Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Christmas Eve ♥

♥ Wearing novelty Christmas socks! I have an ever growing collection and they always make me smile. 

 Pre-Christmas baking. This morning was full of cheese, jam and mincemeat swirls (not all in the same swirl though-yuck!) which made the kitchen smell lovely. The Sister did her baking during the last two evenings and has made millionaire shortbread (with edible glitter) and flapjacks.

 Opening the last door on my chocolate advent calender. There is always a sense of accomplishment and achievement somehow when opening that final big door and discovering the BIG chocolate behind it.

 Finding the cat squeezed into a shoe box in the living room. The Mother treated herself to a new pair of boots and whilst trying them on, Ziggy snuck into the box and claimed it for his own.

 The last bit of present wrapping, accompanied by hot coffee in a Christmas mug and a freshly baked mincemeat swirl. Delish!

 Going back in to the living room to put the newly wrapped presents under the tree to discover that the cat has changed position, squeezing himself even further into the now bulging box. So cute.

 And finally, beginning to lay the table with my new quilted Christmas table runner. Add in the Poinsettia at the end (just cut out of the photo) and I think it looks lovely! It is now a much more crowded table with a variety of jams, fruit coulis, croissants, pan o chocolate and granola cereals. We will feast in the morning!

If I don't get to say it tomorrow, then from all of the Dotty Textiles family:


Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Sun Loving Silhouettes

Yesterday- or possibly the day before, I can't remember now- I spent almost the entirety of my afternoon work break gazing out of the window at this spectacular sky show. The photos definitely don't do the colours justice, they were quite breathtaking.

Long time readers of my blog will know of my slight (tiny, minuscule, miniature) obsession with chimney tops- I did do my entire final project at university on chimneys and rooftops- and when combined with beautiful cloudy sunsets they are just gorgeous!

Such a lovely sight to see for one who doesn't get out in the daytime a lot anymore.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Snuggled Up Warm

Brrr it was frosty this morning!! I had to go in to work for a special Christmas open Sunday- thankfully though we opened much later so I could leave home in the daylight. The Parents very kindly gave me a lift in and when we left the house at about 10am, there was still a thick frost everywhere.

I love how it adds a white sparkle to everything.

It looks almost fluffy don't you think?

It is nice and cosy inside at the moment as we put up the tree yesterday evening. It is a big family affair, with Christmas music, the beginning of the chocolate bowl and ginger ale. All family members participate (except Dad whose contribution involves sitting in the room and pretending not to notice anything), including the cats who are both bemused but intrigued by everything.

It is always so lovely to delve inside the great big blanket box and find all of the Christmas decorations, remembering where each one came from and whereabouts on the tree they usually live.

Of course there are lots of the laser cut wooden decorations that I made for fund-raising purposes with my Mixed Media class at university last year.

I have also put up my little university tree in the kitchen so for the first time we are a 'two-tree-household'!

Ziggy enjoys the packaging more than anything I think. Nice big boxes to hide in and play on- especially when fluffy red things are involved.

Yup, Ziggy likes Christmas.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Christmas Chooks

Evening All! I forgot to show you yesterday that my Christmas cards from my ATC group arrived. I love getting cards so four in one envelope was pretty exciting. Click here to see the cards that I sent off and then below to see what I got back!

 (From Carol)

(From Pat)

 (From Sally)

 (From Hazel)

I have had a very creative day today as I was asked a few weeks ago whether I would be able to help make some scented chickens. They had to be the ones that looked like little pyramids and be easy to make lots of. 
I found a fantastic tutorial on how to make 'Juggling Chooks' on a blog called Red Ted Art. She had made hers quite little so they would be easy to juggle with, but with a little measurement juggling of our own, we were soon making lots of smelly chickens of varying sizes, colours and personality!

My first one was the big checked chicken who is called Herman. The blue spotty one was my second attempt and is full of Christmas smells- cloves, star anise, cinnamon, allspice etc. (If you have decided to have a go at your own chickens, using the same method as RTA- Herman measures 30cm by 16cm, and the blue spotty chicken is 22cm by 12cm- my preferred size.)

I only made three in the end, but Vicky went all out and experimented with different sizes, filling methods and colour combos. Most of hers are scented with Lavender so I asked if I could use some of her Lavender to create the smells for my third chicken- the pink patchwork one.

They are filled with combinations of polyester toy stuffing, rice and smelly herbs/spices. For any that will be used in the microwave (as a hand warmer or headache soother) we just used rice and smellies, but any that are more decorative had rice bottoms and stuffed heads. (The rice is used to weigh it down so that the chicken sits nicely- if you just want a soft toy then you don't need to put in the rice.)

(A wreath of chickens!)

I did sew up most of the bottoms on all of the chickens, and had a go at two different methods. Because Herman was so big I could stitch up most of his bottom on the sewing machine and then finish him off with some hand stitching right at the end after a bit more stuffing, but I found it much easier to work a ladder stitch across the bottom as it looked so much neater.
There is lots of fun to be had making chickens and they are so easy! Perfect for a rainy day and a great project for all ages.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Coming Along Nicely

I have been loving these few days off. It hasn't all been stitching (I have had to thoroughly tidy and clean my bedroom before The Sister gets home and it has taken hOuRs!!!) but there has been some great, relaxed moments with just me and my needle working through the piles of colourful hexagons.

I have used up all of my hexagon florets now and am thinking I will just work with single hexagon pieces to try and get a more rectangular shape. This morning I pinned all of the remaining florets to the quilt so that I would remember where I wanted them to go.
It hasn't all been plain sailing- in the above photo you can see some fluffy white threads at the edges of some of the hexagons where I had to unpick an entire section that I had started at work but then didn't fit with the main piece, Very annoying but had to be done!

It really looks like a beehive now!

I have also been enjoying some play time with the cats. Yesterday Kit sniffed out his Christmas present (I shall have to hide it better next year) and has spent a lot of today playing with it. Sorry the photos are blurry but he was attacking the catnip cigar so fast the camera couldn't focus. It is really lovely to see him play like a kitten even at the grand old age of 15!

It is very tiring being kitten-like and he soon found somewhere to rest his weary bones. It has slowed progress on stitching the quilt together though.

Such a cutie.