key to the door but there is of course chocolate and a seasonal joke

Our photo shoot today is wrapped presents and I am happy to say that there are lots at my house, there are also lots yet to be wrapped too!!  We haven't spent loads of money, they are by and large nominal gifts such as chocolate and smellies.  As a family we do like the gift giving ritual and I for one enjoy wrapping presents with a nice Christmas film on the TV and the promise of a mince pie and a cuppa at the end.

 I only have two little wrapping tips, cut a little spare paper and turn back the edge to show as a contrast, this is also handy to write on if you run out of tags!

The other is if you have to cut off a bit of excess paper don't throw it away as you can wrap it around a different paper to add a bit of contrast.

I am looking forward to getting the last presents wrapped so that I can stash all the wrapping paraphernalia away and give the house the final tidy up before I declare that's enough I'm not doing anymore.

HO HO HO, it joke time

"What is an ig?"

"An Eskimo's home without a loo!"

Sorry about the joke, they don't get any better!  before I go I couldn't resist adding this Christmas gem

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Christmas countdown day 20

Don't keep calm its time to panick!! It day 20 on the Advent calendar and it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Today's photo challenge is "hats" so of course I had to kick off with a nice Santa hat, being modeled by a not very happy looking "David"

I love to see people walking around with Santa hats on when they are out and about especially at football games over the festive period,

Rocking his Christmas cracker hat! the origins of wearing hats for Christmas celebrations is believed to have originated with the Romans and  Saturnalia

You can almost read his mind in this photo " Me an iconic statute, in a pink paper hat, whatever next!"

I love a nice Pom pom hats, good for keeping you warm and handy for spotting your other half when you are out shopping :)

Get ready to groan the joke is here

"What do you call a snowman in the summer?"

"A puddle"

That's all for today folks, I hope your Christmas plans are all coming together nicely and that you are all starting to get into the spirit of things

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Christmas countdown day 19

Welcome to the last Saturday before Christmas and day 19 on the Advent calendar, today's treats are a couple of Hershey kisses.

And the joke today is very appropriate for the crafty community

"Why are Christmas trees very bad at knitting?"

.....................because they keep dropping their needles!

Photo challenge is "piled high", I will spare you a photograph of my dirty laundry!

I have a vague plan to use these pine cones as part of the table decorations on Christmas day.   I haven't decided exactly how that is going to come together, possibly in a bowl or a vase with some of the air dried clay ornaments I made and a few small sized baubles.  I was trying to think of something that I could do with twigs to tie them back into the "tree", I will ponder on that over the weekend.

When we had our weekend away a couple of weeks ago we stopped off at Drove Orchards on the way.  They always have an amazing variety of apples and mostly varieties that can't be found in the supermarket so we do try and grab a few whenever we visit in the Autumn/Winter.  We timed it perfectly on this visit as they were offering a huge carrier bag full to the brim of any apples that you liked for just one pound!  I feel like this was a bit of apple karma as we have a Bramley cooking apple tree in our garden and this year we were organised enough to leave a box full of apples outside our house with a note for people to help themselves; they did!

The final piled high photo is our log pile and log basket, I love having this in the house as each piece of wood adds it's on texture, shape and pattern, once when it sits in the basket and once again when it is used in the log burner.  The outside pile is higher than usual as the weather here is so mild, we haven't seen any snow and there is usually a few wispy flakes by now to get us all a little bit over excited before it disappears.

It was the last of the paper bags on Advent calendar today with just 5 packets left hanging it is a stark reminder that the big day is nearly upon us.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Christmas countdown Day18

Through out this Advent calendar adventure I have applauded my forward thinking and shook my head in disbelief in equal measures.  Today is the perfect example, no chocolate today, instead I have a lovely festive vintage brooch on one of my homemade felt hearts, this is great timing as I am braving the big shops in Nottingham today and I can wear it on the lapel of my coat.

My choice for photo shoot on the other hand has left me wondering why I thought this would be a suitable subject! "stripe", the only thing I can spot is the stripped bags on the Advent calendar so instead I have taken a few snaps of some of the decorations on my Welsh dresser, if I set myself a similar challenge in the future I will add a few allowable substitutes.

One of the joys of decorating for Christmas is seeing bits and bobs that have been with us for many years and enjoying the memories that are associated with them.  I have been very active in providing lots of homemade decorations this year however, I did succumb to temptation in Sainsbury's yesterday, the "Christmas wishes" picture above was reduced to £4.75, I was immediately drawn to it and my first reaction was "that is nice but I could make it myself", but when I thought about how much it would cost in time as well as components I gave in and plopped it in the basket maybe next year when I take it out of storage the memory will be sitting and writing this blog!

And's groany joke

"What goes Oh, Oh, Oh?5"

"Santa walking backwards!"

How are your "to do lists" I am getting to the rationalisation stage ie need to do rather than it would be nice to do.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Christmas countdown Day 17

The photo shoot subject today is "wrapping" and I am guilty of buying far more gift wrap than I need, there are a number of reasons for this

  1. I usually buy my wrapping paper in the sales and always get carried away as I find it hard to resist a bargain
  2. I use more gift bags as I think they are more environmentally friendly as they can be re-used by the recipient (hopefully with a gift to me.
  3. A lot of the gifts that get exchanged around the family are experiential so a token or voucher is usually all you have to give on the day

I recently saw a top tip for storing rolls of wrapping paper in a suit carrier bag in the wardrobe, I think I will give this a go, mine are currently stored in a bin bag!

Its joke time again

"Knock Knock"

"Who's there??"


"Snow who?"

"Snow use - I've forgotten my name again!"

The good news is there are only 7 more bad jokes to Christmas!!

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Christmas countdown Day 16

The photo challenge today is"Stars" and this gave me the perfect opportunity to revisit the Christmas wreath I made here

I chose to hang it indoors rather than on the front door as I love the red against the light blue wall. this also meant that I could use some of my many homemade clay decorations.  I am quite pleased with the overall look but feel it needs just something else but I haven't quite decided what that might be.

Ha ha I have just seen surfing Santas on the BBC news, I love a seasonal good news story.

Here is your joke for day 16 on the advent calendar

"What falls but never hurts itself?"


A proper groaner that one!