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November 2010
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January 2011

Very warm wishes to you and yours


Our recent freezing fog left the most amazing pearl-like strands decorating the garden and it looked to me like the spiders were decorating for the festive season.

I'll be with California family for a while so no updates until my return. I'm not clever enough to do self-automated posts; I do know how, just haven't figured out how to be smart enough to make the extra time. Buying a two week supply of puppy food, travel snacks and currency exchanges seem the priority today, packing might be a good idea too :)

Tutorials 6

If you find yourself with a little spare time over the holiday season (insert laughter) there are a few tutorials stashed away here that might strike your fancy. I thought there were ten or twenty, but it seems over forty have been racked up over the last few years and many are useful for whipping up very last minute gifts - hopefully something to be found for everyone.

So I'm wishing you and your families a warm and wonderful festive season, thanks for popping in and saying hello throughout 2010. I'll be back to toast the new year with you!


Ready for a breather


There are some huge holly trees in our garden, and they're thick with bright red berries. I mean they were, until the snow and freeze came, then families of birds took refuge in them and stripped each tree bare. They even became home to these redwings, a first sighting for us, they're on red status here in the UK. 


It took me several tries to get photos of them, faraway but good enough with my long lens. Sneaking around is tricky with snow crunching underfoot; very shy little things.


School just finished for our winter break. Leading up to it has been the usual busyness of Christmas fairs and concerts and card making and, and, and......

The children had their annual charity Christmas fair at school. Collectively the students choose a few charities, sometimes choices are made for very personal reasons, then every child has an opportunity to run their own stall at the fair in aid of one of the chosen charities. Tristan chose MacMillan, a charity that supports patients and families of cancer sufferers and Gracie chose the Make a Wish Foundation, the organization that "...grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening illnesses." I was so proud of their efforts and understanding of their chosen charities (shameless proud mother moment here).

Gracie made wool flowers with the loom Nanou sent us (mummy helped with the stitching part). We made about twenty Nanou-style flowers and they sold out in the first half hour so she took orders to make more. In the end she sold close to fifty flowers and people are still asking for more. Thank you Nanou!


Tristan asked the teacher in charge of after school activities if he could start a school newspaper (this from a child who has always run a mile from reading and writing!) So he's worked all term with a small group of fellow students to create the first edition which they then printed and sold at the fair raising money for MacMillan. The paper sold really well, fantastic results for all their hard work. I wish I had pictures of the day but a Christmas fair run entirely by students age 8 - 13 is slightly hectic, in the best possible way :)

5202214559_8cccd5deb7A very kind bloggy friend has offered to start right after the holidays making wool flowers for next year (if Gracie chooses to make them again). And speaking of Pam, she's hosting a holiday recipe swap (mainly cookies and other treats), a great place to link your own favourite recipes and find new ones too. Pam's pretty cookies are on the left here.

The giveaway I was having will have to wait until the new year. Part of it is still half made and it's buried under half made Christmas gifts that will probably get shoved in a suitcase still half made to take to California with us in a few days time.

Today we've woken up to sun which has been in very short supply around here. I'm hoping for a long walk in temperatures that are finally above 0 degrees then maybe finishing some cards with the trees above.

I hope you all are enjoying a relaxing weekend and maybe have a little sunshine too.





Cones of joy, a tutorial

Hearts Tree

I was recently playing with some cut out heart shapes and realized they would make a nice Victorian style cone ornament. I made some up out of fabric and have loved stitching these little heart cones over the past week; I think the heart sides of these give them a Scandinavian look.

Small-template I created a template for these and we made the same cones at our school fair yesterday out of card stock instead of fabric.

You can download this template yourself. I've added simple instructions too to show how I made these cones from fabric.

I will be back later in the coming week with the giveaway I mentioned in previous posts.

Thanks for the sweet comments about The Forager Bag. I know some of you are already whipping them up.

My Forager bags are being used for twigs and branches, lichen, stones and library books too.  Cover pattern

What would you use a Forager bag for?

See you soon.

P.S. These cones might become an advent calendar for next year. 
I'd better start now ;)