Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Paris here we come...

Our Celebrations began on Wednesday with a trip down to London to enjoy our Tea  at Fortnum and Masons.  Our hotel was by St Pancras Station, so we decided to walk which included going down Regents Street with all of its Christmas lights. Of course passing Liberty's meant we had to visit the store.  The Christmas room was full of goodies, and the general decor was great.

On to Fortnum and Masons, who I have to say got my vote for the most festive windows in the West End.  Each window was stuffed full of colour.

Each window was dressed differently with such a lot to look at

Our 'Tea' was of the savour kind, and what a fuss was made of us.  The cake/sandwich stand was filled up with as much as you could eat, and you then had a choice of cakes from the cake trolley.  We couldn't eat any cake so a very 'posh' doggy bag was made up for us.

The red baubles contain spice tea, and the box has our cakes inside

Thursday morning we were up and ready for our train to Paris.  The station is always full of travellers, but there is still a bit of space for a fun Christmas tree....Yes - its made up of all Disney stuffed toys.

We arrived in Paris on time, and soon found our way to the Metro, then booked into our hotel.  We decided  the 'Hop on Hop off' bus was the best way to see the sites and the weather was so kind to us, it allowed us to sit on top in the open air. By the time the bus had travelled its journey, Paris was in darkness so we had the added advantage of seeing the Paris Christmas lights/decorations.

Friday was our actual anniversary so we had a bit of a photo shoot on our balcony ( not really - just practising with the selfie stick).

8.30 am.  and full of lights and glitter

We wandered down to Notre Dame and had a look at the Cathedral,  then caught the bus again, this time we did spend some time hopping on and off to visit the sites.

Our first stop was the Arc de Triomphe.  Unfortunately the lift to the top wasn't working, so we braved the stairs.......284 of them.  If our feet weren't aching before, they were now!

Back on the bus and the next stop was the Trocadero where we got off and walked to the Eiffel Tower.  Had another attempt at selfies ...

Saturday.... a visit to The Palace of Versailles, and if you could only visit one place while in Paris, this has to be the one.  The Palace is just huge and the opulence is unimaginable (no wonder the peasants rioted!). I can't imagine the beauty of this room in the evenings with the chandeliers lit and the extra candles that would be hidden behind the mirrors  -  truly like a fairy palace!


Looking at all of the stunning painted ceilings gives you a crick in your neck, but it has to be done.

Add caption
and who wouldn't want a bed like these.....

The queens bed with its summer wall hangings and bed covers

The princess's bed
the gardens spread as far as the eye can see and looked very inviting, but I think we would have needed another day to wander these

As far as the eye can see.......
For our last supper in Paris we went back to a small typical French restaurant that had been recommended on our first evening.  The meal was just as good as the first night and Mr. D had his Chocolate Soup as his desert......Yummy!!

Hazel nuts, Vanilla Ice cream and Hot Chocolate. 
We had a wonderful 50th Anniversary (thanks Neil and Megan, Sarah and Peter, Jan and Adam  and my sister Jeannette), certainly many memories to be added to the long list.  

This will be my last post before Christmas, so let me wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and if you're travelling - safe journey.

Thursday, 17 December 2015


This week was a celebratory week.  It began on Monday Celebrating Christmas at Higham Piecemakers.  The group meets for the whole day, and often there is some sort of project that you can join in with if you want, but most of us are there just to enjoy each others company.  We bring a shared lunch and I have to say the ladies do us all proud.  During the day there was a Secret Santa, and a raffle for  charity, but what we all look forward to with trepidation anticipation is the yearly Challenge.... Dar Dum!!!  This year we were given a fat quarter of fabric and the workings of a clock......you guessed it - we have to use the fabric to make a clock-- great, as I could use a clock in my room.  This challenge has to be finished about March time, but I wont be doing any 'show and tell' until the group has its big reveal day.

Tuesday was a quite day, but Wednesday was the start of our BIG anniversary weekend.  Our children and my sister have clubbed together to give us a weekend in Paris.  We travel in style on Euro Star on Thursday morning, but as it is an early (ish )start we decided to go down to London on Wednesday.  Once we told the children of our Wednesday start this arrived in the post...........

How posh is that invitation?
Afternoon Savoury Tea for two.  Yummy!!

I just thought I might add some photos from our memories over the past 50 years together, don't worry there are not tooooooooo many....

Back on the Big Day 1965

Don't we look sweet???
 First holiday as a married couple...

Oh so young
 We moved to South Africa in 1982 with our 3 children.  Guess who dressed us for this Punk Party!!

My jacket borrowed from daughters boyfriend..
Amanzimtoti Durban 1985 

That water is so inviting
 Studio Photos..... goodness it seems so long ago

 Our Silver Wedding Anniversary..... we had a party with all of our friends.

Fun times 
 A move to Cape Town 1991, back to just the two of us....

Picnic on Signal Hill C.T.
 Our son and daughter-in-law owned a house at Bettys Bay Cape Town, where we spent many happy holidays and long weekend breaks.

The rock that we are sitting on was a favourite place for sun set photos 
 Since we have moved back to the U.K. in 2000, we have been lucky enough to spend many holidays visiting family and friends in South Africa

Mojo the African Experience Stellenbosch
 This  year we travelled back to Canada for a holiday and its always good to find somewhere new to visit.  This is a photo taken at the top of the mountain at Squamish where they have opened the 'Sea to Sky' gondola.  If ever you get the chance its worth a visit.
Blue blue skies 

Life always has its ups and downs, but I can honestly say we have had many more ups and generally a fantastic 50 years together.

Hopefully my next post will have some fantastic photos of Paris. 

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Crazy or What!!!

 A number of years ago I bought a kit for a beaded bauble from Spellbound Beads, the design was called Starry Night Bauble and I loved it.  Last year while at the "Ali Pali" Exhibition I found another bauble that I thought I would like to make so again bought the kit.  This year I decided to make a few more and searched Pinterest for some inspiration.  You may have seen some of them in  This post. What was not known is how addictive beading baubles is!

Lots of different ones, 

The one I really wanted to reproduce was the very first one I had made 

In my opinion its a stunner
I generally keep all of my patterns, but I have searched every draw, cupboard, shelf, box and cannot find it, SO lets have a play at working it out myself....

Goodness knows where to start, this looks like a spider!!!

Wish I could remember how to start!!
lets start at the top
looks OK So far

3 stars and the glass bauble at the ready
It took a few more hours but I think I've cracked it

Phew !!!
The glass ball I had bought for this ended up being too big so the beading wouldn't fit.  Boo Hoo! I might just try to make some of the beaded dangling stars and somehow hang them inside my glass ball. 

I think in the New Year a trip to Lichfield is called for.

Monday, 30 November 2015

Churn Dash Mini Challenge

Yes, this month our challenge was to make a mini quilt using the churn dash blocks.  I had to go and look to see how this block was made up (Mr Google is so good at searching) and I found lots of different styles but decided to go traditional.

I did start small

These papers make perfect  half square triangles 

Oops! a mistake about to happen

Just 2" unfinished 

Second mistake  Boo Boo!

I am now sure I am not happy with this
 So back to the cutting board ......

This was a sneek peek for flickr photos
 Only a little bigger, but I felt I could get  a better seam match

Not perfect but getting there
 Finally I like
Final size 9" x 9" 
Tomorrow we get our next challenge here and as we have Christmas coming up we have decided to let the next challenge spread over two months, so you have plenty of time to get this one done.......come on join us.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Slacking !!!!!

I feel like my feet have hardly touched the ground, so crafting has been a bit on the slow side . Still I have a couple of things to show and tell today.

Firstly my daughter bought some yarn at Yarndale back in September and asked me to make some fingerless mitts for her.  I was a little bit unsure as I thought the pattern I had was going to be a bit big for her, so I just knitted them on smaller needles and goodness they knitted up quickly......she may even get another pair before Christmas.

Nice and Lacy
 On Saturday I went along to make a Christmas wreath.  I am just not good at flower arranging unless it is a step by step arrangement, but the lovely Glynis was at hand to show us just what to do.  We were given a ring of wire which we had to bind with more wire then add the moss and bind again.

Should I just leave it like this???
 Everyone had brought greenery, so the hall smelt like a forest, and the floor looked like a forest floor.....  but we were having fun.

There's always one that's sensible and brings her apron !

Heads down and working hard
After adding the greenery (which I have to tell you took a lot longer then imagined) we could add some fancy bits.   There was a great choice laid out on the table, and I really thought I would go for all the baubles and beads, but in the end decided less was more.  I am thrilled with my creation and can't wait to hang it outside on the first of December.

Tah Dah!

I'll be back soon to show you the next stage of our Mini Mania Challenge....Yes -November has whizzed and its nearly time for us all to show and tell about our Churn dash minis.

See you soon x

Friday, 13 November 2015

Baubles and Beads

Ooops!  I seem to have been missing from Blogland for a while and there are really no excuses.  Have I been busy....Not really, but I do have a couple of things to show you.

Last year I tried beading baubles, loved the sparkly little things so bought a number of packs of baubles ready to be beaded (as you do). Of course time ran out for Christmas 2014 which meant I stored the baubles ready for this Christmas.  I looked on Pinterest and decided to try my hand at making the patterns up as I went along.  VoilĂ ! look at this little lot....

They are of course a variation on a theme, it takes so long to get the patterns right.

Just another two boxes of 12 to do!!!!!!  May be they will be ready for 2016

As some of you know I have a smocking group that meets once a month, and its always nice to make something special for Christmas.  This year the main 'show stopper' (what a laugh) was a mini wreath.  There were a couple left over, so I thought I would make one.

Its only about 8" in diameter so not quite big enough for the front door
The weather this weekend is supposed to be awful, so I think I might spend some time in my sewing room with next months challenge, if you don't know what I'm talking about go over to flickr and have a look - you might like to join us.