Friday, 31 December 2010

Made with love

I made this present for a friend a while back now, but couldn't share it with you in case she had a look at this little blog. I didn't want to spoil the surprise now did I?!

As always with the felt hoop work I've done to date, I got my inspiration from the wonderfully talented Melissa at Checkout Girl. I adapted it for my friend, who is in the process of moving homes. I know how distressing it can be at times, you feel lost and don't know where anything is. Box no. 2 or box no. 58??!!!

So I wanted to give her a little something that would help her settle down and remember what's really important. Not where you are and what objects you have at hand, but rather who you're with and where you're heading.

Practical details: 100% felt bought online, Irish linen bought in Dubai (I know, I KNOW!!!), embroidery floss, superglue, cardboard for practice, fabric scissors - that's all you need! That and a lot of love and patience!

Thursday, 30 December 2010

The start of a friendship

I hope he likes it. I hope they become best mates. I hope that when he's all grown up, he looks back on those photos of him and his little buddy. With his buddy still on a shelf, looking out for him.

I really hope he likes it. It's all nice and soft and cuddly after all. And fully washable too. Hey, that's an important detail when you're less than a year old, right?

I really really hope he likes it. At least he didn't throw it on the other side of the room when they got to meet for the first time last Saturday, but then these things take time don't they.

Fingers crossed.

(All details on Ravelry!)

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

I'm back!

 Hello HeLlO HELLO!!!!! I'm back!!! How have you all been? I must catch up with those of you who've stayed around blogland during the holiday, but first things first, let's have a quick catch up here! I had an amazing time back in France, and even the Eurostar behaved reasonably well! The weather was pretty amazing over there too, I don't remember ever seeing that much snow there at that time of year before! It did make driving and walking a little difficult, but we managed.

The same old people grumbled and mumbled, but we rose above it and had so much fun. I think it's fair to say that "growing old gracefully" is not something that can apply to all in my family! Anyway, Christmas day was successful, the sun was shining and all went well.

Snow AND sunshine, honestly, I certainly don't remember that ever happening on Christmas day before! It just put a great big smile on my face! That, and the fact that dear old Father Christmas was very generous again this year!

Everything looked so beautiful, all the shops with amazing decorations (look at this bakery!), it was magical. So there, while I sort out my photos and my bags, I'll leave it at that for today. But there's much much more! Hope you've had a great one and look forward to celebrating the start of 2011! xx

Thursday, 23 December 2010

See you soon!

Right, this is it then! I'm off tomorrow, I'm off with a suitcase full of presents, and I'm hoping I'll make it to my mum's in one piece. The Eurostar is back on track, but I can't say taking a train at 5.00am is filling me with joy... but who cares, I can sleep on the way to Paris. Actually, scrap that!! I haven't quite finished a little something I'm making for a little someone, so I'll be stuffing and sewing all the way there.

Wherever you're going, whether you're staying home or not, whoever you may spend the holidays with, I hope you have a great time. So many people out there have to work (hello nurses, paramedics, coppers, firemen!) so us lucky people with 12 days off (oh yes baby) let's make the most of it! Relax, enjoy yourself, eat to your heart's content and have a laugh.

See you next week - take care and a Joyeux Noël to you all! xx

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

How can something so beautiful...

Be such a pain in the backside?!

On Saturday, three hours to get home in the car, when it usually only takes 15min....

All week, endless delays on the trains and packed like sardines...

Departures rescheduled or cancelled...

Queues of over three hours in the cold for a train to another country....

Can't say I've enjoyed the snow very much recently. Never thought I'd say this, but a bit of rain might be nice!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

20 questions

Hello!! Well, I'm not usually a copy cat, but this one I couldn't resist!! If you visited Little Tin Bird last week, you'll have seen she did a 20 Christmas Questions. Here's mine!

  1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper - gift bags can be used in addition to wrapping paper, but not without - half of the fun about getting presents is ripping the paper off! (or delicately taking it off in my case, it's like a ritual!).
  2. Real tree or artificial? Real real real all the way - I'd rather have nothing at all that a bit of plastic.
  3. When do you put up the tree? A couple of weeks before Christmas, ie whenever I remember or have the time! No specific date though, it really just fits around whatever else that's going on, and whenever we feel festive enough.
  4. When do you take the tree down? Hmmm when I can be bothered? Again, I'm not one to stick to dates, I'm not superstitious, so I take it down when it feels right. I like to enjoy the tree for a bit!
  5. Favourite gift received as a child? You know what, I can't remember.... I have such terrible memory! I guess it might be an alarm clock I got from my grandparents over 10 years ago now. It's still working and I can't imagine waking up to anything else in the morning.
  6. Hardest person to buy for? Guys in general! Or people who only like vouchers from a certain shop... it's pretty restrictive!
  7. Easiest person to buy for? ME!!! HA!!!! Honestly, not that I buy presents for myself obviously, but I'm such an easy person to buy for! Easily pleased, not difficult in the slightest. Take note everyone!!
  8. Mail or email Christmas cards? Real cards when I remember? Yeah I'm not particularly great with sending them out on time, or sending them out at all for that matter. In England, some people seem a little obsessed with them and give them to every single person they know, which is a little ridiculous I feel. So I take the opposite stand and only send them to the most special people! (Yeah that's what I tell myself to make me feel better!).
  9. Favourite Christmas Movie? I don't really have one. I was fairly sheltered from the whole commercial aspect of Christmas until fairly recently and French TV at Christmas time tends to be mostly really old 70s classic - funny but not necessarily festive. In the last few years, I've got in the habit of watching Love Actually. It's not exactly a happy movie, but I like it nonetheless. And yes, I'm most definitely a Keira Knightley fan.
  10. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Whenever I start thinking about presents, so usually in November. The earlier the better really, I hate being rushed at the end - kind of like now?!
  11. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Nope. As I said earlier, I'm easily pleased, which means I like pretty much every thing!
  12. Favourite thing to eat at Christmas? Smoked salmon and blinis, foie gras, chestnut purée - French christmassy stuff!
  13. Lights on the tree (coloured or clear)? Well, we didn't have any lights when I was a kid. Got my first set a couple of years ago because Boyfriend wanted some. And I have to say I love them. And they're clear. Because I like a colour theme on my tree, it's gold/ green/ red, so lights must be clear! That way, it remains pretty and traditional!
  14. Favourite Christmas song? The sleigh song!!! I love the jingly bits!!! I need to find the lyrics to it actually, instead of just mumbling...!
  15. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Well that's an interesting one! Not one for foreign people hey?! I always end up travelling at Christmas, whether to go to my mum's or see other people in the family. That's what happens when you're scattered in different countries! I long for the days when I can have everyone over, that'll be lovely!
  16. Angel, star or ribbon on top of tree? At the moment we've got a star I made last year with wooden coffee stirrers - I know that sounds weird but it's cool I promise! It's simple and elegant. I ended up making it because I couldn't find anything to my taste in the shops. I'm not one for garish or scary looking angels! Actually, I'm not one for angels at all! So star or ribbon, that's the way to go!
  17. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Always on Christmas morning. May sound a bit sad, but I still love pretending Father Christmas has been round and dropped off lots of presents. (No I don't leave biscuits out for him, I'm not that bonkers!)
  18. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? How commercial it all is. I hate the fact that decorations/ cards etc start appearing in the shops at the end of October - honestly, get a grip people!! There's more to life than sales figures and profits!!!!
  19. What do you want for Christmas this year? I'm not after anything in particular really. I just wish everyone could be happy and healthy in my family. There's so many people we miss and wish were still here, it's bittersweet at times.
  20. Traditional colours (red and green) or other colours? Traditional all the way! I love what other people can do with different colours, but I like to stick to the safe green, red and gold. Can't go wrong like that and it stays nice and grown up! Maybe when children start being part of the equation things will change, but there's no sign of that yet so it'll stay that way for more Christmases to come!

Aaahhhh Christmas... only 4 days to go! Well, that's if the snow melts... Fancy joining the Eurostar queue anyone?!

Monday, 20 December 2010

This time last week

I was in Paris. Well not to the exact hour, but nearly. It was cold. Oh my, it was mighty cold. But it made it even more beautiful. The cold and that deep winter blue sky made it somewhat magical.

I felt like a tourist in my own country. It was lovely and it put a great big smile on my face.

Visiting well known places was very pleasant indeed. All the meetings I have in Paris seem to be within walking distance of the Centre Pompidou, and I'm not complaining.

All those colours, that futuristic architecture, that sky.

Oh the joy of winter, before all the snow fell. It's a struggle isn't it. Let's remind ourselves of pre-snow days. It might help me forget how rubbish my commute was this morning!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

T'is cold

Trust me, it's cold outside. Oh how I wish I could spend my days by a fire, all cosy and warm, sipping cups of tea and nibbling mince pies.

Actually, even the office would be alright right now. Instead I find myself in the cold. Bloody freezing cold it is as well. Don't be fooled by that blue sky.

Can't say I'm quite cut for it.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Winter is...

Roasted chestnuts...

Giant baubles...

Fairy lights a-gogo...

Heart-warming candles...

Beautful table settings, simple yet festive...

Homemade mini mince pies...

Festive home decorations...

Heart and lap-warming crochet...

Hope you're all enjoying the festive season!! xx

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Glasgow goodies

Ergh, yeah Petit Filoux, wasn't that, like, over three weeks ago? Hmmm well nearly, but better late than never I say! I wanted to show you what I brought back from the Country Living Christmas Fair that was held in Glasgow, because I'm just so chuffed with it!!

First, there's the lovely lovely (French? oops) fabric. I'm starting to become a sucker for fabric, and I don't even have a sewing machine yet (see the "yet" - it's only a matter of time! Oh, and space of course).

I love it, love all the colours, and it didn't cost much at all. Not sure what I'll be making with it yet, maybe some bunting, maybe some colourful lavender pouches.

Then, I got this little beauty. Again, it didn't cost much at all, much less than what I'd seen in the shops basically. So even though it meant I had to leave it with my friend and wait for her to bring it down to London on the train last week (couldn't take the risk of being told to put it in the bin by stupid airport security people), I bought it. And I love it :-) The pot pourri mix in it came from the fair too. It smells of Christmas I tell you, it's great!!

Finally, the pièce de résistance. The Wool. Not any wool though. This one is wool, angora and silk. It's soft baby. I've rolled up the skeins and just left it there for the moment. Again, I'm not too sure what I'll be making with it, but it was too beautiful not to buy.

Yum, it's lo-ve-ly!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Busy busy busy!!

Hello everyone!! Well, a very quick hello before I shoot off to France for a day! Honestly, life feels a little frantic around these parts!!! But the weekend was very nice, very productive, I hope yours was too!! The Christmas tree is up, and I'm in love with it. We were uhming and arhing about whether we should get one at all this year, since I'll be going back to France and Boyfriend will be going to his parents', but we couldn't resist our little market seller. We get it there every year and have never been disappointed. The tree is exactly the right size for our little flat, not too bushy, so it doesn't take over the living room. Simply adorable.

The Christmas present wrapping station is up. All the ribbons, papers and gift tags are out, with sellotape and scissors handy. What more could you want?

And some last minute (?!) Christmas crafting has just been started... 12 days and counting... wish me luck!!

Happy Monday all xx

Friday, 10 December 2010

London is a wonderful place

I work in London, and so the last thing I want to do at the weekend is get on another train and come back to the big city. Doesn't make me feel relaxed. The crowds, the noise, the pollution, I get enough of it Monday to Friday. But occasionally, one has to make exceptions. And last Saturday, this paid off. Immensely.

The day started off with some ice skating (and yes, taking a photo of one's legs from atop is definitely not flattering). Or should I rephrase that: the day started off with me feeling rather insecure on a pair of razorblades, hugging the ice rink walls. I gained a little confidence after a while, and I may even have managed to do a couple of rounds with no hands. I kid you not. And I didn't even fall. That may be due to my buttocks clenching as hard as they could to keep me balanced. I'm still paying for it today.

The scene of our ice adventures? The Natural History Museum. Honestly, it doesn't get better than this. How cool is that place?! And it's free as place; who said education was costly? This place is simply wonderful, full of amazing facts and plenty of games to keep your fingers busy!

Some of the exhibits were breathtaking, and it made me miss my university days. When you learn things for the pleasure of it (although it didn't quite feel like that at the time!), not because it's necessary to please a client or complete a job. Learning at its purest form.

The inside of the building itself is rather impressive too, and I never tire of going up that elevator.

Lunch was enjoyed at one of the best little mexican places I know. Just happens to be close to where I work, but I can't usually justify having such a greedy lunch during the week. Don't want to look like a pig eating a massive burrito at my desk! But on Saturday, with the cold biting our faces, it was true joy. Utterly perfect. Give it a go next time you're in London, it's worth the detour.

This was followed by a leisurely stroll back to the train station. We passed these pigeons which I see practically every day. I usually hate the sight of them, dirty little things. Does anyone else think their eyesight must be quite poor? Because I've certainly had more than my fair share of near-misses with pigeons in mid-flight! But those, well, they just looked so cute, all huddled up, puffed up, keeping themselves warm.

Decorations are up too, and probably have been for the last few weeks, but I've been quite good at keeping out of the way of in-your-face Christmas cheer when it was a little too early for it. Ruins it for me, but this year, I haven't had to do too much shopping on the high street, so my little head hasn't been saturated with Christmas songs just yet and it feels all the better for it.

Well, another weekend is nearly upon us. Meeting up with friends will probably leave me feeling a little worse for wear, but good times are to be had, that's for sure.