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Have yourself a very cross-stitched Christmas

20 Dec

Oh my goodness, time is whizzing by! It’s 5 sleeps ’til Christmas 2012 and I couldn’t be more excited about this years festive activities.

The husband and I are hoping to enjoy 2 weeks of home cooked goodness, his parents first, then mine, in a Christmas period that promises to be the most relaxing ever! I love Christmas, I love playing ‘teeth’ and ‘tip it’ with family, I love stuffing my face with all manner of waistband increasing treats, I love the St. Francis Christmas Eve candlelight service, I love singing the descant parts of Christmas carols really badly with my sister and I LOVE crafting lots of Christmassy goodness!

Christmas crafting is officially the best thing. Starting months before the big event it is sure to get me in the mood for the big day!

For this post I want to share with you how I have cross-stitched my Christmas: from candle bands to chutney labels, cake bunting to cards, I’ve somehow managed to incorporate cross stitch into every corner of Christmas this year (maybe not to my husbands delight!)
Have a gander, I hope that it may inspire you to pick up your needle and thread and have a go yourself. I have taken a lot of the patterns and inspiration from CrossStitcher magazine and have given the issue number where the pattern is from for all you fellow readers but have included links to The Making Spot website where you can also buy individual patterns if this is easier for some of you.

Decorations:

Our small flat is simply brimming with cross-stitched decorations. I love them because they are handmade and can hopefully last for years and years, maybe even become traditions and things I can show my children and grand children one day. Here’s what we’ve got this year…

cross stitched christmas robin

One cheeky little fella! The perfect quick stitch on plastic canvas to make a gorgeous decoration for any plant, we’ve spruced up Herbert the pot plant with ours. Pattern from Crossstitcher issue 258 (also available here).

cross stitched christmas wreath

A front door wreath that won’t be ready until next Christmas as I still have two more designs to add but this is how it’s looking so far! Using amazing patterns from issue 258 (available here), some plastic canvas and a £5 plain wreath from Wilko’s I’ve come up with a wreath I’m proud of and can’t wait to display next year (my favourites the gingerbread man… so freaking cute!)

crossstitcher star garland

A star garland hanging in the kitchen made using the free kit with CrossStitcher issue 257. Not sure how you can get your hands on this now but this free kit was amazing and had everything you needed to make this beautiful garland.

christmas cross stitch candle bands

And some candle bands, small motifs stitched in brown thread on a cream aida band (to match the colours of our living room!) to be wrapped around pillar candles. The top reindeer pattern was taken from the little booklet free with issue 257 of CrossStitcher and the bottom NOEL pattern was my own invention. These were a delight to stitch, so quick and easy!

Food:

cross stitched christmas jumpers

I literally squealed when I saw this amazing little jumpers in CrossStitcher issue 260 …. Literally. I also put down my needle on a big project and started these straight away. I just KNEW they had to be a part of my Christmas. These are going to be hung on string with little wooden pegs and attached to bamboo skewers before placing on Nigella’s spiced cake, the perfect Christmas cake bunting, jumpers on a washing line! (This is all happening this weekend, check my instagram for finished results!).

onion chutney labels

Another food-related Christmas cross-stitch is this one I am in the process of finishing. I am using some gorgeous veg motifs from CrossStitcher issue 257 (available here) to make labels for homemade chutney. These will be little gifts to our nearest and dearest and I’m hoping to get them all bottled and labelled this weekend… yes I know, lastminute.com!

Presents:

christmas cards

These Christmas cards were a joining of minds from the husband and myself. I did the cross-stitching and he made them look super trendy! I stitched two bauble patterns from the little booklet free with issue 257 of CrossStitcher. These gorgeous white and red motifs were the first stitch of the season and I fell in love with them as soon as I saw them. (The pattern for one of them is available for free here).
The husband then scanned my two cross-stitches and used photoshop to shrink them and create a lovely patterned paper with the two designs. We then cut the paper into strips and attached a strip onto brown card to create our Christmas cards. Simple, easy and homemade with a modern twist.

cross stitched heart gift christmas

I couldn’t do Christmas without making presents for people. When money is tight cross-stitched gifts are an excellent solution. I love how personalised you can make them, choosing the right pattern for your recipient and filling each stitch with love. I made this heart-shaped design for some special people to hang in their living room (really, really hoping they don’t read this before Christmas day now!!). The pattern is from an excellent book ‘Made In France’ (available here) and I love how it’s subtly christmassy, great for the season but also can be left up all year. My father-in-law makes frames so he provided the white rustic frame to finish it off. I love giving gifts like this.

So there you have it. The Fordham Christmas in cross stitched fashion. I hope this post has given you some inspiration towards making Christmas 2013 a cross stitched one!

Merry Christmas to you all!

Emily

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p.s you may realise that this blog has become a little neglected as of late..! I have now moved mainly over to Instagram where I photo blog my crafting and baking exploits. My username is emilyfordham and I have a lovely little community of fellow crafters over there. Come join us in sharing pure crafting goodness!

one big instagram dump…

7 Oct

(aka photobook 28/9 & 5/10 put together!)

Life in (lots of) pictures recently..

mama sends me regular gracie updates/8 free cookies- thanks O2 moments!/new clothes including winter coat/new clothes for husband too- looking fit as/lovely lady at church gave me LOADS of cross stitch thread/friend at work made amazing iced cherry ring biscuits/empty London buses/sausage and cider casserole for Great British Bake Off watching/the perks of my job/the paralympic torch came to visit/baked for the MacMillan Coffee Morning at school/work drinks at the Drunken Monkey in Shoreditch- mine was a drunken pear cocktail/YES Christmas CrossStitcher/my favourite IKEA purchase: chalkboard fridge magnets/films on the iPad in bed/winters just around the corner, wooly jumpers and scarfs ahoy/Broca loving with my bestie/lego minifigures/mickey mouse jumper/really loving Nigellissima at the moment on BBC2- this is her Italian roast chicken with risotto- Fordham Style

Instagram: emilyfordham

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photo book 21/9

21 Sep

cheese, grapes, boursin… yum, yum, yum/teaching my wonderful friend how to ice cupcakes/little notes from the children in my class/coming soon…/Sophie B came to stay, I made her a chicken lasagne/we drank pink fizzy pre-graduation/mortar board/journalism girlies/gorgeous canapes at graduation/Big Red in Deptford, eating pizza on a bus never gets boring!/graze box snacks satisfy once again/a spot of last minute baking (banana cake is just so easy!)

Instagram: emilyfordham

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photo book 13/9

15 Sep

This week in pictures:

a gift from the in-laws, looking forward to making jam soon/heart shaped scones for a perfect summer day/bought some amazing buttons/picnic time!/happy birthday Sophie Francisco/I love this graffiti wall in Brockley/origami star for our 1 year anniversary- paper/pretty anniversary flowers/more stars… making the bed look pretty/boyzzzz and curry/trying new things- these dumplings were amazing!!/finished the project for our bathroom, trip to ikea needed now to buy frames!

Instagram: emilyfordham

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photo book 7/9

8 Sep

This week in pictures:

lovely leaving card and present from old job/some Saturday crafting/my prize for having a letter printed in CrossStitcher magazine arrived/strawberry lace race/friendly face/first recipe from Paul Hollywood’s How to Bake- marble cake/bath the night before starting new job/INSET day and lots of new pens/lattice woven treacle tart from scratch/close up shot/gorgeously sunny mornings… summers not quite over yet/yay! fun things in the post

Instagram: emilyfordham

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photo book 31/8

31 Aug

This week in pictures:

packed lunch/view from Cotehele gardens- so so beautiful/me and my sister being Tudors/dog in a bag/making class labels for back to school next week/she. is. so. cute./face-timing my London lovelies/couldn’t resist the silver fox/soggy Salisbury/fajitas/pub and friends/cross stitched card to say farewell to my Goldsmiths colleagues

Instagram: emilyfordham

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holi holi holiday

30 Aug

Oh hi there! Sorry once again for the lack of postings over the last week. My excuse is once again camping related, I have been away with my family for the bank holiday weekend and can’t wait to tell you all about it! Also a massive HELLOand welcome to the lovely new followers, I hope you find some good stuff within this blog and feel able to comment and enjoy it.

camping montage… chilli. deflated air bed. morning snuggles with the puppy. pimped out land-rover. underage drinking. devon’s crazy roads.

Camping this bank holiday weekend with pretty much every single member of the Bridewell family was just what I needed before starting my new job full-time next Monday. One last hurrah of the summer holidays. It wasn’t without its mishaps (we seemed to be cursed around airbeds.. that’s two deflated on us within 3 weeks!) and taking 10-week old Gracie provided much laughter along with the occasional accident (thanks for peeing on Dave’s side of the bed and not mine Gracie!). We stayed at a campsite (Langston Manor) on Dartmoor in Devon where we used to go a lot when I was a child and I think there were about 17 people in our party- made for lots of excitement and funny memories.

national trust cotehele house and mill

Most of the weekend was taking up visiting national trust places. Husband and I are members (thanks to a gift membership from the in-laws) and love the fact that we can visit all these lovely historic places with amazing gardens for free. The first place we visited on a slightly soggy day was Cotehele house and mill. We enjoyed the art gallery and the beautiful garden and I enjoyed posing for photos with my gorgeous cousins!

another camping montage… my parents slept in tent on a roof. gracie being a good girl. camping fry ups are THE BEST. enjoying desserts in the campsite pub. gracie enjoying husbands pants- whatever floats your boat missy!

In between national trust visits we enjoyed the camping life. I actually really love camping food cooked on a little camping stove- I find it tastes much yummier than normal food, then again I’m normally wet, cold and very hungry by the time I eat it! The campsite has a lovely pub and games room which we enjoyed hanging out in and Gracie was making friends with everyone she met to the point that when she weed on the pub floor no one got angry at all!!

national trust buckland abbey

Our second national trust visit was to a place called Buckland Abbey. It used to be a monastery before King Henry VIII dissolved it during his reign. It was later bought by Sir Francis Drake (check out my learning skills!). I’ll remember it for the dressing up as Tudors and prancing around like loonies… it was a good morning well spent!

walking to an ancient wood with the puppy… in a bag!

After visiting Buckland Abbey the weather took a turn for the worse but that didn’t spoil our plans to visit an ancient wood on Dartmoor. Wistman’s Wood is special because it is so old yet the oak trees are not much taller than a man because the wind has prevented them from growing properly. They are covered in moss and lichen and that makes it a naturally beautiful place to visit. We had to walk about 2 miles from the car park over the moor which was going to prove difficult for little Gracie so my daddy put her in a rucksack and carried her the whole way! She was such a good girl and looked very content the whole time.

I always find camping really enjoyable (even if I end up with sleep deprivation at the end- thanks mr owl who kept me up with his twit twooing!) and with a massive group of family and friends it really makes for a great holiday! We’ve decided that August bank holiday weekend will become our annual camp out. Here’s to next year and what it will bring!

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