Sunday, 29 December 2013

Photo a Day

Well it would appear for some reason, that my photoes did not come up on the last post. So here are the pictures, minus the words!

22nd December

23rd December

24th December

25th December
I am in that lovely, lazy "bit" beween Christmas and New Year. I get up late, eat late, read, lie about and not do a lot. This year, Jess has already gone back to Uni. Ken back to work and even Katy is working today. I have taken the opportunity to do some sorting out today; washing, boiling up the turkey bones for soup....erm I MUST have done something else but I can't think what!
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Thursday, 26 December 2013

Photo A Day

I thought I would share the next few photo a day pics before I get around to showing you all my Christmas photos...

22nd December; we had a real tree at school but we have to take it down before we break up. Usually a parent will have it but this year nobody wanted it. I couldn't bear the thought of it just being chopped up when there is plenty of life in it so I brought it home and it is perched on our balcony! It feels very luxurious even though it has blown over a squillion times in the weather we have had! And I even allowed tinsel on it.

23rd December; we are so un-ready for Christmas. We brought the tree in today but the other children wanted to wait until Jess was home before we decorated it. So all the cleaning is done, all the greenery is up and I made mince pies and iced two cakes this evening. This is our one, complete with my knitted band (which I am quite chuffed with!). Eliza decided that my little kitch decorations needed pimping, so she added snowballs.

24th December; finally after a marathon journey, we got Jess home for Christmas. She is only home for 2 days so we needed to make sure she got here! Once she arrived we decorated the tree and then relaxed for a bit with Albert exploring the presents. He decided that the tree actually tasted rather nice. He really is destined to become the world's most spoilt bunny but I don't mind as he so sociable and loves being with people.

25th December; dinner time at last and our Christmas table, complete with knitted stockings and napkin rings and crackers from Waitrose that look like they are knitted too!

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Photo a Day

11th December; Jasper is in the school production, playing his cello in the pit orchestra and they were all given these rather groovy T shirts! We watched on the last night. A great production...but what a weird show!

12th December; Katy's 18th birthday. As always a manic one as it was a school day but she had time for presents before school and a take away in the evening before we took Jasper off to the second night of his show!

13th December; too full last night for cake, Katy decided to have her cake today. A shop one because I am making one for our family gathering on Sunday.

14th December; I went off to Tunbridge Wells to get the last bits of Christmas shopping. Before I got going I treated myself to a coffee....

15th December; the whole family, plus boyfriends, went to The Horns Lodge in Chailey for Sunday dinner. There were 11 of us and I took along a birthday cake. The landlord turned off the lights and came out with it all lit up, singing Happy Birthday and everyone in the pub joined in! Katy was a bit embarrassed!

16th December; As I mentioned, I have been getting a present every day from Linda. I have been sooooo busy that I haven't been able to blog my pressies so here is a massed photo of all my goodies. I will list and photograph them all separately now I am on holiday and show you in later posts.

17th December; I started my baking for the Christmas hampers I want to give to people. First off, biscotti. I have never made them before but they were dead easy once you got the hang of taking them in and out of the oven, turning them and so on!

18th December; the school Christmas dinner day, followed by their party. A truly manic event where all the children wear party hats they have made. These rather gorgeous reindeer hats were what Year Two wore this year! Best hats in the Hall if I may say so, courtesy of Pinterest!!!

19th December; another school traditionis making a card for their parents. Having spent several hours cutting out holly leaves, I took them in to school so that the children could make these wreath cards. Then they stamped the greeting; quite labour intensive to do x29 but we were very chuffed with how they came out!

20th December; last day of term....PHEW! But just look at this huge stash of presents I got. In there is shortbread, chocolate, a meal out for me and Ken, a spice/coffee grinder, a bottle of cassis, a mini panetonne, body butters, shower gels, body creams and lotions, a mini bottle of fizz and a mug, to mention just some. What a very lucky lady I am!
Now off to get ready for Christmas....

21st December; Cleaning up ready for Christmas. Minnie was a bit miffed when I emptied her bedding out of her bed to clean it and decided to just sit on it whilst she watched me clean around her! She always gets sulky when she has clean bedding and scratches it all about and wrinkles it all up in her bed before huffing loudly, turning round and round and round and finally settling down with it all rucked up in a big heap underneath her!
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Sunday, 15 December 2013

Photo a Day

December 8th; We had the Scouts Carol service today. This is what really signifies the start of Christmas for us. This year there were collections of crib scenes all about the church. Some were carved wood, some were knitted. I particularly loved these shepherds with their sheep!

9th December; I am still doing the 5:2 diet and today I did a new recipe which was oven baked cod with veg. Mmmm it was delish!

10th December; our last night of Guides and we decided to take them ice skating in Tunbridge Wells. Obviously I can't show you pics of the girls skating but this is the view as we walked up to the rink! Very Christmassy.
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Sunday, 8 December 2013

Photo a Day

And off we go with December...

1st December; the children still aren't too old for Advent calendars. This year we have the trusty old Playmobil ones out, one each, which build up to make a Christmassy scene.

2nd December; a very exciting day! Burnice, Linda and I have done a 25 days of Christmas present swap. I bought for Burnice, she bought for Linda and Linda bought for me and this is the huge pile of pressies for all of us! More about that in a separate post later on.

3rd December; a very hectic (and rather upsetting) day but I did get a third pressie to go with my Christmas towel and birdy hangy thingy which cheered me up. A cute little needle case and needles. Thank you Linda.

4th December; our school and several other primary schools, were performing in a concert in Tunbridge Wells. My own children were performing too but we weren't allowed to photograph them so this is Jasper's cello instead.

5th December; I will now share the upsetting news; As I said, we have recently got 2 baby rabbits but very tragically one of them had an upset tummy, caused by the stress of moving we think. He didn't get over it, despite seeming better on Tuesday morning and sadly he died. Which has left us with 1 baby rabbit....Albert. We haven't been able to track down a suitable companion for him so he is destined to become a very spoilt, single bunny! He comes into the lounge in the evenings and runs about but then gets too hot and flops out like this on his side! So then he goes back out so he can cope with the chilly outside weather.

6th December; finished 2 napkin rings to go with the cutlery stockings.

7th December; not a very good pic but we made Albert a lovely shelter to go in when he is out in the run. He however, prefers to sit on top of it! Daft Bunny!
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Saturday, 7 December 2013

Free Motion Embroidery Class

More about my free motion class that I hinted at last week.Burnice, Linda and I often spot Groupon offers for crafty events and like to try out different things, so when I spotted this class I knew it was one for us! We bought the tickets whilst Linda was in America, knowing she would love it too!
Sadly, when Burn tried to book a date for the three of us, she could only book a weekday and I had to work. So I was put on a reserve waiting list and just kept everything crossed that someone would drop out.
Luckily, someone did and I got a call from Sarah that I was in!

We started by drawing a square, a circle and a heart with our machines. It was like drawing with a pencil and not taking it off the paper but you have to turn it sideways and draw backwards so that the hoop and needle don't collide! It felt a bit like learning to reverse a car! Next we had to try drawing a leaf and a flower and have a go at colouring in. I really loved doing this once I got into the swing of it! Finally we had a go at making a cupcake, appliqueing the fabric on and drawing patterns on it to enhance the shape.

Now it was time to do our "final piece". I had no idea that we would have to come up with our own design so it took me a while to think of something! I started by attaching the bodice, then adding the skirt, with lots of wiggly lines along the hem to give the suggestion of petticoats. I am not the best at drawing so I cheated and made her arms go behind her back!

Next challenge was the neck and face! OMG sooooo tricky! The machine needs to go quite fast so you have to think quickly and go with it AND you are not always drawing with the fabric the right way round. I was quite pleased with her left shoulder but her right one looks a bit bulky! Then I shaped the face and hair, trying to draw it in the rough direction it might grow. Just a tiny squiggle for eyes and mouth, more to give a suggestion then accuracy.....looks better from a distance!

Finally her legs. She had rather thick ankles to start with but the beauty of this is that you can go over it again to get a better shape! So my little 1950s wife needed shoes; red of course to match her dress. Another few squiggles and she was done! I think I might add her a little white apron just to finish her off.
So a really fab class and another skill to practise. I am hoping this will enable me to move into free motion quilting.....but don't hold your breath!
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Thursday, 5 December 2013

Photo a Day

19th November; tie dye T-shirt!

20th November; I know you have seen this but this is another finished quilt.

21st November; beautiful light through the chestnut leaves this morning.

22nd November; this is the only view I get when I walk the dogs....two bottoms!

23rd November; Jasper and his Explorer Scout team won the Triangle hike. It is an overnight hike in the dark involving challenges on the way and after several hikes together and lots of second places they were delighted to come first!

24th November; back to school and we have two new pets....this is one of the bunnies, yet to be named, and you can just see the second one behind.

25th November; we had some visitors in to school today to speak to the class about what it was like to live at the time of the Great Fire of London. I got to dress up and so did the teacher!

26th November; great excitement, we brought home these two fluffs, brothers to the school bunny. Eliza has never had a pet so we got her one (Gus, nearest to us) but we didn't want him to be lonely so we also have Albert (lop ears and big fluffy mutton chops!)

27th November; just look at this bonkers amount of packaging. This enormous box for one, rolled-up poster. No wonder we have to pay so much p&p!

28th November; finally finished my set of tiny stockings for the christmas table cutlery to go in.

30th November; yes I appear to have missed a day somewhere but on this day I went to a free motion embroidery session and this was my final piece. More about this later.....but it was great fun!
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