Thursday, 31 December 2015

Christmassy endings...

..I always feel a little sad as Christmas ends and gives way to The New Year ... maybe its because I'm not a big fan of all the New Year celebrations. Whilst all the Christmas festivities feel happy and full of anticipation and excitement, New Year just seems to be about partying and drinking ...am I sounding terribly old and grumpy?? hahaha  Our little family usually celebrates New Years Eve with bubble baths and new pyjamas and  cuddles and snuggles and nibbles :) (not unlike most of our days ...hehehe) We will watch out of the windows for firework displays as it gets closer to midnight ..although I'd be surprised if there are many tonight, the weather here is pretty wet, windy and stormy ..but some brave soul is likely to try ...hahaha  Tomorrow we'll welcome in the New Year with a family meal with Abi and Nathan and play board and card games ...if the Angels allow it..hehe :)

Our Christmas was very nice, different, as we expected with Jacob away .... we had a wonderful skype session with him ..all 40 minutes and 20 seconds ..haha   He looks sooo well, sooo happy, his Spanish language skills  amazed me, he's so fluent and confident, he's sooo grown-up ... but he's still my blue-eyed Jacob at the same time :) He seems to be loving his time in Spain ...Madrid has been an eye-opener after the relaxedness of  slow island living on Lanzarote, now its hustle and bustle and rushing here there and everywhere ..and he's sooo enjoying it  :)  ...sooo much that the tinker hasn't had time to write properly and I'm starting to have Monday p-day/email withdrawals! :) My Angels were excited to receive tubs of chunky lego from Santa Claus (and its been flying around my head ever since... as evidenced by the nice lego lump on the back of my head ..ouch! :)  ... Angel Esther is  surprisingly accurate with her  'over-the-shoulder-hurled-tosses!! haha)  Jacob was wearing his Manchester United football shirt ...so I presume he was happy with his gift ..hehe  And Abi loved her framed Wedding  Cross Stitch Sampler and Cath Kidston treats :)

I was spoilt as usual :) ... I'm the Mummy ...Mummy's need to be spoilt! ;) hehehe ...
Two beautiful vintage baskets filled with goodies, sweets, treats, smellies, sparklies and even a pair of gingerbread socks! :)  I even ended up with an accidental gift too ...hehehe  I had my own mini panic last minute gift shopping for the  hubby on Christmas Eve and bought what I thought was a boxed gift set of  'BOSS' Aftershave ...pour le homme..  Unfortunately as hubby unwrapped it on Christmas morning everyone else noticed that it was actually...pour le femme!!! Ooops I'd bought the wrong gift set ...that's what happens when you panic-buy ..hehe  Hubby graciously re-gifted me his gift ...aaawww wasn't he sweet ;)  haha

Here's a close up of my sparklies ...
 a gingerbread man charm from Mum and Dad (the same one that they bought me last year :) Ooops ... I probably need to update that wish list ...hehehe ... I didn't tell her ... I can have matching bracelet and necklace charms!haha) And a sweet silver snowman charm  (not a duplicate ...this year! ...hehehe)

Mum and Dad also thoughtfully bought me the two more additions for my Jim Shore  Heartwood Creek-Santa's collection..

And  Hubby has dragged me into the world of Tablet technology ...
 A pretty red iPad Air ...that I am pretty clueless on how to use fully ...my only apps at the moment are Pinterest and Blogger ...quite lame really ...hahaha Abi and Nathan cheekily offered me some lessons on how to use it ...I'm seriously thinking that I might take them up on it ..hahaha  It certainly is a lot smaller and easier to use that my nice little netbook, finger crossed I'll get used to it. Abi even bought me a pretty red protective cover and a co-ordinating fabric pocket ...just so that I don't look toooo technologically advanced ...it is a Mummy iPad! :)

I spoilt myself too  ;) ...soooo naughty
 ...but sooooo fun! :) A selection of cross stitch designs with some fabric and thread. I've been using a new online 'shop' just recently from Etsy,  "Fiddlestix Designs" ...they are soooo good, have soooo many designs to choose from and are sooo quick with shipping ...and not one import fee as of yet!

And also some woolly love...
 A lovely Primitive Gatherings kit  called "Winter Cabin" and 3 little kits from 'All through The Night' and a few more from Buttermilk basin ...my woolly love cup  runneth over ..haha

I've been happily stitching away and finished two sweet Christmas designs ...
 With thy Needle and Thread - 'Jingle Bells' ... I loved stitching this ...not sure why its called Jingle Bells ...not a bell in sight ! ..hahaha  Its already to be finished ...but we all know I probably won't get around to doing that until just before next Christmas ... maybe I'll finish it with some bells! ...hahaha

Also, rather aptly... 'Merry Christmas'
by Joyce Reed Folkart Designs ... I 'found' her on Patternmart and bought the pattern as a PDF download .... I LOVE Downloads ...see a pattern, drool, click and print! Fabulous! :) hahaha This one was a happy stitch too ...even that border didn't give me any grief like borders usually do ;) The pattern was so clear and easy to follow ... I'll certainly be looking for more of her designs . Another one to finish ...next year! ..haha

I think I'm ready  for New Years Eve  now  ...no partying going on here just snuggling and nibbling and stitching ... sounds pretty perfect to me :)  My New Years resolution will be for more of the same family happiness ..interspersed with love, appreciation and gratitude,  sprinkled with gentle kindness and  a few dribbly Angel smooches for all my wonderful family and friends. :)

With Love,  Wendy x x

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Happy Christmas Eve :)

Our Christmas eve day got off to a good start ... I came downstairs this morning to find that  the Christmas tree....
 was down! :)
 As you can see the little Angelic-Demon-Child had even unscrewed the base/stand of the end of the tree!! Goodness knows how long she was at it ...hahaha .. Naturally it was the Angelic-'Fallen-One'-Mim-Lou! If she's not careful that little Angel of mine is going to lose her wings ...her halo has decidedly already slipped ..haha   I think she must have gotten up just after Hubby left for work whilst Esther and I were still snuggled in bed fast asleep ... I actually thought I was first up as there appeared to be a 'lump' in Mim's bed, so I thought she was still asleep ...obviously not! She did look very sheepish and signed sorry when I walked in the room and found her sat next to the fallen tree! hahaha    We've done well, we've not had a tree down for a couple of years :)   It all adds to the Christmas fun ...its the unscrewing of the base and the actual screws on the floor that has me chuckling ...making sure she'd done a proper job of taking it down (or trying to get it back up ...who knows what little Angel minds are thinking!)   It was soon back up and despite loosing a fair few pine needles looks pretty again, all twinkly and sparkly.

I've just about finished wrapping all the presents. The turkey is ready, the vegetables peeled. We baked and iced (and ate!) shortbread stars with the Angels this afternoon ...which they loved doing ...especially the eating bit ..haha   Now we are snuggled watching 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' and we should have time for our favourite 'Scrooge' before bedtime ...almost a  perfect Christmas Eve...much quieter than we usually have, Abi is entertaining her in-laws in her little home, Jacob is hopefully been loved by some kind Spanish family in Madrid.   I wish they were all home with us tonight but we will be together tomorrow ...Abi and Nathan will come over in the morning to open presents, Grandma and Grandad will arrive about lunchtime ready to be fed ..hehe.. and we'll all be anxiously waiting for our Skype connection with Jake at 4:30pm UK time (5:30pm Spanish time)  Its our very first Christmas without all our children home and even though it does  feel a bit strange and a little sad, at the same time there is a different kind of excitement in the air, knowing that we will all get to see Jake tomorrow  ...I think it has made us realize how much we all love and appreciate each other :)   And next year will be just as exciting because it will signify that Jacob is coming home a few short weeks later (he's been gone just over 11 months now!)   Time moves on, slow or fast ..it still moves :)

I have managed some happy stitching whislt snuggling and watching all those Christmas films and DVD's with my Angels :) ...
 This is the little Santa pocket I made form the cross-stitch piece that Mim-Lou decided to help me unpick ...haha    I like how it looks  as a mini pillow tuck, its quite sweet! :)

I also stitched up a few of theses small freebies from Pineberry Lane and ...Ooops I cant remember the other designer ..I think it's Primitive Stitches .. sorry!   I made one set as a gift and one set for me ..hehehe.
I haven't quite decided where or how to display them yet, I just popped them in a basket for the 'staging' of the photo ..haha   But, actually,  they don't look tooo bad in the basket ..  ;) hehe                I enjoyed stitching all of them, its so very kind and generous of designers to gift these freebies ...even when I'm sooo bad at remembering their name...but, Thank you designers, you are appreciated! :)

Its almost time for 'Scrooge' and P.J's and maybe some of those shortbread stars and a hot chocolate  for supper. Wishing all my wonderful family and friends the happiest, merriest and most peaceful Christmas time! :)
With love Wendy x x x

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Finishing Christmassy touches...

These are my final Christmas photos ...promise! ;)  haha I love some of my more sparse and simply decorated nooks and crannies around our home, they just make me smile...and they are generally Angel-friendly ;)

In the little room we just have a simple small fake tree with fairy lights and Angel Mims favourite wooden nativity that she likes to play with :)

Another selection of Santa's sits on the window ledge with a rag wreath lit with battery tea little lights (I only just discovered these battery operated lights this year...Love them!)

My cross stitch advent, stitched many moons ago when Abi was a baby. It's a little bit fragile now so is hung at the highest point possible on the wall...haha

The fireplace, again old treasures that have somehow survived the loving attentions of young children...Angels in particular..haha. (Although the new snowglobe that is just visible on the end ...it had to make a hasty retreat to the kitchen...let's just say that it was resembling more of a snow storm it was shaken that much..hehe)

For some reason this bare little tree on a penny rug near the front door just makes me smile each time I pass by  :)

As does this, little book, now hidden behind the Christmas tree...

I soooo enjoyed stitching this  little Christmas pocket, a teensy Danish 'Nisse' Pixy-Santa sits inside it keeping a watchful eye on all our festivities  :)

The hallway-stairs banister decorations have been up and down this year, I had put them up earlier in the month...before hubby came home and decided that this was the year for new carpets up the stairs and in the bedrooms ...right before Christmas! I've been waiting over 15  years for new carpet, so I wasn't about to complain about my garlands going up and down! Haha

Wooden joy :)

A quilted Santa hanging ...

Santa's sack filled with goodies :)

And my Gingers ...couldn't leave the Gingerbread men love out :)

I think that you are safe now, I have no more Christmas decorations left to show... no more room in the house..haha We are all ready to get cosy and snuggly under our quilts and watch some films, nibbling on goodies and waiting for the big day....not sure who we are more excited for...Santa's arrival or skyping our favourite boy??? Yeah, Jacob wins hands down this year...it's all about that special hour we get to see him thru the magic of technology :) ..can't wait!! :)
Hugs Wendy xxx

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Its beginning to look a lot like ...

Christmas!!  :)  We are starting to get excited here in our Kirby home :)  My Angels are snuggled up watching an Indiana Jones  film on the TV ...giggling and clapping for all they are worth  :) I'm snuggling up with them and some hand sewing and loving their giggles  ..haha    Peace reigns for at least the next 20 seconds or so..hehe   I have to admit this is my favourite part of the Christmas holidays. twinkling fairy lights, Christmas films and happy snuggly Angels ...and my sewing ..hehehe There may even be a mince pie or two in my very near future ..well a sneaky one at least;)

I managed to get the rest of the decorations up and we are officially Christmastised! 
This is my favourite traditional Nativity  .. its older than Esther and Miriam, maybe missing the odd nose, hand and arm here and there but its still in fairly good shape ...haha x x 
(I've purposefully opted for a blurry-smudged photo ...disguises those missing bodily parts on Joseph and the Kings ..hahaha ...No idea HOW Joseph lost his nose! hehe) I have to say I think I'll be putting this out on display even when heads and  bodies are broken  ...it will always be my favourite and a family treasure :)

Christmas Cushions on the Piano
It was only after I'd taken the photograph that I realised, that in this picture, I've 'lost' 2 of my teensy primitive Santa pillow tucks out of the bowl....
 Found them! ... hahaha...
..in the Angels sock drawer!! ...naturally hehe  :)

My Olde Dresser all gussied up and looking festive...
With my Country/Primitive Santa's and Trees ...
..Space for one more do you think?? ;) Maybe not this year ..hahaha

I did have to add my new Jim Shore -Heartwood Creek- Santa to my collection quite sneakily ...
Hubby hasn't spotted him positioned right at the back ...well not yet ...he is eagle-eyed, so I expect to be 'caught' sooner rather than later ..haha

I also managed to get my Kitchen (keep-safe-from-Angel-fingers)  Nativities all safely displayed ...with no broken noses or arms ! :)  This is the full Kitchen window Nativity scene ...
 And some close ups ...

 
 
 
 
I have a mixture of snow globe , small pottery and hanging plaque nativities ...all easily breakable by excited Angel fingers,  hopefully, they are just about out of reach and safe on the window sill ..haha  
I'm thinking its time for a mince pie now ...may try and sneak out from under my Angel snuggles and go nibble one ...or two ..hehe  I still have more Christmassy decorating photos so I'll be back soon with yet more ...we do Christmas BIG here ...hahaha :)
Hugs Wendy x x

Sunday, 20 December 2015

I was worrying ....

...that we might not get the tree and decorations up in time this year :( We've had a hectic couple of weeks ...fun and crazy, with a little bit of bothersome thrown in ..haha   Why 'agencies' decide that just before Christmas is a good time to do assessments and reviews is beyond me ..but they do. So in between trying to attend school Christmas concerts and coffee mornings and assemblies, finding glittery clothes for party Angels, spending hours with 'professionals' talking about the same thing (it would be soooo much easier if I had them all together in one room at the same time ...hehe)  Its all been our usuall manic chaos! And shopping ! Don't even mention present shopping ....it's an online Christmas for us ...and if I don't get organised soon it is  also a frozen chicken out of the freezer for Christmas day dinner too! :) I do love the chaos ...well looking back at it not when I'm in the midst of it ...that would be just tooo crazy  ..haha  What has proved challenging this year was a  little accident I had just as all the business was starting ... we had beautiful new carpet fitted up the stairs and in the bedrooms, my bare toes were enjoying it a bit too much , and I somehow slipped and bashed my toes against the bed frame and broke a little toe! Ooouuchh!! (not the teensy one either the one next to it ...like the ring-finger of toes!) Oooh it was all crunched and bent and  I had to bravely take a deep breath and straighten it out ...more Oouuchy!  I felt very justified in comforting myself afterwards with a BIG bar of chocolate ... purely  for medicinal purposes :) I didn't go and wait in A&E for hours to be told there's nothing you can really do about a small broken toe ...I just taped it very gently to my other toes to keep it straight and steady ...it did look quite cute ...a black purple toe in between two normal pinkies ..haha   Its a lot better, now but I was surprised at how much one teensy broken toe can slow you down...walking becomes a hop-hop-hobble but driving was a real challenge ...I obviously rely on that little toe more than I think ! :)  Fortunately everything is looking good now, the swelling is gone, the bruising has faded and we are back in full toe mobility action :) That's my woes and inadequate reasoning's for  been sooo behind this year. Fortunately I worked like a demon elf on the last day of school and managed to get the tree up before the Angels came home from school... Here it is in all its naked fir glory ..
And decorated ...

The Angels were suitably excited when they got home ...which is what its all about  :) ...I am blessed that even at 18 and 13 years old I still get to experience that magically excitement as soon as they walk in and see the tree lit up :)  As you can see I tried to jazz things up this year with the felt ball garlands ...naahhh not worked :) Instead of picking up pine needles for the next year I'll be picking up little felt balls!! Toooooo much of a temptation for Angels ...hahaha :)

I managed to get a few more decorations up too ...My lovely Jim Shore -Heartwood Creek- Santa's ...

I'm waiting to see if hubby can spot the new addition?? hehehe

And these are our school Christmas treats from the Angels this year ...
Glitter and glue create treasures :) We have crowns and wreaths, plant pots and Santa sleds, baubles and stockings , and my very favourite, a Toilet roll Nativity scene ...and even ...a Viking ship!! ?? No me neither ...I'm not sure of the what and why of a Viking ship at Christmas either ...but home it came ! :) Treasures each and every one ... every year I'm impressed and delighted with our school treats ...love all our teaching staff that get sooo creative with my Angels ...I know how excited they get when they see a prit stick at home ...hahaha  ..would love to see them in full action with a glue pot at school!! ..haha

Blogger is very slow at uploading my pictures today so I may have to stop here for now and try adding some more on a new post page (sometimes that helps speed things up ) so hopefully I'll be back soon with more Christmas pictures...I'm more or less finished with the decorating now :) Well I say finished ...when you have excited Angels home for the holidays you are re-decorating most days.. haha  Back soon ...

Hugs Wendy x x

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

I think my Postman may be psychic! ;)

Because he always seems to know when to call round with a little package that will cheer me up! ..haha And I've needed a lot of cheering up this last week or so  ;) ..hehehe   I think I've had a little bit of Christmas blues this week :( ..just missing having my Jacob and Abi at home ...putting up the decorations without them just feels odd...they've grown up and flown the nest and I've just missed them this week ... instead of hot flushes I'm having empty nest flushes ..haha (although I reeeeaally would like the menopause to start asap ...just to be rid of the hormonal, emotional roller-coaster  that is PMT ...but knowing my luck I'd be suffering the flushes and angst of menopause forever once it did start ..haha) I love my Angels, they are the most perfect snuggling companions, but sometimes it would be nice to be able talk  with each  other, just to have a conversation ... I miss talking with my teens ...I'd go so far as to say that I even miss the cheek and back-chat ..hahaha  
We did have exciting news from Jacob yesterday in his weekly Email from his Mission ...he's been transferred to Madrid! So he's leaving the warmth and short sleeves of Lanzarote and heading to the main-land to the colder weather and hoping he can remember where he stored his jumpers and coat  in the Mission home :) His adventure continues and he seems to be loving every minute of it. I miss him....which is exactly WHY it was fortuitous that Mr Postman stopped by with some happy post  :)
 I received some lovely patterns and woolly kits...
 Some lovely cross stitch deigns and a cute woolly snowman mini quilt kit, and a small woolly Christmas project...
Then there was also ...
 More woolly patterns and a lovely Kit from threads that bind (the woolly flowers at the back) :)

And I have managed to slip a few cross stitches and have a new finish ...
 Country Stitches-with thy needle and thread by Brenda Gervais : "Christmas at Winterberry Cabin"  is stitched and I think it may be my new favourite Christmas project :) Doomed to be a piano pillow ...but a very loved piano pillow ...hehe

Its not too much to show sewing wise but I have been busy with other  fun and very satisfying sewing projects (sorry no photos) At the beginning of September one of the teachers at the Angels school asked me if I'd be interested in coming into school to do some sewing crafts with some of the older children. So for the last couple of months every  Tuesday morning I go into  school as a parent volunteer and I sew with the older  '16+' children/young people :)  We've been making lots of Christmas tree decorations, mostly felt hearts, stockings, mini garlands and wooden peg angels. We had between 8 and 10 young people all with a mixture of abilities and needs. But they all managed to help create and make some lovely little ornaments. We also made some red velvet Santa sacks to hold our treasures in  and  we gifted them  to a local Radio Station in Preston that has a Christmas donation  program for  families in need.  It was soooo lovely seeing and helping these young people, who were excited to make some simple little gifts.  (We did make sure  we sewed some extra ornaments for the children to take home for their Christmas trees too)  :) Today was our last class  and as a surprise  I'd  made them all small 'Santa' sacks of their very own to keep their creations safe. Such a small thing but they were soooo excited and happy.  Their happiness, joy and excitement was gift enough for me but (with help from their teaching staff) they gifted me with a lovely wooden star ornament for our family tree at home...  :)
It has been a lovely couple of months at school, busy and a bit hectic at times. But it has being so uplifting  and inspiring to watch these young people learn and accomplish something, even if its just holding a needle and thread with  hand over hand help  ...their excitement and happiness truly fills your heart with appreciation and a wonderful sense of fulfilment :) Now I need to start planning what we will make in the New Year, because they've enjoyed it so much, they've  asked me to go back after Christmas! :)

Its snuggly time for my Angels now ... I will hopefully finish putting up our Christmas decorations by this weekend and maybe we'll even have a tree! :)  hahaha   Maybe all the twinkly fairy lights will chase the 'miss-you-blues' away  :)

Hugs Wendy x x x


Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Hellooooo December! :)

..the first of December is always exciting and a teensy bit magical :) The Christmas countdown can begin and its time to start watching all the Christmas DVD's and movies, snuggle and cuddle under warm quilts and blankets, drink frothy hot chocolate with marshmallows and enjoy toasted crumpets before bedtime  (also its guaranteed to be better than our  November this year!  ...hehehe)
Out come the Advent calenders ... White Chocolate Milky Bar boxes for the Angels ...a rather decadent Continental Chocolate one for hubby and I to 'share' ...which translates into first one there gets the choccie ! ..hehehe (I've hidden it tonight to make sure no extra days are opened!!! hehehe)
 And we have our wooden scripture tree that has little hearts and stars with the Nativity scripture verses on the back (well the reference, not the verse ..they're only small hearts and stars!! hahaha) And the Angels favourite Nativity Advent with the little doors ...I hide a chocolate in each day (one day at a time) and they love to click open each little door till they find the chocolate :)  We somehow, in our manic Angelic chaos, seem to just about manage to read the short nativity verse, eat the chocolate and safe the calendars from mass destruction  ...well there's always time yet for the mass destruction its only day one ..hahaha ... and we know that its happened in years past ...hehehe

Oooh my first shopping orders have started to arrive ...
 Some lovely new Cross stitch designs from the wonderful Brenda Gervais of Country Stitches - with thy needle and thread . .... Not directly from Brenda ...hehehe ...we are not that well acquainted  ;) they are from my 'local' needlework 'online shop' :)  Oooh, I can't wait to start " Frosty"!!

And a wonderful, happy surprise from the Picture Framers today too ...
 Abi and Nathan's Anniversary Wedding Sampler was back and sooo beautifully framed ... I'm over the moon with it ... it looks sooo beautiful ...and professional! :) Its not a brilliant picture as its wrapped in the clear plastic to protect it and I didn't want to unwrap it before I wrap it ...it you get my drift ...hahaha  I am soooo glad that I had it professionally framed ...once its gifted (and I'm thinking it needs to be a special Christmas gift ..seeing as I missed the Anniversary ...hahaha) and hopefully proudly hung in place I'll take another better photo of it. I truly love it ...I can't stop smiling when I see it ...the framer really made my stitching look good! :)

And how could the 1st of December get any better ....??
With Emails and Photos from my Jacob!! :) Sadly Jacob is still suffering in the sunshine and short shirt sleeves that is Missionary life in  Lanzarote ..hehehe   I just know he's missing the cold, rain and wind that we are having ...he may not realise he's missing it ...but he is! hahaha :) He does say it is soooo weird, knowing that its December and the weather in Lanzarote is as warm as one of our (England's) summer days, although the evenings are getting cooler ...sometimes the poor boy feels a slight chill in the breeze ...hahaha    He is loving it  :)   I guess it's a hard life, but someone has to do it!! hehehe  (I'm not jealous at all ...not one little bit!!) 
A wonderful start to December ...  :)
Hugs Wendy x x x