Tuesday, 20 December 2011

WOYWW 133, Blog Candy & Happy Christmas!

It's nearly Christmas and I thought I had better show some signs of festivity in the house and for WOYWW 133. 
The friend of all the tidy (and messy) elves, who is called Julia and dwells at the Stamping Ground deep in the Dark Arty Wood, coerces us to own up to some of our crafting idiosyncrasies each week. 
If you too would like to join the fun of this giant world snoop, then pop over to Julia's to spy on over 100 more.

A few days ago my clicker reached an amazing 66,666 hits over the 2 years I have been blogging. During that time I have come in contact with so many lovely people, shared some wonderful inspiration, and made some very special friends. Some blogging buddies I have met and some I know for sure that one day we will meet. My thanks to you all.
I decided that when it reached this strikingly memorable number I would give a gift to the next follower... .which has now gone out to the lovely Sylvia, however, I am also going to give away some......
Ho, Ho, Ho! Blog Candy 
You'll see a mystery parcel hiding the loot, below on my desk, along with my greeting to you all for Christmas.
To enter for my Blog Candy I'd prefer you to be a follower as I would like to give a thank you treat to someone who calls in now and then. 
Please don't join just to get the candy as it would be unfair for all those lovely people who really are interested in my posts.
It would be kind if you'd add the candy pic to your side bar too.

Also, please leave a comment telling me something special you always do at Christmas, maybe your own special family tradition, or maybe what you like best about Christmas, your favourite carol or song, or something funny that has happened to you one Christmas. 
There'll be a lucky dip prize and another for the best comment about a Christmas tale.
It will be drawn on 6th January 2012

I love to get out the box of decorations to see all the old ones we have put on the tree for so many years. No designer tree with co-ordinated colour scheme for me! So many memories in my box, from the ones my daughters loved and the ones my late mother gave us and the ancient dilapidated old ones from my own childhood, still there. 
There is one really special one that my younger daughter sent to us, around 18 years ago, when she was away studying in Moscow, her first Christmas away from home, and my elder daughter had flown out to join her over the holiday. My husband had stated that we wouldn't need to put up a tree that year as the girls were away but I argued that we should and that day a lovely, blue, hand painted Russian lady arrived with a note from DD2 instructing me to hang this lovely lady on our tree. Well we did, and now every year it's the first decoration we hang up. I don't even store her in the box, she stays on display in the dining room to be admired all year round and you can see why!
At last, I've started to add a little festive cheer to our home, first with a makeover for this pebble gas fire. It was never used as, it's so expensive to run, it gives very little heat and, our central heating is so efficient we don't need it anyway, so we removed the gas fire and now just use it for burning candles in the well. Now I've added some giant baubles, leaves, cones, berries etc., and it looks so pretty for Christmas. 

This week I will do my best to visit as many of you as possible but if I don't manage to get to you then I wish you every good wish for a wonderful Christmas and a happy, healthy, peaceful 2012.


Yvonne said...

One tradition in my family is making peanut brittle, as gifts. I have made six batches so far!

Happy Holidays, Jo!

L00py's Craft Creations said...

oh bless, I love the decoration. Mind you I am a big softee and all the kids handmade ones come out every year.
Our Christmas Tradition is , all pile on the bed Christmas eve, and yep you guessed it, T'was the night before Christmas is read out, even to the 26 yr old!! They wouldnt miss it for the world, they even found it for me and its sitting next to my keyopard right now in preparation of the big night.
Hopefully I too will visit as many as possible, lol,but they're always so interesting to read....

lisa said...

Hi Jo.
What a lovely post, I feel even more festive now, although it's been a lovely week so far with lots of seasonal things going on. Your Russian doll is beautiful, I'm not surprised she stays out all year and I love your fire baubles.
We have lots of traditions, like you our tree is filled with memory baubles and homemade decorations by both Grandma and DD going back to pre school days. We always buy one new decoration each every year too so the poor tree is groaning with barely a spare branch to be seen. Our big tradition is buying Dad a huge white Toblerone every year, his favourite, and then trying our hardest to disguise it so that he won't guess what it is. I think we've only managed to fool him one year out of 10!!! DD has done her disguise job today with a huge cardboard box and lots of bubblewrap!!
I'll finish by wishing you and your lovely family a very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful and Healthy New Year.
Hugs Lisax

Glennis said...

We don't have a special tradition, although we usually have a traditional hot Christmas dinner midday, even though it is murder to cook in our summer!
Merry Christmas and thanks for all your posts during the year

Nikki said...

I bake for all my Friends next week it's Almonds and Truffles and create handmade cards for them all Which the girls love :)
thanks for the chance hugs Nikki C

Angie said...

What an amazing achievement all those visits are ...and how kind of you to do a 'giveaway'

Fav carol was one from school days...'Adan lay y bounden'
Traditions of old ...when the kids were at home they still had a stocking and a cuddly toy left out side their room, well into their 20's.
The Christmas story connected with this is that when my 'head banging' 18 year old son stumbled home in the early hours he obviously found his stocking and opened it... because when I went in to wake him he was still dressed ... surrounded in choccy coins ...tangerine skins ...and was cuddling his Xmas teddy ....how I wish I had had a camera ...I could have blackmailed him lol. Happy Xmas xx

jude said...

Hiya ,what lovely post this morning and oh how festive absolutely love your fireplace .the way youve decorated it is beautiful hunni!
Well i also have some candy up for grabs until the 6th as thats my birthday!How kind to offer some to your followers wow heres to another few years of bloggin!
Well every year since my girls where little i have given them a pair of brand new PJ's every christmas eve and that now is the tradition.Dont ask why i did it couple years ever since i still do it no matter the age...lol
Have wonderful christmas love n hugs
judex 22

Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

Hi there Jo - ah so love the talk of your tree and so agree with the hand made ones on our tree too by little hands - now most memorable Christmas was when i was eight I actually mention it on my blog post cos it was the only one I have ever had a hot Christmas meal, that I can remember.
This year we were late going for our five week camping holiday at the beach where I now live. Dad rolled the car, was being repaired, so my uncle came and picked us up and took us to Nanna's (my Yorkshire grandmother)house. I received my doll called Elizabeth (she looked just like Queen Elizabeth I thought so pretty) and my sister received a doll house, and when we woke up in wee hours the lights were on - how magic! My brothers present he was told Santa left if our hose as he forgot to drop it off or would not fit down Nanna's chimney or some such - but really it was a foam surfboard and it would not fit in the car with all of us!
After Christmas we went to pitch our tent for our hols and Peter was able to use that surfboard then! (and still does not a foam one though!)
Dear kind Jo, I love your blog cos it is full of new things to learn!
I pray God will bless you and those you love with His richest blessing as we celebrate the birth of the dear Lord Jesus and the greatest Gift of all, love Shaz in oz.x

Neet said...

Don't seem to have traditions these days Jo, mine was to carry on where mum left off when she passed away and to put a chocolate mouse from Thorntons in the toe of hubby & son's stockings. Also my own little tradition was to give son a chocolate orange - now both of these have been taken over by darling dil. I do give him a Toblerone every birthday which is December so will that count?
Afraid I do designer trees, even this year when we haven't put the big one up we got a small one and new baubles but must admit if I could have found the old wooden decorations I would have been happy to put them on and go a bit more traditional.
Love your Russian maiden and the fireplace. TTYL
Hugs, neet x

Bridget Larsen said...

There is no tradition we do for Christmas, we move around too much to even get a christmas tree, I might put up a string of lights that I forget to bring down lol for a whole year. Oh I was surprised to see my gifts to you in the post below this, I had forgotten all about it lol, so glad they finally arrived, I asked the lady at the post office to put Philatelic stamps on it instead of those boring labels, I hope you like them as well
Bridget #21

Paul Browning said...

Lovely post Jo and very generous with another blog candy giveaway :) We don't have any family traditions as such. There are no children in our gatherings, so as adults we can make the rules up as we go along. If there is something traditional, it's the knot of anxiety in my stomach that doesn't go away until after boxing day. However, Nick & I do have a mini tradition for New Year's Eve. We drive off to Chatsworth farm shop, fill a basket with foodie goodies and have a blow out on sinful foods and treats for one last time before the obligatory health regime of January kicks in.

Paul Browning said...

Oops pressed send before I could add Happy Christmas & all the best for the New Year. Pxx

Sunshine Girl said...

My tree is full of memories too cant be doing with those matching colour scheme ones! Love your fireplace we had ours all bricked over for the same reason! Have a wonderful Christmas. Sunshine Girl – No 38

Lunch Lady Jan said...

I love what you've done with the fireplace - beautiful and Christmassy :)
Two favourite carols - Gaudete and In The Bleak Midwinter. I love everything in a Minor Key - must be the maudlin Welsh in me!
Wishing you joy and happiness this Christmas,
Hugs, LLJ #43 xx

Annie said...

What a lovely post Jo....as always of course :-)
My special thing for me at Christmas is really just to sit back and soak up our special 'family all together' times. I know I am truly blessed and am surrounded with soooooo much love....what else could I ask for? This year I have to say my really special moment was when Lulu opened her parcel with her knitted dolly in it and just let out the biggest WOW. Magic :-)
I really do hope you and your have many treasured moments over the festive season and 2012 comes with continued good health for you and your beautiful family.
A x

sandra de said...

I was going to say we don't have any traditions. But, when I look at our photos they are all the same. Lunch is always traditional - prawn entrees, Turkey, roast veges and pudding with brandy custard. All eaten in the Australian heat of summer. Not allowed to change the menu or there would be a rebellion. Favourite carol "Silent Night" very traditional. A big thank you Jo for all the wonderful crafty tips and lovely pics you have shared over the year. Have a lovely christmas.

April said...

Your tree ornament is lovely, and love what you have done with the space in your fireplace! My tree is also not a colour co-ordinated affair, it's got all my favourite baubles on, my Mum and boyfriend often buy me a new one each year so each one is special to me, I love unwrapping them all each year and finding that "perfect spot" for each one, I love Christmas, my favourite part of it is getting together with my lovely family, it seems to be the only time we really get together! Have a lovely Christmas x

Tuire Flemming said...

Hi Jo! Your fireplace is so beautiful like that!
We don´t have much traditions, but having our yucca-palm as a Christmas tree can be called one :) Our living room is too small to take a "real" tree in there!
Wishing you and your family a Wonderful Christmas!
Tuire xx #52

okienurse said...

I was sure I had left a comment so if you get two then blame it on my confusion! I love the fireplace and the candles! I haven't used ours in years and that would be a perfect use of dead space. I have been a follower for a long time and get RSS feed of your blog so I don't miss a post! Hope you and your family enjoy a Merry Christmas holiday. Thanks for sharing. Vickie #44

Ann B said...

Your russian doll is a stunner Jo, no wonder she goes on the tree first, and I bet she is right at the front. I also have many happy memories as I decorate my tree. I have two Father Christmas decorations that I have had since a little child. The first is a white (now off-white) Father Christmas rattle I posted on my blog earlier. The second is a cheap red plastic hollow Santa with a hole in his sack where, originally there were chocolate drops, both very precious.
The only tradition I keep now is to give both my Great-nieces chocolate coins and to find a different way of wrapping them up each year. They are now 19 and 23 but still search their gift bags eagerly for the coins.
As for funny stories there is one involving my late (and much missed) elder brother who was a bit of a joker. He was in his 20s and out with friends for a Boxing Day drink, came home as Mum was setting the table and he decided he would show her a trick. Have you guessed? It involved getting hold of the tablecloth and whipping it off the table leaving all the pots behind perfectly.....didn't work though, oops! Luckily he could do no wrong in my Mum's eyes so got off lightly - she was an angel.


While not an official follower I have duly watched and commented faithfully as part of WOYWW but decided to make it official! Tradition wise, this year we are breaking with our usual trip up to Scotland and spending it at home (probably because we are finally somewhere we feel safe and happy...)but the Sunday before Christmas day we always meet with our closest friends for waffle brunch (and this year was no exception - 5th year :) We also eat Goose (Not always on Christmas day but at some point) and for the last I can't remember how many years I make a Christmas Spice Cake in place of Christmas cake it is full of cinnamon, ginger, orange and other Christmassy goodness but nice and light. Merry Christmas to you and your family hope you have a lovely time x

Anonymous said...

Lovely post Jo and how like you to be thinking of others at such a busy time of the year. Love the revamped fireplace and the Russion Doll is so beautiful. I've mentioned my Christmas tradition on my blog, but basically Andrew and I are like big kids at Christmas and we sleep in the family room with the Christmas tree for a few nights. It's incredibly magical for me waking up on Christmas Morn, with the fire on, the curtains still closed and all the Christmas lights twinkling away, plus the smell of the turkey roasting (Andrew gets up and puts it in the oven) and the carols from Kings College Cambridge playing softly.

Have a wonderful Christmas Jo.

Brenda 71

SueH said...

Well that’s an amazing number of visitors you’ve had in just two years Jo but then again I’m not surprised because your work is always inspiring. Despite visiting you for some time via WOYWW I’m not a follower so won’t be joining in with the blog candy but wish you many more visitors.

Great minds think alike as far as your fire goes. I have a coal gas fire in my lounge too that’s never used and I’ve put lots of little tea lights in amongst the coals. It looks very pretty when they ate all lit.

Wishing you a very Happy Christmas.


Jingle said...

I follow you, my dear! We have a special breakfast on Christmas morning - the menu changes a bit from year to year, but it is always one of my favorite things about the holiday!

Happy Christmas!

Doone said...

love the altered fire well, and I think I have admired the angel before she was on the tree?
I Will call you during the Holidays, a text first and maybe a skype, take care have a good time, hugs to you both


Twiglet said...

Oh Jo - how alike we are. I trimmed our tree this afternoon with all our old favourites. I might post pics of a few tomorrow - time permitting. Just watching Nigel Slater as I catch up with my WOYWW hop. Glass of wine on my table. Parcels wrapped and then knitting the scarf for M!. Happy Christmas Jo. x Jo

Julia Dunnit said...

Beautiful table arrangement Jo, wonderful lettering...and wrapping, and I am totally unsurprised by the huge 'footfall' you receive, your blog continues to be a warm and inspiring place. Happy Christmas!

505whimsygirl said...

The Russian girl is beautiful. I also like the Russian nesting dolls.

Congratulations on hitting such a HUGE milestone. As a new blogger I can't even imagine getting to that point!

Merry Christmas to you and yours.


TangolikeRaindrop said...

Merry Christmas! :)


Your photos are beautiful Jo - love the Russian doll and the decorated fireplace - so welcoming and festive! As in some of the previous comments, we have lots of "special" baubles, going back some 40 years when our children were young. However the really special ornament is the one hubby and I bought for our very first Christmas together - we could only afford one (and a tiny little tinsel tree to go with it - times were hard in the Dark Ages!!) and we still have both the bauble and the tree. The glass bauble has a Santa face, a white felt beard and a red felt hat - very cute, and he is now 46 years old and comes out to play every Christmas!
Hugs, Sylvia xx

Sam said...

That is a beautiful Russian lady you have there Jo. My tree is covered with Czech Christmas decorations which are wooden, straw and crystal. As for my favourite thing or tradition, well Hubby has to put the star on the tree and I always put the little scratched wooden soldier at the bottom of the tree for our first dog Sputnik. You see, we had her over Christmas and she scratched it the first year and in following years she would paw it. Favourine thing - Trees! Love trees. One of the reasons I want to go to New York - to see the trees in Times Square!
Have a Fantastic Christmas Jo. xx

RosA said...

Your Russian doll gives a very exotic touch to your tree, I think. Thanks for your kind words re my cards. And, yes, the Christmas cake was very yummy. Planning to bake No.2 tonight. I'm not particularly keen on Christmas pudding, after eating a hot traditional lunch here where Christmas Day is normally pretty hot (temperature wise). I prefer a piece (or two) of cake, but it must be very good cake, so each year I experiment slightly with a previous recipe or a new one, if it looks good. Which is what I have done this year. (Found a new one, that is, and I think it's a winner!) Happy WOYWW and have a lovely Christmas. RosA#2

Kate said...

I have been following your blog for a while and adore your art! My favorite holiday tradition is making gingerbread houses with my boys. My 3 year old gets so excited evertime he sees the houses. He loves to point out the houses he decorated to everyone who visits. I think I have realized that christmas is about the kids! I love seeing my boys happy!
Merry Christmas!

Karen said...

Your photos are beautiful, I especially love the decorated fireplace :)

Have a great WOYWW and a very, very Happy Christmas, Karen (#66)

Sarah said...

As cliche as it is I love getting out my Christmas music and I have to have a final mooch around town Christmas Eve, sit in a cafe people watching and then find those extra little things for loved ones. Might only be a choccy bar or a German sausage and funny socks for hubby but it's kind of special... Thanks for sharing in such a busy week! Hope you have a very festive and wonderfully merry time - see you in 2012! Sarah at 11.

SueH said...

Thanks for letting me joining in the draw for your candy Jo. Despite visiting via WOYWW for some time I wasn’t a follower but I’ve just joined up now to make it official.

My Christmas tradition for that last six years or so always starts with a trip to the German Christmas markets (which as you know didn’t go to plan this year). We always go by coach and ferry so on the boat coming home we treat ourselves to a lovely meal in the Langham’s Brassiere on board…….a lovely start to the celebrations.

Then towards the end of December we always book to go to the Royal Albert Hall in London for a meal and a Christmas Sing-a –Long which incidentally we did manage to get to this year. People actually decorate the boxes with Christmas lights and we had a string of lights and flashing reindeer, snowman and Santa sticks to wave in time to the music.

It certainly helps get you in the right mood Lol!

Elizabeth said...

Hello Jo, love the use you have put your redundant fireplace to - it does look very festive. And I can quite see why you treasure the blue lady ornament - it's lovely. Thanks for visiting me this week and leaving your comment - chuckled at the idea of me cleaning my keyboard with my plastered finger :))I wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and happy holidays. Elizabeth x #46

Tracey Fletcher KIng said...

Your house is starting to look wonderfully festive and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season...xx

fairy thoughts said...

merry christmas to you and yours
janet #24

The Crafty Elf said...

So....I'm not going to lie! That fireplace is just scrumptious and festive like! You've done a great job and that gets the Elf stamp of approval for sure! I love your ornaments they are certainly treasures for the Holiday Season. I have a box full of treasures just like it and look forward to the completion of our basement so I can set up another tree where they can be displayed. Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas with family and friends and All The Best for a Safe, Happy and Healthy New Year! Thank you for your comments over the last year, I'm so happy you took the time from your busy schedule to visit - Thank You!

Hands to Work, Hearts to God said...

Merry Christmas Jo! Of course I've been following for some time now! The Russian lady is beautiful! What's hanging on my tree are family pictures! I make frames and put pictures in it. It's a bit scraggly, not elegant at all, but I love it! A blessed Christmas to you and your family! Patsy from

mustavcoffee, Gay Peplow said...

Hi there Jo, It was lovely of you to visit and leave a kind message, I'm very glad I came to see you too, Your posts are wonderful and varied you are woman of many crafty talents, I shall be back:0) have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year, Gay x

Susie Jefferson said...

Hi JO!

Wishing you health, wealth and happiness in the New Year, and a very Merry Christmas right now! Big hugs etc...

Rosalee said...

Hi Jo. A Christmas Tradition in our family is one we do ever year. We all gather together on Christmas eve and relive out the manger scene. The kids dress as the shepherds and wisemen and the couple with the youngest acts as Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus. The rest of us gather around then and sing Christmas carols and read the Christmas story.
Hugs, Rosalee

MaggieC said...

Your fireplace does look so pretty an festive, Jo. I quite agree about non designer trees, for Christmas. The joy is fro hanging the old ornaments that have become heirlooms. I have some from when I was quite small, including a nativity scent, and a dove, all covered in glitter. I have re-glittered them both many times over the years. Then there is the luminous angel from the same era, which glows in the dark, and is probably completely unsafe according to Health and Safety. Thank you for all the encouraging comments over the past year, and I look forward to reading more of your blog and your ideas next year. have a wonderful New Year with good health, happiness and fun. xx Maggie #50

Luanne said...

Hi Jo, Our Christmas tradition is before the eve of Christmas we celebrate with foods and drinks with the branch family and workers. If we go on a vacation with my mom we go together with their church group caroling.

Have a wonderful New Year to you and your family.

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