Friday, 29 November 2013

Getting Christmassy

This post was supposed to be about Christmas, but first I have some amazing news to share with you!

My brother has been very sick for several years now, he is getting better and I hope that by this time next year he will be pretty much well.  During all of his illnesses he has been studying for a University degree.  He called today to tell me that he has passed his latest exam and that means that he could now have his degree!!!  He won't graduate for a while yet as he is doing an honours degree so he still has more studying to do, but he has enough points or whatever it is he needed (I don't have a degree!) to have passed and to get his BSc.

I am so proud of him for this amazing achievement, that he has done it while he has been sick is even more amazing.  Our Mum is a sobbing mess, which my brother and I find hilarious of course!

So, after all the gloom lately, I just had to share this amazing news.  See, if you are thankful, good things happen!!

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Now, on to the rest of this post I have been getting Christmassy today!

It was the Christmas Preview for the volunteers at Basildon Park.  It is so lovely to see all of the Christmas decorations and trees and the beautiful flower arrangements done by the lovely Neil, our House Steward.  Great fun was had by all.








I will get some more photos next week to share with you in more detail.














Another thing that has got me in the Christmas spirit was sending off my ornament swap parcel, I hope that the recipient likes it!  Also I have sent off cards around the world with Christmas greetings.  A little early perhaps, but I wanted to get going!


The cake is being fed with brandy, Advent starts on Sunday so I have arranged the candles and looked out the little prayer service that we follow, somehow I have done all of my shopping, apart from a few bits for hubby.  So, although my November List is not looking too "done" I don't think that I'm too far behind the curve.  Oh, and the turkey is ordered as well!

We're getting there....

Amy

Basildon Park know that I exist because I volunteer with them, but that is all. I am just sharing this with you because Basildon Park is part of what I do and love

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is not a holiday that is celebrated in England (where I live now).  I guess people around the world think of Thanksgiving as an American holiday, if they are even aware of it.  I didn't realise until my bloggy friends mentioned Canadian Thanksgiving last month that this occasion was celebrated in Canada as well (much to my shame!).
 
What you might not know about me is that I used to celebrate Thanksgiving when I lived in America.  It has been a long time since I lived there, but I still have American tendencies (whatever that might mean!).

It was my favourite holiday, no shopping, no presents, just spending time with loved ones and remembering all that you have to be thankful for.  Of course there was also Pecan Pie and dare I say it canned jellied cranberry sauce (not sure if that is dreadful to say, it was quite a few years ago!!).

So, today, although I am not celebrating Thanksgiving with a turkey dinner I am thinking of all that I wish to give thanks for.  Here are just a few of the things.

I am thankful that I get to work at such a great place as Basildon Park.

I am thankful that I have a lovely garden.

I am thankful that I am able to craft and make things.

Most of all, this week especially, I am thankful for the support that I received from so many people.  The difficult day yesterday was difficult, but I felt so much better than I had on any of the previous difficult days, and that gave me great strength.  I think that it made the difficult day go better for the others involved as well, so I am thankful for that as well.  I am thankful that I know that the difficult days ahead will be easier because yesterday gave me the confidence to know that I can do it!

So, the things that I am most grateful for are the people around me, my family and friends, bloggy and non bloggy and for the love, help, support, guidance, advice and encouragement they give me, and I am grateful that I hope that I can repay that to all of those people too.

Thank you and I wish you a peaceful and wonderful day, whether you celebrate American, Canadian, or no Thanksgiving at all!

Amy

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

A little bit of a find

Every year our local RNLI fundraising group (no, I don't live anywhere near the sea!) has a sale in November with all sorts of treasures.  I usually come home with something.  One year it was this.




Look how BIG it is!!



This year's sale happened recently, and look at the lovely things that came home with me!

This is a three bottle travelling decanter set, the case is a little battle scarred, but that adds to it's charm.  Now, I have to say that I have never taken any alcohol travelling, but you never know, and it was so lovely!

 


I also found these coasters.  They are called Shattaline, and are from the 1960's.  They are made from a polyester resin.  The idea was that you used it to make things that were not "shattered", but if you didn't quite make it up properly you got the shattered effect.  Someone worked out how to get this effect and made all sorts of things and started producing the Shattaline range.



This little box just had to come home with me.


It is from the Royal Collection.



When I got home, I looked on the Royal Collection Shop website to see how something similar might cost.  I was amazed when found that these are currently being sold, at £35.00  I paid £5.00!!  That has to be a good buy, and my watch and other things will be safe in here.  (since I looked this up, the same box as mine has gone from the website, so you will have to take my word for it on the price!)

So, not a bad shopping trip and it all helps with the fundraising for the RNLI.

Amy

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

What a lot to catch up on!

Hello!  I'M BACK!!!  Sorry about the SHOUTING!!  And the exclaiming!!!

Thank you so very much for all of your wonderful and supportive comments on my last post.  They cheered and humbled me and I am so thankful for every one of them and for every one of my readers.  You are so kind.  Please all take a very big hug from me and give yourself a big pat on the back for being wonderful.

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Well, to bring you all up to date, I've had an icky cold and some other troubles, which seem to be easing a little now, so my mind is more at rest.  I have a difficult day coming up tomorrow, and then (I do so hope) freewheeling down to Christmas.  So fingers crossed after tomorrow I will be back to whatever the heck normal is. 

I don't feel that I can tell you any details of what is going on, but someone close to us is having some health issues which we are finding rather stressful to handle, and which we have to be involved in (hubby and I are fit and well - barring colds!).  Tomorrow is another hospital appointment with the person and hopefully once we know what is happening the way forward will be easier for a little while at least. 

This is what I have been struggling to talk to you about, and dealing with it has been getting me down.  So, if you can bear with the not knowing what or who or why I will share what I can as we go forward as I think that is the only way for me.  I can't pretend that all is well and shiny and rosy if it isn't I'm afraid, just not me, it feels as though I am lying to you.  I don't want to be a downer or share personal details either.  As I travel along we will find the way between us!  It is just as well that I am not a journalist, can you imagine telling a story with no details in the newspaper!!

Right, move on to cheerier pursuits.

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Crochet - I have made a change to the stitch I am using on my blanket.  Boy is it going faster!  I have upped from triple to double triple and I am using it as a border.



I also got sidetracked with some snowflakes.  If I can find time I think that I might make a snowflake garland, I can just picture it hanging up in my kitchen.


You know how sometimes yarn just sort of jumps into your hand and then before you know it you have bought it - I know it isn't just me, you have all admitted to it! - well, it happened to me.


I'm hoping to make a totally random blanket inspired by Gillian, using colours inspired by Marianne and Primroses and Petticoats whose colours were inspired by CK.  Of course I have a whole load of things stacked up ahead of getting to that, but getting some yarn is a start.

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You know that I have an addiction problem.  A china addiction.  I just love china and restrain myself as much as possible, but it is very hard!  I also love vintage items and inherited items.  These are some of the last of the things that my Dad rescued from his Mum's house earlier in the year and which I have just collected and bought home.





I especially love the greeny grey platter and the large white platter.  I am going to try and set up my advent candles on one or other of these, as I think that it will be beautiful in many ways.

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My November list has rather gone out of the window due to other things going on, but, I have made a new Christmas Wreath.  I made one quite a few years ago, but two years ago it was stolen from our front door, so last year we were "without wreath" for a while.  I bought one, but it was not what I wanted so, I have made this.

TA DA!!


The flowers are metal Christmas decorations and the gold leaves are actually wooden.


I'm very pleased with how it turned out, as I had a lot of glue gun strings going all over the place as well as slipping pine cones, but it turned out well in the end I think - I say as I shouldn't.  I just cut the glue strings off when they dried!  Don't know why I never thought of doing that before!!



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It was so frosty this morning, that I popped out and took some pictures, I love it when it is frosty and sunny at the same time!






Well, that is probably MORE than enough for one day to catch you up on.  Off to write a post for tomorrow now with some vintage finds to share with you!

Thank you again for all your support.  It is so greatly appreciated I cannot tell you.

Amy