With a shed load of Christmas craft markets coming up, I could do with some little elf helpers! As the house fills with Christmas goodies I am already feeling festive…just hope it doesn’t wear off before Christmas! All available to buy or to order in my Christmas shop.
Of course you can come along to one of my Christmas stalls – Friday 21st Nov Yatton Keynell Village Hall (2pm to 4pm), Saturday 29th Nov King Edward’s School, Bath and Saturday 6th Dec Bath Central Library.
This year you could be wearing a Deerey Me creation…brooches and earrings!
Of course you can dress your Christmas tree too!
…and don’t forget Christmas cards!
Last but not least, it was my mum’s 80th birthday last week…she got a round of applause and and a birthday cupcake at the Pump Room on the day and then a family get together at the weekend. Happy birthday (again) Mum!
First things first…or no…actually before that…I must apologise for the lack of attention I have given my Deerey Me website. Such a busy time, I confess I have been favouring the speed and ease of my Deerey Me Facebook page, which has had more than a hint of Christmas party about it. I have all sorts of plans for the new year, including lavishing more attention here.
So back to ‘first things’…I drew the winners of my calendar giveaway. First (Aaron) and second (Emma) who commented over on Facebook, but I was delighted that the third name drawn was lovely Caitlin, who commented here. A Sue Deere Photos calendar will be winging its way to all three very shortly.
Most years our house is full of gingerbread houses and yule logs waiting to be collected by friends and family but this year my only request for a gingerbread house was received too late for me to have time to make. In fact my only gingerbread house was a handbag for the WI Christmas Fair…
I did have my usual Christmas cake gifts to make and decided to use the spherical bun tin I treated myself to a few years back to make mini fruit cake spheres that I turned in to little fat robins…of course!
My mum is not meant to have marzipan or icing, so her cake just has a hint of edible gold spray and some gold plastic reindeer.
I have a little more baking to do before Wednesday and last night was our Christmas street party – a great regular event. One of our neighbours has even put an extra shed in his front garden, which he has converted in to a bar…and this year there was homebew on tap too! We gather around a brazier (not to be confused with brassiere!) and sing carols, drink mulled wine and eat nibbles (the mini meat pies were particularly awesome…). My contribution was these melting snowmen cookies I saw on Pinterest.
You can use any sort of biscuit/cookie (even shop-bought), spread a dollop of white glace or royal icing and – before the icing dries – pop marshmallows on a greased piece of baking parchment on a microwave-safe plate and zap for no more than 20 seconds (just long enough that they start to puff up). Oil your fingers and squish a melting marshmallow on each biscuit. When cool and dried pipe on arms and faces. Another time I would use larger biscuits and add fondant scarves. I bought rolos and giant choc button to make hats, but again the biscuits were too small…ah well, we will just have to eat the chocolate.
Talking of chocolate, I made some hot chocolate spoons as little extra Christmas gifts. I bought a big pack of wooden teaspoons and filled them with milk and white chocolate and added Christmas sprinkles and edible glitter; when stirred in to a mug of hot milk they will make yummy hot chocolate.
I was worried that this year, with all the Christmas sewing starting in late Summer, I might be fed up with Christmas before it got anywhere near. However, I am delighted to announce that I was still very happy to decorate the house this week. We have so many Christmas decorations…
…but there’s always room for a few new home made lavender cats!
Actually, I made so many lavender cats and other lavender bags, I ran out of lavender and had to move on to cloves and cinnamon.
With all the Wintery preparations for Christmas…
…it was rather nice taking a moment out to look forward to the new year and Spring with a get well card…
I intend to be back here before Christmas, but just in case I get buried in icing sugar and shortbread (what a way to go!), I will take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy Christmas and/or Winter break.
My business sewing is pretty much finished for the year and now I feel I can take a breath, finish off a few Christmas gifts and get on with a bit of Christmas baking. A few of my Christmas presents may actually miss Christmas, but should reach their recipients early in the New Year. I have made some Christmas and floral Dalek pincushions as gifts but have a few more things to finish.
For us it’s just not Christmas without a trip to the American Museum at Claverton. It’s decorated for the season and this weekend there is also a craft fair and a sale of Christmas decorations.
Mark and I bought each other a Christmas decoration, although my choice may well stay out all year long. This beautiful glass toadstool is about 10cm tall, and very elegant.
Mark chose something more seasonal…
Mind you I am already excited about next year’s makes. I am waiting for an order of red velvet for some little red riding hood themed items to start my fairy tales range, and some tin boxes in which to make miniature fabric scenes for Spring and Valentines Day, and this strange parcel arrived from Plush Addicts…
I am very excited about using the chalk cloth (in the tube) to make storage boxes with labels you can write on and bunting where you can change the message at whim.
First things first…with the New Year looming I thought somebody might like a free calendar. I love taking photos and these calendars (one wall calendar and two desk calendars) are my chance to sift through the hundreds of photos to pick out some favourites. If you would like one, just add a comment here or on my facebook page and I will pick the three winners on Friday 20th!
Well it’s something like that. I have been getting myself a bit stressed about how much sewing I have to do for Christmas and for my first craft fair* and have been trying to get as much stock made as possible. I had been making things I know well as I can make them quickly, but as I calm down a bit I am letting myself have fun designing new pieces. While I was beading daleks for custom order Christmas stockings I began to think about the possibility of a dalek pincushion and this week set about designing one. I am rather pleased with my first attempt, what do you think?
Of course do remember that a dalek is not just for Christmas!
Stallholders at the Christmas fair are being asked to donate a raffle prize and as soon as I hit send on my email, I knew a gingerbread house was a silly thing to offer as cooking is not part of my business. Bags are more my thing…but then surely a bag could be a gingerbread house…
I will probably add a bit more detail to the windows, but it was fun to make (and sent me off on the trail of some gorgeous Christmas buttons to make a second (or third) gingerbread house bag.
I am totally immersed in Christmas. Most years I hate the commercialism of it all and the way the shops fill with decorations and gifts as soon as Summer holidays are over, but this year I have no option but to jump in to it head first. I have been making more free-motion sewn cards and even a bit of hand emroidery.
Today I also gave in to Pinterest and made a snow scene in a jam jar – I first saw these on Pinterest last Christmas and I think they are so cute. For gifts (not for sale) I am also going to make some edible snow scenes in jars, with shortbread trees and sugar snow.
I have had some time off making things though, including a trip over the bridge to chat to some textile students about the things I make. I was a bit nervous – it’s a really long time since I have even been in a school – but thoroughly enjoyed myself. Everyone was lovely and they showed me their beautiful past projects and we talked about their upcoming projects. I am looking forward to seeing the end results.
Yesterday one of my old work colleagues came over and we had a National Trust day – the Courts and Lacock. It kept looking like it was going to pour with rain, but held off until we were having a meal in the pub in the evening. I rather like grey skies they add a touch of gothic drama.
I will sort out the other photos and pop them in to Deere Diary in a bit.
* St Mary’s Church (bottom of Bathwick Hill in Bath) 7pm to 9.30pm Wednesday 4th December 2013
I am sorry I have not posted in a while – so busy! Not only have I been lucky enough to have a load of custom orders, I am also sewing like mad to make stock for a Christmas fair (Wednesday December 4th, 7pm until 9.30pm at St Mary The Virgin Church on Darlington Street, Bath)…added to which I had a small mountain of cake to bake for Mark to take in to his office for his birthday.
Excuses over, here are some of the custom orders…no names in case they may be gifts!
One of my custom orders – Dr Who Christmas stockings – set me off on a Christmas stocking fest (all now in my shop!). I bought some more Dr Who fabric and intend to make some for the shop too.
My favourite has to be this welly boot Christmas stocking made from oilcloth – I love it when I can realise and idea.
There is also a little Ellen Mouse in my shop – sporting a Christmas pinafore!
The weather has turned cooler (I am back to fighting our two cats for my work chair now they don’t want to sit in the garden all day) and I have started to feel a little shiver of panic about how much sewing I have to do for Christmas. To ease my nerves I made a Christmas stocking before breakfast!
I like Christmas, but this year I wonder if I will be too busy to enjoy all the usual preparations. However, I will get my Christmas cakes made shortly…slug of brandy for the cake, slug of brandy for me…
I also finished another Ellen Mouse to go in the shop: