Saturday, December 31, 2011


Happy New Year - health and happiness to all xxxx

A Happy Christmas

My two loves

Jacob loved his main present from us - a robot which was a last minute cheap purchase from ebay, when I realised I wasn't going to be able to finish the blanket I had been making for him

Skyping with family.  Technical issues meant we had to use the landline for audio ;)

My second head

Watching The Snowman before bed.  My favourite time of the day - Jacob loved it

Christmas dinner (eaten on Boxing Day) - Jacob carefully inspecting the components

Midweek - staving off the cabin fever (the weather here is terrible) at soft play with my sister

Quiet, peaceful, happy - Christmas 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Nadolig Llawen i bawb

I picked up these wooden reindeer thingies in the hobbycraft sale (yes, already), and wanted to do something with them quickly.  I had a sheet of midnight blue felt and a load of star buttons, so I shoved them all on together, blanket stitched the edge, and embroidered 'Nadolig Llawen' (Merry Christmas in Welsh).  I suck at embroidery, and this is just backstitched over paper (I used a scrap of wrapping paper, as it's so thin) which is then carefully torn away.  I was really pleased with it.

Nadolig Llawen i bawb ;) xxxx

The stockings were hung...

Today, Christmas took on a whole new meaning.  We spent the morning playing elaborate train tracks and ransacking the entire house in a search for the remote control for the train (which I eventually found in the one toybox I deemed it wouldn't be in, so had left til last), only to realise that actually, it's far more fun to just push the trains around with your hands.

After a nap, Jacob and I burnt gingerbread (hey, at least he won't be hyped up on sugar all day...) and made a yule log in lieu of a proper Christmas cake, which only I would eat.

Jacob was so excited about the presents under the tree, and kept asking to give us one ("Just one for you Mummy").  After dinner, we wrote a letter to Santa, rolled it up and stuffed it in his stocking, which he hung by himself from the mantel [no chimney] with care.  So different from last year, when he really had no idea what was going on, and was a bit overwhelmed by it all (a feeling I seem to be sharing this year); and the year before, when he was a baby of 9 months and we were all struggling through a horrendous gastric bug.

We're going through some tough challenges at the moment, behaviour-wise, which seems especially hard at this time of year.  But when he's nice, he is such a wonderful person.  "I luff yew Mummy", he says, grabbing my face with both hands and pulling me in for a kiss.  He's so utterly charming, and cheeky, and wonderful, and I'm so blessed to have him.  He went to bed late, but I'm wagering he'll be up at the crack of dawn tomorrow to tell us that he heard Santa "Doing STOMP, STOMP, STOMP on the roof Mummy".  He's been talking about it all day.

 My heart.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Felt and blanket stitch

Hobbycraft recently opened a store less than 3 miles from my house.  This was obviously a bad move on their part, as it will no doubt bring about my eventual financial ruin, which they will then have on their conscious for the rest of their existence.  Their Christmas crafting materials are amazing - usually I spend hours scouring ebay for buttons and ribbon and things, the postal costs of which usually exceeds their cost, so I end up not buying anything.  So being able to drive to the store, chuck a load of stuff in my basket, and get back home in less than half an hour is blissful.

That is, apart from the cost.  It is fairly-to-very expensive.  A multi-pack of felt squares was £6.49, and I ummed and ahhed over it for ages, before leaving it on the shelf.  I found a half-size pack in Tesco later on for just a couple of pounds, and since then I've been going felt-crazy.  I love felt Christmas decorations.  I love blanket stitch.  But I've never tried to make any myself, until Pinterest popped into my life, with all its inspiration-providing goodness.

One of my wonderful Mummy-friends moved house recently, and as we were going over there today for our present-swap, I decided to knock up a lovely Christmas decoration as a housewarming present.  3 and a half short hours later, I'd produced this:

Blanket stitch is fun, but for a novice, it isn't quick.  I was so pleased with the final product, that this evening I made this for myself.  Holly buttons from Hobbycraft, ribbon from stash.  And there's more to come.  I need more days before Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas crafts

Ooooh, this new blogger template is a bit scary.  I have no idea what I'm doing, forgive me if this post is filled with weird formatting.

I've been crafting pretty much constantly for the past few months.  It's one of the main reasons my posts have been so sporadic recently as I've had no time for both, but it's frustrating as I did tons of autumn activities and crafts which I wanted to share, but felt like I should do so in a timely fashion, and that time has now passed.  Still, there's always next year.

I came home unexpectedly early from work today, and had a leisurely catch-up with the blogs on my blogroll with my after-school cup of coffee, where I found this post about making paper lanterns.  I'd forgotten how easy they were to make, and I had a whole stack of lovely Christmassy paper just crying out to be cut and pasted.

Fold, embellish edges, cut slits, double-sided tape one side, roll, and stick.  Job done.

String up on beads, baffle the cats, enjoy the ANTM finale.

5 days to go.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas is confusing

We're waiting until later in the week to put up the decorations, but whilst dragging them out of the loft in readiness, we found this tiny tree which used to perch on top of the freezer (which lived in the lounge, great for easy ice-cream-access) in our first house together. In pulling it out of its bag (I was in the loft, Jacob was attempting to climb the ladder standing waiting patiently at the bottom of the ladder), I knocked a stocking through the loft hatch and onto his head. Jacob shouted "Jeeeeeeesus!". He's not one of these kids who repeats inappropriate things as soon as you say them, he stores them up for freaking months before trotting them out and then waiting angelically for the backlash.

"We don't say Jesus Jacob, that's not nice," (hmm, need to rephrase that really...).
"Yes it is nice", he says, nodding earnestly.
"No, we shouldn't shout that when we do something wrong. We should say 'Whoopsadaisy!'" I say, wanting to actually shoot myself for having got myself into this conversation and for the banality which is now coming out of my mouth.

Luckily, he got distracted by something shiny and trotted off elsewhere. It's a hell of a confusing time, Christmas: mixed messages about Jesus for a boy being brought up in an atheist household, with very-religious grandparents; confusion about who-the-hell-is-Santa-and-why-is-a-strange-man-coming-into-my-house-in-the-middle-of-the-night?; lotsnlotsnlots of shiny things sprouting out of the walls; and random old ladies suddenly asking you what you want for a present but then not giving you anything.

And today was nicely rounded off with trying to explain to Jacob about spaces between words. He was nicely tucked into bed, when he spotted the 'Merry Christmas' banner on his wall, and sat up again, saying "Pick me up Mummy, it's broken". I looked round in confusion, trying to figure out what he was talking about. "The letters Mummy, it's broken". I realised he was pointing to the space between Merry and Christmas, where yes, it looked like a letter had fallen off. I explained about words, and spaces, and sentences. I picked up a book, and showed him the spaces between all the words. I picked him up and held him up to the banner, showing him what sound each letter made, and how none were missing. He said "No Mummy, it's broken".

I agreed, and put him to bed.