Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Looking Back...

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, enjoying the simple pleasures of togetherness and relaxation. As we draw nearer to the end of 2008 I am in reflective mood. It's been a hectic year, with very little breathing space for the simple things; but one of great highs, which make the lows easier to forgive or forget. My spare time was spent photographing and writing/editing my book, which meant there were few moments to be still, or to think about anything else!

Looking back it all seemed a bit of a blur, so this morning I decided to read through my account of the year on my blog - I've now posted a favourite photo from each month. If you can visit Heather today, you will see that she has done the same thing - I thought this was such a lovely idea to share. Very few of us have time to keep a diary now-a-days, but at least a few fleeting moments are stored forever within our blog posts....I hope you will enjoy my selection:
January - My handmade keepsake boxes

February - Flea market finds

March - Easter; time to share the bounty

April - A day out in Bath

May - My new workroom was completed

June - Flowers from a friend

July - Vintage treasure hunting

August - Our family holiday to Devon

September - Nostalgic postcards of summers past

October - My collection shared

November - Visiting family and friends in Norfolk

December - Christmas and a time to reflect

I hope that 2008 has been kind to you and that you will enjoy celebrating tomorrow night, with the prospect of a new dawn and a new year to look forward to...
Here's to love and friendship,
Niki x

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Greetings

The shopping is done...


The house has been festooned...

The dollies have been made decent!

Homemade rich fruit cake has matured nicely...
Mince pies have been baked...

All that is left to do is to wish EVERYONE who visits my blog "a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year from our home to yours."

Have a wonderful time,
Niki x

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fuzzy n' Festive!

We had heard somewhere that real Christmas trees were going to be more expensive this year; mainly due to the poor growing seasons for the last couple of years in the Scandinavian countries, leading to a lack of supply. So, holding our breath yesterday, when we visit our local farm that sells some, we enquired about the price for the smaller trees, thinking we would need to economise. Well, to our surprise, we could still buy a large 6ft one and unbelievably they were less than last year.

The farmer said that yes, some places were cashing-in on the scare, but not him. We selected our tree and grappled with it to get it into the back of our car.
Back home, it was manhandled into its pot and there were several willing hands waiting to add the assorted decorations.
A wonderful evening was spent with our three daughters and it struck me that this could be the last year that this happens for us. (My eldest daughter is hoping to go and teach English as a foreign language in Taiwan next year, having spent her spare time studying for her TEFL qualification.)
It felt good to have all of my daughters here joining in; the Christmas CDs playing loudly, the smell of the blue spruce and the excited chatter.

'Skinny Santa' is my youngest daughter's favourite decoration!

Other old favourites found their place amongst the branches, including mine - 'button-leg Santa', bought from Heidelberg market in Germany by hubby, when we were lucky enough to have a romantic weekend away once, when our girls were mere babes!
The new glass hearts fitted nicely amongst our nostalgic assortment.
And then we all stepped back to take it all in....
The photo below was taken this morning. I must admit that I hadn't felt very Christmassy until last night. There's always so much to do isn't there? And it's not until you stop and enjoy the simple pleasures of family life and create some more memories for the future that it hits you.
Yes, that warm and fuzzy feeling of togetherness and the appreciation for what we have has returned.
My trio of primitive ladies with their 'faith, hope and love' pillows perch on the window sill. A gift from my hubby many years ago...

Rustic snowflakes hang at the windows.
Hyacinths scent the air.
Frosted paper leaves tumble over a mirror.
Ooops...Did you notice the little pale blue cabinet? You did? OK then, I'll come clean... ;-))

...I took a little Christmas gift around to my friend who owns a junk shop in the next village...fatal! Ha! For what did I spy whilst I was there? It just had to come home with me, I couldn't help it! It had already received the CK treatment when I bought it(!), so all I had to do was sit it on the shelf in the kitchen. It's very old and tatty, just the way I like it!
A few early pressies of wine and flowers add another festive touch.

I made some finishing touches to linen gift bags for friends....

My glitter village found a new place this year in the sunshine...
And I found time to add some vintage glass baubles to the snowy wreath that I mentioned in the post below.
This was simple to do and didn't require a large amount of decorations.

Hanging from the mirror in the living room, it reflects the other wreath opposite.

Hope you are having a lovely weekend and are feeling fuzzy and festive too!
Niki x

Friday, December 19, 2008

Deck the Halls...

That festive feeling is starting to filter into The Stone House...

We have always waited until the last day of school before going out to buy our Christmas tree. So this afternoon will include the short trip down the lanes to our local farm where they are sold and the rest of the evening will be spent festooning it in all the usual decorations that we have accumulated over the years. I always like to add something new to the tree each year, usually in threes; one for each of my daughters. This year I have bought three rosy red hearts to hang from the branches.
Other small touches which I have added about the place when time allowed, are a smattering of baubles and rosemary in the kitchen...
The rich red eiderdown has been put on the bench for a welcoming accent in the hall.

One of the plaques from Sunday's Flea Market decorates a mirror.

Miniature adornments for Lucy House.

The bauble wreath has been brought carefully back down from the attic.
The white wreath that had been placed outside on the kitchen door for the last few years has begun to shed some of its frosting. I have a large amount of vintage baubles which I have collected over the year, so if I can find the time, I shall add them to the bald areas!

I had planned on making lots of handmade cards this year, but it never really happened...
I have been busy posting out 50 calendars, which should be with their new owners very soon. My thanks to all who visited my website recently. I will be closing my on-line shop later today, as there are no more posting days for Christmas now.
It's time to start making plans for my family's Christmas, with crafting, cooking and lots of relaxing to do!
Hope your festive preparations are going well and you can enjoy the next few days in the ways that you enjoy.
Niki x