Monday, 2 December 2013

In the Mood

Oooh we're feeling very excited here in the HenHouse, how about you?  I really liked the fact that December 1st (when it feels officially acceptable to get reallly Christmassy,) fell on a weekend.  It's been a busy old week again, I'm sure you share the feeling that more than ever, there are not enough hours in the day at this time of year.  I'm starting to resent sleeping!  After the Munchkin's parents' evening at school this week, we decided to head out for dinner and I couldn't help snapping this ultra festive window display.  Subtle it ain't!

A couple of weeks ago, I started on a new yarny project.  I haven't really done much crocheting for a couple of years.  When I had a move round in my Den a while back, I looked at my yarn stash and wondered if it was taking up wasted space.  However, the onset of Wintery weather and the desire to hunker down with something easy to craft in front of the fire of an evening, proved too hard to resist.  I'd recently completed a granny ripple blanket which I'd loved doing, so so easy, so I decided to start another but with a different theme.  I collected lots of green, red and cream yarns and at Stag and Bow one Crafty Wednesday, off I set.  My first Christmas crochet blanket.

Inspired by three different images on Pinterest, I eventually decided on something a little different from a straight forward ripple, incorporating some granny squares in the middle.  I'm hoping the blanket will look a little like a Fair Isle design.  It's much wider than I intended so each stripe is taking some time. I think it's one I'll be continuing next Christmas!  I took along a Victoria Sponge to keep me (and my fellow crafters) fuelled.

This was it (picture below) last Wednesday.  I've now started working on the other side of the central grannies but I get quite bored with the cream to be honest, so I have a break and do something else for a short while, before feeling the pull to return when my mind needs something it almost doesn't have to think about.  

Yummy!  I feel like I've almost moved into Stag and Bow this week (I was also there for a workshop on Saturday), as we popped in for Friday Night Social, too.  This year, I had the brain wave that rather than churning out cash on yet another Lego Star Wars advent calendar (when there must be three in the loft), I would make my own advent calendar instead.  Trouble is, by Friday night, I hadn't even started on it!  So, armed with the most rudimentary materials, I drew some basic stocking shapes and started to cut them out in felt.

I was busy all day on Saturday so I had to forego my Sunday morning slumber listening to String of Pearls in bed, and hit the Den running.

It was a pretty simple matter to assemble the 24 stockings.  I put on some Christmas music to get me in the spirit, whilst batting the munchkin out of my Den with the other hand!  Before long, I had a nice little production line going.

I headed off downstairs with the basket of goodies I'd been collecting, with which to fill the stockings.

I decided the hall would be the best place to hang my garland as it needed quite a bit of wall space.

It was amusing to try to fit the goodies I'd bought into the different sized stockings.  I've got pens, puzzles, stickers, Lego mini figures and of course, some choccies and sweets.

Ta dah!!!

I decided on a little improvement and hung some jingly bells from the main cord, so that if a little pesky person should try to peek, I'll know all about it!

The Munchkin was very excited to open Day 1 after his roast dinner.

Mid-week, I fancied a bit of felty action.  I had a look through my vintage Christmas cards for inspiration and gathered my festive crafty bits 'n' bobs together.

 Jacky Ginge decided he wanted to help me.  Despite beig a rather geriatric sixteen years of age, he's perfected a flying leap from the armchair in my Den up onto my cutting table, where he immediately settles himself right in the midle of everything, as cats do!

Well, he must have been very helpful as I managed to create a cute little felt posy based on an original '40s pattern but using jewel-bright Christmassy colours.  The finishing touch was to mount it on a lovely vintage Christmas card.

I'm looking forward to wearing mine on my 1940's coat, for Christmas and beyond.

They are, of course, waiting patiently in my Etsy shop should you fancy one or know someone who might.

I'll soon be back with a report from the weekend's fabulous Selvedge Fair. Good luck with that Christmas Shopping in the meantime! Xxx


  1. Love all your christmassy makes. Ginger and white cats must have longevity genes, our went on to be 20!

  2. I decided to make an advent calendar last minute, well i had a week but it was'nt the easiest thing to make. It was Sentimental Circus themed. I do like your idea, looks really good in the hallway.

  3. Very industrious Hen!
    Have you been to Libertys this Christmas?
    Cannot wait for the tv program tonight.
    ps. door lust!!!!!

  4. Lovely to see the new baby - Hope Pascal got the socks!


  5. Ooh Hen, you have been busy! A veritable feast for the eyes, my dear ... the crochet blanket is amazing, it will look lovely all year round, I love the advent calendar and what an inspired idea to add the bells (wish I'd thought of that when mine were little!) ... and OH! the coat ... speechless with wonderment ...

    Love Claire xxx

  6. My! You have been as busy as ever once more!
    I have also come up with an alternative advent calendar for my loved ones, but not quite on your scale...

  7. You're working hard at so many things. I love that blanket, it's very unusual and perfectly Christmas-y.

  8. Just had to comment on the advent glad I am not the only one last minute! I was still sewing on Saturday night!

  9. Those stockings are wonderful - next year............for the grandchildren! Your crocheting looks very christmassy
    I started an advent calendar on my blog again this year!
    Julie xxxxxxxxxxxxx

  10. Where do I start? The crochet is just fabulous, I am still too new to even contemplate mixing patterns up. The advent calendar is great, I made a paper one this year - boxes that look like a jumble container. I filled each one with an activity.
    The posies look great x x

  11. You crafty whiz, you! I love the extra excitement in your granny ripple.. gorgeous! I have one of your brooches, I'm going to have to see if it's got Christmas colors in it. The advent stockings are so cool, pretty as decor and fun for M.

    *H*A*P*P*Y* * *H*O*L*I*D*A*Y*S*!*!*!*

    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  12. OH my goodness.........everything is just scrumptious! Your granny ripple is amazing......I love the colors! Your stocking countdown is adorable, but that felt flower pin is to die for gorgeous. I must remember to keep coming back, because you're just too fun to miss all that you do. Someday, when I make it back over the pond, I must look you up.


  13. I love the stocking Advent calender. The munchkin is still young enough and excited to appreciate it. I bought two chocolate ones for my 15 year old boy and I don't even think he's 'boverred'!!! x

  14. I love the advent calender and clever you to figure out an anti-munchkin device. I would definitely need one of those with my toerag. I really enjoy seeing the pictures of your craft wednesday. That ripple blanket looks amazing. Do you mind if I pinch the idea? I can see a Christmas present for Grandma for next year.

  15. I love the advent calendar and will definitely make one next year!

  16. Your blanket will be fabulous, and I adore the 1940's coat!

  17. Your newest blanket is coming along beautifully! Love the advent stockings and your brooches are always so pretty! Wishing you a craft week! xo Heather

  18. You're so busy. Love the Christmas stocking Advent Calendar.

  19. Beautiful blanket! I really like the advent calendar, great idea, & how nice to see Jacky Ginge :) xx

  20. Absolutely stunning blanket. I love it. Wonderful advent calendar, well done. Philippa xx

  21. What a beautiful Christmas blanket!!!! Love your advent garland too!!! Very clever!!! Have a great day!!!!

  22. Oh Hen what a wonderful post - always look forward to reading your posts - absolutely love the blanket so far and would love to know a little more about the pattern if you are able to share it. The Advent calendar is just divine and I love it, it looks so stunning in your hallway. The brooches and perfect and I am thinking about buying yet another one to add to my collection of Henhouse brooches which I always love wearing. A fabulous post Hen, thank you as always, big hugs

  23. This is a gorgeous, colourful post, Hen! I love all your Christmassy makes, the blanket is so clever, and the little stockings garland is such a great idea! Love the pretty flower posy and the vintage card to display it is inspired. Happy December!
    Helen x

  24. What a lovely creative, cosy, Christmassy post! I love the blanket, love the advent calendar and love your pretty brooch. If I had even half of your creative talent I would be very happy ... ! M x

  25. Love that christmas crochet! x

  26. What a beautiful blog. I love travelling around the world this time of the year, via blogs. Thank you for sharing your festive season with us. Your family is lucky to have such a creative woman in their lives.
    Anna/ Canada


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