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Archive for December, 2009

Goodbye until 2010

Tomorrow morning I’m off to a wee cottage near Ludlow for a week. No wi-fi, eeeek!

I’ll tease you with a list of the scran I’ll be sampling. Purely so I can report back, you understand. Seriously, the muck I shovel in for your benefit. I hope you appreciate it, young lady/man?

First up, the White Hart Inn in Winchcombe. As per the apt URL, it’ll be wine and sausages all the way here.

On Hogmanay we’re going to the Eight Bells in Chipping Campden. I’ve heard great things and it’s very near a lovely day spa so I have booked a massage too. Massage followed by venison stew and mash. A better combination I cannot imagine.

The Horse&Groom at Bourton-on-the-Water will also be paid a visit. So will an elasticated-waist-trouser retailer at this rate.

Ta ta, my darlings. I hope you see out 2009 in style with those you love around you and that we all start 2010 with hope and excitement about what may come.

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So was Santa good to you? I can only assume he got my list mixed up with some stray-cat-adopting, blood-donating, vegetarian soup-kitchen volunteer as I certainly haven’t been good enough to deserve the delights given to me.
Le Crueset dishes aside (just for the moment, I’m afraid they will be back with a vengeance as soon as I start cooking in the new year!), I also got this beautiful antique jewellery stand. This was a ‘wee extra’ from the excellent MrT but I adore it. He also bought me the Dawson’s Creek boxset (I know he struggled with this – teen angst overload begin!), a gorgeous necklace, some sewing books, 12 Lush bathbombs and other trinkets. And this New York purse I’d been dreaming of. And finally – an IOU for a clothes shopping spree in London in the last weekend in January! Whoopeee, Anthropologie here I come! (I think this shop warrants its own post. Will do that soon.)

I also got Eve Lom cleanser. It is so good. I’ve read about it in magazines for a few years but always balked at the price. My rather brilliant mum plowed right in and got me it though and I’m forever grateful. My skin is as soft as a baby’s bottom – a baby that has been using Creme de la Mer at every nappy change, that is.

And, hello there – I am the proud owner of these rather fabulous Vivenne Westwood boots. Surely the prettiest rubber boots ever to prance the land? I think so. I think they are either love ’em or hate ’em though so feel free to be a hater. I won’t notice, I’ll be too busy admiring my new boots. Cheers Mum!

Filling up the rest of my stocking(s) was some cosy PJs, a gorgeous leather handbag, some skirts and tops, a bracelet, cupcake lipglosses, some books, leather gloves, a beautiful Cath Kidston knitting bag, candles, perfume (Euphoria by Calvin Klein – v pretty), the biggest scarf that could possibly exist, much Soap and Glory joy, more chocolate than I care to mention, an enormous pannettone (now all gone…) and £20 from my lovely granny.
I will buy fabric with that – the gift that keeps on (and on and on, as I’m a slow seamstress) giving.

Thanks everyone! x

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Kitchen porn

Surely, one would assume, there’s something wrong with you when you get a physical thrill at new kitchenware? Not when it’s Le Crueset casserole dishes. Of my very own! A huge one and a medium one, in volcanic and blue. My collection begins… swoon!
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Festive highs and lows

Let’s start with the lows and get them over with, eh? Without further ado…

My cinder-crisp orange slices. Not at all like they were supposed to look (meant to be sumptuous, golden, transparent beauties. Not blackened bin-leftovers.)

Swiftly whisking you on to the highs now (oranges? What oranges?) – first was my wrapping which I had the best fun doing. From traipsing around second hand shops to find old music sheets and Oor Wullie annuals, to chopping them up and using my snowflake hole punch to make gift tags and tying little stars anise to them, to piling them in intricate displays under the tree (for the dog to knock over. Roasted Schnauzer for Christmas dinner next year, I tell ya).

Dipping down to another low – my love/hate relationship with Bondaweb. To start with, I loved it. So easy to use and an effective finish. I used it on a few of the bags I made then wrapped them all up and posted them off. The next day I noticed one of the things I’d Bondawebbed down was peeling. Right off. I ran a tacking stitch in a nice, contrasting thread around it to pin it down but it was too late for the other pieces which were already being whisked (or, since it’s Royal Mail after all, dragged at a painstakingly slow pace) around the UK. An emailed disclaimer is not something you want to receive before your gift even arrives – ‘By the way, the thing I sent you is a bit rubbish. Please send it back and I’ll fix it.’ Sob!

And onto a final (kind of) high – the fact that I managed to finish these bags in time for Christmas. It was a close call. Drawstring pencil bags with personalised colouring pencils inside for Katie, Jack and Maisie.

And this shopper bag for Laura.


Made with a fab bright pink Michael Miller Eiffel Tower fabric that I’m more than a wee bit in love with (my finger is currently hovering over the Buy Now button on a few metres of the turquoise to make me some cushions…). I toughened it up with some interfacing that turned out to be stiffer than expected so the bag would probably double as an umbrella stand. Ooops.

Ah well, onwards and upwards. I got a book on quilting for Christmas. If I start in January, maybe I’ll get a quilt done for next Christmas? Maybe. Watch this space.

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60 hours til Christmas!

And that is the reason I have no time to make these, even though I really, really want to. Ah well, there’s always Christmas 2010 to start planning…

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The Bishop’s Wife

I’m going to see this tonight at the GFT with girls from work. It was this or It’s A Wonderful Life but we all agreed that although it’s very festive and lovely, we’ve all seen it approximately 72,000 times.

So has anyone see The Bishop’s Wife? I’ve been informed that it’s a tear-jerker so I am prepped with Kleenex in my bag. Report to follow!

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I’m making things

I am, I swear. I just need to finish some stuff and also sort my camera out and it will be exhibition time (blog exhibition, that is). Annie – your guilt trip worked. I’m blogging again, even if I’m actually posting to say why I’m not blogging…

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