Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Advent 2017 :: Day 12

It has become something of a tradition each December that I make time for a day out to visit an exhibition... a day when I'm not thinking about Christmas making and baking. This year I visited a museum that I have never visited before (cue sixty x sixty) despite having grown up and gone to school not a million miles away. In fact it took a friend from New York to introduce this North London girl to the delights of the William Morris Gallery

Orange Tree - embroidery by May Morris

On Friday I met up with my blogging friend Frances and we went to see May Morris: Art and Life, a wonderful exhibition exploring the life and work of William Morris's youngest daughter, one of the most significant artists of the Arts and Crafts movement. The exhibition covers the whole breadth of her creative pursuits from embroidery to wallpaper design, costume to jewellery as well as the most delightful sketches and watercolours. And all this is set against the story of her life and her role in the Socialist and Feminist movements. It is beautifully curated and quite fascinating.

"I am a remarkable woman - always was, though none of you seemed to think so" May Morris 1936

After a lovely lunch in the cafe, (I can recommend the smoked mackerel sandwich) we took some time to explore the rest of the museum which has rooms dedicated to intoducing William Morris and his childhood, his early influences, the rise of Morris & Co., plus an insight into both his workshop and the company showroom. There are also rooms dedicated to his love of literature and typography, his efforts to create a free and fair world and his far reaching influence and enthusiasm for quality materials and craftsmanship. There really is masses to see and plenty of interactive exhibitions for the younger members of the family... I couldn't resist a bit of brass rubbing but I reluctantly passed by the dressing up clothes!

The house itself is a gem in the heart of Walthamstow, a beautiful Georgian house that was Morris's childhood home, set within Lloyd Park which is now a public recreation ground. The staircase is tastfully decorated for Christmas and the May Morris exhibition, which is free just like entry to the rest of the house, is open until 28th January. It may have taken me sixty years to discovery this beautiful Gallery but I have no doubt I will return.

It was a fabulous day out and wonderful to catch up with Frances again.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Advent 2017 :: Day 11

More Christmas cards today

The sort where you want to send something special and home made but are finding time is of the essence. Or maybe you don't leave things until the last minute like me!

Origami wreath tutorial and star tutorial here!

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Advent 2017 :: Day 10

Remember I mentioned a couple of weeks ago I was off painting china with a group of friends... okay, probably not! It was a fun evening where we got to choose our unglazed pieces of china and then set to decorating them with various glazes using stencils and masks, sponges and brushes. There was wine and birthday cake and then we went home and forgot all about them, leaving them at the shop to be fired. So what a lovely surprise to get mine back this week and discover it looked like this!

A lovey friend on Instagram described it as mid century modern with a contemporary twist. Really? Like I planned that! But whatever it is I quite like it and will be happy to use it this Christmas along with the rest of my small but growing collection of festive china. And as a bonus, painting china is on my sixty x sixty list.

Although it seems a shame to cover it up... perhaps just a few artfully placed mince pies?

Do you have festive china?

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Advent 2017 :: Day 9

Having seen pictures pop up on Pinterest etc. this year, I decided to make gingerbread reindeer cookies. I put them on sticks to sell at the market and they sold out!.

And yes, I'm sure the more observant amonst you will have noticed... they are made with a gingerbread man cookie cutter but he's upside down!

Friday, 8 December 2017

Advent 2017 :: Day 8

When I saw these fabulous Santa Sacks on the Mollie Makes website I knew I had to make them... hence the purchase of a pompom maker!

I don't even know who they are going to be for... or even if anyone would want one but they are such fun to make. You can follow the link below to find the instructions. The website is full of lovely things to make.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Advent 2017 :: Day 7

How on earth did I get to the age I am without a pompom maker?

So much easier and quicker than the old circles of cardboard... why didn't anyone tell me!

I can see lots of pompoms in my life now... come back tomorrow to see what I've done with them!

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Advent 2017 :: Day 6

As usual I have made my mini Christmas cakes. They make a pretty gift and sell well at the local Christmas market.

This year I happened to have some navy blue icing so thought I would try something a bit more contemporary. I quite like them... what do you think?

You can find my recipe here: