Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Photo Scavenger Hunt - December - The Festive A-Z

Oh I do like a challenge and December's hunt has been one of those. A festive A-Z - I started taking pics at the beginning of the month and the last ones were taken on Christmas Day - see if you can guess which ones ;)

Make sure you're comfy - an A-Z means a long photo heavy (26 to be precise) post;

 A for Advent (candles)

 B for Brass Bands (playing carols).

 C for Christmas cake (made & iced by me).

 D for Door - this is a fairy door that Santa can also enter the house through ;)

 E for Elf - my sister dressed up at the Christmas event in town.

 F for Frost - we've not had many of these so far this winter. In fact christmas day was incredibly mild.

 G for Gloves - kept on the radiator so they are warm when needed.

H for Holly.

 I for Ivy - well what else can you have with Holly?

 J for Jokes - out of our christmas crackers

 K for King - hanging on our christmas tree.

 L for Lights - fancy camera effect ;)

M for Mince pies - first of many batches made by me this month.

 N for Nutcracker Soldiers - just some of my growing collection.

 O for Oranges.

 P for Parcels.

 Q for Queen - essential Christmas Day viewing.

 R for Radio Times - I only buy this at Christmas - a bit like sprouts ;)

S for Santa - spotted in town at the Christmas Fair

 T for Tree - surrounded by presents

 U for Unexpected gift from a friend.

 V for Vino or Vicki's vino if you prefer ;)

 W for Wreath - made by a clever friend.

 X for Kiss from me to you ;)

 Y for Yuck - some people don't like these - I do :)

 Z for Zrrrrrrrrrrr - MrVV after lunch on Christmas Day.

I think the Scavenger Hunt is continuing into 2012 - if it does I shall be part of it - makes me keep my eyes & mind open! Thanks again Kathy xxx

xxx Vicki xxx

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Five minutes peace!!

Good morning

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas? We had a great day - just the 4 of us and I must confess that's our preferred way. We can please ourselves - and it means if we fancy a mid-morning doze on the kitchen sofa then its fine (one of us had a bit of a 'thickhead' for mixing her drinks on Christmas Eve!!).

Christmas morning started at 7.30am when the boys appeared in our room - armed with mugs of tea and their stockings to open. I do love this part and there are rarely any photos as I prefer just to watch it happen and remember it in my mind. They were very happy with their mix of pressies - including new hats which appear to have remained on their heads for the past few days.
Once stockings were empty and tea was drunk, it was downstairs to open the pressies under the tree. Wow such a lot this year and I'm pleased to say everybody loved everything - no pressies to 'regift' at all.

Here are a few photos from the rest of the day;

Little son in his Monkey onesie suit - he's worn this loads - really suits him!
One table set for lunch.
A warming glow once all the candles on the piano were lit.
MrVV and 2 hyped-up teens!

Little son & I.
Little son again.
Just some of my pressies - loads of new books with ideas to inspire, a hat, a scarf and a mini hot water bottle.
Big son and MrVV - reading out their awful cracker jokes.

I tried this year to make quite a few of my pressies for Christmas and any December birthdays too - here's a mosaic which shows them all. BTW the knitted monster for my nephew was a big hit - he tells me its his favourite pressie!!

One final set of pictures for today - a mosaic for December;

Right I'd best be off - a trip out to the sales is planned - I've been saving up to replace lots of household things that have broken and worn out - am hoping I can replace many of these today at bargain prices.

See you later in the week - I've got my results for the December Photo Scavenger Hunt to share with you - it was a special one - a Festive A-Z!

xxx Vicki xxx

Monday, 19 December 2011

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas

Good Morning

I know there are still 6 days left but looking at my diary there doesn't seem to be many blogging gaps left! The trouble when you are finally able to get out into the big wide world after almost 4 months is - you want to do it lots and fill the final week before Christmas up!! As well as the boring essentials - Doctors, opticians and physio theres the exciting things too. Off out tonight with my 2 best friends from school - one I've kept in contact with ever since and one I only got back in contact with this year (the miracle of Facebook). They've not seen each other for over 20 years now. We're off to the pub for drinks and catching up - can't wait :) 

Anyhow it does mean that blogging is unlikely to happen anymore before the weekend - so here's one final slightly picture heavy post so I can tidy everything up.

Firstly, I was one of the lucky 3 ladies to receive a parcel from Anne @ Andamento as part of an ongoing PIF (Pay It Forward). Here's what I got;

 A pretty brown paper package tied up with string - with the addition of a very festive smelling dried orange slice. Inside - such pretties;

 The tiny nativity scene fits into its own matchbox, a wooden dove, felt mushroom, glass pebble magnet and bracelet (all made by Anne), a festive Phoenix card, a crocheted snowflake, chocolate coins and a mulled wine sachet. All lovely and all very much appreciated. Thank you once again Anne xx

Now the exciting bit - I now have to prepare parcels for 3 lovely people. So if you'd like to receive something lovely through the post sometime in the next 12 months (mostly likely by springtime) then leave me a comment on this post and tell me your 3 favourite colours and I'll choose 3 names on January 15th. I'll try and add a button to my sidebar later as a reminder too.

The final festive making has finished - just need to start on my collection of January birthdays now - and I've booked a fair for the end of February too :) I finished this fairy the other day - I don't think I'll be able to part with her - she is my favourite so far;

Even her wings got a little extra detail;

I made a final batch of christmas cards most of which have been delivered to family and friends now;

Two of my photos from my blog - tweaked with Picnik and then the photos were printed by Photobox - my task was to paste them onto card and then write them! I don't normally do this but I did have lots of extra spare time this year!

When the postie brought my PIF parcel the other day, he also handed me another one. I wasn't sure what it was but as it had my name on it, I opened it. Inside, a surprise pressie from a friend from another internet forum - this pretty coloured and jingly bag charm - isn't it just stunning - can you see all the knitting/sewing charms on there?

Right, I'd best be off - need to wake those sleeping boys of mine - I need to take one into town to get his glasses tweaked after they, his head and the car boot collided the other night!!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas - be good, keep safe and just enjoy yourselves. 

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Final Pause in Advent 2011

Wow - the final one - just one week from now it will be Christmas Day - doesn't seem like 12 months since the last one!

As this is now my 3rd year of taking part in the Pauses and in fact my 3rd Christmas of blogging, its hard to think of something new to write and I try hard not to repeat myself - I do that enough the rest of the year. I'm turning into my Mum and Grandma who tell one person the same thing 6 times and the others not at all!!

I think today's theme will be Christmas past - here's a couple of photos from Christmases when those boys of mine were much smaller than me - they are still as excitable though;

Little son at a toddler group Christmas party - he'd be nearly 3 and for the first time happy to see Father Christmas - I think he understood what Father Christmas meant that year.

My now giant big son as a cute almost 5 year old. That big plate of food - of course he finished it - if I get a chance I'll snap his lunch before he demolishes it next weekend!!

Enjoy your final week before the 'big' day. I've the boys at home to help with some of the preparations - they like to point out oh so often how much taller & stronger they are than me now - so I might as well take advantage of them!! We've a brass concert this week to look forward too and then there's the annual pressie swap with my sisters at the end of the week when everyone has finished work. The final bit is my favourite - open air carol service on Christmas Eve and then home for a family meal.

Oh one last picture - I know I've shown it to you before but its one of my most favourite memories of Christmas past - Little Son aged 9 as an Ugly Sister in the school panto;

xxx Vicki xxx

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas.....

Good morning

Are you feeling festive yet?? I think today I am. 

We tried hard at the weekend to bring some festive feeling into the VV household - we decided to put our tree up on Sunday. Things were gathered from the attic and cupboards and left in the front room till spare time was found. Once little son had been delivered to play carols in a little church in town, the remainder of us gathered in the front room. Big son has the attention of a gnat when it comes to low-tech stuff and soon wandered off to the safety of his gadget haven bedroom! This left just the 2 of us. The tree is easy - 3 parts and a stand. 

MrVV then turns to me and asks 'Where are the lights?' 
'In the box taped to the tree box' was my reply. 
'Oh no they're not' he says in his best panto voice.
'Blast, well where are they?'
Off he trots to the attic - actually he grumps and huffs about this ;)
The attic is searched and no lights are found. Perhaps they didn't survive last christmas? Who knows - I can't remember what I did last week let alone 11 months ago!!

So we down decorating and head off to the nearest place that might sell Christmas lights - the Factory Shop in the next town. Hurrah they had lights - only coloured ones but at just £5 they'll do - hopefully they'll last longer than one year!

Anyhow - the tree is finally up and the decorations have exploded on there in their usual random chaotic muddle :) I've even managed to put some other bits and pieces up too - that meant housework had to be done as well - trouble is once you tidy one bit it makes the rest look bad!!

I've tried to take pics of the tree lit up in the dark - not sure I've got the settings quite right - however I did like this weird effect I got when I move the camera - Christmas light candy canes;

Now there's a tree, it means that presents can go under it - but they've to be wrapped first - the first few have made it under there;

Nice and simple - brown paper, recycled card tags and crocheted ribbon.

Some presents can't go under yet as they are still unfinished. Two fairies came off the production line yesterday afternoon and as it was dry decided to pose outside in the ivy for you;

 Almost twins - there's a 3rd one that might get finished today.

Here's the rear view with the felt wings;

I don't think I'll be taking photos outside today - the weather is yuck - very wet, cold and windy. I'm happily staying indoors - plenty to do - both boring (housework) and fun (baking & sewing).

Right - I'd best be off - the pastry has chilled for long enough and I need to make mince pies for visitors later.

See you at the weekend for a final Pause in Advent - just how quickly is time flying by?

xxx Vicki xxx

Sunday, 11 December 2011

3rd Pause In Advent 2011

 I was sorting out the old cards from last Christmas the other day when I found 2 that made me stop and think. Then my eyes began to leak - a card from a dear school friend who died in March and one from my FIL who died in January.

This weeks pause is a simple one - for all those who aren't with us this Christmas - we are still thinking about you and missing you very much.

xxx Vicki xxx

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Cakes & looking forward

Good morning

Hope you are all well? and your festive preparations are going smoothly? Sort of slowly getting sorted - waiting for a parcel or two to arrive and then I need to plan a festive food shop nearer the time. There's the small matter of retrieving the tree from the attic - I've decided I want to put it up this weekend.

Apart from Christmas preparations and trying to catch up with jobs that are 3 months overdue! I've made sure I've found time to catch up with my Christmas mag reading & cake eating!

Yesterday was a baking day - the boys seem hungrier than ever at the moment and the cake tins needed refilling. As I was making pastry for a quiche for dinner it seemed a good idea to make extra for a batch of mince pies;

A good friend moved house last week so I thought I'd make her a card;

I've also continued with my December ritual of lighting a candle each day - I do this to bring light into the house during these darker days and use it as a point in my day to remember those that aren't with us anymore. It also reminds me that the dark days will soon be over and we've the lighter days to look forward to - the Solstice is the 22nd so after that the days will slowly start to lengthen.

The weather has continued to be pretty awful here - the wind has battered the garden. The cherry tree has almost lost all its leaves now - you can just see the start of buds that will burst into flower when the springtime comes;

 I spotted another sign of growth the other day. Last spring I bought several pots of hyacinths to brighten the house out - when they finished they were left in the conservatory to die back with a view to planting them in the autumn. This got forgotten about with everything else going on. However I noticed that the bulbs had started to sprout again - so I've bought them all into the warm and I'm hoping they'll be flowering sometime soon;

Finally for today - good news - I'm stick free :) Had a physio appointment first thing this morning and he's said that I really don't need them anymore. I've also been told that I should be back riding my bike by the middle of next month - now that is something to really look forward too.

Keep warm & safe and I'll see you soon.

xxx Vicki xxx