Sunday, December 23, 2012

Friendship in a tin - the return!

Last year we kicked off a new tradition - Friendship in a Tin!  We filled a tin with homemade christmas goodies and gave it to our friends, who this year, as the 'tradition' demands, filled it up with their homemade delights and gave it back!!!
Thank you Sarah and family!
Yesterday evening I finished icing the christmas cakes. One for my friend Jane,

and one for us.

For Jane's cake I used a Delia Smith recipe, which has been in print and unchanged for over 28 years and "she makes no apologies for it".
But for ours, a ligher newer Delia Smith recipe, as Richard doesn't go a bundle on traditional christmas cake.
Today we lit the 4th advent candle, and tonight and tomorrow will be filled with finishing off christmas gift making - chocolate covered coconut balls, before spending Christmas eve, just the five of us.
Everyone has requested something special to eat:- Rémi - extra spicy guacamole, Tino - green olives and hummus, Richard - sushi, me - prawns and smoked salmon and Oban the doggie - Lamb dog biscuits (and anything else she can seek off the table when nobodies looking!!)

Christmas cards - another tradition still going strong!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Yarn Along - Silk stockings MiLady!

Nearly there, just enough time to finish these Taproot mittens for my father in law and all my christmas knitting will be done, just as well really as I have a million other things that need doing.
I've mentioned my f.i.l here before!  Papy Bob, as the kids call him, is quite a character!  And if he's told me once, he's told me a million times, that when he was younger his mother would  knit him mittens that she lined with silk stockings!!  So this year, I took, what I believe was a hint, and am making him a pair.

The lady in the haberdashery (closest thing we have to a yarn store for about 60 km) was doubled up laughing when I told her my silk stocking story and told me I'd be much better of using polar fleece.  Almost at the end of mitten one and I'm having my doubts about the fleece!  I think it may end up making them too tight, so I may just stick to Mémé Hélèlen's 'pantyhose' method after all.
Also just finished  a super quick lace cowl for my m.i.l, just need to block it and it'll be ready to wrap.
Throughly enjoying Lady Almina - And The Real Downton Abby, which chronicles the life of luxury that the Earl and Lady of Carnarvon enjoyed at Highclerc Castle - the setting for the fictional TV series Downton Abby- before the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.
At the start of the war many wealthy families, not only turned their homes and estates into hospitals for wounded soldiers, but they financed all the running costs.  Highclerc Castle was no exception, and Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon, proved to be an exceptional nurse and philanthropist.

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else has been making over at Ginny's Yarn Along today.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas crafting

Christmas crafting is in full swing here. With growing numbers of teachers, aunties, nieces boyfriends, hockey coaches etc in our lives, 'handmade' is not only the most fun way to make gifts but also the most frugal!
The 'honey lady' at the saturday market sold me some huge sheets of bees wax so we've been 'rolling our own' and cookie cutting candles, which smell fantastic, even before they are lit.

Last year I kept all the christmas cards we received, which was a lot.  This isn't a tradition that seems to be very popular in France, but 'back home' in the UK, it seems to be as popular as ever.  So this year I have been cutting them into rounds, punching holes around the edge and simply crocheting with fantasy yarn, through the holes.  These then double as gift tags, and as I have left a long loop on them, can also be used as christmas tree decorations. 

As usual the boys have made their Papy Tatoo (my father) their very own special card, this year it was a joint effort involving pop-up snow men.

Yesterday evening I planned on making play dough and felt trees, but the boys were having so much fun with the pink glittery cinnamon smelling dough that we didn't have time for anything else.  It was meant to be a deep christmassy red but despite using up a full tube of food colour it stayed pink.
CHC - Chamonix Hockey Club
I'm having a bit of trouble with 'red' at the moment.  I went to the 'bonbon' shop in town on wednesday in search of  red and white peppermint sweets to make peppermint bark but came away with this mix of colour, which the salesperson informed me, included peppermint.  Smells very strongly of clove to me.  Never mind I'm sure they will do just fine.
So this weekend, somewhere in between ice-hockey practice and ice hockey matches, I'm going to be taking inspiration from passengers on a little spaceship, and cutting and snipping and glueing to my hearts content,
and making a few more mince pies as these ones got eaten up very quickly indeed!

Oh, and knitting off course!!
Cowl for m.i.l christmas present.
Almost forgot - linking up with Linda for Creative Friday.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Yarn Along - A Giraffe of Many Colours

Still haven't managed to cast-on my next Shalom, it's starting to be a race against time to get my christmas knitting finished as some of it needs to be sent overseas.  I will start my seasonal knitting earlier next year, I will!!
I knit up this little fella from a mamma4earth pattern aka Linda - Natural Suburbia.  What is great about Linda's patterns is that they are knitted almost in one piece, which means less sewing at the end, I'm trying so hard to like sewing but ...
Now all that's left to do are his spots, tail, mane and those two cute little horn things that giraffes have on their heads.  Can't quite decide what colour?  should I use all three, for the spots that is?  It's for a little girl.

Staying with christmas knitting for a moment, I can now share with you what I made for my Secret Santa partner as I know that she has received it.
To see what I got go here.

And I finished my hat just in time for the snow, which hasn't stopped falling for the past two days, much to kids and dogs delight.

Still reading 'The Year of Living Biblically'.  I'm nearing the end and will soon be digging into my bag of book club books where I know The Hunger Games is waiting, despite what many of you commented last week, I'm still not tempted!!
tuesday morning school run!
Linking up for Yarn Along with Ginny today.