Tag Archives: Christmas

Ho Ho Ho

Who are you calling a ho? {Groan – I thought I’d save you a job.}

As we all know it’s nearly Christmas.  What?  Next week is November and at that point Christmas is next month.

Now I’m not a big fan of hand embroidery but one of the quilting blogs I read ‘SewHappy.Me‘  (as you know I don’t really quilt but it’s one of those crafts that I like to look at and think about doing) started a Christmas Banner sewalong.  So far I’ve managed to remember – in some cases just – to download the instructions weekly eg, block 1…

and today I finally got round to embroidering one…

On another creative note here’s how you give your husband a fright – you go upstairs (yesterday afternoon) at 3.oopm (see I’m remembering to use ‘old money’ on the times) to make sure he’s still awake after his alarm went off half an hour before and chat to him, then you go back downstairs and do some knitting. As you sit there knitting your head starts drooping and you decide to take a little snooze, so you snuggle down on the settee under a blanket and promptly fall asleep. When your husband finally makes it downstairs he opens the lounge door and you raise your dozing head off the cushion to find him looking at you with a horrified look on his face as he says ‘Are you not well?’ to which you answer ‘I was just taking a nap’.  He was reassured when I was able to get tea!

Other creative spaces can be found here.

Boxing Day Part I

We multi-tasked and combined Buddy’s walk with the trip to the cemetery as it was my Dad’s anniversary.  I tell you this purely for the sympathy vote, and to point out that I really don’t need to hear about my father in law’s heart attack for the 5,000th time on that of all days.  (My Dad had a coronary artery thrombosis during the night and we found him when he didn’t turn up for lunch – he  would have paid to go that way.)  No, really I tell you this to explain why we were walking through the cemetery where we came across two rather large ball-shaped shrubs at the end of one of the paths with a covering of snow that made them look like Christmas puds AND someone had strategically positioned a red something (carrier bag, flower paper) on top of one so it really did look like a pudding (unfortunately I hadn’t taken my camera).

After we got home B phoned the m-i-l  up at 13:15 to say he was on his way and she informed him  that she’d had a bowl of soup to put her on!  She’d had lunch!  Bearing in mind that she takes every opportunity when faced with a plate of food to state that she doesn’t eat a lot (yeah right – tell that to her empty tin of Roses – chocolates).  This was when I very nearly lost it but thought ‘What the heck, even if she hadn’t had lunch she’d have complained I’d given her too much’.

She pointed out that last year, we’d only had lunch late.  Yes, because the beef wasn’t done enough for her and took forevvvvvvvvvvvvvvvver to cook and then she didn’t eat it and complained that the veg was cold whilst shovelling it down like it was going to do a runner and therefore she had lunched this year because obviously she would pass out if she had to go another hour without food.  However this year I’d done stew, basically because I would have needed B to peel the potatoes due to my wrist, and I couldn’t have coped with getting him up at 04:30 so that they were done in time.

So the m-i-l was most put out that she went straight to the table rather than got to complain about how late lunch was (although she did manage to do that at Gill’s on Christmas Day).  And obviously complained there was too much.  Then we had pudding (fruit slump which said it didn’t store well) so there was too much.  After complaining about this and B refusing to take any off her and being told 55 times to just leave what she didn’t want I went on a trip to the kitchen, which is all of six feet away, where I heard the m-i-l say to B ‘Will she have some of this?’ and came back through the door to find her indicating that she meant my Auntie Ann by waving her spoon in that general direction.

Never the one to miss an opportunity to moan the m-i-l declared to my Auntie Ann that the problem was her legs.  Now I having gone beyond the smile and nod stage said ‘Are you doing the exercises the physio showed you?’  The physio that back in September it took me about 10 phone calls to sort out and included a load of equipment being provided which she agreed on and then insisted on all but one zimmer frame going back!

M-i-l:  ‘Occassionally, but they don’t work.’

Me:  ‘That’s because you have to do them three times a day.’

M-i-l: ‘Oh!’ With a look that said ‘Thank you for interrupting my moan’.

All through lunch the m-i-l kept saying how cold her hands were.  Now this is not unusual and she has on more than one occasion been known to grab the hand of the person closest, in this case mine, without prior warning and say ‘Feel how cold my hands are!’  Several times with me this has backfired as my hands were colder and this has reduced her to a sullen state.  So I have to say I paid her no mind and carried on eating and it was only when B made sure she got upstairs okay and asked whether the heating was on that I remembered I had set it on timed on Christmas Day to accommodate going to Auntie Ann’s.  Doh.

So after I crazily confessed the m-i-l ended up on the settee huddled under a throw (I burnt it the day after – no not really but I did wash it).

Tomorrow I’ll share how the m-i-l provided a lovely warm welcome for our next door neighbour and his lady friend – okay we ALL know that’s not gonna happen.  She refused to sit at the table with us and caused Bud to lunge viciously at Ben.  Now I’m gonna take a little kip as I think my temp is spiking because I’m struggling to keep my eyes open!  Whatcha mean it’s too much of the easy life and getting waited on hand and foot that I now need an afternoon snooze?


Christmas & the mother in law

We had a wonderful Christmas – I just love it!

We went to my Auntie Ann’s on Christmas Day or as asked by the m-i-l ‘Are you going to that woman’s?’.  And I more or less completely managed this year to avoid letting the mother in law wind me up.  Unlike one year in particular when I ended up slicing salad stuff like it had committed a heinous crime – the m-i-l went on and on about when was she getting her tea resulting in me stropping off into the kitchen missing the last 20 minutes of a film – it’s not as if we could have heard it anyway if I’d stayed.  I wouldn’t mind but she’d only had her lunch 3 or 4 hours before and complained constantly about it being too much.

Oh, and there was the year she was watching her cholesterol and so I double checked if she would eat cheesecake if I made it with low fat cheese – she then wouldn’t eat it as it had raspberries swirled through it and she didn’t like that that resulted in pink swirls – it should have been white with the fruit on top only!

And then there was the year I fractured my elbow (only hairline) and she wanted to know why I wasn’t able to do any baking and in the same breath was excusing my sister in law from doing anything as she had a cold! (Wow, she actually made an allowance for one of us at some point.)

And there was the year that the in-laws turned up on Boxing Day with a turkey for me to cook as they had defrosted it but for some reason couldn’t cook it themselves.  I’d never cooked a turkey before and my father in law had seen on the TV that the best way to cook it was wrap the turkey itself in foil and turn it over part way through cooking – which was entertaining to do.  It wasn’t for us by the way, they took it all home with them.

Anyhoo, moving back to this year and my new tactic.  I am generally quite laid back but the m-i-l manages to get me from zero to KABOOM in about 0.25 milliseconds.  But not this year (well okay, there was one slight start of a flare up but I managed to kick that into touch).

Christmas Day we called at my sister in law’s with Buddy.  Gill’s two Boston Terriers weren’t Buddy friendly and were dispatched to the kitchen while Bud discovered their squeaky toys in the lounge and set out dismantling one.  I know very inconsiderate of me but by the time I reached out for it, it was already squeakless.

This is Benson aka Benny…

This is Dorothy aka Dottie (back in August, she’s a bit bigger now)…

I managed to avoid having to kiss the m-i-l as I had Bud on the lead and she’s frightened of dogs.  My sis in law’s mum complimented me on my hair and how it suited me short.  The m-i-l agreed then asked Gill’s mum if it was a wig.

Then she insisted that my eldest nephew moved from the arm of the settee to the spot just vacated by the youngest nephew near to her.  When he proved to be less than enthusiastic and only moved on about the fifth suggestion she put her hand up to her mouth and WHISPERED to Gill’s mum ‘I don’t think he thinks much about me.’  Obviously I heard this WHISPER across the room so goodness knows what eldest nephew thought – probably whatever the most modern equivalent of ‘Beam me up Scotty’ is.  I meanwhile found it good to know that it’s not only Bernard she says this about/to!

She then pointed out that Bud was eating the squeaky toy.  ‘No, Mary’ I said very insistently ‘he isn’t, he’s spitting it out!’ as evidenced by the 102 pieces strewn over the rug.  As it turned out, and as much as this pains me, she wasn’t wrong on that count.  Not right you understand, just not wrong.  I found this out on Monday morning around 06:00 when I awoke to find a small furry face peering at me over the edge of the bed.  ‘That’s unusual’ I thought ‘Bud doesn’t normally get off the bed until I get up’.  So I scooched over and Bud reclaimed some of the duvet.

I meanwhile tootled off downstairs to get a head start on the painkillers so I my wrist didn’t kick off when I got up.  Fortunately I put my socks on as it was still very cold and by the time I got to the kitchen I thought mmmm, well okay not at first, it was 06:00ish after all (that’s 6 in the AM!), so I finally thought ‘mmmmm, why’s my sock a bit moist?’.  I turned round and there on the dining room laminate was a little pile of Buddy sick, and a little further away another little pile.  Both piles as it turned out containing little bits of squeaky snowman!  There was also a puddle of wee under the dining table but I didn’t notice that at the time. B noticed it when he got up later but only after Bud was giving it a passing sniff!

Okay, back to Boxing Day… well, maybe that’s enough for one post – Christmas Part II Boxing Day to follow…

Buddy Antlers

I think we all knew that getting Buddy into the antlers I’d bought wasn’t going to be a piece of Christmas Cake however if I’d have thought on I should have popped them on him when he’d disappeared into the bedroom the other night and made himself comfy…

however I didn’t – so armed with the antlers, the camera and a large handful of dog biscuits we made the attempt last night.  Needless to say our photos won’t be as elegantly posed as the ones of Toni, but here they are…


And the final straw, I mean, shot…

‘Just give me the biscuit and take off the antlers and everybody can

Have a Whoofly Christmas

and that includes all of you!’

Another bunny and a frog

The remaining body parts from here have now become another bunny and a froggie…

My second bunny has a tail…

and so doesn’t look as provocative as the first one.  However the first one now has a tail and a new home.  The bunny proved quite popular so I will be adding it to the Myeloma Buddy range in the new year as the pattern allows for it to be sold for charity.  The frog pattern is from Spud & Chloe too.

The little critters can either be filled with stuffing, a tennis ball or, as is the case with the frog, a rubber dog ball.

The knitting wasn’t exactly the plain sailing I’m accustomed to as my first body part ended up like this…

not exactly bunny shaped and just goes to show that even when you  have been knitting as long as I have you still have boo boos.

The original pattern is knit in the round but this slows me down, I think because I am a tucker! In that I like a long needle that I can tuck under my arm.  I’m not averse to four or five needles as long as they are long enough to tuck but prefer not to use them if at all possible.  So I attempted to convert the pattern to knitting backwards and forwards – how hard should that have been – not very.  However, and I’m putting it down to chatting at the hospital whilst I knit even though I started it in the car on the way there, I totally messed up the increases not once, not twice but three times and even when I’d finished it and moved onto the head I had no idea how the shape I had created was going to end up round.  And guess what it didn’t!  But I got there in the end after the obligatory ‘Oh, yeah’ moment.

Bud has shown an interest in the frog but I believe I may have mentioned previously it has 12 toes! 12!  And I think I’d need more than a staple gun to stop him pulling the legs off it.

Made – 11/29* with 10 days to go

Panic level – 3/10 (I have a sneaky feeling it may peak after the weekend if that first number isn’t a whole lot closer to the second one by then)


Flakey Jingle Bells

And yet more Christmas presents are coming out of my elf workshop, or should that be elfing sweat shop?

And yes those are different reindeer and Santas and not just because they are on different backgrounds and I gave the bottom one out today and realised later that I’d forgotten to add the bells to the reindeer – Doh!

Jingle Bells

The Flakes

There were two lots of snowmen but I forget to take a picture of the first ones and they now have a new home.  I made the second ones for a back up present while I was on a roll.

I got the pattern from a shop that has now closed but the pattern designer is Sweet Dreams.

It didn’t take too long as I happened to have a box of decapitated heads in the back of the wardrobe.

Some people have snowy worlds with talking lions I have snowmen and reindeer heads – it looks like a crafting massacre!

Made – 9/29* with 10 days to go (*  Yes I realised I needed another one!)

Panic level – 3/10

Henry Cole

Henry Cole it has materialised is the bane of my life!  Who? Exactly I’d never heard of him until recently and yet every year at this time he gives me a headache (not literally).

I have been reading Bill Bryson’s At Home – emphasis on the have been – I stopped not a quarter of the way through.  Normally I like Bill’s stuff but not this one and not A Brief History of Nearly Everything nor actually Made in America – although I did read far enough into that to discover that the Pilgrims did not actually step ashore at Plymouth Rock! And I didn’t get very far with The Mother Tongue – but did learn that Shakespeare invented words, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time.

Since that now looks like I don’t really finish Bill’s books I did however love A Walk in the Woods (and laughed out loud at the bit about the ‘bear’ and the tent) and in preparation for our trip to Australia in 2007 read Down Under, I also watched Billy Connolly’s World Tour of Australia and you know neither of them let us down.  The Lonely Planet Guide however was a different story resulting in a few days right next, or rather RIGHT NEXT, to the Red Light district of Sydney! And I liked The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid and The Complete Notes.

Anyhoo back to At Home and Henry Cole.  Before I gave it up as a bad job I found out that Sir Henry ‘invented’ Christmas Cards back in 18 something or other.

Now I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE Christmas through and through except for the card bit.  I HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE writing Christmas cards.  Over the years I have tried it sober, I have tried it tipsy, I have sat at the table and done them, I have lounged on the settee, I have done them in one go, I have done them in instalments, I have fed them through a printer (at work about 19 years ago – so my HATE relationship with Christmas Cards has been going on for sometime) to avoid having to write…

To (insert name/s)

Wishing you a

Merry Christmas

and a

Happy New Year

Lots of love/With love/Best wishes (delete as appropriate)

Paula & Bernard

xx (or no xx again as appropriate)

One year about, ohh maybe even, 10 years ago I happened to buy family Christmas cards in the after Christmas sale and spent about £20 and I was horrified at spending so much at sale prices – on something that B’s mum certainly would have in the bin before New Year.  So the following year I made the family cards and as usual bought some form of charity card for the others – my card list hovers around 50 – some friends send more than a 100!  They moan about it regularly every year but they send them anyway and generally start writing in November.

So for the first few years I made just cards that I would have bought with a title on eg, Auntie, nephew, in-laws, and then maybe five or six years ago I started making them all.  And I actually prefer this to writing them out – even though I usually end up writing something in the card anyway – crazy I know but somehow it’s less of a chore!

I actually had a dream a few weeks ago that I hadn’t sent my Christmas Cards and fortunately it made me remember that I bought some fabric in Australia that I intended to use for cards – I was going to add that I don’t know where it is but it’s just dawned on me it may be with the Christmas stuff in the loft!

And I don’t mean to panic anyone but did you know it’s 1 December today, I’ve committed to a Handmade Holiday and Christmas Eve – that possible time to spend all day catching up this year falls on a working day!

Well if push comes to shove a photo card may be quicker – I’m thinking Buddy in a pair of antlers – a red nose may be pushing it though.

Oh, and I do have to buy one card – for Bernard – he thinks my handmade ones suck – well not in some many words but the one year he got one – not a happy bunny – he likes a slushy verse too!




Creative Space – Christmas Buddies

After the sudden urge to do a Halloween Buddy and a comment regarding Christmas Buddies my creative space has been filled with the following…

I know Gingerbread Men aren’t necessarily Christmassy but I just thought the idea of multicoloured ‘smarty’ dots was fun.  I’m toying (get it toying, sigh, moving on) with the idea of adding a tummy button to Rudolph Buddy.

The one in the middle is a representative Elf Buddy as my first one looked like this…

For some reason he reminded me of a China man from old films – I think it was the ‘hat’.  However looking at him now I think that with a plain green head that he would be sufficiently Elfy, and although it doesn’t look it in the pics that green is BRIGHT GREEN!

And still on the needles a Candy Cane Buddy…

Yes I am working for my living today- it just happens to be on the keyboard and it’s my break!

Other Creative Spaces are on show here!

To Do List

The current status of my To Do List from my previous entry

Charity Jumpers – finished 27th but made the yarn stretch not literally to another couple of hats

Belt for cardy – Finished Christmas Day while I was waiting for my husband to finish getting ready and worn on Christmas Day with the rest of the cardy

James Graham doll – finished and wrapped on Christmas Eve – see photo, he did subsequently end up with eyes and rosy cheeks.

Paper decorations – Up in the porch on Wednesday night by approx 23:30. A friend had just left and I was standing in the porch in my jim jams hanging decorations while the snow came down in completely gorgeous snow like manner, all thick and constant.

Steam clean floors – Done on Tuesday night – didn’t really help my sore throat and caused my back a bit of gip* – to the point where I almost considered taking Oramorph – but my floors looked fantastic.

* It’s good to be able to get that off my chest that because

a) I don’t know if anyone will read this, and

b) even if someone is (Hello), I don’t know you personally and I don’t feel have to feel guilty that I potentially could have @#$&ed up Christmas by over doing it.

AND additionally I made a holly dog collar for my sister-in-laws pooch.

Christmas Stocking

I knit a lot, hence Feresaknit because somebody already had Feresa, who’d have though it.  And I cross stitch and sew and will try anything arty although I’m not a big fan of glue! It likes me too much, more of it sticks to me that to what I’m trying to stick.

I’ve just finished a stocking for my friend’s grand-daughter. I did her two brother’s one each last year but didn’t get her’s finished ‘cos I wasn’t too well and ran out of time, so I knit her one instead.

I’ve always wanted to do something crafty for a living, I did once work for a double glazing company so I suppose that was pretty crafty – to be polite.

I recently set up a shop on etsy.com and have discovered that although I am creative, even if I say so myself, its really, really, really hard to photograph stuff. There’s all these arty looking photos, some selling similar things and my look like a grandma with old-fashioned tastes did them. Oh, there’s a hat similar to the ones I knit it looks so cool, mine look so cute in ‘real life’ but look naff in my shop. I think I need photography lessons. Now I know why they use fake food in recipe photos, pooling gravy developing a skin wouldn’t sell. I only buy cook books with lots of photos in and this would explain why my results never look quite like theirs – well that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

Anyway back to my stocking. I’ve popped a pic on here just so you can admire it.

And now I have to get back to the hundreds of illogical things women do this time of year like

* Finishing off some baby jumpers for charity just so I have more room in the glory hole so I can have space to find the felt I need to finish of a James Graham doll for Christmas. What’s that you say, just move them are you mad!

* Shred some old bills so I can fit a pile of magazines I’ve been given off the ‘library’ (or bedroom 3) floor onto the book shelves.

* Steam clean everything with my new steam cleaner that arrived today.

* Make an elaborate green chilli for tea (or dinner if your posh) instead of oven chips, oven fish and a tin of peas.

* Finish knitting a belt for the cardy I’m currently wearing.

* Make some paper decorations to hang in the porch – oh, wait that is kind of relevant but not urgent. I’ll move that down my list of priorities but put it before wrapping presents, getting my nephews, mother in law and 3 dogs presents, baking and get to them after the other things.