Thursday, 31 December 2015

As 2015 ends ....

I feel reflective on this last day of the year ...

This morning, we had a most beautiful sunrise in our Shire - the type that beings warm light flooding in to our home.

The brilliant light filled me with thankfulness for another year of blessings received.

This past year, Ms M & I had a wonderful time in India revisiting her childhood spent there but our last few days were tempered with the thoughts that Olive, our 91 year old mother-in-law had fallen & we had a sense of foreboding that at her age this was never good.

After a difficult few months, we took leave of Olive - the end of an era; the sense that things have changed in the family dynamics & we were now the top of the tree, responsible for keeping everyone together & keeping the family stories alive - sobering indeed.

Social media is a great divider - some really loathe & fear it, but for those of us with family spread far & wide, we embrace the contact it offers & the opportunities to keep in contact with family last seen decades ago. It has given me the privilege to peek in on lives of those who are far away. It is so interesting to see how life has treated people,  how well they have turned out & to celebrate (& marvel) at their talents & their lovely families - that is social media at its best - contact with each other is so much easier.

Distance becomes less important - a sense of pride prevails that you share genes with some amazing people.

However,  life comes with sadness & from a distance, have witnessed those who have lost their lives to cancer - a cousin earlier this year, and another two I grew up with, one who is now fighting the last fight, and the other who is very ill indeed too ...

It makes one more appreciative of the fragility of life so my thoughts at the end of 2015 is to embrace life everyone - nothing is guaranteed, nothing is promised. Go to bed thankful at night for blessings received & wake ready to embrace the new day, whatever it brings with it. Our day is ending with a huge rainstorm in the Shire but nothing like northern England with some terrible floods ...

Thank you for your company & comments, be blessed as this old year ends,
Dee ~♥~

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Christmas greetings 2015

Hi everyone

Sending my sincere thanks for your kind comments & visits;  best wishes from my home to yours at Christmas time.

Special thoughts for those who are with us in spirit only. I hope your Christmas is a blessed family time - keep it real & stress free,
Dee ~♥~

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Festive baking with the Godsons

Hi everyone

How quickly is Christmas coming?

I have a tradition of baking with my Godsons & these are some of our previous efforts

christmas-biscuits-baking-with-lads 2013

time-for-some-festive-baking 2014

This year, we decided to use a recipe used by A Wondering Star daughter for her Godsons two years ago.

This chocolate gingerbread is perfect for filling up their bowls & is easy enough for little hands to easily bake with.

Choc chips were all sold out locally so I bought good chocolate & cut it up in to small pieces ....

Traditional cutters which look very pretty

I wonder what a collection of gingerbread men might be called? Is there a collective noun for them? I wonder if a 'temptation of gingerbread men' might be suitable :)

This dough is lovely to work with, good enough for little hands to use too .... I wonder what a collection of gingerbread men might be called? Is there a collective noun for them? I wonder if a 'temptation of gingerbread men' might be suitable :)

Trays of freshly baked gingerbread, ready for decorating .... 

Littlest Godson enjoying the icing process

Oh yes, that looks very Christmasy ...

Lovely baking ...

Boxed & wrapped up beautifully to take home

Perfectly delicious chocolate gingerbread Christmas biscuits that are beautifully decorated - our baking tradition continued & some lovely time spent with my friend Ellie & her lovely sons, my precious Godsons.

Which traditions do you follow at Christmas? Do you have some that you enjoy? Thanks for stopping by at this busy time,
Dee ~♥~

Monday, 21 December 2015

My door is ready with a gift from the heart

Hi everyone

Amid the hecticness of the festive season, it is always good to have some things that are constant. One such thing is the gift of a lovely door wreath made every year for me by the mother of one of my students.  She makes them to sell at this time of the year & always has a special one ready for me on my last tutoring lesson.

This is some of the other ones made for me

a-gift-from-heart 2012

christmas-decorations-at-home 2013

it-is-looking-more-festive-at-home 2014

This year, I am once again blessed with a beautiful gift from the heart - always so welcome, always such a lovely thought to have something made especially for my home.

My door is now dressed & ready for Christmas - I hope you are ready too. Thanks for stopping by,
Dee ~♥~

Sunday, 20 December 2015

The fourth Advent Sunday

The last Advent Sunday has arrived which means that Christmas is very near.

These were the first three:




As we light the last of our 4 Advent candles, it is a time of anticipation & excitement for the festive season.

With Christmas close by, we remember the meaning of Christmas & celebrate the angels who feature in the scriptures at Christmas time.

I will pause & think specifically of those not with us at this time, especially my Mother who had her birthday on Christmas Day; however, we will be thankful for those who are still with us.

Be blessed on this last Advent Sunday before Christmas.

Dee ~♥~

Sunday, 13 December 2015

The third Sunday of Advent …

How quickly the time passes - the third Sunday of Advent reminds me that there is just one more Advent Sunday before Christmas.

This was the First Sunday of Advent  is spiritual for me

The Second Sunday of Advent focused on peace & hope

This Third Sunday of Advent is known as Gaudete Sunday or 'Joyful spirit / time'. For us it will be about extended family & friends meeting before Christmas as we can't all be together.

The traditional colour for this Sunday is a 'rose' coloured candle so that is the colour of candles we will have too.

We are having a full house with our daughters, their partners & extended family to stay for the weekend, along with the two dogs - a very welcome family weekend.

A family meal cooked by A Wondering Star daughter & her partner while we catch up with each others news.

What could be nicer on this Third Advent Sunday than joyful times together with a freshly baked Victoria Sponge on the sideboard for tea & a lovely meal cooked by the family?

I hope your Sunday will be blessed too, thank you for stopping by at this busy time …

 Dee ~♥~

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Mini Christmas tree decorations ….

Hi everyone

I am sure you are as busy as I am so thank you for making time to stop by. Have you been browsing online for inspiration while you decorate your home? I have seen so many stunning blogs & homes that just fill me with awe at the effort put in to make it all beautiful for the festive season.

I admit to tinkering with my decorations & this year I have seen a lot of tiny bottlebrush / miniature Christmas trees in images but finding them has proved to be a lot harder. You know the sort I mean - the ones that were everywhere once upon a time.

I had to revert to the internet to find some but after several packages arrived, I think I managed to get a reasonable selection from various sources ….

How to display them? I remembered my vintage weaving spools which seemed to look just right. So the sideboard has had some changes again ….

 A vintage Santa amongst the trees ….

I rather like it …

Hi Santa …

Spode Christmas tree plates ….

So my tinkering with the sideboard has evolved to  this one ….

What do you think? Do you tinker with your decorations? Are you swayed by trends you see?

Have a lovely weekend & thanks for stopping by,
Dee ~♥~

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Blessings on the second Sunday of Advent ...

Hi everyone

The first Advent Sunday has come & gone & I am sending good wishes on this second Sunday of Advent. The second Sunday is traditionally about 'The candle of Peace & 'hope.'

My collection of Ethiopian crosses next to our Christmas Tree perfectly represent the spiritual & commercial conflict of the season - it is up to us to find the balance between the two.

On the second Sunday, we reflect on peace & hope. Random acts of kindness help to make the world a better place - take time to help or make a difference to those in your immediate circle & hopefully it will have a ripple effect - visit someone who is lonely, phone a friend, do a good deed where it is needed - give something more precious than money - your time!!

May your second Advent Sunday be full of blessings,
Dee ~♥~

Saturday, 5 December 2015

The Christmas sideboard is ready ….

Hi everyone - I hope your week is going well & your Christmas plans are going to plan ….

Time to get our sideboard ready for Christmas - it always takes ages to locate the things I want.

We gifted this plate to Olive, my late Mother in law many years ago & it has come back to me - the 3 girls represented her 3 granddaughters & she loved using it at Christmas.

I love my eclectic collection of festive crockery - much of it gifts that remind me of the givers.

These Spode Christmas Tree plates & dishes are so classic & understated. This year I have teamed them  up with some traditional little Christmas trees which were actually quite difficult to find some.

I have also used my small collection Emma Bridgewater Christmas  mince pie plates & mug - they are perfect for offering mince pies to visitors on.

My vintage cranberry glass adds a lovely deep colour to the top shelf;  our special Venetian glass decanter & glasses are always out for Christmas.

Greenery softens the top of the sideboard, along with some wooden houses. I love battery led lights as they are safe to use on shelves so they are tucked in to the glasswares.  Some tartan / plaid cloths & stockings add the finishing touches.

All of the things on the sideboard will be used over the festive season as they are accessible - a wonderful reminder of gifts & people who gifted them.

I hope your festive plans are going to plan too. Do you plan ahead or do you find time runs out for the plans? What are your colours this year?

Thanks for stopping by & taking the time to read & leave a comment.
Dee ~♥~

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Bringing some colour in to the Winter darkness …

Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by.  Are you finding our dark nights have crept up on us rather quickly? I find the short days & long nights reset my body clock to 'hibernate' so I use lots of candles & led lights about the house to make it feel more cosy.

Because our kitchen is a calming country cream, it lends itself to change & colour. I have been rounding up some of my coloured glass to display them in the kitchen window where the light brings out their colour, and truth be told, they are too pretty to stay hidden too when colour is needed in Winter.

A stray strand of berry lights makes it glow with warmth at night too ...

As darkness sets in, the effect is rather stunning - perfect colour for dark, grey days! Go on - grab some of your pretty bits (or find some at thrift / charity shops) and add a string of lights for instant colour.

Colour me pretty 

I hope your day is as lovely as this - Thank you for stopping by,
Dee ~♥~

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Hello December, hello Winter …

Hello  December

Is it me or has December arrived rather suddenly? It seems to have galloped in before I am ready for it & I am left wondering where this year has gone.

But arrived it has so … welcome December!

It is also the start of our meteorological Winter so, hello darkness too. I have brought some welcome colour & light in with coloured glass & lights but more about that in another post soon  …

Our fabric Advent calendars are filled with favourite chocolates & hung up ready for a daily chocolate fix in the lead up to Christmas day ….

Welcome December - I hope you are ready for Winter too. Thank you for stopping by & for taking the time to comment,
Dee ~♥~