Wednesday 28 December 2011

Christmas Weekend

What a lovely weekend we have both had! Lots of good food, drink, time off from work and great company from our friends. We really have had a wonderful Christmas!

I'm back to work this evening and am looking forward to playing the show. I feel like my body needs to get moving! I can't over indulge forever :-)
I've been spoiled far too much, I have really over done the chocolates that my Mum sent over for me!

Instead of going back to our families, Dennis and I spent Christmas together in Hamburg. We decided to stay here as I had work on the 26th. We didn't want to spend all of our free time at the airport or on a train so took it nice and easy this year.
It would have been lovely to go back to my family, and have one of my families traditional Christmas'. Or to go visit with Dennis' family in Holland, maybe we can do that next year?!

December 23rd
We spent the day getting the apartment prepared for Christmas Dinner the following day. Making the apartment nice and tidy, stocking up on food and making final Christmassy touches.
Once all of the chores were done we headed into the city for gluhwein with our friends. This was the first time this year that I really had a good look around at the Christmas markets. It was nice to know that I had finished work for a few days and could really enjoy and take in all of the festivities.

Everywhere looked so beautiful and festive. The markets look so traditional and you can not help be caught up with the spirit of Christmas once you catch a glimpse of Christmassy hamburg!

The markets here in Hamburg have many different types of stalls. They sell many gifts from puppets and wooden toys, to homemade jewellery and Christmas decorations.

Gorgeous handmade Nutcrackers.


Hundreds of handmade Christmas ornaments.

I love to look around at all of gorgeous gifts but I have to confess that my favourite thing about going to the market is getting to sample many different types of delicious food.
The food is all very rustic and ranges from barbequed meats and sausages to melted cheese scraped piping hot onto crusty bread. Mmmm! So yummy! If you close your eyes whilst standing in the city you can smell that it is Christmas:

Sweet Ginger Bread.

Yummy grilled sausages and fresh crusty bread.

Of course there is also the gluhwein! You can not go to the markets with out having a steaming hot mug of this Christmas treat. I love it! Not only does it tastes yummy, it warms my hands in the cold winter evenings. It also makes me a tad tipsy!

Steaming hot gluhwein, Delicious!

A couple of mugs of gluhwein along with the company of Dennis and our good friends made for a fun and festive evening. The perfect start to our Christmas weekend.

Christmas Eve.
I got a little carried away with the gluhwein last night and the evening ended with a stint in a karaoke bar! Once I start with karaoke You can not get me off of that stage! I was a bit of a microphone hog and by the end of the night was a complete 'Hot Mess!'

I woke up a little worse for wear but managed to shake it off after a nice big coffee, which was good as we had lots to get on with!
Our friends were coming over in the afternoon for Christmas dinner and Dennis and I had the apartment to prepare and lots of food to be cooked. Working like a dynamic duo Dennis and I got the place looking spic and span and food prepared all before our friends arrived.

Our Christmas table.

We had a perfect feast. I made the food that was traditional to my Christmas with my family back in England. A nice roast dinner, lots of vegetables, meat and potatoes.
We started the meal off with roasted mushrooms cooked with onion marmalade and grilled goats cheese. I was really proud of this as it was 'truly scrumptious'.

We followed the mushrooms with a main course of roasted chicken, sausages wrapped in bacon, lots of vegetables, roast potatoes and lashings of gravy.

For desert we had a favourite of mine, Mon Chou Cake. Dennis always makes the Mon Chou cake, it is so delicious with its biscuit base, cream centre and topping of nice sweet cherries. We also had a tasty "cookie cake" that our friend Terry had made for us. DELICIOUS!

We washed the meal down with Champagne and Cosmopolitans. Terry was our cocktail maker for the evening. The cosmos definitely added a little flare to our dinner!

After dinner we all sat around and opened gifts that we had all bought for each other.
Dennis and I had a gorgeous milk jug, a very cool class pen from the Christmas market and a lovely handmade candle bought for us.

We gave homemade gifts to each of our friends. I made a big white blanket for our good friends Terry and Stefan. I forgot to take a completed picture of it, so here is one half way through making.

Dennis made a delightful crocheted pig for our friend Joe. Joe had been asking for a crocheted pig for many months and was very happy with his gift! We also forgot to take a finished picture of the cute little pig, This is picture is from the pattern and can be found at

We all really had a lovely evening! A perfect Christmas Eve sat by the tree talking, laughing, eating good food and enjoying delicious drinks! An evening of indulgence!

Christmas Day.
We slept like babies after our big feast and woke up the next morning to open the gifts that Dennis and I had bought for each other.
Dennis Really spoiled me this year and bought me a gift voucher for the craft store. A new computer game, which I really wanted! A jumper with a very cute message on the front. Adele's concert DVD, And a gorgeous assortment of yummy coloured yarn!!!

No doubt I will be sharing with you very soon my ideas on what I am going to make with this gorgeous array of coloured  yarn! Can't wait to start something!

I bought Dennis a couple of books. One of them being Cute and Easy Crochet by Nicki Trent. We haven't had a moment to  give any of the patterns a try. But from flicking through the pages and looking at the gorgeous pictures, I am sure we will have alot of fun making some of the lovely projects.

I also bought Dennis some skeins of 'Andes' by Debbie Bliss. Its lovely and soft. I am looking forward to seeing what stunning creation Dennis comes up with.

Dennis' final present was a  big surprise and I was so excited to give it to him. I love to see his face when he opens presents, his reaction is priceless. 
I bought him a new camera. He really wanted this camera but was not expecting to get it for Christmas. So it was nice to treat him and give him a Christmas Day surprise.

Dennis has a  real passion for taking photographs and Im sure you will be seeing some of his work throughout the blog very soon.

Christmas day was very lazy for us. We didn't cook a big meal as we had eaten a feast the night before. Instead we ate some of the left overs from the Christmas Eve meal along with mince pies and other Christmas treats. 
It was a lovely relaxing day of playing with our new presents. Me on my computer game and Dennis fiddling with his new gadget.

I hope that you all have had a lovely Christmas and continue to enjoy the festivities into the New Year?! 
I can't believe this year is coming to an end, Its flown by! There's still time to enjoy the Christmas tree for a few more days! I'll be sad when we have take it down! 

If we do not get chance to speak before the New Year. Dennis and I wish each and every one of you a happy and Healthy New Year!!! Enjoy the rest of the holidays!

Dennis xxx
This post has moved!
You can read an updated and revised version on our new blog.

Click here to read this post in full at it's new home!

Sunday 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas to everyone!

A very Merry Christmas to all of our readers!

Lots of Love
Dennis xxx

This post has moved!
You can read an updated and revised version on our new blog.

Click here to read this post in full at it's new home!

Friday 16 December 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

I'm officially in the Christmas mood!!! The tree is up and the apartment is gradually becoming more and more festive!
We went and bought our tree on Tuesday and came home to find that it was a tad too big!! Nothing that a light pruning couldn't sort out! After a little snipping and sawing it fits nicely in the corner of the living room.

I love to decorate the Christmas tree, and its been one of my favourite things for as long as I can remember. I used to love it as a child when Mum would ask Dad to go up into the attic to get the box of Christmas decorations. I always knew that when I saw Dad fetch the ladder from the garage the festivities were about to begin.
Mum was always in charge of the Christmas decorations but she would always need help from her little elves (my brother and I). Once the tree would be finished I used to love to lie underneath it and look up through the branches at all of the magical fairy lights.

Dennis and I put the tree up together. Once it was finished I had to have my little moment of laying under the tree and was once again mesmerized by the lights.

We decorated our tree with bright white lights and deep red ball balls. Then added a little bit of crocheted Christmas flair!

Sparkly wooden stars.

Gold glittery pine cones.

A little white crochet star sits perfectly on top.

We also had a little ornament bought for the two of us by some good friends, who will be spending Christmas day with us. Its the most gorgeous shiny rocking horse, that sparkles in the light.

I went out and bought some Christmas crackers for Christmas day.  These are really common back home in England, but not so common here in Hamburg. I managed to find them in an English store in the city, a little over priced but they are very pretty. Here they are next some gorgeous holly Dennis made this week. (The holly pattern is by Lucy at Attic24, isn't it cute!)

Our snow man gift bag from last Christmas hangs on the door smiling across the room.

Dennis' crocheted trees are out once again. He made these last year. I love them so much, they look great clustered together on our table.

The Christmas cards have started to arrive from my family in England and Dennis' in Holland

Crocheted stars and Christmas trees are hanging from the drawers.

Dennis had also been busy making lots of stunning snowflakes to hang around the apartment.

As you can see things are fully underway here in our apartment. The next week is sure to be busy as we sort gifts out for each of our families, prepare for Christmas dinner and fit in the occasional Gluhwein :-) We both hope that all of your preparations are going smoothly!

and Dennis xxx
This post has moved!
You can read an updated and revised version on our new blog.

Click here to read this post in full at it's new home!

Thursday 8 December 2011

(Good Old Fashioned) Bunting!

As you all know over the past couple of weeks I've been going barmy for bunting! I've been so desperate to make some! I told myself that once I had finished off some of my other projects, I was allowed to give the bunting a whirl. Well.... I finished off a couple of Christmas presents and got going with the bunting!

Now usually I jump straight on in with a pattern. This time was different. I really spent time looking at different patterns and giving them little trial runs. I also looked around my favourite crafty shops for inspiration on colour and shape.

I decided to settle on making a granny square but with just three sides. I ended up making a small mountain of "granny triangles" in many different colours. Maybe I went a little over board!
I made these with Stylecraft but could not settle on a suitable border for them.

I made them in white creative cotton, maybe for a Christmassy snowflake bunting?

Then once again in Stylecraft but with three colours instead of four.

At work one night when I wasn't on stage, I had a play around with some bunting edging. Yet again I couldn't come up with something I was happy with. I went home from work that night with a bag full of assorted triangles, but no bunting in sight. :-(

On a bit of a whim, I decided to take some time out from the crocheted bunting. I made a start on some fabric bunting and ended up working on it into the early hours of the morning.  I made the bunting out of the fabric squares recently bought from the craft store.

I first tried sewing triangles on the sewing machine, but soon decided it was way too fiddly. I decided to make it a little easier on myself and ended up cutting triangles out of cardboard. I then stuck the fabric to the cardboard with glue. It worked a treat!

I glued the triangles to a long length of ribbon. My bunting was taking shape!! I added some stitches for a little extra strength. Would you like to see my scrap fabric bunting?

I'm really pleased with it! Look at those gorgeous printed fabrics! Such yummy vibrant colours!

I added buttons to the top of each of the triangles. I simply bought cheap white fabric buttons and coloured them pink with a fabric marker. They turned out great! And they were much, much cheaper than buying individual pink buttons!

Here it hangs in my apartment from window to window, brightening up the wintery Hamburg view.

Adding a touch of colour to the black and white pictures on the wall.

I'm sooooo happy with my fabric bunting, it makes me smile each time I look at it. I keep moving it around the apartment, hanging it in different places from day to day.

Now I still wasn't done with the crocheted bunting, but I was totally over my granny triangles! I showed them to Dennis and we both decided to try a different design.
We had a little hooky improv session and between the two of us came up with a cute little piece of bunting.

I was sooooo happy with it! We sat down and worked out exactly what we had done and figured out the pattern for it. 

We decided to keep the colours a little more neutral for a more simple look. We used 5 different shades of Rico baby cotton dk. 

We joined each of the pieces with a combination of simple chains and clusters of double crochets, keeping the look really simple. Here it is in all of its glory, Our 'Good Old Fashioned Bunting!'

This has really been one of my favourite projects. It was really fun trying out different patterns and finally making one up between the two of us.  We were both really proud at how the bunting turned out! We have decided to write the pattern out in full and share with everybody!  The pattern for 'Good Old Fashioned Bunting' will be coming very  soon!

and Dennis xxx
This post has moved!
You can read an updated and revised version on our new blog.

Click here to read this post in full at it's new home!