2012... Say YES!.....

 I generally have just ONE
New Years Resolution for 2012...
 It is the Mantra that is going to guide me through a fantastic year (i hope)
 Saying "yes" is an attempt to put me out of my comfort zone
to welcome new opportunities
because i have a tendancy to hide away from life
(and just poke my head out into the blogosphere and back)
 I mean to be slightly 'measured' in this though.
I am not 'yes-ing' in gay abandon to all and sundry....!
But generally
will ensure i have a more exciting year than one in which i say 'no' more often than not.
"yes"  "thankyou, i will"  "yes please" &  "see you there"
 x x x

Wwwoooo Hooooo!!!!!.....

So VERY much to look forward to in 2012
I am so excited - see you there!?
x x x

Embroidery Hoop Decoration detail

 I had a mad 20 minutes last week when i decided to make this set of co-ordinating hoop decorations.
I have a box of these pretty hoops sat waiting for some various tasks...
and i also had a bag of scraps from my bunting making session and always i have little baskets filled with bits n pieces and scraps and ribbons and stuff i made or stuff i bought.... STASH! you know how it is.
 So, they are 3 different sizes and i hung mine as above, getting smaller. You can hang them anyway you like though but i like the 3 different sizes.
The first was so easy. I literally sewed up some long strips of leftover Christmas fabrics. I have used these fabrics and colours elsewhere in my Xmas Decorations so i knew they would fit in with the general home decor theme (if i have such a thing)
 The second two, i then stretched over with matching / co-ordinating scraps.
I have sewn the back of these like you would if you were making a yo-yo / suffolk puff thing. Whipped it round the edge and pulled it in tight - i can do you proper tutorial for some Spring versions after Christmas? Give you some real notes amd photos on exactly "how to" ?
 Anyway, the moral of this semi-tutorial is thus:
1. I decorated the hoops AFTER with the embellishments as they were easier to sew on once stretched in the hoop.
2. i did not plan it at all and just saw whatever happend. I like to work this way
3. it took about 20mins- seriously. 30 mins to hang it too.
4. it is dead easy and you can even take these out and change them if you want.
5. hang yours thus or differently or make a set of 5 or just a few small ones... whatever, it'll look good :)

 I am going to list these exact sets of 3 in the shop (hopefully both etsy and LPF by the end of today)
 But it is a bit close to Christmas now so, prod and remind me we can do this again in detail ready for Spring / Easter. I will be having a sale around February time so i may chuck even more hoop sizes into the mix ready for February...
 If you already have a hoop or 3 hanging around at home, why not use some cute Christmas Ribbons to embellish? My Artisan Bunting below is just an example of different bits and pieces you can add to your hoops.
Merry Front Doors
Happy Last Minute Crafting
and Annie.... THANKYOU x x x

Holiday Cheer... it's all about the Edibles here...

 If you could smell my house right now.....
Oh.  My.  Lordy.
If you could smell what i can smell, you'd probably propose to me. Even though you are already married.
It is the power of the Pickle.. and the Spices.. and the Sloes....
2011 is all about the Incredible Edibles!
 Having re-discovered Milton tablets, Sterilising equipment has become a joy.
A nice big bowl with a few Milton tablets and you can sterilise the funnel, sieve, jars, spoons.
It fills me with a little more confidence when i know everything is bleached to within an inch of it's inert 'life'.
 I've gone all Delia this year. I got her book at a Car Boot for a bargain. Very happy with my wee self.
And she is doing me proud thus far.
Pickled Pears, by rights, i should have done a bit earlier than this but Pah! i left it late.
I am so exciting about these with a Cheese Board and the Cold Meats. Yum.
Mainily pared pears and spices with Cider and White Wine Vinegar but i put a generous glug of Gin in too.
There was talk of late that, I might have begun listing 'DRINKING' in my list of "top 5 greatest things to do"
i swear it's not true - this recipe can take some Gin. It's all good.
 The Sloes have been steeping in their sugar syrup and gin solution for many months now - not the recommended 12, granted. But are now drained and bottled, ready for the various occasions that are upcoming. I have already finished a bottle of my Damson and Apple Gin - now that is a heavenly concoction i should not be left alone with.
 Let us gloss over the marathon of children's 'Magical Sandwiches' for parties, Cinnamon cookies and other such treats. It is like a Mother's obligation... except if you are my friend Mel, who put her name down for Ready Salted crisps for the Children's Party.... what is the matter with me? why didn't i do that?
There was a tricky moment with a cheese sandwich yesterday, when Lucy asked me:
 "Why is the sandwich magical Kirsty?... because it has glitter on it?"
"yeesss Lucy (10 other children listening) that glitter is the magic dust that makes Rudolph fly on Christmas Eve"
"Will we fly on Christmas Eve too Kirsty?"
"eerrrmmmm..... yeeeesssss, you might....."
PLEASE KEEP LUCY SAFE on Chritsmas Eve. Tie her to the bed! There may be magic afoot!

 Goodness only knows what will arrive in the Food Delivery on Monday Night?
I am hoping to make:
Leek & Blue Cheese Tartlets
Salted Pecan Fudge Squares
Waffles and Hot Choc Dip for Breakfast (ala Jamie Oliver - oh my!)
Slow Roasted Honied Figs
 - i am more of a support act to the main event over this gluttony fest.
I am happiest with this role.
 And look at this wee gift from a friend!
"I'd love a Babycham" - cute (wait till i show you the glass!)
Friendship is one of my next thoughts. I have a great deal to say on the subject.
Pears - done
Sloe Gin - done
Gotta get a Wax in an hour OUCH! The Christmas Dinner Dance is this Saturday.
Can you believe i am going alone? We have a great table with a hilarious bunch of School Run Wino Chums and food lovers. It is with a deep breath and an "i'm a big girl attitude" that i can go the Christmas Dance like Cinderella and say "i'm not single, i am surrounded by people i love"
chat soon.
Whoooop! i'm on a high today!

Christmas Detail...

 This time last year, i had only just turned my life upside down and moved into a new home.
Everything seemed like "just keeping up" then. Life is equally as hectic now but i definately feel more settled so the house had a decent decorative make-over this weekend...
 Having friends round for Tea / Coffee and Christmas Biscuits today, was a great excuse to tidy up! and get the Christmas Details photographed. I just had so much fun tinkering, playing, hanging, making...
 Every year my daughter gets so excited that the Christmas China is out.
Somehow it makes every mundane activity seem a bit more magical.
 I never make Gingerbread mid year - but December aches for a sweetly coated cinnamon and ginger treat.
You cannot beat a bit of food sparkle. Seriously, every meal should have fairy glitter on top.
 I found this Blue Scottie fabric i had stashed away in the cupboard so i ran up some crazy bunting with hege bells on and i am so happy with it. I have gone quite Aqua, Red and White this year, despite my intention to stay like a Nordic Gnome. I am no believer in a Christmas Colour Theme but somehow, a theme tends to emerge on it's own.
 I love getting the tree out. All these LEDs help to fend off any Winter Blues.
And all those toys help to hide the weighted base on the tree.
Utter Joy.
 And a Robin Mug filled with Candy Canes that are making my teeth fall out just looking at them.
At the end of school i shall hand them out to some little local friends : )
 A beautiful Robin to remind me of my Nanna.
Thank you dear friend - it was so very thoughtful!
Collecting the Christmas China is an ongoing joy.
And just when i think i own 'enough' then i will be 80yrs old and ready to palm my old fashioned hoarding onto unsuspecting recipients.
aaahhh, i am feeling so very Christmassy now.
x x x 

What I wore at the Weekend...

 Oi Oi, Outfits Ahoy -
what i wore at the weekend only really matters because it means i had nice things to go do :)
So, please be upstanding for my new Dickensian Boy Shorts in Tweed! *love*
They make me want to 'talk cockney' and quote "Oliver" at opportune intervals
(much to my friends' amusement... or not...)
 Also sporting a newly cropped and mega blonded ruffle hairdo.
Vanity wins HANDS DOWN where a good haircut is concerned.
I feel 'dressed' in my PJs if my hair looks decent.
 I missed the apron shot, where i am making up some bottles of Sugar Syrup ready for Cocktails.
Shaker, courtesy of the WI Jumble Sale last month...
 Saturday Night Cocktails round H's in 'The Lane'
We love you H - you are our local scocial hub and we'd go nowhere / do nothing without you.
Thank you for washing up all those glasses and letting S dance on the Wii to Katy Perryt till 2am
x x x
 Honestly, i should be paid to shake these babies...
"French 75" was by far the Winner:
Gin, Syrup, Lemon Juice & Champagne - over Ice
oh yes.
 Believe it or not, Sunday morning started with a 5k run.
Me and the dog ran it in record time and it was a 'good un'
so, running kit is also on the outfit list.
 Then, Sunday Lunch in Beaconsfield with the extended family - what a treat!
SeaBass in creamy Fennel Sauce, mmmmm
Wearing a long Cardi with 70% Alpaca!
I swear, it's not 'what' you wear in Winter, that matters. It is the Wool Content.
This was like wearing my bed for the entire day...
 Indeed, after that dinner, a Chocolate Brownie and a few bottles of Prosecco,
i did fall asleep all the way home. Thank goodness my Dad was driving.
Animal print Scarf? and abundant Silver? Oh yes.
So, that is what i wore this weekend, mostly.
And you probably don't really 'care' but i told you anyway
HOPE U R not tooooo cold up North?
 x x x

2012 Photo Project...

Nothing is Black or White by kirstyfish
Nothing is Black or White, a photo by kirstyfish on Flickr.

so, here is something for you to ponder on... (all of you, not just my MrsB above) If you like photography or want to improve or are stuck in a rut or just like being a bit of a club member... think about what you want to photograph MORE of in 2012.
Animals? Tea Cups? Landscape? Friends?
I shall re-visit this idea with you at a later date. I am thinking that I need a project.

Advent indeed....

 Dear Friend,
I am far more full of 'cold' than i am of Christmas Cheer this morning.
Never-the-less i am joyful! and replete with the excitement that Advent morning brings.
 And you are so right, of course!
To be gentle with oneself and not to keep demanding more. Put less expectation on 'what fabulousness needs to be achieved'... and to actually enjoy what fabulousness is already here.
They are abundant and overflowing and the regularity of Christmas is so reassuring.
You are right, again, on every level.
I have done none of my shopping - none of my baking - none of my own making.
I care not a jot.
 The Angel Costume was hung up in the School Hall this morning with her name and class written boldy.
The Advent Santa was full on the advent surprises.
I have cocktails on Saturday Night with my local Girl Friends.
My dog thinks i am beautiful, even sat here in my tracksuit nursing the stinky cold.
And i can - just about - stomach my seething jealously of your Avent Elf  House for yet another year.
(they never made another as pretty and perfect as this)

Secretly you see, we instil the magic of Christmas into them, so they can keep it going for us when we run out of steam! Clever Mummies xxx have a Gluh Wein for me?


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