Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Christmas Time!

Hurrah, December is here and that means decorations and twinkling fairy lights and mulled wine sipped by the fire! We start our mulled wine pot on the 1st of December and just top it up until the decorations come down. Yum. And on the subject of Christmas, here are a few more presents off the list for family and friends - dreadful photos but I was on a roll and didn't bother grabbing the tripod, etc. First up, a little mistletoe heart small enough to hang on the tree.

I have hand embroidered a serious amount of holly leaves and berries. This is a tea cosy I am making for...oops, can't say just in case. These of course are also available here along with many other gorgeous pipany gifts and decorations to solve your Christmas shopping! Yes, shameless I know, but a girl has to eat.

Next an embroidered hanging for a door or wherever. I had the idea of using the little girl that pops up frequently in my work for the business as a carol singer a while ago and finally got around to making this yesterday.

Next up is another heart this time inspired by the scarlet rosehips which grow just outside our bedroom window and bring all sorts of birds into view as we sit with our coffee pot at weekends.

So the list is shortening (she sort of lied hysterically...arghh!!! So much to do, so little time!). Time for a quick river-view break to bring back some calm before the next bit of crafting I have to show.

Move a bit closer and the beauty of these boats become so apparent doesn't it? this is the river basin right by the bridge over penryn river.

Love the range of textures you find wherever there is water.

Lovely. Now, back to the Christmassy makes and here is something I do every year: slice up some oranges, lemons, limes or whatever you have to hand.

I used up yet more of the windfalls which have still not made it into tarte tatins, but have fed ducks, hens and us in many guises. This year they will also be joining our Christmas decorations as part of the door wreaths and so on.

I threaded them onto skewers and wove these so that they hung under the oven shelves in rows (if that makes sense?). I used to dry them on trays, but this way the warm air moves around them and they dry much faster. obviously those of you with agas are onto a winner here. For the rest, leave on the lowest setting for as long as it takes to almost dry them completely - PIP'S TIP: if your oven if gas like ours, leave the door wedged slightly open as gas is moist heat and will not dry them properly. Great for baking, not so great for drying. Et voila!

Perfect little stained glass windows to hang on your tree or wreaths. Use string, wire or ribbon to hang them and add bay leaves, cinammon sticks, berries or leave plain as I tend to. Most of our decorations consist of masses of foliage from our garden and twinkly lights or candles, so this adds a lovely glow of colour to the whole.

Hmm, Tiger Lily doesn't seem so very impressed does she?

Ah well, back to the river I guess...

Or maybe not.

Well, that's my Christmassy start to December.
Have fun! x


  1. Hello Pipany, I shall be trying to dry some of those orange and apple slices, so thank you for the tips. I bet your house smells delicious, especially with all the mulled wine yumm.
    Bertie x

  2. So gorgeously festive! Christmas starts here on the 3rd, after Rosie's birthday on the 2nd, so I'm just pausing here with a cup of coffee and your blog in between making her birthday cake. Could I please borrow that lovely cat to sit on my lap? And thanks for the reminder about the orange and apple slices - I did this last year as recommended by you and they were lovely.

  3. I've decided to go with mulled cider this year, though after just reading about your mulled wine, I'm feeling swayed...help!!!

    lynn xx

  4. What a busy little bee you are - I love the idea of the fruits but if the children saw all that they'd scoff them! My parents are in Penryn today, getting their car serviced, I wonder whether they're looking at your boats?

    No word of the ballet?

    Kate x

  5. And a great start it is too.

    Love that you have a mulled wine pot on the go throught the whole festive season.

    Great oranges and lemons too - thanks for the advice,

    Nina x

  6. Ohh pipany you are getting into the christmas spirit,wish i was a bit nearer to share some of your mulled wine!!
    Love the little girl door hanger,sweet.
    Cooking oranges at christmas time is a favourite of mine,never tried them on skewers though. x

  7. Lovely pictures Pipany.

    I love drying oranges, lemons etc too, and yay........I have an Aga now so I can do lots and lots.

    Sue xx

  8. Have you ever thought about turning these beautiful blogs with their beautiful pictures and the illustrations of your beautiful work into the sort of glossy book that people buy at Christmas - a sort of cookery book without the cooking. I am sure it would do very well.

    But however do you get anything done if you have a pot of mulled wine on the go?

  9. You're off to a good start! I can just smell that fruit...........

  10. Oooh those little fruits are AMAZING!! Do they smell nice too? I expect they filled the house with christmassy smells while they were drying.

    Hope you enjoyed the Ballet the other night. I was watching this earlier - v interesting : http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8383900.stm


  11. Mmm lovely blog can almost smell it. I did the dried orange slices on your advice last year and my little Yorkie kept raiding them and trying to eat them!

  12. A lovely post, especially the fruit slices and I loved 'Pip's tips' - super! x

  13. Pipany, once again you are offering us lots of inspiration. The photos are fine, not to worry about any tripod! xo

  14. What a wonderful idea, those orange decorations are, and I bet they smell lovely when they're drying out. I opened up your blog page and thought, hurrah! Christmas is here. We had our first frost yesterday, and for me that was the start of winter. When it starts properly like that, that's when I love winter. I love it when cats and dog's tongues stick out like that, it's so funny. They always look like they don't know the tips of their tongues are sticking out, which makes it even funnier.
    Lovely gifts you're making there, lucky recipients!
    Love Vanessa xxx (do you mind if i knit)

  15. Hi there,
    Might I be so bold as to ask for your instructions on mulled wine? I've always heard it's wonderful, but not something you come across much of in Texas! I'd love to hear how it's done, so I might give it a try!
    Thanks, and I love our blog!

  16. Hi, Pipany! So much delicious loveliness... Happy Days making ready for the holidays :o)

  17. i love the smell of drying oranges... i have no5t done any this year yet but as i am feeling so festive i feel them coming soon...
    will email you about how to add a side bar image.
    ginny xxx