Saturday, 28 December 2013

All is calm


Christmas day walk, fading light on powdered frosted fields, a new bike...
...and three little golden foiled reindeer waiting patiently beside the hot chocolate...

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas eve

The snow has just started to fall from the leaden sky making this Christmas Eve even more atmospheric. We are tucked up in our little house, grateful to be warm and safe. The boys' bedrooms are finished and it's so wonderful to have the extra space for playing!
We have made the wreath (this year only using hedgerow finds), we have baked our cake and plum duff, we have swapped gifts and good wishes with family, friends and neighbours. We have snuggled deep into the sofa, by a roaring fire, to listen to A Child's Christmas in Wales, easily one of the most wonderful of our Christmassy traditions.
In short, we are ready for Christmas Day.
We wish you a Merry Christmas, wherever you are and however you are celebrating!

Saturday, 21 December 2013

just crackers

Who doesn't love a Christmas Cracker? The two youngest boys made a cracker for their teachers, filling them with a packet of seeds, a small gift and a handwritten joke and drawing. We wrapped them in some festive paper and tied them with red ribbon and ho, ho, ho the perfect Christmas gift!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

last minute

So, how organised are you? Have you been shopping and wrapping and ribbon-ing since November? Is everything ready under the tree? Or maybe you're like the rest of us and have left it to the last (ish) minute and are now scrabbling around wondering if it will ever be done...I saw the gorgeous work of Cambridge Imprint on the Persephone Books website. So how about an elephant mug, or a notebook or a box of cards to fill that stocking with?







We are on the countdown here. The boys' Christmas play is on Thursday evening at school - costumes have been made and lines learnt and there is much excitement!

Saturday, 14 December 2013


On this wild and stormy day when the rain and wind are battering the front door we need something peaceful and soothing; some soup puttering on the stove, some fragrant gingerbread in the oven and some paintings by Cathy Cullis just to bring us a little peace, you understand.

Friday, 13 December 2013


The boys have an unexpected day off school. You might think a lie-in would be in order but no, up at seven in the usual fashion. It's still dark at seven in the morning. But the darkness meant we could turn on the sparkly Christmas lights on the tree and those along the dining room window. And the early hour meant we could bake bread, colour and read all before sunrise. There's a lot to be said for an early start to the day, especially as we inch towards the shortest day when our daylight is so precious. And today we have the additional treat of a trip to the cinema to see Free Birds because everyone needs to see a movie about time travelling turkeys at Christmas...

Saturday, 7 December 2013

whisper this...Christmas is coming...

We are getting that jingly feeling, we are coming over all Christmassy with Santa lists and the gentlest, simplest of decorations made last evening from a recycled box, paper, moss, pages from a 1940s cookbook and seed heads painted gold...

Friday, 6 December 2013

December days

Home from school on a blustery, chilly, grey December day. What's a nice treat to have waiting for you when you come in (alongside the inevitable homework) - ah yes, hot chocolate from your favourite mugs and iced spice biscuits, candlelight and the promise of Christmas...

Spice biscuits
200g plain flour
100g caster sugar
100g butter, very soft
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 egg, organic and free range if possible
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

            Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4 and line a couple of baking trays with baking paper. In a medium sized mixing bowl cream together the soft butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Sift in the flour, baking powder and the spices. Mix this in.  Add the egg and mix in again- it should form into a smooth dough. Flour the work surface and the rolling pin too. Roll out the spicy dough- I like mine quite thick and cut with cookie cutters. Then bake for about 10-12 minutes until lightly coloured. You can ice them or leave them plain as you wish, but the boys appreciated the green sprinklings on top of theirs.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

A woman's prerogative... to change her mind. A shudder runs through even the hardiest of husbands who are well used to their wives humming and hawing and endless mind-changing. But I think it's for the best. No, really I do. We had decided to use Blue Winged Teal in the new bedroom. And in fact we did - painting quite a few walls with it until I changed my mind (ahem) and pretty much decided I hated Blue Winged Teal and really, what were we thinking using such a colour... Luckily it didn't take too much persuasion to change to Stone-Dark-Warm instead - a much nicer colour - one which will go with the floor (Felt) and the cream woodwork. So we are on the home stretch with this bedroom and bathroom addition of ours. It will be such a welcome space- giving those of us who need to play on the floor all the room they want and those of us who really just need quiet to practice piano a welcome break from interested (but noisy) audiences.

Floor painted and printed with Tapet patterned paint roller & Annie Sloan paints

Patterned pain roller on .12
The Painted House supply paint rollers which you can use to paint patterns onto walls, fabric, wood, paper- just about anything in fact. How fabulous are they? Especially for those of us who love the look of a papered wall but don't necessarily have the budget. Have a look at their shop here
By Clare Richardson for Country Living - a vintage patterned paint roller on the walls and designs no.5& 9 on the cushions

Friday, 29 November 2013


The Advent calendar is finished and strung along the stairs, wending its way up over prints and along the panelling of the dining room. Each pouch has a little treat tucked away inside and hopefully the boys will look forward to each day of Advent rather than just wishing it all away...

Wishing you and your loved ones a happy weekend, full of cheer!