Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Sunday 31 December 2023

Another year

How quickly the days, weeks and months fly by and once again here we are at the last day of the year, it's been a good year, the house is back to how it looks most of the year, I have loads of candles to burn, to bring in light, my garden note book is out, time to plan, nothing big, just raised bed planting, and a rejig of the greenhouse, I will sow seeds this spring. Life is about home, we have worked hard to ensure we are able to enjoy our retired years, we both love our home and garden.

I have found time for a final book this year, I love this author, when I picked up this book I knew I would be enjoying the story, she always manages to find a different theme for her books, she never repeats a plot. Book 37 read this year. I have not read as many books this year, I have tried to be outside more, doing things with hubby. 

My Christmas cake has been cut, we always wait until decorations are packed away, it's lovely and moist again, I always cut off the icing and marzipan, I can't eat nuts, so I get just the fruit cake hit. Daughter sent photo of Will, George and Molly eating theirs, my brother has not cut his yet.

We are both healthy as are our family, these days we are actively ensuring we are the best we can be, my weight is much lower that at the start of this year. Thanks to Pilates class, I feel much fitter, my movement is much easier, I have had less backache, and my posture has improved, I have also lost inches around my body. Hubby is in good health and as strong as ever, I sometime wonder how well he is aging, much better than me, but our bodies whilst looking similar, have had very different lives, children and cancer for me, heart issues for him. I have put a couple pounds back on, I'm not too bothered, it was in 2021 I was last this lower weight.

Sadly again we did not see much of our older grandsons, with weekend sports clubs and busy lives, living so far away means we don't see them often enough, knowing they are growing, healthy and happy keeps us going. I see my siblings when we visit Somerset, but hubby's siblings are all around the country, we did get to see his older brother and sister twice in the year, another brother in the autumn and have plans to visit Wales in February to see another sister and brother. 

I don't make resolutions at the end of the year, I prefer to have goals set through out the year and have a balanced life rather than everything in one go. Again I am going to say, nothing big is planned for the next year, we are going to decorate our bedroom and the stairs, which is a bigger project, but we can take our time in the summer when the days are longer and warmer. 

If you are still with me I wish you a Happy New Year,

 and hope you wishes come true for you.

Friday 29 December 2023

December round up

December is always a low spend month, and this year I had no crafts needing finishing for Christmas, nothing in the garden, our part of the refit sorted everything, just £5 spent on a pack of bulbs and £7.49 on plastic eyes. So a very low spend month.

No clothes purchased this month, nothing required, I am hoping for a good low spend next year, as I replaced loads this year. 

The cost of the garden refit came from our savings, we will need to start to replace some of the funds. Our upstairs bathroom window was sticking, so we had a new handle fitted and after checking  our bedroom, we had that handle done as well.

We had very little to get for Christmas this month, most of what we purchased locally was paid for from hubby's ex-company who always send him a £50 gift voucher. 

Now the figures for the year, I'm very pleased, I have used so much from my stash, only purchasing what I need, rather than what I like, I hope to do the same next year, our garden will always have a cost, £110 was spend on one off purchases, structures for plants and netting ect. 

Clothes included 2 good quality winter warm coats, gym clothes and 3 pairs of shoes, under £43 per month, so again I'm happy with my spend. Christmas consumables came in under £40 for the year, we got half price cards last January, which we have loads left over, I did get 2 lovely candles in ceramic trees. 

As queen of spread sheets, I thought I would show you this, I started recording my spending back in 2015, this is my monthly spend in the last 6 years, I have not included the garden refit in these figures, as that was a separate spend. I do find it interesting to check in different ways. 2019 was the most expensive year, I finished working that year, as in the previous year I collected many useful items for the garden, swapping from bedding plants to shrubs. October was my expensive month in 2023, half the cost was for bulbs in my new bed.

This final chart shows my spending by craft and garden each year, it shows me how I use my funds, and confirms which crafts I am enjoying, the only difference is cross stitch, my stash is so huge I can do many projects before I need to spend. The garden always is the most expensive, but the joy we both get makes it worth while.

A very indulgent post for me. 

Thursday 28 December 2023

December garden

As in most years at this time, we have buds everywhere, our daytime temperatures are much higher than normal, we are between 12° to 14°, both the red Acer at front of garden and Magnolia are full of buds, they won't grow too much as the weather gets colder. Here in southern Hampshire our temperatures cool into January, February and March are our cold months, we don't get snow that often.
My winter Jasmin is full of tiny flowers, this is along the back fence and gives welcome colour at this time of year, my birthday hellebore is in full bloom, my others are just showing new buds. I have primroses around the back section, with violets which I adore, I like to tuck both in corners to add a extra bit of colour where it's not expected.  
My broad beans are doing well, I have a row of onions in the middle, the raised bed is working well, I have enough of a path to give access. I still have the last of my potatoes to dig out, there won't be many. I have some big plastic tray lids I want to pop on the other bed to help keep the soil a bit warmer, to help with early planting. I am going to grow more potatoes, but I have 2 bags which are designed for growing potatoes. 
My original plan was to have this table and chairs along the fence, this space is huge and it looks better with them here, I will pull them forward a bit when spring arrives, hubby will rub them down and repaint green. This corner always looked a bit scruffy, our landscaper promised he would change that, and he did. 
I was going to put these railings to the edge of the lawn, but then thought it might be unsafe for the grandchildren, both blue pots will say in these positions, the pot at the front has spring bulbs, once they have finished I will get some summer plants. Kirt is a bit alone, I can't decide what to do in this corner, for now it can stay empty. 
I have 2 new Amaryllis bulbs, I aim to start them one this week and the other later. I do love these huge flowers when the bloom, sadly none of my re-potted bulbs have buds yet, looks like another year I have failed to get them to regrow. 

Daughter and SIL came with the children on Boxing day, the children ran around our flat garden, and loved the space, no football yet, we want everything to settle, Will declared it was a perfect place for a BBQ. They had lunch with us, so our fridge is looking much better loads of bits ate, I made a big cheese board, hubby does not eat cheese, so it was nice I could buy different types, even Will loves cheese, Molly and George are dairy free, so they had their own cheese to eat. 

Later we sorted the fridge and put everything into date order, we now know what needs to be ate first, for the next few days we are having homemade soups and snack meals, we are planning a roast on Sunday to mark getting back to cooking meals. We have a good supply of biscuits, again they are packed away in date order, along with a mountain of chocolate, and a few bottles of red wine. 

I had Wednesday morning home alone before the rains started, I spent far to much time on here, catching up, I find it difficult to comment using my phone it's either anonymous or it asked you to sign in, and then rejects you. The spare bed was remade, making the room ready again for visitors, as I was alone I played my Christmas music list once more, I do love all the songs we have chosen, it's a great mix of old to modern, with carols, Welsh male voices, songs from my childhood, which my mum listened to, I always get Alexa to shuffle, so it changes every time I listen. 

We had a very windy night, our garden was OK, nothing damaged, we had nothing as bad as Scotland, but for us it was stronger than usual. I am going to pack the decorations away today, it's forecast to rain all day, so we are inside, so it's time I got the house back together.

Tuesday 26 December 2023

Boxing day

 We have had a great couple of days, full of everything Christmas should be, family, happy children, smiling faces all round, video calls with those living further away. Loads of interactive toys, watching little ones working out how to play and sharing everything. This photo taken on Christmas eve evening, before all the excitement of the main day. 

Boxing day was at home, mummy, daddy and little ones hopefully visiting us this afternoon, time to pack gifts away, hubby gave me loads for needle felting, a lovely surprise, I chose the stitch picker with the wooden handle, and the acrylic paints, and the long handled trowel, which is going to be very useful in our garden. These days we choose our gifts, neither of us like silly presents, we don't get food or sweets as we are given loads, we have enough chocolate to last to summer. Hubby enjoyed the couple of surprises I had for him.

My brother is driving home today, it's the only dry day this week, it's a long drive on his own, so better he does not have to battle the weather as well, we hope roads are clear as well. It's been a quiet few days, my brother was not in the best of moods and it's hard to do things with someone who is not bothered, he felt better on Christmas day with all the little ones around. 

Our decorations will stay up until Friday, I do like to clean before the new year. No plans for this week, walking when we can if the promised rain gives us any breaks, we both have books to read, and I will start another needle felting project. I have looks at schedule for our local craft centre and have decided to book another two half days, making different animals, which will expand my knowledge, they are with the same lady as before. 

Enjoy your time whatever you have planned, time off from work is always precious, even in our retirement work gets in the way of us seeing more of our families, as they work, time and health is our most precious items, once you understand that and use them wisely, life is much better. 

Sunday 24 December 2023

Christmas eve

 I want to share this lovely photo, it's family and shows how Christmas should be, all three enjoyed their visit with Santa, they played in the outside play area, had warm chocolate drinks. Simple gifts from Santa, perfect way to spend a Sunday, they had a time slot, so no over excited children waiting for the visit. 

We will be with them tomorrow for the day, so loads of fun, new books and toys to play with and a huge family lunch, later we will come home to our tidy home. Boxing day is home together, maybe a walk around the village if it's not raining. 

I hope your Christmas is as you want, with the people you love.

Friday 22 December 2023


 The cakes are done, the snowflakes did not dry hard, which was a disappointment, I could not finish the cakes as I wanted, these still look good, and hopefully will taste great, I have not changed anything in the recipe. Daughter has take hers and brother will take his home with him, we won't cut ours until next week. 

I have finished my green cardigan, it took longer, I did not want to touch it whilst I was not feeling well, I don't like sewing up so I need to be on the ball when doing it. It fits perfectly and I love the shorter length, my long ones keep me warm, but sometimes they are too long. I have buttons to get, but I'm not in a hurry to get them.

I have also finished my needle felted robins, adding eyes and beak, I have not made them into baubles, I think I'm not going to use them on the tree. I have not done any more to the snowman, he remains hat and arm less, not that he needs either. I have 1 red bauble left, no idea how to decorate it. 

Our only granddaughter Molly sat beside our tree, in her missmass dress, our little angel. More like our little hurricane, as she dashes about like one, and bosses both her older brothers and her Grancha (hubby). 

Having been unwell it gave me time to think and I lined up some task to finish, I hang my head in shame, I have just sewn the buttons on my long brown cardigan I finished knitting back in May. I have sewn in all the ends on my 3ply socks I finished back in mid November. So all the almost done projects have been cleared. I did not do any more to my Christmas blanket, in a previous life I would be panicking, today I happy to finish it in January. I am thinking about starting another  pair of socks in 3ply, just to have a little project to keep my hands busy. I also have a couple books to read. 

On Tuesday we took George and Molly to a local show, full of trolls, George loved it, he was unsure of the other children calling out, just like at a panto, Molly fell fast asleep after 15 minutes, hubby and I enjoyed the show, nice way to spend a wet afternoon. Daughter was able to relax at home with Will, which pleased both of us, it's a stressful time when you have young children.

Wednesday the garden was finished, I  walked around, there are bulbs sprouting everywhere, my new rhubarb has growth, the broad beans are looking strong. I am itching to put things back, but I will be good and wait. We walked to the village in the morning, it was market day, so we did not stay long. I spent the afternoon crafting. Hubby made sausage rolls, so the house smelt divine, he has mince pies to make. 

Today I am at daughters for an hour, she has a task to do, so playtime with her 3, then we are having a coffee together, hubby and brother has gone to get our veg, sadly our normal guy and his wife are both ill, so we are going to their son's market stall to get what we need. Rest of the day is free.

I did not get hubby's last bit of his present, the shop had sold out, I have now found what I required, so all the gifts have been sorted. My brother arrived on Tuesday evening, so we are all together and now in Christmas spirit, hubby cleaned the outside windows and doors, they were covered in dust, I sorted the slate under the Acer tree, it's now level with the paving, I will need a couple more bags of slate to make the garden area level with the new area. 

Wednesday 20 December 2023


 I hope throughout this post you will be able to feel my happiness on the finished results in the garden, these photo's show the area with nothing back in place, we are waiting for a while before replacing the pots and furniture, some will stay where they are until next spring. 

The whole area is flat, which was our 1st request, having said that, there is a small rise by the garage to the back path, but it's so gentle, you can't see it. We decided to keep the step by the back door, it made sense, and we have got used to it being there. 

We are both excited and can't wait for next spring to be out using all our space, the changes made other than decking area is the same space, but from the kitchen door to the garage is huge, so much workable space. It was expensive, the most we spent in years  but worth every penny.

From the back looking towards the house, every angle is just perfection, I pulled out my plan and other than one change, which we asked for he has given us everything. I am very happy with the oblong lawn all the weird angles have gone, less places for the grandchildren to trip.

Such neat lines

I am so pleased, it did take longer than we expected, but we had a few rainy days and our landscaper took two days to recover from a nasty cold. Hubby has been on our local social media pages singing his praises, as well as doing as we asked, he kept us informed, and was very polite and a tidy worker, I'm sure the tea and bacon sarnies helped him. Here you can see how it looked before the works. 

It's not finished, in the new year, our metal table and chairs and the metal gates need repainting green to match the garage door, we were going to change colour on table and chairs, but we have changed our minds and saved money and work. The half wall behind the side bed needs painting white and the walls around the extension need rendering. It's never finished, but it's looking bloody marvellous, we are both happy, rearranging the seating area last summer, helped us to plan our perfect outside space. 

Monday 18 December 2023

Outside - Inside

I did say to hubby I was not going to make a plant display outside this year, mainly because the table is in our garage. When we were at the garden centre, he wandered off and came back with plants, which he paid for. The 'pot' I had in the garage, I put them together, a very different display from what I would choose, which I love. I've not added to my stash as I did not pay for them. There are hyacinth and tete-a-tete bulbs in here as well.
I dug up my first potato plant as they have all died back, I was not expecting much, so I'm pleased I had enough small potatoes for our Sunday roast. I think I might get enough for Christmas lunch, there are 5 adults. Not the perfect start to my veg beds, still not a disaster. I do love tiny potatoes. 
I spent some time in the garden on Saturday, less than an hour, Purdy came out, but was not sure about the new look, she followed me around, she does not like change, we are keeping an eye on her, Grace stayed asleep.
I love this plant, Albuca sprialis frizzle sizzle, its a bulb from the onion family, its the third time it has regrown, this year with two separate growth areas. As you can see for the second year I'm going to get a bloom, which when opened, does smell of vanilla. 

I am feeling much better, I still can't eat too much, which is typical for me after what we are sure was an allergic reaction. It's nice to be going out again, life is boring when forced to stay inside, I do get so tired, so early nights.

Saturday we met Shelia, who host the sign group, I wanted to ensure she had their Christmas gifts, I also gave her a thank you gift, I can never repay her time and effort to passing on British sign language, I got her a beautiful sewing box, which as soon as I saw it, I knew it would be perfect for her. Strictly was brilliant, loved Ellie winning, she is a brave fearless dancer, both the guys deserved to be there, definitely a good year.

Sunday was a cleaning morning, the dust from the garden refit was everywhere, the floors filthy,  so I'm pleased it all clean again, I will clean again on Wednesday when the garden is finished, we can then do the windows and frames on the outside as well. It was a busy day, we popped to Lidl for the last shop other than fresh items, later hubby made mince pies as I finished the Christmas cakes.

Today we are popping to town, we can get our fruit and veg and hand over our Christmas order which will be delivered over the weekend, later I'm sneaking out to get the last bit of hubby's gift, I've finally found a local shop which sells it. I've also got my new glasses, I now need bifocal lenses as I find more things are blurred. 

Saturday 16 December 2023

Festive time

 I've done some more felting, deciding to make the white bauble into a snowman, I'm pleased, it won't go on the tree, far too big, I will put him with my snowmen display. I have to make a hat and his arms. I knitted his scarf with was not fun, but he needed one.

I got some small eyes off Amazon, they were delivered the day after ordering, I used some on the snowman and I used some more on my robins. The pack was much bigger than I needed at this point, but I'm sure I would use them, I can't get them locally, so amazon was the quickest delivery option. Just needs the robins beaks.

My Santa bauble is on our tree, its the first felted item on the tree, I am sure there will be many more.
I have put together my plant basket, the Christmas rose is from last year, the flowers should last for weeks, the red cyclamen is new this year, also 2 Amaryllis with only leaves, and the Orchid for tall flowers, I did not have the string lights in the display last year. The hyacinths in glass water pots finish the display. 
We popped out on Friday morning to a lovely garden centre, we met daughter, George and Molly,  they loved the Christmas tree walk, with loads of small woodland animals and a band of Santa's singing and playing instruments.  A lovely hour with a coffee and cakes for the children, everything on the walk is perfect, most can be touched, picked up and dropped. This snowman seat comes out every year, and there are always people waiting to sit on it. There was a gingerbread house, which they both loved playing in.

We have had the electrician visit, we have a service agreement with British Gas, we do pay the first £60 of any cost for works done. He was here for ages checking everything, he finally found the fault in our downstairs bathroom light, which was not giving us any problems, a loose wire. He has checked all our lights and felt confident we won't get any more issues, we are both relieved and we did not have to pay anymore.

All the paving in the garden is done, and exactly as we wanted, our landscaper will lay the fake lawn on Monday, and then grout everywhere with a resin on Tuesday,  he could do it all in one day, but does not want to rush the finish, we are both very pleased. Purdy our cat will be happy once it's all finished, she has been out of sorts, not going out in the day, Grace is sleeping through everything. 

I am starting to feel good, I'm not eating much, it always takes time when I have problems with eating, I have had a couple small cups of coffee, I don't drink tea. The silver lining, instead of putting on pounds on our trip to London, I have loss 5 pounds.

Thursday 14 December 2023

What day is it?

 This is her (J K Rowling) latest book in the private detective Cormoran Strike series, almost 1000 pages and again a good read. Hubby gave me the book for my birthday, I normally try not to get new books, but I could not wait to read it. The plot was very good, centred around a big investigation, with smaller ones along the way. Again well written, clever plot interwoven with his and his partner's private lives, which are not simple. Book 36 read this year.

We are having more issues with the house electrics, the sockets are still working OK,  now if we turn on some lights they trip the switch, not every time. We have someone calling in on Thursday, hubby is convinced its the consumer box, which the previous owners moved at some point.

I don't have much more to say, I've been unwell since we returned home, I've not left home for days, no energy to do anything. Getting up late and going to bed early, after having flu and lingering cough,  I've been unwell for almost 4 weeks, I had enough. I've not ate much since last Saturday, I'm hoping the scales will show my silver lining.  

I missed the carol service on Sunday morning, an afternoon sightseeing in London, the last get together of sign group this year. I can't help daughter out this afternoon, she has worked other plans, I am dressed this morning, not bothered with breakfast. Our landscaperis not here today, he has a family day planned, most of the paving has been done, it's looking good.

I'm hoping to finish the 3 Christmas cakes by the weekend, nothing much else to do. I'm hoping to spend time with daughter, George and Molly on tomorrow,  I do need to do simple normal things.

Tuesday 12 December 2023


 We were away for the weekend, another Welsh Guards do, this time a Christmas lunch with entertainment, at the Sergeants mess in Wellington barracks, we were with the same couple as before, this was a posher affair than before. The tables in the mess bar were all drums, which I loved, so much history in one place, the meal was nice, we have had better at other do's, we made our way back to our Hotel, The Union Jack Club, which is for all military people, serving or retired, again full of history.

We had our photo taken loads of times, we both liked this one. 
I loved this photo. with my long winter coat on it looked good, the top of the box is still ER.

We travelled up on Friday, we had issues getting around London,  another 2 days of protesting Saturday and Sunday, so many roads shut and police everywhere, so we travelled sharing taxis, shame as our hotel was close to Big Ben and the houses of Parliament, we could hear the shouts from our hotel room, and as a result did not go out much. I also became ill, we are thinking it was something at the meal, I did check, but they were not very helpful and I did try and avoid anything I could think had nuts in, as a result instead of spending Sunday in London, we changed our return coach time and got on the coach at 12.30, I slept all the way home.

The use of taxis made the weekend much more expensive, I always prefer to use the buses and walk, I felt we were missing so much, but with so many people waiting around and road closures, it was a safe means of getting around. We also missed the carol service in the Guards chapel on Sunday morning, which we were both looking forward to, I did not feel well enough.

We have never taken the coach to London before, always going by train, when we booked this trip, we were fearful of train strikes, so we decided to try the coach. The trains were on strike this week, so a good decision, hubby is 6'2" and always had trouble with coach seats, he had enough room not to be uncomfortable, and we would consider using coaches again. 

Our landscaper returned yesterday looking much better and relaxed after a long weekend, our garden is getting closer to the finish line.

Sunday 10 December 2023

Counting time

Total so far, £44.17, which is just above last years total, a reflection on how little cash we use. We do always use cash in the village, but often we are asked if we have correct change, so less is going in the bottle. Again this year it can stay, we don't need to use it, as you can see the bottle is not even a third full, first photo was taken after I had put some of the small change back into bottle.  
This is our important savings, in here we have £128.00 in two pound coins, we actively do not spend two pound coins, on previous years we have had notes as well, often gifted to us, but we now use these saving more when we are on our short breaks. 
Work stopped on our garden,the forecast for Thursday and Friday was dire, plus our landscaper has a bad cold, we asked him to take a couple days off if his schedule allowed, we are his last big job this year. He will be back on Monday,  hopefully feeling much better, the paving stones and other items are on our front drive, so he has everything he requires, we have asked him to put in a concrete post for our gates, so a bit extra work. I would rather it took longer than see him struggle.
I found out my glass bulb holders and managed to get these bulbs at our Wednesday market, reduced which I like, the extra ones have been planted, more flowers to come.

Thursday I took the bus into Portsmouth, heading for Old Portsmouth, a pub on the waters edge, sadly it was a grey wet and stormy day, the ferry's were still sailing, but nothing much happening. I had lunch and a long catch up with a couple old work colleagues, we try and meet up a few times each year. We are lucky the express bus takes 25minutes from home to the bottom of Portsmouth, an easy journey, the heavy rain on the way home was a nightmare,  but with my winter coat on and a warm hat, I stayed warm and dry.

We are again away for the weekend, this time we took the coach to London, normally we would go on the train, when we booked this trip we were fearful of strikes, which happened this week. We are with hubby's ex army friends, we decided not to stay any longer, we did toy with the idea of seeing the lights, but decided against going too far whilst there.

Thursday 7 December 2023


I finally am starting to feel less unwell, so Monday I had some fun with needle felting, I have seen loads of these star shaped needle felted Santa's on the net, so I thought I would have a go. My first one is copying what I have seen, it's nice but......
I had a couple more goes, attempts 2 and 3 were very much quicker to make, I wanted to make his hat bigger, and used different softer rovings for his moustache, I think his eyes whilst the same size as number 1, looks the correct proportions on 2 and 3. Attempt number 3, I have gone too far, his hat does not look right, and his eyes are not level, which I did not notice until I saw this photo. 
Simple to make, using a cookie cutter in the shape of a star, then adding a bit extra for his hat, adding his flesh colour for his face and then eyes, and nose. Next was his hat and the white fur and pompom, lastly was his moustache. 
I then decided to finish my 2 completed baubles, the blue one with stars is for my sister Lena, she loves blue, I shall also send to her a Santa, not sure which one yet. The red bauble is for our tree, the tops were easy to make wrapping the coloured roving around the gold loop and then attaching to the bauble. I have 4 others to finish.

Monday we were at home as our landscaper started work, I decided to play with my needle felting and had a great few hours, it was nice to be crafting again, I hope to make a few more Santa's and finish the other 4 baubles, there is no rush and if they don't get done, it won't be an issue. We had to replace two handles on our upstairs windows, these windows are the only ones not replaced in the last couple of years, and now fixed are back to good condition. 

Tuesday we both went out for lunch, it was with my sign group, hubby does enjoy coming, we were in town in a pub the group often uses, we chose not to have the Christmas menu, we travelled by bus and I enjoyed a glass of wine with my meal, first one in ages. It was a very dull grey day again, but without the rain. We swapped secret Santa, the recipient of my gift, opened it, looked up and said thank you to me, pretending not to know what she implied, it was a book for a book worm, I'm glad she liked it, I have a lovely new scarf, so perfect I could have picked it myself. 

Wednesday a day at home, after a bit of house work, more crafting, I have decided to make a few more Santa's, it's fun to have a production line. The landscaper has finished digging out and is now levelling everywhere, ready for the paving and fake grass, he is working on his own and is a true grafter, we just supply him with tea and bacon sarnies. I have started to sew my green cardi together, I have only the button hole band to knit, I can't wait to wear it, as I love the other two I have made..

I have stopped Pilates until the new year, I am just so tired, and the thought of going out at 6pm for a class is to much at the moment. 

Tuesday 5 December 2023

Home made

I adore this cross stitch design, I made it many years ago, hubby got it framed for me, I love to see it out, it always hangs in our hall, next to the kitchen. It's a true spirit of Christmas, much how we now see the season. 
My love of cross stitch shines through in my cushions, the gold patterned one I remade this year, turning 5 small designs into one cushion, the teddies are again years old, finished in 2011,  my tiny tree is a design I played with and the big french tree, I finished last year. 
I made these stockings when our girls were young, so probably early 90's, the girls stockings were nicer, these were made quickly with what fabrics I had at home, one year our daughters wanted us to get a stocking, they were past the age of believing in Santa. We still use them every year, both daughters still have their original ones as well. 
Two years ago, I made new sacks for youngest daughters children, she asked for this shape so books can be popped in them. I am so happy our grandchildren get their excitement on Christmas morning, in something I made for them, no fur as George does love to chew on it.
I have always made things for the tree, whilst our girls were at infant and junior schools, every year a friend and I would knit Christmas puddings, we made loads, they were very cheap and popular with the children, the cat cross stitch was made in 2011, and the glass ornament a couple of years ago. 
I do make cakes each year, I've still to finish them for this year, so no photo's yet, these were from last year, I make for ourselves and our youngest daughter, and a smaller cake for my brother, it's not something I will stop doing yet, everyone enjoys them, so it's worth the effort. 
This is very special to me, back in mid 90's I was a guide leader, and my young leader (helper under the age of 18) made this card for me, it was her first attempt, it's too precious to ever discard, and has it's place in my Santa display. I messaged her a couple of years ago, to say I still had the card, she was surprised and happy to see it. 

I am making needle felting designs, but still not quite finished, you can see them here, most years I am busy with presents to knit and sew, socks for family and toys for the little ones, I'm having a break this year, which is good as these bugs are just not going anywhere, and I'm so tired all the time. I won't finish my Christmas blanket this season, which I'm OK with. 

I have to top ice the cakes, I have already started making the snowflakes, which I will decorate the top with, I do try to make everything edible and no plastic, the ribbon bands around the cake are giving back to me to reuse. 

I love to see these old decorations come out each year, I don't believe in having a different theme each year, as with the baubles on the tree, most of everything we display has a story, it's our history.  


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