Thursday, 29 December 2011

Folksy Friday - 30 December 2011

I'm going to a NewYear's Eve party tomorrow night at the house of my friends Karen and Stephen.  They host a lovely party every year - beautiful home, comfortable sofas, huge bowl of punch, cocktails, delish party food and great company.

I stay over at Audrey's house so a little alcoholic tipple can be enjoyed !, Karen, Audrey and I have been friends for 20 years in December 2011!
I chosen Folksy items this week suitable for a house party.

Tea & Ceremony Folksy Shop The Little Old Bag Folksy Shop Claire’s Crafts Folksy Shop driftwood and daisies Folksy Shop Crafty Mushroom Folksy Shop
I love the badges and tiny notebooks, it would be a lovely idea to give one to each guest, along with the party bags.

I love bunting, I think it really helps to create a party atmosphere.

The wine glass charms are cute and useful, when mixing and mingling at a party it is so easy to set down your glass and then either forget where it is or be unsure whose is whose !  These charms are listed in my friend Claire's Folksy Shop - one of my best crafty friends !

The New Year card is lovely, an idea to give to the hosts.

Just click on any of the pics to go straight to the Folksy shops.

What are your plans for New Year's Eve?

Happy New Year to you all !

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas 2011

A lovely, lovely time.

I spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at my sister Melanie's home.

On Christmas Eve my brother and his family also called, we exchanged presents and they stayed for tea, Auntie Beryl was also there.
Love this photo, it's hard to get a photo of my four nephews and one niece all together, but they were playing XBox games and were having fun.

Then it's present opening time.

and homemade soup for tea time !

Then it's early to bed for the kids and late to bed for the adults and try to get to sleep before Santa visits !

Awake at 7.30ish, that is the latest time so far - in the past I think it has been between 4.30 and 6.30.  I hear the kids coming down the stairs and I'm ready to get up, I sit on the edge of the bed, then when Mel says 'see if Auntie Stephanie is awake' the kids open the bedroom door and I'm ready to go, I say 'has Santa been, can we get up yet !' 

It's fab watching the kids open their Santa pressies - oohing and aahing as each gift is unwrapped.

Christmas dinner is delish, two sets of Grandparents also there and the chat is great.

Also a bit of fun at the table -

Brother-in -law John is a great help to me all year and even on Christmas Day he has his chores to do !
Then we chill out in the livingroom, glass in hand!

Big kids and wee kids play with their new games,

model their new clothes !,

and help grandparents with their mobile phones.
 A great day was had by all.

Many, many thanks to my sister Melanie and brother-in-law John for including me in all the festivities.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Folksy Friday - 16 December 2011

This week I've chosen fabulous Christmas decorations available on

There are hundreds if not thousands to choose from!

I've picked decorations made from different materials to show you the variety -  fabric, glass, wood, painted, paper, pottery.

Sew Sweet Obsession Folksy Shop Greengage Glass Folksy Shop Debra Crafts Folksy Shop Ra Ra Bazaar Folksy Shop Pure Paper Folksy Shop
I love them all!

Can you choose a favourite?

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Ulster Folk and Transport Museum

Another lovely day out with my rambler friends - to The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum - An Edwardian Christmas.

There were various events including storytelling in the Old Rectory
That was the first time I'd been to a storytelling session, there were stories and poems - really interesting.
Can you see the stocking hanging on the mantlepiece?
There was a Christmas tree in the corner of the room.
The various guides are all dressed in traditional clothes - lovely to see.
I had lunch in the Ballycultra Tearoom which you can just see to the right in the photo - very tasty.

A short drama was staged in the Post Office, I enjoyed it but forgot to take any photos.

There were various traditional crafts also available including making a star out of willow - loved that -

and a corn dolly

and a pomander made with an orange, cloves and gold ribbon

The star and corn dolly are now hanging on my Christmas tree and the pomander sitting on my hearth.

The Folk Museum is a lovely place to visit, but try to pick a warmer day!

Have you ever been to the Museum?  Do you have anywhere similar to where you live?

Saturday, 10 December 2011

NI Beaders' Guild

I'm a member of the

This year when everyone paid their joining fee (a very reasonable £20), the membership gift was a packet of 'bead soup' - a packet of different beads eg seed beads, bugle beads and shaped beads.

Everyone was encouaged to create something and bring it to today's meeting.  It did not have to be jewellery and you could add other beads to the 'soup'.

Here is my contribution - a charm bracelet and earrings.
I struggled to think of what to make and had a flash of inspiration one day and enjoyed making the bracelet, it's my first charm style bracelet and I will definitely make another.

There were lovely creations -

The items were laid out anonymously and then we voted - the winning entry was
a beautiful embroidered bag.

Christmas Fair 10 December 2011

I had a stall today at the local Primary School's Christmas Fair, it was a lot of fun.

My niece, Kelsie, helped me to set up and was a great help wrapping the sold items and working out the change needed. 

She was chosen as 'Student of the Week' for careful presentation and neat work - I think she takes after me ! I was able to see her photo outside her classroom - I am very proud of her.
My crafty friend Claire also had a stall with her beautiful knitted baby clothes and bead wine charms and bracelets.  Claire also has a shop on Folksy  please go visit.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Teaching beaded decorations in Derry

Today I drove to Derry to teach a lovely group of 7 ladies how to make a beaded bauble cover.  It takes me 2 hours to drive there but it is a very straightforward journey through some beautiful scenery.  I just put on a couple of CDs and sing out loud all the way!

The class was held in the Clooney Hall Conference Centre, lovely building and excellent facilities.  A photographer from The Sentinel arrived, (a local paper) and took a photo - unexpected but any promotion opportunity is excellent.

On arrival I set out a few pieces of beaded jewellery to show the attendees what can be made and how many variations there are - I hope it will inspire some to continue beading.  On the left of the pic you can see the beaded baubles for today's project.

I think they are enjoyed the class, chat was good but quiet at times when everyone was counting and picking up beads!

Everyone succesfully completed their project - here are a couple of samples -

Thanks to Ruth for organising the class and I enjoyed the day and hope to be invited again !

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show - A Weekend Away

Just a wonderful weekend away!

On Thursday 24 Nov at a dark but dry 6am I set off with my friends for a fabulous trip to Harrogate to the Knitting and Stitching Show.

We travelled with Giles Tours - I believe they have been organising this trip for about 20 years, this was my second year and I hope to be saying in 18 years that I've been going every year since !

Many thanks to Neil and Frank, excellent drivers/organisers for all their help and the journey, although long, is manageable with lunch stops  and 'comfort' stops along the way.  I also see the journey as a time to get some crafting done and many of us were knitting and crocheting on the ferry and the coach!

We took the 7.30am ferry from Belfast to Cairnryan, a fairly smooth crossing and it is a very spacious and comfortable ferry, lots of seating areas and refreshment choices.

The first of our shopping oportunities was at we also had lunch there.

Back onto the coach and another 'comfort' stop a couple of hours later, and then straight to The Cairn Hotel, in Harrogate.
A beautiful victorian style hotel just 5 minutes walk from the exhibition centre where the craft show is held.  Staff were very helpful, food good and the rooms very comfortable.

We spent the whole of Friday at the Knitting and Stitching Show - just fabulous - several huge halls filled with stalls selling craft supplies, other halls with beautiful and inspiring art and craft creations. 

There are also many workshops held through out the day, last year I couldn't make my mind up which to do so did none, but this year I was better organised and did two!

The first was to make a Christmas stocking for beginners in an hour and I did!

The original one -

and my version!  I am delighted, keeping in mind it is about 30 years since I used a sewing machine.  It will hang on my mantlepiece every year now to remind me of the fab time I had - and yes sewing classes are now on my to do list !

In the afternoon I did a lovely workshop, - beading on canvas - another new skill to learn - similar to cross stitch but picking up a bead - no photo of a finished piece for this one as there was more talking than stitching done in that hour but great fun and I did buy a kit to make a beaded credit card holder
Credit card holder - Yellow
which I plan to have finished by next year's trip!

On the Saturday there was an optional day trip to York, last year I didn't go because it was snowing and I wanted to see Harrogate but this year even though rain and winds were forecast I decided to go.  I bought an umbrella when I first arrived and that was my lucky charm - no rain in York that day!

I loved it!  It was bonkers - thousands of people at the Christmas market - at times it was just wall to wall people but I took my time and wandered around taking in the atmosphere.

I remember visiting York when I was in second form (not saying how many years ago that was !, can't count that high!)  and York Minister was my first stop -
just beautiful.

I also found the Shambles - an ancient cobbled street

where the old buildings nearly meet over head
There were street entertainers including several pianos in the street!
I found a lovely quilt museum which had a small craft fair that day, I bought a little wooden star with a handpainted robin
very cute and another lovely reminder of my day in York.

Sunday is the journey home, it was an eventful day with a fire alarm at 7am, not a major incident, a first stop at for coffee and shopping, then there was a bit of a mechanical problem with one of the coaches which was quickly repaired by the DAF truck repair man, meanwhile there was an opportunity for lunch at, fab place, I could definitely have spent longer there and then a final quick shopping scoot around , an outlet centre similar to Junction One in Northern Ireland, before heading to Cairnryan for the 7.30 ferry.  Unfortunately, the ferry was delayed and delayed, but we kept ourselves entertained on the coach with knitting, reading etc and the craic was great !  and Neil kept us up to date with X Factor and Strictly results from home.

I eventually made it home at 3am but it was so worth it!  I keep smiling to myself, thinking about the really lovely time I had on the whole trip.  Will be booking for next year asap!