Monday, 30 September 2019

I am in the land of the living

However have been extremely busy.  This week is a longer week as I am out of the house earlier (an hour each day more than last week). As a result of being in early I managed to sit quietly with one of my colleagues who also comes in at about the same time and whilst we were chatting I managed to do some crochet so at least I got to play a little bit. My shift is until 5:00pm.  It is nearer 5:30pm before I get home depending on traffic and I have to cook tea etc.  (no different to a lot of ladies I know) but this is a new routine and I am trying to make things work for us so that various (important to us) issues are covered each day.  Like having stuff in for pack-ups (OH is in charge of those) and getting laundry done, and clothes available to us both; food, animals, dealing with correspondence and other issues well as trying to cope with housework etc.

It has been a good day at work; I am slow in learning, but once I have learned I am pretty usually okay across the board.  I aim for accuracy rather than speed.  Accuracy then builds speed in the longer term from my own perspective.

This evening I have typed up a set of documents that I hope will help me with my new work from precedents I have been given fine-tuned somewhat to my style.  They of course will be open to further revision.  I tried to print them out to take in with me tomorrow but the ink has died on the printer so will have to arrange for a refill.  

After the weekend break I had a bit of a block to start with and then remembered what I had been shown.  I have also learnt more about the codings and what they mean which was also worrying me somewhat.  I was deciphering them this morning which I was pretty chuffed about. It is early days yet and Rome was not built in a day and no doubt I shall make mistakes as I go along, but I am keen to learn and am enjoying what I am doing at the moment.

Tea was chicken Kievs and chips (Monday night scratch tea) followed by Strawberries and cream which were yum.  I bought them from Aldi yesterday named "Wonky Strawberries" which amused me but they were rather nice.  Think we might be having curry and rice for tea tomorrow night; another quick tea and then another lot of "Wonky Strawberries" for pudding.

I am going to have to have an early night as I need my sleep.  OH and his partner in crime have been out for the count for a couple of hours.  I still have my clothes etc. to get ready for tomorrow.  OH will have pack-up to do.

Sorry it is short and sweet. Please bear with me.

Catch you soon.



Saturday, 28 September 2019

Antique Hunt

Well I have had a fantastic day with my partner in crime L today.  Weather forecast for the last day of the fair was rain by 1:00pm.  Fortunately we were able to have a good look at some of the outside tents first and then went into what are known as the sheep sheds.

I came away with a vintage pattypan tin (pastry tart tin) very similar to the picture below.  Mine is a nine pie tin and was bought for £3.  The reason really for me buying the tin was that it has an ivy leaf pattern in three of the tins and I thought that this would be ideal for mince pies at Christmas.

I saw lots of lovely things today.  A beautiful Cloisonne bowl, lots of lovely glass cake tins, a beautiful music box which played via copper disc that was over £1,000 but the sound was beautiful.  Dough cutter machines, lots of lovely French vintage linens, beautiful glasses, crystal decanters.  Lots of vintage kitchen equipment, lots of vintage 1930's vases.  There was a particularly nice set of china that I was taken by which was honeysuckle, violets, roses.  I shall look for that in the future as I was quite taken with it.  

This is the pattern that I quite fell for:

There were lots of lovely pieces of small furniture as well.  I am talking about a small Cadburys glass display case which would look wonderful in a kitchen, a couple of small book shelves, and a couple of small sets of miniature drawers.  

I found two sets of oyster plate sets a big central plate accompanied by 12 matching plates.  One was in a goldey yellow, the other in green and white.  I shall look out for these again in the future.  

The green ones were similar to this set however the central platter with the ones we saw today was massive.

I also saw a large stone crock with a metal lid with holes in.  When I looked further it was a large bread dough prover.  It ws a lovely piece however one of the edges was broken which is a shame.

I have grown up with stories of my great grandparent's bakery which used to be in Ecclesall Bierlow in Sheffield.  My grandmother used to recount stories to my mum and her siblings about having to get up early to clean out all the pancheons after the dough had been proved and the bread made these being rather large bowls.  I never knew what they were until quite recently.  Today we saw several at the fair which were not OTT on the price.  So for future fairs I shall keep a sharp eye out for any kind of Kitchenalia.  The ones we saw today were in extremely good condition and would make a fantastic mixing bowl for modern day use and were similar to these.

I am after one of these as I think it would be ideal in which to mix together all my ingredients for home made mincemeat before leaving it to ferment in one of my Rumptopfs.

After I got home we then went round to my step-daughter's as her younger son had his birthday today.  We had a nice time but during that time my step-daughter asked if I would show her how to sew, crochet and patchwork as well as basic knitting.  The patchwork I am still learning myself so what I learn I will pass on to her and maybe that will reinforce it with me a little more.  So that is also going to be incorporated somewhere along the line.  She quite likes the idea of making some crochet throws for her front room.  One of the ladies at work also wants to learn how to crochet.  So it looks as though I am going to be busy.

Right am off to potter.

Catch you soon.



Friday, 27 September 2019

Countdown to Christmas - 88 Days to Christmas - Snowman Dolly peg tree ornament

Continuing with the Christmas decorations I have since my earlier posts found the following:

Now I am really taken with this one looks totally cheeky.  It will make a lovely tree decoration.  However I am going to have to wait to work on this one as I have no paint.  Not only am I going to have a large gluing session but it looks as though I am going to be having a large painting session as well.  Painting I must say is not really my forte.  I wish I was good at it but I am sadly not. I know my limitations.  It does not stop me having a go.  Plus it looks as though I am going to have to locate some small fittings like the little hats and some backing stars.

I will also keep my eyes peeled for unusual objects to use in my crafting and some individual pieces to use for my home d├ęcor for Christmas or anything else that takes my fancy.  It will predominantly be looking rather than buying tomorrow however when the Antiques Fair returns next year I hopefully will have been able to save up and be able to look properly for those very individual pieces.

In the meantime it is the little things that are pleasing me most.  Being small it is keeping my hands occupied, my mind interested and best of all is not costing an arm and a leg.

I had thought also to make some of these decorations out of cinnamon sticks.  I was thinking a Rudolph version too.

Catch you soon.



Feeling very spoiled

It has been a very long day today; an active and busy one where I have been on the computer processing information most of the day.  I just have to learn to link what I have learned about the computer and put it into a format that is approved and acceptable for the customer.  My head is still working on that one.  Am going to revisit this over the weekend and create some personalised crib sheets for myself.  Have done a couple of calls to clients as well although this side of it is still being nurtured from my point of view.

OH and I now work for the same company.  Different areas and different buildings.  My brother and my step-son also work at the same firm.  So you could say that we are very much keeping it in the family.

Every so often they have a lady arrive with lots of different perfumes (proper makes) at very good and a lot cheaper prices.  These are not copies, fakes or duds but the real perfume.  OH has bought perfume for me from here before but today has been the first time I have been able to see for myself.  He ended up treating me to a new bottle of perfume.

I am a fan of Mugler perfumes.  Today he has treated me to a bottle of Eau de Parfum by Mugler called Aura.  It is lovely and I adore it.  Even more I love the perfume bottle.  Very distinctive as are all of Thierry Mugler's perfume bottles.  I have the Star perfume and bottle as well.

John Paul Gaultier's "Classique" is an absolute favourite.  I am hoping that when she comes again in a couple of months just before Christmas that I will be able to buy a bottle of this as well.  Perfume helps me feel good about myself.  If I have nice clothes on and smell nice I think it helps boost a low mood, and self-esteem and makes you thing generally better about anything.

I was also treated to half a crispy duck which was shared with OH for our supper tonight.  It went down very well.

Tomorrow I am off to Peterborough Antiques with one of my friends.  It will be a tiring but good day even though the weather is damp and the temperatures have chilled quite a bit so I intend to wrap up well.  I am feeling the change in temperature to what it has been and especially so for the last three weeks or so.  A subtle change but I have felt cold on the inside.

Right must get ready for tomorrow.

Catch you soon.



Thursday, 26 September 2019

Happy but shattered

Well thus far it has been a busy but happy week.  What I have seen of my new employers I like very much and the staff are friendly and very helpful.  That's all I could ask for although it feels as though I have been given the cherry off the top of the cake.  I have lots to learn especially as it is an area of work I have not undertaken before but it is a challenge and I am enjoying it thus far and as a result am a happy bunny.  I have been treated with integrity, respect and kindness.

Because of the longer hours, it has kind of thrown everything that I normally do around the house up in the air with routines etc.  However I am going to revisit these and revamp them to make them work better for us.  Whatever it takes am going to get everything streamlined and tickety boo so that we get a better quality of life in the long run.  If I have to book crafting dates for myself then I am going to do this so that I get time to play and get stuff made as well otherwise it will be all work and no play which never does anyone any good.

We have quite a few things to do as yet in the house including the boarding in the loft but hopefully that will happen soon.  The shed also needs re-felting.  At the end of the day you can only do what you can do.  Once the loft is boarded the Christmas decorations will be going up there out of the way.  It has been planned for sometime but real life has had a habit of getting in the way and so have had to deal with other issues first.

I intend tomorrow evening getting the glue gun out and starting some of the peg projects in bulk by gluing the pegs together and getting them in the shapes they need to be.  The aesthetics can then be dealt with separately.  Until I get some paints I cannot do the soldiers, fairies/ballerinas and snowmen or other dolly peg decorations.  However I can as I say get things started.  Think that this might be quite relaxing to do after a busy week.

Saturday I am out with my friend to the Peterborough Antiques event which I am very much looking forward to.  This will be my second time.

Right am off to potter.  Have more washing and sorting to do.

Have a lovely evening.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan x

Countdown 2019 89 days to Christmas - Collecting Fir Cones and Twigs

One of the things I thought of to start this conversation was to collect items from the countryside around us and make something out of nothing with a little expenditure, a little creativity and a lot of thought.  This is both for practical presents, decorations and Christmas packaging.  I am talking about collecting fir cones in various sizes, twigs, herb stalks, and items that can be used in various projects

There is a lot to do.  Lots of things to sort out especially now that I am to be working full time. I do choose my moments. So I need to get those important aspects of Christmas sorted out however little, small or unimportant they may be in the greater scheme of things they all play their part.

What you may not be aware of though is that I keep in-house a very large roll of brown paper, and I use this for packaging parcels for birthdays and Christmas.  Equally I also keep in a roll of lining paper for the same purpose.  Brown and white paper can be recycled quite easily.  However a lot of the glossy expensive Christmas papers because of a finish they have been given do not break down so easily.  They look lovely but we do not really want to add further stress to Mother Earth in adding to the rubbish that will not breakdown. You can decorate your paper with paint and autumn leaves or crafting stamps and ink.  Holly leaves can also be used and using green, gold or red paint can also give the paper a festive theme.  Decoupage can be added or your paper can be hand-painted.  there is a lot of scope here.  Add ribbons and small fir cones and recycle last year's Christmas cards for Christmas labels.  You can also collect leaves and place them on the paper and spray round the edge of the leaves to give the outline of leaves.  Lay them out creatively.   

I regularly go for a walk with OH with our Jack Russell, Missy.  This for me is an opportunity whilst the weather is dry to collate and gather small twigs to utilise in kindling bundles, as well as pine cones and larch cones and twigs to use in Christmas decorations in their own right. 

Packed together with a few other little bits and bobs you can create your own Fire Hearth pack, containing a jar of matches (the longer ones preferably) with a set of abrasive scratch pads between the seal and the screw top lid. (I have used coarse sandpaper from the £ shop cut into disks and stored on top of the seal with a ring clip.  You can also add a Christmas image by cutting a circle design to cover the striker.  You can add a festive image on top if you so choose, which can be removed once the firelighter jar is put to use and so leave one of the scratch pads on top for easy access.  

Adding scented fir cones for throwing on the fire, together with dried herbs and also dried orange, lemon or grapefruit peel and some fire starters in the form of small cones on tealight candles.  If they are then placed in a cellophane bag either created yourself or bought in, in which to put the cones and dried peel, a Mason/Kilner/Ball type jar with a scratch pad of sandpaper in the top of the lid (cut from some sanding sheets from the £ shop), filled with longer matches, and then larch cones melted into the top of night lights to use as fire starters.  

Add a couple of nicely scented candles (vanilla) or another Christmas scent and you have a charming and practical present for friends with a proper fire.  I have a couple of good friends who both have their own fire hearths the heart of the home in the winter months.  Warmth for the body and the soul.

What has started today's post off is that a friend recently acquired some larger fir cones and brought them home to his wife and my friend.  So I cheekily asked if next time he went if he could get me a few and he has duly obliged.  I now have six large cones to play with which I am pretty pleased about.  However, these are going to be used for decorations which will be covered in another post.  The larger cones cost an awful lot of money to buy and will go nicely with those I already have.

I shall go out later in the week looking to add more fir cones to my stash.  I intend to have another foraging day later in the week.  It might be my last opportunity if the weather allows for getting something different on the pantry shelf and the basics of the Fire Hearth kit and other elements available whilst the weather is dry.  I am keen to enjoy what little time I have left to explore and forage to add a few more bits to the pantry shelf as well as lots of bits and bobs for decorations and making packaging look attractive.

Catch you soon.



Countdown to Christmas 2019 - Day 90 Clothes peg wreath

Another project utilising the good old faithful clothes pegs. I thought that this might be lovely and cheerful to create a decoration for the wall or you could use it as a base to make a fresh herb wreath present for the cook to use over Christmas.  You can paint this or add fabric strips by gluing them onto the pegs.  It looks really cheerful

You can add buttons or indeed sequins in different shades of red, white and green just to highlight the wreath a little more.

This is a project that you could involve the littlies on and make it a present from them to other family relatives or friends.

There are a lot of things that you could turn this project into.  You could of course also make your own bouquet garni bags out of muslin for dunking in home made soups, stews and casseroles as well as seasonal fresh herbs or indeed dried herbs.

Another one to let the imagination run away with.

Catch you soon.



Mantra for the Day - Thursday 26 September 2019


What lies behind you and 
what lies in front of you 
pales in comparison to 
what lies inside you


Ralph Waldo Emmerson

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Been a busy couple of days

The past three days I have not had time to play and with watching and observing Agents in full flow it has been a strong learning curve.  I have not had time to get bored!  Time has really past rather swiftly. Which in a way is a good thing for me.

Today I was allowed to venture into and practice utilising the firm's software.  Best way to learn is to actually do it whilst being guided by your tutor so you remember what you need to do for each little bit.  Apparently will be doing that again tomorrow for a couple of sessions and then later into the week we will also be having conversations with the clients.  It is a strong learning curve but as I say I am enjoying it.  It is good to grow and learn something new.

Last night I was late to bed but did not manage to get onto the computer.  I am very slowly starting to figure out the logistics I need to put in place at home so that meals are covered and something in place to have or which has been cooking in the slow cooker or what I actually need to take with me to work.  I tend to travel with the kitchen sink but this needs filtering down a little bit for practicalities sake.  

I also am going food shopping at the weekend and intend to get some mince and make a chilli, lasagne and sauce for spaghetti Bolognese.  I am also after stewing meat for stew and also a couple of meat pies and a couple of chickens.  A chicken is good for a main meal, home made stir fry, chicken sarnies, or leftover chicken curry and of course stock for home made soups.  Once I get sorted a little more I also intend to can chicken and ham stock as I go along so that an impromptu soup can be pulled off the pantry shelf especially during the week as with a few different veggies you can end up with a very quick and easy home made soup to warm the cockles of your heart especially during the colder months.

The washing machine is on for its third cycle, playing catch up with this week's washing.  I am going to try and do a load daily so that it does not build up too quickly.  I am fortunate in that I have a lot of very nice clothes and I want to get them  organised a bit better than I have at the moment.  There is still some stuff destined for my cousin and the charity shop.  I tend to colour code my clothes as it makes it a lot easier when you are in a rush to match something or blend it in with something else.

Tomorrow evening I also want to start doing some more tidying (if I am up to it when I get in).  I am hoping to venture into the bedroom as I need to sort my work clothing and accessories out a little more than they are at present.  

I have some embroidered vintage cushion covers which have seen better days and which need the stitching reinforcing.  That is a relatively simple project in the greater scheme of things and with some cushion pads inserted they should sit very nicely in my rocking chair.  I have another rocking chair to revamp and that will need doing shortly.  I may then be able to get a set of recycled fabric cushions into that one as well. I have a thing about rocking chairs - it stems from my childhood and my uncle's oak rocking chair.   I used to be sat in it as a child and my little legs never did touch the ground but I used to love the soothing rocking of the chair.  Something that I still enjoy today.

Missy has been very pleased to see us of an evening.  I am not sure that she is totally pleased at being left on her own, but she is left with water and food and covered up.  Our little rascal likes to be buried in her soft blankets.  She is a creature of comfort.

Right am off to put the final wash in the machine for tonight.  Hope you all have a good evening.

Catch you soon.



Important documentation

One of the things I have decided to do when I get a little straighter is to scan and copy all of my important documentation for use in future years.  One of the problems I have is that I put documentation in a safe place which is usually to my mind pretty sensible and then things get moved around and I end up forgetting where I put it.  It seems to be a recurring theme at the moment.  My phone has gone the same way.  All I can say is that they are somewhere in the house.

As more and more things are being processed only by the Internet (as in the case of residents parking where we live) and the fact that you have to prove your status with official documentation if I save it all on the computer it will then be just a matter of pinging it over from the computer.

One of the things I was not aware of was the requirement to prove the right to work in this country by way of birth certificate or passport with a new employer.  I have had to make an emergency application today for a copy of my birth certificate on the grounds that I could not find my existing one.  That has cost me the sum of £35 as an expedited certificate and it should be with me tomorrow with the original being sent in the post. You have to contact the Registry where you were born as they hold local certificates with the main ones being held down in the Central Registry in London.  Once upon a time and on occasions still certificates were held at the local Church.  However during centralisation with local government a lot were transferred to the nearest Registry to them.  

I had to get in touch with Lincoln Registry which is administered by Lincoln County Council.  As I had a slightly different request I made some initial calls to find out what was required etc. before requesting the necessary certificate.  You can do it online as well but I chose to do it by phone due to the additional concerns I had.  They were marvellous and extremely helpful and everything was sorted relatively quickly.  Deep sense of relief afterwards.

Unfortunately I did not manage to get on the computer last night due to other demands on my time.

A little catch up post will be done a little later on.

Catch you soon.



Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Countdown to Christmas 2019 - 91 Days to Christmas - Decorations - Dancing Fairies/Ballerinas

Well my earlier post covered the Soldiers and in the Nutcracker Ballet there were plenty of Ballerinas.  So all is fair in love and war and we need a sense of balance so this time round it is the ladies out of wooden clothes pegs as well.  I like the way these have been done but I am leaning more to fabric skirts i.e. fine gauge net and satin embellished with beads and lace although this looks very pretty.

In case any of you are having difficulty in locating either the old round pegs known as Dolly pegs or ordinary wooden pegs, they can be purchased from Hobbycraft. 

Dolly pegs

I have bought my wooden ones from my local £ shop but the Dolly pegs are not as easy to find.   As I am making the soldiers as well I am going to need more.  I will also need some pearlized paint so I may well go and have a nosey in our local Hobbycraft shortly.

I will also have a look in the Works as they also have some interesting bits and bobs.  I have lots of suitable fabric for making the dresses in any event and plenty of lace and beads for embellishment.  I am just really low on paints and that is where I will have to invest a little cash as it is  not something that I normally keep in-house.

I have lots of other bits and bobs in the scrap box.

I have in mind to play a little with the wooden bits on Friday night after I finish my first week at work.  A time to relax and just chill.  

This weekend I have a lot of organising to do for next week on the food front. I shall cook up some bits and bobs for the fridge.

I am also hoping to go to the Peterborough Antiques fair on Saturday so shall be looking out for bits and bobs that I might be able to utilise in some traditional decorations as well.  I shall also be looking out for some lovely items for the Christmas table as well.

Catch you soon.



Monday, 23 September 2019

Starting Work

Well it happened.  I started work today and was there in plenty of time despite not having much sleep last night.

Most of today has involved induction procedures which are standard wherever you go and lots of signing off of documents.

Tomorrow the work really starts in our relevant department.  From what we understand there are about three weeks of training for us to get used to the systems and to the way of working.  I must say I have met a couple of really nice people today who will be doing the same job as me.

We are not allowed to have our mobile phones on our desks due to GDPR regulations, which is perhaps not a bad thing in the bigger scheme of things.

So I shall be returning tomorrow.

We have had a quick tea this evening, egg and bacon followed by some tinned fruit and cream.  I am tired, but it has gone down a treat.  Am just off to do a little bit of preparation in readiness for tomorrow.

OH has also prepared pack up for tomorrow as well.  So that is all done and dusted.

Must say that despite an early start, it is nice to be back working again.  One day out of the way with, quite a few  more to go.

Right off to finish preparing for tomorrow.

Catch you soon.



Countdown to Christmas 2019 - 92 Days to Christmas - Decorations Star Snowflake Ornament

Another beautiful star with a few different embellishments and you can alter the changes yet again.  These would look lovely on a tree or yet again in a window with different length strings.

They would also look lovely as coasters without the second layer of pegs, which would also make a nice present for a friend or friends.

I really need a larger craft room.  The small room I use at the moment is more IT orientated than crafting room so when I get the back bedroom sorted I may well put a couple of tables in there in which to craft from which will be easier all the way round I think in the long run as I will have room for cutting out and working and for also using my Big Shot and Embroidery and sewing machines.  Will have to see what I can find on the table front in due course.

I am hoping to get started on this star one night during the week when I get home.  Will see how it goes.

Catch you all again soon.



Mantra for the Day Monday 23 September 2019

You can find an excuse 

or you can Find a way

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Sunday round up

We have had roast chicken for tea and it has gone down very nicely.

Pack-up has been prepared for tomorrow, and wrapped.  We are having cheese and tomato for sarnies tomorrow. I need to get my teabags and some milk organised for drinks during the day.  I think most of the first day from what I have heard on the grapevine is likely to be induction into the firm procedures.

I intend to take some of my crochet with me just so that I have something to keep me occupied whilst I am waiting.  It also helps calm my nerves.  OH is taking me in with him early so there will be a period of time when I am on my own before being directed where I need to be.  They asked for us to be there for 9:00am.  I understand I may finish early tomorrow as well, in which case the crochet will also keep me occupied.  That way around if I have to do extra work in the evening then at least am getting to do some crafting inbetween.

This week is going to be a long week on the hours front but once I have completed training, I am hoping that they will let me do a little work of some kind.  Otherwise I will have my crochet on hand to be productive whilst waiting.

I am going to go back into the old preparation mode of getting clothes for the following day (and accessories) ready the night before with everything being laid out in readiness. So everything is clean, pressed and can just be slipped into when time is at a premium. 

Might also make some breakfast pots up for later in the week so that I do not go too hungry. I am a person who needs breakfast. After losing all the weight during the past 14 months I do not want to go and wreck everything,  so if I can just stick to set meals without comfort eating and nibbling I will be well pleased.

It has been raining again and has gone a little chilly.  At this time of year we have to make the most of the good weather whilst we have it.  

Still have a lot of organising to do at home but will tackle it a segment at a time and we will get there eventually.  Just have to keep plugging away at it.

Right catch up soon.



Honey I am home

I am home, after a lovely time out at Stamford Meadows Antiques Fair today.  Rain had been forecast for approximately 1pm today but it was here for about 9:30am, just gently spitting.  It stopped and then we had a wander outside before it started tipping down at which point we went into the tent.  There were lots of lovely displays today particularly French ware items.  My friend bought a very unusual pottery cat with a flat face which was a long ornament the body of which you could pop things like Elizabeth Shaw mints at Christmas.  She also bought two little bowls with a chicken relief border on.  Both will look super in her intended kitchen revamp in due course.  

There were simply lots and lots of pieces that I would have loved to have bought home.  However I am still downsizing.  Once I have it under control a little bit more then I might start buying carefully selected pieces every so often.  I am still wading through everything and am getting there ever so slowly.  It will happen given a bit more time.  I have been seeing a lot of individual furniture pieces just recently which I have been quite taken with.  However on a practical basis I have no room as yet.  It has however been a productive time as I am starting to sort out the style and sort of pieces I am interested in without jumping in and blowing a lot of money.  One day I will get an opportunity to collect a piece here and there.  

After the Fair we went out for Sunday lunch which was very nice.

Its a wet and moody autumn afternoon here and I am starting to get things together in readiness for the shock to my system tomorrow.  Grit the teefs Tricia (sorry BB I am using one of your expressions) and get stuck in and do what I always do.  I have now had my freedom for 14 months now time to get stuck in and reclaim my professional life. It will be doubly hard after the freedom - just the depth that varies.  Howver I am in a mixed way looking forward to it too.  

Off to potter again.

Catch you later.



Countdown to Christmas 2019 - Day 93- Christmas Decorations Toy Soldier Clothespin Ornaments

Now for a little project using traditional old fashioned clothes pegs.

I have always been fascinated by the Nutcracker Ballet, especially at Christmas since I was a small child.  This December I am going to see my first live Ballet and it is the Nutcracker.  I am super excited.  It is my Christmas present from my friend.

As part of my Christmas decorations I have a collection of German Nutcracker Soldiers, all dressed differently.  Some are automatons and others have musical movements.  The bulk of them were found many years ago reduced in the Works bookshop.  I picked them up for £5 apiece and I think that there are five of them.  

I love traditional wooden ornaments.  They have a naivete about them that strums the emotional strings.  It is also a big part of childhood Christmas traditions like going to see Pantomine and of course the rich tradition of story-telling.  However, this little set, is not only actively making something special but is reflecting those story telling traditions and the special Christmas magic that is all part of a traditional British childhood.  Well it was mine.  Full of music, story-telling, burning log fires, lots of family members spending time together, lots of good food.  The children's party pieces, Charades, dancing, ballet slippers and dancing shoes and gathering around the piano to sing Carols with Dad playing and singing.  Those are the memories I have of early Christmas celebrations spent at my Nan and Pops.              

These are definitely on the list to make.  My clothes pins/pegs are all in a stash ready for working on but I need to get hold of some acrylic paints from my local craft shop.  I might also make some individual Busby hats to put on top of the cotton wool ball hat and I think to protect the paint I would give a coat of varnish.

These little soldiers also bring back memories of my Dad playing the piano at home.  He used to play the Parade of the Tin Soldiers around Christmas.

Hope that this brings back a memory for some of you.

Dad had started to teach me how to play piano before going away to train for a job.  I was very interested in learning to play and Dad had taught me the scales but when I went to practice Mum used to holler at me for making a noise.  Because she yelled I did not go near the piano.  Dad concluded that I was not interested once he was back home and got rid of the piano.  I still have the piano stool where the sheet music used to be stored.  I have promised myself that I will eventually get my own piano and decidely late in life take lessons.  That is on my "Bucket List".  Must learn how to read music soon.

This post has decidedly been a mix of memories, happy times and of making heirloom ornaments for tomorrow.

Catch you soon.



Saturday, 21 September 2019

A quiet day today

This morning I escaped with my friend to Plush Addicts in Peterborough, for the Project Linus morning.  There were lots of ladies who dropped by including a couple of new ladies who are going to try and make next month's meeting.  I could not get my sewing stuff out so I took some crochet today (the recently started project) and managed in amongst all the chatting to work 8 squares.  A load more to go yet.  I missed doing my patchwork though.  Hopefully I will be able to attend next month.  A pleasant time was had by all I think (well I certainly enjoyed myself).

After doing a little more research for another set of posts when I came back and then walking Missy.  We then set too (OH and I and had brunch);  egg, bacon, sausage, fried egg, tomatoes, mushrooms and tomatoes (he had been working this morning in any event).

Since then I have been pottering around in the house and slowly starting to get myself mentally geared up for the return to work on Monday.

We have since walked Missy for the second time and are now settling down for the evening.  I have lots to do as usual.  It is just the depth that varies.

I have an antique fair to go to tomorrow.  Hope the weather keeps fair.

Right off to potter.  

Catch you soon.



Countdown to Christmas 2019 - 95 Days to Christmas - Christmas Decorations freestanding miniature Christmas tree

When I was researching Christmas decorations for the wooden peg stars, I also came across this miniature Christmas tree (also made from clothes pegs).  I must say that I was quite taken with this decoration as well .

The link is here:

Both projects are something that can be done bit by bit of an evening.  With me starting work on Monday it may be a good way for me to relax when I get home and actually be making something as well.  

I intend to take some crochet with me to work just in case I get a few moments, but this would be good to do of an evening just for a little while.

I guess I am old fashioned when it comes to Christmas decorations or at least my style of decorations and this is making a memory and a decoration rolled up in one.  Much of the charm in bringing out special Christmas tree decorations lays with the fact that they are treasured lovingly and brought out year in year out.  Modern day heirlooms in the making.

Catch you soon.



Friday, 20 September 2019

Countdown to Christmas 2019 - 96 Days to go - Homemade Decorations - Christmas stars

This post should have been entitled 100 days to Christmas but as I got side-tracked it is now Countdown  to Christmas 2019 and today is 96 days to Christmas Eve. The day when children (and bigger children) mostly all over the world get all excited about hanging their Christmas stockings in anticipation of being on the good list for a present or presents on Christmas Day but most of all celebrating the closeness of family and friends and finding the joy in life no matter what financial constraints there may be.  Most of all though celebrating love in its purest form and lighting the dark days of an English Winter.  Well here in the UK at least.  I know that each country has its own customs and availability of different items depends very much on what is around you where you live.
I thought this year that I would try and make some little bits and bobs earlier on than I usually do or at least leave a paper trail so that I can play when I have a few moments.  I had thought that I would do all the gluing and then all the painting and then the glitter in separate job lots so that the ornaments are created and finished in effect in a job lot. It is often the simplest things that bring the most pleasure and

I found this tutorial on the Country Living website for making ornaments out of wooden clothes pegs.  Given that time is at a premium and I still want to have a few new Christmas decorations in the house I was quite taken by this video tutorial.  I have pegs in house in any event.  However I love the simplicity of these especially when finished with some lovely glitter.  They would look fantastic in the front room windows with a candle arch.  Something I am thinking of doing.

Locally to where my OH used to live there was an artist who really used to go to town at Christmas and paint a full vintage seasonal scene every year.  It used to look wonderful especially as there was carefully chosen lighting to enhance the display.

There is the written information here for further information:

I love the charm of wooden decorations more than anything else and these will fit in very nicely with those ornaments I already have - I have several freestanding German wooden ornaments including musical Nutcrackers which come out every year without fail.

So time to get motivated.  I will be popping up links of things that I would like to do, in the run up to Christmas.  Sorry it is early folks, but this year I have a tight schedule and even if you don't make everything there will be ideas that will give a spin off or you will just have a go at making a certain something, even if not for this year at least you will have the information to make in the New Year for next Christmas.

Catch you soon.



Mantra for the Day Saturday 21 September 2019

Follow your Heart 


Let your soul sing!


Mantra for the Day - 20 September 2019

I Matter


Thursday, 19 September 2019

Christmas is making an appearance

Today I met another friend for lunch.  She is in the New Year about to retire and it had been hoped that the pair of us would be able to meet up more often than we have been able to.  However, we intend to keep in touch and maybe meet up of an evening due to the dictates of my new employment.

LJ is my oldest and one of my dearest friends.  Her Christmas present to me this year is taking me to see the Nutcracker Ballet down in London just before Christmas.  I am very much looking forward to it as I have never been to see a live Ballet performance.

After leaving her I went into town for a wander.  Ever so slowly the shops are starting to add Christmas bits and bobs.  I went into Wilkinsons today and had a wander round. I found some large storage boxes which I think will be ideal for storing some of the Christmas decorations in.  Yet again will have to wait until pay day. They are 90 litre boxes for £7 apiece. 

I also went into John Lewis.  Despite their drastic modernisation of the Peterborough store they still had some lovely foodie items on the third floor which I shall go back and have a look at.

I also went into M & S. One of the things that I always buy at Christmas is some of their bags of crumbly mints.  I noticed today that the bags they have instore have a long stop date of February 2020. They help with over indulgence of rich food!  I was more particularly drawn to the items in their freezer section today and shall come pay day go and have a look and get stocked up on a few things and create a freezer log so that I know what I do and do not have.

The other day when I nipped into B & M they had a double double box of After Eights for £4.99.  That is the equivalent of four ordinary sized boxes.  So in due course I shall start to add to the stash.

I am also looking for strong gift boxes that can be decoupaged and then given to the recipient with their gift in them. Tiger shop has some reasonable ones and I shall also start to add in a few of these as well.  I need to look for some tins though as well.

This evening for tea we have had chicken stir fry using up all sorts of odds and ends from the chicken and the veggies that I had in the fridge.  I am now very full. I have a scuttle full of chicken stock to make tomorrow. I intend to go foraging for a short while tomorrow in any event.

So slowly, Christmas is starting to make an appearance in the shops.  Now to start plotting and planning in amongst everything else that is going on.

Catch you all soon.



Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
  • Squeak (approx 2 years)
  • Poppy (approx 16 years)
  • Tyson (approx 17 years)
  • Tinky (official name Clover approx 18 years)