We Had a Wonderful Day!

Hello all, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and Boxing day.  We had a wonderful time and for me and my husband it stated on Christmas Eve, wrapping this:

It’s called a Toylander and Husband built it for Boy from plans that he bought.  Now, to put this into context, my darling Husband has a thing for “the beasts of Solihull” (a quote from my Father’s Father of the Bride Speech from our wedding).  This beasts are also known as Land Rovers or Landys.  The current model is a dark metallic green 110 (the length of the chassis in inches) Defender.  We have also had, in no particular order: a soft top series 3 (rebuilt from the chassis up), a red Defender 90 (which we used to compete in), a Discovery, and a navy Defender 90.

So, Husband has a thing for a particular type of large off-road vehicle and Boy is a miniature Husband, so also has a thing for the same large, off-road vehicles.  So Husband decided to build him his own Land Rover which is powered by two 12v batteries.

He’s been building it since August in the evenings and the odd weekend.  As it neared completion and Christmas got ever closer he started to worry as to whether Boy would like it or not.  Everyone reassured him that Boy would love it.  He was still worried that Boy wouldn’t get it, or wouldn’t like it.

What do you think Boy’s opinion was?!  He opened all his presents from friends and family in it, and ate his breakfast in it too.  He didn’t want to get out of it at all!  I am so proud of Husband for doing this.  I think he got a lot of satisfaction from it too, particularly the response it received!

Suffice to say that this year, Christmas has really been about our Boy and making it a magical and special time of year for him.  He doesn’t understand Father Christmas yet, although we have been talking about him.  He loves the lights and decorations and skips around the house singing Happy Happy Christmas to the tune of the first line of Happy Birthday.  Probably pretty annoying, but as he’s my son I find it incredibly cute!

However, Father Christmas didn’t forget me and I was lucky enough to receive some much wished for bits and bobs!

Gingher Shears
I can not tell you how happy I am to have received these, they cut through fabric like it isn’t there.  Just wonderful to use and the patterned handle means that Husband has no excuse to nip into my sewing space and ‘not realise’ they were my fabric shears!

Fabric for Fashion Swatch Book
Seriously, this book is amazing!  It makes understanding why patterns suggest certain fabrics crystal clear.  And also how to envy Gertie even more when you realise just how gorgeous some of the fabrics she uses are!  My lovely parents bought me both this book and the shears.

My Dad’s interest has been piqued enough that he watched a documentary on Couture and Design and he found it fascinating – the time, skill and technical aspects of sewing and pattern drafting and design.  He’s really interested in my sewing now, rather than indulgently supportive, as he’s quite technical and now understands how it feeds my design interests.  Having him take a real interest is amazing – he was discussing style lines in terms of architecture and sculpture!

Colette Sewing Handbook
I have wanted this book since it was announced (OK, who hasn’t?!) and my baby sister got it for me!  Bit of a hiccup though as I’d also bought myself a copy as I didn’t get a copy on my birthday…  Bad, impatient me!  I feel terrible as it transpires she was mucked around by Amazon when she pre-ordered it.  But she is truly one of the kindest,  most generous and selfless darling people I know; she wants to swap it for another book for me.

Mad Med Series 4 on DVD
From my littler than me sister and her lovely Fiancé.  She also got me a small box of Hotel Chocolat Cappucino truffles.

Husband and I bought ourselves an Apple TV so that we can look at the photos on the telly in our lounge rather than being limited to the computer, phone or tablet.  It makes it a much more sociable experience.  We were also given lots of other gifts from family and friends, but none relate to sewing or creating (mostly vouchers or cash which we’ll use on the house I suspect).

Once again I am very grateful to be living in an affluent country where none of my family, or my Husband’s, are struggling with finances.  I will freely admit that we have spent less this year than previous years, as has everyone else.  But I don’t resent it in the slightest.  In fact it makes the gifts that I have received even more precious because I can see that time and thought has gone into every single one, rather than mindless volume.  I hope that makes sense?

What ever you did over Christmas I hope you had a lovely time and spent it with as many of those that you hold close to your heart as you could.  Enjoy the last few days of 2011 – I hope to catch up with friends and maybe even get a little sewing done.  2012 will be here sooner than we know it!

A little bit of Christmas

A little bit of Christmas craftiness has been happening here, honest!  Isn’t it amazing how time just disappears at this time of year?  I don’t know if it’s because Christmas is at a weekend but it really seems to have crept up on me.  I thought I had loads of time and then earlier this week realised I had a week and a half!

Last weekend we went and cut our tree and decorated it.  I love having a real tree in the house.  We go for one with soft needles – less painful to decorate and they don’t seem to drop either, which is a major bonus!

The other bonus is that the wreath up at the top, on our front door, is also made from the tree.  The only thing I bought was the oasis ring that it’s all mounted on.  I used one of those ones where the Oasis is in a plastic ring.  I think it’s supposed to be used as a table centre piece, but with the addition of some ribbon so that it can be hung, it’s perfect for a door wreath.

The greenery is from the bits we trimmed off the tree, the baubles are spare ones that didn’t get used this year and the glittery flowers were in my christmas decoration stash, as was the sparkly gold ribbon.  It’s quite simple but the abundance foliage also makes it look quite luxuriant, I think!  And for the princely sum of about £4 it’s an absolute bargain as I’ve seen others in the shops (not as nice as this, blowing my own trumpet!) that were five times the price!

I’ve also finished the two snoods that are intended for my sisters (not that I’ve got around to photographing them yet…) and I’ve managed to cut and sew the darts and tucks on my Sencha.  I used tailor’s tacks for the first time to try and ensure accuracy and they worked pretty well.  The biggest thing I learnt though is to leave a lot longer tails as some of the tufts ended up a little stumpy, but they did get the job done!

I would love to say that I’ll get another post up before Christmas, but I suspect the crazy level is only likely to get higher around here over the next few days so…

Wishing you all a happy, joyful and peaceful Christmas.  I hope to see you before the new year!

Colette’s New Patterns!

Ooh, have a look at these beauties!

Colette's New Pattern - Jasmine
Notched sleeved Jasmine and Cigarette Pants Clover

This shirt is called Jasmine and has gathered or notched sleeves with such a cute tie detail around the neck.  To my eye a sort-of peter pan with a twist collar.  Either way I love this…  Would navy with a white collar be a bit too much, or classic?  I’m loving the turquoise on white print of the first view.

Clover is a trouser (OK, pants for my trans-atlantic friends) pattern.  Cigarette pants to be precise. Cigarette pants however do me no favours, but if they look amazing on you then get yourself the pattern!

Colette's New Peony Dress
Peony with short sleeves

And this is the Peony dress.  It’s the boat neck, or slash neck that I’m loving the most.  And the 3/4 length sleeves.  Perfect for showing off bracelets and bangles, and not getting dragged on grubby desks!  I’m thinking about grey with the waist band in teal (it’s removable dontcha know!).  I love the black and white with neon tights ensemble though too.  Although I would never get away with this where I work.  Sigh.

They’re available to pre-order now, but I am trying to be good and not click on checkout just yet…  Hmm, more contenders for my birthday wish list maybe?

And as a random thought, I love the model’s hair in the shoots.  Whilst I have no fringe, anyone have any thoughts on how to recreate that look?