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Category — Christmas

The Twinkling Time

Ah ha! You thought I really had been sitting on my bad ass on the sofa after last months wee confessional, didn’t you? Oh you faithless friends. No, I have been uncharacteristically focused and disciplined, after the idea sprang into my head to make all my christmas presents (foolish girl). So I wondered if you fancied a little wander around my stitchy offerings – goodness knows you will appreciate them more than my children will……so walk this way…..

Right, so the staple of the presents are….drum roll….lavender bags!! Yay, no surprises there. But despite the quantities I’ve made, they have actually been quite fun and easy, and my Husquavarna machine and I have only fallen out a couple of times in the making. I call that a result…

Next up, cushions for the boys…when it came down to it, common sense and compassion prevailed, I just couldn’t give my 15 year old and 20 year old a lavender bag each. I have shown no such mercy to my mother and certain friends however. Too bad amigos.

My goddaughter has a little hand painted sketchbook in a bag for all her best 7 year old thoughts (and they be many and wondrous); and here is the long awaited University blanket for our 19 year old daughter – which had been wildly behind schedule – so thanks to my sweet friend Dareth for all her help in getting it finished!

There are other presents, but they must remain secret (as their recipients read my bloggy offerings) and I’d hate to upset the Solstice elfves. I was lucky enough to have my own hand made present too, from the legendary Bad Jo, who made me a bag filled with everything I need to make a gluten free Sour Dough loaf of bread – oh marmite toast, you shall be mine once more…..happiness

So with presents done, there was just enough time for a little bit of a frisky adventure to London with my favourite bad girl and other equally deviant compadres (I clearly mean well behaved and nicely mannered friends) – and all was sparkly, fun and a million miles from that slave driving sewing machine….marvellous

Now I am back home again, in the Solstice time, breathing a little slower now that I know the light is returning. All is quiet and gentle and good.

The stockings are filled, tangerines assembled (love a good tangerine, or mandarin, I’m not fussy) and the tree decorated. It is time to sit back and be cosy, watch the light wherever it may fall in the house.

Let the twinkling time begin…Solstice blessings to you all…thank you for journeying with me down these B roads I seem to be taking, it is such a pleasure to share them with you. It has been a year of oceans, pink wool, awesome friends and the ubiquitous cake of all naughtiness. Love, love.

December 22, 2013   1 Comment

Tradition….our way

O.K, I am nearly done now….my inner Christmas faery is ready to wilt, and it is high time I began to channel the spirit of the inevitable post festivity hill runner to work off those naughty nightly glasses of Grand Marnier. Sigh. Here is a little patchwork of our crazy days, and our family traditions – which we make up each year, to be honest, as the mood grabs us….

:: Sherry and shortbread as the decorations get dusted down
:: From the outside looking in
:: A small witchy corner that is all mine
:: Christmas Eve supper
:: Baked oyster mushrooms, peppers, breadcrumbs and camembert cheese
:: Neighbours Katherine & Adrian bringing mulled wine and folk songs
:: Solstice walk among the pine trees and wondrous blue skies
:: Christmas day – oiking everyone out of the house for fresh air
:: Hiding in quiet, out of the way pubs
:: Christmas lunch chaos – shoehorning my mother out of the kitchen
:: The making of Peppermint Bark – surely the very best bit of our days…
:: Christmas Day supper – one angelic child, one less so…
:: The opening of our 6th annual Film Festival – a three day marathon
:: 1950’s homemade felt decorations from my American Godmother
:: Competition for the best seat gets tight

Last one standing, turn out the lights….

December 28, 2012   2 Comments

Not Christmas shopping….

Hello lovelies….I thought I would be back here sooner, but no, these have been funny, busy, run up to Christmas kind of days.

Days in which I have tried to avoid big bouts of Christmas shopping in crowded places, really I have. Days in which I have tried to pretend I am part of the Von Trapp family and am making all of my presents….without breaking a sweat.

This present making malarky has been much boosted by a return of my insomnia. Well, that’s the official party line – the truth of my insomnia might also be ascribed to the love of a quiet house that is ALL MINE. Cat purring, hot waterbottle snuggling, tea drinking, music listening and crochet hook twiddling at 3am. Lush.

Whatever my motivations, whilst the fields outside have frosted up, I have where possible remained inside, by the fire, twiddling away with all sorts of frivolous crucial Christmassy projects.

O.K, I know you will want a full report. So let me see. I have made baby bunting for my Faery Goddaughter – this was before I attached little silver bells. Thanks to Lucy at Attic 24 for the sweet pattern.

I have made little stitchings, some textile machine embroidery tree decorations, and a dream journal notebook

I am also unforgivably smug that I even managed about six Christmas cards – go girl…(even if I am the only person cheering my sad self on….)

Despite our stove breaking down in the coldest week of the year, my little frost bitten fingers have been beavering away on a hot water bottle – the word ‘hot’ becoming an obsessional thought for our family over the last week or so.

Just so as I didn’t feel like a total slacker, I did manage to fit in about 15 minutes work in my dining room office, where I miraculously made a deadline for a piece of artwork. Rewarded, naturally, by a slice of my sister-in-law’s homemade Christmas cake…that she absolutely insisted I scoff before Christmas Day. And yes, that is my Facebook page you can see there on my work laptop (before one of my very clever friends points that out to the world, in the comments section below…smile.)

So this has been my little world, in the Stroud land of ‘Not Christmas Shopping’. Which to be fair, could also be subtitled ‘Not remotely doing any Housework’, ‘Not being Focused’ and certainly ‘Not engaging in anything more taxing than a ball of wool and a cup of witchy tea’. So be it. In any case, we are ready, we are there, bring it on. The teenagers are either hitting new sugar-induced highs of anticipation or reassuringly doing what teenagers do best – sleep in all sorts of odd places….

…and as for Santa’s little helper….(giddy on way too much sherry and shortbread)

Have a wonderful time everyone! Big hugs and love to you….

December 20, 2012   2 Comments

And so it begins……

I suppose I cannot deny that it is happening any longer can I?? The mad time is upon us, and like it or not, it’s official. 

We get a very big clue here in Stroud, that festivites are about to kick off by something called Goodwill Evening. This is when every single Stroudie takes to the streets, the town is lit up with lights and sparkly things, and the church is stuffed full of home decorated Christmas trees (and this gets more competitive than the village show bake off, let me tell you….)

You might well ask what a die-hard Pagan is doing messing around with Christmas in the first place…ah, but the kid in me loves all the excitement, and hey! There’s room for us all here, as far as celebration goes. A better question to ask is this: where is the Goodwill, when husbands start edging away from the crafts table and inflatable snowmen, towards the inevitable 50 metre sprint to the pub….like we didn’t notice that one……

Ah, lovely Stroud. Where else would there be a mad free-for-all of the anti-nuke brigade, the community choir, Stroud Song, singing their hearts out, kids racing around in a snow machine, teenagers ripping it up on fairground rides, and even a peace vigil quietly taking place in a little hidden square.

There is herbal tea drinking in organic cafes, folky guitar playing in funky bars, and even our very own pedal powered Rinky Dink street gig.

Oh, so go on then…it IS time I guess…I will gracefully give in to Solstice card sending, present wrapping, decoration hanging and general dilly-dallying around with tinsel, and stockings and Christmas carols. And what’s not to like…Stroud’s cobbled streets are lit up, shop fronts are glowing, Faery-Goddaughters are extra cheeky, and if you are stuck for that difficult person to buy for – well, Stroud can handle that too (mushrooms growing out of a log, fabulous I am told….)

So, big breath, let it begin…I will give in to all that this crazy time brings my way (I am sure that I am always saying that?), have fun and be thankful that the pure, quiet, orderly time of January is around the corner…..

December 14, 2012   2 Comments