New Home Festivities

I know it’s late January, but I was so proud of our new home at Christmas I had to share it!

Coming from a little terraced house, I wasn’t sure our decorations would stretch far enough to fill this house – well, it was a nice excuse to go and treat ourselves to a few more! Lots of new baubles and miles of ivy from the garden and I think we succeeded in making it cosy and Christmassy…

christmas 8

christmas 5

christmas 6

christmas 7

christmas 2

christmas 1

christmas 12

christmas 4christmas 9

We had so much fun decorating the house, and these are a few tips I’m going to remind myself of next year…

  • You can never use too much ivy – drape it over anything for an instant festive feel.
  • Put fairy lights everywhere. I wanted a festive window light but couldn’t really afford one (probably after spending a small fortune on baubles!) I used a few different sized jam jars from the cupboard and put a string of fairy lights inside. Hide the cables with more ivy and you’re left with a gorgeous window light.
  • Put silver bells in jam jars among t.lights. They look so lovely and gleam in the glow of the candles.
  • Use a vase as a make-shift hurricane lamp and string ivy around your candle inside. This made a gorgeous centerpiece for our Christmas table and was so simple and cheap to do.

Now all my Christ-moose has to do is wait patiently for next Christmas to come around so we can do it all again!

christmas 3

Happy Days in York

A fabulous three day stay in York was the perfect end to our Summer. After all the house moving, a little bit of ‘us time’ was just what we needed.

After arriving, we pottered into the city and went in search of some of our favourite finds from our last visit. Not far from our hotel is Priestleys at No. 36. A gorgeous mix of antiques and design led gifts where we found this present for a porridge loving friend.

york 12york 1

Further in is another lovely shop called image which is home to quirky homewares , gorgeous cards and artwork. We passed it every time we walked in which inevitably led me to end up with a sweet vintage jelly mould candle holder.

Yet another amazing find is Wild Hart which sits along a gorgeous cobbled street. No shop front is the same as the next and there’s plenty of character-full pubs nestled inbetween.  This was pretty perfect as I was able to keep bribing Ed along the shops with the promise of a drink or two!

york 11york 6york 18york 14york 8york 13york 9

Very much in love with this shop, which has a new room since our last visit. It’s full of vintage furniture and Christmas decorations! Can’t wait to visit again a bit closer to the festive season to see what other treats they have….

Jingle All The Way!

Here at Bumbleblue, everything is in full festive swing. It’s the last day of November and I already feel like I’ve painted a truck load of Christmas decorations!

As well as painting orders for my fabulous customers, I’ve been trying to carry on with experimenting and keeping my creative juices flowing. It was actually a Christmas song that inspired my newest little creation – This is a good twist of fate as now I can argue that festive Michael Buble is educational!

So, I had Jingle Bells in my head and fueled by a fresh cup of tea I opened my cupboard that holds a bit of everything and had a root around. At the bottom was a big bag full of my wrapping bits and bobs; rolls of pretty paper, bags of beautiful ribbons and tonnes of gorgeous tags.

Hmm, gift tags…

No present you wrap is complete without a tag. It identifies the sender, offers sentiment to the recipient and also makes the whole wrapping process complete. The more I thought about it, the more I started to feel sorry for the humble gift tag. We put so much thought into choosing which paper to buy, matching it up to ribbons and tags and when all’s said and done, we tear the package open and throw it all away.

A few more cups of tea and a few sketches and the ideas started flowing, I just needed one little thing to bring it all together…..

bells

jingle bells tag 2

jingle bells tag 1jingle bells tag 3jingle bells tag 4

Jolly Gingerbread Men

As well as being decorative and delicious treats, gingerbread men also make cheerful Christmas decorations. They have a cosy and rustic charm that is perfect for your home at Christmas.

The Bumbleblue gingerbread man has become a bit of a favourite of mine both to make and to hang up around the festive period. To be honest, there’s one that sits in my kitchen all through the year – just couldn’t wrap him up when we took the decs down last year!

They start their days as simple wooden shapes, but with a little love and care, and of course a splash of Farrow and Ball paint, they soon turn into little men. Each one is smartly dressed with the finest mother of pearl buttons and a little red bow.

These little chaps are all waiting for their own homes to go to to share Christmas with someone.

Cracking Christmas Cards

Now we’re officially into October, I feel a bit less premature talking about the festive season. After all it will soon be here, twinkling and jingling all around us – and you will be left wondering where November went!

I’m still on a bit of a mission to create a card range for Bumbleblue. I’ve moved onto brainstorming festive ideas, which I’ve absolutely loved! Being the fairy that I am, I love Christmas. As soon as I see those first decorations in the shops and hear those familiar tunes, my inner child takes over and I have a constant buzz of excitement right through until New Year.

Earlier in the year I found these fabulous tiny birds, perfect for cards. It wasn’t until I was painting some ‘Bobbin’ Robins’ that I thought about making some teeny tiny robins too.

As is usually the case, one idea spurs on another and before I knew it, the Bumbleblue desk was swamped with ideas, sketches, paint and material.

 

 

It’s taken a few weeks, but I’m really chuffed with some of my new additions and I hope you will pop over to my website and have a look!

www.bumbleblue.co.uk

Red, Red Robin

It’s that time of year again when the muggy heat of Summer is replaced with that creeping chill of Autumn.

I love the long Summer days (especially as it means I can live in flip flops for a few months!) but the change in seasons means it will soon be time for cosy nights huddled by the fire under big knitted blankets whilst drinking hot chocolate.

In a bid to be organised this year, I promised myself I would keep on top of my festive products. I know alot of you are going to flip at this point, but yes I’m talking about Christmas decorations. I adore the festive season and I love designing my own gifts and decorations. After a few years of developing ideas, there’s finally  a nice collection forming including one of my favourites, the little Bobbin’ Robin.

Each wooden bird is given a few coats of paint before being sanded down to give them a smooth finish.

His bright red tummy really turns him into a cheerful robin and this is left to dry before the tiny paint brushes come out! After another quick sand down, he’s given a wing, an eye and his song is painted onto his red tum.

A bit of string finishes him off and he’s ready to hang on your tree!

Getting Ready for Christmas on Betty’s Farm

It’s been busy,busy,busy at the Bumbleblue desk!

The paint has been flowing and the Christmas songs have been playing – I’m in full on festive mode now. It’s difficult not to be when you’re surrounded by holly, Christmas trees and snowflakes. All my new decorations were carefully packed away ready for my next crafting event. This time I was at Betty’s Farm in Willington. It’s a chicken farm will a shop on site selling their own eggs as well as other goodies. We were in a marquee in the main yard which was next to the chicken fields. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many chickens! As we arrived, they all flocked to the gates to say hello.

…I think instead they were expecting us to feed them. No such luck chickens, the first job was setting up my table.

Then the second job was to get a cup of tea. I’ve not done a fair outside in the winter before and it was freezing! As usual, there were lots of hand made goodies and treats including unusual but yummy sounding varieties of home made soup.

All day were kept amused by the clucks and grubbings of the chickens outside – one of which decided to pop in and have a look around. Amongst all the chickens I saw my first robin since last Winter. It must be getting close to Christmas! Talking of robins, my newest little additions were very popular;

The bunting I made to decorate my table was the first thing to sell and luckily the lady who bought it also had a stall and I was able to keep it strung on mine until the end of the day.

Some more new Christmas decorations were also being admired. I still have my eye on the ‘Ho ho ho’ blocks but I can’t keep everything I make, as much as I could find a home for it all!

So even though the weather was a touch on the nippy side, we were kept warm with hot cups of mulled wine non-alcoholic of course.

If you haven’t been to Betty’s Farm yet, it’s definately worth a visit. As well as eggs, the farm shop is brimming with locally sourced cakes, bread, pickles and pies. In another shed next to the shop is stocked with gorgeous homeware and garden accessories.

I was happy to find a few Christmas presents in here and I know I’ll be back for some more bits for our house!

 

Santa’s Magic Key

This little lot of vintage keys have been sitting on the Bumbleblue desk, waiting patiently to be turned into something festive.

With no craft fairs over the weekend, I cracked on with them. After all it’s only 41 days until Christmas! Armed with a good supply of tea I painted, sanded, and threaded my socks off. The keys looked perfect as they were, but they didn’t look very festive so they were given a coat of white metal paint.

As with all of my projects, the sandpaper came out and most of the metal paint came off. It was worth the mess and time, however I don’t think my nails are ever going to be their natural colour again! (it’s a good job it’s the season for gloves)

I had to post this up as well – it’s the poem that influenced the whole thing! I found it in a book, and being the Christmas fairy that I am, I had to do something with it.

Dear Santa,

We don’t have a chimney and

I was worried as could be,

about how you’d bring the presents

to my family and me.

But now I’ve solved the problem

and I’m not sad anymore,

for hanging from this ribbon,

is the key to our front door.

Although our house has a chimney, I think just to be on the safe side I should keep one of these decorations for me …

Festive Folksy

I stumbled accross a lovely website this morning that kindly informed me that there were only 60 days left until Christmas.

60 days! How did that happen?

After a little panic, I decided to have a browse to see what festive treats I could find. Being a complete lover of Christmas, I have to limit myself to buying just a few decorations each year. Ed puts up with so much – linen christmas puddings hanging from the fireplace, gingerbread men in the kitchen and wreaths on most doors…Not to mention the white fairy lights that twinkle from the tree all the way up to the headboard of the bed. Like I said, he puts up with a lot!

I’ve been filling my Folksy shop with decorations, and I’ve had a look to see what other sellers have been doing the same.

If you haven’t been over to visit Folksy yet, what are you waiting for? All these talented and original designers and makers are in one place.

Happy browsing!

First Autumn Fair

My first craft fair of the season was at the weekend. I haven’t done one for a while and was a little bit out of the swing of it all.

I’d been shopping for new bits and bobs and these were all ready in their new baskets (bit of an organisation freak so everything has to have its place!) As it’s only the beginning of October, I didn’t want to scare people too much with the thought of Christmas, but I had to take a few of my new festive bits along.

As you can see, Buddy was a big help with the photographs…

I made a big effort with my table display for this fair. It really helps to get you noticed in a room full of tables. I got some gorgeous pine cones all the way from bonny Scotland (Bud hasn’t quite munched through them all) and some new fabric and baskets for my table top. It was definately worth investing a bit on these little details, as I got some really lovely comments from my customers.

Another new product that I was excited about were my new welcome signs. It’s quite difficult sometimes to make and paint what’s in your head at a price that’s reasonable. By spending hours and hours just wandering around on the internet, I’ve found some great little suppliers that keep their prices low so I can pass this on to the customer. Although a bit fiddly to paint, they look fab when finished (even if I do say so myself!)…

All in all, it was a nice but quiet day at the fair. The morning was promising, but then the great British weather had other ideas and when the rain started, the customers left.

Plenty more booked so fingers crossed for the next one!