December 2011

Well I hope like us you all have had a lovely Christmas!

Probably like us you’ve had too many of these!!

I received some beautiful presents, as did everyone in our house, resulting in this ……….

………. huge pile of wrapping paper! You’ll be pleased to know it has all been recycled now!

Boxing Day saw our up-to-that-point quiet Christmas very quickly take a different direction. When our daughter phoned from Paris (the trip was her present from her boyfriend) to announce that they were engaged. They flew out out on Boxing Day afternoon and they return home tomorrow (Thursday) evening, then I’ll be able to get a good look at the ring which I’ve only seen from an iPhone photograph but looks absolutely gorgeous. So I think busy times are ahead!!!

Before I go I just want to let you know that I’m having a little sale over in my shop! There is 15% off everything, just enter ‘WINTERSALE’ at the checkpoint.

I hope you continue to enjoy what’s left of Christmas and 2011.
Thank you all so much for joining me in my little space of blogland during this past year, I hope to ‘see’ you all again in the new year!

I wish you all a very Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year!

Here’s to 2012 and the Springtime (whoo hoo)! 🙂

Today is the Winter Solstice, this year it falls on the 22nd December.
I love the Winter Solstice, I think I may even prefer it to the 25th (I know some of you will find that shocking)!!
The shortest day of the year is such a hopeful day, after today we will gradually regain our daylight and my heart skips a beat at the very thought of that!
I think it’s something like 2 minutes a day, so by the end of one week we’ll have gained almost a quarter of an hour and in a month’s time we will have an extra hour of daylight to call our own.
The above photo is of my daffodil bulbs just look how they are growing! We do have much milder temperatures than last year, today it was 12 degrees C which is about 30 degrees higher than last December. The weather forecasters have said we have no chance of a white Christmas but I don’t think I’ll lose any sleep over that!

This is what my greenhouse looks like today, we haven’t had to put the heater on at all this year and some of my summer plants are still blooming.

Now I know that you know that spring and summer are always in my heart but don’t worry we really do celebrate Christmas in this house!

Everywhere has been decorated, the house has now been cleaned from top to bottom, the presents bought and wrapped, the food shopping done except for fruit and veg and I think we’re now all ready for the festivities.

This will be my last post before the ‘big’ day. I want to thank you all so much for visiting me here during 2011, I really appreciate every single comment that has been left for me. I cherish the friendships I have made through blogging and I love visiting you all in your blogs too!

I hope you all have the most wonderful Christmas with the ones you love and I’ll see you all on the other side!

HAPPY CHRISTMAS !!! 🙂 xxxxxxxxxx

“The holly and the ivy,
When they are both full grown
Of all the trees that are in the wood
The holly bears the crown
O the rising of the sun
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ
Sweet singing of the choir”

I thought we would take what will probably be the final blog walk in the park for this year and as you can see greenery may be a bit sparse but I did find some holly and ivy.

There really is quite a bit of ivy and as the trees are stripped bare it really stands out as it wraps itself around the tree trunks.

Not quite as much holly as ivy but I still managed to find a couple of bushes but with absolutely no berries at all. I’m not sure if there were any to start with or if the birds have eaten them all.

It really is quite mild outside today, the day started off bright and dry although it did turn to rain later this afternoon.

However when compared to the weather this time last year, it’s almost tropical!! You can see what the park looked like at just about this time in 2010, here!
Believe me I’m thankful it’s not like that this year!

It has been an enjoyable walk in the park today, it was lovely to get away from all the manic-ness that is this time of year.
Lovely to breath in the fresh air and enjoy nature.

Hope you too can find some time to step back from the madness as well and enjoy some of the simple things in life.

Thank you for walking in the park with me this year, I’m sure we’ll take we’ll take a few more strolls in 2012!

Happy Tuesday everyone. 🙂

Joining in with the ‘Making Winter’ project started by Silverpebble and Thriftyhousehold I thought I would bring you some photos of the things that have been making my winter so far. Going through my photos I was surprised by how many began with the letter C!

Firstly Candles, an absolute essential at this dark end of the year!

Cakes, of all shapes and sizes, these are rock cakes but there have been many varieties.

Candy Canes, mmmmmm!

Chilli, not terribly festive but warming all the same and most definitely vegetarian!

Christmas trees (this is just one of three) and Christmas Cards the number growing by the day!

Cookery book and Cat journal, a lovely giveaway win from Poppycock & Other Creative Nonsense blog. Thank you Sally! 🙂

Charlie the Cat, my gorgeous little man. 🙂

And finally Christmas Crochet, well I couldn’t do a post like this without squeezing in a bit of crochet now could I? 😉

Have a look here for links to more blogs taking part in ‘Making Winter’ and check out the Making Winter Flickr Pool too!

Thanks as always for visiting me here this week, have a wonderful weekend and for those of you waiting for Santa only 9 more sleeps!!! 🙂

Not in the garden sadly, I’m afraid the only flowers around these parts at the moment (apart from my potted poisettia that is) are either crocheted or knitted.

These roses were created to decorate this little winter blue bag.

Some more corsages have been crocheted too. Thank goodness for hand made flowers on these dark winter days!

They’re all now in my shop.

Have a lovely week everyone and stay warm! 🙂

Goodness I nearly didn’t make Friday! It’s been a bit of a mad day, this Christmas business does take up a lot of your time, doesn’t it!
I’ve been shopping for most of the day and to tell you the truth I don’t have an awful lot to show for it!

I decided to do the giveaway the traditional way by writing out all the names and drawing them out of a hat.

A Santa hat to be precise! And the winner is ………..

Kate from Harmony and Rosie! Well done Kate I’ll be in touch with you to get your details.

Thank you all so much for you lovely comments, I appreciate every single one of them. You’ve all been so kind, just wish you all could have won.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, I expect I’ll be shopping, again!!! 🙂

Well guess what it did here last night??? Thankfully not too much of it still remains but it is bitterly cold.

I have a few things to share with you today, usually my posts tend to focus on one thing but not today so bear with me while I get through everything and we’ll find out what the post title means at the end.

As I’m sure you recall I was attending a craft fair last Thursday evening. Well I do have issues with craft fairs, the last one I attended was 6 years ago. I thought however I would give it a go again, my issues really haven’t gone away though. Now I’m determined this is not going to be a moany post, let’s just say it will probably be another 6 years before I do another one, if ever.
Don’t get me wrong I did do very well selling quite a few of my corsages but no bags unfortunately. I have also got an order as a result of the fair, it’s just there are so many things about craft fairs I don’t like, which I think I had forgotten about.

Now second subject of this post is to thank all you lovely, lovely people who voted for my Poinsettia Bag in the ‘Stitched in Color’ competition, I really appreciate the fact that so many of you took the time to go over to the site and vote for me. My bag didn’t win but it is now living with a lovely lady who is very happy with it and that is prize-winning enough for me!

Now while we are on the subject of winning, I was the lucky recipient of a gorgeous giveaway win over at Mouse blog. The lovely Sue sent me this beautiful brown linen embroidered heart, which because of it’s colour looks like it was specially made for me and will go in so many places in my home! Thank you Sue. 🙂

I also have been very kindly awarded the Liebster Blog Award by Sally of Poppycock & Other Creative Nonsense blog. I want to thank Sally very much for giving it to me. Now one of the rules of this award is to pass it on to 5 other blogs but I’m afraid this is the bit I’m not very good at because I just couldn’t pick 5 blogs, all the blogs on my blog list deserve it so I just can’t single out 5. I hope you don’t mind me breaking the rules Sally! When describing my blog Sally wrote ‘Viviennes blog takes you through the seasons of the year with plants, crafts, food and cats’, I love that! Thanks again Sally.

Now the reason for the 200 at the beginning of my post. Well this post is my 200th blog post!

Who would have thought I would get to 200 posts, not me anyway!!! As I’ve mentioned many times on this blog I was very slow to start but I did eventually get over it and look at me today, I don’t know when to stop! 😉

I want to thank all you lovely people who visit me here. Thanks to those of you who visit regularly. Thanks also to all those who visit but never say anything, I read my stats and I know you’re there! Finally, thanks especially to all the everytimers who leave a comment on every post, you know who you are, I really appreciate your friendship.

Now to show my thanks and in celebration of 200 posts I’m having a little giveaway. It comprises of a set of three of my mini corsages, a little cream flower with a poinsettia button, a sprig of mistletoe with faux pearl berries and a red mohair rose with a black and gold bead centre. I’m also throwing in some Green & Black’s Organic Butterscotch Chocolate and a handbag diary for next year (can you believe how close we are to next year!!).

For a chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post before midnight (GMT) on Thursday 8th December and I’ll be back on Friday with the winner, simple as that.

*** The giveaway is now closed, thank you. ***

Well my 200th post has turned into quite a mammoth one, I do hope you made it to the end. 😉

Have a wonderful week everyone. 🙂

Can you believe this is the last tree photo of the year, I can’t. These past twelve months have flown in and I know we still have a whole month to go but it never seemed any time at all between photos!

As has been the norm for all but two of the months (August and October) the 1st of December is another beautiful morning. I think the moral of the story is if you’re going to have a day out in this corner of the UK do it on the first of the month.

The tree as expected at this time of year is bare, it is hard to see in the photo as our neighbours behind us have horrendous evergreen trees (sorry but I like trees that are natural to this part of the world) and my bare branches are hard to see.

The only thing left on the tree are a few very brown and dried up helicopters!

Although I do prefer the time of year when the tree is in full bloom there is something very beautiful about these stark bare branches.

I always have a photographic assistant when I’m doing my tree photo, this morning it was the very handsome R.J. 🙂

So there we have it, a year in the life of my sycamore tree! Just look at the difference between April and May and between October and November!

Without a doubt my favourite month is May, May has always been my favourite month but just look at that tree, so green!!

What’s your favourite?

I’ll be watching the tree very closely over the coming weeks searching for signs of spring, can’t wait!!!

Well lovely people I have a craft fair this evening and I really shouldn’t be sitting here on the laptop! Thank you for all your good luck wishes and also thank you all so much for voting for my little bag, I don’t know the results yet but I do appreciate all the support you have given me!

Enjoy the rest of the week and have a wonderful weekend! 🙂