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I now declare the Christmas season well and truly open.The turkey is in the freezer (along with the gammon and beef) the tree is up, most of the cards have been written and I am just frantically finishing off the ornies and gifts to send to family and friends.
You would think that since I make Christmas ornaments nearly all year round there would be no last-minute finishing but despite having done all the stitching and knitting I haven’t quite got around to putting them all together and as they need to go in the post by the end of the week I need to get cracking!
I did quite a bit yesterday while I was doing my stall at the lovely Oakwell Hall Christmas Craft Fair.That is another thing that always makes me feel very Christmassy as I sat and listened to Christmas songs all day and chatted to people about my ornaments.
I love doing this event ( did not make it last year due to being in China for most of Oct). I did sell lots of things which was great but even nicer were the lovely comments people made and it is very nice to know that my work will be hanging on other people’s trees this year.
There was one very cute little boy who had come to the fair with his grandparents just to buy a nice bauble and he choose one of my favourites from this year’s new stock.
He looked so pleased, bless him, and a little bit later they came back to buy two more ornaments for their other grandchildren so that they wouldn’t be left out!
I also bought this very lovely pine cone from one of the other stalls, it is similar to the ones I make but is made from fabric and very neatly done with little sequins with the pins at the top.
There were also these Tudor musicians entertaining us with a variety of instruments, very lovely and made me nostalgic for being in kit!
I have been busy sorting out the menu as well, we are at home all Christmas this year in the lovely new house – a rarity for me as we often go away but we don’t see much of each other now with Ellie at Hardwick and Jake at Uni so we are looking forward to some good food and a catch up. The children are always very appreciative of my home cooking now that they have to cater for themselves
I have been experimenting with bread recipes from my new Paul Hollywood book, here is a rye bread I made with a parmesan and poppy-seed topping – yum yum.
Have lots of other lovely stuff planned to cook, especially on Boxing Day when my brother and sister-in-law come round as they really enjoy cooking and will appreciate my efforts as well.
I have a busy week ahead with 2 Christmas dos, the knitting group when we have a crafty Secret Santa and all come home with a new ornament and a work do with a 50s theme.
Hope you are enjoying the run up to the festive season – don’t forget to comment on my giveaway post as I will be choosing the winner on Friday so that I can get the ornaments in the post in time.
Thanks as always for visiting.
Hope you are all well and happy. I have been having a very lovely quiet weekend making ornaments for my upcoming craft fair next Sunday and decorating my house.
The tree is up, the baubles are out and all is looking pretty It is a little bit earlier than I normally do it but I am so busy this week and next weekend with various Christmas related things that I thought I would indulge myself (since the kids aren’t here to tell me I am mad lol).
I have taken some pictures of the latest makes – apologies as my camera has run out of batteries and so these are taken on my phone and in not very good light.
The first one is more of the ribbon pine cones that are so pretty and the second picture is of two ribbon tress that I made using the same technique.
I have had the polystyrene cones for these for a couple of years but only just got around to making them and they are just for me! I had a lovely day yesterday watching the Doctor Who 50th anniversary programmes while doing these.
Both designs are from Sue Schofield of Springwood House Designs, and are from the book ‘Fun with Ribbons’.
Books and kits and the polystyrene shapes are available from her website as well as oodles of lovely ribbons so go treat yourself and make something nice just for you. It is really easy, no sewing just pinning!
It is also my 6th blogaversary tomorrow so to celebrate I am giving away three of my hand-made Xmas ornaments to one of you lovely people.
Thank you for all your support and appreciation for this blog, it is really nice to know so many people enjoy what I do.
All you have to do is comment on this post – I will pick the winner on Friday 13th December (which will be lucky for someone!)
I will return next week, hopefully after a very successful craft fair, really looking forward to it. I am at Oakwell Hall in West Yorkshire if any of you are in the area.
Thanks for visiting.
Sorry for the delay in posting this week, I wanted to show you my latest batch of Christmas ornaments but by the time I had finished making them on Sunday it was so dark I couldn’t take pictures and I have not really seen daylight this week!
However today I am working from home and it is lovely and sunny so have managed to get some shots. Have balanced the baubles on my tea light holders for display purposes in the pictures below!
I am still really enjoying myself making these lovely baubles, for those of you who have not seen them before the original pattern comes from the very talented Sue at Springwood House Designs (who sells lots of pretty things to make them with) and the book with all the loveliness in is called Decorations to Dazzle.
I first started making these about 6 years ago and I love the creativity of the process, I just surround myself with all my fabric, beads and charms and play!
I am still busy knitting mini stockings for family and friends and adding cute buttons.Had to order some more this week from my favourite supplier Gregory Knopp (just had to, you will understand ) as I had run out of cute snowflake buttons and got some little reindeer ones as well.
Then I found the box of snowflake ones that had fallen down behind one of the shelves in my craft room. Oh well now have buttons to keep me going for a long time
We had a tiny sprinkling of snow this week and are predicted lots more this winter. I am quite looking forward to it actually, I know it causes chaos but now I am in my lovely new house it is wonderful to see the moors all covered in snow and go and watch people sledging. Besides it gives me an excuse to knit more hats! In between knitting the bunnies.
I am off to see friends this weekend and we will be going to the Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fair which I am very excited about. There will be mulled wine and nice cheese and Christmas ornaments to buy!
Take care, have a nice week and thanks for visiting. I have a blogaversary coming up next week so will be doing my usual giveaway so please come back and enter that.
I have been having a lovely time just recently, my visit to Spain was very nice, hot and sunny and very relaxing.
These are just a couple of the lovely little things from there, pretty flowers on one of my walks and delicious ice cream by the sea.
I have also been doing lots of knitting here and in Spain and am very proud to show you these very lovely little Xmas mini stockings that I have made.
They are from the very talented Julie at Little Cotton Rabbits ( they are one of her free patterns here) and I remember seeing them a few years ago and thinking that I would love to be able to knit them but did not have the skills at the time.
Well I am very pleased to have been able to make them now I have learnt how to do Fair Isle while knitting the bunny dresses.
I have also had a lovely little walk today, would have been longer but I slipped and fell in a large pile of mud so had to cut it short! This was the view of my favourite reservoir from the other side of the valley.
Hope that you have been having a good time whatever you have been doing and thanks for visiting.
Have spent a lovely weekend catching up, on sleep, on time with old friends and today I will be catching up with the crafting I need to have finished for my Autumn Exchange.
It has been lovely to see my friend Anita, she showed me some of her amazing machine quilting pictures while she was here and I was very excited to learn that she has met Ricky Tims (from the Quilt Show) and knows Melly (from the Melly and me blog) and has quilted an item for her latest book!
We all met up on Friday and spent lots of time looking at old pictures of the kids when they were babies, we have 21 kids between us so lots and lots of memories of good times
I have also been busy with the latest bunny, in between stitching and here are a couple of cute little dresses that I have made.
I also thought I would show you the latest in my Xmas stitching, these are still to be buttoned and backed but here are some of my fave designs from JBW that I am stitching for relatives this year.
And I have been experimenting with my bread book, had Anita and friends round for dinner so this was an adaptation of the Stilton and Bacon Rolls recipe with seeds, apologies for the quality of the photo, light not good in the kitchen!
I will be off to Spain next Saturday (where my mother tells me the temperature has dropped to only 28 degrees) so am planning lots more catching up on sleeping, crafting and reading – the terrace is calling!
Have a nice time whatever you are doing and thanks for visiting.
Apparently it is a mere 3 months till Christmas which is obviously why my local Co-Op has stocked up with the Xmas chocs.
That is maybe slightly more understandable than them selling mince pies with a sell by date of the end of October (although you can of course eat these at any time of year and you might want to train up for a mince-pie eating fest at the actual festive season – who knows).
Us crafty types can be forgiven for getting in the mood early on (I have yet to participate in a Christmas in July event but I am intrigued) however I have made a start on the ornaments that I will be hopefully be selling at craft fairs this year.
I have quite a lot of stock from last year as I did not do my usual Oakwell Hall fair due to going to China but am hoping to do that this year.
I did manage to make these two baubles but sadly had a major malfunction with the rest of the polystyrene balls that I had in my stash which literally fell apart as I was using them hence only two completed
I promised you photos of Chesterfield Church that I visited recently when I went to stay with Ellie so here they are.
The church is famous for its twisted spire as it is made of wood and has warped over the years but I did not realise that it had the amazing effigies and alter art inside.
A beautiful church and well worth a visit.
I have been to our last event of the season – fab times and have lots more pics of loveliness for you which I will post this weekend.
Thank you for visiting.
Hope this finds you all well and happy. I have had a lovely time away in Spain with my Mum and have got some fab pics to post of the Easter celebrations there which I will sort for tomorrow.
It has been a wonderfully sunny day today, I have two loads of washing dried on my line and this is in Yorkshire! It is a miracle.
We still have piles of unmelted snow though where we cleared the paths and the road, particularly on my side of the street as this does not get as much sun. It might be gone by May!
Hope this lovely weather continues as I have my first re-enactment event in 2 weeks time and my first camping weekend in 3 weeks – yippee!!!
It seems appropriate to post a picture of the Winter ornament that I made for the Seasonal Exchange group since the theme of this piece was snowflakes.
The design is a combination of a tree from the Cross Stitch mag from last year that I have made into a tree ornament for me and some snowflakes from the lovely Snow Poem design, once again stitched with Silk Mill thread. This piece is now with Lisa in Australia.
I am now stitching the Spring Exchange piece and also have been working on some new stock for my stall at Standedge, I found a cute pillow case today in my local charity shop so have been transforming that and some old jeans into a little handbag.
Will post again later this weekend, thanks for visiting.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Tis the season to be stitching!
Hope you are all having a lovely Autumn week. I have had a very nice relaxing few days and have spent lots of time this weekend working on my latest batch of ornaments ready for my craft fairs coming up at the end of December.
I have also been on more wonderful walks as the weather has been very good so am feeling very mellow and happy Here is a pic of the autumn colours at one of my local reservoirs.
It has been wonderful to have a craft room with everything in one place so that I can just get out all my buttons, fabric and ribbons and have spent a lot of time this week just playing around with different combinations of things to develop some new designs.
Here is one of my new ones – the tree motif is from a ribbon I bought some years ago and is printed onto the organza. I cut them out and stitched them onto the gold silk.Each ornie has a different xmas fabric for the backing as well. In real life the tree is much more gold as the pale organza does not show as much.
I have also made another set of the little patchwork hearts that I made last year as those sold very well and are great for using up scraps from other ornament making.
I have lots of other things in production that are more Scandinavian in design, I love the traditional red, green and gold but know a lot of people like the simpler designs so will be working on those this week.
I can also finally show you my Autumn exchanges from this round of the Seasonal Exchange blog.
I got this lovely ornament from Sarah in the USA a week ago, isn’t it beautiful, just my taste with its Elizabethan motif and the most delicate beading all around the edges. The colour goes so well with my new kitchen where my bowl of Autumn exchanges are displayed. Thank you Sarah it is lovely!
I sent off my exchange before I went to China but couldn’t find the pics I took of it till now! I stitched this piece from my Blackbird Designs book ‘A Stitcher’s Journey’ for Jayne also in the USA. It is finished as a pincushion and backed with some purple velvet.
I really enjoyed this stitching and have been doing another Blackbird Designs piece as an xmas gift.
I managed to resist going to the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Fair this year due to having bought lots of fabric in Worcester and wanting to use the time to make something from my stash but have treated myself to some online retail therapy and ordered some charms and buttons for ornament making which I will share when the arrive!
Hope that you have had a fun and productive week, thanks for visiting.
There were some really beautiful things on our recent trip to Italy so I thought I would do a post just about all the pretty textiles.
First of all some lace and stitched household items in a little shop in the very pretty village of Bellagio.Some of this lace comes from Venice, from the island of Burano.
Then we went to the town of Como which had a wonderful market and there was this stall with so many beautiful Swiss textiles, the Italian Lakes are very near the Swiss border and there was all sorts of beautiful table linen and little curtains for hanging at your chalet window.
I spent ages trying to decide what to buy (Jake got very bored at this point!) but ended up getting this beautiful table runner which I will use at Xmas.
I have a number of stitched red and white Xmas ornies with similar themes such as this one below so I thought the runner would look good on the lounge coffee table.
We visited a few (!) churches during the week and since it was Easter there were some icons on display including this one from a church in Mennagio with some gorgeous goldwork.
We also bought some lovely pasta, polenta and spices from a little deli in the same village – on the walls there were these large-scale kitchen cross stitch motifs which were beautifully framed.
Apologies that the picture is not very good, the light and the glare made it difficult to take nice pics but there were about 10 of these collections in the shop which must have taken such a long time.
On our day trip to Milan I came across a fab shop full of cross stitch and embroidery supplies and bought 3 sets of embroidery transfers, there are lots of different designs here including about 20 alphabets and very good value at only 3 euros per pack.
And from a little gift shop in Como not textiles but this cute display of table napkins which are another little addiction of mine, I was very good and didn’t buy any (have a few in stock already) but aren’t they so cute!
I do hope you are having a lovely weekend. I was supposed to be at a re-enactment event this weekend but have got a poorly back again so instead I am having a very nice relaxing weekend stitching and knitting and watching DVDs. Very blissful and the weather is sunny which is so nice to see after all our torrential rain.
I am currently working on the large cross stitch of the Chinese Emperor but am going to start another Spring ornie for me in the meantime as that is a long haul project and I want a quick finish inbetween.
Thanks for visiting and do have a very good week ahead.