Wednesday, 24 November 2010

I've been spending money - and it was fun!

Christmas is such a great excuse to have some fun and spend money on treats without feeling too guilty. I thought I'd show off some of the presents I found at the weekend plus a couple of other goodies that the postie has delivered recently.

I went the Country Living Christmas Fair on Saturday - my first visit. I have to say I was very excited. A day to myself. Allowed to buy presents. Hand crafts. And I did have fun but I was a little disappointed. Far more of the stands were mass-produced than I had anticipated but I did find some lovely hand-crafts too.

I found these carved letters for the children's stockings and they double-up as pencil holders too. Croglin Designs are based in Cumbria and specialise in woodworking. They had the most amazing Noah's Arks and lovely traditional wooden rattles.

I bought a soap making kit from Rustique Interiors who had a very pretty stand. The kit will be suitable for the children and involves melting down a glycerine soap bar, adding essential oils etc and then pouring into whatever we choose as moulds....not real soap making but fun, I hope.

Next up isn't handcrafted but I did think it was a very good idea. They are picture frames that have a wide slot for inserting your own picture and they are deep enough to take collages too. I got one for each of the children. I think they'll hang in the kitchen and the kids can take charge of their own and display their best/favourite/latest picture in it. I'm afraid I didn't take note of the shop name.

I came across, on a stand that I otherwise wouldn't really have looked at, some little packs of wool felt scraps. And picked up this little bundle of pretty coloured felt. It was bought to go with the wool tweed, which I have had for a while, and I plan to applique onto linen to make new cushions for our sofa.....sometime.

The postie delivered this wonderful parcel a week or so ago. I placed a special order with Tamsin at iwishiwasa and she did a great job. She makes wonderful masks, capes and cuffs but they are mostly aimed at boys. Islay and Angus both love dressing-up (it was a bit of a shock to Angus when he realised school wouldn't allow him to turn up dressed-up the way he often did at nursery) so I asked Tamsin if she could make a mask and cuffs in slightly more girly colours for Islay and ordered a normal set for Angus. Aren't they wonderful? My mum will be giving them these but she is overseas just now so I took charge.

And possibly my favourite purchase of all was all for me. I used some money from recent blanket sales to buy this wonderful bunny from The Linen Cat. Beth, who has just added the most amazing ballet and fairy linen mice to her shop, has such an eye for detail and my bunny is just perfect. He will accompany me (holding my phone, money and house key) on my up-coming Christmas nights out and to a wedding between Christmas and New Year. Can't wait!

I almost forgot to mention that I popped in to say hi to Jo (bearpaw) at the Fair. It's the first time I have met a bloggy friend - and I was quite shy and nervous about tracking her down. But it was lovely to meet her, she is very warm and friendly just like the on-line person. She had a great stand with her own beautifully made goodies and also lots from her shop - Jonathan Avery Homestore (things like Greengate tea towels, I don't need to say any more really).

Phew, that was mammoth. Hope you survived. Have you any goodies to share or tips for good places to buy presents?


TheMadHouse said...

What wonderful gifts. I adore the bynny and the capes, they are just amazing

andamento said...

Love the rabbit from Beth. I just ordered one of her fairy mice, ostensibly for A (but I know who'll have it if she doesn't like it!)

Julie Rutter said...

Anne - I can just imagine - I know who covets them in my house! Juliex

Simone said...

Lovely gifts. A feast for the eyes!!! I especially like the bunny purse and wooden letters. x

Julie Rutter said...

Simone - I think it's pretty near impossible not to love the bunny! Juliex

Cat B said...

WOW I'm loving the letters - I could get Mr B to 'whip' me up some of those for the kidlets.
Yeah for meeting a bloggy friend :)

Julie Rutter said...

Cat - wow, Mr B is clever! It was great to meet Jo. Juliex

bearpaw said...

Aww, Julie that is very sweet of you! I can't believe I didn't get a photo of us to put on my blog - duh! I'm pleased you got some good shopping done (I know what you mean by the mass-produced stuff though). Love those frames, what a great idea!

thelinencat said...

Hello, hello! I was happily reading this post and thinking how great all your new bits and bobs are (I made soap with the boys last year as teachers gifts and they really enjoyed it and oddly, I ordered a cape from iwishiwasa yesterday for C) then I saw the purse :) thanks for including it and for the link back, it's much appreciated and I'm really glad you like it.

Is it snowing with you? wish it would here. Bx

Julie Rutter said...

Hi Beth - no problem for the mention, I really do love the bunny.
NOt really any snow, seems to be missing us. Fingers crossed we both get some proper snow soon. Juliex