I wish you all: Health and Happiness, above all else, for the year 2010.
It is what i wish for my family and for myself and, i extend it to all those who pop by here.
Happy New Year x x x

Guess Where I've Been... tee,hee...

Hmmm, Twas the weekend before Christmas...

Where is that place that i'd most like to be?
Cupcakes, biscotti and vast pots of tea.... Where the ladies dress for dinner
and the food is divine...
Where the fairylights twinkle,
We toast our friendship with sparkly wine...

Yarn wreaths hanging on doors,
In bright Candy colours...

When it comes to Christmas details,
She outshines all others...
Popcorn on the tree,
Red and White decoration...

An Elven house, with chocolate for three!
Children's morning faces, shine with elation!

Shiny balls,
and hairy balls,
Stunning Photo opportunities for me...

I want to tell the world....
I've been with MrsB x

OK, so prose is not my strength... but the JOY - these photos... this house... this family.... this lady... i love her and she completely knows why.

And i present a few gorgeous details of my brief weekend at MrsB's - as a way of inviting all our creative friends and friendly blog family, to join in our Christmas party.
Grab a cupcake and pull over the teapot... Merry Christmas and "here's to friendship"

CHEERS! *and thankyou MrsB, mwah*

Into the Shops...

Ahh, the internet retail chaos of my life has finally slowed to a few buttons sales :) It's all been good and i thank all my customers so much for wanting to shop with me. It means alot xxx I won't shut the shops for Christmas although, i won't be posting anything from Dec 23rd - 29th. I wanted to get ahead of myself though and list the last few items that were sat in my studio. I have a feeling might have switched off come January!
So: 2 new Princess Brooches - very pretty and girly with polka dots and bows.

The Bakers Wife Needlebook - in pinks (The Bakers Daughter is in blue and yellow) She is such a sweetie and i love the pink cheeks.
A seasonal red and pearls Button Love Brooch - too late for Christmas but Wintery all the same and perfecr to cheer up bleak days and warm woolies.

Loving so oooo much these knitted Beau Brooches - a couple of them now up in the Folksy shop. They are very limited edition so get them whilst they're there.
Hey up, looks like it could be snowing out there.... gotta go, Snowpersons to build and all that wetness. x

A few fun decorative details...

A few details of my decorating fun...
This is my ego-tree. It sits in the kitchen window after coming round to all the Christmas Craft Fairs. It is a shiny mirrored tree and has earned it's rest after 'The season'. It is my ego-tree as i hang all my own felt decorations on it from past and present seasons.

Kirstie Allsop "Handmade Christmas" - now i love our dear Kirstie - but please lady, pop round to mine or my crafty friends and WE will show you handmade and thrifty! .... Cath Kidston Christmas bunting. Holly fabric salvaged from the chopping down of a tablecloth, tooooo whopping for my small culinary kitchen surface. Ah, the tree. OOooohhh the lights. *sigh* i am totally Ebenezer when it comes to sharing this task. Tree decoration is 'my way or the highway'.... no 5yr olds fingers on this prickly passion.
(and no tinsel either. I don't want to start a war about it but.... tinsel is just wrong....) Cute ribbons tied to the top??? My what a great idea Kirsty. "Why thankyou myself, i thought so too"...

Handmade = now this is what i am talking about. My mostest treasured Christmas Cross-stitch picture. It sits above this mantle all year. Stitched by my Nanna in 1998. Given to me for Christmas that year. A lady who is now too blind to even read her clock. Handmade heirlooms are priceless.

Awwww, all that colour and coziness :)

I adore these bags.... "Liberty" darling, if you please. Shoe sketch by Andy Wathol. I *think* they were a gift from MrsB??? can you remember dearest? Are they from you? i love them to pieces, so very treasured.

My gnome boys - Bill and George. It is their first Christmas at my house and i think they are happy here. Handmade, but not by me. NorthfieldPrimitives x
And a swag of silver glittered holly along the fire place beam, with a cluster of white balls and shimmery Reindeer.
I love it when it's all ready. Decorating done. Cards sent.
I save all my gift wrapping till i am alone in the house and 'baby' is in bed, the house is decorated and the wine is chilled....

Sssshhh, Merry Christmas decoratives to us all x

Pom Pom Phenomenon....

Been busy... you know how it is. Christmas n'all that. I don't think that excuses the state of my work surface though? *shameful blush*
Nor does it excuse my lack of blogging... But guess what??? we had sunshine today - for a full 10 minutes!!! it was glorious and i became somewhat delirious - bathing in shafts of golden light, twas like a week on a beach i swear (note: delirium in bathroom mirror shot)

So i had a quick opportunity to photograph some stuffs i have been working on.
The PomPom phenomenon happens during each annual festive run-up. I love making PomPoms - who doesn't? so repetative and refreshingly mind-numbing.
I used to make them alot with my 'Kids' who needed a bit of "Time out"
Funny to watch hard-faced teenagers and 'Offenders' turn wool into fluffy balls....
But, more than that, i never fail to get adult attention when Pompom-ing in public: "wow" they exclaim, " i remember making PomPoms and now i've totally forgotten how"... Last year, if i had been selling them at Craft Fairs i think i would have made some real money. Everybody loved to watch the PomPom being born...

Mostly i make mine white and silver to hang like Snowballs. This year i have gone "all colour" and i've been making them to hang in groups of 3. Purple, Pink and Lime - with contrasting gingham ribbons.

What's not to love? They are adorable and i find, even the men like them. Something to do with hairy balls? maybe. But i rather like to think of them as nostalgic and a real moment placed back in One's childhood when we knew Christmas as a time a little simpler, with fewer pressures.

My advice? For what it's worth... don't sweat the big stuff. Bring Christmas back to it's basics: Food, friends, family and Pompoms. Have fun :)

12 mins till the Post Office closes...

Rush, rush... 12 minutes to get down the road and into the Post Office before it closes.... It is a car journey, which is a shame for the environment but great for comfort and speed.
I need to get there as it's Saturday! If i don't do it before 12noon today, these parcels will sit in my Art Room for days...
I made it. Just.
They love me in there (!?) "see you Monday" they said - "Hope so" i replied.

Rush, rush.
Get home and pack my car FULL of bags for this event tomorrow. Are you local? In Northants? i will have all my stock at this fair tomorrow - my last fair of this Christmas season.
AND, as if i am not hectic enough, i am having a room at the Rural Market for THE CRAFT CAFE where children are invited to make Christmas Cards and paper decorations....
Am i mad? will i ever get a chance to sit down with a cosy blanket and a nice cuppa tea?
... i think i'm feeling old today (and stripey).


Pretty Christmas Angel...

Hey! Look who's in the WINTER UK HANDMADE online magazine....? Me n' Her: I was asked if i would like to do a "How to" for the Winter edition... and i was making this angel so, thought she would be a pretty thing to share.

All the instructions and templates and full photos are in the last few pages (save the best till last *wink*) of the UK HANDMADE magazine, if you fancy making one for yourself.

I really enjoyed making something Chrsitmassy 'just for fun' - there are lots of other Christmas ideas and makes / bakes over in the magazine so why not take a look for yourselves and put your name on the email mailing list. It is a really good quality crafty read.
P.S If you do have a go at making this angel for yourself, feel free to email me if you have any questions.
xxx Read on further to see my HOLLY DECO too.....

Holly Decoration "How to - Go do"

I had no intention of making anything for myself today - as often happens, this decoration developed in my hands whilst doing something else... I have been making some Christmas Bunting for my kitchen using the Cath Kidston Holly fabric (below) and there were inevitable 'off cuts' that were too good to get thrown away.
So, the CraftyFish "How to - Go do" Holly decoration:
Firstly, i sketched a holly leaf on a piece of card.
Then i cut it out - and traced around that template onto a second piece of card. I carefully cut around the second template to make a smaller fit. This second template will become the fabric template and the first template is the bigger size, to be used for the felt.

I cut the bigger template on 2 pieces of green felt together. And then i did this again.
The smaller template i cut on ONE cath Kidstin fabric and ONE red spot. So you have the basics for the 2 holly leaves.
Applique the fabric to ONE side of the felt holly leaves, leaving the back of each leaf - blank (or double side them both if you want it double sided?)
Sew all round the edges, following the shape. Leave a gap at the top and STUFF them too!.... then sew them closed.

Then i sewed the two leaves together at the top with a gold ribbon sandwiched between the 2 leaves. Then i added the 3 FELT BALLS as holly berries, one at a time, sewing them securely into the top of the holly leaves.
To keep the 2 leaves from falling away from each other, i used green thread to travel down the back spine of a leaf - not all the way, just to that first spiky tip. This will keep them sitting nicely.

And it is ready to hang! This one is actually quite big. I am making a few of them to hang in-between the bunting to make a bigger 'swag' and look like fat sprigs of holly hanging.

I am pretty happy with how they look!

Please, feel free to use my "How to" and try your own. I need to clarify however (for those who are new to the online crafty stuff) This design belongs to "PaperFish", a Ltd. company. Nobody has my permission to use this pattern to make and sell commercially.

Good ain't it? xxxx


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