Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Advent and pipe cleaner greetings

11~  I am not quite sure whether it is Santa or Mary that has called in the big guns, but the Royal Navy have arrived, abandoning their traditional battle ship grey in favour of something more festive complete with a large orange airborne wake.

12~ There's another king in town but he has forgotten his gift. He is however wearing very natty sandals.

13~ Myrrh (or mher) is mine, its bitter perfume, breathes a life of gathering gloom, but thankfully of all the trees that are in the wood, the holly bears the crown. Oh, and somewhere over the rainbow...

14~ That pesky elf is not doing his job properly. Two parcels have fallen out of the sleigh...

15~ So, secret Santa brought a box of crafty bits and suddenly not only does Rudolph have a red nose, but also a green tail and yellow antlers. Pretty useful in the fog...

16~ Pass the parcel at the reception class christmas party yielded completely fabulous glittery stickers, perfect for decorating the tree, then mummy cracked open the pompom makers and a veritable flock of sheep arrived at the stable. Three black, one orange and one pink. I hope a shepherd shows up soon...

17~ The pompom madness continues. A little French snowlady called Snowflake ❄ has joined the party.

18~ A shepherd has arrived, and not a moment too soon. It would seem that Snowflake and the sheep have been on the bottle. In other news 'Di-Rex' the monster has brought three spotty parcels to put under the tree.

19~ Becoming more 3d every day...


20~ The first shepherd being not really up to the job, he has called in reinforcements so hopefully they'll have those sheep rounded up before we get to Cornwall.

21~ A small cracker hovers between sea and sky...

22~ A much larger cracker threatens to take out the purple dog. Sent by Christmas purists perhaps?

23~ Frankincense to offer have I, oh and a candy cane encrusted star...

24~ Finished! A brother ship has joined the Royal Navy ship, a yule log burns merrily in the grate and pipe cleaner greetings wish all of you a Merry Christmas from all of us.

See you on the other side.


Monday, 22 December 2014


This week, my friend and neighbour Vanessa Cabban was killed in a tragic accident. She was a beautiful and talented artist, illustrator and crafter who was taken from us far too soon.

It was Vanessa who introduced me to the world of blogging through her own blog: Do you mind if I knit. Until I visited her blog I had no idea that there is a whole world out there of like-minded crafters, gardeners, cooks, and friends yet to be met. Vanessa put a pause on her own blog a couple of years ago but definitely did not pause in her crafting or art. I have often glanced through the window of her studio as I walked passed, to see her working away with utmost concentration.

I cannot claim to have known her well. She was very private and considered very carefully what she shared with others, but we did share a love of gardens and gardening, and of course sewing, crochet and knitting. I have a very clear memory of spying her across a crowded church at the christening of a friend's baby, surreptitiously knitting below the pew and she said more than once that a cup of tea and a couple of rows of knitting was the perfect start to the day.

This is how I will choose to remember her, squeezing in a couple of rows whenever the opportunity arose.

If you would like to take a stroll through the pages of her beautiful blog you can find it here: Do you mind if I knit. Please pause with me for a moment to send thoughts and prayers to her family who's pain we cannot begin to imagine.

Vanessa - you are always welcome to knit.


Friday, 12 December 2014

Here and Now

Loving ~ having rediscovered candles. Hurrah for cosy warmth.

Eating ~ home made mince pies. I have made about 100 more for a Christmas party we are going to on Sunday.

Drinking ~ tea. A lot of tea.

Wearing ~ PVA glue down my jeans. We are glittering most things around here and there is a leak in the glue bottle because Big Trouble stabbed it with a pencil.

Wanting ~ The Smalls to be well. Two off school again today and this evening Big Trouble has ear ache.

Thinking ~ about how proud I am of Tall Girl. She can now play jingle bells on the piano using both hands AND she sang a solo in the school play.

Dreaming ~ of having a fully functioning open fire. The builders are going up to tackle the chimney on Monday...


Thursday, 11 December 2014


Once again Stitches and Seeds HQ has been struck down with the lurgy. This is the first day in two weeks that one or other of the Smalls has not been off school, and I still have to go up to school at lunch time to dispense cough medicine. Inevitably I have it too and am feeling very sorry for myself and slightly overwhelmed by the length of my to-do list. I have just ticked off 'order camera battery' because that is completely refusing to play and won't charge. Todays pics are therefore taken with the camera on my phone which is slightly pants.

Anyway enough doom and gloom. I really wanted to tell you about our advent project. On the 1st of December we realised that the Christmas box was in the loft, Daddy was at work and Mummy is too puny to carry the big ladder in from the outside loo and up the stairs. So the Advent calendars that we usually use were unavailable.

What to do, what to do? A Small needs something to build up the anticipation through advent!

Then in the nick of time I saw this post from The Beetle Shack and decided to shamelessly copy the idea. I thought you might enjoy the first 10 days of Advent...

1~ Santa keeps watch over an empty stable. He is obviously expecting someone because he has put the light on outside...

2~ Two reindeer and Mary have arrived.

3~ Santa has brought his magic purple dog along, plus there is a Christmas tree cactus in 3d outside the stable.

4~ Santa has parked up his sleigh outside the stable, a Christmas tree rocket approaches for landing and poor old Mary has given birth 20 days early and without any backup.

5~ A star appeared in the east and the heavenly host advanced party appeared on the roof and lo, Santa did have a purple boat for getting to Australia.

6~ Bethlehem is dusted in a light sprinkling of gold sparkly snow, the angel is showing off her new pink balloon with blue streamers, an elf has popped by to tend to the sleigh and Joseph has finally made it complete with 'look its me and I brought my own star!' jazz hands.

7~ The heavenly host are in the house and they are dressed to PARTY!

8~ Only one addition today, a single but very exciting looking parcel. The first of many?

9~ One wise man with an albino camel and a pink robe has brought a gift of gold.

10~ Definition of teamwork: Tall Girl very carefully draws a beautiful cow, and Big Trouble very carefully covers it in turquoise spots. Big Trouble draws and colours two beautiful round parcels and Tall Girl adds bows to the tops. Happy mummy.

I hope you are having fun preparing for Christmas.

Back soon.


Monday, 1 December 2014

Daddy's Train

Big Trouble is rather in awe of the fact that Daddy gets the train to work EVERY day, and since we got back in August he has been asking to go on Daddy's train to Edinburgh, so this weekend that is exactly what we did.

The walk along the river to the station is rather a nice one, but Big Trouble and Tall Girl chose not to walk, and skipped pretty much the whole way instead.

This is what we had really come for. The BIG wheel. Princes Street Gardens is filled at this time of year with a Christmas market and fair ground rides. It is all pretty well done, very overpriced and extremely jolly. The market part was too mobbed on a Sunday afternoon for the Smalls to get any pleasure from it, but they loved the big wheel which we went on immediately.

We escaped the madness and crowds and went to look at the view of the gardens from the castle esplanade.

Edinburgh really was showing off in the sun.

Then with a bit of time to kill before it got dark we went into the Museum of Childhood. We have never been here before, but it has been on my list for a while because it is free, reasonably uncrowded and I have heard good things.

It did not disappoint. Full of lots of funny looking old toys, with a few that you could play with, it was a great way to while away an hour.

Then back to Princes Street Gardens for the funfair and the lights.

Normally I hate funfairs with the loud pop music, ugly painted rides and seedy atmosphere, but this was completely different. Yes the music was loud and it was Christmassy, and if you worked there, would drive you insane, but the rides were all aimed at children, were clean and fresh with pleasant staff.

The Smalls were each allowed to chose one thing (Did I mention overpriced?) and they looked round everything before choosing very carefully.

Big trouble loved going on the cars with J. At each end of the little oval track it whipped you round the corner just fast enough.

Tall Girl tried the climbing wall and may be part goat. She whizzed up three times in quick succession.

Little man chose Santa's train which I went on with him. It was extremely sedate but he loved it.

Three tired and happy Smalls.