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Sunday, 29 November 2009

Pause in Advent

It's been a mad week here and I am sorry I haven't had time to stop by and post anything! Thanks for all you lovely comments and I will let you know the name of the winner of my giveaway on Wednesday. Just for now though I am posting my first Pause in Advent post (written back last weekend!) see the button in my side bar.

It is a prayer, a cutting of which my mother sent to me many years ago at a time when I was suffering from emotional burnout! It seems to me to be particularly pertinent to this time of year, although it wasn't Christmas when she sent it, as just now so many of us are dashing about trying to do all those things which we seem to feel are essential to the enjoyment of Christmas and getting frazzled into the bargain. I offer it to you with some of my more calming photos!

Slow me down Lord.

Ease the pounding of my heart by the quieting of my mind.

Give me, amid the confusion of the day, the calmness of the everlasting hills.

Break the tension of my nerves and muscles with the soothing music of the singing streams that lives in my memory.

Help me to know the magical restoring power of sleep.

Teach me the art of taking minute holidays - of slowing down to look at a flower, to chat to a friend, to pat a dog, to read a few lines from a good book.

Slow me down Lord and inspire me to send my roots deep into the soil of life's enduring values, that I may grow toward the stars of my greater destiny.

Or you could say "Take time to stop and smell the roses"!

I have returned to this prayer on many occasions and found its simple words of great help - putting them into practice is not so easy but then that is why we are asking a greater power for help isn't it?! I hope you too will find it helpful at this busy time and that you will enjoy Christmas more for being a little less frantic and a little more relaxed even if the turkey won't fit in the oven and the shops are closed when you discover some vital ingredient missing!

I really really need to take this little homily on board myself just at the moment! I hope to be back posting soon.

Sunday, 22 November 2009


Hasn't the weather been dire this weekend? Rain, rain and more rain. One advantage of all the enforced being indoors was that I have got on with some more crafting and have made a couple more hearts and a flower corsage to send to friends along with their Christmas cards. This time I was inspired by the hearts that Pomona showed us on her blog "Little Cottage Comforts" the other day. I am pleased with the way they turned out and I used the lovely yarn that was left from my swap gift from Alhana back in August. Made a change from the coloured cotton ones anyway!

I promised that with this next post I would announce a giveaway. I took your advice and bought a couple of lottery tickets but I am sorry to say there will be no cheque for £1000s amongst the items in my giveaway as needless to say I didn't win - my luck didn't extend to lottery prizes after all!

However I have put together a few little items which may interest you and they are:

A pretty little tin containing some white buttons

A scrap of cotton/viscose fabric enough for a sachet or to use in patchwork

A small sample of embroidered silk these last 2 were from a sample book of expensive fabrics I bought at a flea market - the silks were priced at £89 per metre!

A piece of lovely cotton bought in Limoges and intended for a dress which didn't turn out as I hoped and supposed to be from the Nina Ricca Fashion house - it certainly does have a lovely feel.

More scraps of cotton - the yellow one is a Laura Ashley from 1980s and a further scrap of orange from I know not where!

Acouple of motifs - again cotton might be useful for card making perhaps?

Some pieces of broderie Anglaise and a length of Santa braid from Germany - 4 or 5 Santas long - would be good to decorate a stocking perhaps.

Some hand crocheted trimming in cotton - enough to trim a hand towel or pillowslip

Some pretty gift tags with raffia strings along with a bookmark bought at a Stourhead (remember my Stourhead post?)

I will also add to these bits and bobs one of my little knitted hearts - let me know what colour you'd prefer and will add a surprise or two from my hand made items.

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is to leave a comment on my blog and on 1st December I will draw the winner from those who have commented and let you know who is the winner..

I do hope you will want to join in - I am feeling a bit like Cathy from Menopausal Musings now!

I leave you with a picture of the Gold Medalist doing what he does best - which is the cat and which is the cushion?

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Thrice blest!

Having won but one prize in my life before starting blogging I have in the past few months been lucky enough to win not one but 3 giveaways! I shall have to stop joining in in future as winning any more would be just too much!!

I am completely overwhelmed by the generosity of my fellow bloggers. That you should take such trouble to package up such lovely gifts and pay the exhorbitant postage rates to send them to people you have never met I find incredible!
Having been lucky enough to win one of Pippany's lovely hand embroidered hearts a while back I would have thought myself fortunate indeed but no more was to come!
Next I won Wendy at Ticking Stripes' giveaway. This huge package I collected from the sorting office on Monday evening since the postman had been unable to deliver it on Saturday. What fun it was unwrapping it all - so beautifully packed and with this lovely cupcake notecard too even the tape used to seal the envelope it came in was worthy of a photo!

Inside was this lovely tin - I love the design and those greens will look great in my kitchen - if I can decide that it would be better there than in my craft room (junk room perhaps would be more accurate but craft room sounds better!).

Also in the package were these beautiful coathangers covered with a lovely Liberty fabric - I will enjoy using those. Sadly I seem to have photographed them from the back as on the other side of each was a tiny pearl button.

A chocolate scented candle that smells good enough to eat - I wonder if I can be persuaded to light it?! And some vintage labels - perhaps I will use those in my scrapbooking or for another project - I can't wait!

Some pretty notecards with delicate yellow envelopes....

A lovely white sachet bag and a square of beautiful printed velvet which I am already imagining made up into a patchwork bag with some leather pieces I have.
Many thanks to you Wendy - I love it all!

Then yesterday yet another big parcel arrived - this time I didn't need to fetch it as we were at home when the postman delivered. This time it was from Liz at Lululiz in Lalaland and again was all beautifully wrapped in different coloured tissue paper. I felt as if Christmas had arrived early as I opened the numerous little packages and the oohs and aaahs came thick and fast!

This package too had a pretty card with it and contained such an array of goodies I hope my photos can do them justice! This colourful striped cloth, and some facial polisher (need a bit of that I can tell you!)

A pretty embroidered traycloth along with some fabulous crystal beads, some velvet ribbon (is that from your recently acquired stash Liz? If so double thank you for parting with any of it!) some pretty braid, some fun pink spotted ribbon, some super chunky white buttons and a flower corsage with such a lovely centre!

These lovely scraps of vintage fabrics all in lovely toning shades and a length of beautiful old lace

A crochet doiley, pretty lavender sachet made in some lovely vintage French fabric, some daisies, some pretty delicate lace on a little card and a big green button which would be great as a fastener for a bag or on a chunky knitted cardi. Can see those fabrics and lace flowers, ribbons etc along with some of the beads all being incorporated into a piece of my crazy patchwork

Last but by no means least such a pretty plate - I adore it - together with a piece of Liz's hand made soap and all with a beautiful hand made tote bag with appliqued doggie - isn't he great?!

To you Liz a huge Thank you too.

As this is my 60th post I feel I should reciprocate in some way so watch this space as I am planning my own giveaway - though I doubt I will be offering quite such beautiful varied parcels as Wendy and Liz. Must dash now but I will put my thinking cap on and maybe with my 61st post will have an offer you can't afford to miss!!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Thought for the day!

To laugh often and much,
To appreciate beauty,
To find the best in others,
to leave the world a bit better...
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived,
That is to have succeeded.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Wise words don't you think? I am so often guilty of comparing myself with others and finding myself lacking but maybe, just maybe I am more successful than I think!
Having problems getting Blogger to space the text as I wish - sorry it's a bit cramped.
Enjoy the remainder of your weekend Do pop over to Living in the Limousin if you have a moment as I have posted there too!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

What is it?

I have been knitting today - fancied a change from hearts...

Can you think what it might be?

Now this is a family blog so no it isn't anything risque!

Any nearer ?

Now does it look like anything?

Amazing what a few stitches and a bit of trimming can do isn't it? I had intended to make her a fairy or even an angel but the wings defeated me unless anyone of you clever bloggers can come up with an idea?

And here is one I made earlier but he is awaiting his beard which I am not sure how to do - any ideas?
Now it is a very long time since I had any knowledge of small children so I have no idea if they will be suitable for a 5 year old boy and a 6 year old girl - what do you think?

For something a little less frivolous check out my post on Living in the Limousin entitled Souviens Toi

Monday, 9 November 2009

This and That

I am glad you seemed to like my previous post about the pony! Thank you to all those of you who visited and left a comment always much appreciated..

Today it will be a bit of a mixed bag and as it is a miserable foggy November day here today I thought you might like to see some photos I took on a recent visit to RHS gardens at Wisley along with some of the quotes I promised to share with you some time ago..

This is the huge glasshouse at Wisley which houses a fantastic collection of plants all set out in a natural looking environment. Sadly the orchid section which is usually stunning, and the only way I really like to see orchids, was closed that day but the following were some of the plants and views from inside the glass house:

"To live at all is miracle enough"

Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas they are in your own backyard if you but dig for them - Russell H Conwell

"Listen to the silence, it has much to say"

"All his life a man struggles to reach the top of the ladder only to discover that it is against the wrong wall!!

Not sure if this little robin's name was Reginald too!

Having wandered round inside long enough we then made our way to the restaurant across the gardens and these are obviously the outdoor photos:

"Who you are is someone who has the power within to create a heaven on earth for yourself and to radiate a piece of that heaven out to everyone whose life touches yours!

"Joy is a sign that creative emotion is fulfilling its purpose" - Albert Einstein

I will be posting later today on Living in the Limousin so do pop over and see me there too. I am off to yoga now - have a good week.

Thursday, 5 November 2009


Just back from a trip to the supermarket - this chap (or maybe it was a female I didn't look that closely being so surprised to see him) was tied to a post in the little shopping precinct near the supermarket and as I took these pics his/her owner came along with his bag of shopping ready for the homeward journey! That "sack" was a big cushion so presumably the seat isn't that comfortable.
Not sure why the flag was flying today - Guy Fawkes Night do you think?!

Bad hair day? The owner also had hair to match and a big leather hat!!

This was the view from just outside the supermarket door - fields and trees in the autumn sunshine. I know why I love living here!!!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Laugh out Loud

I don't know how many of you are familiar with Alhana's blog Cajon desastre but I urge you to pop over and see the video she has posted called "The Last Knit" - I was entranced and laughed till I cried. It is such a true picture of us crafters who get involved in our crafting to the detriment of everything else sometimes and also of the resourcefulness that many of us ladies posses - do check it out!

I have been having a domestic day today - you are welcome to visit now that my kitchen is properly cleaned, floor washed, paperwork which seems to accumulate and breed everywhere cleared away, hoovering dealt with, bread baked and scones cooling ready for tea!

I leave you with a picture taken this afternoon - which reminded me of a Camus quote "In the depths of winter I discovered an invincible summer" since even though it was pouring with rain the sun was shining and this fabulous rainbow appeared. I post it for those of you who are having a bit of a down time (you know who you are!) and hope it will cheer you up.

Enjoy your evening.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Little Hearts

Here is a little basket containing some knitted hearts I have made.

I wanted something quick and easy to make that I could make enough of to give one each to my City and Guilds Textile friends when we meet up for our Christmas get together and lunch at the end of November.

I started out trying to make little tree decorations - crochet cotton on size 14 needles and decorated with a knitted rose....

.......but my dexterity is not what it was and neither is my eyesight and the thought of making more of these was just too daunting so hearts it was!

What do you think of them? Will my friends like them or wonder what on earth I was thinking of?