Tuesday 31 December 2013

Wishing You....

a very


and a
filled with


but above all 


Tuesday 24 December 2013

So Here It Is....

Christmas Eve....
the candles are lit, the house is filled with the smell of Christmas, 
the Paperdolls are watching The Snowman 
and I am alllllllllmost there, 
ready to sit back relax & enjoy 
....the gifts are made....
mmmm....weeeeell nearly just a couple of small finishing touches to do....


The fabric gift tags I made are ready to be put on the gifts....

Most of the wrapping has already been done....
only a few more gifts to do....

And the food prepping for our Christmas dinner is also in full swing....

I started today by making fresh buttermilk pancakes for the breakfast,
and I have rarely left the kitchen all day. 
The homemade Vanilla Ice Cream is chilling in the freezer & the Apple Pie is in the oven. 
The Turkey is slowly defrosting and I have started the stuffing.  
Mr Mc has taken charge of the veggies this year.  
The table is “dressed” for the occasion tomorrow.

I just looooooove being home for the holiday.
I find traveling stress at this time of year. 
So when it came to choosing a greeting for the front door sign I made last week, 
....No Place Like....was the most fitting one for us.
Having family and good friends round the table 
sharing yummy food and funny stories is the best way to spend the holidays.  
And we are very lucky to have both this year.  
I hope you are surrounded by people that make you happy this festive season.  
It's getting late here so I better be off now to finish my last bits & pieces....
and Mr Mc just talked about going to Midnight Mass....
....it would be the first time in years if we make it tonight.... 
but I just wanted to pop in and say....

 ....wherever you are in the world....
 Have a 
  Merry Christmas  
filled with love....joy....&....peace!

Saturday 14 December 2013

I'm Smiling....

Hello its so lovely to see you here again.
How has your week been?  
I hope it was filled with lots of festive joy
and not to much pre Christmas stress! 
 My week has been busy with the latter
and a last minute sewing project.  
Why..oh..why do I do it every year???  
....I can’t blame anyone else.... 
....I think it’s the quiet rebel in me that makes me do that.... 
I mean as a Mum in the run up to Christmas
so much of your time is being pre booked 
....nativity plays....carol singing....Christmas parties....
time & dates dictated to you.  
Not to mention all the other prepping that has to be done. 
....Your time becomes everyone else's....
 And I think that is why I like to make something just because 
“I want to” with no “must” pressure attached.  
Silly really as it means I just have more to do in the same time.  
But looking at these cushions I know that,
for me as crazy as it sounds, 
it’s the right thing to do.  
As I am looking at these, I can’t stop smiling.

I’m smiling because....
I so vividly remember the lady at the shop
where I bought my “new” sewing machine 
telling me about the great quilting features my new machine had.  
I smiled politely thinking to myself ....me quilting.... never!!  
How does the saying go “never say never”.

I’m smiling because....
here we are a little over six years later  I love machine quilting!!

I just adore these vintage fabrics for their sweet kitsch.... 
I loved picking out the various
Santa’s, birds, letters on these fabrics
bringing them to life by quilt around them.

I’m smiling because....
something can turnout so very different
then I had envisaged yet be so beautiful.  
I loooooove playing with fabric
seeing how different colours and prints work together.
I will have to call this my stars and stripes Santa cushion.

I’m smiling because....
I wanted a complimenting contrast.  
It took quite a bit of playing around
to make all the different fabrics work.
I am a fabriholic, and all the fabrics I have used for this
 have been in my stash for quite a while,
just waiting for the right project!

I’m smiling because....
Knowing that all the pre Christmas stress will have been well worth it, 
when we are all enjoying a lovely family Christmas together!


I'm smiling because....
looking at Santa's cheery face on this cushion
just fills me with happiness!

 I'm Smiling because.... 
 these cushions make the Paperdolls smile 
and what can be better then seeing your children smile.

Have a joyous 3rd advent weekend

Tuesday 10 December 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

decking the halls starts in our house on Thanksgiving eve with a 
classic Christmas movie and the putting up of our tree. 
It’s our tree’s 20th Christmas anniversary this year and I still remember 
Mr Mc’s shock at the then rather steep price of 69 pounds.
 I knew even then though it would workout a great investment and I have been proved right.  
Now I only dread the day when we have to retire the tree 
as the paperdolls have never known another Christmas tree in our house 
and are rather attached to this one. 

After putting the tree together we start of with the lights, 
 normally a job for Mr Mc, but he was away for a couple of weeks so it was left to me this year.  
This is followed by spending most of the evening bickering over which baubles and
ornaments are the prettiest and where to hang them.  
The bickering seems to be every year as much part of our Christmas preparations 
as biscuits & cups of hot chocolate.

I looooooove the beautiful mix of baubles & ornaments that we have gathered over the years.
    I find it impossible to pick my favorite one.

I adore the way the light makes the glass look like ice....

To many to show them all....
A couple of years ago I made the “executive” decision 
....to much protest of the paperdolls....
that our tree is only decorated with
....glass....white....silver....&....sparkle....lots and lots of sparkle

But just because there is a colour restriction....
doesn’t mean the paperdolls haven't got a say when we buy new ornaments for the tree.
 After all what is Christmas without a ....BIG.... slice of kitsch!

Even Mr Mc a fan of most things "stags" gets to have some on the tree.
And every year we have a few bauble and ornament causality's 
but to me that makes a Christmas tree interesting over the years.
A mix of old and new.
We still have a little more decorating in the house to do
 but it already has very much the feel of Christmas.

Have a week filled with the magic of this season and
 ....THANK YOU.... 
so much for taking the time and popping by.  
I am only too aware that in the run up to Christmas spare time is very scarce.

Saturday 7 December 2013

Winter has arrived....

After the storm on Thursday which thankfully we have survived unscathed, 
came overnight the winter with plenty of snow and much to the delight of 
the Paperdolls and myself turned our neighborhood into a winter wonderland.

Early Friday morning the Paperdolls where glued to the radio in anticipation 
for an announcement that the schools would be shut for the day.  
With teen Paperdoll going through her mock GCSE exams at the moment 
 if I'm been honest for her any excuse not to go to school is a good one at this time.  
But no such luck for them on this occasion, school’s were open so off they went.     
And I enjoyed a walk in the snow covered woods 
at the bottom of our street on my own.

....I just looooooove the crisp air on a winters morning....

The woods are so full of life with constant rustling in the undergrowth 
and yet they are peace and tranquility itself.

And after such a walk what could be nicer then 
a lovely neighbor knocking on my door and handing me these beautiful 
homemade cupcakes just because she had some spare.  
It really is these little acts of kindness by my friends & neighbors 
that make my day every time.

I managed to wait for the paperdolls to come home from school 
before tucking into this beauties.
Hot chocolate made the perfect companion for the cupcakes.

We all snuggled up, switched on the Christmas lights and watched 
the snow falling in thick flakes outside.  
It was a perfectly lazy Friday afternoon.     
Unfortunately I can’t afford any more of this lazy days as I’m already behind 
with my list of Christmas preparations.  
Nothing new for me, just like Christmas comes round every year 
 so does my last minute prepping stress!  
I will say bye for now so I can start catching up with my list.
Have a peaceful second advent.

Tuesday 19 November 2013

A grey drizzly curtain....

What a cold, wet, miserable last couple of weeks it’s been here!!
Looking out of the window is simply depressing
None of the ever closer coming festive cheer here yet.
Clouds....clouds & more clouds
Not the fluffy white ones, I soooooooo love
the ones you stare at floating in the blue sky on a lovely summers day
trying to figure out what there shape reminds you of. 

Oh no we have been “blessed” with the grey drizzly ones
covering the sky like a thick heavy curtain,
making the daylight hours a permanent gloomy grey.
It hasn't stopped me from being busy with making “this & that”
and I really would have loved to have shared by now some of it with you.  
But with the light being so dreadful inside and out
taking photos has really been no fun.
I’m not a fan of taking photos in artificial light or using a flash
somehow I am never happy with the end result
and so every attempt to take some over the last couple of days
was abandoned be me.
My favorite blogs speak to me with their photos and I try to do the same on here
as a good post to me is as much about the photos as it is about the words
 they go together like

 spots & stripes

       chocolate & marshmallow

   Christmas & candy cane

So as soon as the drizzle cloud curtain lets just enough light through 
for me to take some pretty photos of my “this & that” I will be sharing it with you.
 Until then wherever you are have a lovely week!

Thursday 7 November 2013

The beginnings of a green scarf.....

we have had cold grey wet start to November just like October ended.....
all the lovely autumn colours have turned into sludgy muddy browns here,
the only exception to this I have noticed during our woodland walks 
are the last bits of green around. 
The mosses and ferns are radiating with there richness in colour!

The sky is a permanent dull grey with a damp feel in the air and 
the lamps at home have to be on all day.

Time for me to snuggle up when ever I can.... under a quilted throw with a hot drink, 
this is the perfect time to start a new knitting project.
I’m in need of a scarf....
at this time of year I’m rarely seen without one ....
A green one is needed....
over the last couple of weeks my wardrobe has had a influence of clothing in a mix of greens....
When I step into a good yarn shop,  I'm stepping into a Aladdin's cave
so many lovely yarns....
tweet wool....baby merino....angora....alpaca....cashmere....
in the most beautiful shades, I have to remind myself its green’s I am after.....
but even in green’s there is an endless choice and I’m suppose to pick one??

I adore the soft fluffiness of angora next to the rustic texture of tweet wool 
mixed with the strength of alpaca and delicateness with wool lace....

The mix of pale jades with rich moss and dark emerald greens....
....yarns with a little shine next to matt textures once.

Sorry its not possible for me to pick just one and maybe that is why 
I like knitting this style of scarf so much it allows me 
to mix all the different yarns I like in one project!

I'm only at the very beginning  and with each row having 260 stitches 
and round about 80 rows still to go, I still have a fare bit to knit.  
But with the weather forecast to stay much the same over the next couple of weeks, 
 I hopefully get plenty of snuggle up time to get this finished soon. 
I will keep you posted!
Have a great weekend!

Saturday 19 October 2013

Another bake....

plum crumble this time....


....what a yummy way for me to start a creative weekend!

Have a scrumptiously lovely weekend yourself!  

Monday 14 October 2013

Autumn Loves....

Autumn has definitely started to slowly arrive here
....I can feel a chill in the air....
....the leaves are turning orange, red and sparkle in the sun....
There is nothing more fun for me on a sunny Sunday afternoon in October 
then a long walk with Mr. Mc and the Paperdolls....

....I love the sound of crunching leaves under wellie boots....

....I love wearing woolly jumpers & tweed jackets again....
....I love to watch the Paperdolls exploring in the autumn woods....

....I love being covered by pretty amber coloured leaves gently falling from the trees.... 

....I love the blissful beauty of autumn....

I just loooooooooooooooove autumn!!

Have a beautifully coloured week wherever you may be.
Thanks for stopping by, it is always nice to see you here again!

Friday 11 October 2013

Baking Again....

Earlier this year I would have described myself as a daily baker who loooooves baking.
Nothing really fancy just little every day cakes....muffins....scones....cupcakes.....cookies etc.
Hardly a day went by where there wasn’t freshly baked goodies waiting 
in the kitchen for the family coming home.  
It’s been a couple of months though since I last baked anything.  
In all honesty I think I suffered a tiny bit of baking burnout after 
the last Vintage Tearoom at the end of July. 
But watching the current Great British Bake Off has reminded me 
of just how much I miss baking after all.  
So baby Paperdolls birthday last week gave me the perfect excuse 
....not that I really needed one.... 
to get started again.

Traditional style birthday cakes, the sponge ones with butter-icing and jam in the middle 
aren't really baby Paperdolls thing and she intensely dislikes royal icing
....well she isn't fond of any icing really.
Her favorite cake has to be strawberry cake and a close second are brownies.
With strawberries out of season, brownies it had to be.

Brownies made from yummy dark chocolate with a gooey chewy center 
and large chunks of white & milk chocolate through it....
dusted with a little icing sugar ....strangely baby Paperdoll likes it on brownies....
and sprinkled with 100 & 1000s plus smarties. 

Super Scrumptious was the verdict by baby Paperdoll and the rest of the family.
And for me it was a perfectly fun way to start my baking adventures again 
and I enjoyed it that much, I was baking yesterday again 
....so maybe not daily baking for me just yet but weekly!

Have a lovely weekend!

Monday 30 September 2013

My "me" Coffee....

I normally have two coffees on a school-day morning, 
the first I only sip on, in between emptying the dishwasher trying to organize everyone 
having breakfast and leaving the house on time with all they need
....school bags....gym kit....lunch boxes....keys etc....
But after giving my last goodbye kiss for the morning,
 I take a deep breath enjoy the calm that has returned to the house and have my second coffee.
  I call this one a “me” coffee.
“Me” because it is all about the things I really enjoy doing whilst drinking coffee on my own
....like reading the latest posts on my favorite blogs, feeding my Pinterest addiction
and jotting down ideas for “must make” projects.
Most of my “must make” ideas are swirling in my head for quite a while before I put them on paper.  No different with this little one, I have been wanting to make a hot water bottle cover 
since last winter, but somehow couldn’t decide if I like to crochet or sew one
 ....Can’t decide....
means the idea stayed in my head buried under lots of other “must make” ideas 
that are all suffering a similar fate indecision by me.
It was only when I needed the hot water bottle last week that I thought about the cover again.  
Not sure if it was the wind outside and the blue sky with the fluffy clouds or 
baby Paperdoll’s request to go kite flying but somewhere in all that 
I had the light bulb moment.

So on my next “me” coffee I started sketching the idea down.  
 Funny thing is....when I know that a design is right then I know its right 
and it is easy for me to work from that. 
I hope this makes sense?

 At first I thought of using a grey linen fabric as the base but as I opened my fabric cupboard 
my sight fell onto this lovely cloud fabric I had bought in Denmark recently.
I had bought it just like so many of my other fabrics with no specific project in mind.  

And like so many of my projects it evolves and changes slightly as I work on it.  
Quilting a couple of the clouds has given the cover a very lovely snuggle feel.  
And I am so pleased with how the kite has worked out.  
I LOVE...LOVE...LOVE... kites!!! 
I could waffle on forever about my great childhood memories 
trying to fly kites on windy autumn days....

This kite reminds me of the ones I made as a child from paper with lots of ribbons!

Let the cold days come we'll be toasty & snug!!!
Have a beautiful autumn week!