Wednesday 7 December 2011

Getting Sorted, Clearing Out, Paying It Forward.

A confession...

Back in November 2009 I took part in a Pay It Forward venture hosted by Diane @ Heartshaped. I received lots of lovely goodies from Diane and promised to obtain three volunteers to pass on more presents to, they would then each pass on three more sets of gifts to three more recipients, etc, etc. At the time I only managed to get one interested party and failed to deliver the goods (it's OK, Country Mouse is also a "real" friend and I don't think she minded really, and has probably completely forgotten about it - till now...)

I would like to try and re-start the pay-it-forward. To enter you need to volunteer by commenting on this post and indicating that you're interested. I'll put the names in the hat and will pick three (as my original volunteer no longer blogs I will send her a seperate gift too but with no obligation to pay it forward). To enter you need to have a blog and be prepared to continue the PIF by posting it on your blog and finding a further three bloggers to receive handmade items from yourself. Officially you have a year in which to do this (umm, I took 2, sorry!). It'll probably be no surprise to learn that most of my intended gifts will have a Christmas theme. In addition to the handmade items I will also be giving sets of my favourite fair trade Christmas decorations which have appeared in this post (2009) and this post (2010).

Christmas 2011 is approaching as quickly as ever now that December has begun. I'm still feeling relatively organised (just because I'm not thinking too hard about it all!)

On Saturday it was the nursery fair.

I prepared a small army of gingerbread men...

...some of whom were scoffed in house...

...but most made it safely out the door, accompanied by my usual tablet donation.

One evening before the fair a few Mums got together to make some owls - after selling all the ones I'd already made at the school fair the previous weekend I needed a hand to make more, and people were keen to have a go at making their own.

It was a good opportunity to try out one of the mulled wine sachets, it worked a treat and I liked the wine stained orange slices left in the pan.

I managed to make two owls for hanging...

...and one little spicey owl cushion.

I dug out some Christmas lights for using in Santa's grotto. It seemed daft to put them away again so a few are already hanging round the house. Normally I decorate for Christmas all in one go, but this year it's more of a gradual accumulation of decorations and lights. To be honest I'm not quite ready for decorations yet as I like to give the house a good clean and tidy before bringing them out. But not to worry, noone will notice the difference I'm sure.

I have some advent herbal tea, a gift from a German friend. I've never been keen on ordinary tea or coffee but over the last couple of years I've grown to like herbal teas. In winter they can be pleasantly warming and soothing without the cloying sweetness associated with other hot winter drinks. I do find I'm preferring the berry based ones, but it's good to try different ones and this pack with two of twelve different flavours is ideal for that, though so far there is only one flavour I'd actually buy again.

I have some other works in progress - I'm really liking the spiced pillows and am making a few more as gifts.

This one will probably be for A's teacher.

One of these I've already finished and have posted to one of my brothers who has just moved house (after 23 years in his last home).

We've not had a chimney pot view from the back door for a while. Here we have some rather threatening clouds moving in, and as usual there are several jackdaws perched atop various chimneys.

The clouds didn't disappoint and we've had our first snow of this winter. Not a lot, enough to make the world look magical for a while but not enough to cause any annoying travel issues.


Some wintry scenes.

To today...

I'm in the middle of a pre-Christmas clearout and have been listing items on ebay and sorting out bags for the charity shop. While at the charity shop...

...I bought this lot (plus a purple forklift truck not photographed as it was in use) for the grand total of £4. Such bargains! Look at the lovely threads, perfect for more owl crafting.

One bobbin in particular caught my eye. It was made in a local mill, the buildings of which dated back to 1782 and were believed to house the world's oldest surviving machine factory. However, last April vandals set fire to the buildings and the mill is now no more. I find it sad that another link with the past has been destroyed in such a mindless way.

To finish on a happier note, here is the shelf with A's lovely Phoenix Cards advent calendar house on it. It's beautiful, I'd have loved one like it when I was young. It is nice occasionally to be able to indulge the children a little with one's own childish desires.

PS. Remember that if you want to enter the Pay-It-Forward please say so when commenting - fingers crossed I'll get more than one volunteer this time round...
PPS. You don't need to be UK based to enter the PIF.
PPPS. Entries for the draw will close at midnight on Sunday 11th December.


Rustic Vintage Country said...

Did you see the box full of cottons I got from a charity shop recently for £3, absolute bargain, just like yours. There are still bargains to be had a charity shops although quite a few seem to charge more for stuff than you can buy it new! Won't put me off going and a mooching though. You can add me as a possible PIF but as I'm a fairly new blogger, I may need some advice if chosen!! For example, do I post it on my blog now or do I wait to see if I'm picked???

Jacquie said...

I love your snowy scenes and owly makes . I like the idea of the pay it forward so please enter my name . What great charity shop finds, I haven't found much at all in our charity shops lately.
Jacquie x

Sue Hayton said...

Sad to hear about the mill - I didn't know how important it was until I left Kilmacolm where I was brought up and became interested in Industrial Archaeology.

VintageVicki said...

I would love to take part in this PIF:)

Those GB men look very scrummy - can see why some didn't make it out of the house.

rockinloubylou said...

I had indeed forgotten about the PIF. What a lovely Christmas surprise!

Simone said...

A wonderful post full of lovely things especially the gingerbread men and tablet! I will pass on the PIF for now as I took part in one a couple of years ago and one of the recipients didn't pass on any gifts as far as I am aware! As the owls have been so popular, you will have to start making them again in January to have enough for next years Xmas fayre!!!

Julie said...

I love your little spiced pillows - your felt sewing is so pretty and detailed. I'd love to take part in the PIF but I think I'd better give it a miss....I'm really struggling to get much done at the moment and I know it would bug me to have it hanging over me to complete - shame. Hope you get enough people. And have a great Christmas - suspect commenting is going to be few and far between in the next couple of weeks! Juliex

☼ Carolina ☼ said...

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