Archive for ‘Christmas’

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Homemade Gifts – Crayon Rolls

Just finished two ‘crayon rolls’ for my nephews – pencil crayons for the older one (5) and wax crayons for the younger one (2).  I used the tutorial at

Monday, December 22, 2008



Saturday, November 29, 2008

Secret Santa

Today I received my livejournal secret santa gift (from the buy/sell/trade community thriftstoreuk where a secret santa is held every year). I absolutely love the ‘random little things’ nature of these packages :)

And yes, I do know it’s November ;) My package arrived looking like it had been used as a football by the posties, and I had to check everything was okay. Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it ;)

Mine contained some gorgeous purple/silver fabric, a bar of Lush soap (i looove Lush!), gorgeous glass beads, lots of assorted teas that I’m looking forward to trying (does my SS know I’m just starting to explore the world of tea?? :D ) and about a bazillion tiny origami stars. Which I absolutely adore. I found this little glass for them, but honestly? they’re wonderful fun just to ‘fiddle’ with.

Thank you Santa! :)


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Retro Sweeties

Christmas prep has started in earnest for me. I’m currently working on a set of fabric baubles for my mum (I’ll show these once they’re done), a secret santa parcel (tea-themed), and, today, a retro sweetie box for my brother:


It’s tied with rough string and has a computer-printed tag, but I’ll be wrapping it again to go under the tree!

It contains:
Refreshers chew bars, Fruit Salad chew bar, Blackjacks, Fruit Salad chews. Fudge bar, Chomp bar, Candy Cigarettes, Chupa Chup lollies, ‘Double’ lollies (sherberty type ones), Drumstick lollies, Sherbert Fountain, Double Dip sherbert, Refreshers, Dip Dab sherbert, Jelly Tots, Cola Frosties, Tooty Frooties, Panda Licorice bars, Milkybars and Love Hearts. Enough sugar to give an adult palpitations ;)

Unfortunatly even I struggle with gifts for my brother, so I do sometimes get him a gift voucher (I hate giving vouchers!). At least if I do that this year I can pop it inside the wrapping of this so he still has something to unwrap, and won’t know in advance its a voucher. I am still trying to think of a proper present for him though!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Time for a bit of an update.

Well, the big thing is of course work. I had some uncertaintly for a couple of weeks because my boss didn’t think she’d be able to keep me due to budgeting constraints. Fortunatly, I made an impression, and gave them the impression I was working my socks off (when in fact this job is 10 times less stressful and hard work than the previous bank job), and got on really well with everyone. Me and K, one of the members of the team, have made friends – we have similar interests in music and crafts etc and get on really well. And basically today my boss went and begged next-boss-up to let me stay. It worked and I’m employed hopefully for a good few months now. They’re hoping to take me on directly, rather than through the agency, and keep me on til the end of someone’s maternity leave – possibly up to a year – but that does depend on budgeting and hiring ‘rules’ within the council which say they have to advertise jobs. So… we shall see.

One of the outcomes of this is that I’ll likely be going ‘home’ for Christmas. For the first time in 4 years. I’m both really excited and somewhat .. not… because we don’t have the big family ‘do’ I’ve become accustomed to up here with Chris’ family (and honestly, I know I’m really, really going to miss him). On the other hand I have yet to meet nephew #2, and I’m really looking forward to it. I think I’ll also enjoy helping out with Christmas dinner properly for the first time (I don’t know, maybe even making the majority apart from the meat?), helping mum decorate her tree, etc. I’m debating whether or not to request a visit to a carol evening… I don’t believe in God and haven’t been to church since I was a child, but I still find the carols beautiful.

As you can probably tell from the Christmas musings.. yes I’m excited.. and yes I’ve started preparing ;) I’m trying as much as possible this year to make myself, buy handmade or at least from small shops, and bypass the consumerist frenzy. I’m also planning on making my mum a set of fabric baubles, getting her some white lights… and maybe sorting her out that white and silver decorated tree she’s been talking about for years ;)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Handmade Christmas Bauble #1

Just a quickie picture post – my first bauble following these instructions: here.

I’m hoping to make a set of 6 in pale blue/silver/white tones for my mum (I have some lovely white/silver christmas tree printed fabric ordered), and some more for myself!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Christmas passed by quietly and happily this year. In some ways it feels like a let down… all that planning and preparation… but it was a lovely day. All the presents I gave were well received, Chris definitely ‘squeeing’ over his Alien 9 disc collectors edition (what have I let myself in for?!).

We opened our stockings in bed – small gifts, chocolates etc. I love to do these just for the tradition side of it rather than the actual gifts, and it means giving those small gifts and sweeties where they won’t be swamped by the bigger things (in Chris’ case, lots of Reeses peanut butter cups and fizzy cola bottles – his favourites – and for me jelly beans :D ) .  After that we moved downstairs to open our gifts under the tree. Now, me and Chris usually have a limit of around £30-40 for each other. For the last week or so he’s been saying ‘oh god I hope you haven’t spent too much’ ‘my presents aren’t that good :( ‘ etc etc… which of course didn’t bother me in the slightest, I just like buying gifts for people :) …  and well, he surprised me :) After we’d opened everything, he said ‘oh, I think santa forgot to put something under the tree!’ and disappeared in the other room to emerge with a large box. It turned out to be … a 22″ widescreen flat panel monitor for my computer! It was such a surprise, and of course Chris got a good telling off for spending so much on me! I got far too many other gifts – a gorgeous hamper of goodies from C’s mum, a lovely soft wool throw and a manfrotto tripod head from my mum, a giftcard from my sister (which I’ve yet to find the value of but I might put it towards some Doc Martens or similar). I’ve been incredibly spoilt this year!

We spent the day with his relatives, 9 of us in total. A lovely meal with extra vegetarian goodies for us awkward ones, and then an afternoon of games and a lot of laughter. We finally dragged ourselves away around 9pm.

Hope everyone had as good a time! :)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Well, to change the mood from previous rant (sometimes, you just gotta vent…) time for some Christmassy stuff! Yay!

… Some showing off of my awesome wrapping skillz ;)

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The ‘Italian’ theme hamper I made for my sister and hubby (they recently bought a run-down place to do up for holidays in Italy) – unwrapped and wrapped, containing lots of Italian foodie goodies.

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‘Chocoholics’ Hamper for Chris’ grandma …

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And a couple of random ones – the necklace I got for Chris’ mum (from a lovely little shop in town that sells (actually) handmade jewelery, accessories etc for good prices – out of focus as I took it without flash to preserve the colour) – and the (wrapped) ‘hanging basket’ kit I made up for her. I forgot to take an ‘unwrapped’ photo but it’s a hanging basket filled with seeds, pots, gardening gloves and trowel.

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And with that it’s off to enjoy Christmas eve – with a nice easy dinner (homemade oven chips and brushetta), followed by Christmas Cake (yay!) and some drinks :)

Friday, December 21, 2007

 I’ll return to your normal scheduled programming (some photos of Christmas things :) later on, but first, a little rant…

As I’ve mentioned before, I work in a bank. When I got the job I (foolishly) thought ‘YAY! no Christmas Retail Hell!’.

… Wrong.

Ok, so there isn’t the horrendous long hours, late nights, bank holidays and never ending work (ie Jessops plan last year of making us put the sale out. on Christmas eve. After we shut at 6pm).  But it’s still pretty dreadful.

This week has been pretty much hell on earth, incredibly busy. The counter (where I work) hasn’t had no queue the entire week. I sit down at 9, and serve one customer after another without a second’s break til lunch, and exactly the same afterwards. It’s thoroughly soul destroying, and while not being ‘tiring’ in the classical sense, its mentally very hard work. At the end of the day, on top of the usual close-down prodedures, we have to work through the mountain of paperwork thats built up, bag coin, bundle notes and everything else we would normally fit in between customers. Because customers turn into raging beasts if you try to, say, empty your overflowing till on *their* time.

I think most Christmas shoppers have lost the idea of Christmas – Season of Goodwill and all that? Almost everyone is grumpy, tired, snappy and/or just bluntly rude. Here’s a hint, people: Don’t leave all your Christmas shopping to the last week. Don’t be surprised that everyone else has done the same thing. Don’t get yourself into debt just so little Johnny can have hundreds of pounds worth of crap he doesn’t need.

Also, I appreciate that we have far fewer counters now, and thats helping cause queues.. but really…

…You can check your bloody balance at the ATM. You can withdraw £20 at the atm (little old ladies apart, most 20-somethings aren’t that scared of technology). You can come in sometime OTHER than 4pm on a friday to exchange your £100 worth of shrapnel. You can think ahead that we might need some form of ID for a £5000 withdrawal. You can not be a goddamn asshole about the fact that we’ve completely and utterly run out of £5 notes (tutting, sighing and muttering that the coin you’ve had instead will ‘break your back’ won’t make some magically appear).

On the other hand, everyone who was polite, cheery, friendly, smiled and said ‘no problem’ when we apologise for queue, (genuinely) wished us a happy Christmas, brought sweeties… you all make the day bearable :)

Friday, December 7, 2007

Just got a christmas card from kethry through the post – beautiful hand made card along with a gorgeous wooden decoration for the tree (a kind of silouette cutout of candles). Thank you keth!

Today is a day off work for me – I originally booked from today through next week as holiday as my mum was coming up for Lincoln Christmas Market, unfortunatly she can’t make it up here, but I’ll be going down to Brighton/Shoreham as planned on Monday. I don’t really want to waste the day so as before I’m going to do a ‘to-do’ list – it really helps me focus and get things done.


  • Driving Lesson
  • Washing machine on (#1 – bed sheet / long sleeved tops)
  • Hang washing up #1
  • Washing on (#2 – work trousers / general clothes) (postponed, nowhere to dry the stuff!
  • Tidy up bedroom (have a large basket bought for a hamper I won’t be using after all – might work for storing bedlinen?)
  • Tidy up PC/craft/spare room
  • Fold and put away clothes (from several days ago!)
  • Look through kitchen cupboards, see what I can make for dinners.
  • Make a batch of chilli (for freezer + lunch)
  • Make gift tags (important!) and cards.