Saturday, 24 December 2016

Merry Christmas!

Just having arrived back from Midnight Mass at St Mary's I find the family fast asleep , however as I am wide awake after such a lovely service I will share a few Christmas photos with you.
We have a set of twinkling lights on the outside of the house... Very Pretty as you come home in the dark.
 We have a wonderful giant tree, the last at Haddenham Garden Centre on 20 December when we got back from Paris, we were there all 4 of us by 9 am on the dot. ONE tree left but what a marvel!
 We decorated it together with most of the decorations bought, made and gathered over 20 years...
No tinsel this year.
I crocheted more ''starry'' snowflakes and here they are being blocked and stiffened with PVA and H2O.
Pippa got to wear a flashing sparkly bow.... She did keep it on for most of the day on 21 December...

 And for Lucy an Elf hat , but she was so NOT impressed....

A lovely dancing lady at GX sent me her recipe for gingerbread which I tasted at the GX dance and it was so delicious, so much better than Mary Berry's recipe! Which we sued a few years ago when we made a gingerbread house. This lady had made a tree out of stacked stars of decreasing size and it was both charming and so yummy!

 This is Miss E's pan of mixture after leaving it in fridge overnight rather than an hour...
We has to ''mine'' it out of the pan by chipping and scooping away at it all.
She was too busy eating it as it was... But after warmong it up a bit she rolled it out and cut lovely shapes.
They looked like chocolate before baking. Glossy dark brown.
And after baking here some of them are...
Now ''yesterday'' was Christmas Eve and I spent the morning happily crocheting to Netflix to make the last few stocking-filler surprises..

I was making covers for clear plastic 2 part bauble balls from Hobbycraft to fill with 3 chocolates and then make a cover so they can eventually hang on the tree in coming years.
I had made some earlier for friends but this morning I was inspired to create a new pattern and am very happy with this version.

You need the clear bauble from Hobby craft, these come in boxes of 6, the smaller size.
A 4 mm hook, some lures thread/cord or Anchor Artista- I used gold- and some DK yarn in colours of your choice. Can be wool, silk, cotton or acrylic.
I had remnants of pine green and red in premium DK acrylic.
You are going to make two halves, little bowls if you like with an overlapping section where one half has little loops and the other you sew large beads or buttons on.

Chain 4-5 and close with slip stitch, chain 4 and work 15 trebles ( UK terms being used here) into the ring in the gold yarn.
Fasten off and attach red yarn, work 3 chain in a space between trebles , then work 1Treble, 1 chain into the next space between trebles and repeat this all the way around , close with a slipst into the 3rd ch and fasten off.

Choose a new colour, in my case pine green, fasten on and work 3 ch and 2 Trebles into a ch space, then work 1 Treble into the next 3 ch spaces, * work 3 Tr into one ch space and 1Treble into each of the next 3 ch spaces, repeat from *to finish with a slip stitch into the 3rd ch.
Next row: ch 1 and work 1 double crochet into each stitch all around, ss and fasten off.
 The next rows vary for each half.
For the buttoned half you attach red or gold and work 2-3 rows dc all around.

For the button hole half  if using gold you work 1 row dc, 1 row *3dc, 2 ch and skip 1 dc, 3 dc and repeat the 2 ch and skip 1 dc all around.
For the red which is thicker you can work 1 row dc then the next row work 1 dc, **1 ch- skip the dc below, 1 dc ,*** and repeat from **to ***  all around.

Make the two halves and sew in all ends, then sew large beads or small tiny bells or small buttons onto the buttonned half and check they fit into the buttonholes of the other half.

Fill bauble with chocolates, cover with the two halves and thread a ribbon through the hanging sections of the plastic bauble.
Ta dah! OR voila! if you prefer.

I usually use either 4 large beads or 6 tiny bells.

A slight variation in green glitter thread with red and pine green and the two halves worked as opposites with the button loops and button bands in the sparkly green lurex and large gold beads as closures. These fit 3 ''Celebrations'' Chocolates or 2 liqueur choccies.

WISHING YOU ALL A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS, enjoy your festive days.