You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2012.

Well hello everyone, I hope that you are all well and happy and enjoying the last few days before the festive season begins.

I am now on leave for two weeks (hurrah!) and tomorrow we go to Wales to stay with Ellie at Powis Castle where I shall be pretending that I am at a grand house party as in Downtown Abbey and we shall be eating lots of lovely food and going for walks in the grounds.

I had a little housewarming party last night with some of my lovely Marsden friends which was very nice and am off out this evening to another party with some old friends so am feeling very sociable and relaxed.

Am planning lots of lovely stitching over the next 2 weeks, I have one last Xmas ornie to finish then am going to start on my Winter exchange piece. I am going to Spain for a week over New Year so will be sitting on my terrace stitching in the sunshine hopefully!

I was very excited on Friday as I took my ornaments up to The Loft Creative Hub at Standedge. I have a little display for sale there this weekend and have the dates for their craft fairs next year so am going to be working on a new range of things.

The Loft - Xmas ornies 2

As I am joining as a designer/ maker I can have my own table to display goods for sale permanently so I am going to make some stock for that in Jan with all my lovely vintage finds.

It is my 300th post as well so I thought I would show you some of my latest fabric purchases just to celebrate my five years of blogging and fabric love!

These are beautiful fabrics that come from Justine at Simply Solids,  Justine is local to me, I did meet her a couple of years ago at knitting group and have followed her blog, Sew Justine Sew , ever since and on a recent post I noticed that she has started a fabric retail business .

The first set I ordered were all these beautiful tea and tea-cup themed fabrics, I actually have 9 fabrics in total, 3 pale print, 3 darker print and 3 with tea cups on them. Not sure what I will make with them yet – tea cosies is the obvious thing but  shall try to think up some other ideas as well.

Simply solids 2

Simply solids 3

Simply solids 4

Simply solids 5

Simply solids 6

Simply Solids 7

I have also joined her monthly fabric club – the Sew Solids Crew as I have now started getting quite a stash of prints but often lack coordinating fabrics to go with them.

For £11 a month I get a set of 6 ft quarters delivered all in different shades of one colour, December’s delivery is purple – look at all this loveliness!

Simply solids 1

I will be back to the blog early Jan so I do hope you all have a lovely time over Xmas and New Year – a very happy festive season to you all and thanks as always for visiting.

Our now traditional Christmas newsletter is up – click on the link at the top of this page that says Happy Christmas 2012.

 

Hello everyone

Having used my human random number generator aka Jake the winner of the giveway is Gemma H. If you can mail me at alisonmryan@yahoo.co.uk with your address I can post your ornies out to you.

Thanks

Hello everyone

I hope that you have been having a lovely and happy week in this run up to the festive season. This has been my last week of teaching for the year so we have had some Christmas dos and I have now finished teaching for the next few weeks :-)

I have been spending this weekend with my lovely friend Kerry, we had a very nice relaxing night in last night having a few glasses of wine and a catch up and today visited a Tudor house, Haddon Hall  near Bakewell, that we have had on our wish list for while.

It was absolutely beautiful, not only was it a gorgeous day but the house itself was so lovely, a wonderful place with a great hall and plastered long gallery as well as a wonderful chapel with original wall paintings and the  kitchens had been restored and really well interpreted.

Since Ellie started working for the National Trust I have paid even more attention to how things are displayed and labelled in the historic places I visit, listening to her has made me think more about all these issues about the visitor experience.

I think Haddon Hall have done a wonderful job, especially of the Christmas decorations – we loved them, see what you think in these pictures.

As well as all the Tudor things the drawing room had a lovely old hexagon quilt which I think dated from the 1920s.

Haddon Hall 1

Haddon Hall 2

Haddon Hall 3

Haddon Hall 4 jpg

Haddon Hall 5

Haddon Hall 6

Haddon Hall 7

Haddon Hall 8

Haddon Hall 9

Haddon Hall 10

Haddon Hall 11

Haddon Hall 12

Haddon Hall 13

Have not done a huge amount on the crafting front this week due to all the festive dos, had a lovely meal out with my Marsden Knitting group this week where we all exchanged hand-made ornies – need to take a good pic of the lovely ornie I got on my tree.

Still working on the knitted hat and on an Xmas gift for a family member. I finished another gift this week but can’t reveal that till after Xmas.

I am spending this week working from home then we go to Powis Castle for Xmas – am very excited and am hoping for snow! Jake has just arrived home for the holidays so we both have a few more dos this week then we shall be off!

Will post next weekend to wish you all a Merry Christmas – till then thanks for visiting.

Lovely daughter Ellie has been here for a few days so we have done lots of nice things. It has snowed here this week (not much) but enough to make the roads and pavements very icy when we went for a walk and to give the reservoirs this lovely winter scenery.

Dec walk with Ellie 1

Dec walk with Ellie 2

We went shopping while she was here and have I stocked us both up with new winter boots, fleecy pjs and fleecy throws to snuggle under when it is cold. The village is a few degrees colder than living near town, have cast on for a new snug fitting winter hat which should be finished soon to protect my ears from the cold wind!

This weekend we went on a little busman’s holiday trip to a local stately home Harewood House  where we did a re-enactment event earlier in the summer.

Ellie was particularly interested in the way that they had displayed their kitchens as she has been working on the ones at Powis Castle and was very envious of their display of copperware and their model pies.You can read about what she has been doing in this post  from her blog.

No pics allowed of the inside but we got some brilliant ones of the gardens. It was nearing sunset and there were beautiful clouds and setting sun from the terrace.

Harewood Dec 1

Harewood Dec 2

Harewood Dec 3

Harewood Dec 4

Harewood Dec 5

Harewood Dec 6

We followed that up with a visit to the Huddersfield Festival of Light  celebration – we have been going to this  for a number of years but this was the best yet.

Normally they have one big show focused around the theme of light but this year they had so many wonderful smaller events of lights, music and street theatre, it was really good.

They also had an excellent selection of food and drink stalls so we had mulled wine and cider and curry to keep us warm!

Below are some pictures of the wonderful light installation in the Parish Church Gardens which was beautiful and reminded me so much of campfires and fire jugglers at re-enactments and a snow globe which was part of a film projection set up.

FOL 3

FOL 2

FOL 1

I am still collecting vintage embroidery – here is my latest acquisition – the detail is amazing.

Vintage embroidery 6

Vintage embroidery 5

Have been busy crafting this week, along with the hat knitting I have finished the cushion covers to match the quilted Xmas sofa throw and finished a batch or Christmas ornaments to take up to the craft centre next weekend.

It will all slow down this week though as I have lots of Christmas events to got to – poor me!

Don’t forget to comment on my previous giveaway post by next Fri 14th.

Have a lovely week ahead and thanks for visiting.

Hello everyone

I hope you are all well and happy. I have had a really lovely day, it has been perfect winter weather, frosty with blue skies and sunshine.

I made my beetroot soup with some of the contents of this week’s veg box then went for a wonderful frosty walk along the valley up from the Tunnel End Canal Centre following the stream.

These are some pictures of the frozen canal and the frosty stream, lots of lovely patterns of frost on the leaves at my feet, it was all very crunchy!

Dec-winter walk 2

Dec-winter walk

Dec-winter walk 3

This afternoon I made some more Christmas ornaments for my upcoming debut at The Loft Craft Centre at Standedge. What a perfect day!

It is also my blogaversary. I have now had this little old blog for 5 years.It has been an interesting 5 years (for blogging and my real life) and I now am using blogs more and more at work (and running sessions on blogs for my students) and still really enjoying reading the blogs of those people who I first met.

I have also added many new blogs to my list to reflect my changing craft interests, looking more and more at textile and pattern designers and those who use vintage fabric, which has had a huge influence of my latest collection of vintage embroidery.

One of the main themes of craft work at The Loft is to reuse and recycle so I am planning lots of wonderful things with all the new vintage stash I have.

I think it is particularly significant that my vintage stuff comes from local charity shops as I would like to think I will be repurposing the handiwork of local women.Here are my latest finds bought yesterday before the Christmas lights switch on – four embroidered tray cloths and a linen tablecloth with lace inserts.

Vintage embroidery - Dec 3

Vintage embroidery - Dec 2

It also gives me a chance to track the progress of work, I started this a long time ago on a Quilt Group workshop and have finally finished the Christmas sofa throw using the Stained Glass Quilt design. When I get some more backing fabric the matching cushions will appear! I have added little brass charms to each panel.

Dec- xmas throw 1

Dec- xmas throw 2

The blog has also been a lovely record for me of all the wonderful things me and my family have done, it was very poignant just recently to post about Ellie’s graduation and to look back at that first post of her arriving at halls for her very first year of University.

I have just posted about Jake leaving home and will look forward to four years time when he graduates. So blogging is a lovely way of me saving my memories.I have been able to share more detail with family and friends of all the lovely holidays we have had. So blogging is fab!

To celebrate I am going to do my traditional giveaway for a selection of my Christmas ornaments. This year I have made a range of simpler more Scandinavian style ones as well as my usual traditional ones so when you post please tell me which sort you would like.

To enter the giveaway please put a comment on this post. I will leave the giveaway open until Friday 14th Dec to give me time to post things out to the winner.

As usual thank you all for visiting – without you it would just be my random musings into the ether and I really appreciate all of the likes, comments and subscriptions from my readers.

Have a happy week ahead!

One of the things I love about living here is all the services and all of the stuff that is going on. I chose to move here partly because of the great location next to the moors but also as we have brilliant local shops and services. As I now live 8 miles from the town centre and do not drive these things are important and I have been shopping locally as much as I can.

I am now having a fruit and veg box delivered weekly from the brilliant deli in the village Radish – it is really nice to have a random selection of things to cook with. Years ago I used to love to watch a TV programme called Ready, Steady, Cook  where a participant would arrive with a bag of ingredients and the chefs would make something out of that and my box is a bit like that.So tomorrow it will be beetroot soup for lunch!

Here are a couple of pictures of the shop which always looks so colourful and inviting. I love all of their stock,  as well as fruit and veg and wonderful cheese they have all sorts of pasta, spices, relishes etc. Foodie heaven!

Radish 1

Radish 2

I have also signed up for the monthly cheese and wine club ( purely to support local businesses and nothing to do with my love for red wine and cheese of course!) and had a delivery of very special things that I am saving for Christmas.

A couple of days ago I went and did some shopping and visited the newly opened florist’s shop Lily Blossom where I bought some things to make a wreath for the kitchen. I have been putting up the Xmas decs this weekend but having a new house means I have had to rethink things and Roxanne who runs the florist had a brilliant section where you could buy a plain wreath and lots of lovely things to put on it and make your own. I chose a lime and chilli theme to fit in with my kitchen decor and had a lovely time making a wreath to hang on my cupboard door.

Lily Blossom wreath

We also have some fabulous charity shops and I have been raiding all the vintage embroidery for my stash. I have got some brilliant things – these are the selection I bought this week – for 50p each!

Vintage embroidery - Dec

Tonight was the switch on of the Christmas lights in the village with associated craft stalls, christmas tree display, mulled wine stand (well it was raising funds for the village for I really had to just to be charitable)  as well as the local Morris Dance group who also fire juggle.I had a lovely couple of hours, met up with some of my friends here and thoroughly enjoyed myself.Here are the lights on the Marsden Mechanics Insitute at the centre of the villlage. I love living here!

Marsden Xmas lights

Have put up the tree today and finished decorating the rest of the house so all is ready. It is all looking so pretty, I do love this time of year.

It is my blogaversay tomorrow so I will be posting with the traditional giveaway.

Thanks for visiting.

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