Saturday, 25 December 2010

Happy Holidays!!!

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, most of you will have holidays this time of the year, so I wish you all the very happiest of holidays, and hope that you are all having a wonderful time, doing what you really want to do and like doing best.

Yesterday we had our annual Fondue with our friends Will and Theresa and their daughter Mae, and for the first time in a few years, Stefan, No.2 son, and his family were able to join us, he has time off over Christmas for a change, woohoo! Today DH and I are just vegging out with two of our sons, No. 1 and No.3, before the family gathering tomorrow.

I had some really wonderful surprise gifts from three very dear bloggie friends, and despite the horrid weather delaying so many things, they arrived in time for Christmas! I was totally bowled over, because I really wasn't expecting anything at all. But you may have noticed that bloggie friends are just about the best you can have and loving surprising people.

Yesterday, on Christmas Eve, an envelope arrived from the States. Who could that be from??? I had no idea, but then I thought, hang on a mo, there are not many people in the States who have my addy, it can only be...........

YES! It was from Diane! I am sure most of you know Diane Knott and love her blog just as much as I do. She is such a very talented artist and look what she sent me for Christmas -

It is such an exquisite piece, beautifully embroidered, and I wish you could see it in real life. After Christmas, when all the decorations are gone, I will find it a proper and permanent home in our drawing room, so that I can admire it all year round.

And just look at this beautiful card, so precious -

Thank you so much Diane, for a really beautiful surprise gift, you know it is something I will always treasure.

A couple of days ago, a parcel arrived from Denmark, and I knew it had to be from my dear friend Dorthe. I was so excited, because Dorthe makes the most amazing angels, fairies, dolls, little pillows etc. and she had sent me a gift! Woohoo! Oh boy, did I have fun unpacking these beautifully wrapped packages. Some people, and Dorthe is most definitely one of them, really have the knack of presenting their gifts in the most delightful way. See for yourselves -

And inside? Inside I discovered this stunning angel, made from a beautiful vintage handkerchief

It is now hanging from my candle stand

together with these two beautiful ornaments -

and the lovely decorations she had attached to the outside of the packages -

Don't they look fantastic hanging there? -

She also enclosed this gorgeous Christmas card -

and attached to the envelope was this, the loveliest little angel -

It has now joined the other decorations on the fireplace garland in the family room -

Dear Dorthe, I'll thank you properly when you get back to your home on Sunday ;-)

And then there was the parcel from Germany which arrived a few days ago, and although I wasn't supposed to open it until Christmas, I just couldn't help myself, I had to open it there and then. Because............... it was from the ever so sweet Alexandra ( knuddel, knuddel ), and I was way too excited to wait. Look, can you blame me?

Alexandra is another one of those people, who have the art of presenting gifts, absolutely nailed .

Sigh, such treasures -

A Christmas soldered charm -

The prettiest glass sweeties -

A heart made from beautiful silvery fabric -

A handmade journal, gosh, I wish I could make covers like that -

And........ these two little plates, which are just gorgeous, and asking to be filled with little treasures, perhaps a little bling

This beautifully made Christmas card -

For the time being, the heart, soldered charm and the card are also on the mantlepiece in the family room, the heart on one side, the charm on the other, and the card on top, above Dorthe's Angel -

Ganz herzlichen Dank, meine liebe Alexandra, knuddel, knuddel.

I am so very lucky to have such incredibly talented friends. Thank you again for your beautiful gifts, and also a big thank you to all the lovely messages I had from so many of you.

Have a wonderful time, dear friends. Toodlepip, Liz xxx

Sunday, 19 December 2010

A little bit of colour in a snow white world

Yes, it is indeed snowing again here on the Sussex coast. Big soft white flakes gently tumbling down as, just for a change, there is very little wind. A white world again, which is quite beautiful to look at. But, a little colour is also rather lovely to look at, especially if it comes in the form of........


I have absolutely no idea why it is so difficult to get the old fashioned silky, soft, shiny, tactile seam binding here in the UK, but almost impossible it proved to be. I couldn't find any locally, I could only find a a couple of places on the net with a very limited number of colours, and the one supplier I found on Ebay here in the UK and ordered from with a huge grin on my face, promptly made me cry the same day by telling me that she would have to withdraw all her listings as she had broken her wrist. Of course you can get millions of colours of the most delicious seam binding in the States. Can I admit to being ever such a teeny bit envious of the wonderful, plentiful supplies you can get over there? Sigh. And not just on the net, but also in the most fabulous craft stores, double sigh.

So, I had told myself that ordering seam binding from the States was perfectly ok, as it was my husband's Christmas present to me. He didn't know it then, but hey, men occasionally need a little help in the pressie department. Of course, when the beautiful stuff arrived, I told him what he had bought me for Christmas, and he promptly burst out laughing as he saw me sitting there, grinning like crazy and gently stroking my seam bindings. Who needs diamonds and pearls, when they can have seam binding, lol?

Enough said, have a look at the gorgeous colours I picked -

Some browns and neutrals -

and some delicious pastels -

So very lovely. And then there were, ahem, these -

more neutrals -

prettiest pinks -

and gorgeous greens -

Aaah, see, my darling husband has done it again, found me the perfect Christmas present, just what I have always wanted ;-).
Girls, this is Christmas week, isn't it exciting??? Don't stress over anything, enjoy yourselves, and have fun getting the last few things ready for the big day.

I am off to wrap a few more pressies now. Toodlepip xxx

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Couldn't help myself,

I had to make another one. Pin cushion, that is. You remember the pin cushion I showed you yesterday? Made with a candlestick and a doily? Well, the candlestick was one of a pair, and I had so much fun making the pin cushion, I used the second candlestick to make another one! I sew in our cottage in France as well, so it is quite sensible to have a pin cushion for there as well.

So here it is, the second pin cushion ( inspired by Barb from Treasures of the Heart )-

I made a little dingledangle for it with some pearls, crystal drop, tiny cotton reel. Twas very early in the morning and still dark outside, and the indoor lights always throw the colour off -

And here they both are. Which one am I going to take to France with me??

Toodlepip xxx

Friday, 17 December 2010

Pin cushion

It is quite ridiculous really that I don't use a pin cushion. I sew, by hand and machine. I end up with needles all over the table, or held between my teeth, pinned to my tshirt or trousers. I have a couple of gorgeous old vintage pin cushions which I look at and fondle occasionally, lol, but I don't use them. So yesterday I decided enough is enough, I can't cope with all those needles haphazardly spread about the place. And I made a little pin cushion, yay.

A little while ago, I saw this post on Barb's blog Treasures from the Heart. I really loved the idea of using a candlestick for the base of the pin cushion. That way, you can't really lose it, lol, and it can't get buried under fabric. So very sensible, and hers looked so attractive as well. Ever since then, I have been trying to find a hollow glass candlestick. Could I find one? Nope. Could I find ANY sort of glass candlestick? Nope. Until yesterday, when I finally found a pair of (solid) glass candlesticks in a charity shop. I quite liked the shape and height of them, so I set about transforming one into a pin cushion a la Barb -

I thought it could do with a couple more embellishments, so I added a couple of lace flowers -

and a lovely crystal glass drop -

I love those tiny little cotton reels.

It is such fun using it, why oh why didn't I do this a long time ago? Errrm, because Barb hadn't inspired me then, lol. What would we do without our blogger friends?

Thats it for now, got Christmas pressies to wrap. Toodlepip xxx

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Tag Tuesday Challenge and a few more Christmas pics

This week's tag challenge on Kard Krazy is to make a Christmas tag with the colours yellow, brown and green. Why is is that I never end up with the tag I envisage when I start, lol? It always turns out totally differently. Still, it worked out ok, I think -

I had some coloured tags, so I used a yellow one for the background. I changed the colour of the main image to browns and used green ink for the little holly stamp.

As you know, I like long posts, and three tag pics are just not enough to satisfy, lol, so here are a few more pics of our Christmas decorations. The drawing room. As you can see, I don't go too mad with the decorations -

The tree is not quite finished yet, it is lacking the lametta. Ever since I can remember, our Christmas trees were decorated with strands of silver lametta, in my parents' home in Germany, and then here in the UK when I had my own family. I love the proper German stanniol lametta, which is really heavy, has a beautiful silver colour, is slightly crinkly, and drapes so perfectly. But it seemed to have gone out of fashion in the last few years, and my mum couldn't find any in her local shops in Germany. I made do with the modern lametta we could get here in the UK, but it is nothing like the real thing. This year, we couldn't even find that in our shops! Light bulb moment - Ebay Germany, and there it was, proper stanniol lametta! I ordered it, it was posted the same day, and now I am desperately hoping that it will arrive very soon. Because my husband and sons DEMAND lametta on their tree, lol. Keep your fingers crossed for us, please ;-)

On a little side table -

On the larger table -

A felt snowflake with my favourite little cherub -

And the very different Christmas tree in the hall -

Our house is late Victorian, and in the hall we always stick with very traditional colours. Of course the tree is hand picked by DS3 and myself at the grower's farm. It usually takes a good half hour or so to find the perfect tree. We probably pick up and twirl at least 40 or so trees before we finally find THE ONE! Isn't it just the perfect shape? Nick and I always decorate the trees together, and that is one of my most loved Christmas traditions.