Monday, 30 December 2013

Move Over Mary ...

Long before the marquees were erected, Paul and Mary were dusted off and 'soggy bottom' became a household term our family have gamely been competing with others in an annual tradition known as the 'cake off'. Around about October each year cookbooks are consulted and ingredients are mingled in an effort to produce a prize winning Christmas cake. Lots of winks, nods and nose tapping ensue and nobody is willing to share their personal recipe until the day. This year it was our turn to host and as well as the traditional Christmas cake the children had their own category - the Yule log.  After much food, fun and frivolity the cakes are dissected and  each take their turn to taste and anonymously vote for their favourite. 

The voting log
Straightforward yes? Aha but there would be no fun in that! Often this is the most corrupt part of the process whereby outrageous voting can occur on all sides. But this year - WE WON! So obviously no cheating occurred at all as I am quite willing to accept the mantle of best Christmas cake maker EVER (well at least in our house...for this year...!) 

The 'log off' was of a particularly high standard so we added artistic merit on top of flavour as a bonus section.


Other years have seen the addition of 'chutney off's', 'jam off's and 'wine off's' - and there is always the excited prediction of what we could do next year but will probably never get around to.  

 There were carols and games.

All in all the best time is had  - lots of friends, too much food and a significant amount of festive (ahem) spirit. Our very own family tradition - and without a soggy bottom in sight!

Hope you are all managing to enjoy what is important to you this year.



Monday, 23 December 2013

A Christmas Conundrum

As we rush headlong in to the festivities I would like to wish all of you a wonderful Christmas and leave you with this visual pun merrily assembled by Mr K. It took me three days, lots of bribery and a mini tantrum to solve so the best of luck.

Merry Christmas!



P.S. Thank you for all your best wishes for the fair - it was a quiet one but really enjoyable and nearly all of the bunnies found a new home!

Drumroll........ T'was the Night (knight) Before (in front of) Christmas ( a christmassy scene according to Mr K!) ... well done to Melody and any of you who managed to get anywhere near!


Thursday, 12 December 2013

Two by Two


The ornaments went in two by two


The Jingle Owls

and aprons too


The Christmas trees

The needlebooks

The Bunnies 

(with their funny looks)

And they all went travelling

Off to the Christmas fair!!!


Saturday, 7 December 2013

A Double Whammy Sandwich

It's December! How the hey did that happen?

The Frog Prince by Walter Crane

The last few weeks have been a bit of a blur - blink and it's gone. The craft fair is still pending (next Saturday to be precise - thank you so much for all the positive feedback!) so sleep has been punctuated with images from Pinterest and ideas way above my station. Jessie Dog has been to and fro from the vets with - shall we say - old lady issues. And somewhere in the middle of all this the word Christmas has been bandied about like a bee in a biscuit tin (I'm not sure where this simile has come from - I have never actually put a bee in a biscuit tin and would not recommend others to do so. Apologies to bee lovers everywhere).

Back to the sandwich. This one is made from a wonderful artisan loaf - perhaps sprinkled with seeds and with the texture of a soft cloud. The first slice came through the post last week. Marianne at Ladybird Diaries had organised a Christmas decoration swap and I had been paired up with  Amy at Love Made My Home. It's so rare these days to have lovely things through the post that I sat and stared at the package for a good ten minutes before opening. Inside was a gorgeous card and four neatly wrapped little bundles.

The first one really made me giggle - the most festive little robin popped out.

Next a beautifully stitched heart with my initial on the front - what a lovely thoughtful idea.

The other packages contained two crocheted trees with the most gorgeous buttons stitched on

Have you got a favourite button? I think mine is the blue one with the cream dashes around the edge.

Wonderful lovely things. Thank you so much Amy.

 To see the other part of this double you'll have to pop over to Amy's here as I was not at all organised enough to take some snaps myself!

Now to our filling. The best bit of a sandwich? The part you really look forward to as you bite through the outer layers. That is until you realise that something isn't quite right. Doubts start to set in and you question if you had checked the sell by date on the dressing, spotted the mould on the cheese or used the dogs fork to mash up the tuna. Something is wrong, there is definitely something off, off (don't worry I'm getting there) - Ofsted!! For those of you who are blissfully unaware an Ofsted inspection consists of several inspectors wandering around your establishment questioning your every move and observing your teaching, attitude and overall awareness of every bit of school data. The result is no sleep, forced grins and shameless bribery for the children to be at their best! Mr K's college got 'the call' a couple of weeks ago and so followed seven days of the above. Last weekend we were able to breathe a sigh of relief, raise a glass (or two) and say 'at least that's over with'. Little did we know. The relief lasted about forty eight hours then on Monday lunchtime staff at my school were all summoned to the staff room to be told that (you saw this coming didn't you?) - we too had had 'the call'. And so it began again. We've been double Ofstededed. All over with now though. 

After the rotten filling it was time for some respite. Surely the top layer would cheer us up. Maybe this one would have some sliced olives and a dash of oil?

Thursday night saw our yarn group's Christmas meal and, with that, a Secret Santa. The theme this year was hot water bottle cosies. I'd decided to try the join as you go method with crochet squares - which I couldn't recommend highly enough - and a plain envelope back.

In return I received the most snuggly cosy knitted in Bergere wool 

Thank you Janine!

Yes that double lived up to expectations.

So there we have it. Highs and lows. But more importantly two highs and only one low. A high, low, high if you like. Can you tell my brain has been on overload? Now I'd better light the festive candle and start thinking about that bee.