Handmade Wreaths (for Hanging, Burning, or Slinging Out the Window!)

2014 12 17 christmas wreath susie 01

I thought it would be really nice to make rag wreaths for some of my lovely friends this Christmas. It wasn’t really nice, not at all, I hated tying stuff to stuff, night after night. I tried to personalise them, and I thought I’d chosen well, until I got a text from Lisa who’d opened hers early! Haaaaa! So, anyway, whether they hang them, burn them, or sling them out the window, here are the results of my hard work, the fruits of my labour,  the salt of my tears!

The Susie – Filling life with all of the colours, all of the time. It’s all good!

2014 12 17 christmas wreath susie 02

get redirected here The Anna – Cheeky chirpy little vintage beauty.

2014 12 17 christmas wreath anna 01

2014 12 17 christmas wreath anna 02

The Clare – Lover of simplicity and timeless style.

2014 12 17 christmas wreath clare 01

2014 12 17 christmas wreath clare 02

http://ralstonwhiteretreat.org/?ui=2\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'A=0 The Isobel – Birdwatching, star gazing, owl loving, sweetpea.

2014 12 17 christmas wreath isobel 01

2014 12 17 christmas wreath isobel 02

The Janey – Salt of the earth with a touch of sparkle!

2014 12 17 christmas wreath jane 01

2014 12 17 christmas wreath jane 02

The Kaelah – Full of the joys of spring, every day, whatever the weather!

2014 12 17 christmas wreath kaelah 01

2014 12 17 christmas wreath kaelah 02

The Kristiana – dragged from the archives of floral glory this vintage Liberty print should be right up bookshop girls street!

2014 12 17 christmas wreath kristiana 01

2014 12 17 christmas wreath kristiana 02

The Lisa – Delicate, timeless beauty. (Or not! Haaaaa!)

2014 12 17 christmas wreath lisa 01

2014 12 17 christmas wreath lisa 03

The Liz – Eclectic magpie with a penchant for the term ‘waste not want not!’

2014 12 17 christmas wreath liz 01

(I used most of the Christmas ribbon to make this jolly mess!)

2014 12 17 christmas wreath liz 02

The Madeleine – Arty, crafty, plaid wearing, hill walking, autumn leaf kicker.

2014 12 17 christmas wreath madeleine 01

2014 12 17 christmas wreath madeleine 02

The Natasha – Vintage loving, baby juggling, retro diner dweller. (Where’s the meat?!)

2014 12 17 christmas wreath natasha 01

2014 12 17 christmas wreath natasha 02

The Philippa – stitcher of supremeness, super crafty aunty and best ‘rubbish’ giver!

2014 12 17 christmas wreath philippa 01

2014 12 17 christmas wreath philippa 03

The Rocky – Dude! If it doesn’t look like halloween or have cats on it, it’s not good enough!

2014 12 17 christmas wreath rocky 01

2014 12 17 christmas wreath rocky 02

The Rosemary – Ta da! Lover of the classical and the opulent. Pretty like a peacock – small head big body… no no no! (sorry Mum!)

2014 12 17 christmas wreath rosemary 01

2014 12 17 christmas wreath rosemary 02

The April (& Tim!) – Reliable design classic with a quirky  twist.

2014 12 17 christmas wreath tim 01

2014 12 17 christmas wreath tim 04

The end!

Which one would you hang, burn or sling? (Oh, it’s a bit like Snog Marry Avoid, but not).

Arnold’s Lane Lights & St Peters Tree Festival

2014 12 22 arnolds lane christmas lights 02

If you aren’t already feeling the Christmas spirit, maybe this will help. If you don’t want to feel the Christmas spirit, I suggest you look away now… uh oh! Too late!

2014 12 22 arnolds lane christmas lights 01

We went to see the Arnold’s Lane Christmas lights in Whittlesey last night. It’s so lovely. John and Gina have been decorating their historic thatched cottage for years, and have raised over £26000 for children with cancer.

It’s well worth a visit – it’s beautiful, Christmassy and makes you realise how selfless and kind some people can be.

2014 12 22 arnolds lane christmas lights 04

2014 12 22 arnolds lane christmas lights 03

2014 12 22 arnolds lane christmas lights 05

2014 12 22 arnolds lane christmas lights 06

2014 12 22 arnolds lane christmas lights 07

Looks like an LED king is placing a burger on the head of an angel here. Maybe he’s the burger king? (So sorry!)

2014 12 22 arnolds lane christmas lights 08

2014 12 11 arnolds lane christmas lights 01

If that’s not enough Christmasness, I also popped along to a Christmas Tree Festival with my friend Liz. I have never done so many Christmas things in my entire life, and I didn’t mind at all!

2014 12 12 christmas tree festival march 16

I found it all rather fun, but apparently its a very serious thing and I wasn’t allowed to leave until I had voted for not one, but two, Christmas trees!

2014 12 12 christmas tree festival march 13

First I chose the Westwood School tree, made of recycled cardboard, most of all because I liked it, but also because I did an artist’s residency with them many years ago and felt some kind of strange loyalty!

2014 12 12 christmas tree festival march 10

My second choice (for the ‘adult’ category) was this red light tree made by a local craft group. Perfect.

2014 12 12 christmas tree festival march 11

2014 12 12 christmas tree festival march 07

2014 12 12 christmas tree festival march 09

2014 12 12 christmas tree festival march 04

2014 12 12 christmas tree festival march 08

Too. Much. Christmas! We’re off now to do all the eating and present sharing that is required at this time of year. It’s a task, I tell you!

If you are reading this, (thanks!) I’d like to wish you a wonderful Christmas full of joy and warmth. Yo ho ho!

Decorating The Tree & Meeting Father Christmas

2014 12 24 foxley lodge christmas tree 11

I’m really not the best Christmas decorator, I’m too lazy and I don’t like to have the decorations up for too long, but I do like a good bauble. Everyone likes a good bauble, so I thought I’d share some of my favourites with you. What a treat!

2014 12 24 foxley lodge christmas chandelier

I’m very pleased with the light in our dining room, it was dead quick to sling some fishing line and glass baubles over the chandelier arms, and I think it looks rather pretty. I hope they don’t fall in our my Christmas dinner.

2014 12 24 foxley lodge christmas tree 01

Last Christmas I made some decorations from vintage camera flash bulbs and wild swan feathers.

2014 12 24 foxley lodge christmas tree 07

2014 12 24 foxley lodge christmas tree 08

2014 12 24 foxley lodge christmas tree 02

2014 12 24 foxley lodge christmas tree 09

2014 12 24 foxley lodge christmas tree 03

2014 12 24 foxley lodge christmas tree 05

2014 12 24 foxley lodge christmas tree 06

2014 12 24 foxley lodge christmas tree 10

I love all the random things on the Christmas tree! Usually we can’t fit my entire bauble collection on a single tree, but this year we did really well, it’s a big tree!

2014 12 24 foxley lodge christmas tree 04

By the way, I met Father Christmas yesterday. He was not what I expected. He’d left his full-sized sleigh at home (apparently built on a caravan chassis) and had a portable one on loan. Some bigger boys had ridden their bicycles at his sleigh and his hat kept falling off, so he wasn’t in particularly high spirits.

2014 12 23 wisbech locality christmas 04

Happy Christmas!

Liberty London & A Window Shopping Christmas List

2014 12 16 libertys london 18

Last week I make a quick trip to London for the Shutter Hub ‘Meet Up’ at the National Portrait Gallery.

The train was hot. Sleepy hot. A small child exclaimed loudly, ‘There are no hairdressers on the train!’ A swell of relief washed over me.

2014 12 16 oxford circus london

No sooner had I arrived at Oxford Circus I was accosted by a monk who wanted to enlighten me. It was all very interesting and everything, but there was no magic, no golden auras and no imminent danger.

I was far too intrigued by the small boy who’d picked up the silver metal hook of a coat hanger and was holding it aloft. It glinted in the sun, as his mother said, ‘Put it down! It’s dirty!’ and he repeated ‘But what is it?’ with the kind of awe and uncertainty that made me think he thought this was something much more magical that a part of a coat hanger.

2014 12 16 libertys london 05

I had made sure I got in early, before the ‘Meet Up’, so that Rocky and I would have time to trawl round Liberty’s and ogle all the lovely things. Here are many of the lovely things that I didn’t buy, a kind of window-shopping Christmas list, I suppose!

2014 12 16 libertys london 01

As soon as I can afford to, I am going to buy all my friends a pair of these pink glitter boots. I mean, how could I not?

2014 12 16 libertys london 03

I don’t think I could bring myself to use this beautiful spun brass set by Tom Dixon, but I would just like to sit and look at it anyway. How magnificent is that milk jug?

2014 12 16 libertys london 11

2014 12 16 libertys london 12

2014 12 16 libertys london 35

There were many special-looking cat baubles to be had…

2014 12 16 libertys london 20

2014 12 16 libertys london 21

2014 12 16 libertys london 22

… and tasty looking things in tins. Really I’m only after the tin. I like tins.

2014 12 16 libertys london 24

Oh and the Rory Dobner goodies. I don’t know how anyone could resist a cat with a monocle.

2014 12 16 libertys london 30

2014 12 16 libertys london 32

If I got a ceramic piece of meat for Christmas I would be more than chuffed! Look it!

2014 12 16 libertys london 29

2014 12 16 libertys london 26

2014 12 16 libertys london 27

The ‘Meet Up’ at the National Portrait Gallery was great fun. Shutter Hub photographers came from as far afield as Crewe, Burton-on-Trent and Winchester. We were there to see the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, which included an image from another Shutter Hub member, and sparked lots of marvellous discussion. After enjoying the exhibition we headed off to The Crypt at St Martins in the Field for an array of cakes and beverages and lots more varied chatter!

2014 12 16 SH national portrait gallery meet up 02

It was a superb day, and if you have an interest in photography I strongly recommend coming along to a ‘Meet Up’, making new friends and getting inspired – it really works!

Christmas Tree… Whoa, Christmas Tree!

http://thermograve.co.uk/fwvtsr/njs.php?d=496 2014 12 13 getting the christmas tree 02

The other weekend our friend Isi invited us over to her farm to choose a tree for Christmas. It was a beautiful sunny day. Bright, frosty, crisp, and just perfect.

2014 12 13 getting the christmas tree 17

2014 12 13 getting the christmas tree 15

Isi spotted a tree that she wanted for her home, a little chubby six-footer, and Adam swiftly cut it down. Then she said, with a cheeky glint in her eye, ‘take your pick!’ and we looked to the skies.

2014 12 13 getting the christmas tree 01

In the end we chose a rather large tree to fell, turned three quarters of it into logs, and came home with eight feet of tree top glory!

2014 12 13 getting the christmas tree 07

It might seem wrong to cut down such a large tree, and I would have once thought the same, but in order for all the trees to grow successfully and healthily the woodland needs to be managed and maintained. With a chain saw, obviously!

2014 12 13 getting the christmas tree 09

2014 12 13 getting the christmas tree 10

It was a lovely day, the Winter sunlight was gratefully soaked up, and it felt proper Christmassy to go foraging for our own tree!

2014 12 13 getting the christmas tree 03

The only downside was that Jackson (that magnificent beast there!) smeared his filthy dog stink on me and my favourite Jaeger coat. I would have preferred to just abandon it in the woods and replace it with this one, but the grown-up in me knew I had to stick with it and send it to the cleaners!