Stitching Santa Reveal!

I have finally got a moment to sit down and show you what I received in  Stitching Santas organised by Sheila of Sewchet (thanks Sheila, I loved it!).

I had put my name down for both the sewing and the yarn swap and had a lot of fun making up my parcels and when I received mine I felt like an excited little girl again.  I was longing to open them but when it came to it I didn’t get to them until Boxing Day as Christmas day was so busy and I wanted time to slowly enjoy opening them.

My first parcel came from Cathy at Nanacathy.  It came in a sturdy gift wrapped box (I forgot to photograph at this stage) which I am hoping to keep and decorate at some point.

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Inside were lots of goodies both bought and handmade which Cathy must have spent so much time on.  There was a Christmas card, this lovely pot with a beautifully embroidered woodland scene lid which looks too precious to give away and contained a pretty key ring. I have decided that for now the key ring needs to be hung on the tree.

The cute little ornament was nestled in the box too.

A cute handmade pot  filled with lavender (I love lavender), a hanging lavender heart with lovely embroidery on  one side and pretty fabric on the other in perfect colours.

There was also another cute decopatched pot containing a handmade brooch, beautifully made.

There was also some gorgeous Christmas fabric, embroidery silks, some pretty buttons a pot of beads and a bracelet kit!

and two lovely handmade cards.

I feel so spoiled to get so many lovely things with so much care, time and thought put into them.

The other parcel was from Jane of Janemakes.  This came in a lovely thick sack tied with gingham ribbon.  I am hoping to do something with the sack, maybe make it into a project bag… it needs a bit more brain time I think but it is too good not to use again.

Inside were lots of pressies beautifully wrapped up (I  remembered to grab my camera at this point).   Again so much thought had gone into it.  This left me with some lovely ribbon and thread to re -use.

There was a card and a lovely letter and then …

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These are amazing, Jane must have spent ages making these beautiful bags and the fabric couldn’t have been more perfect, it is just so me! The bags are so well made and I love the pattern Jane has used for the large bag. Thanks Jane!  There was also a gorgeous co-ordinating lavender sachet which was just perfect, as I said earlier I am such a lover of lavender.

Jane had bought me a pom pom maker – I have looked and these several times and nearly bought one so it was great to receive one as a surprise.  Watch out for some pom poms in the near future.

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There was also a pack of gorgeous fibres in purple shades which coordinate really well with the silks Cathy sent me so I shall try to combine them in one project.  I am really looking forward to creating something with them, maybe a needle felted picture?

And Jane had even thought of the children and included some chocolate reindeer and coins, there were two of each but Josh’s got eaten before I could photograph them!!

I am just so pleased with what I received and so much time must have been put into making gifts and assembling these surprise parcels.  Thanks so much Cathy and Jane, your parcels were amazing!

Sheila has already said that she hopes to run another Stitching Santa next Christmas so if you don’t already follow Sheila you might just want to pop over to her blog ‘sewchet‘ and follow her so that you can join in the fun next time!

Once again I wish you all a very Happy and creative 2016.

Sharon xx

I love to hear from you, so please feel free to like or leave a comment.  I will try to reply as soon as possible. x

 

 

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Wishing you all a Happy New Year!!

I had great plans of writing a ‘Happy Christmas’ post on Christmas Eve but with visitors and last minute preparations it just didn’t happen.  I feel rather bad about it and just wanted to say that I hope you all had a lovely day.  There may be some who had an empty place for the first time this year as we did last year or are having a tough time in other ways.  I hope that you found a little joy among the sadness.

We had our traditional candlelit tea on Christmas Eve with friends round and had an amazing time, it is a long time since I have laughed so much!  I can’t believe I completely forgot to take photos though.

The children loved their handmade gifts (or most of them, Abi had a laugh at a couple but we are close enough to understand each other and laugh together).

Stockings are opened at 6am in our bed with a rather sleepy Hubby watching on.

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We gave Abi an Embellishing machine.  I had found one for 1/3 of the original price and she was so pleased with it.  Of course, I shall need to test it out for her 🙂

and Josh spent some time trying to puzzle out how to get into the secret compartment of a wooden box.

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A lot of food has been eaten and  the presents have all gone from under the tree and have been replaced with rather a lot of gifted calories! Naughty but rather nice.

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I won’t be around much for the next few days. Monday and Wednesday we hope to go out and all of the rest of the days we have visitors here right into New Year!  It will be hard work and I am sure my lupus etc will have a whinge  about it but I love the fact that friends and family feel able to just ask to come over so I never say no!

I need to blog about my stitching Santa parcels too, I loved them so much and want to tell you all about them soon.  I’m looking forward to using the crafty goodies I received in them.

I wish you all a Happy, Healthy and Creative New Year and may God truly bless you each.

Sharon xx

Stitching Santa

Just a quick post about the Stitching Santa.  My two parcels have both been sent out and one has already been opened! You can read about it here.

Here’s a little look at what I put in my Stitching Santa parcels!

For the bought part of the sewing parcel I bought these lovely soft, brushed cotton fat quarters and a sewing book.

 

For the Yarny parcel I was a bit stumped what to get as the person I was buying for had nothing yarny on their blog at all! So I bought some gorgeous yarn that would ideal for mixed media textiles as well as knitting/crochet, some scarf yarn and a crochet book.

I added some different fruit tea bags to each parcel and then made some bits for both parcels.  There were three Christmas ornaments, ribbon trees, made using stash ribbon and gifted vintage beads.

There was a little pine cone child with bobble hat, gloves and scarf but I have lost the photos for them!  I also made some felt poinsettias.

I decopatched two Altoid tins and filled them with vintage buttons from my collection given to me by grandparents.

I made some charms/stitch markers, one with a little mini chalk board,

and a Japanese knot bag as a project bag, with a pocket and a tag to attach the stitch markers.

I had such fun making these up and I really looking forward to seeing what is made with the bits I sent.

I have received both of my parcels and to be honest I am rather excited about it.

This has been such fun to do, thanks so much Sheila for organising it 🙂

Happy Crafting and a very Happy Christmas!

Sharon xx

I love to hear from you, so please feel free to like or leave a comment.  I will try to reply as soon as possible. x

Cookies, Fudge and Mince Pies.

I wanted to share these recipes that are a must have in our house over Christmas.   I have tried many different recipes for all three  but for the past few years I have only used these recipes, you just can’t beat them in my opinion!

Sharon’s Chocolate Chip Cookies – adapted from a handed down recipe

Ingredients

6oz Plain Flour

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

3oz White Granulated sugar

30z Hard Margarine or Butter

3 slightly rounded Tblsp Golden Syrup

80z Your favourite Chocolate chopped into chunks (or chocolate chips)

Variations

At Christmas I use about 7oz white chocolate and 2oz of  dried cranberries.

For double chocolate chip cookies replace 1oz of the flour with 10z of cocoa powder.  These are also great with white chocolate.

Method

Heat the oven to 190c (180 fan oven, gas mk 5, 375F)

Sift the flour, baking powder and Bicarbonate of soda into a bowl

Add the sugar

Rub in the fat until it resembles breadcrumbs

Stir in the syrup to form a sticky dough

Mix in the chocolate chunks

Pull off lumps of the mixture about the size of a large walnut, don’t roll and space well apart on greased baking trays or silicone baking sheets and bake for 8 – 10 minutes until lightly golden.

After about 5 minutes transfer to a cooling rack to cool.

Mince Pies

Here is the link to my absolute favourite mince pie recipe.  I always use either softened butter or spreadable butter because if you use hard butter it just won’t bind together,  with soft butter you can then roll it out also.  The pastry is delicious, closer to shortbread really.

White Chocolate Fudge

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I’m not sure where this recipe originated but this soft delicious indulgence is addictive and makes great gifts…. if there is any left to give away!  We have made two batches this morning, it is so quick and easy.

Ingredients 

25 oz Golden Caster Sugar

250 ml evaporated milk

pinch of salt

2 1/2 oz butter

2 tsps Vanilla Extract

1 lb 5 oz (600g) White Chocolate

Method

Line two 7″ x 11″ baking tins with magic liner or greaseproof paper, alternatively just grease them.

Break the chocolate into a bowl and microwave for about 3 minutes, stirring every 1 minute until melted, set aside.

Gently heat the sugar, milk, butter and salt until the sugar has dissolved, stirring continuously.

Increase the heat and bring to the boil, as soon as there are the first bubbles of boiling reduce the heat and set a timer for five minutes, still stirring continuously.

Immediately the timer goes off remove from the heat and stir in the 2 tsp of vanilla extract, followed by the melted chocolate, stirring as you add it.

Pour straight into the pans and leave to set.  Cut into squares and enjoy!

Happy Cooking!!

Sharon xx

I love to hear from you, so please feel free to like or leave a comment.  I will try to reply as soon as possible. x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Preparations and Ouch!!

Warning, if you are in the kitchen preparing for Christmas don’t unblock the blender with your finger!

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I know, I mean how can anyone be so stupid?  ….Obviously I can.

I had been pushing myself too far, the Lupus had fogged my brain and I just didn’t even think about unplugging the blender before unblocking it.

Thankfully I am right handed and it was a finger on my left hand that I cut.  I have 3/4″ cut on my knuckle just below the nail and another that went right across my nail cutting right through it and some way into the skin below.  (I could bend my finger where a bend shouldn’t be!)

This all happened on Friday, I was in the middle of cooking a mini Christmas dinner with Abi as Abi and boyfriend won’t be with us for lunch Christmas day. The plan was to have a lovely dinner and then all put the tree up together.  Well even with a nasty cut there was no way I was going to leave the dinner so I just held kitchen roll really tight around it while Abi and Josh carried on with getting the dinner.

After about 3/4 hour it was still bleeding a lot and I knew I needed to get it sorted but the thought of Accident and Emergency on a Friday night was not appealing.  Then a friend called by whose son works in the local A and E, she said he was at home that day and whisked me off to his home where he fixed it for me, yay! I was so grateful to them and we did get our dinner eventually.

Then it was time to decorate the tree.  We started by putting the lights on and then add all of the ornaments (tinsel is banned from the tree!).

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We started a new family tradition with our children and that is that each year I get them a new ornament for the tree.  The idea being that one day when they have their own home all being well they will all their childhood ornaments to take with them.  Do you have any Christmas traditions?

A lot of Abi’s ornaments are owl themed

With a couple of Willow Tree ornaments recently added.

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I love the Willow Tree range and I have several of the larger ornaments myself.  They are very simple and although they don’t have facial features they seem to express so much.

Josh’s are a little more boyish.

This year I gave him a Ferrari key ring to hang on the tree as he so keen on super-cars at the moment but apparently it was too special to go on the tree and he has put it safe in his bedroom ready for when he gets his Ferrari!!  He has high ambitions that boy!

and of course I couldn’t leave Abi’s boyfriend out…

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There are also other ornaments, among them some that I or the children made.

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a few robins

and a bauble that was Hubby’s as a boy.

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and some other favourites collected over the years.

including a few with photos.

I just love this time of year so much.  Christmas is just such a special time, both with my faith and also the time it gives you to spend with family.

Have fun preparing for your Christmas and Happy Crafting!

Sharon xx

I love to hear from you, so please feel free to like or leave a comment.  I will try to reply as soon as possible. x

 

 

Winter Wips – Feeling Relaxed!

I’m feeling very relaxed about my wips and with less than three weeks to go until Christmas I am not too sure if that is a good thing or not!

Life has been going on much as normal here, Josh is in full creative swing, whether it’s fiddling with and trying to make his scooter go faster, taking apart his remote control car or making fireworks!  Yes, the days of cereal box models are long gone!

The fireworks experiment was rather amusing.  Josh asked for a sparkler as he wanted to make a firework. (what is it with men and boys and the love of fire?) He then proceeded to make a rocket with a cardboard tube very nicely decorated and then taped cap reels from a broken cap gun to it and also the sparkler.  I made him wait until Hubby came home and they then went outside to light the firework.

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Josh couldn’t get it to light so Hubby had a turn, not knowing that the caps were there.  Hubby is a very jumpy person at the best of times so it was just hilarious when every time he tried to light it a cap went off!  Not quite the rocket launch Josh had planned but a great laugh for us 🙂

Abi is loving her work in the dementia care home, challenging, incredibly busy but very rewarding. I knew that Dementia was a very sad disease as my Grandma suffered with it but how it affects some is just dreadful.  Little old ladies once very dignified stripping off in the lounge, others, once delightful gentle people turning very abusive and violent. Then there are those who get no visitors because the relative just cannot bear to see the change in them.  She loves being able to brighten their day a little in a spare moment, being quite happy to dance round the lounge with them (they respond so well to music) or even dance with the zimmer frame, having them all in stitches, She is so bubbly and full of life and it is lovely to think of her bringing some love and cheer into their lives.

Hubby has been busy building a ‘dresser’.  He managed to get hold of some kitchen units free, it is looking good so far but we are just buying the doors as we can afford it so I will show you a photo once it is complete.

Well I really have waffled on but it has been a while since I have done a ‘chatty’ post so I hope you don’t mind, now down to my creative bit!

The gifts to make list is getting shorter, hmm, I’ve just counted, ‘only’ ten more to go!  I decided back in October that I would enjoy each make, create it with love and not worry about what else needs to be done and I am determined to keep it that way, (hopefully)!

So, what is now finished?  My mice, ooh, I am going to admit that I love these so much, even if it does make me sound boastful, I am really tempted to make myself one 🙂

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I have used my scrabble tiles to make framed family name ‘crosswords’. (Surnames blanked out)

I have finished the ‘feeling dotty’ shawls two,three and four

and made another for Mum using the same pattern but as a long scarf.

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I have made a little sock doll as an extra and just need to make a little sleeping bag for her and then I will show you.

My cousin had a little baby so out came Edward’s Menagerie and I made another Emma Bunny, these patterns are just adorable.

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For Abi and Josh’s stockings I made a scarf for Josh and a ‘frilly’apron as requested for Abi.

There were a couple of extra makes for Josh’s birthday, a stitched ferrari and a ‘steam punk’ style ferrari made using bits from his Grandad’s watch parts

and of course a cake and gateaux.

Oh yes, there was my Christmas card too!  If you missed the post, I needle felted a winter woodland scene and then photographed it to have it made into a card.

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I also made project bags for my Stitching Santa’s and another for myself and a friend.

 

A pretty peg bag for Mum’s birthday

and a wheat sack for a niece.

 

I think that’s about it for this month, so I’m off to do some patchwork now!  Have a great week and Happy Crafting!

Sharon xx

I love to hear from you, so please feel free to like or leave a comment.  I will try to reply as soon as possible. x