Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Happy Day!

It is my birthday today...and my wedding anniversary!

I am having a lovely day so far...I received this beautifully wrapped present from my daughter - I still do not know what's inside it! I am going to save it until later & just admire its wrapping for a little longer! I also received Michael Bublé's latest CD from my son, which I am so pleased with, especially as this is the first year that he has taken charge of his own birthday and Christmas shopping, using money that he has earned from his paper round, and without the intervention of his older and, of course, much wiser sister!!

On my wedding day, 19 years ago, the weather was not dissimilar to today's - damp, dark and cold! I was hoping that today would be drier and brighter as I have a stall at Auckley Christmas Street Market later today (4pm-9pm) - I shall try to remember to take some pictures of my stall this time!

Hubby has taken the day off work today and it's been a real treat to spend some time together, just the two of us, as weekends are usually so busy with us all going in different directions to rugby, craft fairs etc. We've been to the market this morning to buy some mackerel, which hubby will turn into a delightful anniversary supper for us both when I return cold and weary tonight! He's preparing baked potatoes for lunch as I type so not much of a "day-off" for him really, but lovely to have him around on our special day!

I had better check that I have everything packed for this afternoon...warm woollies, thick socks, gloves, scarf, flask...and, of course, lots and lots of rebeccamaryjane's goodies...Christmassy things, flower brooches, stocking fillers.......

Bye for now,


Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Festive Cheer

I love this re-mixed version of Kay Starr's "I've got my love to keep me warm".

I love the dancing from "It's a Wonderful Life".

I think I was born in the wrong era!

Back to my long list of jobs....

Bye for now,



Friday, 4 December 2009

December traditions

The month of December always seems to bring illness in this house - just when there is so little time to be poorly! I've been feeling under the weather this week so I've been taking things easy...well, when I say easy I mean sewing and knitting on the sofa in front of the tv and not rushing around as much as usual! I've managed to finish some new things for my Folksy shop, including some of these little snowman brooches...

and these Christmas pudding napkin rings.
I've also made a start on unwrapping all the Christmassy bits and pieces from the loft, which always cheers me up!
In 3 weeks' time it will be Christmas Day so let the preparations begin...and the illnesses go (and stay) away!
Bye for now,

Friday, 27 November 2009

A Visit to The Christmas Shop

It's that time again...the time of year when the small village hall at Hooton Pagnell is transformed into the most wonderful Christmas Shop for just four days, thanks to a lady called Angela Durdy.

This morning I met up with Carol, one of the lovely ladies from my Learn to Crochet Workshop last week, who had not heard about the Christmas Shop before. First, we visited the yard...

where pieces of vintage garden furniture are displayed alongside beautifully planted pots and containers...primulas and hyacinths....

decorative garden pieces too, like this star...

...gorgeous cyclamen, wire baskets, trugs planted with hyacinths and, of course, Christmas trees!

To complete the festive scene, a pair of robins arrived to join us...the small speck on the ridge tiles between the tree tops is one of the robins!

Next, we crossed over the road to visit the indoors part of The Christmas Shop.

Although it was a lovely, bright morning, it was far too chilly to sit outside! The entrance looked so inviting with its gorgeous display of Christmas trees, holly and door wreaths...

Past this beautiful rose door wreath hanging on the big, open door...

and we're in!

Welcome to The Christmas Shop brimming with wonderful things to see, buy and inspire...like these delicate, crocheted bird decorations for the tree and a festive fireplace with vintage finds and goodies on the hearth...
...stitched hearts and stockings on the tree...

wintery, frosty, sparkly baubles and decorations...

alongside vintage pieces of pressed glass!

We sat down for a little while for a cup of coffee and a delicious homemade mince pie (the pastry was superb!) and then had another look around...vanilla candles alongside wreaths and garlands made with cinnamon sticks, chillies and orange slices...

and then, after a couple of purchases, it was time to go home! What a lovely morning and how lovely it was to meet up with Carol again.
The Christmas Shop at Hooton Pagnell is open for two more days if you are lucky enough to live nearby - Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th November, 10am-6pm.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Christmassy Parcel

Now that I know it has arrived safely, I thought I would share a photo of the goodies that were in the Christmasy parcel that I sent to Laura in New York, whose name was drawn out of the hat for my Facebook page giveaway.

I am so glad that Laura was pleased with it!

Bye for now,


Sunday, 22 November 2009

Learn to Crochet Workshop

I had such an enjoyable day yesterday in the company of five lovely ladies who attended the Learn to Crochet Day Workshop that I first blogged about back in September (where has all that time gone?).

What could be better on a dull and damp Saturday than to spend the day crocheting!

I took plenty of wool...

We had coffee, flapjack and choc chip cookies...learning to crochet is such thirsty work!
I am annoyed with myself that, having remembered to take the camera, I did not take any photos of the workshop in progress...I was far too busy! The leftover homemade choc chip cookies disappeared very quickly when I returned home last night - thanks to my hubby and a teenage son who is always on the look out for food!
I made roasted root vegetable soup with homemade bread (wholemeal, granary and tomato & herb) for lunch. I had some of the leftover soup for my lunch today...mmm, yummy!
I took a selection of English cheeses (Somerset Camembert, Stilton, Cheddar & Wensleydale) with apples, bananas and grapes. We all sat down together around a large table that had been beautifully set by my dear daughter, who did all the kitcheny things, which allowed me to spend the maximum amount of time teaching the lovely ladies how to crochet. She looked after us all very well indeed.
We had tea and cakes in the afternoon - chocolate sponge, fruit cake and lemon drizzle buns!
I am so pleased with how things went, especially as it was the first time that I have organised my own workshop day, and I was delighted with the feedback I received from the five lovely ladies that attended. One of those lovely ladies was Carol, who had found out about the workshop through my blog, and you can read her very kind comments about yesterday here. It was such a pleasure to meet Carol and the other ladies, who are all keen to hear about future workshops and sessions. My mind is spinning with all the exciting possibilities....so watch this space to find out what is next!
Bye for now,

Thursday, 19 November 2009

It feels like Christmas...

I've received the most amazing Christmassy present...from somebody that I hardly know! A lady from church has given me some vintage Christmas decorations...lots of vintage Christmas decorations! I am such a lucky girl!

Beautiful glass baubles, some decorated, some plain...mini Christmas crackers, a wooden reel of wire...
Father Christmas, bells...
...a cute little cottage...

...and these delicate glass and, what looks and feels like, mother of pearl decorations - a butterfly, watering can and chandelier!

It seems that nobody in the lady's family wanted these old decorations and she was concerned that, when something happens to her, they would just end up in a skip somewhere. She found out about my love of 'old things' and thought they would have a good home here. Oh yes, they most certainly will...I love them!
Back soon,

Sunday, 15 November 2009


No, this is not a post about baking, but bath sponges!

My rugby-playing teenage son asked me to buy him a new sponge - understandably so, as his existing one was falling apart and a rather unattractive shade of brown, despite having been in the washing machine!

Once at the supermarket, I have a choice of small, round white sponge or small, round pale blue sponge - neither of which are going to last five minutes with the amount soil he brings home on his body after each of his many rugby sessions throughout the week! A couple of aisles along, I stumble upon these:

...ideal for the car, boat, caravan, home...and rugby playing son! 2 for 50p - bargain!

Has nobody thought of making a "man sponge"...something that comes in a shade of brown or black?

Oh, yes...and a self-cleaning bath, please!

Bye for now,



Friday, 13 November 2009

Edible Delights....or not?

Last weekend, when I was staying at my parents' house, I tried Dragon Fruit for the first time. I have often admired its vibrant pink skin on the supermarket shelves and was expecting some kind of luscious pink flesh with tropical fruit flavours...
but the flesh inside is a pale greyish colour with black seeds...
and, as my niece said "it doesn't really taste of very much, does it?" Edible, but not delightful!

I came across this growing under one of the buddleias in the garden...
and it looks delicious, like it would be perfectly at home alongside a crisp rasher of bacon and a poached egg on toast for breakfast! Delightful, but is it edible?

On Wednesday it was time for my Felt, Fabric & Crochet Christmas Decorations Workshop and, as I always take homemade cakes with me, I decided that it was time for the first batch of mince pies...
...edible and delightful!
Bye for now,

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Finding my feet on Facebook...slowly!

As you may have noticed from the side bar, my little business, rebeccamaryjane's, is on Facebook! To promote my page a little, I am having a Christmassy-themed giveaway - why not take a look http://www.facebook.com/pages/rebeccamaryjanes/166961191015. Everyone who becomes a fan by 15th November will be entered into a draw to receive a small Christmassy parcel, which will include one of these:

Christmas Pudding Brooch

Well, I really must go now...more Christmas Puddings to finish and then I must return to the kitchen to add candles to the chocolate cake I've made for my lovely hubby, whose birthday it is today, and begin preparations for our small celebratory dinner tonight!

Back soon,



Thursday, 29 October 2009

Spooky Afternoon

I had spooky afternoon yesterday making Halloweeny things with a small group of arty, crafty children at one of my workshops. We did tile painting...
made coasters and scary things to hang in our windows out of old CDs...bottle top bugs...
...a stop watch and compass!!
And I really liked this football tile!!
Bye for now,

Monday, 26 October 2009

It's beginning to look...and smell...a lot like Christmas!

Over the weekend I have been working on Christmassy things!

These crocheted Christmas pudding earrings will end up here. I am pleased with how they've turned out so shall be making some more to take to Christmas fairs and markets.

On Saturday the house was full of the spicy, vinegary aromas of this apple chutney bubbling away on the stove. By Christmas time, it'll be ready for a chunk of mature cheddar and a slice of home cooked ham...delicious!

And, yesterday, cinnamon and spice wafted from the kitchen as the mincemeat cooked in the oven - mmm, I love Christmassy smells...in fact, I love Christmas!

Back soon,

Friday, 23 October 2009

When will there be broccoli?

Oh, my poor, neglected blog! Where has all the time gone - it's been over 2 weeks since my last post! Well, I am here now...for a few minutes, anyway!

I've been busy finishing off a large wholesale order, which included kilt pins and brooches like these:

Having had quite a good run of sales over the last few weeks, I am busy making more stock and trying to update my various online shops, including a new outlet here. November is going to be quite a busy month with various fairs & markets and, of course, my Learn to Crochet Workshop (see side bar for details - there are still some places left), not to mention thinking about Christmas on a personal level! But I do like to be busy, so I am not complaining!

The nights are drawing in, which I quite like...curtains closed to the world, lamps on...time to snuggle down on the sofa with a hot drink and some crochet or knitting! I love he colours of Autumn! I can see this miniature apple tree from the kitchen window and have watched its leaves change from green to gold to this vibrant russet shade that brightens some the dull days we have been having of late!
There is no doubt that it is easy to see the seasons progressing at a pace by looking at all the changes in the garden and around abouts. However, while some things are changing quickly, others are taking rather longer! Each day I go to the bottom of the garden to our small veg patch and search...and always return to the house asking myself the same question: when will there be broccoli? Despite massive leaves and careful nurturing (you might remember this), there is no sign of any broccoli! It's been in the ground for a year...how long does getting broccoli take? Are we nearly there yet?

Bye for now,