Saturday, 28 December 2013

Advent Nativity

What a whirlwind of a few weeks!

What with having to work a bit more than usual (but what a lovely time of year to be able to do that and enjoy all the excitement that children share).....

....there were also the inevitable Nativity plays, crib service, dressing up and of, course our weekend at my In-Laws over the weekend of 13-15 December for which I made and shared creations with you here.

And then with the children we look after, ensuring they made cards for family, decorations, gifts, watching them in Nativities and hearing about their Christmas meals and parties and finally ensuring completion of their parts of a group display.

It was a group Advent in so far as they each complete their part for an Advent chocolate.  Each week a number of them completed their parts and it is so delightful I wanted to share it with you!

This is week 1......

....Week 2 ......

....Week 3 ........

.... Week 4 ....

In detail we have..... 3 Wise Men and 4 camels (one to carry the gifts!) and the gifts....

The stable with the Innkeeper just outside the door and chickens on the roof (one with a nest and eggs!!)

The Shepherds and sheep on the hillside.......

4 Angles on one side..............

...and 3 Angels on the other with the Star in the middle!

And all of this made by children aged 4 to 11 (most are under 8).

We also like to create a homely atmosphere at the club, so our chill zone (sofa and TV area used for watching films and playing Wii) has been turned into a lounge...........

A pretend fireplace which the children absolutely love!  And a wonderful tree decorated by them and covered in baubles that they have decorated (cheap baubles from Poundland and a couple of sheets of festive stickers!  Also a great fundraiser at Christmas Fairs!!)

Isn't it wonderful?  Doesn't the sight of children's creativeness fill your heart with joy?

My daughter Tiddly Toes (aged 4) was so taken with the fact that Christmas Day was Jesus' birthday, that before she would go to sleep we had to sing him 'Happy Birthday'!  Joy!  Such innocence and love.

I hope the festive season has been peaceful and joyful for you.

Lots of love

Friday, 27 December 2013

An explanation...

for my absence.

I have been thinking about you all, really.  But I haven't even had time to hop on to the computer to check out your posts, let alone comment or write a post myself.

It is due, in part, to the untimely passing of a gentle, kind lady at the age of 52.  She was the Mum of a young man who works for us.  But she was more than that as, through him, I feel I can count her amongst my friends and I was very fond of her.

She passed away on the 10th December and since then I have been helping to work his shifts to allow him some time to begin to get his head round this and make the inevitable arrangements.

Today I went with him to see her, resplendent in her wicker basket.  We celebrate her life on Monday with a send off true to her, featuring, not flowers, but balloons.... and the dress code?  PINK!

And so to her I dedicate this post and this picture....

....with love, Angela.


Monday, 9 December 2013

Ready for our first Christmas

I've not forgotten you, I'm still here, but life is bedlam.
I just thought I'd rush into your space and share these before I wrapped them up.
If we aren't spending Christmas with The Hubs parents, we always arrange a meal with them a couple of weeks before Christmas.
We basically do Christmas Day with a turkey dinner cooked by Dad and The Hubs (and this year probably joined by our 17 year old Chef Son), crackers, Christmas Pudding (gifted by my Aunt who makes a thoroughly fabulous pudding!) and presents during the afternoon.
It has also become a bit of a tradition for our children to decorate their Christmas Tree...lovely!
Each year I always like to make them little, useful (I hope!) things.
This year, as they entertain quite a bit, I thought I'd buy them some wine glass decorations and found these whilst out and about at a local table top sale......
They clip around the stem so that you can tell whose glass is whose!
Dad is also partial to a nice cafetiere coffee, but as he drinks alone, a whole pot goes cold too quickly for him, so I thought a nice little cozy using the odd bits of fabric left from last years gift (which I forgot to show you and will rectify!) would be ideal.....
I couldn't find a tutorial that I liked and I had to start with certain measurements, so I made it up as I went along and quilted in the style of Svetlana......what do you think?

And being modelled by our cafetiere......

Mum is only 4 ft 10 inches, so her seatbelt often rubs on her neck.  There was a nice little idea on Pinterest that I couldn't find, so I basically made this one up as I went along AND remembered to photograph it so that I could share a tutorial with you (soon!).  The idea for the quilting came from the wonderful and talented Svetlana over at S.O.T.A.K. Handmade. Anyway....... it resulted in this little seatbelt cozy.......
And finally Mum has an ancient needle-case which has had needles taken in and out so often that it has broken down the fibres and is starting to fall into pieces!
So I though a nice new one in the same fabrics as her knitting needle case last year would be perfect!
And by providence a wonderful little tutorial came up (via Svetlana) for a tutorial on NanaCompany.  Although I didn't go for the patchwork effect as I knew the fabric I would use, I followed the rest of the instructions and came up with this.....
I used an offcut off ribbon from a parcel from Clothkits to embellish the centre page and provide a small measure!

I shall certainly use that tutorial again as I have ALOT of very tiny scraps and they would be ideal for another needle-case and also her latest offering....take a look at this totally adorable little chap!!!.....
I'll be back shortly with another stack of makes and my birthday pressies!
See you soon.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Christmas Countdown

Yes, I have added a countdown to my blog to shock myself into getting a wriggle on!!!

Can you believe we are now into the teens and counting!!!

I am doing quite well, but I need to make more cards and I have several pressies to finish start before they can be posted abroad!!!

Time is slipping away, hence I have been beavering and not blogging BUT....this means a have a photographic feast coming for you soon!

Until then, keep calm, craft on and don't get your tinsel in a tangle!


Friday, 22 November 2013

A little Christmas prep

I have Christmas chugging in the back of my mind, but I never really switch on to it until my birthday is over.

But with an advent meal looming on the Sunday right after my birthday (oh yeah...NEXT Sunday....eeekksss!), I thought I'd better crack on with some Christmas cards.

In true Nutty Nora style, I'd enveloped most of them before I thought to take a picture for you!

But here are a few of the 26 I made (and that only takes me as far as about the 7 May on my card a day challenge...dismal fail Nora!)

SO, Taa-daah...........

And I can confirm that I have given my first Christmas Card.....appropriately to Crafty Friend!
So I think I can safely say that Christmas preparations are underway in this house and I shall return with some sewing next.
Hope you are winning the battle of the Christmas To-Do List!

Monday, 28 October 2013

All bobbled out!!

Yes, we finally made it!

71 knitted and 1 crocheted hat for Innocent Smoothie's Big Knit 2013.....HOORAH!

Want to see?

Oh, go on then...........


My job this afternoon..........

Visiting the Post Office of course!  Let's hope they make it there by Thursday.
A very excited and thrilled Nora signing off!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Innocent Hat Challenge

I'm a bit quiet on the blog front at the moment as there are some things afoot which I will share soon, but, at the moment I just need to keep head down and focused and this is one of the Challenges I have set myself..............

Thankfully I have been joined by lovely MIL who is a machine!  I have a lot of pom-poms to catch up on this afternoon!

We will be back with photos soon when abnormal service will resume as usual!!

Join us?  Please........


Thursday, 3 October 2013

Happy Birthday Crafty Friend

Do you remember back here I told you about some book purchases, one of which was inspired by The Patchsmith?

Well, I decided that for my Tea-addicted Crafty Friend, a Mug Rug gift for her birthday was highly appropriate!

I've only ever made 2 quilts before (although I have my heart set on a few more) and I've certainly never worked on this small scale ever!

But tell me what you think.....

Here is the detail of her name sewn by my fabulous Brother Innovis SE350 and of the tea cup.....
I really enjoyed making it and I hope she'll find plenty of excuses to enjoy using it...Happy Birthday Carol!
Back with a little bit of something very soon,

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Confessions of a stasher

There's no hiding this.

I've done it again!

Panduro Hobby sent me a 25% discount code, so what was I meant to do with it other than use it?

So I did!

And here is my lovely purchase................

I am just a tiny bit more than extremely excited and looking forward to creating some things on my Pinterest boards...happy days!
See you soon

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

A secret project

Back in April, we went to stay with the In-Laws. As you know I do think the absolute world of them, my MIL is one of my best friends. She is quite disabled and needs help with various things, so over the years we have become very close.

Whenever I visit them, I always take some crafting books and magazines for us to browse and a project to keep my fingers busy. Invariably MIL is knitting squares for blankets or hats for AIDS babies.

She gets the magazine Simply Knitting and I always browse her stash of magazines to catch up since the last time. On this occasion I found this..........

A lovely lacy scarf.

When I read the yarn requirements, I realised that I had some Kidsilk Haze in Fushia Pink that I received free when, several years ago, I took up a subscription to Let's Knit. I had never been inspired to use it until now! So here we are with a little fill in project that I can take to ballet classes, the play park or to Knit & Natter (although it takes some concentrating as I am a Lace Virgin and this is my first attempt at anything more complex than plain knitting! So nattering is not a good option as the holes end up in the wrong place!!)

It, thankfully, grows quite quickly. There are 21 patterns to the scarf and I have completed 12, here's progress so far...........

I'm sharing this now in order to kick myself into taking it up again more frequently in order to get it finished for the might think I'm a bit premature, but, believe me, I'm a very s-l-o-w knitter.

What have you got on your needles, sewing machine, crochet hook or frame to finish? I'd love to see as I catch up with comments and blogs whilst I create.

Until the next time,

Monday, 30 September 2013

Little houses

On a whizz about BlogLand the other day I pinned the following on my Pinterest board from The little house by the sea.

In fact I pinned a few things, this one quite some time ago......

..... and I have some magazines and books, all marked at the pages to do loosely with 'houses', including this from Mandy Shaw of Dandelion Designs which featured in Issue 21 of Simply Homemade magazine.

It all started with wanting to design a Tooth Fairy thing-a-ma-jiggy to hang on doors to put teeth into to escape from the groping under pillows and potentially disturbing the recipients of pennies.
I didn't want a tooth shape, or necessarily a bag or indeed anything with a fairy (not too appropriate for boys!), so I started thinking about Fairy Cottage....what would a Fairy live in?

I looked for toadstool houses or little whimsical cottages as inspired by a freebie in this issue of Cross Stitcher magazine.....

but needed to add a pouch as integral to the design.

Then on The Patchsmith the other day I saw these from Retro Mama ......
The Patchsmith had redesigned WITH POUCH!

I dug out some free fabric that came with this issue of Simply Homemade magazine a couple of months ago......

and I made this................

Here's the detail on the front.......
It is gorgeous and I love it......but it's not quite right. So I decided to do something a little rash....

I've digested all the designs and sewing techniques used in the projects that I have gathered (and they are all very similar, coz let's face it how different can you really be when 'building' a house?!) and  tried to design one myself!

It ended up a bit wonky as I wasn't too neat about placing the design on the front or neatly sewing as it is, after all, a prototype!

Ready to see my mad idea?

OK, let's go....


Bonkers isn't it? 
But I just adore the roses round the door and the bunting!  Here it is up close.....


I wasn't brimming with confidence but now I've finished, I am terribly excited!  Not bad for a first attempt.  My lack of drawing skills does show in the shape of my toadstool....but I'll work on that.

Fabulous little stash-buster as you only need odds of fabric and floss.

Any ideas on a better shape for my toadstool, or how to ensure the stem and top appear separate are very welcome!

Thanks so much for dropping by, nice to see you,


Family Fun in the French Alps

So you've had the cultural bit, and here is the Family Fun bit.

I just thought I'd put these separately so that those who like scenery could dip into that and those that fancied some snaps of Tiddly Toes screamingly excited in her snorkel could chose to see those too.... here we go......... tired lady on the way there!

...trying to keep up with the big girls (Teenage Daughter on the left and Teenage Friend on the right)

...the colourful Carousel, it had to be ridden EVERY evening!

Tiddly Toes took this picture of donkeys at Baume les Messieurs.

A pony ride on 'Est', he was one chubby, hungry horse!

Out on the lake with Daddy...she LOVED riding in our little dingy.

Snorkel fun!

Daddy trying to explain how you put your face in the water AND breath!

MORE Carousel!

After a hard evenings Carousel riding, all self-respecting girls need Candy Floss!
Alfresco breakfasts......
Alfresco dinners......

and picnics on the beach!

Playing with friends....

....and having fun on your own!
We really had a most wonderful time, we're glad to share it with you, we're sad to have left and happy to be home.
The computer has been red hot since we got back....not least of all with a bit of purchasing!  More about that soon.
Until then, take care,