made by me

I made a few gifts this Christmas and they all required a lot less time and skill than the ones I received.  Still, getting anything made this year was a challenge (I’ll blame it on the baby) so I was happy with the pleasure I got from producing one or two home made gifts.  IMG_0240This knitted corsage was the result of a craft morning at our church.  It was a pleasure to give it to my sister along with the instructions and materials so she can start to make her own.IMG_0255This idea, the instructions plus dry ingredients for making a cake in a mug in a microwave, come from katescreativespace as did the idea for making firelighters out of tea-lights and pinecones.  I love Kate’s ideas and the stylish way she presents everything.  I highly recommend her blog for clever ideas which always come with lovely helpful instructions.

IMG_0251IMG_0257Finally, I made a few Christmas cards from this pretty washi tape – I love the little birds in the Christmas tree.  So that was Christmas – doesn’t it seem like a long time ago already?

made for me

I was given some lovely Christmas presents this year and I want to take a moment to celebrate the hand made and home made that I received.  Firstly, this special bag of treats, all made by the amazing Chrissie and Jamie.  How good does this look?IMG_0267And hidden inside – jelly, tablet, elderberry juice, christmas tree oatcakes and glittery shortbread stars.  So beautiful and so delicious.IMG_0264Next up, three presents from the skilled fingers of my clever sister: a hand knitted wash cloth so delicate its too pretty for washing dishes; a cross stitch initial for baby E; and a jar of apple jelly – see how it glows!IMG_0428 IMG_0423 IMG_0437Last by not least, this jar of chutney came from my brother-in-law – its very good.  (He actually gave us two, but one has already been devoured.)  Present giving: what a great opportunity to celebrate creativity.  Thank you, all!IMG_0436

looking back – 2013 in pictures

IMG_6358IMG_6823January – a sad start to the year after the loss of my Dad; cold weather

February – ahhhhhh, sun and sea and family in Cape Town for three weeks: good times – a birthday, a cricket match, a grown-up weekend away, lots of days at the beach.

IMG_7486IMG_7705March – more snow;

April – 8 years married – still loving it; sunshine at last and afternoons in the garden; D learns to ride his bike; weekend with good friends in Ely

IMG_2966IMG_4650May – paddles in the canoe; visits from my Canadian aunt and cousins; apple blossoms and yellow poppies in the garden; first visit to the dentist; Gran arrives to help out with…

June – the arrival of our littlest; first sports day; walks; family to stay; fun with friends; strawberry picking; five of us climb a hill

IMG_8799IMG_7523July – summmer holidays; braiis in the garden; sunflower growing; a precious week away in Gardenstown; a new citizen is added to the United Kingdom.

August – birthday parties; a flower show; first day of school

IMG_5399IMG_9660 September – another birthday; a ceilidh; a dedication service; some family feasts; a final harvest of apples

October – an eighty-year old and a three-month old enjoy each others company;

IMG_20131116_154642IMG_8814November – cold; leaves turn slowly; a long weekend in Edinburgh; D loses his first tooth; E gets her first tooth.  Not enough sleep.

December – Christmas parties; Christmas food – time to celebrate.

happy Christmas



It has been a happy day.  From the moment K appeared to open her stocking with wonder and delight in our bedroom to now as we all relax and think about bed.  At bedtime, D asked me what my best things about today were.  So in no particular order:  K opening her stocking in our bed with all the delight of a three-year old who does not remember last Christmas and does not really know what to expect;  wrapping the presents then putting all the wrapped presents under the tree last night and admiring them before bed; setting the table for lunch with a vintage white table cloth and napkins from my favourite charity shop; watching D and K run around dressed as a dinosaur and a white rabbit in their new onesies;  singing ‘Oh come all you faithful’, in church; the tulips Ross gave me sitting on our breakfast table.


its a wrap


We’re in the midst of present wrapping and cracker making here tonight and I have a confession to make.  Its something I confessed to my husband just last week and was surprised to see how shocked he looked.  All I said was: to be honest, how a present is wrapped is as important to me as what’s inside.  I actually thought everyone felt like that; apparently not.  Well, I love wrapping presents and instead of doing it at midnight on Christmas Eve, I’ve made the pleasure last a little longer by starting it earlier this year.  Here are two I prepared earlier.  Yes, I do love a well wrapped gift.


jingle bells and biscuit smells


We have been getting ready for Christmas in a hop, skip and a jump chaotic kind of way.  This morning Daniel and Kirsten were able to take boxes of biscuits to school and playgroup to distribute to all their friends.IMG_0184

We baked the biscuits together and then I discovered the fun of letting them both type the labels on the computer (I’m amazed by how much D has learned about how to use a computer in one term at schoool).  They love racing upstairs to get the result from the printer.IMG_0178I did find myself wondering why I do things like this?  The most honest reasons I came up with:  it gives us a constructive and purposeful activity to do together after school; I can’t get my head round sitting down and writing cards to every child in the class (how to find out the names in the first place?); it gives me a high level of satisfaction to complete a small and effective project.  What about the recipients?  Well, they might love our biscuits or they might just eat the icing.  My sweet little packets will be torn up by breaktime, but we don’t mind!  Happy 13th of December!