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Thursday, 30 December 2010

::: The After Celebration Break :::


Everyone gets the same slow feeling of calm after the Christmas woosh. The New Year is approaching and more celebrating is to be had.

We have family members coming to stay for a few days and work in the house to be done. We will be eating and drinking and being merry which means not much time on here with you but I'll be back soon.

We wish you a very Happy New Year wherever you are in the world!

Monday, 27 December 2010

::: Wreaths :::




Inspired by Soulemama here and here, these wreaths were so simple and quick to make. Just in time for Christmas.

Button Wreath:




Ribbon Wreath:


 Gorgeous!



Friday, 24 December 2010

::: Town VS Country :::



Living in the country is so completely different to anywhere I have ever lived before. I grew up on the East coast of Scotland in a tiny village not far from a small town. We always had at least four Christmas trees, one of them real. We would decorate every single one of them with funny handmade decorations me, my brother and sisters had made at school. It was always warm and happy.

When Steve and I moved in together we had a tiny one bedroomed flat at the edge of the small town and bought a few simple Christmas decorations and still spent Christmas Day with family.

We then moved into the heart of another small town just 30 minutes away from our hometown. It was a gorgeous two bedroomed townhouse over four floors. It had an amazing fireplace and wooden floors, but being in the town meant it was noisy and people were always milling past. We still chose to spend Christmas Day with family.

Now, in our cosy four bedroomed cottage on the West coast we are so unbelievably happy. We have no neighbours and no noise from cars driving past, just simple living. We can hear the trickle of the ice melting in the river that flows into the loch, the cows and sheep greeting the farmer every morning and the occasional meow from Lucky if we have slept in.

The best bit was coming come last night and finding two gorgeous deer in the garden!

This will be the first Christmas we have spent just the two of us. We are both looking forward to it as much as we are going to miss being with our families.

I won't be posting tomorrow as I'm sure you're all aware that it's Christmas Eve today and there is still a few more things this little elf has to get done before tomorrow. I'll be back in a couple of days and tell you all about the new decorations I've been making!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a Goodnight!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

::: Christmas Spirit :::


Every year it feels like Christmas starts earlier and earlier. Once the Halloween decorations, costumes and sweets (or Thanksgiving if you're on the other side of the world) are out of the shops the candy canes and mistletoe seem to jump right in their places.

I don't know if it's because it has been snowing earlier this year or because we are so far away from family for the first time but I have been full of the Christmas spirit and have not been sucked into buying unnecessary food, gifts or decorations.

I have been taking time to just sit. I sit and watch the snow fall, quickly running to a window in another room to see a familiar view changing. I sit and watch the bunnies happily playing together and seeing their little personalities, Henrick won't stray far from my side whereas Layla is very independent and goes off exploring all on her own.

I wrap presents in silence, enjoying the feeling of warmth that floats throughout this cottage of ours, writing silly limericks on gift tags and setting them under the tree waiting to be carefully chosen on Christmas morning then quickly ripped open to see what hides inside.

It is truly peaceful here and I wouldn't want it any other way.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

::: More of the White Stuff :::



Then again at 3pm:
 


 
Then the next morning:


It took over an hour and a half to dig the car out, salt the ground and get Steve to work (really late!) then when I arrived back home (another hour later) I found a sheep had jumped the fence into our garden and all the gates were open and footprints everywhere!

Lucky had appeared throughout the night as I had got up at 3am to check on the snow situation and there were little footprints in the snow headed under the car, then leaving at 8am there was another set of kitty-cat footprints in the garden.

Let's just hope I can get back out to pick Steve up as the car is sitting (stuck) in front of the house as I couldn't get it back into the driveway!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

::: Family Movie Night :::

This photograph was taken while out for a drive one evening
We hummed and ho'd about what to watch and eventually decided on 500 Days of Summer.

Steve doesn't like watching 'girly' movies but we were both sure the last film we had watched was his choice. Now my turn!

500 Days of Summer is non-linear and very well done. And yes boys – it's a love story.

I won't spoil it for you if you haven't seen it but I thought it was the best film we'd watched in a long time. Steve agreed.

It makes you feel warm inside and oh so happy!

I then watched Love Actually on my day off from work as it always gets me feeling Christmas-y!

Monday, 20 December 2010

::: Another Handmade Bird Feeder :::



I think the birds were finding the yogurt pot a bit too small for them so I have decided to make another bird feeder for the larger birds.

I washed out an old butter tub (unfortunately we do not have the luxury of making our own butter), made a couple of holes in the bottom and hung string through.

Easy peasy!



Steve had already started using it before I'd even taken the photo!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

::: Right Now :::


I read this great idea over at The Fig Tree.

I hope this helps you get to know me a little better.

Making : a lovely home for the two of usCooking : roast veg, sweet potato mash and halloumi cheese Drinking : sugary tea, mmmmmmmm!Reading: The Little House On The Prairie – Laura Ingalls WilderWanting: a puppyLooking: out over the loch and the mountainsPlaying: with the bunniesWasting: time and energy cleaning and tidying up when I know there are more fun thigns to be doing.Sewing: Just finished making our new advent calander!Wishing: for a white ChristmasEnjoying: the sound of the birdsWaiting: for Steve to come homeLiking: living in the countrysideWondering: Where we'll be and what we'll be doing next Christmas.Loving: Steve and life in generalHoping: for a great 2011Marvelling: at how creative some people can beNeeding: a great big garden shed to store all of our tools and BBQ inSmelling: our new leather sofasWearing: jeans, cosy jumper and slippers.Following: many, many blogsNoticing: how the seasons change and how we barely notice itKnowing: that moving here was the best thing for usThinking: about changes I'd like to make to the house and gardenBookmarking: inspiring bloggersOpening: Christmas presents early!Giggling: at Steve's silly words while playing ScrabbleFeeling: happy that I'm home

Saturday, 18 December 2010

::: Declutter :::

Santa Henrick

It is amazing what two people can accumulate in a short space of time. Especially since we have only lived in this house for three months!

I am usually pretty poor at doing housework during my days off work. And if I do feel like doing it I usually wait until around 10pm in the evening as I seem to have more energy at this time of day.

But since Christmas is coming up I have been organising our things into piles (as well as writing a lot of lists I do make piles of things too!).

For example: Steve's computer things were the last things to be unpacked as our forth bedroom was used as a storage area for the previous owners belongings until they could get storage. Not having the extra space has been a bit of a bummer as it's one door we have never really ventured through and explored. So the other day I emptied all of his boxes, kept the things we needed then made a pile to sort through with Steve. Together we then made a 'keep' pile, 'give away' pile and a 'sell' pile.

Unfortunately for me the 'keep' pile was a little larger than I had hoped for. But we now have given a whole heap of things to go to the recycling centre and have given the bunnies all the unwanted paper to shred noisily throughout the night and we are in the process of selling the rest of the unwanted items.

I vacuum once or twice a week, the rabbits get cleaned out at least twice a week, I do laundry once or twice a week and I do the dreaded ironing around once every two or three weeks. There is not much that actually needs done around here. It is so much easier than our last house as it's much bigger and bright and airy.

But things like the dishes and the bathrooms get cleaned daily and the bin collection every two weeks (although now we have started using the compost bin we are only putting the bin out for collection once a month, yipee!) - we (I) have to walk the half a mile or so to the end of the farm road as the bin lorry doesn't come up this way, then go back later on to collect the empty bin! It's good fun in the warmer weather as Lucky usually plods along beside me but in the freezing cold like it is just now I'd rather be overrun with rubbish than walk down the slippery road with a full bin!

All this sorting out means we have some room for new Christmas gifts and we can start 2011 fresh and clean!

Friday, 17 December 2010

::: Scrabble :::



We took some time out from our normal routine the other night and played a couple of games of Scrabble.

No television, just the two of us (and the rabbits and cat of course!). We ate chocolates off the Christmas tree and stayed cosy in our jammies.

Scrabble is a fantastic game, especially for children who are learning to spell. It always gets me in the Christmas mood.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

::: Blogs and Baking :::


After being stuck in the house all day due to not having to go out to work and the horrible weather I decided to catch up with some of the blogs that I read. These are blogs that (for some unknown reason) I cannot get updates sent to my inbox daily like I do with some other blogs. So I read them at the end of every month and it means I can take one day and catch up with everyone at once:


It was one of those warm and cosy days spent on the sofa under a blanket while the world outside turns white and frosty.

Steve was working late so I decided to bake some biscuits.

I made these sugar cookies:


But oh were they sweet! Next time much, much less sugar!
 

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

::: A Stocking and a Bunny :::


Opening the door to the Postman seemed just like another ordinary day. Until he handed me a parcel.

I didn't know what it was, I thought maybe Steve had bought something online for someones Christmas or a family member had sent a Christmas gift early. But no, I didn't recognise the handwriting and it was addressed to me.

It was a gift from a person I have never met before and whom I speak to online.

It was a gorgeous handmade stocking and a little handmade bunny.

I can't believe someone who I had never met would be nice enough to sit patiently and make me something from scratch and send it around the world to me, all in time for Christmas!

Thank you so much!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

::: Snow :::



Yes we finally got the snow here that everyone has been moaning/complaining about and guess what?

IT LASTED LESS THAN 24 HOURS!

We were very disappointed that we didn't get more snow but living on a farm up a country road means we slip and slide about – even with the car!

But at least we had it for a little while and I took a couple of snapshots for you all to see, before heading out to work in the morning.

Monday, 13 December 2010

::: Christmas Decorations :::


After finishing our advent calendar we got out the boxes and boxes of decorations and made our new home Christmas-y.

Remember the Nativity Scene from last year?



 This gorgeous Hansel and Gretel lantern was given to me as a child. It has a space inside for a candle and the images light up. (little flower not so little anymore)


 My willow heart that I bought last week in Oban but it never made it fully 'up', it's hanging on the pin that is also holding up my Country Homes and Interiors calendar!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

:: Orchid :::


A couple of weeks ago we had some of our new friends round for an evening of drinks, nibbles and laughter.

They came bearing all sorts of gifts and one of them was this gorgeous orchid!

We had it sitting in the livingroom for a few days but it didn't look too healthy and some of the flowers fell off!

I read up about them and it says we have to soak it overnight once a week and keep it in a light and airy room.

It is now sitting quite happily in the family bathroom and has a new bud about to open!

Friday, 10 December 2010

::: Advent Calendar :::



 
Yes – It's finally finished (although a little rough around the edges!)

It was up on Dec 1st and I am so proud. I am new to crafting and sewing although I come from a very artistic family. I never really took any notice of my mothers sewing, drawing or painting until I reached my 20's.

Now everything I see I want to try and make, whether it be Christmas decorations or everyday clothing.

I hope you are enjoying lovely treats from your own advent calendar!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

::: Fireworks :::


Yes I'm a little behind in the times and bonfire night was weeks ago but I thought I'd share some pictures with you.

But the truth is they are all on Steve's work computer so keep popping back and I'll post them soon :)

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

::: Birds :::


You all know I love the birds and we have a large variety of them visiting our bird feeders (even with Lucky around).

I mentioned in a previous post about our new bird house/feeding station. It is not up and ready yet but it has arrived safe and well.

Here is a sneek peek:

 Can you believe that it was another ebay find?

Monday, 6 December 2010

::: Meet The Sheep :::




We have a number of sheep and cows on the farm where we live. Before you get too excited - no they are not ours, although I secretly wish they were.

The sheep are Bluefaced Leicester. They regularly attend shows in the Oban area and do quite well. The male came 1st out of 25 sheep a couple of weeks back.

The rumps on the females are all different colours. This colouring comes from the male's chest. The farmer rubs a new colour on him every week which will then determine the order in which the ewe's should lamb.

They will begin lambing in early March and carry on all the way through to June.

Remember to pop back to see the baby photos!

Friday, 3 December 2010

::: Pancakes :::


I had a go at making the famous Ardtorna Pancakes.
 


The apples went a bit mushy as I cooked them for a bit too long but oh they were yummy!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

::: Reindeer :::

 
The Christmas Fayre was held at a hotel.

I can officially say – I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

My presents are wrapped, cards are written and the decorations are out and waiting to be hung up.



Oh what a wonderful time of year this is.

Monday, 29 November 2010

::: Cow Walk :::



The cows get tied to the back of the tractor and led through fields and across roads. The quad bike follows behind in case there is any trouble.

The cows here on he farm we live on are for showing therefore they get led by handlers in a ring.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

::: Frosty :::

 
The weather has been changing these past couple of weeks and every morning when we wake up the landscape has been getting whiter and whiter.

 
There is snow on the mountains behind our house and on the island which our house overlooks.

 
The car windows have been getting scraped and the heating has been getting turned on more often.


Brrrrrrrrr it's cold!