Sunday 30 December 2007

Hello ....

Is anybody out there? A very tentative 'hello' from the very relaxed, some might say lazy, Ragged Roses home. We're slowly emerging from our Christmassy cocoon and venturing outside again. Mornings still being spent lazing round in pyjamas and evenings spent around the fire, boxes of chocolates to hand, playing games and watching films. Even if I were brave enough to post a photo of myself I can assure you that the one above of this 50s domestic goddess is infinitely preferable to the picture of me in my jimjams typing this!

How was your Christmas, good I hope. Ours was lovely, relaxed, full of good food, family, friends and good cheer. We now seem to be walking around in a daze, soporific I think is the word! Yesterday we got out, yes we braved the elements, were dressed by 10am and did one of our favourite walks from Glynde to Lewes. Three hours of fresh air, beautiful countryside and space. Space I think is what we needed. As cold as it was and there was a bit in the middle of the walk when we were all hooded up that we resembled a bunch of Dementors striding across the Downs, it felt good to have some of those cobwebs blown away. Needless to say we were exhausted when we came home and quickly settled down in front of the fire and more of those chocolates.

Four more boxes of chocolates and four more days of holidays to enjoy before 'normal' life resumes. Not sure if I'm ready for it just yet....

Saturday 22 December 2007

Happy Christmas

From all of us here in the Ragged Roses home to all of you - HAPPY CHRISTMAS! Wishing you all a wonderful time with your family and friends. It has been so much fun this year reading everyone's blogs and sharing so much of your lives and we've all the posts of 2008 to look forward to. I had no idea at the beginning of the year that blogging would bring me so much fun, inspiration, new found confidence and, above all, so many new friends. At such a busy time of the year it's been great to be able to sit back now and again and wonder at your beautiful festive photos, thank you so much for sharing your Christmas homes and preparations with us and I'm sooooo looking forward to reading about your holidays very soon.

Thursday 20 December 2007

Christmas corners

Almost ready now, bar the Christmas food shopping, a few more pressies and all the wrapping!! The house is looking quite festive too. I don't have decorations everywhere but like to have bits and pieces in corners around the place. This little jar was 99p from a charity shop. I love it and have filled it with sweets, snowballs in a jar (our own White Christmas if we don't get to have any snow).

Over the fireplace in the living room the butterfly lights are hovering amongst the holly and look pretty when lit. I bought these a couple of years ago from Woolworths and every year more wings need to be glued back on, but I love the colours too much to part with them.

I like this corner too, not sure if even our cats could manage to grab hold of that big pink bauble, but I'm sure the birds will prove a worthy distraction.

I love this huge candlestick when it's lit in the evening. Very simple but effective and during the day the lustre really shines when the sun hits it.

In the kitchen there's lots of treats too. Have you seen these little chocolate Russsian dolls? We have a long row of them on the shelves which I'm sure will diminish very quickly. They're almost too cute to eat!

Candy canes and reindeer

and a bright bauble filled corner

and look at these treats that I've been sent. Gorgeous twine I received from the very generous Gill as part of her great twine giveaway. Thanks Gill, it's too nice to use! The lovely magnetic pegs and heart came from the very talented Lucy and I'm thrilled with them. If you get a moment, take a look at Lucy's Christmas photos, her home looks wonderful.

Hope you're all getting on with all your preparations and finding time to enjoy it along the way. I've loved looking at everyone's photos and reading about what you've all been up to, it's made Christmas very special. Not long to go now. Isn't it a lovely feeling when it's finally here and you get a chance to enjoy it all!

Saturday 15 December 2007

The week where I lost all common sense and met Kate Rusby!

A couple of weeks ago a friend asked me whether she should paint a room just before Christmas. "No, of course not, why add to the list?" was my reply. Why indeed? Which does not explain in any way why last week I had a complete flight of fancy and decided to paint one of the rooms downstairs. No Christmas cards have been written, no presents wrapped, but the room is freshly painted and the mess has been cleared!

Why after dithering about painting this room for two years and living happily with the tester pot in the garden shed for the same amount of time should I choose now to do it. What is this inner imperative that makes us feel that everything should be done before 25th? Anyway, done, tidied and I'm happy with the results. Normal service can now be resumed!

It's a soft, powdery, calm and chalky blue and it pretties up the room.

I'm finally at the stage where the decorations can come out.

Little birds hiding in the berries and holly.

Glitter and sequins in little corners of the room. The cats have yet to find them, they're still too busy with the tree!

Here is one of them caught redhanded, eyeing up her next smash and grab. They seem to be going for the pink ones judging by the ones I found this weekend in their stash (yes i know where you're putting them, left hand corner under the sofa) and I've given up all attempts at artistically arranging the recovered baubles they're just placed on the tree wherever and whenver we found them. Frustrating for me and very, very tiring for them!

We had a busy weekend too, Staff pantos at Big Sister's school, school plays, family get together on Sunday and Saturday night, finally after months of waiting, we got to go to the Kate Rusby concert! We all love her, we went last year but this time was the first for little sister who kept whispering to me that she had to remind herself that this was not telly, that this was real life! For months we'd been on countdown to the concert. Couldn't resist these baubles she'd designed and they've been placed right at the top of the tree as I'm not sure if the cats are Kate fans too.

I'd emailed her record company earlier this month, planning a surprise for the girls and after much shuffling around and secret sign making between M and I, we were ushered back into the concert hall afterwards where Kate was waiting for us on stage! As she chatted with us, I have never seen my girls so shocked/ thrilled/ dumbstruck/ flushed and quiet! Kate was as lovely and warm and natural as she appears on stage. It was difficult getting the girls to go to sleep at all on Saturday! Oooh I love Christmas.

Monday 10 December 2007

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas ...

My youngest daughter was in a dance show on Friday evening and we took her down to the venue after school. Whilst she was having a run through, Big Sister and I had a chance to have a mooch around the shops and wander through the Lanes in Brighton. I do love shopping in the evening for Christmas. Not shopping in the big stores but popping in and out of the smaller. independent shops and joining in some of the festive feeling. It's always more exciting after sunset, the lights come on, you can smell the cold, December air and the jostling of earlier on in the day seems to disappear.

Maybe I just imagine that last bit but it always reminds me of being a little girl and my mum and dad taking me to London every year to choose a toy in Hamleys, see the Christmas lights in Regent Street and buy some hot roasted chestnuts opposite the London Palladium!
Look at those blue lights and the colour of the sky, so much nicer than the grey of daylight.

The Christmas decorations are coming along at home. Tree is up, furniture re-arranged to accommodate tree and decorations found (a total sum of four hours!). No photos yet of the tree as it's still not quite finished. Leaving some time for the cats to get use to the tree again. As I'm typing I can here the crash of baubles flying across the kitchen floor as yet more have been taken off the tree and passed between the cats down the hall! Sum total of tree baubles found so far, 6 in the hall (1 broken), 2 in the kitchen, 1 still stuck on the cat's magnet (proof if ever there was!) and 4 unaccounted for. Can't blame them though with the weather being so cold they've got to get their fun where they can find it!

Friday 7 December 2007

Are we done now?

Both my daughters are back at school today after a week of sickness. As soon as one recovered, the other came down with it. What with my cough and sore throat, the sickness and temperatures that the girls have had, I'm surprised that there's Calpol still left on the shelves. Fingers crossed that that it is it for now and we can have a relatively germ free runup to Christmas. As much as I don't like going shopping at Christmas this imposed exile from all things Christmassy has left me a little stir crazy. Yesterday found me emptying my box of buttons, gluing them onto a wreath whilst watching Freaky Friday for 100th time - I need to get out!

A quick dash to the post office and a walk to the fabric shop was more than enough for me. It doesn't take long for us to get use to the cosiness of home and I do feel a bit bad after moaning so much about needing to get out this week that I made such a hasty retreat to my front door. Christmas shopping will have to wait till next week. The Christmas tree is being decorated this weekend, all the windows are open ready for the Christmas cheer but any germs wishing to join us will not be welcome.
Hope you all have a happy, healthy and cheery weekend.

Tuesday 4 December 2007

It's getting nearer ...!

Isn't this cushion gorgeous? I bought it from Niki last week. For a long time now I've been visiting her website as well as her beautiful blog but have always been too slow! Others have got there before me. Last week I struck lucky and pounced on this cushion before anyone had the chance. I love the vibrancy of the floral fabrics she has chosen and it certainly looks very cheery on my eiderdown! Niki always chooses the most gorgeous fabrics and lovely colour combinations. Hopefully, we'll be putting the Christmas tree up next weekend so that'll mean lots more colour and sparkle around the place - I love it!

Well it's December!!!! I realised this morning that usually December seems to be an assault course to get through. Shopping, cleaning, school plays, recitals, shopping, colds, coughs and other lurgys, more shopping and a constant crossing of fingers and checking of calendars to make sure that yes, you have paid the school office for Christmas Dinner, the costumes for the school play have been taken in on the right day and that somehow by the skin of your teeth, everyone gets through to Christmas Day without too many glitches.

Last weekend we tried a different approach. Taking full advantage of having a relatively free weekend, before the onslaught of pre-Christmas visits, school fairs, the visit up to the loft to find all the boxes of Christmas decorations (note the word "all", why is it that every year boxes of decorations go missing?), we decided to invite friends over. On Sunday we had a house full of friends and children and it was lovely - it was a chance to enjoy the moment and not get caught up just yet in all the planning of what will be happening in a few weeks time. It did us all good to take one eye off what would be happening and to enjoy something that was happening now. Spontaneity can be good!

On the craft front, I have finished another pompom order for Made in Hastings. These ones are white 'snowball" pompoms hanging from white ricrac. I made a big batch of them and have put some in my Etsy shop too. I'm planning on having some hanging from the fireplace this year, just out of reach of the cats' paws! Wouldn't it be lovely this year to have a white Christmas?