Saturday 31 December 2011

The Last Hurrah....of 2011, at least.

Christmas-time has been absolutely wonderful this year. 

We've had a fantastic week all together as a family every day.
{Yesterday, we came back from a rather wet tramp in the countryside and had hot-buttered toast by the roaring fire. Heavenly.}

 But it has meant that Modern Country Style has been noticeably quiet.
*hangs head in shame*

I've missed the delicious feeling of sitting with you
and having a gentle natter over a cup of something yummy.

I imagine us together somewhere like this. 
Do you want the blue shoes or the pointy shoes?

Once New Year is over then everything will be back to normal.
I promise.

 And as for New Year itself? I know some of you dread it but I unabashedly love it
This picture sums up how I see it....

New Year's Eve is a bit like getting ready starting out on the most extraordinary journey; you're not quite sure what it's going to be like....but you know enough to see that it'll be lovely.

And with you and me together again, it will be.

Happy New Year to you all.....


Images via: Lucas Allen, Inspire Me

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Friday 23 December 2011

Just Suppose For A Second That It's All True...

Will you just suppose with me for a second that it's all true?

That God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in Him will not die but have everlasting life..

The ultimate happy ever after.

For you.

{It's what I believe.}

This video makes it so personal, so real...
and always makes me cry. 

Like the most incredible fairy tale.

Wishing you the most wonderful, 
and meaningful, Christmas.

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Tuesday 20 December 2011

How To Have Your Best Ever Christmas...

Doesn't this look perfect? Cute little cherubs. Gorgeous tree, with every last ornament in place. I can almost see Father Christmas taking a quick photo to show his wife for 'How To Do Christmas Better' hints and tips....and can almost picture where the number of ways she might break his camera after that...

Which leads me onto wondering...what does make the perfect Christmas?

Definitely NOT on the list would be forgetting the plumber is coming around early and answering the door in jimmy-jams. Surprising how quickly I can get dressed when necessity comes calling.

Definitely NOT on the list would be losing your daughter's main  (read: most expensive...) Christmas present for three tortuous days...though the relief when you find it, not to mention the forgotten bags of extra presents that were unearthed during the now-legendary search, makes the endless looking almost worthwhile (so I keep telling myself...). 

Definitely NOT on the list is having a completely hilarious time playing with our new fishing rod - possibly slightly hysterical after said searching...- a length of tinsel stuffed into an empty wrapping-paper cardboard roll. Can you bite onto the tinsel before the fisher whisks it away? So undignified. So raucous. So funny. 

Let me tell you. I plan to have a perfect Christmas. But not picture perfect. Not high-pressure stressy-pants perfect. Just perfect in my own way.

Sounds good, huh?

{And if you fancy an easy-peasy non-stressy-pants craft...then look here, at the blog I write for Relics Of Witney for a bit of gilding magic...}

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Saturday 17 December 2011

Wonky baubles? Read on...

I don't know about you, my poppett, but, when it comes to Christmas, I'm *far*more interested in atmosphere, than whether every bauble is perfectly in place.

Image: Pottery Barn (thanks, JenE!)

Who cares whether the lanterns are slightly skewiff or if the red on the children's pictures doesn't exactly match the felt decorations? 
Alright, I do just a little bit...

But what really matters to me is that it should all feel hugely festive. 
A wonderfully happy celebration.

Like a King's birthday party.
{Which, would you believe, it is?}

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Friday 16 December 2011

Out-Christmassing Santa. Oh yeah, baby.

For me, it's coloured fairy lights all the way, my poppett.
Not classy, I know, but something in me just cannot resist their cheerful, warm, friendly, and, yes, slightly gaudy glow.

We've got our carol service at church on Sunday. 
I'm hoping for a real live donkey...

Have a wonderfully cosy, cinnamon-scented Christmassy weekend.

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Wednesday 14 December 2011

Felt Christmas Pudding

Oooh, what a lovely Christmas craft I have to show you.

I'm taking part today, at gorgeous Gwen's blog, in:

Haul Out the Holly,Gwenny Penny,Christmas tutorials

This year, I'm only posting easy but gorgeous crafts 
- no one wants a huge project looming over them a week before the big day.

Did I say a week?
{Or should that be 'Wha'? Eek?!!'}

This will take you maybe ten minutes
...and will make you feel so warm and fuzzy inside.
{A perfect break from sorting out those dang fairy lights.
Step away from the hammer....}

You'll be needing the following:

Felt: white, green and brown.
Three red buttons
Coordinating embroidery thread and needle

Draw a circle on the brown felt and cut out.
{I used a bowl as a template. 
The size of your circle will determine the size of your pud.}

Using the embroidery thread, tack around the outside of the circle, about 1/2" in from the edge. Leave two long threads at each end.

Add your stuffing to the centre of the brown felt circle. Pull on the threads to close the circle and form a fat pudding shape. When you're happy with the look, knot the threads together and snip short.

Cut out an icing shape using the white felt.

Sew three red buttons onto the centre in a triangle.

Sew two green-felt holly leaves using two strands of thread onto the 'icing'.

Sew on a large loop at the centre to form the hanger.

Glue the icing onto the pudding....
{If only the Christmas dnner was this easy...
'Simply take the ingedients out of the freezer and stick onto plates'}

And finally, and most importantly, take time to feel extremely proud of your quick and gorgeous felt Christmas pudding!

The other day on Facebook
{have you joined us there yet?}

'Take time to enjoy your hard work.'
{Or not-so-hard in this case...}

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Monday 12 December 2011

Christmas Card Display Ideas

Christmas Cards...? I love 'em.

The sound of Mr Postie dropping a lovely bundle of cards through our letter box has to be in my Top Ten Christmas Sounds. 

But it's so easy for the house to turn into Mrs Clutterbucket's at Christmas, with those very cards on every surface.
{Not to mention the dust...the less said about the dust, the better...}

What's a girl to do?
Is it possible to have a beautiful Christmas Card Display?

Here are some ideas I've dug up to get your crafty taste-buds drooling....

Aren't they great?

That shutter idea is so clever...

And cards on scrolled iron-work?

I'll be sharing my own Christmas Card Display idea verrrry soon...

First, though, I'll be showing you my felt Christmas Pud decoration,
You're gonna love it!

{Images via: Forman, Martha Stewart, unknown, Pretty Handy Girl, 
HouseToHome, Cassie Myers, AnotherDayInRLife, BHG}

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Thursday 8 December 2011

Blanket-stitched Felt Hearts

From the first moment of December 1st, 
it is decreed that I am finally allowed to play Christmas songs.

{If I had my way, I think I would play them all year round...but possibly I would have to move into a lonely, but very musically fulfilled, cave far away.}

Don't you just love this time of year: creating the feeling of Christmas magic around the house? 

The carols, 
the decorations, 
the wondrous meaning of it all,
the excitement.

Today, I'm joining in with Make It Merry, 
hosted by Diane at Home Sweet Homemade.

This year, I thought I'd drive the Christmas Magic Santa Express 
for my own felty project. 

It was pretty easy but gave a fanTAStic result. So easy that I made two. 
And so gorgeous that I keep I will be keeping them up all year.
{See, already I made my hermit cave more homely.}

Do you want to have a go?
Is Santa's belt tight round his wobbly tummy?
Course it is!

Here's a tutorial just for you...

All you need to do is this:

Cut out two large red hearts of the same size, 
one medium sized cream or grey heart
and one small red heart

{you can, of course, choose the colours of your dreams, but I rather like the look of the small and large hearts being the same colour and the medium heart providing some kind of contrast}

Pin the small heart to the medium heart. 
{I like it centred but, again, you can choose to offset if that appeals to you.}
 Then, using three strands of a contrasting embroidery thread and an embroidery needle, blanket stitch all around the edge of the little heart to attach it to the medium sized heart.

Do exactly the same with the medium heart 
onto one of the big hearts.

{Try if you can to make your blanket stitches the same size all around the hearts, and pay special attention to the pointed base for a super-neat finish.}

Then stitch the two large hearts wrong sides together, leaving a gap at the top. Pour generously into your felt heart the filling of your choice for 
a really plumptious look. 
I used organic lavender.

Then continue the blanket stitching, 
leaving a large loop of thread at the top for hanging.

The last stage, to stop your filling from seeping out through the stitching, is to machine stitch around the edge of the large heart, following the line along the bottom of the blanket stitches.

And there you have it: 
a gorgeous, Christmas-magic heart.

So beautifully plump and gorgeous, I almost want to gobble it all up. Almost.

Coming soon, 
a very Modern Country way to display your Christmas cards....

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