December 15, 2011

Christmas is coming ....

The month of December is well under way, it seems to come around faster every year - how does that happen??  
November was not the best month for me in terms of physical activity. I took a bit of a tumble on some black ice in my driveway at the end of October!  The heavy rain had frozen on the edge of the deck and as I headed out with the good intention of going for a brisk early morning walk around the walking track in town, my feet just disappeared from under me and I wacked both shins on the edge of the wooden deck and skinned my knees, hands and chin!
Craig came rushing out to rescue me when he heard the loud shriek expelled from my lungs and almost slipped himself but managed to regain his balance and help me to my feet.  I had deep bone bruising on my shins as it turned out but luckily no fracture or breakage.  Maybe the calcium supplements do work!  
The recovery time however I have discovered does take longer the older you get and it was almost 6 weeks before the swelling went down and my shins ankles and knees had gone through various colours of the rainbow.  It was nice to finally be able to walk properly again without feeling pain.  
November was on the other hand quite eventful in my shop and I was very excited to receive another lot of beautiful soft merino wool blend felt in the mail from BenzieBazaar
I had chosen colours for my most popular animals in earthy tones suitable for deer, squirrels, bears, hedgehogs, puppies and kittens.  Also some ivory white and dark grey for the wedding topper birds.  

The first order I made up in the new felt was a set of Alpaca's to be used as a wedding cake topper.  I designed the pattern to be slightly larger than my usual 2" size which is what the bride to be wanted.  Then I had a request for some birds in mustard yellow and golden brown, rainstorm blue and cream, with contrast stitching in silver grey.
I do enjoy making up these personal custom orders for weddings and am particularly happy to be taking on a project for three sets of mice and squirrels for a wedding planner soon.  
When I mention to people that I make up cake toppers in the form of animals they often look a little perplexed.  When you are in love and planning a wedding it is often the little details that make all the difference and to have a cute keepsake, especially if it has a special meaning (Craig and I have referred to each other as bunnies since we got engaged over 20 years ago!)  
The feedback photos are always lovely to get, you may remember this pair of deer I made a few months ago? 
Well, it's back to the land of felt and stitchery for me this morning, interrupted only by the need to put another log on the wood stove to keep my fingers nimble and the occasional mug of hot tea to warm my toes!
I hope you are all enjoying the run up to the Christmas holidays :)

Hazel x

November 15, 2011

Etsy Pre-Christmas Sales

Hello to all my followers :)
I have had a little blogging break while keeping busy sewing quite a few orders for my Blossom Hill Etsy Shop over the past few weeks.  It can get a bit hectic in the run up to Christmas. 
Here are just a small selection of the little felt animals I have been designing and sewing.
 A collection of these assorted birds to a boutique in Halifax. 
 3 tiny deer for a baby's nursery in the US 
  Scandinavian Christmas felted wool red berry heart decorations  
 Some little Japanese Totoro wood spirits !
 Unicorns and winged horses 
 A little peach bunny made from a new colour merino wool felt ordered from the US from Benzie Bazaar.  I am patiently waiting for another delivery soon with more of the popular brown shades that are running low in my sewing room.
This cute Pitbull puppy was a custom order for a lady who wanted a miniature version of her own little dog.

Plus of course the little bird wedding cake toppers :)
This particular pair are flying off to the UK!

October 14, 2011

Well Hello Autumn!!

Autumn is here, which is quite evident in the beautiful spectrum of colours of the leaves on our trees.  Craig couldn't resist  getting out the camera one sunny morning this week and taking a few snaps.
It's amazing how quickly it all happens from a tree full of green to varying shades of red and gold, before a few windy days come along and send them all falling to the ground.  
Don't you just love the feeling of stepping and jumping on crunchy autumn leaves? 
It's so satisfying :D  

Hazel x

October 01, 2011

Family Friday - Princess Amber

August came and went and the school holidays ended, which was a bit sad but all good things have to come to an end and although the sun didn't shine as much as previous summers, all the veggies and fruit still grow well.  We harvested spinach, lettuce, onions, carrots, beets, peppers and courgettes. The tomatoes were late but bountiful none the less by the end of the month and I managed to make a few batches of sun dried tomatoes and delicious chunky sweet tomato soup to store in the freezer for winter. 
Sometime in July Amber was asked (as she and Jemma have been every year we have lived here) if she would be willing to take part in the Morristown Princess Tea, where they choose a epresentative aged between 15 and 18 to take part in the Berwick Gala Days celebration.  Both my daughters have declined in the past due to the stigma attached to pageants generally.  
However this year Amber got more information and discovering that a Princess in the Gala Days festivities is more of an all round representative rather than a beauty queen, with emphasis being on public speaking, good morals, manners and work ethic. Having thought about it she decided to enter the event.
The local ladies in our community were delighted and she attended a special Princess tea where she got her crown and sash.  Some of the duties once she was chosen were to be in the gala days parade on a fund raising float.  This was decorated and prepared in our barn.  All 15 candidates from various villages in the valley got together daily and had a busy week visiting the elderly in a hospice, patients at a rehabilitation home, judging a local desert contest and meeting and greeting young and old at various other events.  The main function was a princess tea where Amber had to stand up in front of a room full of spectators, local politicians included and deliver a prepared speech on her chosen subject of being a good role model.  
The week was very busy and Amber was chosen as second lady in waiting, a title that she was more than happy with.  She found her experience to be a positive one, having fun with the other girls that took part and was happy to end the summer holidays with some great memories before starting her final year of high school.  
I am very proud of her naturally and since then she has started grade 12 and now has a part time job in the evenings and weekends so will have a busy year ahead while deciding on her future university plans.


September 23, 2011

Family Friday - July in Montreal and a bright red car!

This is a small post for my extended family and friends, especially the ones who aren't familiar with facebook where I tend to write things on a more regular basis.  
Each Friday I am going to keep you updated on what we have been up to starting from the month of July after Jem left for Korea and there were just the three of us; Craig, Amber and myself for the summer holidays.
With Craig's new job we soon realised that we really needed another set of wheels as sharing one car was not going to work with his new job being over an hours drive away.  After looking tirelessly in the local classifieds etc. Craig came to the conclusion that a trip a little further afield was required and before I could say 'are you sure?'  we were boarding an overnight train to Montreal!!  
Armed with some felt, thread, stuffing and a few selected patterns I was prepared to make a few tiny animals en-route to list in my Blossom Hill shop when I returned in a few days time. I began sewing them together unaware that I was being closely watched by the gentleman in the seat behind me.  After I had finished a couple of them curiosity got the better of him and he asked me what I was doing.  I told him about my online business and he wanted the two little bears I had made.  When I had finished the fourth and final one he bought those too, so my train journey turned out to be quite a productive one!
Montreal is a lovely City and we managed to find a little car to get us back home again via Quebec City. The drive home took about 15 hours, which worked out well with the three of us taking turns at the wheel.  
Above the City of Montreal

Amber in Old Quebec City

                                         The shiny red Honda Fit from Montreal
Our friend Dave came to visit us in July from New Zealand, in fact he gave the car a wonderful clean and polish, which was very kind of him!!
Next Friday I will tell you about Amber's involvement in the Gala Days celebration when she represented our village Morristown as their Princess.

September 15, 2011

Window Inspiration

A few weeks have gone by since I wrote this Blog Post introducing Silk Secret.  Whilst my new venture hasn't broken any records it has been ticking along steadily and with the Blossom Hill shop of little hand sewn animals in tandem it keeps me busy creating, sourcing new materials and vintage finds, photographing, listing and getting things wrapped up and in the mail to various destinations around the world.  
I admire other regular bloggers such as my friend Katherine who's blog Secret's of a Butterfly never ceases to amaze me with her endless stream of diverse and beautiful images and words, so skillfully put together in such a creative way.  My biggest downfall with blogging is that I tend to go off on a tangent aka 'surfing'.  Trying to concentrate on the reason I came on the computer in the first place seems to be something I rarely achieve and then I end up feeling terribly guilty and non-productive.  
I will be putting more interior decorating inspiration in my posts.  This week I have decided to focus on Windows.  I love unusual and beautiful windows, they can really change a room and are such a focal point, the ones below appealed to me the most in my search among so many images on flickr today.  All quite different but equally impressive.

Living Room with Arched Windows and Tall Ceilings

mom and dads house

Pauline looking out of round window
Just wanted to share these with you.

September 04, 2011

Interior Decorating Diploma

It finally arrived!!  My Diploma for the Interior Decorating course I completed this year through the International Career School (ICS)  
It may not be a job, but it will give me the confidence to keep tackling those paint renovating projects I love to do and with the knowledge gained on the course I can put it to good use in our next home.  Of course this is all a bit premature as we still have to sell our current house and seeing as I have decorated every room here already I shall have to be patient.  
I am going to post some photos that appeal to my sense of style over the coming few weeks.  I was originally going to start a Tumblr blog as both my daughters have those, but instead decided it would make more sense to carry on with this blog and just make sure I include the links to my photograph sources.

Hazel x

August 18, 2011

My daughter in Seoul

I do miss my daughter Jemma so much now she is living so far away in Seoul. 
She is having a wonderful time and we are in contact on skype , telephone, facebook and email, so I can't complain too much :)  

She recently started blogging about her life there, which is of course so different to Halifax and the first two years she spent in University after leaving home. 
 Even though I lived in London myself and come from Manchester originally, It is quite different to the huge City of Seoul with it's culture and people.

I think of her often and am so happy she is living her dream.

July 21, 2011

Midsummer Madness

A busy few weeks has meant that my blog has been somewhat neglected so I shall try my best to get back into the swing of things.  
First of all our family became official Canadian citizens on June 2nd, it has been a long and complicated process as anyone who has ever immigrated to another country will know.  We attended the swearing in ceremony just a couple of weeks after completing our knowledge of Canada test and were presented with our certificates and Citizenship cards along with 47 other new citizens from 20 different countries.  

Taken outside the
Cunard Centre where the  ceremony was held in Halifax 
A few days following the ceremony we bid an emotional farewell to Jemma at Halifax airport, seeing her off on her year long student exchange venture to Korea!!  
Hugs from Daddy at the airport.
Our little girl is all grown up and independent now and is loving the many wonderful new experiences that the huge city of Seoul has to offer, certainly an exciting place to be spending her 20th birthday in just a few days.  She is making lots of new friends, adapting to the local culture and customs living with a sweet host family about an hour away from the University.  In September she will move into the campus dormitories which will cut out the travelling time and be more convenient during her study months.  Yesterday she found out that she has been awarded another scholarship by the University of Seoul. We are all delighted and very proud of her.  I am loving Skype these days when we can actually see her in her little bedroom as she gives us a weekly update.  
Our house is now on the market with Property Guys, we have decided to have a go at marketing it ourselves.  We have full control of the live site which is a much more accepted way of selling these days.  We don't anticipate a quick sale, but you never know.  With Amber still in high school for another year we can't move too far away until she goes to University.  
The garden is looking lush and green, the humming birds are back of course in huge numbers now that the fledglings have hatched, it's hard to keep up with filling the two feeders outside the window.  The hydrangeas are enormous as are the hosta's and we have salad ingredients coming out of our ears in the veggie patch!!  Wonderful and definitely my favorite time of year.
Here is a link to our listing if you would like to take a peek :) 

June 04, 2011

Sipping some of David's Tea !!

To remember my last visit to Halifax, staying with my daughter Jemma we took a little afternoon walk up the road to a delightful tea shop called David's Tea.  I had passed this venue by on many occasion mistakenly thinking it was just a shop selling ceramic tea pots and cups and didn't realise there were a few seats inside!!  
What a lovely surprise when we entered and discovered a wonderful choice of delicious sounding teas to choose from.  The shop was laid out so neatly with a large array of items to purchase all The menu was quite mind boggling, with names like 'Three Wishes', La la Lemon', Butterfly Jasmine' and 'Jumpy Monkey' !! The lady behind the counter was so friendly and we finally came to a decision.
Jemma chose the organic 'Creme Brulee, while I opted for the 'Mint Chocolate Rooibos'. Both proved to be good choices and were delicious.  We sat and chatted whilst sipping and watching the shoppers on Spring Garden road go by.  Before leaving I bought a bottle of Organic agave nectar, a natural liquid sweetener that looks similar to honey. I am unable to have real sugar with GSD, so it will be a nice alternative to Stevia in my drinks.  

In keeping with the tea theme I would like to share some related finds on Etsy:
This sweet teacup ring is from Jennifer's shop Bellehibou  
I added this print to my favourite items a while ago by Joojoo

May 07, 2011

Happy Mother's Day 2011

Happy Mother's Day to all you lovely Mum's out there!!
My own mum lives so far away in South Africa and I do wish I were spending the day with her of course.  However, being a mum myself with two very sweet daughters I shall no doubt be enjoying a special day at home tomorrow.  Jemma is coming home on the bus this evening and has taken Monday off work to spend some extra time with me.  Craig will be running her back into the City in the afternoon, where he also has a job interview lined up (fingers and toes crossed).  
Before I show you my own latest Etsy listing here are a couple of shout outs for some recently added items in my 'favourites'  
Thanks to my recent involvement in 'circles' I get to spot some different and new items that other etsy sellers and buyers add to their favourites and I look forward to seeing what new activity each day brings.  I am even getting added to other peoples circles so it's all good.
This shop Homestead Treasures sells beautiful hand stamped cotton trim in shabby chic and Parisian styles, I am thinking or ordering some to use as tie backs for my curtains. 

Here are my own little Mother's day gifts and sweet home made cards from Jemma and Amber - thank you girls xx

April 17, 2011

Fellow Etsy sellers...

Spending so much time recently concentrating on being creative with special request orders for Etsy buyers I have been doing a bit of browsing.  This week I found a couple of fellow sellers here in Canada and wanted to show you some of their lovely work.

I found this shop Pin Wheel Designs located in Bear River and run by Amy.   
I love her words and illustrations and wanted to share a couple of them on here.
With so many to choose from it was hard to pick my personal favourite.

Then I came across  Jackie  in Montreal, who takes such delightful photographs that would look perfect in my kitchen.

April 06, 2011

April is Sew busy :)

Too busy to write anything at the moment so here are some links to a few new items already in my shop or about to be listed  :)
 Four felted wool heart pops!

 Tiny kitten with wings (still to list)

 Tiny Unicorn 

 Little lovebirds - Wedding Cake Topper

Tiny Giraffe  

Cute little silky mini dress