While I've been limiting my internet time, I've managed to do a little bit of baking and quite a lot of crochet - I decided this year that as many presents as possible were going to be either handmade by me, or bought from other craftspeople. I made my friends boyfriend a tin of homemade biscuits, which included Nigel Slaters Christmas flapjacks - chewy, oaty, fruity little squares of heaven drizzled with chocolate. You can use pretty much any oats in a flapjack recipe, but I really rate Jordans rolled oats. I love them as a brand, as they fit in with my continuing ethical efforts (they support countryside preservation) and their amazing range of granola, breakfast cereals and cereal bars are ace. When I was pregnant, I used to get through boxes of their granola with natural yogurt and honey - it was one of the only things that didn't make me feel horrendously sick!
We've spent quite a while decorating the house this year, and as it was our first year with a proper porch and front garden, I decided I wanted to put something a little festive outside. I found two small fir trees in Wilkinsons, and after rummaging in the garden, I constructed a wreath from a ready-made base, some ivy (growing on our fence), a bit of holly (tucked under our fuschia tree) and bits of a table decoration from Asda. I've never been all that good at floristry or flower arranging, mostly because I'm too pernickety and get frustrated if things aren't exactly right, but I actually found making the wreath quite therapeutic. Weaving the ivy in and out, tucking the berries on.... that said, it might just have been a fluke!
We've been finding new (to us) decorations, and also exclaiming with joy over uncovering old ones. I try to buy a new one every year, and this year I found some in my favourite homewares shop, Flo and Stans - they do amazing vintage and kitsch bits and bobs, so I knew I'd find something ace in there. I'm loving how our little lounge looks now (apologies for the photograph quality - the light was awful!), and one of my favourite things to do in the evening is curl up on the sofa, light a festive candle and watch TV. As much as I love all of those minimalist, clean, white Scandinavian design houses, I have way too much stuff to live like that!
|Banister decorations courtesy of Benjamin.|
|Handmade card from Ooh La Lapin|
|Finding old favourites - this is my one and only example of machine embroidery!|
|Candles, candles, candles.|
|Hurrah for festive mugs!|
|Vintage baubles from Flo and Stans.|
|Daisy decided to be in charge of the umbrella.|
|Beautiful twinkly mechanical ornaments.|
Apart from the mad festive preparations, I've also managed to find some great bits on eBay, dye my hair and drink loooooots of tea.....
|Lovely vintage magazines, newspapers and books found for pennies on eBay.|
|Dying my hair red, vintage market finds, amazing knitted turbans, tea galore.|
|Handmade doll from Ooh La Lapin, extra goodies in my package, paper decorations, a homemade wreath.|
There's a good chance I won't get to blog between now and January, so I'm going to sign off by saying a very merry Christmas and a happy new year to you all. Thank you for reading, and for all your comments - and I promise to try and blog a little more frequently (or at least regularly!) in the new year. Have a wonderful time!
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Jordans cereal - I wasn't paid, but they sent me a box of porridge, and some nutty bars, which were very tasty indeed.