Friday, 24 December 2010

Season's Greetings

Wishing you all
"A Very Merry Christmas"
Pj x

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Festive Chestnut & Cranberry Loaf

I made a start on the Christmas baking yesterday afternoon. This is what I will be eating on Christmas Day as I am a vegetarian. The carnivores also love this and have requested some over the holidays in addition to the turkey of course!
The recipe can be found here on my other blog.
Last night we braved the supermarket and finished off the grocery shopping. I decided to do it in the evening as I think it will get rather busy there between now and Christmas.
This morning I finished this tea cosy which is part of a friend's gift. I will wrap it and deliver it today.
That just leaves the baking, Christmas cake decorating and the housework. Eeeeeeeek! It's Christmas Eve tomorrow - PANIC!! :)

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Christmas Decorations

I have now finished decorating for Christmas, although I expect I will still tweak a decoration here and there! :) Here are a few photos:-
In the kitchen - my vintage tree decorated with red and cream wooden hearts, gold and red mini baubles and topped with a gold star. My Dad cut out the hearts for me a couple of years again and I painted them.
The ceramic tree, made by my husband, sits in the middle of the window sill.

Lights and holly tinsel adorn the cabinets.
In the living-room - the Paperwhites aren't going to flower in time for Christmas, because I was late planting them this year, but they will be something to look forward to in the new year. My Nana's vase filled with baubles.
The hall, stairs and landing - foliage decorating my vintage mirror, that is one of pair belonging to my parent's. Hanging from the banister are gingham hearts, stockings and trees that I made a few years ago.
Large green baubles, that match the smaller ones on the tree, hang from the lights.
Yesterday, I wrapped up most of the presents and placed them under the tree. I'm just hoping the the cats don't get too curious! :) I still need to get on with that baking, do a final grocery shop and last minute whizz around the house with the hoover and duster then I am ready for Christmas - I think! :) I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that we don't get any more snow so that my parents can travel down from Norfolk to spent Christmas with us. I expect a lot of people in Britain are hoping the snow stays away until after Christmas. Best wishes to you all, Pj x

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

December 2010

During December we have seen a fair amount of snow, which is unusual for Hampshire. Maurice and Ella weren't too sure about the snow to start with, but they seem to have grown used to it now.
Jay and I have been out for walks in the snow. Everywhere looks so beautiful blanketed in white.

Back indoors I have put up the Christmas tree and most of the other decorations.
All the cards have been posted.
I still need to wrap up the presents and do most of the baking. I think I have a busy week ahead, but I love Christmas baking. :)

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Our Christmas Wreath

2010 has been a good year for holly berries, so I decided to make a holly wreath for our front door. Just to complicate matters, I wanted it to be star-shaped!

This is how to made one:-
Wooden Board
10 Nails
Medium-gauge galvanised wire
Thin-gauge green plastic covered gardening wire
Holly or other greenery
Bendy, woody material eg. honeysuckle, willow, etc.
The first step is to draw around a dinner plate, on a wooden board and to mark the centre. From the centre draw a line to the outer edge, then draw four more lines from the centre to the circumference at 72' intervals. This marks the points of the pentagon. Draw in the pentagon and mark the centre of each line just drawn. Next decide how big the final star is going to be and measure the required length (my line was 25cm) from the centre of the circle, through the mark on the pentagon edge and mark the points of the star. Draw the star outline by joining the star points to the pentagon points. Hammer a nail in at each of these 10 points. Guide the galvanised wire around the outside of the star points and around the inside of the pentagon points. Join the two ends of the wire to form a loop for hanging up the wreath.
Next cover the wire with some woody material (I used some honeysuckle). Starting at the top of the star work down each side, evenly wiring on the holly with the plastic covered wire. Once you reach the bottom points, work from the centre, back down to the points.
Hang up with string.
Beware - your hands will suffer from working with this prickly stuff.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Winchester Christmas Market

Each year Winchester hosts a Christmas market in the cathedral grounds and on Sunday we went for our annual visit.
Although the sun was shining, it was rather chilly in the morning
and we were very pleased to warm up in a coffee shop and have some lunch. Winchester always looks very pretty with its Christmas lights and the displays in the shop windows. I managed to complete all of my Christmas shopping; except for the last minute groceries. When we had finished, we walked through the cathedral grounds and back through the Christmas market.It was considerably less busy by this time. Yesterday was my last day at work before Christmas, so this week I plan to finish making some gifts and decorate the house. Only 10 days to Christmas! :)
Best wishes, Pj x

Friday, 3 December 2010

Thursday's Snow

Shortly after posting yesterday, Jay and I went out into the snow.
The brook behind our house looking very picturesque.
Jay having fun in the snow. Here he was trying to evade my snowballs and having his photo taken. Looks like he failed on both accounts! :)
Walking in the woodland north of our home. This photo reminds me of our walk here in the January snows.
The allotments blanketed in white.
We didn't have any more snow, but Ella wasn't taking any risks - she stayed in all day!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Snowy Paws

Overnight we had our first real snowfall - 3"/7cm so far and it is still snowing.
Maurice decided to be brave and go outside. It was obviously cold on his paws, as he kept stopping to lick them.
The back garden.
The front garden.
Jay is happy as his school is closed!!
It is starting to get light now; maybe I will wrap up and go out for a walk soon.
Expect more snowy pictures! :)

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

November 2010

November has been a month of many seasons - it started out warm and ended with snow on the last day.
After the sunshine, we had rain.
Even the toadstools looked soggy.
Branches have lost their leaves and old nests are revealed.
We have had misty and foggy days.

Last week was very frosty;
a prelude to snow yesterday - this winter's first snow.
We only got a light dusting here, but our neighbour's cat wasn't happy, he tried to enter our home several times yesterday!
Our cats have spent the last 24 hours indoors, but Maurice has gone out hunting this morning. Hopefully he won't bring any gifts back!