Friday, 31 December 2010

Goodbye 2010, Hello 2011

Well, it's time once again to say goodbye to the old year and hello to the new.  I don't know about you, but this year's certainly gone incredibly quickly for me. 


One of things I'm happy to say goodbye to this year:

Colds - 10 in all this year (possibly a record!), can't wait to leave them behind as they always knock me flat(hope hope hope)

The biggest thing I'm thankful for this year is all of YOU.  I've made some great friends through our blogs and I can't thank you all enough for your lovely comments and wonderful friendships, I only wish we lived near enough to spend time together too.


I don't really make resolutions, but instead, like many fellow bloggers, I've done a "to do" list for 2011 and it'll be posted as a new page ("To Do 2011") which I can update as I (hopefully) complete things or add new things to it; so please do have a look at it.

I wish all of you a truly magical New Year's Eve and every good wish, hope and peace for 2011.
Happy New Year lovelies xx

Christmas Day

Christmas eve and Christmas day were exhausting, so much so that by Boxing day I was in bed very sick & haven't been good since, so it'll be a quiet night in for us tonight.

However, our 9 Christmas guests all said they had a great day, which was the main thing and made all the hard work worth it.  We had turkey, ham, roast & mashed potatoes, lots of veg, pigs in blankets, we completely forgot the stuffing & left it in the switched-off oven (doh).  Somehow we managed to get 11 of us round our dining table (some kind of miracle).

basting...



You can just see me on the left - still got my pinny on! 

I got some fab pressies; Hubby got me a great glass cake stand/dome


Peanuts collection on dvd


Sherlock

Molly Ringwald's fab book (almost finished already)


Kill Bill volumes 1 & 2 soundtracks on vinyl (yay) and notebooks (I'm always making lists). Mum & Dad got me this fab glittery cupcake garland from Serendipitys


and lots more.  Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. x

Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas treats

Yesterday was my mother-in-law's birthday and we always go out for a meal somewhere.  It's always a lovely pre-Christmas treat.  This year we went to The Forest Rock in Whitwick.  It looked very beautiful with the snow all round...



view from the back
 The interior is stylish without being over the top, the service was excellent, and the food was delicious, sort of gastro-pub but without the price tag.  We all had a fantastic time and I would definitely recommend the restaurant.

I also made chocolate truffles yesterday, simple yet delicious and always welcomed.  The recipe (such as it is) is on my Recipe page.




Today I've been making the dessert for Christmas dinner - vanilla cupcakes with chocolate buttercream & snowflake sprinkles.  I chose cupcakes so that way if some people are too full to have pudding they can take it home with them :)



I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas Day whatever you're doing. x

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Christmas crafting

Happy Christmas Eve Eve (& Happy Birthday mother-in-law) :)

I've spent the last couple of days fighting this horrid cold (and very slowly winning) and doing some Christmas crafting.

Yesterday was wrapping day.  I put on Olive the Other Reindeer, followed by Love Actually whilst wrapping everyone's pressies.  It took over 4 hours in all which was longer than I thought, but so much fun, and I hope that everyone will enjoy opening them on Saturday.

Anyway, the crafting!

On my last visit to Hong Kong way back in 1998 (gosh, soooo long ago) I bought a metre of each of 7 different oriental silks...

   

I've never known what to use them for but I finally decided to make a start.  I made a couple of brooches...



sadly the photos don't really do them justice, they're prettier and richer than the photos.  And also a silk yo yo which may be for the hair, like a fascinator, (or a brooch) haven't decided yet...


I've also made lots of earrings with those wonderful bingo pieces and 'berry' beads from the wonderful Vintagescrapshop on etsy (along with some cloissonne ones I already had).



I'm really pleased with them.  Have you made any pressies? x

Monday, 20 December 2010

Cold

Thanks for all your lovely comments over the weekend, they've really buoyed me as I have succumbed to yet ANOTHER cold (10 in 12 months)!!! I've spent the last couple days in bed very achey, coughing like a trouper & today I can't breathe, so not much to share sadly.  Still, I'm hopeful I'll be all ok in a couple days as we've got 11 to cook for on Christmas day (yikes).

Anyhoo, FINALLY got to see Harry Potter on Saturday - soooooo good!  Didn't want it to end, and now can't wait for July.  I even shed a couple of tears at one point - if you know the books & have seen the film I think you'll know which bit I mean near the end of the film.

The UK is still in the grip of a bad cold snap & most airports are shut, roads closed, trains cancelled, basically the countries have come to a standstill - yet here in Leicestershire we have nothing but a frost & a tiny amount of snow from Thursday which froze, we're in a 'bowl' so we tend to miss the worst.  Still, I'd love it to snow later in the week for Christmas day - can't remember the last proper white Christmas here.


Been keeping myself (kindof) busy today playing Lego Harry Potter on the Wii & using the glue gun for hair clips.

Hope you're all keeping well & cold-free.  Fingers crossed I'll be back to what-passes-for-normal in a day or two ;) x

Friday, 17 December 2010

Yo Yo's

Well, what a week! Phew!  Still, I'm now finished for Christmas (work-wise) and hopefully next week the crafting and cooking can start in earnest.

On Tuesday we went off to see Belle and Sebastian, only to find once we got there that the concert had been cancelled due to illness. Man was I disappointed, still, couldn't be helped and they did apologise.  We're just hoping they'll be able to re-schedule as they've got a World Tour coming up next year.

Work was mad all week as it was my last week, and we had our departmental Christmas lunch yesterday.  The food was great, I had tomato & basil soup, turkey etc, and pistaschio cheesecake; sadly the service was atrocious.  Not the fault of the servers, just management not realising that having at least 3 parties in addition to the usual lunch rush they needed more servers!  Still, we all had a laugh.  Do you have a Christmas meal/party with your colleauges?

Anyhoo, as the title suggests, I've also been busy making fabric Yo Yos this week, and making them into hair clips and brooches...

... hair clips, I think the first one is rather oriental (?)



and brooches (great for using old/vintage buttons)



and one that isn't a yo yo!


Yo Yos are so much fun and so easy to make:

Using a homemade card template cut out a circle of fabric twice the size that you want the finished Yo Yo to be.  With the fabric's wrong side facing you turn up about an inch of the fabric then turn under about a centimetre at the edge.  Using a complimentary thread, start a running stitch at the top of the centimetre turned edge.  Stitch round the circle, turning in as you go, end with the thread coming through on the inside and gently pull to pucker the Yo Yo and arrange as you like, knotting the thread when you're happy with the tension.  Iron your Yo Yo on the back and hey presto, you've made a Yo Yo :)

Over the weekend we've got family to visit, hopefully going to see Harry Potter, and lots more to do.  Hope you all have a fab weekend. x

10% off at FunkyHoney.co.uk

Back in my post "Christmas Gift Ideas" I included some fabulous Matryoshka sewing kits, tape measures and some super cute Owl tape measures from Funkyhoney.co.uk, and many more amazing gifts. 


Well, Kim at Funkyhoney read my post and has been very generous in offering us all 10% off all products until 30/01/11.  All you need to do is type in FUNKYLAVENDER at their checkout before 30/01/11 to receive the 10% off.

Thanks so much Kim, Happy Christmas!  And I don't know about you ladies, but I'm off to spend some money! x

Monday, 13 December 2010

Lissie and The Pierces

On Saturday I went with my good friend to see Lissie.  We'd seen her at Summer Sundae (and I posted about that weekend way back when I started my blog in August) and she was great live.


Sadly I don't have any photos for you as my phone camera does not like dark, spotlit spaces!  It was quite a small venue at the University and has a curfew so it's all finished by 10pm (which I like) and the age of the concert-goers varied from 18 to 65 (with a couple of kids thrown in)!

Her support act were The Pierces, I'd not heard of them before but had checked out some of their music before we went.  Catherine and Allison are sisters from Alabama and I'd say their music is kind of rocky folk (perhaps???).  Either way, they looked beautiful - very ethereal, had a great band and sounded fantastic during their half hour set.

I think it always says something about singers when they sound better live - well, both The Pierces and Lissie sound amazing live.

Lissie came on to huge applause and she rocked!  She did an hour set and was fantastic, even coming back for a 2-song encore (they don't always).   I highly recommend you check out her music.

I love it when artists talk to their audience and both acts did that, explaining a bit about their songs, introducing their bands, giving us some background info on themselves and even thanking us for cheering them (Lissie) up after a previously-crappy day!

It was a fantastic evening, and tomorrow I'm off to see Belle and Sebastian with Hubby, what a lucky girl!  Hope you all had a fab weekend. x

Florida Keys - part 2

After a couple hours drive we got to Key West - boy was it hot that day!

We had a great time wandering round the town and visiting Hemmingway's House (and his 6-toed cats), the Southernmost Point and having a fantastic lunch on the boardwalk...

... we had only just started our day in Key West when we were lucky enough to see a Manatee in the harbour (having only seen them in captivity before)


This cool building which used to be a cinema is now a Walgreens, but thankfully they've kept the cool of the building


Hemmingway's House was very interesting & we had a docent who was knowledgable and quite funny too


Hemmingway's second wife removed all the ceiling fans to accommodate her chandeliers - boy is it hot in there (even with the fans they've put in)


very cool floor tiles in the bathroom


the lighthouse opposite the house - how Hemmingway found his way home from the bars apparently


his pool was soooo inviting


one of the many 6-toed cats


His office

We also went to the Southernmost Point (everyone does apparently)


For lunch we went to Turtle Kraals, it was AMAZING...


... deliciously sweet and salty margaritas


and a couple of incredible sandwiches - pulled bbq chicken for me, and pulled brisket (marinated & very slowly cooked on the premises) for Hubby, with a whole tray of BBQ sauces to choose from


It was a great day in Key West, and heartily recommended.

We also had some lovely food nearer to Islamorada, at Wahoo's...

this was Mahi tortillas with mango, avocado and pineapple - YUM


and a Wahoo Sunrise (Run, mango slush and strawberry purree - sooooo good)


We also went to World Wide Sportsman behind which is an great restaurant where you can eat whilst watching the sun go down...








Great food too!

We also went to a couple of thrift stores & second-hand stores, Hubby found some vinyl at the Sally Army store, and the second0hand store Pink Junktique was fantastic, though sadly everything we wanted would have been impossible to get home (again, well worth a visit).


Well, that pretty much rounds up our Florida trip - with lots of relaxing thrown in too! x