Monday, 24 December 2007

Merry Christmas

Well it's Christmas eve for certain !!!!

Everyone is so excited here. Claudia (at 22 years old) hasn't slept for the last 2 nights !
We got up early to change the sheets, just have to have clean sheets for Christmas, and do the last minute tidying. Actually it's more like 4 hours tidying, but who cares it's Christmas!!!

The cards are hung, and the candles are lit...............

....................The dresser is looking lovely

This is one of a set of 4 ladders. I can't remember where I bought them from, I've had them years, but they are so lovely they have to come out every year.

I usually make mince pies on Christmas eve, but I had to make some for the carol service yesterday so I made mine then too.

After the last clear up I shall sit for a while this afternoon with tea and mince pies watching Muppets Christmas Carol, and later, after the Christingle service, will probably watch White Christmas, maybe followed by Holiday Inn and Miracle on 34th Street.

The carol service last night was lovely. A simple service of 9 readings and carols with a short message toward the end. Although the message was short, it was very good and full of truth.

And the truth is Jesus is the reason for the season, Jesus is the Light of the world, and we need Him more than ever.

I'll finish with the blessing we had last night.

May you be filled with the humility of the Shepherds, the faith of the Wise Men, the praise the Angels sang of, and the Peace of Lord and Saviour. Amen !!!!

With love and Blessings in Christ,


Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Less than ........................

................a week to go, and I'm all ready !!!! Only joking !!! I'm nowhere near ready, so this is a quick post, just so you know I haven't emigrated or anything.

I did get all of my cards written and posted yesterday, just a few to deliver by hand now.

And just a smidgen sewing left to do (about 2 hours worth, I hope)

Then it's the cleaning (yuk) and shopping, and making mince pies. I volunteered to make some for Sunday's "Carols by Candlelight" service, just hope I don't have to buy them instead (that just wouldn't do.............or would it..mmmmmm???)

Anyway, hopefully I'll have more pics before the big day, so I won't say "merry Christmas" just yet.

Thank you for the lovely comments, my 100 set of lights gave up last week. I think they need jiggling, but I'm not about to do that (not after last years fiasco hehehe) and I still have 320 lights working.

Love and blessings in Christ


Friday, 7 December 2007

The Christmas Tree

As I have been challenged by my friend
Raspberry Grace I thought I'd best get some photos on here ASAP. Her tree is so pretty, it had me oooooo-ing and ahhh-ing for ages. You can see her tree and other decorations on her blog.
This is our tree at 5pm on Friday, 7th December. My OH thought I was bonkers taking a picture before it was decorated, but as you'll see from the others, it's probably the best one (hides face with embarrassment!)

420 lights, 1 angel and 2 and a half hours later.......................................

........................ this is a close up of the angel. She is about 20 years old now (or at least that's how long she's been an angel) She was originally a doll given to Claudia by my niece. Each year I think about making her a new dress, but she still looks very pretty (even with her taped wings ) and below is a rather fuzzy full view (embarrassed again !)

Below is a close-up of some of my favourite tree-nkets

I'll try to get some better pics of them, but the baubles that have been hand painted with snowy cottages were a real find. I saw them in a window of a small charity shop in our town and thought I just had to have them but I couldn't see a price. I went into the shop and asked (always a worthwhile thing to do, doh is me) and guess how much? Go on have a guess. OK I'll tell you. Get ready for it ..........................£1.95 for 4 !!!!!!!!! What a bargain !!!!!
I saw some similar on TV tonight and (although a bit bigger) they were £6 each !

In the above picture is 1 of a set of 4 angels we've had for years too, they are made from crimped paper with wooden heads and hands, each holding a different stringed instrument. To the left is a glass bauble. Originally it was 1 of 6, but over the years 1 got broken. They are hand-painted too, and another bargain, even though I've had them at least 10 years I found them in a small £1shop.

To the right of the angel is Claudia's bells. She made them at playschool when she was 3 and the tree just wouldn't be the same without them.

Underneath the tree we put all the little Christmas cuddly toys we've had bought us over the years, but this year they have been relegated to the sides because of these.........

.............................. they usually sit on the window sill and get hidden by the tree, but because we have our nice new stand instead of a bucket they fit very nicely at the front !

Hope you've enjoyed the little tour around my tree. Now all I have to do is put out the ornaments, make the mince pies, finish (or should I say start) my cards, do some sewing,..........

With love and blessings in Christ



Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Oh Christmas Tree

We went to the garden centre today to buy this years Christmas tree.

It's such a lovely place to be especially this time of year, it's a shame I never think to take the camera. There are robins that bob around quite happily among the trees (all under cover) and even inside the building part. It's as if they like to check that we're buying the right one.

This is last years tree

............................and without flash

(sorry about the quality, they were taken before I learned to work the camera!)

Unfortunately, just 1 hour after these were taken the tree was flat on the floor !!!
It was too front heavy, and toppled out of the bay window. We had to strip it bare and take it back out side. There was water all over the carpet, and very wet lights (of which we have about 400!)
The lights had to go into the airing cupboard for 2 days before we dared try to use them again.

Thankfully all was well the second time around, and this year Claudia has bought us a sturdy, heavy metal tree holder so we're hopeful that we shan't be having a repeat performance.

I'll post some photos of this years tree asap, and I know how to use the camera now.



Friday, 30 November 2007

Dec the Halls........tra la la la la

Good morning Blogland

Well Argos delivered on time, and the Christmas fair has been and gone.
It wasn't as well attended as we would have liked, the weather was awful, but we had fun. We gave away a few bibles and booklets, and all of the kids goody bags went (they had a nativity booklet, lolly, candy cane and stickers in them, really sweet). We're praying that all those who received any literature, will read it and have their eyes and hearts opened.

I am supposed to be cleaning and tidying right now ready for our sales at home tomorrow and Monday (definition of tidying; putting all the bags of fabric and paper out of public view!), It will get done eventually (hehehe)

We put our "ceiling" decorations up over the last 2 days. I haven't put out all the ornaments and candle holders yet, I don't want anyone to think they are for sale.!!??!!, but we'll do those as soon as the sales are finished.

I'm still waiting for Claudia to load the photos of the Christmas Fair onto the pooter, as soon as she does I'll post some. I didn't take my camera, should know better really.



Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Waiting for Argos

Hello and greetings to everyone in blogland !!!

I've been a bit on the busy side this last couple of weeks, getting things ready for the Christmas Fair this Saturday (and I still have lots to do) and doing Christmas card orders.
Here's a small selection of some of the cards that are part of an order of 100 (phew!!!)

They are a mixture of printed and stamped and this one............. one of my very favourite stamps. I have used it for myself so often that I'm in danger of sending people the same card year on year, so it was lovely to have the chance to use it for someone else. It's stamped onto gold pearlescent card and dusted with burgundy powdered food colour, then finished with a little matching chalk to set the powder. The food colour gives it a lovely, silky feel.

The last few days I've been decorating gift bags............

These are lovely paper bags, made from either recycled or sustainable sources. I can't be doing with the faff of making the bags from scratch, but buy them blank then decorate them with whatever takes my fancy. So there's ricrac, organza ribbon, lace, gingham and grosgrain ribbon, buttons, flowers, and a partridge in a pear tree (well maybe not but you get the idea).
I've tried to make them suitable for any occasion though there are a few that are Christmassy.

I'm sorry about the quality of the pics, they aren't as clear as I'd like. My camera is best used without the flash but the light wasn't as good as I hoped. The best place to take pics in my house is my bedroom, and I was constantly looking over my shoulder through the window.

I'm waiting for an Argos delivery, they say anytime between 7am and 6pm. It's not here yet.
I'll keep you informed, but I can't say what I've ordered, it's a secret sshhhhhh!!!!!!

Love and blessings



Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Memory Loss

Doesn't time fly !!! I hadn't realised I had neglected my blog for so long. Sometimes I just forget I've got a blog. Rubbish excuse I know, but I'd forget my head too if it wasn't attached !!!

The next few weeks are going to be sooooo busy too. Our lovely vicar is allowing us to hold the "Mustard Seed Gift Shop Christmas Craft Fair" in the church hall on the 24th November. I shall be working like mad replacing stock, and making new stock too. Thankfully I already have some Christmas goodies like these lovely pair

And other nice bits too, like this

So now it's a case of catching up with all the other things I need to make. I'm sure we'll be ready in time, but it's good to keep on my toes about these things.
Infact I tend to work much better with a deadline ahead of me.

So if I forget I have a blog again you know where I'll be........................


Elaine xxx

ps. If anyone wants details of any goodies or where the craft fair is, just leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Another quick one

Not much to tell over the past week. I haven't been able to do much work, so I thought I'd knit some mittens. WRONG. Could I find my pattern? No is the simple answer. I'm sure I've seen it somewhere recently, but when I actually want it, it's nowhere.

How many things actually disappear into Nowhere?

If anyone can tell me where Nowhere is I'd be very grateful. I'm sure lots of people would be grateful.

Infact, I'd go as far as to say, that whoever is the first person to find out where Nowhere is they'd make alot of money.

Anyway, yesterday I bought a new pattern. It's not as comprehensive as my old one, but it will have to do for now.

Now then, where are my short knitting needles...............................................

Love and Hugs in Christ,


Thursday, 18 October 2007

New places

Just a quick post for now.

We've had a bit of a stressful week this week and I haven't been able to knuckled down to work, so I've been "surfing" instead.

I found (through various places and links) Joanna Sheen's online shop.

WOW. It's not a big place but it's well worth a visit. I have a couple of Joanna's CDRoms, which I love, so I had to give it a whirl and last night I placed an order.

I've put a link in "Places I'd like to be" because I know I'll be visiting often.

Love & blessings

Elaine xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Pussy cat, pussy cat.....

Just a quicky for now, hoping to post more later or tomorrow (if I get chance to do some new photos in the yucky light we have today) When I was taking photos a few few days ago, I could resist a couple of my little helper
At first it's just the "shifty" look, because I'm disturbing her mid-morning nap between sleeps...........................................
..................................then it's the "if I look cute will you notice me" look....
................followed by.................................
................the "I'm so gorgeous you simply must tickle my belly" look.

Dizzy does love her attention!

Love and hugs in Christ

Elaine xxxxxxx

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Busy time ahead

Hello folks out there in blogland.

We had quite a busy weekend with our homesale on Saturday. It's always a last minute rush transforming the house from a "factory" into a "shop", and now changing everything back again!

All of the stock that's kept in the loft is now back in the loft, so it won't be long until the dining table is covered with card and fabric and anything else I can fit on it!

Firstly, I want to make some shopping bags, just plain cotton or nylon carrier bags. I have several I've bought and they're so useful, but the shop I bought them from doesn't have any more. I've seen similar ones for sale in another shop, but they are a bit pricey compared to mine. So I thought "why not make some?" I've lots of fabric that needs using, and it seems a popular option nowadays to use re-usable bags rather than have a mountain of plastic freebies.

Talking of sewing, I made this last week
I made it directly from the pattern, just a trial run. She could do with a bit of tweaking but she's quite cute I think. She has a little "secret" pocket.............. her body. Very useful.
The cushion she is sitting on I made a few weeks ago. My first attempt at patchwork applique ( in a very long time).

My daughter, Claudia, has been taking photos for the shop (how does the link thing work on here!!!! grrrr) when she has revamped the website I'll learn how to do the links (one day).

With love and hugs in Christ

Elaine xxxxxxxxxxxx

Friday, 5 October 2007

I hadn't realised.................'s been so long since I had written anything on here, that is until last night when I tried to sign in. What a game and a half that was. I'd made a mistake when I started, which didn't matter as I clicked "remember me", but after 2 weeks the blog didn't "remember me" at all!!!

Anyway, I have some photos of some of the work I've been doing over the last 2 weeks.

I decided to make a baby Annie, and this is what she looked like after the first stages of cutting, sewing and stuffing...................

.............................and this is after her hair and face have been added. Her hair is made from rags I cut from a "reclaimed" piece of fabric that started life as part of a ladies suit. She is wrapped in a blanket because I haven't decided what to make her dress from yet (or even made the pattern)

BOTTOMS UP.............
I hope this doesn't look to rude! It's the best way I could think of to show the bloomers on this sweet ladyShe's actually a lot bigger than she looks, about 26" tall. Doesn't she look lovely in her Christmas Holly dress and red gingham ribbons in her hair? I've been rushing to finish her ready for our home sale tomorrow. Anyone who knows me, and where I live, is more than welcome to come along, and if you'd like more details click on Mustard Seed Gift Shop in my links at the side and contact us there.

Hope to be here a bit more often now I can get back in!!!

Love and hugs in Christ

Elaine xxxxxxxxxx

Monday, 24 September 2007

Second time around

I tried writing a new post last night. I should have waited. I was so tired I could barely see what I was doing, it was such a load of gobble (much more than usual) I just gave up.
I have been a little disappointed. The patterns and stamps I've ordered still haven't arrived, but I've decided to make the most of the time anyway. I've been eyeleting tags ready to use on projects. I've had a batch of eyelets for some time but have rarely used any because of trouble with my hands. Usually after half a dozen I have to give up because my hands refuse to work, but I have a new tool. A Crop-A-Dile. I think they've been around for a while but I hadn't seen one before. Punching holes and putting in eyelets is now so easy! I will try to get some photos, it's a weird looking object but it does the job with little or no strain at all. So I've decided to eyelet a batch of tags I bought from the local craft shop, ready to use at a moments notice.
I had some lovely fabric given to me at chapel last night. I'll try to get a photo of that too.

Love and hugs in Christ

Elaine xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Friday, 21 September 2007

One of those days

I knew I didn't need to go out today, but still the dull weather seems to dull the enthusiasm too.

After succeeding on the card front(for now anyway)(large family,don't ask how many) I thought I'd crack on with a bit of sewing. The plan was to make some country rabbits in Christmas clothes. So I got out my neatly kept pattern from it's folder, prepared the fabric for the bodies, took the pattern from it's packet, and no body parts. Three sizes of rabbits, every single piece of clothes pattern kept in pristine condition, yet no body pieces. Goodness knows what's happened to them, I haven't used the pattern in years. I went through every pattern in the folder too, but nothing. I thought I would have to fetch another pattern today (in the hope that it was still available) and I didn't really want to go out, so I took to the internet instead.

Whatever would we do without the internet. I found the pattern I wanted quite quickly and ordered it. The problem is could I stop at just one pattern. No. I ordered 5 !!!!! But they are really cute, and will certainly be used for the Mustard Seed Gift Shop. The thing is though, I never seem to be able to make anything to the directions. I love to tweak things here and there, change sizes or faces, add extras, or change the clothes completely. Years ago, when Claudia was little I worked for a dress maker for a bit of extra money. It was a most valuable experience. I learned how to make basic patterns, change the sizes of almost any pattern, basically be able to make things from scratch. Trouble is nowadays I don't seem to have the time so I thought if I start with a pattern I can always "make it my own".

Last week one of the local charity shops had a clear out. I bought a bagful of goodies and yesterday I got around to washing them

And this morning I sorted them, ironed and cut them into more usable pieces.
Now I have (yet another) stash

Hopefully in a few weeks the fabric will be dresses for our Habakkuk Vintage Angels, each one sold provides another £4 towards rent for the shop we would like.

Although not all of the Angels are made from vintage fabric, it is usually reclaimed or vintage style remnants, that way we can keep the cost low. This is what they look like

We're hoping to sell 125, which will give us a £500 rent fund

Love and hugs in Christ

Elaine xxxxxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 19 September 2007


I think I've cracked the link problem.

My dear friend Raspberry Grace helped me. I didn't realise I had been putting in 2 lots of "http//" , once RG told me about that, I soon had the links up and running.

I have a confession to make now. I didn't make a list. Not even one thing written down. Not even a smudge on a scrap of paper. Nothing.

I blame Ideal World. They have a craft day. I started watching last night, and the telly is on now, just in case I see anything I simply must have. And now for my second confession. I ordered something an hour or so ago. Stamps. Wonderful, beautiful snowflake stamps. 2 sets, with embossing powders, all for £20, and free p&p!!!. I'm sure I shall make the most of my bargain, but I'm still watching, you never know, there might be bigger and better bargains to be had.

And I really need snowflake stamps.

I have done a few other jobs today too, just to make me feel better about not writing the list. Sheets are in the washing machine as we speak, and I am now going to write that list, right now. No, really I am. And I might even make a start on it by the weekend!

Love and hugs in Christ,

Elaine xxxxxxxxxx

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

How does this thing work !!!

I'm still trying to get to grips with this place. None of my links work. I don't know why, but I assume I'm doing something I shouldn't or not doing something I should! so for now I have removed them, just until I get my head around it all.

I haven't had much time online today, been busy catching up with the family cards I need to make between now and Christmas. Our family have lots of birthdays between now and then, and with orders for Christmas cards to make, I thought it best if I at least get the September cards out of the way.

My daughter found some lovely cupcake wrapping paper so most of the cards have been made from that (but not my brother's card, I didn't think he would appreciate the gesture)

I have 3 anniversary cards to make, then hopefully I will be able to clear the decks for some Christmas cards and a bit of sewing.

Funny but what ever I'm making at the time, it seems I have a need to be doing something else. Take today for example. I really enjoyed making the cards but it was all paper work and so I felt a real call to do some stamping. Another time I'll be stamping and I'll be planning the next sewing job!
I try writing lists to keep my urges under control but I forget to look at them, or loose them, or a priority order will come in and the list goes out the window!

Tonight I shall write yet another list, and hopefully at least some of it will get done tomorrow.

Love and hugs in Christ

Elaine xxxxxxx

Monday, 17 September 2007

Nice Goose

This (below) is my lovely goose. I bought her from a charity (thrift) shop a couple of months ago. I don't have much space left for ornaments but I just couldn't resist her.

I also found a lovely little teeny watering can at the same time. Both are just so sweet.

Late Starter

Well, here I am. It seems like the world and his wife have blogs nowadays, so now it's my turn.
It's my daughter's fault. She said it's easy. I'm not so sure. Maybe I'll get used to it in time, but for now I'll take it slowly.
I still need to get used to the layout, so I'll tell you a little about myself here for now.
I'm married, with one grown daughter. Nearer to 50 than I'd like to be. I'm short (not much over 5') and heavier than I should be, but hey, someone has to keep Cadbury's in business.
The most important thing about me, is my faith. I am a Christian, and thank God that I am.

Other stuff. Erm.....let's see. I love sewing and making cards. I like other crafts too, but dodgy hands prevent me from doing everything I'd like to do (that and being restricted to a 24 hour day)

I suppose using the title "Bloomin' Myrtle" is a bit of a cheat really. It is the name both my daughter and myself use for the things we make, but as she chose a different name for her blog I thought why let it go to waste?.

Oh yes, other things about me. We have a dog called Poppy and a cat called Dizzy. I love chocolate, and pasta, and most other foods. And tea first thing in the mornings.

I must try to get to grips with the rest of the blog before I post anymore, or this will be one boring place.

Love and Hugs in Christ

Elaine xxxxxx