Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Wishing You All the Christmas You Enjoy the Most!

Be it with your families, your friends, your cat or by yourself!
Be it at home, in foreign climes or on the beach.
Be it with turkey, with nut roast or a salad.
Be it with champagne, beer, fruit juice or bicarbonate of soda.

However you spend the time I hope you enjoy the holidays!!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

I may be snowing outside but inside

We won't be going to The Emirates today to watch Arsenal. My seat is the fifth one back and deep in snow. The next time I watch a game will be in Stansted Airport on my ipad! To me that technology is almost as daunting as understanding how a jumbo jet defies the laws of gravity! No I really don't want to think about that.......
I guess......
 I won't be lounging in the garden any time soon! The snow soon swept across from the Emirates to hit us in Hertfordshire. It seemed to come down so quickly, about four inches in an hour.
 Lovely snowy pictures from my bedroom window of the house across the way. Actually I do lust after this lovely Victorian cottage and it looks even nicer in a snowy setting.
 My street to the left all looking gorgeous and wintery. Unfortunately I didn't manage to catch a photo of the hoards of the elderly who seem to insist on going out in the most awful weather - "....must get the paper, milk, bread dear" !!!! I watch them pass and think, WHY!!
The garden may be a winter wonderland but inside my fabulous wonderland flowers from Tara are thriving.
I saw Tara's wonderful flowers in her Etsy shop and asked if she would make me a mixture of plants both potted and unpotted. This is a talking Peace Rose complete with the most fluttering of eyelashes.
 This cute little dolly is based on the Zephirine Droubin rose looking as if she is just waking up. 
 I think this little cutie is my favourite of the three. He is based on a green ice rose and is so sweet and chic. Tara also has a great blog which is well worth a visit as she is a lovely generous lady who like lots of us is managing kids, pets, partners and minis!!
We are supposed to be attending a grand Christmas party tonight. Marquee, bling and all. Was looking forward to dusting off my gladrags and polishing my dancing shoes but the weather has meant we will have to cancel.
It's not too far away at all but I am too much of an old cowardy, cowardy custard these days. I really don't want to find myself stranded on a country road, rather the worse for wear and in me best frock.
The hostess is a little cross and assures me that she has booked a whole load of cabs to get us home might book them but they might not turn up!
What to do? Stay in and turn the heating up methinks!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Wrapping vs Packing.......

We all know Christmas is coming. Blogs are all full of the most wonderful decorations, colourful scenes and yummy food. 
We are all busy preparing our houses, making lists and wrapping presents. There are not enough hours in the day and the weather is threatening to upset all our plans.
So, would someone please do me a huge favour and tell my husband!!!!
He is making a list - of all the food he wants to try in Malaysia.
He is doing his shopping - insect repellant socks vs gaiters
He is making plans - white water rafting. "Extreme dear? Or beginners?"

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Still Decking the Halls.....

 As we are going away straight after Christmas I decided to go a little more minimal this year. So only the main Santas have been unpacked this year and they decorate the kitchen shelf.....
 .......and the dresser. I have collected all shapes and sizes, for all different prices, from lots of different places. They always make me laugh as I put them out around the house. 
 My last job this year has been the hall stairs. Very much the same as the fireplace. 
This is very much a joint effort in that my husband fits and lights the garland and then I do all the pretty bits. On the wall you can just see the wonderful canvas photograph I had done of my children for my 50th a couple of years ago. As they are now nearly all grown and on their way I find it very comforting to have them their to greet me when I arrive home or come down in the morning. 
That is my decorating for this year but we do have a quandary. We are off on our adventure on the 27th, do we take down the decorations on the morning? Or leave them up and hope we don't get bad luck? Now I know my rather large children will be at home but......putting away the decorations has to be done methodically and carefully otherwise they just won't fit! Plus I am a complete control freak and can't bear the thought of them all being put away willy-nilly, I have labelled boxes!
My husband is very superstitious and is not happy about leaving them up, mmmmmm, what to do?

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Deck the Halls......

Christmas is coming! We always buy our tree during the first weekend of December so that we get the most out of the decorations. I love unpacking them all as so many have memories of Christmases past.
 The tree has a lovely shape this year and is fully loaded with my collection of Santas. I started collecting them many years ago when my children were small. There are quite a few from our family holidays but I have a real weakness for the Gisela Graham range of decorations so there are lots by her. They are mostly traditional red coated santas mad from all types of materials.
 This is my daughter's pink fairy tree which sits in the upstairs landing. Fully loaded again with lots of Gisela Graham decorations which my daughter loved when she was little. 
 Cute tiny tin fairies and flying cats that have been collected over the years although they are now becoming hard to find. This is a very small tree, about two foot, I would love a tall tree dedicated to fairies one day.
 The mantle and mirror decoration has again evolved over a number of years but I think it is finally finished. I love all the reds and golds set against the greenery but I am still looking for a large red candle for the brass candle holder in the middle. 
The decoration is made up of lots of individual pieces that I have mostly bought locally as and when I have seen them. They are simply poked into the greenery and stay in place quite happily each year. I am always amazed by how it all holds together! 
I have never been one for lots of decorations. In the main living room I decorate the mirror/mantle, fireplace and we have a tree but that is all really with a couple of strings of lights. With very narrow rooms and three children that has always been more than enough. 
I have always yearned for a dining room with a table fully laid, a fireplace, central display and sparkling tree that remains untouched until Christmas Eve. A room for looking but not disturbing like in all those lovely magazines! 
Oh and a comfy chair by the roaring fire to sit and enjoy the feeling of Christmas without the mess......Mmmmmmm, not this year unless I build an extension very quickly. Now that would be a Christmas miracle! 

Monday, 6 December 2010

And the Winners Are............

 Thank you everyone for entering my 200 follower giveback, all 50 of you went into the bowl. 
The first name out was.....
......of a lovely whimsical blog.  
And the second name out was.........
.........of where Karin shares her beautiful mini work.
 And the third name out was
........of Julia's projects are so inviting and cosy, if you have not visited her blog before take a look tonight you will really enjoy the trip.

Congratulations ladies, I am out and about on Tuesday and Wednesday so I won't be able to get to the post office until Thursday. Please send full details of your address to and I will pop your package in the post with any luck it will arrive in time for Christmas! I look forward to seeing how the little houses turn out.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Fabulous Ebay Purchase......and a trip to the Kensington Show.

Isn't he just marvellous. I saw him on and put a bid in thinking I was very unlikely to win but I did for an amazing price along with a set of baubles with the most expressive faces which I may add or not. 
The seller was wetpaintco, I have bid on a number of her items before but they have always gone for much more than I wanted to pay which is why I was so surprised to have managed to get two of her items. It is beautifully crafted as you can see and arrived safe and sound all the way from the US.
These are the six baubles. All with different expressions of Christmas humbug!
This lovely seller also included an extra gift.
A very evil looking pumpkin! So scary he will have to go in my Apothecary. When Ebay works it is still a wonderful thing. 
On a different note: as I was travelling to London anyway on Saturday, to watch my favourite football team, I decided to go up earlier and make a whistle stop tour of the Kensington Show.
The main reason I had decided against it was the crowds the last couple of years. There were so many people last year it really wasn't enjoyable but I really wanted to see the work of Michael Mortimer and the only shows I know he goes to are Kensington. Plus I knew Jain of The Giddy Kipper was also attending and I have wanted to add one of her characters to my collection for quite a while so I decided to brave the crowds.
I downloaded a floor plan and marked off all the sellers I really wanted to visit and the idea was to be really organised, not get sidetracked and buy a couple of must have pieces and one treat. No wandering about as I had limited time and a pre-Christmas budget!
Well there was a queue outside at 10.15am but the crowds simply did not arrive. For me it was perfect. I could spend my time really looking at the things I had gone to look for, I did not get into a buy, buy, buy frenzy as I am quite prone to do and I could have a chat with some of the wonderful artists who attend the show.
But for these artists there must have been  huge disappointment as so many of them had braved horrendous weather and awful journeys to attend. I am hoping that although the crowds weren't large there were lots of people like me who were not there to browse alone.
.......and my team won!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Wow!........Thank you Christine.

I was lucky enough to win Christine's giveaway on her wonderfully nostalgic blog Hollyhock Cottage - a miniature home in the 1940's and my package arrived today all the way from sunny Australia.
It was a Mary Poppins box, full of goodies which are just perfect for my memory lane toy shop.
 Just look at this super cute farm house set. All hand painted by Christine in such perfect detail. I can remember my cousin having one just like this and being sooooo jealous. Now I have the perfect one all to myself.
 Also included a games set of those must have family games, Ludo and Snakes and Ladders. Gosh the afternoons we whiled away playing these and of course the arguments they caused, my sister was a terrible cheat!
Plus the most perfect jar of coloured marbles. Ignore the scellotape which I failed to remove! 
I can't tell you how happy this little parcel made me, bringing back so many memories of happy simple times.
Thank you Christine for everything, you are a star!