Saturday, 29 December 2007

Memories are made of this...

Memories are made of this...yes the last few days have been full of old and new traditions with laughter, tears, and lots and lots of conversation. Its a time for family and friends and not really for sitting at my computer, although I do have a few minutes on my own, so I am going to let the pictures do the talking. I hope you had a blessed Christmas and overcame any obstacles that came your way and you are at peace with the your world, thank you for all the personal wishes. So as we bask in the afterglow of the season and start with the run up to the New year...I wish you well... So Christmas Eve, a hearty meal with the seasons colours and lots of mulled wine (well for this Mommy anyway, especially with a cold...nothing like it to clear the infections). Then we have the children's first Christmas present from Mommy..a new pair of PJs after all the children are all lovely and sweet smelling after a big deep bubbly bath...
Then its outside with the Santa dust and reindeer Santa's tray is laid out (reindeer biscuits, carrot, mince pie and milk...I was not allowed to put sherry out as it might make Santa giddy and he would not be able to get on with his job) the children look up the chimney for signs of Santa and they work out amongst themselves how he actually does it all...
Once the children are a sleep a little magic happens...Santa shakes the snow off his boots and lays out all the lovely gifts for the two little ones that have been good all year (OK maybe the last bits just too much of a fairy tail)!!!
I love this time at night, I have watched the midnight service, all is done, and I sit with the twinkly lights and just soak up the atmosphere and of all the promise it holds for the fun and delight of the next morning. A time to really count my blessings...
The best bit of the morning is seeing it through the eyes of the children...How my wee one loved his kitchen, as I sat and watched them playing I thought of all the lovely stuff I could make to fill its cupboards...felt cup cakes, cookies, fruit and veg....
Ahhh then its the time for Mom to retreat to the kitchen, the mulled wine goes on (again) and the music sings got to love Andy Williams and Bing at this time of year! So the table is laid with my best dinner service..much to my Moms disgust as I tell her how every piece of the matching set was thrifted from various places throughout the last couple of years...

Everyone falls in to bed, the house is full of scrunched up paper and cling film covered bowls of food...TOYS everywhere...and a special camera sits in its box waiting to be opened...yep I got my camera...yes the very same one I have lusted over for about two years now...So we awake on boxing day morning and after a little breakfast and yet more playing we get our wellies on, heavy coats, hats and gloves we venture out on a grey wet day...
After all a walk is part of our family tradition and despite my Mom being in her seventies she joined us, I think because my dad used to love walking around the area I live in. This makes it extra special...
It is now understood by my Mom why our front porch is always full of coats, wellies and lots of mud!!!
The air was clean, the ground was well...wet!!! I love this little walk is is just a short lap around the house, a full circle you go out the road one way and return the opposite direction and the views are amazing at all times of year, of course for me the best time is summer, but you knew that already right?
It is stunning too at this time of year, lots of bare trees and reflective water although it does all look a little sinister, my home area holds so much history I was reading a book about the area and it goes back to the Stone Age...hunter gathering...then through the ages...Romans, Celts and Anglo-Saxons. So as I walk through the surrounding area there is a real sense of belonging to the land and being part of its history...
I am now clearing up the Christmas mess, changing the bed covers over and generally clearing up the house to welcome the next phase of the season, Bringing in the New Year...I wish you all a very Good New Year, may It bring peace and good health.
Happy New Year

Monday, 24 December 2007

Happy Happy Christmas

The last day on the advent calender has been opened and it is now up on us...Happy Christmas... Its just gone midnight and I have just finished setting the house up ready for all the excitement once the children realise Santa has been... I wish you and your loved ones all the very best for this Christmas, may peace and joy fill your hearts and homes.

I thank you now for all the support and the comments you have given me this year, it has been a wonderful gift and I do thank you.

So many pictures are being taken so I am sure I will have lots to show and tell and my head is buzzing with so many ideas of stuff to make, until then...Happy Christmas.

Sunday, 23 December 2007

One more day to go....

What a whirl wind this Christmas has been to just seems to have been rush rush unlike me...I do not feel Christmassy at all, I think the materialistic side has gotten hold of everyone around one has time for friends and everyone is just so busy shopping...So I am planning on a quite Christmas Eve, no big party this year as most people are too busy doing their own thing, I hope to get some crafting done with the kids...To keep my fix of making stuff and chasing away the materialistic side of the Christmas period, I got busy on the teachers gifts. You know they must get so many Mugs and box of chocolates, not that there is anything wrong with that...I just thought I might do something a little different for them!!! SO something easy and practical that looked pretty...tissue off I went into production of these little things...(see above picture)
I wanted to make a little extra gift for my little ones I finally put into use the tins that I was given with a comment of 'Your crafty...what can you do with these?' Well I turned them into storage pots (no big creative idea there then) with a little fabric label for them to fill in, a couple of little birds and...a tissue holder each!!!I really enjoyed making these and using up my scraps of fabric, they are double sided so I played about with some interesting fabric combinations. I wrapped them all up with pretty paper and a little handmade card to go with each of them. I hope they liked them, as they had been made with love and each teacher in mind when it came to the colour selection..
Well look what I got in the post, nothing is nicer than a surprise gift, Vintage Heaven had won a giveaway of mine then went on a, too long, blog break...this was a little thank you from her, so cute and I love the colours...I am very thankful and I hope this means she is back to blogging...she has been missed.
Now then, for me to leave the countryside and venture into the city is a BIG thing especially on my own. Well I did it!!! All the shopping was done, I just wanted to get my Christmas candles from Muji so I took a train ride and 'hit the city' sadly Muji has closed down, so I took a good walk round, amazing how far you can get without the little ones with you...I wondered around the German Christmas markets, I took a few pictures, I liked the shot with all the blue sky and the white metal work of the ride. I was pleased to get the very last copy in the shop of the Christmas Martha Stewart magazine...which is now so well flicked through it is now shabby! A good sign of a treasured read.
Of course a trip to the city would not be complete without your Starbucks coffee and cake a Christmas flavoured one at that...Being without my little ones I took my coffee on to the train, settled down with my IPOD and my knitting...Ahhh bliss! best part of the trip!

So its one more day to go, I am just about organised, I just want more time with my children, I have already had one of my little ones upset because he did not have me to himself all day with my Mom coming up, so I guess the excitement is on overload at the moment. I am thinking of the sadness some people feel at this time of year, it should be a joyous time, a time for peace, loving and kindness...I wish you all this and good health...take some time over the next couple of days to remember the reason for this season and share in its joy and promise. Wishing you and yours a very Happy Christmas filled with all you desire, and if you don't get that I wish you good sense of humour;-)

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Crafting on...

How nice is it to get something you just do not expect through the post...especially from a blogger that you really enjoy reading. This blogger has provided me with so much inspiration this if the inspiration was not enough she sends me this gorgeous bundle of goodness... You all know by now how much I adore a gingham hottie, how cool (well hot actually) is that? A beautiful hand sewn Christmas decoration which will adorn my tree for many years to come I hope and...yes...and....a lovely quilted tree card, you can not see the detail on the photo, but it has machine and hand quilting on it and I love the Christmas label...beautiful...I thank you French Knots very much.
So I managed to get all the Christmas cards in the post, I took a few minutes out to type my usual Christmas newsletter and once posted realised there was a typo in it!!! Ah well, I am dyslexic after all at least I have something to blame it on!
A few last minute Christmas cards got made last night whilst I sat with the children at supper time. I used an Ikea decoration from a couple of years ago, this year Ikea have done hearts (so think Valentines day). I have had them up all year as I like them, a little person came round one day and showed a lot of interest in them, so much so they pulled them all rather than re thread them I have sewn on a button and made a simple card, using a simple styled Greeting stamp in a rustic ink...well...I think its quite cute...
OK this picture is not a craft one but it was the result of our outdoor time in the cold...a rather large collection of ice...yes it is ice and not glass. We had great fun smashing it all up. SO after our outdoor mischief we returned in doors and a little sewing got done. I seem to have a project on the go in every room at the moment, the house really is under a blanket of paper, glue, fabric and wool...I need to do a big clear up soon as my Mom is coming to stay in a few days and she is not one for a mess! Anyway I introduce to you my Sleepy Santa's. The idea came about last year for these, I had a free download for a tree pattern and had drawn in my idea book a Santa I saw on a blog, so this is a direct result from looking at two peoples work, I am ashamed to say I do not have their links to pass on to you, but it is someones else's idea and not my own, I just put the two ideas together...I love the result, the fabric is perfect and they are a little bit of silliness for the season...Don't you just love the light reflection on this picture, I did have a better picture of the Santa's I just thought this was more fun for this time of year when Grey is the usual colour of light around here?

Now this doll is not my own work, it was given to me a few years ago and comes out every year and sits on the fire place. I so love this, it was made just for me by a paper crafts artist...along with it a wonderful letter telling me where each bit of fabric and antique lace had come from and even where the willow was picked for her wings. It is precious and makes me happy!
Now for a little Christmas corner of my knitted Christmas man, I bought this last year from the hospice my Dads spent his last days in. I wanted to buy something for the house that the children would enjoy and this seemed ideal. I like the idea that someone had sat for many hours making this knowing it was going to make someone smile and help a much needed charity. Can you spot the Lego from the advent calender not to mention my bunny from Little Cotton Rabbits?
So back to the stuff I am making...the yo yo's. This time last year I think all craft bloggers had made them, I might be a little behind on this craze but my they are addictive...this is the result of sitting watching a Christmas movie with the children...
Why so many and what am I going to do with them? I am a little nervous at showing you this. I was telling a friend about it last week, I was full of my usual puppy dog enthusiasm and I watched her face screw up and go 'Oh how nice' which most definitely meant the opposite. I felt totally deflated...I know its not something I would chose to make, but, my child has chosen the colours and the Pokemon characters he has even picked the wadding.
It has lots of texture and I agree whilst its not every ones cup of tea it is designed by a child...believe me the child loves it too...I can't wait for it to be finished and see him all cuddled up in it...I think it important to let a child have their own ideas and express you think it will get finished in time for Christmas?

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Present Shopping...DONE

Ticking the list as I go, all the things that need to be done, getting there slowly, I am sure it will all be done...

Yippee all the Present shopping is DONE!!!
I have just been badgered by a friend of mine who has told me to get my act together RE: The more tea shots and some interesting stuff...I quite agree, I have felt a bit low with all the sadness around here, I am miffed with the quality of my pictures of late...the close up function especially on my camera is shocking...(a poor crafts person always blames their tools)and I am out of a routine...So its a walk to clear the head and brush away all the materialistic stuff that goes with Christmas and time to start to enjoy it all for its true meaning...Breath in that cold air and the feel of the crunch under foot...
Ahhh that's better...Mmmmm the hands are twitching, the sewing room is calling...See you tomorrow for some Christmas crafty goodness...No tea pictures I promise...what about Mulled wine???
Photograph: A winter walk with my youngest...I live in a village surrounded by hills...this is five minutes away from my home.

Friday, 14 December 2007

Snuggly and Buggly

Snuggly and Buggly...yep that would describe yesterday very well. My older one was off school poorly with the illness that is 'general fatigue of the season'. He is a very creative little chap and is part of lots of different groups. So this week alone he has had so many Christmas performances which generally means late nights. From Drama, Nativity, choir and playing the violin...bless him...he is a joy to watch. His lastest performance started half an hour before his bedtime and half way through I watched him go ever so pale and by the time I got him home and snuggled up in a warm bed with a hottie he was feeling very sorry for himself. So the next day I took the decision to not fill him with calpoll and send him in to school BUT, to have a day at home resting and recovering. So whilst he slept in I had a little treat for breakfast, did a little blogging and caught up with some Christmas sewing. I also had a little bit of time to spend on my quilting projects, remember the origami flowers, well here is the next stage...sewn into a block with my favourite fabrics of the moment
(Thanks Sal:-), the petals just need to be sewn down now to open up the flowers and a little bead or button to finish of each one...
When my wee man eventually made it down the stairs with his quilt following him, we got the fire going, made a pot of Hot Chocolate and a bowl of pop corn, drew the curtains closed and put on a Christmas movie...
Now I know why I adore making my quilts, when your feeling cold and miserable they really do help to warm and cheer one up. So there we are all snuggly and buggly under our quilts...all four of them, with toasty toes and faces from the warmth of the fire, watching a cool Christmas movie...a little hand sewing and a touch of knitting thrown in...could it get any more cosy in here?
Eventually it was time to collect the wee-ist one so we both pulled on our winter woollies and warm boots and hit the cold for the school run. Once we got home it was on with the PJ's for our first night 'in' all week...we did a little baking, a little playing (see the rug picture) and eventually a big deep hot bath with lots of bubbles and splashing and then we all curled up for a sleep...Oh yes including me...I eventually staggered out of bed at eleven to make their pack lunches for the next day... Ahhh! a snuggly and buggly day indeed.

Have a super weekend, all being well...we will be finally writing our Christmas cards, making a ginger bread house (very inspired by Melly and Me) a girly night out and Christmas carols around the local bandstand...hopefully with yet more mulled wine for the Mommies as 'Baby its cold outside'...Take care and good health.

Thursday, 13 December 2007


Before I type on I wanted to say a heart felt thanks for the beautiful, thoughtful comments and emails about the last post. I Thank You, every comment was so special to me. It is with sadness in our hearts that we have to accept that life now carries on and when children are involved its even more important and to share in the Christmas joy is something that I feel is important. So it finally arrived around here...the Christmas Magic, the tree is up in all its spender, I have a usual tradition of putting on the Christmas music (which I play till all around me scream...NO MORE!!!) I make a pan of Mulled wine and the tree goes up in the evening so that when the children come down on a cold dark morning the house is transformed into a winter wonderland. Oh to see their little faces...well its adorable...
Along with the Christmas Magic comes all that making, I have just about finished all the makes for friends and orders, my poor friends I never know if they think 'Yippee Suzie's being sewing again' or 'Oh no not Suzie's sewing again' So this year I have not made my children's friends much, last year I went into mass production of appliqued T'shirts, I have however made the Mom's a little something. So now I am free to make the nice stuff, the ones without the Pokemon Quilt for one of my children and a Moo cow for the other. I also want to make a few other little projects...Christmas mice and I am itching to have ago at fabric apples and pears...don't ask!!! SO Christmas Makes...Glue Gun at the ready and the buttons lay all around. Actually I miss lead you with this picture of my button wreath, I made it last year with a rather odd looking reindeer as its centre!!! But never fear a few more are getting made.
You just can not beat Red Gingham at Christmas, I adore gingham any time but red in December is positively essential around here. SO a few little ornaments that take moments for the tree, pretty effective, especially when the sparkly lights shine on them. Also for those moments when the kids have got 'tinsel fever' and you need to get them to focus...go pick a cookie cutter and make cookies...
Talking of which my older child and I like a bit of cookie making...sorry about the picture my camera is playing up when on close up...Ahhhh Santa PLEASE bring me a new camera...I have been such a good girl!!!!
These cookies are so easy...melted chocolate on baking paper...a big dollop of chocolate and push in a cherry and two silver balls (eatable ones) almonds for ears and curly wurly bits for the antlers...let them cool and there you are...full of sugar and all things unhealthy...YUMMY!!! AHHHHHH the panic is setting in...there are parcels to be wrapped and taken to the post office, gifts to be delivered, get together's to be arranged and cards to be sent out...I have a little help with the hand made cards this all know Monkee Maker and her famous 007, well look what I got...two fab packs...they are adorable, funny and a little naughty...I know who I am sending each one of them to...Thanks Kerry.

So its a busy busy time. We must stop and make time for the people that are important to us, I had the pleasure of catching up with an old friend this last weekend, my knitting partner who moved away in January came over to stay with her gorgeous baby, you know when you have a good friendship when you don't clean up before they arrive...Sorry Caroline...did you really think things would change because you have been away for a year?

I got to see another old friend too...the best man at my Wedding came over and we had dinner with the children...I am also thinking of my friend and her family in Australia, this time last year they came to stay with us for a week, she is now living the dream, travelling, home schooling and many exciting plans for their future...Miss you Kate...Happy Birthday my soul mate all the way over there on other side of the world, if your reading this...Ring me when you can, guess who lost your contact number???

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Another Star in Heaven

I want my blog to be a happy place, I do select the things I write about so that as a reader you will leave feeling happy, sometimes though it is hard not to mention something that is not happy and has such an impact on my life... so I ask you to indulge me and not to be angry that the creative vibe that usually goes on around here has slowed up a little. I have just said my last goodbye to a special person from our local community, friend, mother, wife, daughter and all the roles she played in which she touched so many peoples lives. I have chosen a short post to acknowledge this sad day when another star is lifted to heaven. I thank you for the personal emails and the thoughtful comments, they really do mean a lot. It has not felt like Christmas at all in our household, and as with many creative people Christmas is usually a special time. I know that Amy would want life to continue especially if children are involved, so I felt it important to mark this event with a personal post. I am overwhelmed by the way this has effected me, so many people where closer than I was to her, for some reason the pain, the sense of loss and sadness for the children is rather consuming. I am holding my own children very close this week and its extra cuddle time all round. It was so hard to watch the children of this Mother stand by her coffin with flowers that spelt out Mummy, a husband who stood tall with sadness in his eyes holding on to their little hands. I wish them peace and love. Shine on Amy...

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Christmas fair...

Lookie Lookie...what came in the post for me...I am a bit of an owl fan and I was so very LUCKY to win this little one from Lucy Kate Crafts, she is just so cute and even came with a few pieces of lovely fabric and the most adorable buttons, especially the little daisy ones...I was so pleased to get this gift, the sewing is beautiful. Go check her out if you do not read her blog already, she has just made the cutest elf hat in blog-land using a pair of leggings...yes you did read correctly...yer how clever is this girl? Well I never did get round to telling you about the Christmas fair at our little village school. I have to admit it was all a little stressful, I completely unintentionally upset a friend and I shed a tear or two about it, plus my own kids wanted to go with Mommy to the fair and not have to watch Mommy with all the other children. I always thought it was a great example for my children to see Mommy doing lots of things in the community, but when they miss you and want to be with you, well I did feel guilty. I did however make time to take them to see Santa and grab a little something sweet (to late for the bacon butties) in the school cafe at the quieter time of the fair.
Now saying all of that (I do not mean to be a moaning Minnie) when I actually got down to the crafting with the children to see their little faces and some of the creativity going on I knew it was worth it all. A few creative makes where laid out, kit style and a free for all table of papers pens, glue, stickers, name was all there. The reason for this is we have so many children in at one time and there are only two of us doing it and at times only one, we need something the kids can do completely on their own without adult help...this table provides this and it was by far the most popular one...some of the things the children come up with when they are left to their own ideas just blows me away.
I had planed to make the little Reindeer badges for the children, alas ran out of time and to be fair we did have enough on already...I wanted to make all the pom poms for the day, I had a couple of older children round for dinner one evening and I thought they could help me...Best laid plans and all that...Still lots of baking got done and everyone was happy to join in.
The night before the the fair was a little hectic and family members got cross with me as I worked until late surrounded by a mess, dinners remained uncooked and bedtimes got delayed...naughty Mom!!!
The joy on the faces of my children as they told a rather fantastic Santa what they wanted for Christmas and all the children full of excitement that at last Christmas was on its way, the school was decked out in all its Christmas sparkle and they ran around filled with Tinsel Fever!!! On the PTA side of it all we made a whooping £1800. So you know its worth putting that little bit of effort in.

Its been an emotional week this week, I have thought a lot about the
previous post, I thank you all for your amazing comments, Moms have been reduced
to tears at the school gate, even Moms that never met her. Such an
unthinkable thing to happen. I am awaiting the funeral date, I have been
told that it is requested that we all wear bright colours and sing her to
heaven. I think this speaks so much about the person she was. I thank you
again for your comments.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Such Sadness....

So it has begun...the Christmas feel is well and truly in the air around here. The Christmas fair went well and the Children met with Santa, this post was going to be all about the Christmas glow that had started to shine in the Suzie Sews household.

Sadly today I received such sad news. A friend I knew whom had been battling very hard against cancer sadly passed away this weekend. So forgive me for this post. Amy, was an amazing mother, she leaves two children (who are around the same age as mine) behind. We both had our second child at the same time and I met her through the National Childbirth Trust.

I am at a loss for words now so feel it is best I leave it there. Goodbye Amy, your love, inspiration and joy for life will go on in the hearts of many...