Hello everyone sorry have been away for a while but things have been a tad hectic since I last posted and Christmas came and bit me on the bum.
However first things first hope that you have all had a fantastic Christmas and have been able to celebrate the season in the way that you wished to and with those that are dear to you. One must feel for our Armed Forces and their families at this time of year because Christmas really is about family and at the end of the day they are making sure that we can spend time safe with our loved ones.
Ideally I could have done with a couple of days extra in the preparations, but things went a tad pear shaped in the planning and preparation (despite the fact I had already done quite a bit of this during the year) and lack of funds. With only my wage coming in things have been more than a tad tight and I haven't been able to just go and do things like I would normally do. But then I am not alone and I consider myself very lucky.
It has been a very low key Christmas for us, and very quiet, but I think we have appreciated things far more and it has been very reminiscent of Christmas as it used to be celebrated when I was a child. But it has been very pleasant and we have been able to please ourselves, with my mum coming and spending the day with us on Boxing Day and just being able to enjoy simple pleasures like good conversation and company food and being able to spend quality time for a change. Needless to say I am determined things are going to be very different come next Christmas.
I have decided in my infinite wisdom that I will endeavour to make things throughout the year and make as much as I can in advance so that I get to spend more time in finishing off the decorating parcel wrapping etc and being able to enjoy all the fussing and preparations in the run up to Christmas. I have therefore bought myself a large plastic lidded box for the express purpose of popping in (once finished)all those items and projects in readiness for next year's Christmas. The reason I have bought the box is in the past I have made things to give as presents but then when it came to the actual time of giving them I have been unable to locate them because they have been put up in a safe place!
This Christmas I was given the most beautiful hand worked cross stitched Christmas card of a cat in a Christmas hat that my friend Margaret gave to me. I treasure hand made items like this, which although small have taken a lot of time and effort. Things like this need to be planned and made throughout the year as there is a lot of work involved in them and you need the time and space to be able to accomplish these and complete in good time for the giving.
My cousins make the most beautiful hand made paper cards as well as my aunt's. I have quite a few stamps and other decorating bits and bobs myself but so far have not really had time to play with them.
I am hoping to play and experiment in the coming weeks. All those lovely programmes including Kirstie's Christmas, The Victorian Farm Christmas, (and their website for having a go at the various crafts of the time) Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's programmes, Nigella's Christmas, Delia's Classic Christmas etc before Christmas have given me a lot of ideas in readiness for next year. I have also had my diary to hand and have been plotting when to do things for next year. I will be keeping myself to a strict time-table, so that I can take advantage of what is in season and what comes my way.
I like things to look nice - I love beautiful and pretty things. My Mum and one of my auntie's also made home made Christmas cards. Mum had a go at a decoupage card for the first time and has done a really good job of it. Thing's needn't cost a lot just need a little inspiration, time and effort. You would be surprised what you can accomplish given a little time to play.
And giving something of yourself can give others so much pleasure - even if it is only a smile or taking the time to make something for someone other than ourselves.