Poppy Patchwork


My little bit of this big World

Monday, 4 December 2017

Play day

This hat has been used by all our grandsons
It did get a bit too much
Our tree survived 
Bargain
Festive drinks
Cake finished
We had Will all day, he has been away at Grandma's and Grandpa's house, so it's the first time is over  a week. He looks so much taller, plus he now has four teeth, not that mummy and daddy realised the top two were coming through. He loved my Christmas hat, purchased at Disney Land Paris, many, many years ago, I have a photo of Josh wearing it on his 1st Christmas, Josh is now 12.
Will loved the two new toys and played on the floor most of the day, our singing Santa on the motorbike went down well, I had to play the video from my phone to him as he went wild for the model.
Our tree survived, in fact once he had crawled past it a couple of times to get to the window to the garden, he was very good, he also loved the wobbly Santa we have, which he could play with.
I have a new table decoration (well new to me), our local community center had their Christmas Fare on Saturday, so we popped along, the pot with lights was just £6 and perfect for our table. Hubby also won a bottle of wine, the tickets cost us £1 each, we both had a go, but I was unlucky.
I have started drinking my spice berry cordial, I love the taste, it's like mulled wine, without the wine, very festive.
I put a notice on our local facebook page asking for anyone who makes cake toppers, had a few recommendations for one lady, the snowmen were a good price and a perfect finish for my cake.
PS I've got my Christmas header again this month.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Books

This came yesterday
 Along with book 7
 Pure pleasure
When you import as a photo, the video does not play
My neighbour across the road, Chris has hearing problems, she is very good at lip reading and unless you are told you would not notice. For the past year she has been learning to sign, something I would love to do, so I got this book, with the hope of joining her class in the new year. If I can't get into the classes I will teach myself.
My blog book for 2016 came, the task of importing by hand was not as bad as I feared, once I had established a system, it all became much quicker. Purchased on Black Friday with a 50% discount, with postage I paid just under £40.00,  I can still use better quality pages and finishes and pay much less.
Our friends came over yesterday after school with their children, Jack 2 and Maddie 5, they came to see our decorations, poor mum could not relax, as most of the decorations on our tree are glass, so I ensure both children checked everything on our tree, their faces were full of wonder, it was a lovely moment. Santa on the motorbike was a huge hit, as was another Santa I have who sings and wobbles about.
Later we went to our village for the switching on of the lights, local schools sang for us, it was very cold but really enjoyable. Our main street is only small (we are close to Cities,
Portsmouth and Southampton), and the locals have to raise the monies themselves for any festive.

Friday, 1 December 2017

It's Christmas time...

These have been part of our Christmas for years
 Putting some of my Santa's together
 My huge Christmas tree
                                   New this year                                      
Pagan displays

I managed to get all the decorations up, it took much longer than normal, but I enjoyed sorting what I have and placing things differently this year. It is nice to have the time, I found a couple of Christmas albums and sang along merrily. I have two new tree decorations hubby chose from Spain, and the white pot above, in which I put one of my artificial candles which lights the whole pot.
Each year I forget just how wide the tree is, but we do not use this entrance to the garden in the cooler months, so it sits well in this spot.
I am very pagan with my decorations, I love to see holly, Ivy, Berries and loads of Christmas flowers around the room, all are silk, which again I have owned for ages, plus loads of candles. This year I have put silk holly around my three big picture frames in the sitting room. I just have to find somewhere for my home made bunting.
I will leave you with our favorite display, he comes out each year, can't wait for Will to see him.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Making savings.

Another good month, under spent by £35
and I am £100 below last years spend
We had a smart meter fitted this morning
 Going to help us keep track of our bills
Batteries included

12 days of Christmas
1 Large family photo frame
1 small silver photo frame
1 Cross stitch book
1 Book full of cards (flowers)
2 Christmas hardback reading books 
1 Christmas Robin mug
2 Soft teddies
3 Lace table runners
1 Framed poppy plate
2 Nanna plaques
3 Red beaded cushions
1 Cupcake stand

I try and do this each year, 12 different things to the local charity shop. I also took a couple of hardback novels, most of the above was good enough to sell as presents, as many of them were given to me a gifts. I also gifted to the little girl across the road my two level light box, I purchased a three level light box, I can now use longer words in my quotes. 
Hubby has been in our small attic to get my decorations down, he has been sorting and we now have two holdalls for the charity shop.
We spent this morning sorting paperwork, I have thrown away loads of out of date things, we now have an empty drawer. Hubby burnt all the papers in our chimera as none of our neighbours had washing on the line. 
Also this morning we had smart meters for both gas and electricity installed, it took less than an hour to fit, all our meters and pipes were checked as well. As you can see from the photo's we can now keep tracks of our bills, we are already good at turning things off, have energy saving bulbs, and good insulation, but it will be useful to keep an eye on our winter bills.
I have been busy cleaning ready for the decorations to go up, I want them all sorted before Will comes back from Grandma's house, I will start this afternoon and hope to get them finished by tomorrow, we have a busy weekend coming up and I have Will on Monday. To help distract him from our tree, we spent £3 and got a couple of noisy toys, both will stay at our's, his house is like a toy shop.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Card making

I love the finish on this card 
I am sending it to everyone, wishing you 
A Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Happy New Year. 
 My desk, 
Inner's and  cards in my production line
  A few of the finished cards
 More finished cards
I have been busy making our Christmas Cards, each year I build a design and make all the cards the same, I enjoy creating a production line and building the finished cards.
This year I was looking at my stash, I have a couple of small drawers full of bits and bobs. I had not purchased anything for this years cards, my thoughts were to use what I had. I always keep bits from cards sent to us, I love to be able to look in my stash and see a choice of things I can use. I love the embossed cards, and I have a good choice of designs.
I pulled out 40 cards, using one small pack of brown card and loads of odd cards in my stash. I also use A4 card which I cut and fold for cards.
I then embossed some with different designs. I put a glitter gold band around some plain white cards, thus having a base to work from. I also die cut loads of Merry Christmas (as seen on the brown card), these are messy to stick to the cards but always look good.
I love an inner page, and this year I chose a pale green paper from my stash, I use my computer to print the words and cut a nice wavy cut. I still have to add these inner's to the card.
I try to ensure I have some cards not to thick, we need to post these, but the hand delivered ones can be more fun. Making loads of different cards does take much more time, but I have enjoyed building the designs.
I have also sorted my stash, and chucked some things away, and have room in my drawer for any bits I keep from this years cards. The card used were all purchased for previous years, I have just used the left overs, so I have not spent any extra money. I did buy a pack of 50 cards last January in the sales, but the pack is unopened, therefore ready for use next year.
The special cards for family I purchased from our local nice independent card shop.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Christmas cards

Still loads of colour
I spent time in the garden, firstly I had loads of leaves to collect, hubby helped and we cut back a couple of bigger plants, our garden is just too small to let anything get too huge. We are having issues with cats digging in pots around the place, so I have been using wooded sticks for the BBQ and sticking them into the pots, this stops all the issues. Both our cats have an area which they use, we are keeping an eye to ensure there are no issues there. 
We have another problem from our lovely mad cat woman next door, mice are coming through at the bottom of our garden, Purdy sits for ages just watching, so far any mice she brings inside are dead, she does love to give us treats. On the plus side in this photo we still have fuchsia's in full flower and a couple of buds to come, they love the raise chimney for a bed. 
Shopping on Friday we went to Dunelm, the fat quarters above were just £7, so this pack came home with me, I have added the cost to my stash list. We also popped into Home Bargains, just to stock up, ensuring we don't need to pop there again before Christmas. Again I passed on all the Christmas decorations.
We have had our first Christmas card, for me it's always a sad moment, for most of my married life, my older brother's wife Carol always sent her card early enough to be the first to arrive, sadly she passed away back in 2011. First Christmas card will always have me remembering her, we have just received our second card, it must be almost December. I have to work out the design for our Christmas cards, they should only take an afternoon to make, we do not send as many these days. I have purchased the family ones, we have a super card shop local, not Card Factory, who's cards I feel are cheap, I do like to send nice cards as often it can be the only contact each year. 
Saturday we drove Will, mummy and daddy to Gatwick airport, they are visiting Grandma and Grandpa in their winter/ summer home, so a quiet week here. 

Friday, 24 November 2017

Will's here

Will watching Purdy in the garden
This is Will's favourite spot 
Last years book sent to printers
I have been reading loads
Will has been with us two days, having a sleep over on Wednesday night, mummy and daddy were both exhausted, so we happily stepped in. He brings so much joy to our lives, and is happy to spend time here, no problems going to bed at ours, and we all love a morning cuddle before we get up.
I have again been feeling a bit down, it's just the grey days, no sun, it wears at me, so having Will was the perfect thing to do. My poor glass doors are always full of hand marks, he is now licking the glass, oh the joys of little boys.
We went out on Thursday to a local garden center, which each year has a huge Christmas displays, they were not at all busy, which made a nice change, and full of shiny sparkling items, which Will loved. Plus outside some donkeys and the ducks. I did not require any Christmas decorations, but did get a nice jug. I still prefer our Christmas tree is be a mixed pallett, rather than following any colour scheme.
Today the publishing company sent through their black friday discounts, so I have ordered last years blog book, 50% off means I can use good quality finishes and still have a good price.
I have done very little, I am on O is for Outlaw, these books are easy to read off my iPad. Soon hubby and I are off out, a couple of things to get, hopefully the shops won't be too busy and we get home quickly. Nothing much to do in the garden, mainly picking up leaves.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Getting ready

£123.00
 Finding gifts
Christmas cake
With Christmas coming up so fast, we are trying to stay ahead, this morning I emptied our lovely coin jar, after much counting we had £141.68 inside, so a good years saving. We can only bank full bags, so £123.00 is ready to go to the bank, £6.68 was put back in the jar, the difference £13 were all pound coins so they were passed to hubby, he uses coins most days. The savings will be used for the purchase of our meats and other food items for Christmas. I have already a collections of nibbles, biscuits and sweets stashed for the holiday period. We have £46+ on our Co-op loyalty card, which will be used for fresh veg, cream and last minute purchases. Plus we have points for Tesco and Sainsbugs, but neither are a huge amount. 
We have a second piggy bank, in which we save £2 coins, on checking there is £72.00, which has been returned and left to grow, I think it will take over 100 coins to fill it.
I am also looking out 12 items, all new and unused, to be passed to our local charity shop, I call it my 12 days of Christmas, I have done this for the past 4 years, it's a useful way of passing on good unused items. We are also getting 2 gifts for elderly people in our local hospital, we did this last year, it's nice to ensure no-one is forgotten at Christmas.
I have put the marzipan on our Christmas cake, and had some left over, so I intend to cover these balls with a rich dark chocolate and some sprinkles, a simple home made treat.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Our weekend

 This came in the post, later coffee and read.
I subscribed in the summer when they offered 2 years at a highly discounted rate, for their 50th anniversary. I am saving each copy as I won't buy another subscription. 
We popped to Monkton Elm yesterday, it was mobbed, so I walked around their craft section. I love these colours, the cost has been added to my stash list. 
Thinking ahead to Christmas, from Asda. 
We have been home again to Somerset, staying with my brother in Cannington, we all went for a family meal Saturday night, at a local pub, The Malt Shovel, Blackmore lane, just outside the village. Another great meal, my only criticism, was why do places serve such huge portions, when almost everyone was not able to eat everything served for their meal, almost every plate served whilst we were there was piled too high. The cost of the food was good, and it was all cooked and served well, we all saved money as no-one could eat a dessert. My sister was not happy to have a wooden block for her main meal, preferring a plate.
We popped to the local Asda, it's a much smaller shop than at home, and picked up PJ's for Christmas, a matching pair for everyone including baby Will. We also stocked up on loads of bit's and have enough toilet rolls for most of next year. We do like their own brand, quilted shades.
I love the garden center at Monkton Elm, it was full of Christmas stuff, all of which we walked past, I have no plans to get anything new from local places. I did linger longer in the craft section.
Sunday we saw our lovely Taunton boys, Logan and Finn, both are so much taller,  but still full of fun and laughter, an afternoon inside playing together. Later an adult evening with mummy and daddy sharing a nice Pizza.
My niece has a new baby son (6 weeks old), so we had cuddles, he is tiny compared with Will, how quick all our grandsons grow.
We stayed an extra night and traveled back this morning on much quieter roads, we enjoyed the extra time with family and a much better drive, not so many cars whizzing past us on the A303.


Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Valencia

Train station and bullring
Cathedral from the back
Love this tree
City indoor market


We love these fruits. 
Lunch
Cakes
I love this city, it is busy, clean and so welcoming, we traveled by train to the city center, and had a perfect day just wondering around. The buildings are all very old, but well looked after.
We have many times visited the food market and always love the smells, colours of the stalls, the variety of things for sell on each stall was huge,  and all looks so fresh. Lunch had to be Paella, afternoon coffee had to have cakes, plus sitting in the sun people watching with a beer (hubby) and red wine for me. With the amount of walking we did averaging over 12,000 steps per day, we did not watch our diet at all.
We did not do much shopping, it was tempting as the prices in Spain are cheaper than here, we did bring back Spanish sweets and chocolate. They are not in Christmas mode as we are in UK, we were told they start closer to December, we only saw a few shops decorated, and we saw very few Christmas decorations for sale. I did buy some  sewing items, mainly because they are different from anything here in UK.
I read three books on my iPad, Sue Grafton books, I is for Innocent, J is for Judgement, K is for Killer.
We are now getting used to the cold again, every where feels so grey, I have lit my candles most evenings. I am happy to be getting up each morning at 8am, missing the worst of the early mornings.
Monday I went shopping with Su and Will, just a few stocking fillers, and a nice lunch.
The wonderful hello we got from Will was brilliant, he was so pleased to see us.
Yesterday I went for a walk around our local park, and later I had Will over, so mummy could do some jobs. We had a fun day inside, watching the birds in our garden and playing.
Today I had a friend here, we walked to Portchester castle, the tide was in so the water was flat calm, later we had home made carrot and coriander soup. A perfect day, but still I am totally tired,

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