Saturday 28 December 2013

Festive Table

This year's Christmas table had a traditional red and white theme, with the addition of these lovely winter berry tablemats.

My original choice of flowers included red roses and white carnations, but there appeared to be a shortage, so I chose this green and red theme instead.

The table set and ready for Christmas lunch (I forgot to light the candles before taking this photograph).

I do like having a pretty seasonal tableware set for the occasion.  It makes a nice change from our everyday tableware.  Christmas lunch was traditional and delicious ~ roast turkey, Brussels sprouts and neeps, followed by Christmas pudding and custard.

Friday 27 December 2013

Bear Paws

By the time we actually set off for our drive, the weather was changing and the clouds rolling in.  It was still good to get outdoors and have a change of scene.  We had thought of going for a walk on the beach (that is the shore in the distance), but the road that we normally use to access it had not been ploughed.  In any case, it was much colder than it at first appeared, especially close to the shore.

We drove along one of the quiet country side roads.  It was deserted, although there was evidence of activity in the past few hours with tracks in the snow.

We stopped to take a closer look and spotted tracks going into the woods ~ a bear!

No other animal could have left such large paw prints.

This is one of my favourite scenes of the day.  A driveway arched by snow covered trees. 

Our adventure was completed with the sight of a fox and two deer, though they moved too quickly for photo opportunities, as we saw them when we were driving. 
Thankfully, we didn't encounter the bear!

Ice and Snow

Boxing Day dawned crisp and clear, with blue sky and sunshine.  What a change from the awful freezing rain leading up to Christmas!

Having admired the scene from our windows, we then had to get bundled up and go and dig out my car, which had been buried in about 15 cm of ice.  Previous attempts at extracting it had proved fruitless.

Our back deck has so much snow on it now that we are unable to open the door.  The timer for our Christmas lights is buried out there and the lights stopped working yesterday. 
We did succeed in extracting my car, but had to tow it out of its parking space.  There was so much ice beneath it that it could not pull itself out, as it had compacted into a sort of ice ramp. 
Once extracted, we decided to go for a drive....more in the next post.

Tuesday 24 December 2013

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve has dawned.  How did that happen?  The past five days have been a whirlwind of activity and I'm exhausted.  I'm hoping that in a few hours, I will be able to pause and enjoy time just being in the moment....after I've made the trifle, baked mince pies and prepared dinner.  For now, I'm content to enjoy the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College, Cambridge, which is a Christmas tradition.

The presents are wrapped and under the tree.  This year's additions to my Christmas collection are this sweet little snowman and the yarn basket ornament, which I knitted.  

Our Christmas cake is iced and waiting to be enjoyed.  I can't remember ever being this organised and having it iced days before Christmas.  Last year, I iced the cake on Christmas Day!

All that remains is to wish you and your families a very Happy Christmas. 
May your Days Be Merry and Bright,
filled with special moments with those whom you love.
 Merry Christmas!

P.S.  According to NORAD, Santa is preparing for launch!  I intend to follow his progress throughout the day.

Saturday 21 December 2013

Make Sure You Get My Best Side....

I don't think that I'm giving away any secrets if I share the last of the knitted gifts for my nieces with you.  This sheep gave me more headaches than enough, due in part to the pressure to get it finished before Christmas.
Isn't she adorable?  She was knitted from a pattern that I found on Ravelry, called James The Galway Sheep, but as I only had pink shades of yarn in my stash to knit the waistcoat, she became Jamie.

She does seem to be enjoying all of the attention doesn't she?
I know that you can't see her face very well on this last pose, but it was the only way that I could show you the knitted waistcoat.  As she is holding a rose, you can't see much of it anyway.

Friday 20 December 2013

The Garden In Winter

Even though Christmas is fast approaching, my thoughts are already turning to the garden.  The first of the 2014 gardening seed catalogues arrived yesterday and I got an email earlier this week informing me that the online potato seed catalogue is now open!
However, there is still time to savour the beauty of the garden in winter.  I love the way that the snow accumulates on autumn's seed heads and the hydrangeas. 

I'm so glad that I didn't go around and dead-head everything in sight, or I would have missed this beauty.  Sometimes it pays not to be too meticulous.

Snow on fir trees always looks fabulous.  This a scrawny looking tree at the best of times, but it looks great now that it has a dusting of snow.

Thursday 19 December 2013

Snow Had Fallen, Snow On Snow...

It started with the first significant winter storm on Sunday morning.  At first, there were a few tiny flakes, like a dusting of icing sugar, then within twenty minutes, there were great big flakes falling rapidly.  It was like a giant snow globe that had just been shaken.
The snow continued throughout the day, so we got dressed up in warm, waterproof clothing and boots and began the process of clearing our path and driveway in the late afternoon, just as dusk was falling.

We have had more snow since, with another heavy accumulation on Wednesday, which was a messy mixture of wet snow and then freezing rain.

It all looks very Christmassy when the sun is shining and the sky is restored to blue.

I started the week with the last-minute completion of the knitted gifts for my family, which were rushed to the post office somewhat belatedly on Monday.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief to know that they were on their way, even if they don't get there on time. 

I finished work on Wednesday (for Christmas), which was also a huge relief.  After a very stressful few months, it is good to be able to have some time to do other things.

Having said that, these photographs were taken in the calm after the first storm.  Although we had a beautiful sunny morning yesterday, I didn't manage to find the time to go out and take photographs of the latest snowfall.  Anyway, with the way this winter is turning out, it probably won't be too long before the next snow arrives.....did somebody say it is not officially winter yet?

Thursday 5 December 2013


Twenty days to go and I'm still struggling with my knitting projects.  One to finish before I pack them up for my nieces and nephew.

I'm feeling the pressure for various reasons.  Today has been a particularly stressful one.  This tea towel is a visual reminder to slow down, take a breath and try to remain calm.

Wednesday 4 December 2013


The day started off wet after a night of strong winds and torrential rain.  On days like this, it is sometimes difficult to know what to wear.  Should I dress for rain or snow?  In the end, I decided on my warm winter jacket (which is not waterproof) and hoped for the best.  It was far too windy for an umbrella, so I was fairly soaked by the time I walked into work from where I had parked the car.

As the day progressed, the rumours of deteriorating weather conditions began to circulate.  By lunchtime, we were having snow flurries and by the time I left work, there was snow on the ground and more falling.  The hardest part was trying to get my car door open, as it was frozen after the sudden drop in temperature.  I was relieved to arrive home in one piece, as the roads had not been cleared.  It was some time later when a plough finally arrived to clear our street.  I'm hoping for a quiet night, as I don't fancy being called back to work...keeping my fingers crossed.

Tuesday 3 December 2013


There seems to be so little time at the moment to achieve everything that needs to be done.  I had planned to be finished making Christmas gifts and have everything posted before now, but I'm still busy knitting.  Also, I've been scrambling to get my Christmas cards written and posted, as the final posting date is this week.

One thing is certain ~ ready or not, Christmas will arrive in 22 days.  Now where did I put the stamps?

Monday 2 December 2013

Wise Women

Yesterday, we were at the Old Fashioned Christmas and we stopped to look at a craft sale.  This sign certainly put a smile on my face!  How could I help but laugh?  The first line certainly resonates.  I can't count the number of times that we have been lost in rural Nova Scotia because a certain person didn't want to ask directions!  His excuse is always that he knows where he is going...

Sunday 1 December 2013


The first day of December coincides with the start of Advent this year.  Advent is a time of anticipation and preparation for Christmas.  We had hoped to attend a carol service this afternoon, but the weather turned nasty and with an hour to wait for the start of the service and a long drive home, we changed our plans. 
This was the view from our kitchen window this morning.  It was a cold, frosty night and a winter sky greeted us at dawn.  There are a few traces of snow just visible ~ we've had a few dustings in the last week or so.

We did return to Sherbrooke village last night for an Old Fashioned Christmas dinner hosted by a celebrity chef and then we had a Victorian afternoon tea today.  Both events were thoroughly enjoyable.  I'm hoping to find another carol service to attend before Christmas.

The Christmas countdown snowmen and the holly window hanging are the latest editions to my Christmas ornaments, purchased during our recent visit to Glad Tidings.

Saturday 30 November 2013


Today is day 30 of NaBloPoMo and I survived!  It was touch and go at times, but not only did I manage to post every day, but I also found something to post about.  For my last post of November, I thought that I would post about things that are giving me pleasure today.  Firstly, preparing my advent calendar pockets with obligatory chocolates! 

Reading The Book of Christmas by Jane Struthers.  Hanging my advent calendar pockets in our kitchen ~ my first hint of Christmas decorating each year.

And finally, some JOY cushions to add a hint to the festivities.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend full of joy and a festive Christmas season.  Now I'm off to get ready for some fun ~ an old fashioned Christmas dinner this evening, which is part of the Christmas in Sherbrooke Village weekends.

Friday 29 November 2013

Fair Isle In Miniature

I'd love to be able to write an inspirational post today, but after being called out to work at 3 a.m. I just don't have the energy.  Instead, I offer a small sample of something I was working on last weekend. 

I'm not quite ready to show you the end result, but this is a taster.  It is a Christmas project and I promise to post more photographs once it is completed. 

Now I'm off to put my feet up and watch a Christmas film (or maybe have a nap under a warm blanket).

Thursday 28 November 2013

Yorkshire Knitting

Today, I thought that I would share a couple of knitting projects with you.  I have been busy knitting for two of my nieces and these are the results.

As they both love pink and they share a bedroom, I thought that it would be best to make two dolly nightdress/pyjama cases for their beds in similar colours.  This pattern was a fun project and the end results have been much admired.  I just hope that they bring a smile to their faces on Christmas morning.  They will be packaged up with Herdy and on their way to Yorkshire as soon as I can get their big sister's gift finished.