Earlier this month we left Blake in doggy daycare as soon as they opened and then we set off for Folkestone and the Eurotunnel to France. We hadn't done that since November 2014! It was nice to have a day out together, although we spent more time in the car than we did at our final destination which was Bruges in Belgium.
I have to admit it was somewhat bittersweet, being in France/Belgium again. I wonder what travelling there will be like in future, will it be as easy and straightforward as it is now? But I was glad to be back in the European mainland. :-)
Anyway. Here are some pictures from the day. Bruges is a pretty city, even in winter when it is cold. And despite all the tourists. Although, once you get away from the main square, it's actually pretty quiet. Getting a bit lost in the side streets where the actual Belgians live their regular lives. :-)
We spent way too much money on little wooden ornaments. ;-)
I always have to stop and look at the lace. It is beautiful and it reminds me of my grandmother who used to do bobbin lace.
Always remember to look up!
I think this is my favourite picture from the day. I like these unassuming houses...
Picture from the day we decorated for Christmas. The embroidered hoops are from my first book, Stitched Blooms. It makes me happy hanging them up every year. :-)
Giveaway! I am doing a giveaway of a copy of Mandalas to Embroider over on Instagram. Find it here.
Someone translated the London Tube map into German and it is brilliant and hilarious. Especially if you understand German of course. A few of my favourites: Nimmdillzirkus, Hundslangsam Zentral and Kannnichtweiter. :-)
Image translation. This is both cool and freaky. We literally can't trust the pictures we see anymore.
It is the 25 year anniversary of the R.E.M. album Automatic for The People and I've been listening a lot to the album. Sad to say, the song Ignoreland is just as relevant (maybe even more so) to the state of politics as it was in 1992. (Some swearing in that song, so possibly NSFW.)
Speaking of that album, I'd love the special edition CD box set they put out with lots of demos, but 75 quid is a bit much for me! :-D
The Christmas quilt is finished! For a few weeks now but it took me a while to get some pictures of it. That requires the cooperation of Tony.
But I'm glad I hadn't got round to taking pictures because when it snowed on Sunday that was the perfect opportunity to take the pictures. Christmas quilt in snow! :-)
I love this quilt. It is super cozy and warm and the bright colours just make me so happy.
The quilt is made entirely from my stash, so now I'm pretty much out of Christmas fabric!
It is a pretty crazy combination of contemporary (Cotton and Steel) and more traditional fabrics. But somehow they all go together perfectly.
A few years ago, I made some Christmas cushion covers with a bit of embroidery. When the covers were replaced, I kept the fabric, of course. And I'm so happy to have these little snippets of the past in the quilt.
Speaking of the past. The backing is made from a duvet cover that belonged to my grandparents. It has been washed a gazillion times and is really soft and lovely.
The binding is Rosali fabric from IKEA. I didn't have enough of any Christmas fabric to make binding and a scrappy binding would have been too...scrappy since the quilt is a bit busy already. But Rosali has Christmas-y colours without being Christmas-y and it goes well with the back as well.
Actually, because the back is neutral, I reckon that extends the use period if the quilt beyond December so that's a nice bonus. :-)
I don't have a pattern, per se, for the quilt but I made up a PDF showing the blocks and their sizes. If you're a speedy type of quilter, you should be able to finish one for Christmas. You can download the guide here.
Below are a few if my favourite Christmas fabrics. They feel quite traditional to me. I guess I'm an old-fashioned Christmas kinda gal. And of course I love the nisser in those fabrics, which are all from Denmark.
Another snowy quilt picture.
Off he goes! Blake didn't think the quilt picture taking was as much fun as I did. ;-)
It snowed this morning! I'm so happy. I miss snow. We get it so rarely here. It seemed like it would turn to rain and disappear again, but as I'm writing this, it is snowing again!
We went for a little walk to make the most of the snow in case it did disappear. Blake enjoyed it, despite the look on his face here. Snow kept getting in his eyes, poor boy. :-)
I made a fresh batch of æbleskiver for elevenses today. It seemed the right thing to do on a snowy Sunday in December. Of course, while I was making them, I had Christmas music playing and I was singing along. :-D
Last night we got all cozy, watching Love, Actually. It's one of our traditions now, there are certain films we watch through the December weekends. Do you do that too? Last weekend we watched Scrooged.
Blake usually curls up by my feet, but last night he decided to get extra cozy, snoring away on my lap. ♥
Yesterday I taught beginner embroidery at The Village Haberdashery. This time we used the Noël Wreath pattern to make it festive. It was a great class, they picked it up so fast. I love watching people learn stitches, it makes me so happy.
More classes are planned in January and February if you're in London and want to learn embroidery.
I stitched this using up odds and ends of thread. I think it turned out quite cute. Might have to do some more of this.
On Friday, a package arrived from my parents, no less than four Danish magazines, all saturated with Christmas inspiration. Liquorice for me and pebernødder for Tony. My mum sends him a batch every year because we still haven't nailed a nice vegan version of these biscuits. One day!
I hope you're having a lovely Sunday, whether you have snow or not. I'm about to put on my big coat and boots so Blake can have an afternoon walk. And it's still snowing quite heavily, woohoo!
On Tuesday I met in London with a friend and she gave me this lovely homemade soy candle and pretty Liberty fabric. Which reminded me of some fabric (top) that I have been hoarding for years. I just can't bring myself to use it, it's so pretty... :-)
A treat I always think of as very Christmas-y is brændte mandler. The literal translation is 'burned almonds' but they aren't actually burned, they are covered in a hard sugar layer. They are delicious. I came across a recipe which is safer than trying to deal with melted sugar, Veganske brændte mandler lavet i ovnen med aquafaba. The recipe is in Danish, but I'm sure Google will help you with a translation. I'm definitely going to try this. :-)
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I think it's ok to start listening to Christmas music now, isn't it? Well, to be honest, I started in late November. ;-) One song I have been enjoying is Vanessa Carlton's version of John Lennon's Happy Xmas (War Is Over).
This is my Amagerhylde, Amager shelf. In Denmark it is known by this name but in other countries it is usually called a pyramid shelf. For obvious reasons. :-)
Mine was made by my great-grandfather (as far as I know, I should check with my mum). I got it after my grandfather passed away. I blogged about it before, when it used to hold my collection of Star Wars PEZ. Now the shelf is painted blue and the PEZ collection is no more.
I was reluctant to paint the shelf because it reminded me of my grandparents' home. But I didn't really like the old brown colour, so I finally painted it earlier this year. And then it took a few months before we finally hung it in the spare bedroom. Although it only needed a single nail to hang it!