Sweetbriar Dreams

So where shall we go on our journey today?

Friday, 2 November 2012

Let's Catch up on Projects...and Christmas

There is a blue sky today.  I just couldn't resist taking this photo from my garden.  The clouds were so crystal white and fluffy and the sky so blue.  A bit chilly though and I soon returned to the warmth of my kitchen.

So, while decorating, getting ready for my daughter's birthday, going out for lovely walks and generally enjoying my week off to refresh myself (along with the decorating), I have been thinking about my hooky projects and where I am with them.

I have become an addict to Ravelry!  There are so many ideas and creative people out there that it feels every time I go onto that website that I am in a toy shop at Christmas and just don't know which way to turn and the time, oh the time just flies by!

There are ripple blankets, afghans, granny squares, CAL's galore - I just don't know which way to turn and my head is all a whirl.  But, I have completed a very quick granny square cushion in the colours of my newly decorated bedroom - done in a couple of days!  I was that determined to get this one out of the way to start on other things but my mind is becoming a bit like Hurricane Sandy and ideas are swirling, crashing and going full force!

I have started a granny square blanket as many others have also done.  I'm trying to do at least one square per day if time allows, but have made the mistake of using different types of wool that I needed to use up.  I am hoping that once finished the smaller squares will meet the bigger squares - oh well it's 'experimental'!!

I have started on a 'splash of colour' granny square blanket (inspired by DorsetKnitwit).  This has multicoloured granny squares surrounded by black to give a real impact.

And just started on a rainbow ripple baby blanket,  (inspired by TillyK).

And I am just waiting for the tutorial on Attic 24 for the French Bower Bird, but might just make a few birds for my collection of lavender heads that I collected over the 'summer' (??!!)

So much I want to do, can I really fit a full time job into my life?!!

This morning I decided that I would calm my creative juices down a tad and take my wonderful daughter out for a pre-birthday shopping day (she turns 13 tomorrow).  She has inherited the artsy side of me and creates beautiful art work, so this shopping day was not be the usual shoes, clothes and make up shop, but more canvases, pencils, paint etc.

Of course, the Christmas temptations are out in force now.  The smells of cinnamon, nutmeg and spices fill the air - oh, that smell brings back memories of a store in Brighton called Pecksniffs who trade in the charming Lanes.  We were lucky enough to visit many years ago just before the previous perfumer retired and the shop at the time looked like an old Victorian store where you could see him busy in his back room preparing all the fragrances.  To me, there is nothing like visiting an old store at Christmas and seeing the crafter at work, it makes me smile both inwardly and outwardly with a lovely warm glow inside...priceless! At the time he had produced the most amazing oil called Chuzzlewit but said that as he was leaving, this would no longer be available.  We still have the old 'dog eared'  dropper bottle to this day and it is only on very special occasions that we will use this.

However!  near us we have an amazing garden centre called Baytree and I have just found this:

It is the closest I have got to the Chuzzlewit smell and I am so excited, warmed and heartened by it's delicious fragrance.  It was one of those Eureka moments when I picked it up to smell the fragrance and the memories it resurfaced of those many days to Brighton especially around Christmas time.  The easiest purchase I have ever made.

While I was there today, I thought I would take some photos to show you of their well thought out displays and their amazing finds and buys that dot this huge site.

Of course there were pumpkins by the entrance, the last of the vibrant orange of October...

One of the many walk throughs which also contain so much wildlife...

The Alpine garden which gives so much inspiration for these beautiful little plants...

I love the bird house...

The displayed 'finds'.  This is an old Victorian paper cutter...

An old Trabbant (I think it is anyway!), reminds of the Harry Potter car...

Men flying through the air...

and of course Mickey and Minnie Mouse...

If you are ever in the Spalding area, this is an absolute MUST to visit.  You won't be disappointed!!

While we were there we noticed that the latest circus to hit town have asked Baytree to take care of their animals, camels, llamas, ponies and reindeer.  They have put these next to the HUGE Christmas display...Santa comes to town tomorrow.

And now on to the Christmas displays.  If there is one thing that Baytree do very well it's this.  I have included some photos for you to enjoy...

It is always a big thing when Baytree has Santa coming to the grotto.  They have won awards on their grotto which includes a train ride to see Santa through a snowy woodland, enormous displays with full grown, snow covered trees and when you get to see Santa in his large log cabin your child receives a free rooted Christmas tree to plant in the garden (this comes down the chimney with their present) - the owner is a genius!  The best time to go is after school during a weekday, otherwise there is usually a couple of hours wait at other times, even though the waiting is not so bad as there is lots for the children to see and do while they wind their way to the grotto, and of course feed Baytree's own reindeer.

So now at the end of my week away from work and the kids' half term, I still have some last minute things to do, such as finishing painting...this is sounding like a broken record!  However, tonight I plan on putting on some cosy socks and sitting in my favourite chair with one of my 'whirring' projects and once all in bed, the preparation of secret presents, cards, balloons and cake for my baby's 13th birthday.

I hope you have a lovely weekend and a good week. xx

1 comment:

  1. Oh my word...that's a lot of Christmas stuff!!! LOL. I hear you on getting into more hooky projects. This week I've been crocheting non-stop! Getting ready to give some much-loved and hand-worked Christmas gifts. Good luck getting ready for the holidays!


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