Tag Archives: christmas fair

Hopes, Wishes & Dreams

Santa Claus is coming soon, so we’re gonna have to be on our best behavior from now on! One of my favorite things during the holidays is buying presents. I like receiving, but, the thing I love more, is to see the look on someone’s face when you have given them that perfect present, whether it be homemade or purchased.

I have already bought a few Christmas gifts at the Fair and I have done a little window shopping, but I have not seriously shopped yet. I don’t mind picking up things as I see them, but I like the hustle and bustle of a real holiday crowd all out shopping with Christmas lights strung through the streets and store windows decked out in magical displays. Fortnum & Mason, always do beautiful windows; last year was The Snow Queen, in all her frosty glory. This year the theme is Swan Lake.
There is usually a shopping meltdown, someone is too hot, or arms are tired from carrying packages, or there are too many pushy people and when that happens we just stop, have a meltdown hug and then continue (in theory) a little more merrily on our way.

I am a constant list writer, I love the satisfaction of crossing something off of my list. I write out a list of everyone I am giving too with ideas, or items already purchased. This year I am doing a mixture of some bought and some homemade gifts.

I am going to make up cotton drawstring bags and embroider on them a vintage Christmas pattern or something I designed pertaining to the person on the receiving end and I will fill them with homemade mini pound cakes or a fresh homemade bread loaf (I haven’t decided which, both are so yummy!).

All beautifully wrapped in cellophane and bakers twine or a big grosgrain bow, maybe a spring of holly tucked in the bow knot and then placed inside their bag.I think homespun gifts are a nice old-fashioned touch to a magical holiday that can become all to commercial if you let.

This would be the cutest stationary by Susan Branch to write out your Christmas hopes, wishes and dreams or a gift giving list on. 

(“S” by:Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische)

Its Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas…at the 2009 Christmas Fair that is! The Fair was a great success, for all involved! It has taken me up to today to get my breath back! What a day!Everyone had so much fun and the Charity did really well.

I made 3 more little Christmas bags on Thursday night to bump my table out a bit more and I was going to make another one but my husband said he was unplugging my sewing machine if I didn’t stop, I just needed to rest. So, in fear of being unplugged, I snuggled up on the couch with him instead.

I could not sleep from all the excitement, I was up at 4 and it was a frosty morning when I left the house at 6:30. Everything was quiet and calm and it gave me a chance to collect my thoughts as I walked to the Fair.

The front porch was decorated so sweetly and that immediately put you in the Christmas mood.Upon entering the house, Christmas music was already going and Ella Fitzgerald was crooning you through the doorway. I made 3 Christmas mixer Cd’s a few years ago and that is what plays throughout the day, I was in dreamland getting to listen to Christmas music all day long.

After, putting the finishing touches on my table, I took the chance to look around everyone else’s stall, I oohed and aahed and began to do a little Christmas shopping of my own before the crowds arrived. A beautifully hand painted, “Twas the Night Before Christmas” sign, a vintage green trunk and a vintage school poster with a snowman scene were just a few of the treasures I found.

Lucky for me, my stand was next to the very sweet Penelope of RosaBlue. Everyone’s stall looked splendid! There was such a nice mixture of new things, antiques and homemade items, as a customer you were definitely spoiled for choice.

The day went by too quickly and as we were packing up, it was sad to think that I will not see some of my “fair” friends again until the Summer Fair or even next year’s Christmas Fair; but, to a cozy house we will all march to get warm by the Aga, enjoy a cup of tea, catch up with each other and spend a day of “work” just having fun!

I have a commission for my “Oh What Fun!” blanket, so I am off to cut out hearts and start stitching away in my own little world with some Christmas music in the background of course!

Oh What Fun!

I have spent the morning finishing up sewing together some bags for the Christmas Fair. I am all packed and ready to go now. I made this “Oh what fun!” blanket yesterday, so I hope that it sells.

This is always the hardest part for me, I want to sell things, but I get attached to the things I have made. I really enjoyed making the mittens for my ribbon garland, so I made some extra as ornaments or they could be used as a gift decoration.

I ran out of red thread last night, so all my little bags had to be sewn in green, but they still look Christmassy. I am off to move my bags to the door and get ready to head out of here, I am going to try and set up this afternoon, so there is less work to do in the morning. I can’t wait to see everyone, lots of us have not seen each other since the Summer Fair, so there is a lot of catching up to do!

This is it! Here we go….Oh what fun!

Breakfast of Champions

This was my breakfast this morning! I can think of nothing better. Well… maybe if I had some chocolate cake to go with it! I have finished all the little tooth bears and Christmas bears (I know they are happy some have been very patiently waiting to be stitched together), gingerbread wreaths and ribbon garlands. I am now working on a blanket and I plan to make some bags this afternoon.

I am definitely on countdown! The fair is just 2 days away and there still seems like there is so much more to do! But, Shhh! don’t tell anyone, I am ahead of schedule, so everything I am doing now are bonus items. I need to begin labeling things and start gathering together my tablecloths and display pieces I plan to use. This is really the exciting part!

Well, I’m off to stitch a little sleigh riding snow bunny onto a heart and maybe make another cup of hot chocolate. What could be better than hot chocolate, Christmas music and sewing cozy things on a sunny but frosty November morning? Right now I can’t think of anything else.

Cozy Felt Mittens

I was saddened to say goodbye to Cornwall on Saturday, but, I have now jumped back into the full swing of things here. I spent most of yesterday creating a mitten pattern for some garlands I am making for the fair.

I finished the mittens last night and stitched “cozy” & “frosty” onto some antique white colored felt that I will cut out with my scallop edger and attach to a small felt pillow that will hang from the garland as well.

This is my project to finish today! I have 5 more little bears that need to be sewn up, I am done with my tooth bears, now I am working on my holiday bears and there is a little bear with holly on her pocket who has patiently been waiting to be stitched together.

The Christmas Fair on Friday will come faster than I can imagine, I am so excited! I am back to work as soon as I make myself a cup of hot chocolate with plenty of marshmallows to fuel my sewing fingers on this cold morning!

Pumpkin Carving

I have been so involved the last few days with all of my Christmas Fair projects I have almost forgotten it was pumpkin weather. Walking out into a crisp autumn day early this morning, to post a letter, I did remember!

It was the kind of English Autumn day where the sky was silver and the brilliant color palette of the leaves stood sharply against the silvery mist. As fallen leaves squeaked under my feet I started thinking about what I would carve on my pumpkin this year.

I love the “lantern” pumpkins that Country Living has in their latest issue. That would be a great idea for any occasion. I can just imagine having a barn party with “lantern” pumpkins guiding you down the hay bale path to a fun affair, like the Halloween party held in the barn at the end of Summer Magic, I love that movie!

They also showed how to turn mini pumpkins into votive holders. I have done that many times with pumpkins and apples, it is very effective and sets such a sweet tone to your table with leaves and ivy mixed in amongst them. It can also be a less expensive alternative to flowers if you are doing a dinner party on a budget. The votives work as both candle holder and decoration, with some foliage and twigs cut from your backyard or the woods and woven along the table you have an interesting display for not a lot of money.

I did a lot of printmaking in College, so, I loved their “Cinderella” Pumpkin Flower too. The carvings with the wood tools are so beautifully folksy. Or, maybe it is just that this orange pumpkin is contrasted against a pink background and I love PINK!

What are you carving on your pumpkins? Click here to go to the Country Living website for templates to create the pumpkin “lanterns”.

(All images used copyright Country Living)

Gingerbread & Rolls of Ribbon

Yesterday, I finished baking all my gingerbread wreaths. Now they will just have to be varnished and have gingham ribbon strung through their little adjoining arms. With my leftover dough, I cut out little ornaments, to attach to my “Christmas Packaging” for the Fair. Presentation is everything, it makes even the smallest item look lovely.

I also organized my ribbons yesterday to make it easier to cut for my garlands. One of the places that I purchase ribbon has no rolling system, so they bundle up your items that you have spent ages pondering over and oohing and aahing, with one swoop and dump them unceremoniously in a bag. I don’t like being in the middle of a project and then having to stop to untangle knots in my ribbon.

In telling this story to my Mom, she asked if I had any toilet paper rolls in my recycling bag? After replying with a yes, she told me to use that to wrap my ribbon on. What a fantastic idea! Sometimes you just can’t see the forest for the trees. So, into my recycle bag I dove and came out with a paper towel roll.

Like a kindergartner I happily sat on my couch yesterday with the scent of baking cinnamony Christmas dough in the air and the crooning voice of Ella Fitzgerald, inviting me out for a sleigh ride and wrapped ribbon around my newfound holder. I love being organized (in my small cottage you have to be) and a great way to make use of something I was going to throw out, it just makes me happy.

(My treasured ribbon next to my sewing house that my adorable husband gave me for Christmas one year, he is such a cutie!)

Getting Ready for the Fair

Well, with a sharp rap at the door, my felt arrived this morning and this weekend I was busy gathering ribbons, jingle bells, fabric scraps and making my plan of attack to get everything done on time.

I still have one more roll of ribbon to order for my gingerbread men wreaths. They are in the oven as I write and the house is filled with the scent of spicy cinnamon, it is wonderful. I have Christmas music playing in my kitchen, because you can only create true gingerbread wreaths with the sounds of the season going through your head as you roll and cut and lay out.

I will hopefully be cutting my bears out today and working on a mitten pattern for a garland so I will busy, busy, busy. I have so much to get done and not a lot of time, but I work well under pressure and I love a challenge.

Well, my timer has just beeped to let me know that another batch of wreaths are ready to come out of the oven, so I am twirling off to gingerbread men, Christmas music, and visions of sugarplum fairies dancing in my head…this little peppermint fairy just really puts me in a jolly Christmassy mood, doesn’t she make you happy too?

(Peppermint Fairy by WeeWonderfuls)

To the Christmas Fair we go…

Over the river and through the woods to the Christmas Fair we go… I just received my form today for the Fair, so I am going to fill it out now to be sure a spot is held for me.

The fair will be held this year on November 6th. So, 4 short weeks from today, I better be ready. I am getting all my ideas together and I will be ordering my supplies tomorrow and then working like an elf to get everything done on time.

I have so many ideas, but I am going to narrow it down to just a few things to have on my table, and focus on those. My little tooth bears will be making an appearance and some will most likely be dressed for the season, ’tis the season to be jolly, as they say! I will have to start making my gingerbread wreaths soon, oh so much to do, but what fun it is!

I can’t wait, for a crackling fire, warm tea, cozy things, homespun love and to be surrounded by friends. I can’t think of a better way to get November started.

Yo-Yos

The days seem to be ticking by faster than I want them to, as I still feel like I have so much left to do for the Fair. This year is going to be very exciting, it sounds like there will be a very good crowd of people coming and an even more diverse range of stalls.

One of the projects I have been busy working away on involves making yo-yos. I was never a fan of them before but after seeing them in a magazine, they somehow began to grow on me. Now, I seem to notice them everywhere. The possibilities of what you can make with them are endless.

My mind has been buzzing non-stop with ideas which led to the creation of one of my main Fair projects; a collaborative concept formulated by my Mom and I. I had so many notions, some of which have come into being however some will just have to wait until the Christmas Fair.

Knowing that November seems forever away until the Christmas Fair, when we will all be together again, but this time, in the coziness of an inviting house, with a crackling fire, Christmas trees adorning every free space and a coming together of friends old and new to have fun and raise money for a worthwhile charity along the way.

Like the March girls we gather, shaking the snow off our boots and heading for the kitchen, where a kettle is always boiling on top of the Aga. We gather to share ideas, celebrate each others company, love and cozy warmth.