Friday, 11 December 2009

A Little Giveaway.

I thought a little Christmas giveaway would be a nice way to end the week - yay, it's Friday! - but first a catch-up on what's been going on here in sunny Cornwall. Yes, at last we had wonderful, healing, glorious sunshine which bathed the harbour in golden light.

I took these pictures on a very short trip into town with Isabella who has been very poorly. She loves to see the boats and, as I think I have mentioned many times before, is something of a water baby. The beautiful sunlit water cheered us both after being housebound yet again this week. My poor, sweet girl seems to have had one thing after another this winter, but is on the mend now (fingers crossed). I moved into the kitchen for the week with my work and Isabella sat threading beads, keeping me company once she was over the worst and chatting quietly about all things Christmassy.

Orders had flowed steadily in and were tackled in a calm manner. It's amazing how a child with a roaring temperature throws everything into perspective isn't it? Once I would have panicked each time my email inbox revealed another order had arrived - how would I do it with a sick child? What if the order was late? What if she wouldn't let me leave her side? Now I just sit next to her and embroider, count myself lucky that I have orders at all when so many I know are struggling and treat it like I do everything else, knowing that you just work away until things are sorted. No point in the panic really is there? Of course, I might add that it does help that I managed to get well ahead in the stock-piling before she will ill with boxes of cut out goods and embroidered pieces waiting to be put together. Must remember that being organised is a Good Thing!

Other elements of life went on much the same as ever. I am proud as can be to be able to say that I am still making all our own bread and have not bought any since the beginning of the summer holidays. I fact, I would go so far as to say that it is a necessary part of my days now, the kneading and working of the dough being a time for reflection and thought as much as writing my blog seems to be, freeing up the creative part of my mind ready for the day ahead. I'm not saying it is always like that (I am often baking blasted rolls at night because SOMEONE has scoffed the last few intended for lunches the next day - mentioning no names Dave), but when it runs like it is supposed to I can't imagine ever buying bread again. Simple pleasures in providing for your family aren't there?

Life is now back to normal with me re-instated in my seing room and focussing on work once more, but I felt a little fun was needed and so on to my little giveaway. I thought it would be nice to offer one of these Christmassy hearts, the catch being - there's always a catch isn't there? - that you have to tell me one thing you would like to achieve by the end of next year. It could be something craft-based: I hope to start crocheting again, something I haven't done since I was a very young child; it could be something life-changing/enhancing such as spending one night a week pampering yourself or changing jobs or starting your own business; in fact in could be anything big or small that you hope to achieve. My plan is that roughly this time next year I will post a link on my blog back to this post and you will be able to see if you actually did manage what you hoped to. Does that make sense?

Obviously this is supposed to be fun and I do not intend for you to feel like a colossal failure if you haven't done what you set out to do! It just struck me that it could be a lovely and hopefully inspiring way to get something done, and to have a laugh at some of the funnier suggestions I'm sure will arrive. The downside is that you will have to pop over here to let me know which of the four Christmas themed hearts you want should your name be drawn: one of these Peace Hearts

or one of this silvery-threaded pair.

So, that's it - I will make this a quick one with the closing date for comments on this post at 10am Monday 14th December so that I can post it the same day. Usual rules: open to all-comers whether you have never visited before, never commented before (always lovely to meet new people) or are a regular visitor. The more the merrier.

Golly, my posts get ever-longer and for this I do apologise and will try to make them shorter and less waffly in future! In the meantime, let's hope for more sunshine and think about what you want to achieve next year.

Have a great weekend x


  1. Loving all your festive posts of late Pipany - it amazes me that you have time to bake bread as well as do anything else. Hope Isabella is all better soon. If I was fortunate enough to win I rather like the "Happy Christmas" with holly - so pretty!

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  3. Pip, as to the never ending germ feast it seems uk wide, my 2 have been the same and poor Kiera lasted out the Christmas concert yesterday looking like the colour of your hearts. I think they are ready for a break now. School certainly keeps the germ population going strongly!! Our pooch injured himself and so pre xmas we had a big vet bill hey ho.

    next year? I hope to sort out my own website with a little help from the fiddle player in hubby's band as that's his day job, sorting websites. Oh and to find a way to be able to afford to stay in our lovely barn somehow, even if it means living in a caravan and renting the barn out all summer!

    PS ask santa for some bread proving baskets and make sourdough, the best thing I ever didxxxxx

  4. Hi Pipany
    Wow what gorgeous weather, perfect time for wandering aimlessly by the sea and just thinking. I wish i could (i'll just imagine)
    So glad you little ones feeling much better.
    What would i like to achieve by next year? simply to have put together enough money between ash and i to put down a deposit on our first ever house together (as we both currently still live with parents due to the economic problems and ever increasing house prices :( ....... that would be lovely. If i'm fortunate enough to be picked i really like the Peace Mistletoe heart, (and if we manage to achieve our goal i could have it hanging pride of place on the mantle of our first fire!)
    Big Hugs

  5. poor little Isabella, its horrible when they are ill.
    Love seeing your piccies of lovely cornwall - it looks like summer!!
    I love your hearts!!
    OOOO this time next year i hope to have a little crafty buisness going on, and have had at least one craft fair. xxx

  6. Lovely to see such calm sunny photos from the harbour.
    So pleased you're getting so many orders..
    By this time next year..well..I'd love to have finished 2 of my ongoing quilts and completed more crocheting and knitting..Easy!!

  7. naughty bread roll eating davey!
    hi pip, hope isabella is better really soon... horrible as having a poorly one is, at least she will be over it by Christmas :) (and yes it does put everything into perspective)x
    now what do i wish to achieve? i really would like to go back to basics with drawing and painting and give myself time to develop my creativity further... obviously this is a never ending process but at least if i have allowed myself the time to make a start on this journey then i shall be pleased.
    fingers crossed for a peace heart...warmest winter wishes
    ginny x

  8. I always love your posts! They are so inspiring and I find it wonderful and amazing that you can make you own bread everyday. I am usually amazed that I can put a luch box together for my eldest in the morning as a morning person I am not! lol.

    Mmm what do I want to achieve by the end of next year. Well one to be financially nearer to our dream of living somewhere between countryside and coast. And the second for me is to start really getting my act together and start selling some of the crafty bits that i make. My youngest will be in school full time by then. (heaven help me) so will have no excuse about time!!! so we shall see.

    Well all your work is so beautiful I would be honoured should I win anything. But if I had to chose it would be the peace heart with the birs holding a flower. So beautiful.

    Hope you have a lovely weekend.


  9. Hiya Pipany,

    I've finally found the chance to pop back and say 'Hi!'

    It's awful when the little ones are constantly ill as it feels like they just get over one thing and then come down with something else - I'm glad all are on the mend though.

    I guess with new projects in mind I'd like to try a bit of applique and free hand machine stitching, but time is always my factor so whether I actually acheive this is another thing!!

    Have a lovely day and wonderful weekend,

    Nina xxxx

  10. Hope Isabella is much better now. All your Christmas work is lovely but I know only too well how tiring it can be trying to get it all done in time. A mistletoe heart would be perfect to go on the otherside of our bed opposite the last one you sent but I don't want to be greedy!! Next year's achievement? Maybe to get my children's story into print.

  11. Pipany, hoping that dear Isabella will continue to mend!

    Yes, being organized is essential, even when it seems to be a chore.

    Hmmmm. For 2010, I will elect the same wish that I chose around this time last year, to pick up my oil paints, brushes and canvasses again. How is it that I have not found time for something I love so much? Oh, also want to travel!

    If my name were chosen and it would be possible to send a heart across the Pond, my choice would be the splendid Noel with holly. Each of these hearts is a little masterpiece.

    Best wishes. xo

  12. I would love one of your dove of peace hearts, Pipany. And next year I would like to knit a shawl and make a quilt, after finishing the projects I already have on the go. I hope your house is very soon germ-free - I am sure lots of Christmas cheer will chase the bugs away!

    Pomona x

  13. Beautiful pictures - and I hope Isabella is feeling better now, poor thing. You put me to shame with all the homemade bread - I just don't seem to have had time recently, but I really love to do it. Perhaps I should go and make a loaf now.

    As for what I'd like to achieve by next year - a publisher for my books and another half marathon, but slightly quicker. (But I'm hors concours here as a previous lucky winner of one of your giveaways!)

  14. We are fogged in today too. Can`t see past our front gates. I love your blog and read it most days. If I am lucky enough to be picked, please could I have the Peace and mistletoe one.
    Just to let you know that the bunting I bought for the baby show was a big hit. Passed your name onto a few people.
    Let`s hope that poor Isabella is in fine health for Christmas.
    Best Wishes

  15. Hope poor Isabella is starting to feel better now! How lovely to be baking your own bread daily! I made a decision in the summer to only make my own cleaning products, as commercial ones kept making me sneeze, I've now found it quite easy to stick to, you just get into new routines!
    I'd love to enter the Giveaway if I may, I'd love to be able to crochet a Granny blanket by the end of next year! I've been longing to learn to crochet for a few years now, but I've only recently mastered the very basics, I'm a knitter at heart!
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Rachel x

  16. I do love your pictures of that view whatever the weather - i am impressed with the not to panic idea!!
    I would love one of the hearts - anyone!!!- what i want to achieve next year is to set up my own blog as I have so enjoyed other peoples' this year!

  17. I hope your little girl is better now Pipany. The bread looks yummy especially the freshly baked rolls! I would love to enter the giveaway. My favourite is the peace dove heart.x

  18. Oh Pipany I forgot to say that I hope to have sorted out my bedroom before Christmas so it looks like a bedroom and not a junk room! x

  19. I will say yet again that i want to learn to crochet. One day perhaps! I like the peace dove.

    Merry Christmas!

  20. Oh you're in festive mode...definitely more than me! So, I think really the thing that would be a great achievement for me would be: stop procrastinating and just do it! I would like to hold that as my theme for the year.
    A peace dove please, if I'm lucky!
    I'm sooooo excited about sunday. See you soon!
    xxx Diana
    ps tell Dave to leave me some food or I won't tell him my joke...

  21. Oh Pipany how can you manage to do so MUCH - sick child, your orders, baking bread, beautiful blogs - and still be so NICE?

    Next year I hope to have learnt how to renovate some dolls I have - new eyes and rerooted hair + being the best Grandma ever to the little one due on Christmas eve!

    I hope little Isabella is better soon and my choice in the giveaway would of course be the Peace dove heart.

  22. Well done you in making all your own bread, I really wish that I was organised enough to do that, I make a couple of loaves a week, but cannot seem to get in the routine of doing it every day.

    What do I want to achieve by the end of next year....well we've decided that we want/need a bigger farm, so an additional 96 acres would be fantastic....are we mad...of course we are!! Lol xx

    Sue xx

  23. Oh bless her little heart, all pale face and big eyes. Get well soon, little one.
    I am so impressed with your bread that I admit that my hope for achievement in this next year (and there are oh, so many, including more knitting and crocheting...) is to bake bread that is soft and light enough to use for a lunch time sandwich!
    And I love the peace dove, personally. x

  24. That bread - I can smell it from here!
    What would I like to have accomplished by this time next year? Well, I've finally cleared out the desk from a guest room, and the plan is to make it my craft/sewing room. By the end of the year I'd like to be madly quilting a runner for the kitchen island - it's a wish for the time to be creative,and the time to spend on my own interests.

  25. Hi Pipany.
    I love your blog but never commented before.

    Your hearts are very pretty.

    Next year I would like to finish my 2 quilts...

  26. No, you're not going mad, I DID leave the second comment here yesterday, but then realised that saying the one thing I wanted to achieve by the end of next year was to reach my 60th birthday in early December, may not seem that much of a thing to achieve. So, I shall briefly qualify it by saying that I would like to reach my 60th with my transplant still working, and that bearing in mind none of the women on my mother's side have ever lived past fifty years of age, going back many generations, to have reached 59 this week, was achievement enough this year!

  27. What a lovely post Pip. I'm sorry Isabella has been sick, I do hope she is better soon. I'm so impressed with your bread making, what a superstar you are!! You have inspired me to try making my own too. I love your giveaway and would be so, so happy with either xo

  28. i love to look at your pictures of cornwall - its been such a long time since we visited.
    please enter me for your lovely giveaway - i'd love the merry christmas one if i win
    love to isabella
    gill x

  29. Poor Isabella, I hope she recovers very quickly and that the rest of the family stay well over the next few weeks. I do admire all that bread baking. I always enjoy making bread when I actually get round to doing it, which isn't that often. Perhaps that should be my goal for next year? Home baking always goes down very well in the funkyhouse. I've also promised myself that I will pick up my cross stitch again - I do miss it but feel too tired when I sit down in the evening. Please enter me for your lovely giveaway. I wouldn't mind what sort of heart if I win.


  30. Your posts are always inspiring and uplifting, make them as long as you like for me! :D
    I do hope your little ray of sunshine is on the mend now, its awful when they are sick and I admire how you adapt to keep work flowing alongside your little patient.
    I adore your needlework, its very beautiful and it would be a treat to win one (I do love the one with the dove!)

    In answer to your question then, I wish that this time next year I have some illustration work published in a childrens book.

    Sending love
    Julia xxx

  31. Hi Pipany: I tend to be a lurker, but if I never set my goal out there I will never acjieve it - I have completed a very lovely appliqued nautical quilt that begs for lots of feather garlands in the quilting, but am always so busy on other people's commissions that I neglect my own designs - will finish this queen sized quilt this year, for sure!!!!!
    Love your beautiful handcrafted items and glad to hear your business is successful.
    Janet in beautiful Nova Scotia

  32. Hi Pipany

    Just got back from Cornwall and wanted to say a big thank you for the lovely comment you made on my blog - I can't tell you how much I appreciated it. Yours and the other comments made were filled with such wise words, they made me cry.

    If I was lucky enough to win, I would choose a Peace Dove heart and give it to my Mother.

    love Kate x

  33. Wishing you a lovely cozy Christmas, Pipany!

  34. Wow that bread looks good. Can you tell me what recipe you work? to as mine never looks that good