Sunday, 14 December 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Hello again lovely readers! It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here (at last!)
I have finished Little Sparkle's blanket and Big Sparkle helped to finish hers. I will have to get a picture for next time, they were so pleased with them that they are going to be travel blankets and are already in the car! There are lots of little creatures and things to look at so it might stave off the boredom a bit on long journeys.

We visited a lovely Christmas craft fair at Hoburne, there were lots of lovely stalls including...

...these hand crocheted sweeties...
Big Sparkle bought one for her sister, can you guess which one?

...these stunning hand crafted stables and horses
 (whose owner shared her first and second names with Big Sparkle) ...

...this sweet honey stand...
We bought some New Forest Heather honey
...and many other things!

And when we started heading for home we saw a really gorgeous orange moon. These pictures don't do it justice at all but it was very pretty!
The next morning we had a beautiful wintery sunrise and it was a bit frosty so I took a quick walk over to the meadow at the Manor to have a look.
On a cold and frosty morning.

I have been desperately trying to get a Christmas blanket together using these festive fabrics and this tutorial although they wont be staying as semi circle fans. Hopefully I will have more to show you soon!

Finally we managed to get our tree and other decorations up, huzzah! We do seem to be cursed when it comes to coloured fairy lights though. Last year we visited about ten shops on the hunt for them when ours stopped working but they were completely sold out everywhere. This year we had some lovely ones that slowly faded into different colours - except that they developed a rather annoying flashing mid colour change and so I had to pull them out of the fully decorated tree.
Birds, bells and chandelier crystals.

Hubby is not so keen but I am in love with my authentic 1950's chenille birds. We had some on our tree as kids but my mum's naughty siamese cats ate them all so I had to go find some of my own.

Yes, that is tinsel. If it's good enough for Kirstie Allsop, it's good enough for me!
Little Sparkle 'helping'.
Oh Christmas tree!

 So that is it for another week, I will be working on that blanket and other bits that I will be able to show after Christmas because they are gifts. I hope you are enjoying the run up to Christmas, let me know what lovely festive crafts you have been up to!

Amber xxx

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Christmas bunting, blankets and some cards...

Hello lovely readers, sorry I have not been around for a bit, Christmas shopping and lurgy bugs seem to have gotten in the way a bit lately! I have managed a little bit of crafting though. 

30th birthday card with 1930's Flapper Girls.
2nd birthday card with vintage ballerinas.

We had this lovely double rainbow to look at from our garden...

... complete with a flock of birds!

We have had a couple more evening wanders down at Lepe Beach and Country Park

I can't take the credit for these pictures, Hubby had the camera, that's me with the pushchair.

And we visited a Christmas street market in Southampton.

Big Sparkle has been learning to sew with me. We have been practicing straight lines with these pre cut squares and if we don't run out of time, we are going to try a Christmas blanket too!

And I made this Christmas bunting for a lovely lady.
 It features gorgeous Victorian Christmas card images. (Excuse the poor lighting!)

All wrapped up!
I will try not to leave it so long in between posting again and hope to be back with Big Sparkles finished blanket and maybe some festive fun next time! Off to do some more Christmas shopping now, see you soon!
Amber xxx

Monday, 17 November 2014

Ice Cream Please!

Hello again! I do hope you are well. I have been having lots of fun making a name art collage for my honorary niece. Her bedroom is going to be in the style of an ice cream parlour, the lucky thing!

Strawberry ice cream is seasonable for May and June. 
 At first I was really worried that I wasn't going to be able to help much as my initial searches for vintage ice cream images was pretty poor. I found some recipes and old ice cream machine illustrations but nothing too colourful to look at.

Ice cream making was a closely guarded secret and the first recipe written in English did not appear until 1718. The interest and demand for ice cream meant that wealthy people built ice houses on their estates.
In the 19th century, ice cream manufacture was simplified with the introduction of the ice cream machine in 1843 in England and America. The machine was a wooden bucket that was filled with ice and salt and had a handle which rotated a paddle or dasher to churn the ice cream in a central metal container. Agnes Marshall became known as the Queen of Ices for her ice cream recipes and was granted a patent for her improved ice cream machine which used liquid nitrogen. Her 1888 cookery book included a recipe for "cornets with cream", possibly the earliest publication of the edible ice cream cone.

Agnes B Marshall, Author of The Book of Ices (1885), Mrs. A.B. Marshall's Book of Cookery (1888), Mrs. A.B. Marshall's Larger Cookery Book of Extra Recipes (1891) and Fancy Ices (1894).

I don't know what you think, but to me she looks a little too skinny to be an expert on ice cream....

But anyway, I struck lucky as my searches led me to Jell-o! Yes, apparently to make your ice cream, a really good way is to use Jell-o dissolvable crystals. Who knew?

Kewpies Jell-o advert - marketed as 'Americas Most Famous Desert' despite it being almost entirely unknown at the time.
 I also found some really sweet Jell-o adverts featuring Kewpies. In 1908, the Kewpies made their first appearance and were featured in Jell-o pamphlets as “cheery little imps, who are always doing something to lighten tasks and brighten the dull spots in life, to make the easy Jell-O way still plainer and easier”. It seems these guys were quite the thing at the time.

Anyway, I discovered it is impossible to work with such delicious pictures without having to go and get a real bowl of Cornish ice cream and raspberries for myself. Honestly, I tried really very hard but it simply can't be done (but it's ok Abbott's says it's good for you!)

You will have to wait to see the final name art as it is going to be a present but in the meantime perhaps you will enjoy some ice cream yourself!

Amber xxx

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Spooky Fun and Fireworks.

Hello again! I hope you have had lots of fun over the last couple weeks with half term, Halloween and Fireworks Night. We were down in Cornwall for our holiday so we spent our Halloween at the Eden Project. I have been doing a bit of card making too, you may have seen this sneaky peek on my Facebook page here.

I have really enjoyed using pretty trading card adverts in this design.
Morning Glories and Clematis seed heads.
Christmas Cactus
 I finally got around to bringing some of the less hardy plants indoors because it really is beginning to get nippy out there in the garden now!

Busy Lizzy, Geraniums and Succulents all inside for Winter.
My vintage inspired Halloween bunting.

Halloween at The Eden Project
We had lots of fun making magic spell jars, seeing pumpkins and we made a magic wand by wrapping clay around a stick and adding lots of sparkly bits and beads! We also saw some cute birds wandering about in the rain forest biome as well as all the lovely plants.

Mevagissey Harbour
 We also went to Mevagissey for a wander around and of course had some delicious Cornish Ice Cream. The wind was up so the waves were good fun to watch crashing against the rocks.

And then home again to enjoy Fireworks at Totton.

That's all for now, hope you enjoyed yourselves!

Amber xxx