Thursday, 31 December 2009

Happy New Year! A thank you to Michela too!

Happy New year everyone! I am back, and I hope that you all had a warm and wonderful Christmas! I can't wait to catch up with all your news, and start commenting again on all those brilliant posts that you all write!

I start this post with a special thank you to a very special lady, who many of us know and adore - Michela at Little Secrets From My Garden. This very kind soul has sent me a parcel as a thank you for winning my giveaway! So kind!

Take a look at all these goodies!

Gorgeous goodies! Munch, munch! Chocs away! I had already eaten some, and then had to remind myself to take a photo before complete gluttony took over!

A closer look!  Yummy! Included with all of these scrumptious delights was this lovely Italian christmas card, with lovely thoughts from Michela. The champas bottle filled with chocs was wrapped in Italian newspaper, and George and I really enjoyed looking at it and trying to work out what it said!

Thank you so much Michela, it was such a fantastic surprise and has cheered me up tremendously.  More kindness from a person whom I have never met, but I consider a true friend. Bloggy people are brilliant and kind!

I don't know about all of you, but every year as soon as christmas day is over with, I get an overwelming urge to start afresh. I start planning the garden, thinking of decorating the house, and generally look forward to the new year and spring!  Do you too?  But before we jump merrily into this new year with a gusto I will share some of my christmas with you all! We had a white christmas here in Lancashire... lovely!!!

Oh Christmas tree!

Candle light and sparkle

Getting the christmas table ready!  Can you spot Ralph the dog?

Yum... Homemade cranberry jelly!

Christmas Eve dinner for two! Bertie waiting for the food to arrive! We had a polish christmas eve ... rollmops (pickled dill herrings), borsch (beetroot soup) and goumki (not correct spelling!.. rice and meat in cabbage parcels with a creamy mushroom sauce). I love, love, love polish food!

Our son Tom, always happy when there is food around!

Sharing food, wine and good conversation with some of our lovely family!

Here are two more stockings which I sewed too in reds and greens.........


It is good to be back! I have missed you all. Heres to a new year full of love and happiness. This is what I wish for all of you,  my lovely friends!

May the newness and excitement of this new year stay with us throughout 2010 and into the new decade!

Lots of joy, love and hugs to you all,

Suzie. xxx

Monday, 21 December 2009

Just popping back to thank Penny, my little christmas fairy!


I know, I know I am not supposed to be on here until after christmas! But, I could not let a little fairy of kindness go unmentioned now could I? A lovely kind soul has sent me a parcel, and that lovely kind soul is Bad Penny at the Hen House.  Penny you are a true twinkling star in a dark sky! You have lit up my face with a sprinkling of stardust and left a big huge grin on my face!

The snow has finally made its way to Lancashire! Believe it or not, it actually thundered at the same time!

I have been having a bit of an emotional time at the moment with certain circumstances/people in my life, and sadnesses from the past have left a huge deep gash in my soul. Nothing to worry about, I will be fine, and I can't really tell all, as it is too personal.  I always manage to laugh though, and I will most certainly carry on with my giggling nature! You know how it is, even the silliest of us have sadnesses that we carry around inside of us, and usually we keep them hidden from the world. Sometimes though, especially when you are low, tired or have been feeling off colour, it just gets to you more than usual, and christmas seems to play on the emotions and pull on those old heart strings! But .... this is a happy post!!!

So you can imagine how Penny has lifted my spirits right up to the sky! I am so lucky to have made so many good friends from blogland, and some like Penny give me more care than certain people who should do! No, don't worry,  its not George! He is a truly wonderful man, kind and loving and I am so lucky to have had him in my life for the past 25 years! He has stood by me through thick and thin, quite alot of thin!!!

It was just starting to snow on this photo, it got a lot thicker just after this! 

Look at these lovely goodies sent from my invisible friend Penny!

They were all wrapped so beautifully, so as I ripped the wrapping off in my eagerness to see what was inside, I suddenly thought "oh no! I should have taken a picture before I opened them!"  And what am I doing opening my presents before christmas, how naughty!  So I tryed to re-wrap the bigger one, look at the lovely ribbon and decoration on the top!

So! .....There was this gorgeous bookmark and the the saying is so apt from a friend who I have never seen in the 'real' world!

And this very pretty card in a cellophane wrapper all ready for me to use, but it is so pretty I will keep it all to myself!  Bekki at The Ramblings of an everyday Mummy made it, isn't it so lovely?!

Look at these rather sweet guest soaps too! They smell divine! The guests won't get a look in! I shall be using these a lot over christmas, aren't they wonderful?!

And last but not least...... a really gorg-geee-ous handmade card from Penny! It is so special, I shall keep it to bring out with my decorations every year and give it pride of place.

Bad Penny... you are a darn good Penny! You have made me want to do the christmas jig of happy! Thank you so much for brightening my christmas and reminding me to be grateful for all the wonderful people I do have in my life who give me care and warmth!

'See' you again in the new year, and I wish each and everyone of you a fantastic Christmas and a wonderful new decade! Merry Christmas to Penny and her family! This post is just for you today Penny! Kindness is like the ripples on a pond, spreading outwards on and on! Your kindness has been recieved by me and truly appreciated! There are still tears in my eyes!

Lots of hugs and love, suzie. xxx :)

Friday, 18 December 2009

Ding Dong merrily on high!

Hello all you little christmas elves out there! Thank you to all who wished my arm well! It is a lot better now thank you! Although I do still feel a bit achey, with a sore throat, but nothing too bad!

Well, I don't know about you but I don't think that it harms sometimes to do a good spot of self mocking! It is good for the soul I think to have a darn good laugh at one's self.  For instance, a couple of weeks ago, I dyed my hair orange! Yes, you did read that right, orange! Satuma surprise! No, the hair dye wasn't called that! I have toned it down a bit now, but when will I learn to take my glasses with me when I go to the shops!?  It was supposed to be light brown, but it actually said light auburn. When I put it on, it must have reacted with my blonde highlights. (that I also self appy)

I bought these little angels (there are two!) without my glasses on too, the price tag to my Mr. Maggoo eyes read £9.99 for the pair, the price tag to eyes that can actually see read £19.99. So it was a good job that I had enough money in my purse when I plonked them on the counter!

This week I thought I would bring you all some festive cheer by sharing some of my christmas with you all.  Last weeks post hit a nerve with me and this week after years of buying a real tree I have gone and bought this artificial one. I always feel sad for the trees, and I know that they are grown specially for the purpose, but after the story I told last week I just couldn't! Silly, I know!



This tree skirt is over 40 years old and has travelled back and forwards to Canada!

Note how I have changed the fire surround by painting it cream, much better I think!

I have been so lucky and have been given these awards. The first by Tracey at Tracey's crafty scraps and Mummy mad at The Madhouse. Thank you so much to you both, you have made my week! I was so excited when I found out that You had chosen me!

The other one is from Theresa at  Faerie Moon Creations,  Thank you so much Theresa, I am really bowled over that you have given me this award!

For both awards I am to list a few things that you may not know about me, and some things I like to do.  Oh dear! Soooo.......

1. I love listening to music, any type more or less.
2. I enjoy puzzles, cross words, sudoku, etc.
3. Having a special meal with George, with candles and music, lovely
4. Being at home, all cozy toasting marshmallows by the fire.
5. I love laughing!

Things you may not know about me;

1. I can lead and cut glass.
2. I can walk for miles and miles, but not too good with hills!
3. I get full quick, but my eyes are bigger than my belly!
4. I can do a hilarious rendition of 'oh my darling clementine' on the piano, it can make dogs howl!
5. I can be a bit of a practical joker. Last weet I put cling film over the top of George's bottle of becks, and the confused look on his face when he couldn't get any beer out, just made me crack up into hysterics!
6.  I am a serial giggler, and apparently laugh at anything!
7. I could never have my own children, so all three of our children we have adopted.

I am not going to pass this award on at the moment, as a lot of the people who I would like to give it to, have just got one the same, so in the new year I will make one and give some out to all my lovely friends that I have made here in blogland!
I am going to have a blogging break over Christmas as I feel a little frazzled and I have friends and family visiting, and visits to be made. You know, the usual Christmas activities. So I won't be blogging or commenting until January now, (if I can resist the urge to peek, that is!).  I don't want any of my lovely blogging pals to think that I am ignoring them, but I have to have a complete break from the computer, work and sewing! Then again, next friday, posting day is actually christmas day, so I wouldn't be posting then anyway would I!?  Hmmmmmm!

Ralphus  Le- puff  Macduff  (Ralph)  says Merry Christmas!

Archibald Peabody Smythe (Archie) says Jolly merry festitvities! More like Bah humbug! Don't you think he looks more like scrooge? He has got the saddest face I have ever seen on a dog. Probably just can't take another one of my jokes!

Bertram Butterbean Barker (Bertie to his friends) says Happy New Year!

So I will be off now until the new year and I wish you all a wonderful, laughter filled christmas and a very Happy new year. New decade that is!!!

May fairy dust land on the tips of your noses and make you giggle out loud!

Love Suzie. xxx

Friday, 11 December 2009

Christmas is nearly here! And all that glitters....

Hello to all! Since last week I am pleased to say,  I have managed to very nearly get up to scratch again for Christmas, hence my lack of commenting on all your blogs!  Sorry, I will make a real effort to catch up! In fact I almost missed these lovely awards, the first is from Tracey at Tracey's crafty scraps! .

The second one is from Teresa at Faerie Moon Creations. Thank you so much Teresa!  These are the rules:

  • Copy the Kreativ Blogger picture and post it on your page
  • Thank the person who gave it to you and link back to their blog
  • Write seven things about you that we don’t know
  • Choose seven other bloggers that you would like to give the award to
  • Link to the bloggers that you choose
  • Let the winners know that they have the lovely award.

I would be mortified if people thought that I was ignoring them!  Thank you so much Tracey and Teresa!!! It was really lovely of you to think of me!  For Tracey's award,  am to give it to 5 people and tell you all 5 things that I love doing, but I will post the awards again the next time I post as I just can't seem to think at the moment with my arm the way it is! ( I have just added this since I posted before, if that makes any sense!)

My cards are written and my sewing nearly done, and have just posted off some hearts which I hope will make it there on time!

Little pixie!

Little fairy

The back of one heart.

My presents are still unwrapped (but at least I have bought them!) and the house is so definitely not decorated yet and in need of a clean.  Still though, I feel more in control, and what the hell Hey?! At some point we all have to just stop and let it all happen regardless don't we?  One worry though is that as I sit here writing this, I am achey all over and feel like I am about to come down with something. The real worry being that my arm that I have Lymphodoema in (swelling of the arm due to the lymph nodes being removed during my breast cancer operation ... hence no drainage!), has gone bright red and hurts all the way up to the armpit , like a chinese burn and painful to the touch. I only hope that I am not getting another infection in it.  Last time I got an infection in said elephants trunk, I could not stay awake, and anyone who knows me will tell you that I do not nap, ever! Also, if I have, it will mean two weeks on penicillin, and then I will spend the whole of Christmas on the wagon!!! Oh NO!! Not now!!!

One of our christmas dinners in Canada. Look at my Mum, all dressed up and sparkling too!

I love Christmas, I really do. Maybe because it evokes memories of chilhood festivities.

A childhood Christmas, and me sporting the gift of a new dressing gown!

Christmas for me as a child was all about the giving, we were taught to be kind and grateful for all of the goodness in our lives.
 What is your definition or memories of Christmas?  Of course, it is many things ...  tinsel, sparkling lights, good food laid on a welcoming table, sat beside a roaring fire with a warming glass of mulled wine. Being with loved ones, family and friends and the joy of seeing someone's face as they open the gift you have wrapped for them.  It really does conjure up so many lovely images doesn't it? Snow ball fights, Doris day! And all those wonderful oldie Chiristmas films - Cary Grant in the bishop's wife and its a wonderful life for instance. How I love those films!  I have to admit that I am unashamedly soppy and starry eyed about Christmas!

The one thing about it all I don't like, however, is that, for my liking there is a little too much emphasise on the glitter and sparkle. Oh, no-one loves sparkling lights and the whole Christmas magical package  more than me! My eyes just go wide at all the gorgeous Christmasy goodies!  No,my bug-bear is the over commercialism and materialism. Too much emphasise is put on the price tag, instead of the love that goes into a gift from the heart.  Simple giving is almost laughed at by some, but Kirsty Allsopp has been doing a homemade Christmas program, so maybe....! Although, her idea of homemade is rather ridiculously expensive! I don't think the rest of us will be making that sort of homemade! Take a look at Mummy mad's wonderful post on Kirsty's program, I have to agree with her, Kirsty has left the planet!

One of my precious childhood memories is of my brother and I going up into the forest to get our own Christmas tree. We would take the sleigh and a saw, and off we would go. Grahame would pull me along on the way there and the tree would be pulled on the way back!

Me with my brother... brrrrrrr!

I am reminded of a story I used to like although it is very sad! It was about a little tree growing in the forest, and every year it watched as the other trees were sent off to faraway places, to live in houses to be dressed up with pride of place. The little tree had heard many a story of the sparkling lights, candy canes and colourful baubles that were festooned on its many pals from the forest. "And! said one, apparently you will be the focal point and every one will love you, they will sing and dance at the delight of you! No more will you stand out in the cold, you will be warm...and special!"
How tree wished to be picked!!!  Little tree did not have to wait too long and one day he was uprooted and sent on his journey.

Little tree found that it was just as he had heard... his family were so pleased to welcome him into their home, they ooohed and awhhed over him and made such a fuss dressing him. He looked the perfect picture!
He had never, ever had such a splendid time!

After only a short time though, his needles started to drop off and he felt a bit droopy, so droopy that the beautiful decorations began to drop to the floor. Oh no, whats happening thought little tree, even the children don't seem to be interested in me anymore. Tree felt very sad indeed, but suddenly his world became even worse, a big person came in and took all his decorations off, even his lights and the pretty fairy on his head, lifted him up and threw him out with all the rubbish in the wind and the sleet. Poor little tree was so sad and felt rather foolish that he had let all the glitter blind him to what really matters in life,  and he missed the big  forest, where the only sparkle there was was the twinkle of ice and snow! He felt ashamed that he had been so vain, and for thinking that all the finery had made him a more superior tree. No, he was just a tree, and he had found out too late that just being him was enough! 

So, I will be enjoying the sparkle and magic for what it is, ( I will be rolling in it and eating it for breakfast!!!) but I will enjoy most what I feel is important about Christmas even more ....friends, family, health, love, giving, because we all need those so much more than something expensive that eventually wears out or tarnishes! I shall also be giving thoughts to all the people in the world for whom christmas feels more like the little tree's Christmas, and I will remind myself to be so grateful that my lovely Christmas is a blessing, not a right.

Who else feels that Christmas has become a time when people feel pressured to spend money that they can ill afford! I can't help but feel aware that for some people it is not a happy time at all, but one filled with loneliness and worry!

Still I can't help enjoying Christmas and all I associate with it too! I love it!!!   Hopefully I shall start getting my decorations out next week!

Until next week, love and Christmas cheer to you all!  Ho Ho Ho!

Suzie. xxx

Friday, 4 December 2009

Calling all headless chickens!!!! Old Man christmas is a stalking you!

Happy December all!

 One of my drawings!

Thank you all once again for your wonderful comments on last weeks post!

Old man Christmas is a sneaky ole devil isn't he?  He has done it again! Sneaking up on his tip-toes and jumping right out of the shadows!  Ta Daa!! Oh yes Old man, very funny!   Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like a reindeer frozen in the head lights?  I have to admit I am beginning to get a sickly panicky feeling!

Every year I have a rosey coloured image of what a relaxing and smoothly executed Christmas I will provide for our home, and every year it hardly ever turns out according to plan at all!  I have so much to do and how long is it now to Christmas?  NO! Don't answer that! I really don't need to know exactly how long I have got to finish everything which I have to do!  Are you all the same?  Please say yes!  Otherwise I am going to feel totally inadequate and rather useless!!  At least my Christmas cactus is ready!!!

We bought this lovely hand painted Po (spelling?) at a Boxing day antiques fair many moons ago. I love the colours! Ha ha, not red and blue by any chance?!!!

We, or at least I, dream of having everything done and dusted - presents bought and beautifully wrapped.....

        Not my wrapping folks! This picture was found on the internet! I could only wish!!! .........

Our  home sparkling clean and looking like the picture on a magazines christmas issue cover,  melodic cheerful festive music wafting through the air,  mince pies cooling.... you know the idea!  Oooh, and there I am relaxing with a hand-warming comforting mug of hot chocolate (perhaps with marshmallows, mmmmm!) by a roaring fire, all cosy.......

(This was taken last year, we had only been in the a house a few weeks. We have decorated since, and the fire surround is now cream! Much nicer! )

..............watching those christmas films I bought two years ago, which I didn't watch then either!

We bought this one about two years ago and haven't watched it yet! Maybe this year???

 We have watched this one, but not on the run up to christmas, which is when I think christmas films should be watched. After christmas day, for me they are not quite the same!

The reality is, that I am currently absolute chaos on two legs, and faced with the prospect of all there is to do
I am trying very hard to resist an overwhelming urge to sit in a inactive stupor gazing out of the window, rocking backwards and forwards!  NO, I refuse to give in to this malaise!  Nor will I allow myself to metamorphasise  into the proverbial headless chicken,  running about in circles screaming " DON'T PANIC, DON'T PANIC!!!", even though I an teetering precariously close to the edge of doing just that!   Instead, I will call on my very old and trusted friend.... Percy. Yes, Percy Veerance! He will sort everything out!

After all we don't want be become a christmas Grinch now do we?!!!

This is some of what I have been doing,  proof perhaps that I am not totally a lost cause!

This is a drawing, ready to be sewn......

Here is a little pixie in the making .......

Isn't this ribbon from East of India just gorgeous? I love it, it is so natural and appealing! ......

Well, got to keep the good fight going, and try to get ahead of myself! Until next week, I hope you are all winning better than I am!  What are you all doing this weekend? Are you battling Christmas and winning or are you gripping on by your fingertips? Please tell me I would love to know!  Have a lovely weekend!

Love and December hugs to you, Suzie :) xxxxxx