Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas is nigh

The Christmas spirit has once again (albeit a little late) come ever so lightly tapping on my bright pink, front door, but this year I have  opened the door just a little for the Christmas magic to slip in. In previous years I have been that gal who goes all out in sprinkling Christmas glimmer and sparkles throughout our li'l ol', humble abode. Alas, this year, my 'more is never enough' approach to decorating is not evidenced. Is this really me speaking? Me, the gal whose decorating wand crazily sprinkles Christmas dust to each room. Sadly, yes 'tis true. With all that has transpired this year I wanted to speckle just a little Christmas magic to our parlour. The evidential proof of my sprightliness to the subject of 'All things pertaining to the subject of Christmas Decorating, a la Kim Sharman Style', in previous years can be seen here and here......that is of course if you are so inclined to take a few hours minutes to have a bo peep.

But to the parlour.........

The Christmas tree is up and twinkling at me; and all whom should happen upon our abode and sit awhile in our parlour.

Of course, if perchance you should sit in my festive parlour, we would enjoy a cup of tea. You and I would partake in the gentle art of tea drinking; pouring tea from a pretty Royal Albert teapot and sipping from a pretty cup. Oh, I always take tea in such a grand fashion! Would I tell a fib?? Never!!

This year the thought did cross my mind (oh all right, the thought muddled around my brainpan for quite a while) to perhaps acquire a white tree which is a little smaller than my 9ft beauty; and doesn't require a crane to assemble and a ladder to clamber up and down for a weekend, in order to hang each decoration one by one. But no, with my daughter stating categorically that she would never speak to me again if I perchance sent this elegant 9 foot tree to dark and musty environs forevermore, where spiders seem to exist in abundant numbers, it is yet again standing ever so lovely in the corner of our parlour.

It is an elegant tree. It is a tree where family members' names hang, bringing to mind precious memories that stay forever in one's heart. It is a tree where angels abound. Over the years I have crafted all manner of sweet angels. I have a penchant for angels, for these heaven-sent beings. It is a tree filled with many, many hand stitched and embroidered pretties and lovely store bought baubles which have tickled my fancy.

With the tree decorated and sitting rather handsomely in the corner, the next task at hand is to gussy up the mantle.

I haven't bought Christmas decorations for a good while, but this year I wanted to cast an elegant, white look to my mantlescape. These sweet little ceramic houses found their way into my bag. A tea light is placed inside and they burn brightly giving a lovely festive ambiance. They are so very pretty.

This lovely cherubic light has been sitting in our cupboard for 10 years. Originally it was a present for our oldest daughter but as she lives in the USofA, I unearthed it and asked our friendly sparky to install it and....voila!! Originally it was sheathed in gold and as I am not a fan of an over-abundance of gold, I painted it white and then rubbed it back so that touches of gold shine through. I am in love with my cherubic being hovering above.

Christmas isn't Christmas without a few candles shining brightly. Just a 'few' candelabras that I have collected through the years. An old and rusty bird cage stand adds a lovely milieu to my chandelier.

My two babies. So many cherished Christmas memories revolve around my girls' delight and happiness on Christmas morning. It's wonderful, is it not, seeing the magic of Christmas through little childrens' eyes.

Mirrors abound in our home. I think at last count there are 30 of these looking glasses gracing corners of our home. No I am not one of the narcissistic creatures that is forever gazing at one's reflection, quite the contrary........I love how they reflect gorgeous light.

To cover the soot stained fireplace I placed a length of white voile to cover the bricks, a couple of mirrors and of course, candles. I love, love, LURVE the ballerina sashaying across the mirror!

My beautiful angels which is a receptacle for flowers. The roses are abloom in our garden at this time of year.

When decorating for Christmas I love to use things I already have. These angels normally sit above a doorway, looking kindly upon everyone who enters our home.

Are not these celestial beings, beautiful??

A parisian boot, ready to be filled with pretty surprises. I designed and stitched this (and the elf boot) a couple of Christmases ago. This pretty is for me.........

.....and this elf boot is for my good husband.

It's a wrap. The adornment of the parlour is finished. Of course the bedecking of my parlour seemed to take forever! Every year I have to psyche myself up to begin the begin of decorating for Christmas.....but....I am always happy with the result. I love the calming and restful atmosphere of my parlour; it is  a lovely place to sit a while and ponder the meaning of Christmas.

As I sit here in my parlour and reflect upon Christmas, I am reminded of the Christmas story, when Jesus was born that first Christmas morning so long ago, and the love and grace that surrounds it. I am reminded of the depths of God's love for me....amazing really. I am reminded that Jesus is the reason why we celebrate Christmas.

I know 'tis a wee bit early but........

May your Christmas be decorated with much love and precious memories as you gather around your family.
May there be moments when you ponder the Christmas story and the beauty therein.

Wishing each one of you the loveliest of Christmases.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Of Cushions, Flowers and Friendship

Good Morning to you. Another week passes by ever so quickly. Another week of lovely sunny Spring days tempting pretty flowers to burst joyously from their garden beds, weaving blushes of iridescent colour throughout our garden.

As my husband is still unable to do any work in the garden for a little while yet, I have picked up the trowel and shovel and attended to the weeds. Oh my goodness, there are sooooooo many weeds, so many, I fear I will become a little garden gnome. I really am too old for this caper!! I am much, much too venerable to yank and heave and jerk for hours on end at these tenacious and pesky varmints!! But.....persistence is paying off. I am determined not to be overwhelmed by these abominable interlopers, these pesky pains in the proverbial, that persist in trying to overthrow the reign of my kingdom of pretty flowers. With dogged resolve I am determined to banish them to the next world!!

So.....as I have taken residence in the garden, not a lot has been happening in my sunny sewing room; though I did stitch a cushion for a friend whose birthday is just around the corner.

Once again, I buried myself in ribbons and doilies. Yet again, I fashioned another basket of French ribbon work flowers. I never tire of fashioning an overabundance of flowers of the ribbon variety and though I have chatted about making a few of these flower-filled baskets before, one more can't hurt, can it??? And......of course each one is a little different. Besides, one of my dearest friends, for whom this cushion is intended, doesn't have one of these lovelies sitting in her home. With her birthday just a few weeks away, I needed to make something rather quickly. We have been friends since kindergarten and surprisingly enough, although I have stitched her many, many 'Kim Sharman' originals throughout the years of our friendship, I have never stitched her a basket of floralicious delight.

This time the basket of ribbon flowers sit prettily on a background of snippets of doilies randomly placed where they fell. I had a yearning to yet again, rummage through my embroidered pretties. I wanted pretty embroideries with flowers, the odd basket of flowers and butterflies. The fabric I chose for the basket is the prettiest silk fabric of interweaving pastel hues. I brought this lovely fabric a few years ago with the thought it would be an excellent choice somewhere down the yellow brick road of my stitching.

I never, never tire of fashioning these baskets of floral delights! Mmmm....now let me see......which friend can I next stitch a basket of  blossoms for??

One by one, the addition of a pansy here and a pansy there, a fuchsia or two, and blousey roses with leaves peeking from behind, assembling another blooming basket of floral delight.

I chose a fabric with weaving vines of flowers with the odd butterfly fluttering by. A doily with a birthday sentiment is free hand machine stitched on a favourite doily. Aah....bluebirds of happiness casting a little magic on our friendship.

Though one of my joys in life is picking a fresh bouqet of flowers and gifting them to a friend for their birthday, in this case my friend lives two states away, so this cushion of floral delight will just have to do. I don't think my friend will be too unhappy. An over-spilling bouquet of gorgeous french ribbon blossoms which will bloom forevermore.

Although a beautiful bouquet of fragrance-filled flowers will always put a smile in a gal's heart, I fear within a week they always seem to metamorphose into a pongy mass of organic matter. Yes indeedy, me thinks a sweet cushion of an over-spilling bouquet of gorgeous, french ribbon blossoms blooming forevermore, is a more lovely sentiment in celebration of our friendship.

Wishing you all the most wonderful weekend. Take time to perhaps pick a pretty blossom......or two....oh.....and of course drink in their fragrance.

Until the next time........

Linking up to lovely Stephanie's, The Enchanting Rose.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

My Trunk Full of Hexagon Quilts

Soma, who has the most beautiful blog, Whims and Fancies has come up with an inspired idea. She is hosting a virtual 'Trunk Full of Quilts' inviting quilters to showcase some of their quilts that their creative imaginations have lovingly whipped up. So I decided I would join in the fun.

As some of you know, I am rather enamoured with hexagon quilts. Oh all right.....I confess, I am besotted with hexagon quilts. I love the hexagon shape. I love how the shape is repeated over and over again, the juxtaposition of each shape forming a beautiful tessellated pattern which fits neatly into each other without any overlapping. I love the myriad mosaic patterns which are conjured up. I never tire of gazing upon these hexagon beauties.

So........I decided to showcase my trunk overspilling with some of my completely hand stitched hexagon quilts that I have stitched over the last few years.

My skipping along the yellow brick road of hexagon quilts began when I happened upon a wonderful method for sewing hexagon quilts a few years ago. Individual hexagons are sewn with the top fabric, the batting and the backing fabric all at once and then a little of the backing fabric is brought to the front to form a narrow border. Then the finished hexagons are whippd stitched together at the back to form the quilt.

My first 'hexie' was made from hundreds of scraps of fabric and I must admit it is one of my favourites. It is an oft-used quilt and I love how it has faded with age and has become wonderfully squashy. Indeed, this quilt is like an old friend!.

The back of  these hexies are almost as pretty as the front, which means you have two quilts in one.

A bright and fun hexie quilt I made as a present for a little boy.

The seams on the back of this quilt are covered by lengths of fabric binding which adds to the scrappy look and gives a more visually pleasing finish.

Brightly coloured, scrappy hexagons flying in the breeze.

This hexie was fashioned from gorgeous Chinese brocades my daughter bought as a gift for me whilst on a trip to China.

The front........

The back is rainbow-filled with gorgeous satins.

Aaah yes.....a vibrantly, coloured hexie quilt always adds a little something.....a little pizzazz to the landscape!

To use up some of the gorgeous vintage fabrics.....brocades, silks, velvets, satins....and the pretty vintage laces, gloves, jewellery, ribbons, doilies, buttons and all those other pretties I have hoarded gathered over the years, I decided it would be wonderful to incorporate a lot of these pretties into some sumptuous, hexagon quilts. Yes indeedy, I am a gal whose heart swoons over vintage lovelies, but as a result of my addiction, my plethora of vintage lovelies more often than not, escape their rather confined environs, weaving their way throughout our humble abode. They seem to tangle anyone and anything that crosses their path; thus the eventual compulsion for them to be whipped up into gorgeous quilts and embellish my hexies to within an inch of their lives.

I wanted to incorporate a sense of those crazy patchwork quilts from a bygone era into my hexagon quilts.  I love how there is no rhyme or reason to these crazy patchwork quilts. I love how these quilts are filled with glorious embroideries, swirls upon swirls of pretty ribbons dancing across the sumptuous fabrics, pretty buttons, vintage jewellery, opalescent beads........I love how crazy quilts are filled with treasures from a stitcher's Aladdin's Cave.

This 'Rhapsody in Blue' hexie was fashioned for a dear friend's 50th Birthday.

An overspilling abundance of sumptuous extravagance.

My luscious, vibrantly coloured, hexagon quilt celebrating a bohemian spirit. I wanted this quilt to be awash with glorious colour, breaking a few 'so called' colour rules along the way....oh.....and embellishing with the odd pretty or two.

My pastel lovelies.

This one sits prettily atop our bed, in our boudoir.

I love the random craziness of the hexagon quilts that I fashion. There is never a grand plan. I just adore seeing what exciting journey the fabrics and all those 'to-die-for embellishments take me on, experimenting with colour and texture; and playing with design. I love to twirl all the gloriously vibrant colours round and round in a merry dance! 

It has been a delight to show you a few of my hexagon lovelies. All these hexagon quilts have all been lovingly stitched by hand. Yes indeedy, there is no machine stitching to be seen here.

For those of you whose eyes have looked upon all of these pretties before.....I humbly apologise for this virtual 'Trunk Full of Hexagon Pretties'. I am so, so sorry you have had to plough through these pretties yet again! I promise, with my hand on my heart, to finish those works in progress, of which there are many, and showcase them next year, if indeed Soma should host this fun show again. Thank you, Soma, for hosting this enjoyable 'Trunk Full of Quilt' show....it has been the best fun. It also has been a delight to visit others' lovely blogs and to have a bo peep at their gorgeous quilts. Oh my goodness, there are some wonderfully clever quilters out there!!

 But for now, it's toodles from me.