Monday, 24 December 2018

Happy Christmas Crafting

There is usually a lull in my crafting at this time of the year unless it is last minute Christmas presents.
Not so this year.
My niece in law has asked me to make several things, some with a flamingo theme.
I found this one quite a challenge.
It is a rather unusual tree topper.

I bought these fluffy clip stands in Flying Tiger and I`ve turned them into flamingoes.
I`m hoping they will fit the table theme for Christmas day.

On a donkey theme, my sister said she didn`t have much to hang on her tree so I created these donkey hangings for her.
But only after an unsuccessful attempt at some felt fairies.
No pictures of those I`m afraid.
I wish I had some of my own now.
And here is Florence`s new headband.
Today we took my great niece to meet Florence for the first time.
She loved her visit.
Anne left out a bucket of sweet hay to feed her.
Macie loved that and commented on her fluffiness.
Florence is 7 months old now.
Rosie and Alice enjoyed some hay as well.
I have recently discovered origami through pinterest youtube tutorials. 
They are well presented and slow enough to follow as you make.
Here are two I tried successfully.

 Some weeks ago I blogged about the fabric sample books I bought in Leicester.
I`ve been making silky bags with mixtures of colours. They are fully lined with contrasting cotton fabric.

They are fairly small, about 30 cm square.
I find this a very useful size for my purse and mobile. 
The colours are lovely.
I was really inspired with a garland I saw on Pinterest made from fabric strips. I think it was the colour combination that attracted me.
Here is my effort. strips of fabric, cut to the same size and knotted on to garden string.
I used mainly shirt fabric, saved after recycling. 
Last weekend a visitor told me that our Christmas tree reminds him of the ones from his childhood.
I took that as a compliment.
A few of my home-made tree decorations.

(I have a new project for the Christmas holiday
which I will blog at a later date.
It involves domino knitting.)

Now here we are on Christmas Eve.
All the presents are wrapped, indeed quite a few have been distributed and received with many thanks, owing to our extensive extended family.

I wish all my readers a very 
Thank you for reading my blog
and especially to those who leave comments. 

Next up will be the 2018 review.
Watch this space.


Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Florence`s Debut

The weather was atrocious, with cold wind, driving rain 
and it was very chilly.
It was hard to drag ourselves away from the cosy log fire and hot sausage rolls but we had invited friends who had wanted to come too, so we drove down to the farm.
(We usually walk with lanterns.)
 The barn has a roof but no sides and this is usually fine, as Tim stacks huge bales of straw around the edges.
The smaller straw bales are arranged as seats with cows on one side and sheep in a pen on the other.

 We had wrapped up really well and we spread blankets and made ourselves comfy.
  The trouble was we never did get comfy.
The wind blew the rain through the barn sides and the carol sheets got wet.

We went ahead and sang some carols ably led by Wendy, but we were feeling somewhat damp and cold.
The donkeys were led in with their precious cargo. The parade included dear little Florence, the new miniature donkey, who was a star, with her new headband and lights all around her.

We were all relieved when a mince pie and mulled wine break, 
came round more quickly than usual.
Tim talked to us about Farm Africa, making a rather amusing double act with Ken.

 After a few more carols, the evening wound up early with everyone happy about that.
There was just time to pet Florence and take more photos.

Well done to Tim and Anne for persevering with the evening, despite the bad weather.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Freshwinds Fairy Forest

Most mornings I wake at my old work time
6.45, and I just want to get up.
I think of all the working mornings I wanted to stay put.
There is an irony here.

On the very morning we have promised Anne to help with tree planting, we do not wake until 9.20!!
So our first morning was rather a late start.
It was a beautiful morning with low, bright sunshine.,
Tim and Anne already busy.
And they have been planting since last Wednesday.
So, there have been about 900 mixed trees to plant in what was once the buttercup meadow.
It runs alongside the fairy trail.
This will be Tim and Anne`s legacy to the next generation, and how privileged we feel to take part in the great planting.
It is a chance in a lifetime to be able to plant up a wood.

Our first job was to plant two oak trees which will stand alone on the right hand side before you reach the lake.

As we dug the holes I was wondering how big the trees would become in our remaining lifetime.
Indeed those were my thoughts as the rest of the trees 
were going in, but not in a morbid way.

That day we managed 40 trees ..... crabapple, silverbirch, 
field maple and alder.
Each one required a spade`s slit, heeling in, a stake and a tree guard with two clips to tighten up.

 There was a huge pile of stakes, tree guards and canes which gradually grew smaller through the morning.

The bags of trees had been soaked in the lake.

We were all glad that it had rained as the digging was easy although claggy in places. However, we did manage to break 
one of our spades.
 We worked steadily until a rather late lunchtime.
Whatever this wood is eventually called, in my head this section will forever be Grist Corner.

Here are some views of the whole area.
 Looking towards the Goblin`s Lair.

 Looking up towards the copse.

 Looking towards the camping field. 
 Looking up towards the garden.
Grist Corner.
As we wandered between the stakes and guards, it was fun to imagine the canopy that would one day be overhead, as well as the range of autumn colours the wood will provide.
As we strode back to the farm, this was our view.
We spent another glorious morning there today, with a light frost and mist hanging over the lower fields, cobwebs shimmering like gossamer over the grass and warm sunshine.
We managed 50 trees ..... silverbirch, beech, field maple and hornbeam.
What a way to spend our days.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Snowmen, Hugs and Pompoms

Where did November go?
Such a flurry of activity round here.
We still haven`t completed the jobs in the gardens has been to wet. There was a frost this morning.
Thank goodness the dahlias are under cover.

Today we went to Dobbies, the big garden centre near Ashford.
We got our Christmas tree there. It is a Fraser Fir.
(more later)
I was delighted to find tulips at half price, having thought I`d missed the boat.
We also found all the Unwins seeds at 50p a packet.
What an incredible bargain.
Some of these packets were originally £3.
I am also delighted to tell you that I have managed to do some Christmas craft with 5 of my nephews and nieces.
Here they are with the snowmen.

Frazer and Fletcher with theirs.
Aiden and Alfie`s.
And Macie actually making hers.
We are having another craft day on Sunday afternoon.
We`re hoping to make gnome houses from paper plates.
I`ve been busy making special cards from my seaglass collection.
They are a bit precious and will not be going through the post.


My niece-in-law has a rather unusual theme for their Christmas tree .... it is tropical with a pink and green colour theme.
I`ve made her a few items.

There are a few flamingoes involved as well.

Steve has been busy creating a herd of reindeer.
Can`t bear to think of giving them away.

I`ve been making a lot of colourful pompoms.
So easy with the pompom makers. 
And I followed a youtube tutorial to learn how to make these origami stars. It took a few tries but I got there in the end.
I have tried to get the link but with no luck. Anyway it is called 
5 pointed origami star.
It has two very clear you tube videos to follow.
 Tomorrow I am taking some crafts to the village coffee morning at the village hall. There will also be a few of our willow wreaths and stars on sale at very reasonable prices.

And finally this lovely picture of my two nephews hugging with excitement after decorating their Christmas tree.
I hope this gets you into the Christmas spirit.