The final weekend before Christmas is upon us…
… but don’t let the stress of last minute shopping and the mad rush to get the turkey get to you.
Build yourself a little den to escape in.
Although, I’d rather a duvet-style den than the icy one above!
Before you panic, no Dorset has not yet seen snow! This particular snow home was made in January and the cat decided that it was just the thing for him!
If your home is not yet looking quite as Christmassy as you would like, but you’re not convinced about draping tinsel around every available object, then consider an evergreen mantle arrangement.
This design is a quick, easy and cost effective way to Christmas-fy your home…
…and can be created on narrow ledges, mantlepieces or windowsills.
You can use trailing and tree ivy, spruces, firs and of course festive holly to build a draping display with real impact.
Phew, things have been busy here at the finca…
…as I’m sure your home is too at this time of year.
If you get a moment and fancy something crafty, get yourself some cinnamon sticks, orange slices and ribbon (ebay is a great place for this – be sure to look out for sellers who offer free delivery).
My favourite bases to use are ones made out of grapevines, as they have such a rustic twiggy-ness about them.
Plan out where your top and bottom will be. Wire or string up a little loop at the top (for hanging) and remember to leave a space for your ribbon at the end.
As you attach your different items (by wiring or hot glueing), try to make sure that they are evenly spread around the wreath with some pieces coming into the centre and others nestling on the outside.
Hang up somewhere focal, to give maximum impact to your creation (front/back doors or above fireplaces are good options).
This little fella above is going to a very special customer this week!
Pretty mismatched china teacups, filled with micro flower arrangements!
They look so sweet on sideboards, kitchen tables, or grouped together for a seriously elegant, vintage impact.
All I need now is a gramophone playing in the background to complete the mood!
The cold seems to have stepped up a notch in the last few days…
…and as you can see, Keith is extremely grumpy!
As I sit by the warm wood burner, drinking my hot chocolate (yes, I know I’m obsessed) and watching re-runs of Gossip Girl and Prison Break, I worry about our hens out and about in the cold.
Apart from their favourite bowl of warm porridge oats, a nice bit of corn late in the day and some straw for them to resolutely throw everywhere… is there anything else that they would appreciate?
This post on the Omlet forum is particularly helpful. While it provides useful and sensible advice, it does remind me that Keith probably always looks this disgruntled and doesn’t mind the odd cold snap one bit!
This idea comes from a very close friend… and believe me it’s fab!
She (and her scrummy little boy) followed these steps to make their creations:
First, they made two felt squares, for a back and front.
They then decorated the front of their coasters with stitching and felt shapes (robins, snowmen, stars).
Using blanket stitch, they sewed round three sides and before closing it all up completely…
…they stuffed the insides with cloves, cinnamon and Christmassy spices.
When a hot drink is put on top of the coaster (can you guess)?
A wondrous, festive scent is released!
What a completely perfect activity for a chilly afternoon!
I have been looking for ways to personalise my wrapping and packing for ages…
…and as there are lots of bits and pieces being sent out from the Finca in the next few months, I felt it was time to dive in!
I really wanted some pretty bespoke ribbon, but wasn’t 100% sure about colours and therefore was reluctant to order 500m of something – argh the thought!
Luckily, I came across The Ribbon Reel, where you can choose from a variety of fonts, colours and widths. Best of all, I was able to buy a 5m length to start with.
My next mission is to find transparent round or oval stickers to personalise, and then… who knows?
Please let me know if you have any brilliant wrapping/packing tips… I could get quite addicted!
The Finca’s sitting room has been transformed – hurray!
However, it took us a long while to choose which exact hue of grey would bring out the exposed brickwork, give some depth while still keeping the room nice and bright.
A big wish list…
There were lots of Farrow and Ball’s beautiful neutrals that made the shortlist, but in the end there was a clear winner.
No. 228 Cornforth White
After two coats the walls looked incredible. When the sun is shining, the colour takes on a real grey, pebble tone. However, late in the afternoon, or when overcast there is almost a slight pinky-purple tinge.
One thing’s for sure. It is very sophisticated.
We now need to measure up!
I saw this idea on the brilliant Simon Lycett’s Twitter feed (@SimonLycett)…
…and was desperate to make some of my own.
Using florist’s tape or even skinny Sellotape, I attached sprigs of Rosemary all the way around a large, church candle. I kept the tops of the sprigs a little way from the top so as to avoid a fire hazard!
Once all of the sprigs were secure, I cut their stems to an even length to match the base of the candle, before finishing off the design with a smart ribbon.
I think a whole row of these down the centre of a dinner table would look so rustically beautiful…
…plus, as the candles warm, the smell is amazing!
Who wants to try?!
This year I want to be ahead of the game!
I just know that during the ‘holiday’ season, I will want to give out little appreciative gifts.
Little, festive, floral thank yous!
I planted out grape hyacinth bulbs into pots and, while keeping them well watered, left them in a cool dark place until I saw little sprouts appearing…
…which happened this week!
I’ve now put them out into the light of the greenhouse to bring on their greeny-ness.
Then, it’ll be a quick swap into a more glorious pot, a bit of wrapping and they’ll be ready to be given.
Hopefully, the recipients will have a little pot of hyacinth joy in the early months of next year, which can then be planted out into their gardens.
I am having a slight, small amount of smugness at being so well-prepared this year. Don’t worry, it’ll pass very quickly!