Monday, 28 December 2015

Crafting and fundraising

This months raffle for Kiwoko hospital in Uganda will be drawn end of January.tickets £1 can be purchased directly from me or the just giving website. www.justgiving.com/Jayne-Browne-Mcclenaghan
Below the winner of our December raffle for Kiwoko.
Coffee and craft continues and I have been trying to finish projects and not just crochet.
Watercolour complete
Top of quilt still needs an edging before I start quilting.
Start of a crochet puppy and below my Sophie cal to date.

Christmas

J and I were working most of Christmas apart from Christmasday itself which we spent with friends, even Smudge had a friend.
Present opening is the best part for Smudge even when they aren't hers and when she got something that was hers she ran off with it.
She did get a new bowl as well but the donkey was more appealing.
We open our pressies when I get in from work just before 1am.
Christmas morning I don't like to get up too early which I suppose isn't any different to any other time of year.its just time to get up finish off the trimmings and pack the car.
Lunch before our traditional afternoon walk.
This year we got drenched so most of us had dinner in our PJ's.
Then time to relax.


Christmas gifts and more

We don't have many gifts to buy but even my Christmas cards I consider as gifts as I like to make them myself either from. Scratch or recycled cards.
The friend I made these for just loved them but never laughed so much when I walked she was wearing them upside down so next year must remember to attach instructions for use.(above) the yarn was from Lulus stash online store- rumba stylecraft DK with some buttons from my stash which probably date back around forty to fifty years. Matching cowl from a completely different designer below.
These items were fairly quick to make and more so in crochet than previously knit. Items.
These above are also in stylecraft DK with more modern buttons.
The mits above were done in stylecraft Aran parchment with the matching slouchy beanie again from different designers in parchment DK and various odds and ends of stylecraft DK and buttons.the slouchy beanie is by Sarah Jane designs, an American pattern and the mits by hopefulhoney.com
Shortbread for the neighbours and this year I got some lovely cranberry,orange and cinnamon jelly from a new neighbour which was such a treat.
Then for Christmas Day 

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Edinburgh part two

Despite having seen all the sites before we enjoyed a walk around the castle grounds and a visit toGrey friars  Bobby.
We had one day of rain and even that didn't stop as we walked around.
Grey Friars Bobby above
£1.48 per sweet
Excellent choice of food no matter where we went and plenty to entertain you whatever time of the day. We thoroughly enjoyed the spectacular light show which was free and something I doubt North Fown and Ards would ever pull off
This was at the bottom of the Royal Mile each evening. You could walk up the middle or just stop and listen to the choir music that was played in conjunction with the movement of the lights

Edinburgh

We reckoned its at least ten years since we had been to Edinburgh and if work allows we like a city break in December as we both work over Christmas so off we went.
We always went by boat before but I suffer severe sea sickness so it was a delight to fly at least for me as J nervous in a plane!!! Edinburgh lodge was a perfect place to stay.just between the zoo and Princess St with regular. Buses stopping at the door.however we walked for the exercise and the weather allowed it.
The staff were incredibly friendly but then everywhere we went the people were friendly.what we found though which was similar to our trip to Dublin was that it was hard to find a local as most folk were Eastn European or other nationality.
Was lovely to meet up with our nephew who is a chef in Aisle for the last two years. I didn't get to try it out but maybe next time as we plan to go back next year.the Christmas markets were excellent and that was comparing them to both Belfast and Paris.a few more than Belfast and a few less than Paris but the quality was excellent. We certainly enjoyed trying the foods and the beautiful marzipan chocolates from Hungary.
We did a lot of shopping as we rarely shop outside of our holidays and we had a number of coffee stops
Above Jenners department store

Monday, 7 December 2015

What Is Christmas about?

When the count down begins to Christmas what comes to mind? Do you think about the expense and how you will manage financially with all the things expected for gifts and food? Do you panic thinking you will not have enough time to get everything done? Are you distraught trying to work out how you can accommodate everyone so no one is left out.Just sit and think about the first Christmas and how none of these things were considered. 

There is nothing wrong with giving gifts and in fact life would be very dull without gift giving. The wise men and shepherds brought the Christ child gifts. However they brought what they had. Maybe as we think of gifts we should consider what we already have. We can use our skills and materials that are accessible to us. We do not need to strive to have the most expensive, most trendy or the latest fad. It's the giving and receiving of gifts that is important.

How do we spend our time at Christmas. Well obviously this depends on our circumstances. Kids are off school and therefore a very family time for them. The build up and excitement of receiving gifts. It's really up to the parents where they place the emphasis because what they make Christmas is what each child will carry on through to adulthood when they then have their own Christmas. Therefore it's your choice if you want the focus on expensive gifts or celebrating the birth of Christ with token gifts but lots of fun together with friends/ family.

Unfortunately around the world there are many who do not receive gifts and are not in a position to give gifts either for various reasons. Those in poverty or in a war torn environment. Many children continue to suffer abuse just like any other day of the year. Many do not have basic needs for living and are suffering not even knowing what Christmas is about. They do not know that Christ is the greatest gift we can receive and some day for those who believe there will be no divisions but peace and comfort forever.

Wishing everyone a blessed Christmas and New Year but remember why we have Christmas, the true meaning for this holiday

Craft and Christmas

It's many years since I made items for myself for Christmas but those I did have survived well. The Christmas afghan I made this year is for raffle in aid of Kiwoko hospital in Yganda. It will be drawn in 19th December but has already raised £100.
Have been continuing with regular crafts such as my Sophie above in stylecraft Aran. The Cumming family came to visit today and Poppy showed off some of her Christmas craft.
Watercolour below was from my art class this week and I will keep it on the easel til I get round to finishing it. Harder now with the winter days and little natural light.

Well I really must go as still some more Christmas cards to finish.

Getting ready for Christmas

This used to be such a mad busy time I had to start getting organised in September. However kids got older and moved in to have their own kids which meant less presents to buy. Working part time also gave me more time to make gifts.i did make some this year but of course can't display them and ruin the surprise.
Smudge loves opening presents so when we start putting the decorations it's like opening presents and she gets so excited. Her Christmas toys also come down from the attic.
So many boxes that all have to go back up into the attic again until January.
She loves wearing her Christmas scarf which was a gift many years ago from my niece Lucy and she loves the Christmas music.
Even the kitchen is decorated with the little lights we got at Mountstewart last year to set it off.
Second year for our tree and it survived it's nap well with all lights sparkling. I keep it on constant mode though.
Smudge tries to open an early delivery, almost certain its for her but disappointed when she realises its for me. A new cover for my sewing machine.