Thursday, 9 January 2014

Winter Projects.. and Goodbye for Now

Dear Home-makers
Thank you for all your visits, and your wonderful comments and other input into this blog. After prayer and reflection this month, I have decided not to continue with Heart for Home-making for the foreseeable future, and also to spend significantly less time online. In case anyone is interested in past posts and content, I am not deleting it, for a while at least.

Many blessing to you all


At the Dacha in Summer’ - Sergei Vinogradov by BoFransson on Flickr

I finished my planned 'Winter quilt to go over the sofa' just in time for Christmas and it added some needed colour to the room. I'm very pleased with it. Maybe I can make a Spring quilt in time for the new season.

It was difficult to get any pictures in such poor light

I also managed to knit up a warm and pretty shawl this week. It is from a very very simple pattern - so good for a beginner or if you want to knit something without thinking too much.

Here is my finished version. It is made from a 'cake' or 'disc' of Icelandic wool called 'Lopi' 

One 'cake' will make a small shawl/scarf.

For the next few months I won't have much time to visit your lovely blogs and will be posting sporadically. I hope you do not feel neglected, but I would love to hear about your winter/spring projects.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Ringing the Changes at Home

Gleb Goloubetski

The festivities are over. We may have eaten eat more than we normally would and unfamiliarly rich food has played havoc with our digestive systems . Christmas may have left us feeling lethargic,  the days have been so short and dark - and now we are past the winter solstice,there is a stirring of desire to be 'out with the old and in with the new'.

From time to time, we acquire items from various sources, that can help us to ring the changes at home.

The pretty light shade and the wall shelf unit in the downstairs 'loo', came from a friend who had just moved house. She wanted to ring the changes too : ) and so gave these to me.

My husband made me a similar shabby style shelf unit for the kitchen. It is beautiful, but I will save it for a time I have decided what goes best on it, before showing you a picture.

But very often, it is simple to refresh the look of a room, by taking out items that have been stored away for a while. In our loft recently I came across some plates and other items. When we took them to the loft, I remember thinking ' Oh let's put these out of sight - I really don't like them'.  Of course, when you have not seen them for a long while, suddenly they seem very attractive, and one can't wait to use them again!

And here is some encouragement for the disorganised home-maker. If you venture to your deepest, darkest cupboard, or drawer, you will probably find some delightful treasure, lurking unseen in the depths. Maybe it is an ornament, some china, or an old bedspread that you will love to brighten up the room.

Pinterest users show us how we can use things creatively...

I found these ideas in just a few minutes. Nearly all of us have bits and pieces around the home with which to ring the changes and to give rooms a fresh feel. 

The problem is often one of confidence, and for that I think the answer is 'Give it a go'. Just take the old cushions, or faded linens, or few items of china. Have some fun arranging them in different ways. If they are damaged - that can be part of the appeal! If the china is chipped and you feel it looks ugly, place the chipped edge towards the wall and no one will be any the wiser.

Look for old picture frames in the thrift store/charity shop. Paint them or spray. You don't have to do it perfectly. Remember - anything that looks too perfect will look like it's mass-produced.

I will finish with a question and would love to hear your sensible or just fun ideas in the comments

How can you ring the changes with a picture frame?

How about putting in some offcuts of fabric, or from a dress or blouse?


and finally, finally - especially for my Texas cowgirl and 'critters'...

Rope in your cowboy!

I wish you the most peaceful, contented, joyful, tea-filled, rose-petalled, scone and cream-clotted, wonderful Happy New Year xx


NOTE I never intentionally breach copyright. If I have done so inadvertently, please contact me and I will remove the image immediately with my apologies. Thank you

Monday, 9 December 2013

More Images from 1896

Alice Barber - Christmas On New York City Fifth Avenue 1896

After posting yesterday's painting 'Preparing for Christmas 1896', I looked around for some more images from that time.

Those dresses would have kept the ladies warm, trapping the warm air around their legs. Who else has noticed that trousers do not keep you as warm as long skirts? I certainly have. Amid all the hustle and bustle, the ladies have an air of quiet dignity. Nowadays, women could not even keep hats on their heads because they are rushing around at an impossible pace. One of these days I will wear a simple version hat, and start a trend

Isn't it nice to see men and women enjoying an activity together, with no one trying to grab the attention and show off, or create discord and tension by dressing immodestly?

I think this is a woman of influence and power. Six children safe and secure, a result of her calm, gentle nature. Contrast that today with the stress and anxiety of over-excited, spoilt children, after too many school parties, school 'discos' and sweets, and who go to bed when they feel like it.

Many of us are now busy in the kitchen and with the family. Blogging must take a back seat until the New Year. Let's enjoy our Christmas home-making

Wishing all my dear home-making friends, a peaceful and joyful Christmas

I have no intention of breaching copyright with any of my images here. If I have inadvertently done so, please let me know and I will remove them immediately. Thank you

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Preparation for Christmas - 1896, Dosekin

Preparation for Christmas, 1896 (oil on canvas)

Yesterday we visited my mother-in-law. She is 86, and as spritely and bright as ever, still enjoying her car, and is an excellent driver. I do not like to drive at all, so I'm rather in awe of her. After a delicious meal, she brought out her sewing and knitting supplies. It was wonderful to look through the vintage needle-cases and pieces of lace, all neatly stored in a beautifully crafted,  hinged sewing box which she had bought in Germany in 1956

 I was thrilled when she gave me this box of silks that had been her mother's. They are around 80 years old, and the colours appear as vibrant as if they were new.

I have promised to embroider with them and send her a picture. She will be happy to know they have been used and loved

I was also given some old knitting needles, some in Imperial sizing, which I love, and crochet hooks and good pinking shears - . They remind me of when I was a little girl.

To add to my delight, My husband made me a Christmas Wreath to hang outside the house. He used Holly, evergreen leaves, willow, and all sorts, collected from the fields and hedgerows.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Crafty Ribbons Blog Advent

This nice blog is having some crafty Advent fun, if anyone would like to join in.

I have copied and pasted the information from the blog below if you would like more information

Christmas Advent Event...

Hello Everyone,no your not seeing things yes it's  me (Mandy)  I'm back with all the fabulous Girls at Crafty Ribbons but only for a little while and for a very special reason it's time to share some news with you all..... 

 We are going to be having another one of our fabulous events,yes it's time for our Christmas Advent Event which will run from 1st December through to the 24th December....

Each day we will be highlighting a different Craft Company or Shop,the Design Team will be posting cards/projects on  the Inspiration blog and on their blogs each day there will also be a prize from the highlighted Company up for grabs that's 24 prizes  in total and you can enter each day,only one entry per person per day to make it fair,so make sure to become a follower and remember the Christmas Advent will start at 8.30am (GMT) on the 1st December the Design Team hope you will all join in the fun and countdown to Christmas with us.......

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Delightful Christmas Craft Tutorials

I just found these wonderful Christmas Craft tutorials on  this blog.

Here are just some of the individual tutorials.

Click Here Love this one!

Click Here - sweet

Click Here

Click Here

Click Here Polymer Clay tree

Click Here  All you need are ribbons

Click Here for Mini Mitts

Click here for sweet little reindeer

click here if you like a challenge

I hope you have some fun with these, and maybe follow some of the blogs if they appeal to you. If you click on the 'Blog' link at the top of the page, it will take you to more of the christmas craft tutorials.


 Alison, from Country
contacted me today, and told me about their site's very excellent 'Ideas Library'. These projects are labelled according to degree of difficulty, occasion and rough cost of materials used. I like the site very much and am feeling inspired to try out several of the different craft projects and posting them here.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Potterings at Home

Yesterday I crocheted up some Jam-jar jackets. They are not really jam-jars, but glass jars for tea-light candles. When I get time, I will be knitting or crocheting flower arrangements for them, using chenille pipe-cleaners wrapped in yarn for stems.


Have you seen the knitted/crocheted plant patterns available too?


This is a free pattern available at You will have to register on the site first.

African Violets crochet pattern

Basic Rose DONATIONWARE crochet pattern

Succulent Collections 1 and 2: EIGHT crochet patterns

Poinsettia DONATIONWARE crochet pattern

Christmas Trees crochet pattern

There are lots of tempting patterns like the five pictured above
 Here. I think they are reasonably priced and look fun to make

My husband is planning to make us a nativity scene. My contribution will be the figures. I have just finshed Baby Jesus using those scraps I keep reminding you all to use up!

If you can bear one more picture of the Welsh dresser  - it now wears its sparkly winter snowflakes.

Finally, while I was making gift tags from old Christmas cards, I came across a lovely picture, which reminded me a little of the paintings of Susan Rios

Last year, I had been sent a tiny Susan Rios print that my friend had attached to a pink ribbon. I thought I would do the same, and sandwiched the ribbon between the picture and some backing card ( for which I used another old Christmas card)