Wednesday, 29 December 2010

In the Blink of an Eye

 

My favourite part of christmas has always been christmas eve. I love the anticipation and the preparation. We really enjoyed the crib service, walking up to the church with the bells ringing and then belting out quite a few carols. I don't follow any religion, but I do love churches and a good sing song. Coming home to lantern light, mulled wine and a chilli - even better.

Christmas started for us at 4.30 a.m. We were told it was better than last year (well half an hour if you want to split hairs). We ignored the Bun's for a couple of hours before giving in and so in they piled to our bed with their stockings. Present opening here and then off to grandparents for lunch and more presents.


Boxing Day was filled with yet more food and lots of games. Rapidough is our favourite new game, but there was a lot of cheating involved.


Alfie Blue snuck up to the table hoping for a quick lick of a plate. A cheeky boy if ever there was one. In the middle of the day our oil ran out and we hadn't been promised a delivery until the 31st, so pretty nippy here you could say.

With only the fire to keep us warm, we've been out a lot or by the fire with Cluedo and a box of chocs. Today we had lunch out to celebrate me being an oldie of 42. Not sure what being 42 is really like so I'll just carry on as I always have I think.


With perfect timing a parcel from my best mate in Oz arrived this morning. Shamed me with her being more together than me last month when she hit 42.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Is he Here Yet?

Hours and minutes are being counted down around here. Preparations for the man in red's arrival. Coconut ice this year. I didn't scoff it all in the end.


There's loads of the stuff left over though and I think I'm going off coconut ice now. Little Bun just loves pressing out shape after shape, then she made the Banoffee Pie for tonight and helped with the Pear and Mincemeat Tart. A proper helper.


Now there are just the last presents to wrap before we go off to sing a hymn or two at the Crib Service. I made my dad  the peg bag he asked for.


I embroidered and made up a purse for my mum to fill with goodies and then all my making ability left my hands and brain completely. The jammies for Mr Bun somehow went from mansize to a small woman's and the Bits and Bobs Purse for Little Bun. Well I finished it all, turned it the right way and saw I'd sewn the zip upside down. I think Meltdown has arrived so I'm off to sing and get merry.


Two birthdays coming up here after christmas. Next Wednesday I'll be 42 (there's no way that's me - sounds very grown-up and boring an age) and then on January 2nd I'll have been blogging for a whole two years. So I need to plan a celebration of some kind. 

Off I go Wishing You a Ho Ho Ho and a Very Very Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Sparkle & Then a Bang

We went to visit Santa at a different haunt of his this year. Since the Bun's were 3 and 4 we've been on a steam train journey to visit him. This year we fancied a change, so we went to ride on gallopers, trains, dodgems and then say hello to Santa who was hiding in Walmington on Sea (Dad's Army world if you're wondering).


It was sparkly and perfect.  After we saw Santa, we hopped on board the overnight mail train to write a letter of christmas wishes for him. If you look carefully you might spot the handsome elf down the bottom colouring in pictures.


Letters written and posted. We went for our last ride on the gallopers and then decided the wind was getting a tad too icy to hang around any longer.


 

I had to work the first two days of the holidays which made everyone very sad as it was also Mr Bun's birthday on Monday.  Today I had lots of great plans. Baking and crafting with my girls, aswell as finishing the presents I've half sewn up. Instead the loud bang that I heard in the night took over the day. When we got up we found a burst pipe with five inches of water. Luckily it was in the garage which is just off the kitchen, with a step down, so the water couldn't come through. Looks like a hell of a lot of damage in there though as we store everything in there. I had to practically beg a plumber to come out for an extortionate amount of money. So roll on tommorow. Lets finally get back to this christmassy stuff.



We have a few deliveries to make in the morning, including this custom order of Round and Round Cushions. After that I think the lure of trying to make coconut ice for the first time and then scoffing the lot appeals hugely.

I might get back to say so, but I might not, so just in case I don't HAvE a MeRRy MerRy cHriStMaS especially to all those of you who are kind enough to leave me such lovely comments. I hope to get by and say a proper hello very soon.

X




Saturday, 18 December 2010

With a Flutter of my Eyes


It seems like an age since I've last been here. I've been running from this to that and back again and finally seem to be getting on top of it all.
 

Despite all this pesky busy stuff I took a break from my few hours christmas shopping to stop in MAC. I was in need of glamour and knew that false eyelashes were the perfect antidote. It took a good while choosing the perfect pair. (I can't believe how many there are). Once the lovely lady of MAC had glued them in place I wondered if I looked more drag queen with a couple of spiders fluttering on my eyes. A perfect look for the Bun's school Great Exhibition afternoon. Little Bun's teacher asked if I was wearing mascara as my eye's looked really lovely. Mr Bun was also very impressed and didn't ask what time the show was. So I think they were pretty sucessful.  My falsies are now packed away in their wee box ready and waiting for another day when old fashioned glamour is needed again.


The other bit of news from Norfolk is that a lot of white stuff got dumped down again on Thursday night. Our two remaining hens, Betty and Hennypenny, have taken to standing by the door all day and pecking on the glass when I ignore them for too long. In between sewing up gifts, I had to chuck old pancakes at them to keep them calm. A day spent munching and hassling the human seemed to work for them.

Now it's the start of the christmas hols for the Bun's. We're all excited about our visit to Santa on Sunday (if the snow behaves)  and then countdown begins. I can't wait until next Wednesday when I have a whole two weeks off - hooorraay - then I can join in too.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Getting ready to Jingle and a Jangle

Well - I've still not written the cards, but I did buy some, which is halfway there. I also got into gear and posted my dearest friend her parcel to Oz. I've started buying presents at last and today I've been stitching away at the making gifts. I think I've got into the christmas way of thinking at last.


The Bun's and I went hunter gathering for a tree on Saturday. We went for smaller than usual as (I reasoned with myself) it's less tree to pull down when Olly climbs it. Mr Bun sprayed it with stinky orange stuff to put Olly off the tree, but he'd climbed it before the lights were even on. It was such a gross smell it put us off the tree for a bit though.


We got round to putting tons of stuff on the tree eventually. Each year I buy the Bun's a new decoration to add to the tree. This year a perfectly pink owl perching near the top for Little Bun.


A glitzy reindeer for Eldest Bun. The long red glass drop is from Mr Bun's childhood christmas trees so that's always an important one to go on. Little Bun loves to add the small paper crackers made by a Grandad she has sadly never met. The passing years and family are all here on our tree.


I couldn't resist these vintage repro labels to put on the presents that'll go under the tree. When I showed Mr Bun he said you can't give them away, they're too lovely. 

Now before the presents start appearing under the tree, I got a wonderful gift of my own. I was incredibly lucky to win the giveaway over at Flossie & Tom.  Sara had packed this gorgeous sewing box with all sorts of goodies.

 

Underneath the beautiful handmade needle case and pincushion are all sorts of buttons, ribbons and trims. I was so thrilled to receive this. We had friends over when I opened it. I don't think they quite got why a complete stranger would send this to me. How can you really explain this blogging thing to others without sounding like a real fruitcake?


Now before I head off, I have a promise to keep. As I was taking some shots Little Bun set up her own scene and took a picture. She's said it's for my blog and I must point out it's her photo. Unfortunately she put in the horrific leafy thing. We made some foliagy xmas things at work in a craft session. This is mine. Apart from getting excited painting tipex onto pinecones to look like snow, I don't think it was really my thing. It made Mr Bun laugh a lot and wonder why I'd brought it home. I said it was for the christmas table to go with the other ready meal tins. Ha Ha.
Have a good week getting ready won't you. 

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Pondering the Big Day


It's getting a bit too laid back for Christmas around here. Nights are spent snuggling by the fire, well edging in around Pip and Olly, and knitting far too slowly some of the gifts I'm making. I'm thinking that Christmas might have finished by the time I realise I should be doing something about it all.

Somehow people have written cards and each time I'm given another I think I really ought to buy some soon.

We're thinking about getting the tree this weekend, so there'll be sparkles a plenty and a lovely smell of sprucy tree. What's the bet that a tree with swinging shiny things on it is too much for a young boy cat to bear. My last boy cat Bob used to pull the tree down by climbing it every night. 


We've had the school Xmas Bazaar, now it's the play and Carol Concert to come before our visit to a man helping out the real thing. At ten this may be Eldest Bun's last year of believing in Santa, so I'm holding on to the magic even more. If she's like me she'll believe forever I'm sure. 


Sandwiched either side of the Big Day are Mr Bun's and my birthdays. I'd better get a wiggle on and start sorting out his birthday present first don't you think?

Hope you're as calm with all your planning.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Kiss and Tell

Driving to work and back home again is good thinking time. I have about 45 minutes in the car -  just me, the radio and my wandering thoughts. This week an idea started to bubble away, fixing itself onto another idea I'd already had. When I got home I quickly scribbled my idea down and then waited for time to start making.


As I made up the designs for crocheted baubles, I started to wonder if I'd had a pretty yucky idea and if it might just not work.

When I started cutting out the blanket squares and choosing fabrics for the letters I was going to stitch on them, I knew I was making something I was going to like. 


In fact this is the first thing in a very very long time that I've actually made just for the joy of making it. I make things to sell, complete custom orders of designs, make things for my lovely girls and gifts for friends and family - but how often do I just go with the simple pleasure of making because I feel like it? Hardly ever.


I enjoyed it so much I must make sure I do it more often. In fact when I finished stitching the last bits of mistletoe on my Pucker Up Garland I found I'd made something that I can't stop looking at. I keep going back in for another look. Little Bun grabbed me when I was in there staring for the 100th time and said come on then. So we kissed under the garland just as we're meant to do. Except she insisted she was the boy and so I had to kneel while my head was grabbed in an eight year old's version of a smooch. Lovely, but a wee bit painful.


The photos I took of my finished garland are a bit hazy as I took them tonight once I'd finished. I couldn't wait until tommorow to show you as I'm so excited about this make. 

It's a random collection of inspirations. From my Mistletoe Kisses brooches and the Pucker Up giveaway I held last week; to Amanda Soule's and Tif's garlands; my desire to make something larger and 3d in crochet and my urge to finally get using some of my lovely fabric stash. All the fabrics I've used are from Donna, Sal and Jane (apart from the car boot blanket) - so I guess I could say blogging has been part of the inspiration behind this make too.







Now I've finally got my sewing head back on I've got quite a few presents I've planned to make. Including some jammie bottoms for Mr Bun in the bottom tartan brushed cotton and then there's the other gorgeous tartan. Now this was a bargain bucket offcut of 3m and I figured making something to wear for me fits within the Extraordinary Challenge. I'm getting pretty bored with my clothes and patching them up. I want to be bad and buy things I really don't need.


So the decision to be made is will this become a skirt or a dress. I have an Amy Butler pattern for an A-line skirt with the apron thingy so that'd be fairly quick. A dress would be great, but more likely to be cocked up, not fit and for me to stuff it in a bag and forget about it. I'll think about it.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Down to Business


All the names of you lovely people who joined in with my Pucker Up giveaway got popped in the blue bowl this morning. 


I hovered, eyes shut with my trusty pink tongs, last used for chasing the Bun's around the house.  My tongs poised and then pounced. The name they grabbed was .....


Well done to you Scented Sweetpeas. Once I have your address your Mistletoe Kisses will be on their way and ready for you to Pucker Up and dream of kissing David Bowie. Thanks again everyone who shared your kissy desires. 

Last week I was thoughtfully given two awards. The Versatile Blogger from Penny and One Lovely Blog from Laura.


Penny's award involved a bit of disclosure. A revealing of seven things, possibly never revealed here in blogland. Penny's secret's have been hidden in Higgin's speak, so if you speak Daschund you'll learn more than the rest of us. I thought what the hell I'll join in, so off I go -

Number 1 Thing
I have always lusted after the perfect pair of red suede Minnie Mouse heels. I dream of looking a complete starlet in a floral dress, my knockout heels and a perfect Victory Roll hairdo. In my mind this look works for me.In my mind lots of things work for me.

Number 2 Thing
One day soon I want to learn how to Jive. Mr Bun has said he will come with me if I really badly want him to. At 6ft 1" and 6ft 5" a piece I'm not sure that any kind of dancing is really for us. Looking elegant leaning somewhere with a glass of fizz would be far more suitable.

Number 3 Thing
I love Burlesque, not that I've had a go myself just in case you were just wondering. I just love glamour, tease and naughties.

Number 4 Thing
I always start to cry whenever children sing.

Number 5 Thing
I'm pretty certain that if I stopped dying my roots I'd be grey all over by now. Let's hope I'll have the sense to stop before I'm really old and my skin tone doesn't match my hair. If not I'll start looking like a witch and scare the pants off kids.

Number 6 Thing
When I'm bored I have an uncontrollable urge to yell daft words. Mr Bun usually goes with this feeling and just yells,  I've yet to get my nerve up.
Number 7 Thing
This is a bit like using up my last wish, so I'm thinking carefully what to put here. Ok, since seeing Peter Ustinov solve the murder in Death on the Nile I've wanted to go on the same trip. It must be the 1920's, no murder allowed thankyou and I have to be stinkingly rich with fabulous clothes so I can really enjoy my week away. Then back I zip to C21st Norfolk - poor and in jeans, but very very happy.

I'm never that good at rules. I always try to do the opposite as I'm so bloodyminded so could we just say that if I visit you and you visit me we could share these awards. If you feel like spilling the beans I'd say have a go, I really enjoyed writing mine down.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Going Crackers

At last I'm starting to feel a vague christmassyness  feeling a stirring. We started the weekend on Friday night with a Christmas lights switch on in the town where we used to live. We drove home through a very white swirly blizzard. While we'd been out our village had changed from everyday to a clean white snow world. As we had tons of food in the cupboards and the log basket was full we didn't need to go out once all weekend. It's been bliss.



This morning a craft urge hit us. I 've been wanting to make some tiny crackers for the tree for a while now so I got everyone else to join in too. We covered the table in shiny, sparkly stuff, glue and crepe paper and got cutting and a sticking.

Then I thought you might like to have a go too so I made sure I took a few pictures to show you how we made our dinky crackers.


Start off by cutting a narrow strip of paper and roll it up into a cigarette tube. Then fix it with a bit of cellotape.


Next choose your shade of crepe or tissue paper and cut a strip slightly wider than your inner tube. Stick it down and then get rolling again, fixing it again once it's all rolled up.

 
To make your crackery ends, tie a knot at each end with thread or ribbon. Then you can leave well alone or snip to make feathery ends (which is what I preferred). I had a vision of imitating well worn vintage crackers from the 1960's in my head.



Once your cracker is made then you can start having fun tarting them up with all your shiny sparkly stuff.  I definately think we'll be going crackers again.


I've really enjoyed reading your kissy fantasies in my  Mistletoe Kisses giveaway. Thanks for sharing them (even Hugh Hefner Jus) and for taking part. Shame I can't send you Johnny Depp too as he seems pretty popular in his pirate suit. If you've not already entered then don't forget to take part and Pucker Up.
Giveaway ended now. I've drawn a lucky winner and I'll be back later to let you know who it is.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Pucker Up

Well I said I'd be back with a giveaway and so here I am as good as my word.

My Mistletoe Kisses brooches seem to be quite popular at the moment. I sold quite a few at the weekend.  We're getting to that time of year when requests for a kiss or two or three under the green stuff is a coming. Even better if it's wearable mistletoe as you can have that kiss whenever you fancy. Make sure you ask for a cuddle too.


I have three Mistletoe Kisses brooches for sale in my Workshop and can always make to order too. Even better you could take part in my Pucker Up Giveaway and have a go at winning one of your very own.

To have a chance of winning let me know who you'd like to pucker up to under the mistletoe and why.

I'll keep this open until Wednesday 1st December and draw the winner then. So Pucker Up and off you go.

Bad me - I forgot to give away my pucker up daydream. So first in the line must be Mr Bun (he reads this here blog now and again) and I still fancy the pants of him anyways. Right off with my daydreams - David Bowie kissing the 15 year old me when my crush on him was overwhelming and the grown-up me would dangle my mistletoe over any gorgeous tall man with an Irish accent. Hopelessly unfussy.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Making and a Sharing

Making stuff is a do it on my own thing, apart from if you count my family who take it for granted that I'm attached to a hook, needle or notebook most of the time. My family have to be my best fans, it's their job and I really love their support, but it's also great when I get to meet people who want to buy my work because they don't have to like it.

This Saturday I met all sorts of lovely people at our Christmas Pick 'n' Mix Makers Market


People came to really enjoy the whole experience. A great compliment came from one man who had not known about us, just happened to be in Holt. He'd thought it would be one of those whizz round quickly awful craft fairs, but instead he'd been there an age as he thought it was wonderful.


A few people came quite a distance to visit us too. That's all down to this wonderful blogging thing. One lady who had bought from me online came from Shropshire to see what Pick 'n' Mix was all about. It was lovely to meet her and her family. I was blown away by her absolute thoughtfulness when she gave me a pop up Mabel Lucie Atwell book.

Oh and I managed to give myself a gift or two aswell. The wonderful Snowman and Tree at the beginning of all this were made by Sasha who makes toys to get the serious wants for. We did a swap for them, I gave her some Happy Days Bunting in exchange. This is the best kind of shopping, something I love for something someone else loves. Shame I can't swap a dozen eggs for a diamond ring.


My other shopping consisted of cakes and hot chocolates. The Bun's stole my marshmallows when they turned up.


Now then I'd better get on with showing you a few pictures of what it all looked like hadn't I. I forgot to take close up shots of a few stalls including my own, so my apologies to those makers.

Vanessa of Little Black Brooch had a mouthwatering selection of cameo brooches and rings.



Eldest Bun has her eye on this cat, I think she's called Doris. Little Bun fell in love with a small cat in a crocheted covered bed. I think I might be calling Sasha very soon to do some more shopping. 


A lot of you bloggers will know this lovely lady already. A shot of Emma of Silverpebble, it just captures her sunny personality perfectly and if you look carefully, just resting on Emma's left shoulder is the head of my Little Bun keeping an  eye on her mummy I guess. Her work was as divine as usual.

Just behind Emma is Helen of Funky Mutts. I never got to take a picture of her stall or even round to sizing Alfie Blue up for a new collar. He was there with us for most of the day too before he went home with the Buns and my mum. 


These stunning textile prints are by Vicki of Red Red Blue who can be found at Stew Printworks in Norwich. 


Another yarn lover is Fiona of Highfibre. She had her Fox Terrier there for a nano second. Such a beautiful girl, thank goodness Alfie didn't see her as he's quite rude to other dogs.


It was great to have Jon and Sarah of Lapwing Printworks back again. I really don't think my awful picture has captured how wonderful their work is. Most of the time I had an eye on my stall with Mr Bun nodding to me to get back and chat to a customer. 


Another new addition to Pick 'n' Mix was Sean and Tuula of Stik Designs. Their help in getting the word out about the market was greatly appreciated. Even my mum proved a dab hand at handing out a flyer or two.


Well that's us done for another year. Now we need to get a planning for Spring and sorting out a date too I guess. 

Before you go, just to let you know I have a mind to hold a wee giveaway in my next post. I'll let you in on it then I promise.