Monday, 31 December 2012

December Happy Things

Santa Cat - can't believe she tolerated this!

Mince Pies - I even made the Mincemeat

Beautiful winter sunsets

Trifle - the first one I ever made!

Homemade Butternut Squash Soup and Soda Bread

Collecting Royal Mail Cards - Christmas presents were primarily bought online

The smallest smattering of Snow on the 1st of December

Tiny Christmas Trees

New Christmas Eve PJs

Amusing signs - this was next to a Reindeer home

Preserving Basil

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Merry Christmas

It's not long now and we've been busy preparing. We've enjoyed lots of festive traditions and come up some new ones too. Here's to a very Merry Christmas. I hope you all have amazing Christmas. Thank you for all your lovely comments this year - I really do appreciate each and everyone. See you in the New Year!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Christmas at Chatsworth

I love the Peak District. I love Chatsworth. I love Christmas. Put all these things together and it's a thing of wonder and dreams. Whilst we were in the Peak District last weekend we went to Christmas at Chatsworth and it was spectacular! Each room so beautifully done - so wintery, sparkly and simply amazing. There aren't going to be many words with this post as I'm under the weather with a heavy dose of Flu, but I did want to do a quick post to remind me of our lovely festive time courtesy of the Duke of Devonshire!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Christmas in the Peaks

I was very fortunate to be taken to the Peak District this weekend for a quick jaunt around our favourite places. I little bit of shopping, a little outdoors appreciation and some us time. After leaving Norwich early on Saturday, our first port of call was Bakewell for some lunch. There was only one place that we wanted to go - the Boy was rather fancying a decent Breakfast with Oatcakes and boy it didn't disappoint. I kept it seasonal with a Turkey and Cranberry Panini. I loved the little Christmas Trees on each of the tables. After lunch we bought  several Bakewell Puddings and some Oatcakes and we then had a wander around enjoying the shops and festive decorations.

We then headed around the corner to Calver Bridge to the Derbyshire Craft Shop. We were quite impressed back in September and their seasonal display didn't disappoint! Inside was a joy and we purchased a few more Christmas gifts and some decorations.

After the shopping it was time for something else, so we went over to the Hope Valley. I think this area is our very favourite in the Peak District. This sign always makes me smile as I wish that it really is a footpath to hope - wouldn't that be wonderful! 

We had a wander around Castleton, complete with Hot Chocolate, which was much needed in the cold. Castleton did look lovely with lots of Christmas Trees, sparkly lights and inviting shop windows. I simply adore Castleton. It's a must on every trip we take to the Peak District. I love that it seems like it's guarded by Peveril Castle up on high over the town. Another bonus to Castleton is Winnats Pass which always blows my mind. It makes me feel so small as the limestone pinnacles tower above you.

We then had a short stop around the Mam Tor and the Great Ridge - I love the landscape here, especially with the sprinkle of snow in the distance. We didn't see a soul whilst we were up there and it beyond quiet. So serene and the perfect antidote to the Christmas madness.

We stayed the night at a friends and South Yorkshire - it was so good to see them and their rather delightful 2 year old daughter, who really is exceptionally cute.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Christmas Mantelpiece

My dearest darling Husband installed a Fire Surround in our Living Room a couple of months ago - purely decorative, but he knew how much I've always wanted my very own Christmas Mantelpiece. This year, he made that dream come true - gosh I love that man. I envisaged a woodland feel - Evergreens, twinkly lights, Reindeer and Candles. And here is how it worked out....

At the bottom of the Fireplace there's quite a few Reindeer that we've collected over many years along with some bought and some home Christmas Trees. I have a real thing about making Christmas Trees - I have made all sorts in the past but this year is the turn of simple green ones - yarn wrapped, moss covered, glitter speckled and a deeply scented Coffee Bean one. We've mixed the ornaments up with beautifully scented Spruce and Candles - my favourites are he Silver Birch and Oak ones - it really does give it that Festive Forest feel!

On top of the Mantelpiece there's a cornucopia of evergreens, sleigh bells, apples, pears, miniature baubles, pine cones and holly leaves and fairy lights. Plus there's some sparkly glass Icicles too. It might be over the top - but my sheer excitement over having a Fireplace means that I just went to town! It makes our living room cosy, warm and truly festive. I just love it and one day maybe, just maybe we'll have a home with a real fireplace! My Husband is a complete star and I love that he made this dream come true.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Preparing and Celebrating

I'm loving this festive season so far. We're cramming as much tradition, preparation and celebrating in as possible. The Tree is up, resplendent in Golds and Cream. The Fireplace dripping with Evergreens and fairy lights. Miniature Christmas Trees and Reindeer cover almost every surface with more beautifully scented Spruce and Ivy. It officially looks like a Christmas Grotto. All the presents are made or bought and wrapped using what feels like miles of Twine. The Christmas Crackers are made. The Christmas Pudding, Cake and Mincemeat are maturing nicely. My Christmas patchwork blanket is keeping me warm in the evenings. The Turkey and Ham are on order. We've made our first Gingerbread House ever. We've visited every Christmas Decoration shop within 50 miles of here. We've drunk Hot Chocolate from our new Reindeer Mugs. I've made a rather glitzy Christmas jumper with too many jewels and sequins. We've been listening to Carols. It's been peaceful and slow, warm and cosy. I love a quiet evening in December with the glow of the warm lights watching a Christmas film. I just love December and there's still more to look forward too...

Monday, 3 December 2012

Christmas Making

I'm still working on making something for everyone I love this Christmas. I have rummaging through my stash, hoping that I will have all the bits to making something pretty. Recently I have been making Lavender Bags - cute little two inch ones. I have made them with a particular loved one in mind and choosing fabric that I think they will love the most. Plus you have got to love twine! I seem to be wrapping everything in Twine this year!

I have made some Crackers for the Big Day itself. I have a idea that I would like the Christmas table all white, glass and candlelight so these Crackers will fit the bill. I cut them by hand which took a little but I am pleased with their simplicity. Plus they have a shiny gold hat, 3 Jokes that my Dad would have approved off in each and a lovingly chosen gift for my Husband, Mum and Sister. I will confess to laughing way toooo much when reading Cracker jokes on the internet. My Husband said he was embarrassed for me!

Then I've been crocheting up a frenzy, making up Mug covers as I go - who knew it was so difficult to make a cover to fit a Mug that tapers at the bottom - frustrating, but now they are done, I am quite pleased with them! These are a great stash buster as I have lots of little bits left over from bigger blankety projects that I just cant bear to throw away!

My Sister in Law is recently got into making stuff, so thought I would making her a little Sewing Jar, completely with Pin Cushion and a Needle Book. It has enough supplies in there to get her going and some beautiful Pearl ended Pins to let her block her latest makes, Crochet Stars, which are very pretty indeed.

Finally, as Stocking Fillers, I have been making some Polymer Clay ruffled flowers. Super easy and quick to make. I still have a few more ideas up my sleeve and I need to making something for my Husband for our upcoming Wedding Anniversary, but all in all I feel like progress has been made!