Wednesday, 23 December 2015

I Was Ready...

...and then I had a onslaught of unexpected but very welcome guests.  So did Mum and Dad so out came the trusty mixing bowl ...

...another batch of leek and potato soup...

...another batch of mince pies and jam tarts...
...and a batch of lemon drizzle cakes...
and I am loving every minute of it.
Even the dog has had a bath and brush up, he is not happy!

Here's wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and everything that you wish for yourselves for the New Year.  Thank you for your visits and lovely comments throughout the year, I don't say that often enough but they are all really appreciated.  A warm welcome to new followers I hope you enjoy some of my little crafty adventures and find something to interest you.

                                                          MERRY CHRISTMAS
See you soon.


Monday, 21 December 2015

Christmas Card Swap

I joined the fun over at for the annual Christmas card swap.  I was blessed with being partnered with Amy herself and received a stunning handcrafted card.  A beautiful design with baubles, one of my favourite things about the season.  I love to reflect on Christmas's past as I get out the baubles each year.

Even the envelope had a touch of glamour, lined with gold...
It certainly was appreciated and made me feel very special.  There is nothing nicer than getting seasonal messages from friends old and new. 
The bonus, it matches the décor in my dining room, how observant is that.  Thank you Amy. 
See you soon.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Ready and Waiting...

I am ready!  Ready to sit back and enjoy the season.  Well, as ready as I am going to be...I will of course have to top the mince pies off, the tin has already been replenished three times.  I have some ready to pop in the oven in the freezer and some pastry made in the fridge.  We have had a steady stream of visitors, both here and with my parents so the cake tins have been given a battering. 

I make simple cupcakes  and pop them in the freezer bringing a dozen or so out at a time and once they are defrosted give them a topping.  The last batch was a rocky road topping, I have to confess they were a little moreish.

Last years advent calendar was saved and the plastic mould used to make chocolate tops for a simple iced cake.  Saves a fortune on buying seasonal toppers.
The hot chocolate stirrers are made and ready to go...I pour melted chocolate into an ice cube tray, pop in a ice lolly stick or a candy cane and top with mini mallows or a large seasonal mallow.  I wrap in cellophane and tie with curling ribbon to pretty them up.

They can be as cheap or as expensive as you like, value chocolate can be bought for as little as 30p a bar.  One bar will make about 12.  We love the mallow on top but you could add candy cane shavings or chocolate shavings or a little cinnamon.  Give it a try and see what you prefer.
I have just made some mallow fudge to pop into bags to have on a table by the front door, the local Youth Group are coming around the village carol singing and I want something to give them.

It needs to be refrigerated for several hours before cutting into cubes and bagging.  Curling ribbon works perfectly for a pretty effect.
The cards have been made, written some with an additional letter,  posted and hopefully received.
The gifts have all been wrapped, posted, delivered or collected.
I am pleased with the overall effect of the finished décor, just an additional table to squeeze into the dining room so that we can all sit together.
For now, I have at the ready of pile of Christmas films to watch, some great classic Christmas music to listen to and baby quilt to make.  Bliss!   How are your preparations going?
See you soon.


Friday, 18 December 2015

Five On Friday

The last Five on Friday link up for the year and with so many things going on it was difficult to choose what to write about.  In the end I decided to share five of my vintage patterns.  I am an avid collector of buttons and vintage patterns, most of which never get used but are loved none the less.  I have picked out five of my favourite Christmas related patterns and hope that you enjoy them as much as I do.

First up is a pattern for a stocking, made with penstitch and fusible applique. 

Even the pattern for the alphabet are included so names can be added to finish and personalize the stocking.  A heirloom in the making.
Who remembers the Mrs Claus that you could buy and then added the knitted costume?  Some of them had a music box in their backs.
Strangely this pattern was printed in the USA but was distributed in Europe by Craftime Ltd, Ramsey Isle of Man.  I can remember my mum knitting these ...
Pattern number three is a Heart to Heart leaflet, a great pattern where no sewing is required.  What fun, a stunning addition for any project.

I love the cinnamon stick bundles a great addition to the tree with a wonderful seasonal aroma.
My fourth pattern is Angels and Santa's, the favourite figures of Christmas.  A pattern that has been well used in the past, looking at its condition.  It has some beautiful ideas to enhance your décor.

Now that I have rediscovered this pattern Angel-eek, Heavenly Hog and Cloud Nine-Cat are on my to do list for next year, they are adorable.  I am sure the children would love them.
My final pattern is The Mistletoe Express a beautiful book of cross stitching and quilting patterns.  It fills your head with visions of Christmas's past and is so full of doable projects.  I intend to keep this one out and make some of the reindeer bean bags for the children for next year.

I am joining Amy over at Love Made My Home for the final get together of the year.  Hope these patterns may have inspired you to start your own collection.
See you soon.

Monday, 14 December 2015

A Wonderful Time Of Year

The Christmas preparations continue, once again bringing back some wonderful memories of gifts received and trips when another trinket was added.  Family and friends are upmost in our minds at this time of year so our thoughts are full of joy, appropriate for the third week of Advent.  We have started to organize the  dining and kitchen crockery.  Each piece handled with care and the story of its origin remembered.  Everything is a mismatch which adds to the charm.

Only another 6 boxes to go...  The treasured tea trolley which my son in law bought for me will be used for casual afternoon teas whilst we have visitors. 
The hot chocolate station is ready to go, with the addition of a white chocolate mix that I brought back from America from Ghirardelli's, a rare treat!

The chocolate spoons are still on my list to do.
More baking has been done with some more mince pies been made.  I had my sister and niece visit over the weekend so they didn't last long.
This year I bought the holly leaf cutter, which adds a certain charm.  A Jane Asher gadget for £1, can't be bad!
The Christmas cake is ready, a gift from our youngest daughter with a little help from Lily and Daisy, a cake filled with love.

The whole house is filled with the smell of Christmas, taking us back to bygone Christmas's.  A beautiful aroma of citrus and spices.
I half filled an old pan with water, added some lemon juice that was out of date and lurking at the back of the cupboard, a couple of pine cones, a cinnamon stick and some mixed spice.  Let it simmer on the stove and the smell will permeate around the house.  A quick, easy and cheap way of getting the Christmas aroma.  Give it a try you won't be disappointed.

It works just as well doing it on the cooker, I used the stove to save on the electricity.  With the Christmas music on most of the time in the background all of the senses are heightened...sight, sound, smell, touch and taste.  It truly is a wonderful time of year.
Thank you so much for all your wonderful comments and your well wishes for my parents anniversary.  I showed them all of the comments over the weekend and they were thrilled and humbled by your kindness. 
Wishing you all well and safe from all the unpredictable weather that is causing havoc worldwide.
See you soon.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Five on Friday

Another busy week, so my Five on Friday reflects some of the things that I have been doing this week.  I had little visitors over the weekend, so of course we had fun selecting things out of my craft room and crafting together.

They loved making paper chains, we also pinned buttons to  Styrofoam baubles.  The fun was selecting the buttons from the wide collection and being able to use pins (they were supervised at all times).  The joy...
My second was celebrating my parents wedding anniversary.  It was their 60th so Diamond Anniversary.  I applied for them to get a card from the Queen, they were so thrilled and it made their day.

Thirdly, I have been busy decorating and dressing the house ready for Christmas.  The throws and cushions are looking good on the sofa....
...for five minutes, the dog wasn't keen!!!
...he didn't want to share with Santa!!!
Number four is the tree in all its glory, there are enough memories in the ornaments to last a lifetime.

Finally, a treat for you Amy I thought I would share my mantel I know how much you love a decorated mantel.

... and just for fun, I have even included the obligatory side view...
I am once again joining Amy over at Love Made My Home for the weekly get together, pop over and see what the others have been up to.  Are you all decorated and ready for Christmas?
See you soon.