Saturday, 17 December 2016

Five on Friday - A Festive Five

Joining with Amy at Love Made my Home for a last minute Five on Friday. Computer problems have caused a great deal of frustration recently and it will be interesting to see if this post is finally published.  My laptop is quite elderly and is prone to moodiness, that is not a technical term of course, just my way of describing how it will work perfectly one day and not the next. It has been on a go slow for some days and it will no longer talk to my camera, resulting in a number of photographs disappearing completely. Naturally many of them were the pictures I intended sharing - why does that always happen?

It is only a week to go now to the big day and despite the unseasonably mild weather I am beginning to feel a bit more Christmassy. All the homemade gifts are completed and mostly wrapped up, cards have been made, written and sent, decorations have been unpacked from the garage and dusted off. So I thought I would share a Festive Five this week. Sadly not all the pictures I had hoped to share but a few I have managed to retrieve.

1. JETS (Junior Embroiderers & Textile Students)

Last Saturday was the Chrismas meeting of the Junior Stitch group and the girls were very busy making cards using the sewing machine

and tassel decorations using curtain rings, bells, ribbon and sparkly thread.

Everyone enjoyed the morning and went home with several decorations. 
(Sadly quite a few of the missing photos)

2. Garden Centre displays

Our local Garden Centre has grown over the years from a small family owned nursery to a large commercial Garden Centre with an extensive range of goods on offer. It is still family owned and they create the most amazing themed displays throughout the year. They also sell very good plants, many of which are still nursery grown. There is also a great cafe/restaurant with delicious homemade goodies on offer. Friends and I often go just to see the displays and indulge in tea and cake although I have never been known to come home without a plant (or two or more). The Christmas displays this year are magical but sadly the large scale gingerbread house, complete with Christmas elves interior has fallen victim to my computer problems and disappeared. However here a few salvaged pictures.

Land of Ice and Snow

Sparkling trees and decorations

Singing, Story telling Reindeer
It was amusing watching children's reactions to the comical Reindeer. They were either enthralled and were almost climbing into the stable with them or frighted and did not want to go near. They were a little scary and had very deep voices, which was very disconcerting.

3. Seasonal Leaves

This should really be the wreath from the wreath making workshop I went to this week. When I got home and placed the wreath on the door I realised it was lopsided and in need of some adjustment, Hence no picture until it has been corrected. Hopefully there will be time tomorrow to rearrange it. It really has not been my week! These few left over sprigs have made a simple display to brighten up the kitchen table. I love the catkins from the Garrya (Silk Tassel Bush) as they get longer as the winter passes. 

4. Decorations

Each year I cannot resist adding to my collection of decorations. It is not a huge collection but a few things creep in each year. This year a pair of elves have joined the party together with an Alpine star scene that has lights inside. The rest of the decorations are still a work in progress, which I plan to finish tomorrow. If I can get the camera and computer to co-operate I will share them at a later date.

5. Waddesden Manor

Waddesden Manor is a beautiful National Trust property that was built by in the style of a 16th century French Chateau by the Rothchild's family in the 19th century. Like many National Trust properties it is beautifully decorated and holds special events at Christmas. 

Friends and I went to see the beautiful outdoor lights and the special Field of Light installation by artist Bruce Munro which was set in the gardens. Owing to work commitments we went at the end of the day so did not have time to see inside the house which is also fabulously decorated. I believe tickets for the house are very popular and sell out quickly. 

As you walk down the drive towards the house all the trees are light by coloured lights which change with the rhythm of  classical music which is relayed through speakers. The branches of the trees look spectacular and look quite ethereal. A path round the side of the house takes you to the Bruce Munro installation, which winds round the Avairy Glade garden. The music fades away as you follow the path into the glade.

There are 9,000 frosted glass spheres on slender stems connected via illuminated optical fibres. The light and colour changes in a rippling effect and as you follow the path past large, mature trees new vistas of light are revealed. It was very atmospheric and although there were a lot of people there everyone was very hushed and quiet as they followed the paths.

The moon kept appearing through fast moving clouds which added to the atmosphere.
My pictures are poor but you can see more professional ones here.

So despite a few frustrations there have been highlights and much pleasure in the lead up to Christmas celebrations. I am hoping next week will be easier with a few last minute jobs to be completed. I am hoping the computer will have sorted itself out too otherwise it may well be replaced once the sales start, 
Perhaps if it is threatened with the dump it will buck it's ideas up.



  1. Such a wonderful five. It was lovely to see the Jets projects they are certainly a talented bunch. Our local garden centre is a great treat too, wonderful at this time of year. Hope you computer manages to buck its ideas up, mine too as been a little temperamental of late. Take care.

    1. The computer is definitely on its last warning. I hope yours behaves better too.

  2. Thanks for sharing the Christmas images around you, Annie. I enjoyed seeing them all...crafts, singing reindeer, and spectacular lights!

    1. The reindeer were very amusing, although watching the childrens reactions was also very entertaining.

  3. Super work from your JETS. I remember when you were just thinking of setting them up but they have obviously grown into a lovely group.

    1. Thanks Gina. I remember all your help too and still sometimes think - now what would Gina do? They are a lovely bunch and making great progress.

  4. I know what you mean about moody computers, my old one went like that and I fear this one is trying it on too, so moody is a very good description. Your Christmas preparations and things you have been doing look wonderful. Seeing Christmas at Waddesdon must have been especially lovely. Happy Christmas!

    1. Waddesden was a lovely afternoon spent with good friends. I hope you computer is now behaving itself. It is so frustrating. Have a good week.

  5. You would never know you were having technical difficulties with all the beautiful photos on your post. Very festive and lovely.

    1. The computer "lost" some of my photos which was frustrating as I had deleted them from the camera. It keeps loosing internet connection too although it has been better over the last few days - fingers crossed it stays that way!

  6. What a great Five Annie. Your new elves are right up my street, they are adorable and how amazing those lights at the Manor, not surprised people were hushed as they walked through

    1. Seeing your elves Selma and others on Instagram made me want to give a couple a home. They are so cute and full of fun, who could resist?!


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