Year: 2009 (page 2 of 9)

Frosted Window Panes

Brrr! It is cold freezing outside! We woke up this morning to frosted windowpanes, it was a very Dickensish morning.  These are the moments in winter that even in modern times you have a true feeling for A Christmas Carol.

You get a real sense of what those times must have been like.  The feeling of damp that goes right through you, the smell of coal in the air when you walk through certain parts of London, the bitterly cold evenings. It is enough to make you a humbug, but I love it. I love the feeling you get with the frost on your cheeks and hands, watching your breath come out in little plumes above your head, coming into a warm house with cozy candles lit and the gentle hiss of the radiator filling the room with warmth.

As I woke this morning and laid in bed for a few moments, looking at the frost around the panes of glass, I could hear Doris Day singing in my head and this is what she said:

Frosted window panes
Candles gleaming inside
Painted candy canes on the tree
Santa’s on his way,
He’s filled his sleigh
With things, things for you and for me

It’s that time of year
When the world falls in love
Every song you hear
Seems to say
Merry Christmas
May your New Year dreams come true
And this song of mine
In three quarter time
Wishes you and yours
The same thing too

(Ilustration by Edmund Dulac)

Have Joy!

I was doing some etsy shopping and went to Sarah Jane Studios’ store and saw this beautiful print. I am in love! I just love what this says, it says so much in two very simple little words!

I am helping a friend out in her shop at the moment, since they are shorthanded and I feel like we should have a poster size version of this print hanging up to remind customers, to just Have Joy!

I refuse to lose site of what this season is about with all the hustle and bustle, to be rude to people while I am out shopping to be impatient and unkind. Tis’ the season… to have joy!

Tomorrow when someone asks me to gift wrap 20 small ornaments, individually and in 5 minutes because they are in a rush, I am just going to smile and think of this print!

Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane?

What’s that peeking out from behind my little line of tooth bears? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, its bunny ears, peeking out!

That is the new pattern I have been working on! I am now making tooth bunnies along with my bears. I have sent two samples to Rosablue, so we will see what the customers think about them.

I had so much fun creating these little guys and sewing on their fluffy bunny tails. I had to be careful they almost scampered away before I scooped them up and placed them in tissue paper in their box to be mailed.

I am sure they were happy to have arrived at RosaBlue, there wasn’t much room for them in the box to hop around…

Happy Saint Nicholas Day!

Hope everyone is having a Happy Saint Nicholas Day on this second Sunday of Advent. The little surprise in my shoe is that I am being taken out for Brunch!

I loved being little at this time of year! At my school we would put our shoes out into the hallway and then try to sit as patiently as we could in our desks waiting to see if St. Nicholas would come.

There would be a rustle outside and you could just catch a glimpse of a staff and a mitre going past the little window cut in the door. We would rush outside to see a glint of a red cape as he rounded the corner and disappeared.

Inside our shoes was a little candy cane, an orange and a plastic snow globe; usually with a little Christmas scene. I savored that little candy cane when I ate it, swinging my shoeless feet off of my school chair and shaking my little snow globe as I made it snow for the miniature village inside. Oh to be little again!

Everybody Neat & Pretty? Then on with the Show!

Today, I am busy attacking my house! Ironing Christmas tablecloths, dusting, vacuuming and putting away things I don’t have room for when all the Christmas decorations are out. We are going to decorate this weekend. I can’t wait!

The poor house has been neglected at the moment since I have been busy finishing up orders. But it is smiling and gleaming once again! I am still in my pajamas, listening to Christmas music and it is so frosty and bitterly cold outside today it has truly set the tone for a silvery wintry feeling!!

Well unfortunately the elves are busy helping Santa this time of year so I will get no help from them or the Kitchen Fairies, so it is back to work I go…..

On the 3rd Day of Christmas…

On the 3rd day leading up to Christmas…I bought myself a surprise! The new Martha Stewart Living Christmas edition has hit the shelves here in merry ole England! I ventured out into the rainy day that was creating not puddles but lakes everywhere and after purchasing my treasure I safely tucked it away in my bag and headed home for a hot cup of tea and my first of many flip throughs!

She is doing 3 covers this year, but we are getting the A-Z cover here, I really love the one with the bells, it is deliciously 1950’s! What treats lay behind those covers! I have oohed and aghed and then oohed and aghed all over again!

Those pages are filled with the most wonderful cookie, ornament, decorating ideas. There is a sweet section on Santa collectibles, I liked this jolly man driving the car! Not only are there cookies to bake:

there are an A-Z zillion things to make! Vintage looking snowman treat boxes, adorable pinecone elves and cute as can be felted penguins and polar bears!

There is definitely enough in here to keep you busy in the days leading up to Christmas and beyond!

1st Day of Advent

Today is the first day of advent! We put up our little pixie last night, she is our first piece of Christmas out (besides our Advent wreath); Eglantine as she has been dubbed, is proudly tied up with a gingham ribbon.

As, you know, I have a thing for pixies and gnomes and all of our little Christmas pixies have names, I have smaller versions of her in the cutest little knitted sweaters and dresses!

We always try to do something different each year, I don’t mind getting chocolate, but I like being creative with my advent calendar.  This year we have decided to fill her little pockets with messages of LOVE, in the form of poems, quotes, movie lines… I can’t wait to see what has been written for me!

When I was little we always had the old-fashioned paper advent calendars from Germany.  One year, we were given a calendar that contained vintage looking wooden ornaments.  My mom put a little tree, strung with lights into a brass drum base and each morning we would run to discover what elfin sized ornament waited behind those doors to be put on our miniature tree.

I thought about making one of our own this year, as well as Eglantine and remembered that Jenny B. Harris had a pretty felt calendar tutorial on her blog, Allsorts.  It would look so sweet strung along a mantle or around a door.

allsorts adventAnother inventive idea I came across was a calendar made out of a spool on “Just Something I Made“.  What a cute idea, especially if you, like us, live in a little cottage and space fills up quickly, you could easily hang the spool rack on the wall.

spool advent calendarThe first day of Advent, we are now officially counting down to Christmas, where has the year gone?

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)

Twinkle, Twinkle




glittered the shining little ornaments on the tree.

I received an e-mail this morning from Anthropologie with a selected display of their new Christmas ornaments. I love Anthropologie! I am so excited that they have finally opened a store in London. I like their quirky style and their wonderful use of colors.

I thought this new set of woodland ornaments looked so pretty and whimsical in this little display. My sister, for the past few years has tucked or tied a little Anthropologie ornament to gifts for my husband and I. Last year, she gave me the cutest little girl figure who was busy knitting away, she is adorable. She has also given us a mermaid, and a sweet elfin sized knitted snail wearing a beret and a tartan plaid scarf.

These are ornaments I happily keep out all year, wrapped around drawer pulls or hanging from pegs. They are too cute to put away. I can’t wait to see this year’s selection in person when I visit Anthropologie to do a little Christmas shopping.

<—Look at the new ornament selection for this year!

Visit Anthropologie yourself, just click on the star: