more thank yous for Christmas

Only another day and 2012 will be drawing to a close . . . it’ll soon be time to take down xmas decorations and forget about festivities for another year . . . the cats will be disappointed as they have been enjoying my way of displaying cards. Usually I stick them on doors around the house but this year I decided to hang from ribbons from the staircase and pin cards to those. Cats enjoy it because they sit on stairs and try to pull ribbons (and cards) up either using teeth or claws.

cards1

card2

In amongst the cards there are also a few decorations that people sent, including a lovely heart from Debbie

from Debbie

a glitzy M&S card from Avis ^^

from Avis

from April, in Switzerland

from April

from mamoures

from mamoures

from Laetitia

from laetitia

 

a card, bookmarks and a cute little magnetic “post-it” dog from Sandrine

from sandrine

and a gorgeous “cat” address book from Valérie

from Valérie

pressies from blogging friends

Well I hope you all got some lovely surprises under the tree this year?  I know I did ^^. From family I got things like perfume, jewellery, books, a CD, DVDs and a “hot cookie” which is a coaster that looks like a cookie that plugs in with a USB and keeps my coffee mug warm . . . and from blogging friends, I received lots of lovely hand-made cards as well as tree decorations and more bookmarks for my collection.

I realise I didn’t take photos of everything (so sorry to Avis and Debbie whose offerings are either in the tree or hanging on ribbons on the stairway) but here are photos I thought to take of bits and bobs as I opened them

from Laurence

from Laurence

from Hélène

from Hélène

from Yvonne

from Yvonne

from Agnès

from Agnès

from Sylvie G

from Sylvie2

from Véro bis

from Véro bis

from Monique la Bretonne

from Monique

from pOmme

from pOmme

and from Titane . . . . a huge pile of bookmarks for my collection

from Titane

from Titane1

from Titane2

from Titane3

from Titane4

from Titane5

recovering from xmas and getting ready for the New Year

This space has been rather quiet due to the Christmas period and the fact that our three adult children (and sons’ girlfriends) all came home for the week so I didn’t have much free time to sit down in front of my computer. Had a good week, catching up on all the chat, and it seems to have been non-stop eating too, but everyone left earlier today, so house is back to normal (apart from the pile of sheets, pillow cases, quilt covers and towels that need washing and drying). I didn’t find time to do anything crafty over the week either, as it seemed rather anti-social to settle down in my armchair with cross stitch when there was lots to do with family (including party games) . . . but I can show you something I made earlier ^^

Over on my French blog, I had organised a little giveaway just before the festive season, and there were three winners. Here’s what I sent

to Laurence, who collects thimbles . . . two from the UK commemorating the Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics, along with a little thread-holder that doubles up as a pin cushion.

pour Laurence

for Sylvie G (who collects owls) 2 tiny owls for her collection and a handbag mirror

pour sylvie

and for bbquenouille (who doesn’t collect anything specific) a cute pair of scissors and a handbag mirror

pour bbquenouille

a little bit of patchwork and a new delivery from Lovely Lionel

Two subjects in one post today . . . first up . . . a quick patchwork project.

A good friend asked me if I could make a padded pouch for her Mum: an elderly lady who can only move around indoors with two walking sticks and needed a little pouch so that she could keep the phone close by.  Obviously, if she had a mobile phone, she could just slip it in a pocket, but she doesn’t, and it was for a cordless phone that she needed it.  So . . . I decided to reduce the scale of the squares I made for my recent bag . . . make four of them, and then add a long strap in matching fabric so that she can either sling it over her shoulder or hang it round her neck.  I made my squares 8cm x 8cm so pouch is 8cm x 16cm.

housse tel1

housse tel2

I’m not too sure about my choice of fabrics.  They’re not what I would have chosen for myself, but my friend’s Mum likes liberty style print and pastel colours.  Finished off with two mother-of-pearl buttons to attach the strap and hope that it will do the job.

And on a different note . . . Lovely Lionel dropped a nice plump enveloppe in my letter box the other day, from Stéphanie. More bookmarks for my collection (some in duplicate)

merci stephanie

and also a Christmas card, some embellishments AND a lovely heart-shaped cushion to hang up.

merci stephanie2So a big thank you to Stéphanie ^^

 

a Christmas custom

I received something rather strange in the post the other day from eldest son’s girlfriend . . . a packet of wheat.  She originates from the south of France, “Provence” as the French call the region, and she sent me something with instructions, that I “had” to follow because it was an old Christmas custom.  I’m always happy to oblige lol so first, I read the instructions which roughly translate to “the wheat of hope”. . . and then goes on to tell me that “It is the tradition, in Provence, on 4th December (Sainte Barbe’s day) to sow some seeds of wheat. The sprouted wheat is then decorated with a ribbon and used as a table decoration on Christmas Eve, around which family and friends reunite”.

customs

Now, Lovely Lionel didn’t actually deliver in time for me to sow on 4th . . . and I was a day late BUT I have been watering seeds and making sure they get plenty of heat and light . . . and here’s what my sprouting wheat looks like today!  Doing well isn’t it? and still has 13 days to grow some more. I will have to rummage in my stash and find a nice piece of ribbon for Christmas Eve ^^

customs1

Jacquie sent me photos of her finish

Mid november, I received photos from a French stitcher of one of my designs: “chupin’s quaker” beautifully stitched in pastel colours . . . well today I received more photos of the same piece, but this time finished off into a lovely pouch. Jacquie, aka quaquie Au Fil des Jours, made this as a gift for a friend.

trousse mitoune 008

I love the colours she’s chosen.

 

“House Rules” happy dancing

Getting plenty of exercise this week, not only with my new step but also doing a happy dance for “House Rules”.  After finishing “Alphabet Fun” I had said that I didn’t want to make any new starts so picked up one of my UFOs that had been dragging on for well over a year . . . and it is a UFO no longer yay.

house rules finishedColours are quite different from the colours on packaging – this was a Historical Sampler Company kit, and I have to say that the first thing I did was to change the fabric, and then change some of the colours.  The photo on the kit makes the design look really light

house rules chart

but all the thread colours were one or two shades darker than the photo on packaging (although the correct references). This means that I ended up changing things as I went, trying to find some kind of balance and I must admit I cheated on my butterflies because there should be several colours on each wing, but I just did each butterfly in one colour, with a darker colour for the body.

thank you Margilau and Jeanna

Lovely Lionel is working overtime at the moment and it isn’t delivering xmas cards . . . nope, it’s delivering more bookmarks lol.  Two more French blogging friends sent me some bookmarks for my collection. Margilau, who picked up a couple of “publicity” bookmarks for me plus one of one of my favourite films. Title in French is “Nos Voisins les Hommes” in English, of course “Over the Hedge” . . . I simply LOVE that film!!!!!

from margilau

And Jeanna, sent me a bookmark she made: lovely blackwork stitching in orange on a pale yellow fabric . . . simply gorgeous.

from jeanna

So a big thank you ladies.

Claire takes her first step . . .

That made you sit up and look, I’ll bet lol . . .

Let me explain in a nutshell, or even better, with a photo

step1

Yep I’ve bought myself a “step” and a pile of beginner DVDs to go with it.  Why? Because I’ve given up smoking (again) and am determined that this is going to be IT.  However, despite not nibbling, I’ve already put on over 1 kilo in just one week . . . and while I’m not overly obsessed with my weight I have decide to take the bull by the horns and exercise each day in the hopes of preventing those kilos piling on too quickly.

Am going to keep a little book, so I can jot down training sessions and try and keep weight in check.

Mind you, it’ll be a while before I actually use my step as it is in first photo . . . I’ll be using it at the lower level . . .

step 2

in fact, I’ve already done a short session this morning.  Even low, it’s still rather difficult to follow all the steps and yet keep up with the music but I’m confident I’ll soon be stepping in time lol.  First impressions – it’s great fun.

 

at long last . . . my patchwork bag

It’s been a long time in the making, but it’s finally finished . . . my first ever patchwork bag yay.

Without further ado, here it is in photos.

bag01

bag 02

Two photos of the inside (which is already covered with dog hair) to show what I did with the three extra squares.  One pocket on one side . . .

bag 03

and a larger pocket on the other side. Added a popper to the middle, so the pocket doesn’t flap open.

bag 04

bag 05

bag 06

and a zoom on the buttons I ended up using, because you can’t see the wonderful detail in my photos

boutons-10-lot-de-29-boutons-petits-394561-10-bde84_570x0