Sunday, December 14, 2014


The other day I was too unwell to go to morris practice - I don't dance any more but it's hard to get through a tune when you're constantly on the verge of a gigantic sneeze, or coughing fit. Poor Me (but it has gone on and on). So I had a couple of hours on my hands and, more importantly, some rather scandinavian looking jingle bells that needed a home. I thought a wreath or some kind of arrangement that didn't cost a fortune (we have a real tree, that's the major outgoing!) would be the thing, and I traditionally like to fill the house with sticks and leaves so I can hoover them up well into the summer.

I wrapped up warm and went out in the garden to gather some greenery - we're very lucky to have a fantastic garden with all your Christmas greenery needs right there at the snip of the secateurs. I fixed myself up with a pile of conifer, rosemary, bay leaves, a little bit of holly (our holly trees are still quite little) and some dried chillis for a bit of red (an idea totally stolen from those lovely Riverford people). The hoarding of the 'useful one day' items in this house is pretty full on, so I also found some galvanised steel wire and gaffer tape to fasten the whole lot together. Later on some giant nails and a bit of log also came in handy.

Artfully arranged and wired together greenery. I never plan this stuff, just hope for the best and fill in gaps when I need to:
Twigs in an unruly heap

Twigs in an orderly heap
Then I wrapped the whole bottom of it round and round with gaffer tape. I did intend to put this in a pot or vase, but it refused to remain upright due to being somewhat top-heavy. This is why it ended up being nailed to a log, which adds to the rustic charm don't you think?

Twigs finally brought under the control of wire, gaffer tape and 2 x 3.5 inch nails
Then the fun part, which is hanging stuff on it. Also, nothing is anything without fairy lights! Here is a lovely photo of my washing up and greenery:

Wok and twigs and and fairylights. I really dislike that red tray now, and there are four of them.
Chillies, lights and bells.
It didn't stay on the kitchen windowsill very long as it kept fighting with the composting pot (knowing, surely, its ultimate destiny. Nothing goes to waste) and is now on the dining room windowsill.

Other Christmas stuff I've a fancy to make are this fabric wreath by the marvellous Jack Monroe, and this knitted + pom pom wreath has been on my Ravelry list for a year, oh! TWO years.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014


And so, the Christmas countdown begins. I already feel like I usually feel with three days to go and it's only the first week in December, it may be due to the Advent Calendar madness we embarked on.

Usually we've bought The Boy an advent calendar off the shelf, last year a Star Wars Lego one to avoid the 7am chocolate tantrums, but all the bits were a very small and didn't add up to much in the end. So this year we had the brainwave of buying a full size set (same price as a calendar) and splitting it into 24 elements; this is very much the Husband's department and involved a great deal of faffing and MEASURING and making special instruction cards, which is almost his favourite thing to do, so he was happy.

This will mean nothing to most people. Others will know it's a LEGO 70503 Ninjago Golden Dragon set, with Golden Ninja; who used to be the green ninja and before that a delinquent candy stealer called Lloyd Garmadon. he has now reached his full potential, but he did have a difficult childhood.

I did the sewing, which is my third favourite thing to do but there was no way a knitted calendar was going to happen in the time available (I'll leave that to the Yarn Harlot).

I made it pretty much out of things already in my stash (for a mainly-knitter I have a pretty good stash of sew-ey stuff, it turns out) but went out and bought glitter fabric paint for the numbers because embroidering up to 24 is not so much my thing.

Biscuit tin storage. I need more tins though.
A giant rectangle of blue fleece and 24 jersey pockets later I had the basics down (or the boring bit as I christened it) so I got to do the fun bit with the felt, braid, beads and hot glue gun, because I am the sheriff of stationery village.
Oh, I do miss the Mighty Boosh

 I made snowmen, parcels and trees (with re-purposed beads for baubles):

And then stuck them all over the giant blue rectangle. Here is a photo taken of it hanging off the drinks cabinet (drinks cabinet!) at a crazy angle.I honestly hadn't been at the drinks inside the cabinet at this stage, but may have been over-caffeinated:

Ooo, gin!
Then we stuffed each pocket with 1/24 of the LEGO set and instructions,  and may possibly put some chocolate coins in the weekends but I'm not sure yet. He'll get the Golden Ninja on Christmas Eve.

"Give me all your candy canes"