Paper White Christmas

We took our Christmas Eve annual trip to Leeds Castle a day earlier this year as the weather forecast was for driving and heavy winds so we thought it was wiser to go today. It wasn’t as quiet as we were used to as there was a Christmas market on but it was still very nice to go and see the castle. This year there were illuminated paper sculptures, inspired by traditional Christmas carols by Helen Musselwhite. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did 🙂 Happy Christmas Eve minus one!

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Making Christmas

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One of my most favourite gifts I like to give is time. Time is becoming so increasingly precious and the days rush on with unprecedented speed so I find that all I do is get up, rush around and rush back to bed again at the soonest opportunity. I managed in my rush to catch Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas whilst I was meant to be napping. I love decorating my friend’s house with holly and ivy each year and it got me to thinking about how lovely that is and how much I like the smell of the Christmas tree. I’ve had the spruce cut from the garden but had some leftover tree branches from putting my friend’s tree and decorations up yesterday so spruced up my current decorations with bits of pine and holly.

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I had only done one windowsill so took the chance to do a second one. I am deeply in love with the cinnamon and apple candle.

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I went out with the Japanese student who is staying with us for Christmas the other day and gathered lots of red berries. It was such a nice walk and we got to check out Bob’s geocaching spot in the daylight – sorry Bob – no geocache. I love the rosehips we found and Aya is a dab hand at finding holly with berries on. The seed heads are still going strong after several years in place.

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Today Aya and I attempted a gingerbread house. Thankfully it is not glued together with molten glue as the ones pao and I attempted years ago were! Aya decorated the front side.

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I decorated the back and roof. 🙂

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This is a wreath which I made for my lovely friend Jan. It is my most favourite of the wreaths I’ve made:) This is another I made in 2012. It is also my favourite gift that I give as I like giving my time to help my lovely friend and enjoy seeing her happy face when it is all done. I love thinking about her as I go about my way collecting holly and ivy and planning where I’m going to collect it from and thinking about what a happy time we have when we deliver her greenery and Christmas tree and decorate it. I wish I could do this for more friends as it is not a chore for me but an act of love and I do love my friend dearly so it is such a pleasure for me to do so.

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I’m sad to report that Sirius isn’t as remotely helpful as he used to be. He seems to have taken a more managerial role in proceedings and likes to come along to inspect things at the end!

Door Free-ath

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I can’t believe that it is already mid December. This year is speeding along a bit too fast for my liking. I hope this isn’t a symptom of getting older as I’d like to slow down a bit! I was contemplating a brief afternoon nap before I get in the car to Whitstable to take my latest show at the Horsebridge Gallery down when an idea popped into my head and I rushed off out to the garden much to the surprise of two sleepy cats who were expecting nap time.

Whilst driving around, I’ve noticed lots of wreaths on front doors and I really really wanted one. I saw a woodland one in Waitrose which I was tempted by but hadn’t really got round to going and buying one. I have lots of rosemary in my garden and watching Kirsty Allsop’s Homemade Christmas programme gave me an idea. The rosemary provided the necessary greenery for the wreath shape and I left some bits hanging out for the rustic aesthetic. I had a load of things like orange slices and wire from last year and a load of pine cones I’d collected in the woods so the plan all came together. I wanted something simple so used green string to tie it all together. I didn’t use a wreath shape which might have been something I may have done if this was planned but it was immensely spontaneous 🙂 And completely FREE! 🙂

Now to go and hoover up the mess before pao comes home 🙂

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Bonus photo of poor Bernard’s older handsome brother, Ralph. Isn’t he beautiful?

Caturday: Bernard

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There was a day when we visited Bernard and he was very lethargic

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I was a little concerned but we looked at him closely

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and realised that he had grown in size!

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Sirius used to get all quiet and less active when he grew a bit. I expect that Bernard has now grown even more naughty with it 🙂

Doctor’s orders

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I really love my doctor. She is an immensely wise woman – a little curt at times but tremendously caring. She said straight out – ‘you’re exhausted, you need a break. I’d like to prescribe a holiday but I can’t do that on the NHS so I prescribe an hour in Starbucks with your knitting just relaxing.’ Well the traffic was a bit backed up so I called into the Good Shed instead. I was pleasantly surprised to find my tea and toast served up on my favourite pottery from Canterbury Pottery. I felt immensely better after an hour sitting knitting and staring out the window at the trains going by. My introverted dyspraxic self needs more moments like these as our house is full and my diary is loaded up.

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It was especially good as I found somewhere wonderful to fill my prescription, too. I’d been really keen to get to The Old Pharmacy in Faversham.

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I did my usual weekend at Creek Creative so was in Faversham anyway so it seemed almost rude not to check it out. The windows were calling out to me.

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I was drawn to a moth like a flame already having been regaled of the wonders of the Old Pharmacy by my friend Susie.

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I was thrilled to be greeted by a familiar face. Gillian has previously done Creek Creative with me before so it was nice to see her shiny new shop.

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I only had a few minutes to swoon as I had to get back to my stall at the Creek as the show was due to start at 10. Poor pao had been kicked out of the car quite unceremoniously and swiftly on my way to Faversham more because I was worried about looking for somewhere to park (honest) on a busy Saturday but I did get there early enough for a swoon. It was just the medicine I needed on what proved to be an extremely quiet day.

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The day was such a wash-out that I needed a medical intervention and managed a slightly longer peruse after the day at the Creek was over.

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If only all medicine was so squishy! It is such an amazing lovely shop – I wholeheartedly prescribe it. pao may be shaking his head when he reads this but he did exhort me to buy some yarn when I told him I was calling in to take a look.