Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas...and a visit to Bangor Cathedral Christmas Tree Festival.

December 25th 2014...Wishing you all a lovely peaceful time, wherever you are...especially the women, who in my experience make Christmas happen for their families! Here's a photo of my mantlepiece..yes, I know, a bit over-dressed but it's only once a year! 

Last Saturday my daughter and I escaped the shopping frenzy for an hour in the calm cool oasis of Bangor Cathedral. We went to see the Festival of Christmas Trees. It was all looking very pretty...

There are two paintings on long-term loan in the cathedral..they are really stunning..modern interpretations of Caravaggio's paintings of Christ, by John Granville Gregory. One is called "Why" and the other is "Still Doubting"...I will leave you to guess which is which ;-)

It's 2a.m. on Christmas morning..I have finally finished wrapping presents, peeling sprouts, making cranberry sauce and grinding nuts for tomorrow's nutroast (we are sacrificial turkey in this house!) . I am too tired to write more and am off to bed now. Happy Christmas to you all. xx

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Folded Book Christmas trees, cold porcelain stuff & other news... 

17th December 2014. 
Goodness, it's been months since I last wrote on's been hectic,as always, and I sort of got out of the habit. Any-road-up, as they used to say when I was a girl, this is my latest project for work and home..folded pages made into trees to decorate for Christmas. I broke the spine cover off an old book, folded the pages twice into rectangles then folded the bottom bit up...bit tricky to explain...and VERY tricky to get the top point perfect, but worth it I think. You can probably see proper instructions/videos online. Okay, so then I brushed gold glitter paint down the outer edged of the pages, wrapped some fine gold thread around and added a tiny glittery star on top.  

Here are my two trees on the mantlepiece..alongside my vase of crocheted stars, blue angel, blue dove, blue wolf, blue horse and blue candles...guess you can work out my favourite colour then!

and here are the ones I made for my clients to decorate. They made a pretty good job of them and were all pleased with their mini-trees :-) 

Another craft I tried this Christmas is the "cold porcelain" clay technique (cornflour and bicarbonate of soda)..I've seen this a lot online and it was pretty easy to make the clay..the only thing was it was SO crumbly and I had many goes before managing a tray of passable decorations. I wasn't sure how strong they'd be but once dried out they're fine. Sadly I don't think this technique is suitable for the disabled adults I teach but it's actually quite nice to make something for myself and not work-related.When I have more time (ha!) I'll try some with subtle colour printed into the clay. 

In "any other news" I went last weekend to a fab Christmas Crafts fair at Plas Newydd, not far from where I live. I went to the same event last year and the great thing is that you get to see the house, gardens and craft fair for only £1 !! Compared to the usual National trust entry price that is bargain of the year! There were lots of crafts and food stalls. I didn't feel I could take photos of the stands but this lady was particularly friendly and didn't mind... 

This little French van sold the best coffee I've had in ages..I do love my coffee and am reminded of a board I saw in a shop window in Chester recently.Made me laugh...

Yes, a Christmas shopping trip to Chester before it all got too hectic. As usual it was a lovely place to shop and there were many really good buskers dotted about through the town.

    I was tempted in Cath Kidston...can one really ever have too many lovely mugs?? daughter...all shopped-out ....

Okay, all for now..except I don't think I ever showed you this year's crop of chillies?? The plants were a hassle...several bouts of whitefly infestation and of course I didn't want to spray food crops with chemicals so it was washing-up liquid spray...several times. We got there in the end and I've frozen many of these..probably enough to last me a lifetime truth be told..I don't eat them often,ha!! 
Happy Christmas everyone...hope you all have a lovely time wherever you are. xx