Monday 22 December 2008

Merry Christmas 2008

Hope the preparations are coming along well for everyone. Since we are not going to be at home for Christmas Day (I'm cooking at my parent's house this year) I decided to go for a small tree, in fact a very small tree - I don't think it's even 2ft tall. I haven't had much of a festive feeling this year so I decided that I'd just pull down the first couple of boxes from the attic and put up whatever was in them - fortunately the small tree and some baubles were in there.

That was going to be it, but then I felt a bit guilty so to compensate I put some lights and christmassy bits on the mantelpiece.

Definately more festive now.

And that was going to be it, but I had another small tree that I'd taken to the V&H fair, so I decided to brighten up the kitchen window.

And that really was going to be it ... but on the way home from work this morning I saw these two sweet angels in the charity shop.

And that really is it now! I'm off to find some festive spirit - Mr. Bloom has shut himself away in the bedroom and there's a lot of rustling of paper going on in there. I wonder what that's all about? I think I'll go and tease him about it, hee hee!

Thank you to eveyone who has left comments on my last few posts, I will get back to you all at some point, but for now I'd like to wish everyone a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas, filled with everything that makes it special for you.

Lucy x

Wednesday 17 December 2008

Angels, dolls and fairytales

Many years ago, when I was a singleton, living on my own in my little house, I had a collection of angels, cherubs and fairies which I adored. I was contented enough in my little house with my fairy friends, but felt I would be happier with a Mr. to share life with.

A friend who had an interest in Feng Shui and such things told me that if I wanted to meet Mr. Right, I shouldn't have angels around the house, I can't remember exactly the reasons why. Anyway, I didn't pay too much attention, I loved them and they weren't going anywhere!

But somehow, over time the angels, the cherubs and the fairy dolls diminished - until there were none. Not even a fairy for the top of the Christmas tree.

Some time later, round about this time of year - have you guessed? - I met Mr. Bloom. The rest is another story.

Recently some new fairies and dolls have appeared in the Bloom household. I went to a Christmas craft fair recently, just a small one in a nearby village, not expecting to find much - just having a nose really. But I was pleasently surprised to find one stall belonging to a very talented lady selling the most beautiful handmade jewellery and dolls. The two fairies shown above were bought from Hazel who sadly doesn't have a blog, but does have an Etsy shop called LilyGrace Orginals.

As well as the fairy dolls, Hazel makes the most amazing jewellery, beautifully hand worked, which must take hours for each piece, and gorgeous handpainted silk scarves. I can vouch for the fact that her work is stunning, do pop along to Etsy and have a look.

On a less stunning scale, I thought I'd try my hand at fairy dolls, something simple to start with, peg dollies. First there was one...

Then there were two...

Then there was almost a whole glen...

Some went to new homes, so I made a couple more to keep for myself...

And of course, a new fairy to go on top of the Christmas tree (pink, naturally!)

Hope your Christmas preparations are coming along nicely, I've had a very not nice headache most of today, hope I'm not coming down with that nasty bug that's going around!

P.S. Just to clarify, the duck shaped fried egg in my previous post was cooked with a cookie-cutter, not co-incidence or an artistic Mr. Bloom, just a sweet one!

Saturday 13 December 2008

Christmas Progress

I've made a bit of Christmas progress today, writing all my Christmas cards whilst watching Far From the Madding Crowd - the 1967 version with Julie Christie and Alan Bates. I do love that film though boy is it long, especially with commercial breaks added on.

Thought I'd give you a little peek at my Christmas tree decorating progress.

Not really, ha ha, though I wish it was. I thrifted a copy of the US Country Living Holiday Special from 2003 and this gorgeous tree is featured on the cover.

Here it is in the room setting, I could quite happily spend Christmas day in that setting.

My own tree, on the other hand, is still in the attic, and will be lucky to see the light of day this year. So, since I can't show mine, here's some more festive loveliness from that magazine. I love the little pug dog pincushion in the last pic.

I've been trying to cut down on thrifting recently, since there is more coming in than going out, a situation which can't go on indefinately. I still look but try not to buy - not easy - but today I found these sweet dinner plates which then found themselves going home with me (plus the pink lustreware cup). I already have a large bowl and set of fruit dishes in this design, it's years since I got those and have never seen any more of this design (a favourite) until today - 10p each, what a steal!

Once in a while Mr. Bloom and I treat ourselves to a cooked breakfast on Saturday, which Mr. Bloom cooks. I laughed when he handed me my plate today - what a sweetie!

Later, Mr. Bloom went on a secret mission into town - there was "a shop he needed to go to" and I wasn't allowed to go with him or know where he was going or why.
I wonder what that was all about ;-)

Wednesday 10 December 2008

Eek, it's nearly Christmas!

There I was back in October bemoaning the fact that the shops were already selling Christmas cards and suddenly there's less than 2 weeks to go! I am completely unprepared, no cards written, not much evidence of Christmas around the house, I haven't yet started thinking about the menu, not even a Christmas banner on my blog. So if there isn't much evidence of me for the next 2 weeks, you'll know why!

Well, actually there is a tiny hint of Christmas around the house - a couple of weeks ago I bought a pretty glittery church at TKMaxx and it has become a little Christmas vignette in the front room. This only got made because the other Christmassy bits were in a tin in the kitchen rather than up in the attic.

They had a few different designs and colours, but the red was the most Christmassy for me. I meant to post about it earlier so that anyone with a TKMaxx near could pop and have a look. I would have liked a whole village but I don't have room so I'm happy with just the church. The white bottle brush tree on the right is from Next - they have a box of 6 for £5.99 which I thought wasn't too bad. If I get time I'm going to put extra snowflakes on it and maybe paint the base.

I also picked up this pretty Royal Doulton Christmas plate last week, can you believe for £1. I couldn't, but I didn't ask questions, just bought it and swiftly moved on!

This is my Hyacinth bear who I think looks quite Christmassy. She's not old but I love her outfit, especially the fox fur stole (fake, of course!) and I added the vintage brooch. She stays out all year round.

I know I showed this doll last time, but she's so pretty I felt she deserved another viewing. Since rag dolls are quite floppy I attached her body under the skirt with an elastic band to an empty perfume bottle so that she can stand up.

This cute and cheery garland of elves is hanging in my kitchen window, picked up in the post-Christmas sales a couple of years ago.

Anyway, must get on, if I find any more evidence of Christmas, I'll be sure to let you know!

Tuesday 25 November 2008

Surrounded by Beauty

I think I must be one of the last of us to post about this, but on Saturday I was definately surrounded by beauty at the first Vintage and Handmade Fair, and I can confirm that it was just an unforgettable experience.

So many lovely, friendly and talented ladies (and some of their gentlemen), stalls full of beautiful handmade and vintage loveliness, a real treat for the senses.

Jayne and Michele had decorated the hall in traditional union jack bunting which gave it a lovely garden party feel, despite being November!

If you read the same blogs as me you will have seen lots of pictures already, mine didn't turn out too well, but I know that Hen and Sue at Vintage to Victorian have posted pics of all the stalls.

I managed to stuff my stall to overflowing, some things didn't make it out of the boxes, and some things I meant to put out and just clean forgot about!

There was something for everyone - colourful, muted, vintage, recycled, shabby chic, ethereal, cute, quirky - and the quality of everyone's work was outstanding. There are some great photos out there but I can tell you they are no comparison to seeing everything for real, and do not do justice to how beautiful everything was - ten times better than any picture could show. I think the customers were surprised and delighted at what they found.

It was such a busy day, I wish there had been more time for us bloggers to chat and get to know each other, but it was a case of grabbing a few minutes to rush around with one eye on one's own stall to rush back when customer's appeared - which they did - all day long! I think I was in a bit of a daze a lot of the time as well. Fortunately I was next to the tea hatch, where Julia, with Jayne's daughter, did a grand job of keeping everyone refreshed with tea and cakes.

Naturally I did a bit of shopping for myself . This pretty dolly and lovely lilac fabric and flower covered box from Frances at A Little Bit Vintage.

Frances' dolls are exquisite and I had a real hard job deciding which one to buy. Fortunately her stall wasn't too far from mine as I had to nip over several times before deciding which one to get.

I'm really pleased with my choice. (My sister-in-law came along later and bought what was my second choice, for herself, so I can pop round and admire her too!)

Next to Frances was Lynn at Sea Angels where I bought this gorgeous collaged heart and waxed cones - aren't they delightful. Lynn's stall was divine, I wish I'd taken some pics of it.

I bought the little rose tin from Michele, the cute bird from Carol at Katherine's Dream, and the vintage wallpaper snippets from Sue.

And just look at the lovely packaging too (puts my recycled carrier bags and paper to shame!)

My purchases are just a very small cross-section of the goodness on offer. If I hadn't had to stick to a budget, I could have bought from every single stall, they were all stunning.

And as if that wasn't enough, Jayne and Michele had organised a Secret Santa -look at the lovely bag of goodies I got (from Hesta at Green Glamour).

Lavender sachets, a cute egg cosy, badge, sweet toadstool card, lovely mohair wool, all recycled, and in the background a pretty pinny (just right for Mr. Bloom to wear on Christmas day when he cooks the dinner - hee hee!)

There is a small issue I'd like to clear up though - somewhere out in blogland there is a picture of me behind my stall (despite my best efforts to avoid being photographed). I have my head down and my hair has fallen forward making it look like I have a pudding basin haircut. I would just like to state for the record that whilst I may have had such a haircut as a child, I do not now have a pudding basin haircut!

Of course, all this was thanks to the hard work of Jayne and Michele who did a spendid job and I'm glad to say will be putting themselves through it all again next May - an event not to be missed. I'll be there for sure!

p.s. I've switched my comments back on as I don't want to appear arrogant, and actually, it's quite lonely without them. I have rather a lot of demands on my time at the moment and don't log on regularly, so I hope you'll understand if I don't always reply.

Update 26/11 - oh, and how could I have forgotten to say thank you! to everyone who purchased from my stall. I'm not sure how many blogger customers we had but I hope I didn't not acknowledge anyone who bought from me - I was in a dizzy daze at times.