Christmas 2016

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Maybe like us you’re still in the middle of entertaining and visiting? 


(This beautiful card was made by Paul’s sister). 

We had a lovely day Sunday although we kept it very much as a normal day of rest with a chapel service in the morning and carols and bible readings of the Christmas story at Sunday school in the afternoon. It was lovely to have a day to really savour the real meaning of Christmas without all the other distractions.

We saved most of the gifts until Monday and also had our Christmas dinner then too. 


Tilly had a great time playing with the wrapping paper! 


I had a lovely super soft new dressing grown from Hubby and some warm luxurious boot slippers and a wallet from Abi and Paul.


Josh did his own shopping on Amazon and got me this cute coaster and some stickers. He also disappeared in the craft room one afternoon and surprised me with this! It reminded me just how special hand made gifts are. 


I had asked for money from most of the rest of the family and will be putting it towards some crafty bits. Watch this space!!….

The other excitement was my stitching Santa parcels. Firstly, thanks so much Sheila for organising this one again. 

I entered both the sewing and yarny version and got two very generous parcels. One was from Cathy (nanacathy.com) who also did mine last year. 


She had made some lovely ornaments to add to my tree. So special as I like my ornaments to have meaning. A lovely knitted bag and a wrist warmer and hat set. I tried to take a selfie but that didn’t work so Abz came to the rescue! 


Then there was some tinsel yarn and some gorgeous galaxy yarn with sequins in it. I think the tinsel yarn in that color would make a great cat, I’ll have to see what I can come up with. I’m thinking maybe a scarf for the galaxy yarn? 


Then there was the essential chocolate in the shape of a teddy and PINK chocolate coins. So cute, I’ve never seen pink ones before.


Oh and not forgetting the owl notebook that I’ll have to keep it off Abi’s way and some gorgeous hand cream. Thanks so much Cathy, it was all just so lovely.



Then in my other parcel from sewing Nikki was another generous lot of gorgeous goodies. A beautiful felt bag, 


several mini skeins of yarn. A lovely box, decorated with intricate embroidery with the most adorable buttons inside. 



Two books, both of which I’ve been tempted to buy in the past but never had and a cute candle that I’m thinking Nikki may have made? 

 Oh yes and not forgetting the lovely felt robin that’s another great addition to my tree ornament collection and a digital stitch counter that you wear on your finger, brilliant! 


It was all lovely Nikki! 

I just feel so thoroughly spoilt and overwhelmed at the thought, time and care that went into these parcels. Thanks so much ladies.

Lastly, a friend and I did our own little crafty goodies swap where I got a few more lovely bits. A scarf, hand knitted fingerless gloves with the flap over mitt bit, some gorgeous fabric and wooden buttons with hand made with love on them!! Also a large cup and saucer and a snail tape measure. 


It seems as though Christmas is flying by! I’m hoping to spend the rest of the evening getting organised with some goal setting and planning, hoping I can be more efficient with my time in 2017.

 From time to time I plan out my days and get so much more done. I stick to it as much as can but I don’t let interruptions bother me or get stressed if I get behind or don’t complete my list but just tell myself that God’s plan for my day was obviously different and His way is always best! 

I’m hoping I can get in the habit of regular planning and I want to set goals such as; do something special as a family once a month, meet one of my friends for coffee once a fortnight, phone someone I rarely see once a month, do a random act of kindness each week etc! Then maybe, maybe, something similar for housework goals . 

Are you making goals, plans etc for the new year? I have good intentions but I’m not very good at sticking to plans, especially if it involvess being too organised. I’ll blame having a creative brain! Do you have any tips or tricks for sticking to goals? 

In case I don’t get back on here before Sunday, I hope you all have a wonderful and creative new year.

Sharon xx

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Stitching Santa.


Hi everyone. I’m going to stop apologising for not being around here so much s it just seems to be the way things are at the mo! So just quick shout out for the secret Santa being rub again this year by the lovely Sheila from the sewchet blog. There’s still a few more days to join in this fun Christmas swap just click here to go to the page where you can join! 

Happy crafting! 

Sharon xx

Exclusive Creativity. 

Hi folks, this is going to be a post with very few photos because all my crafting time lately has been exclusively given to Josh’s blanket. I have finally found the mojo to crack on with it and only have 29 more rows to go :mrgreen:.  

I’m particularly pleased with the effect the ban and front post trebles give where I have joined a new colour.  

It seems crazy to think Josh only has a week left at primary school :(, the following week he has 3 days at his new school.  I’m still not sure how I feel about that.  It could be really reassuring and he won’t be spending the whole of the holidays worrying about the move up but if he hates it we’ll have six weeks of dread!  He’s a fairly sociable kid so I’m hopeful that he’ll be fine but It’s just another step of letting go and I seem to be doing too much of that lately!  

Bekki over at Dartmoor yarn company has been talking goals and it’s got me thinking about how last year I did a stocking pressie each month for the kids plus other gifts throughout the year. This year has been so different.  I know how quickly time flies both during the hols and the autumn term so I need your help to think of some quick makes that won’t cost too much so I can start to get some gifts made.  With the size of our family I need to get started soon!!  I need ideas for all ages,  male and female.  I’ve got plenty of stash yarn,  fabric,  card craft bits and beads.  

I hope you’re all well and have a fantastic and creative week ūüėÄ

Sharon  xx

Handmade Gifts.

I have been thinking about what¬†really made¬†this Christmas special. We had a lovely family Christmas, a children’s carol service at¬†the Sunday School, lots of time with family and friends, fantastic food and amazing gifts, looking back it makes me think just¬†how favoured we are.

The weather wasn’t great but we didn’t get flooded as many did in England this year, we have a lovely little home filled with love¬†to celebrate in and friends and family to spend precious time¬†with and remember those who are no longer with us.

But what really stood out to me this year was the handmade gifts.  I make a lot of gifts to give but very rarely receive them but this year was different.  First there were the lovely bits in my Stitching Santa parcels made by Jane and Cathy which you can read more about here.  I was overwhelmed by the time and thought they had put into my parcels.

This year the children both made me gifts too and they are far more precious than anything they could have bought. ¬†Abi spent hours embroidering me a beautiful framed verse and two pictures, she didn’t quite get time to finish them so I shall have the pleasure of seeing her work on them too. ¬†It was all her own design and I just love them so much. Here is the one she finished.IMG_1232

Josh painted me a canvas, a lovely cheerful sunset scene completely out of his head.

At the beginning of the holidays Josh¬†also shut himself away in the craft room for a whole day and made gifts. ¬†There were these coasters with fancy stitching done on Abi’s machine,

A little pillow that is just right to put behind my head.  The floral fabric has been sewn on by hand

and a drawstring bag that I did have to just help him with the button holes for the cord.

All of these gifts are far more special than the most expensive gift that was bought for me and it has made me realise just how special handmade gifts can be if they are given to someone who will really appreciate the time and love put into them.

Josh was also given a budget to buy us a gift each on Amazon and this is what he ordered for me!

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I am not always sure how my handmade gifts will be received but this year I watched and was pleased to see how happy everyone seemed with them.  The reading pillows were a great hit with the boys as were the pj cases with the girls (faces blurred as some of my family are not very keen on the internet).

and the scarves and scrabble frames got lots of happy comments too!

How do you feel about handmade gifts both to make and receive?

I am looking forward to sharing another creative year with you all.

Sharon xx

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 ūüôā

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

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

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