Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Christmas to you all

Thank you for popping by my blog. The picture above eally represents to me the true meaning of Christmas. Gods gift of a baby, sent to earth for me as my saviour.
May God fill you all with his love this Christmas time.

Putting the Christ into Christmas

I am a huge fan of "google art" (th illustrations that accomany the google search bar) Over the year we have seen some wonderful examples including celebrations of Confcious (if that's how it's spelt), Sesame street, popeye and many other great and not so great celebrations.
If you hover your mouse over the picture it will tell you what it is there to represent. Over the past week, google have introduced a series of card illustrations and I am disgusted to find that when I hover over the image the greeting simply reads "Happy holiday".
Why can christmas not even merrit a mention. Whilst I accept that not everyone chooses to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, surely the basis of the holiday period and celebration is the christian recognition of the birth of Jesus Christ.
I have no problem with the celebration of Diali, Hanuka, Ede or any other religious festival, indeed I am certain that a few weeks ago I saw a hannuka candelarbra on the google art. Why not wish me and any other Christian a happy Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Salt dough fun

Simply by taking household ingredients, you can have an awful lot of fun. Plain Flour, salt , wall paper paste and water mixed in the following ratio: 1 cup flour, half a cup of salt, half a cup of water, 2 tblsp wallpaper paste. Mix together and then knead for 10 minutes.
Leave to stand for 20 minutes and then mold, roll and shape the dough. "Glue" any bits together with water.

I've created a whole nativity set. You then bake in a low heat oven for as long as it takes for the items to become dry and hollow sounding.

The figures or shapes can then be left in natural state or painted with poster or acrylic paints. You can then apply a varnish and the items will last forever.

The sheep were created by grating the dough and then "glueing" the gratings on to the solid shape.

Three kings all decorated

Two shepherds with their flocks!

a motley looking pair of angels!

Mary and Joseph with an empty manger
(the reason the manger is empty is that the baby I made was simply too big!)
new baby currently cooking!
And here they all are waiting for the baby!
Each of the figures is approx 4" tall.

left overs became this Christmas table topper.
This really is a cheep method of creating some amazing decorations. The whole lot cost well under £1.00.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Nat King Cole - O Holy Night


Anyone who knows me will tell you that music makes my world go around. I have a very eclectic taste in music and will happily listen to most things.

I love the way that every genre of music has made Christmas a celebration. Classical composers have written celebratory pieces, clasical music has been taken by lyracists to write words to giving us some of our most well known carols. Modern pop groups have jazzed up traditional peices and everyone seems to have put their tilt into Christmas. I have adopted my sons spotify account (when he's out of the house) and I have really enjoyed myself simply by putting Christmas followed by Jazz, traditioanl, classical, comtemporary, worship etc into the search box.

For me though, the all time greats of the Christmas genre are: Nat King Cole (he sang to me while I laboured with my daughter, and kept me very calm! and the Celtic women singers.

If I had to choose a favourite piece of Christmas music It would have to be Hark the Herald Angels. The depth of the undertones are delightful. The reason it's not yet appeared on my blog is that I am saving it!!

Another piece I really love is O holy night, which I believe was written for the Morman Tabernackle Choir. It's an amazing song and yes, it'll have to ne good Old Nat who wins the singing contest! Enjoy!

Do share with me your favourite carols ......

Thursday, December 17, 2009

In The Bleak Midwinter

One of my favourite carols set to a beautiful celtic arrangement.

What can I give him
poor as I am
If I were a shepherd
i would bring a lamb
If I were a wise man I woud do my part
Yet what I can I give him
give him my heart..

The Nativity Play ~ Joyce Grenfell

Hello, Mrs Binton. I'm so glad you could get along to see a rehearsal of our Nativity Play! Can you squeeze in there? I'm afraid our chairs are a wee bitty wee, as they say north of the border!Now then, children. We are going to start our rehearsal.
Where are my Mary and Joseph?
That's right, Shirleen, take Denis by the hand and come and sit nice and quietly on this bench in the middle.Don't drag him. He'll come if you leave him alone!Don't hit each other, Mary and Joseph were friends
Now, who are my Wise Men?
You're a Wise Man, aren't you, Geoffrey?
Oh, aren't you? What are you then?
Oh, you're a cattle, are you? And you are going to low. Splendid!
Go over to Miss Boulting, will you, please?
Miss Boulting... You are organising the animals and the angels?
He is one of yours.
Now, my Wise Men here, please!
Billy, Peter and George.
And George, Wise Men never do that...
Now my Kings, please.
Of course, Mrs Binton, we know that by tradition the Wise Men and the Kings are one and the same, but we did want everyone in our Nursery School Nativity Play to have a chance, so we have taken a few liberties, and I don't think any one will mind,
Now Kings: Sidney, Neville, Cliff and Nikolas Anoniodes.Four Kings, I'm afraid. We happen to have four lovely crowns, so it seemed a pity not to use them.
Sidney, put your crown on straight please, not over one eye. What have you got under your jersey?
That's not the place for a hamster, is it. Put him straight back in his little pen, please.Sidney, which one have you got, Paddington or Harold Wilson?
Well, who's got Paddington?Neville, put him back at once.Poor Paddington and Harold Wilson, it isn't very Christmassy for them under your jersey.
Sidney, I think it serves you right if Harold Wilson bit you, and don't bite him back.Because he's smaller than you are. Are you bleeding?
Then don't make such a fuss.Cliff, put your crown on, please.
It's too big? Let's see.
Ah, yes it is.
Where are you! Oh, there you are! Nice to see you again! Change with Nikolas.Nikolas, you can manage a big crown, can't you? You've got just the ears for it. I think if you pull your ears down a bit that will hold it up. And lean back a bit. That's it.Stay like that, dear. Don't move.
Wise Men and Kings, don't muddle yourselves with each other.
Now then, Shepherds.Jimmy, you are my First Shepherd and not a racing car. Yes, Caroline, you're a shepherd.No, dear you can't wear your Little Bo-Peep costume because there aren't any little girl shepherdesses in our play. They're all boy shepherds, and you are a girl being a boy shepherd. Yes, it is rotten. But we just have to settle for it. I think if you are very good perhaps you can wear a lovely grey beard; wouldn't that be fun?
George, what do Wise Men never do?
Yes...Jimmy, do you remember what you see up in the sky? Something lovely, isn't it?No, not a baby. Try again. It's a lovely silver star, and you are going to put your hand up and point to it. And what are you going to say when you do that? No, Sidney, he isn't going to say, 'Please may I go to the bathroom?' Children, that isn't funny; it's a perfectly natural function, and we might as well get used to it.
Come on, Jimmy. You are going to say, 'Behold!' aren't you?
Yes, you are, dear. You said it yesterday.You'd rather say it tomorrow?
Perhaps you are right.
We have broken the back of the play, so you may as well get ready to go home. Hand in your crowns gently, please. No Sidney, you can't wear your crown home on the bus.
I think - I HOPE it will be all right on the night.
But you know, Mrs Binton, I think perhaps next year we might make do with a Christmas carol.

Monday, December 14, 2009

. - Mary´s Boy Child - Boney M

Growing up in the 70 and 80's I remeber so well this rendition of the classic song Mary's boy child.
Bet you can't help singing along!


Being a mum of a tallented child (be it music or sport etc) you often find that your whole life can be turned upside down and that you need to make sacrifices in your own life to enable your child to fulfill their potential.
Over the years, my sons musical tallents have been recognised and rewarded with membership of orchestras, music schools, music schemes, music holidays and that's on top of the hours practice per night and the numerous lessons and exams you ferry them too. Family holiday dates and duration have been changed to accomodate opportunities.
There are expensive instruments to purchase, insure, service and care for. (and you really won't believe the cost of this!)
I am not the model mum. I do moan, I get fed up carting him around, booking apppointments aound him and even missing events to support him.
But then there are the moments that make it all worth while. Yesterday afternoon was ne of them.
I attended the city Hall in Hull with a family contingent and sat up on the Balcony (nearly the best seats in the place) and watched my son perform in the East Riding Youth orchestra. The musical tallent on display was amazing. The senior wind band were also there. We heard renditions of Pirates of the Caribean, arnival of the animals, masked men tunes, Traditonal and modern carols and then the highlight... the performance of "The Snowman". The hall went dark, mist decended onto the stage and amid the glorious music and light, arrived a stunning young girl dressed in the most beautiful delicate pink gown. Eleanor Tomlinson ~ Local girl turned Hollywood actress. She told the story beautifully. At one stage, the glitter ball began to spin and glistening snowflakes span around the room swirling and creating the most magical atmosphere.
I don't have any shame in admitting that I sat and cried.
Tonight is almost coming full circle. The first ensemble my son joined was the string training orchestra and tonight they are in a concert where my son is part of the Youth Singers. He's been asked to take his violin to play support in their orchestra.
Thursday is the school concert and then on Friday we have my daughters school concert with everone of the parents and every child packed tightyly into the sports centre.
I'm so privaleged to have tallented children and it really is worth the sacrifice!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My wreath

Inspired by Channel 4's wonderful programme "Kirsties homemade Christmas", I ventured in to the garden to see what I could use to create a wreath. My sparse gardern was awash with salad and vegetables in the summer, but the winter has left it empty.
I already had a small poundshop wicker ring that was looking considderably worse for wear.
Then I noticed the dead heads of my hydranga bush and a few snips and I had a pile of bushy heads. after tying them into place around the ring and adding some silk roses and a few sad looking christmas silk sprigs, I had a wreath to be very proud of. It's a beautiul golden colour amd I think I can safely say, no one else will have one like it!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thorns in the Straw

I have always felt this was a very special song. The lyrics, written by Graham Kendrick show the depth of emotion that Mary must have gone through.
Thorns in the straw is such a beautiful song full of scriptural refererences.
Take the time to listen...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Breath of Heaven Amy Grant.mp4

Beautiful words that express the inner turmoil that mary must have gone through to be told as a young unmarried girl that she was chosen to carry Gods son.
Amy Grants version is my favourite. I love thetenderness she sings with.

A story for Christmas ~ Good News, Bad news!

"Good News" said the angel to Mary, "you're going to have a baby".
"Good news" said the Angel to Joseph, "Mary is going to be a mum"
"Bad news" said Joseph, "we have to travel all the way to Bethlehem to be counted"
"Good news" said Mary "We have a lovely donkey and I can ride on him"
"Bad news" said Mary and Joseph, "this journey is long and cold"
"Bad news" said an inkeeper, "we've no room"
"Bad news" said another, and another.
"Bad news" said the inkeeper, "we have no room"
"Good news" said the inkeepers wife, "we have a stable out the back, you can stay there"
"Good news" said Joseph as he led the donkey and Mary round to the stable.
"Good news" said Mary, it's warm in here.
"Bad news" said Joseph, "I think I stepped in something."
"Good news" said Mary, "My baby has been born and he is called Jesus".
"Good news" said the inkeepers wife, it's so exciting to see the baby"
"Good news" said the Angels to the shepherds "A baby has been born in Bethlehem"
"Good news" said the shepherds, "lets go and see the baby"
"Bad news" said the sheep left behind on the hillside all alone!
"Good news" said the shepherds as they gazed at the baby.
"Good news" said the wise men "look at the star"
"Bad news" said King Herrod when the wise men told him why they'd come.
"Good news" said the wise men as they knelt before the baby and gave him their gifts.
"Good news for everyone!"

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Grinch Where are you Christmas

Sung by Faith Hill, the words to this song from the film version of "The Grinch" are accompanied by stills from the film which incidently is as beautiful and magical as the book!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Grinch ~ Dr Seuss

One of the most marvoulous Christmas' I remember was one year when my boys were little. I went to the library with them and picked out a book called How the grinch stole Christmas.
I have to confess that up to the moment I read the book Dr Seuss and I had never got on and yet as I sat on the bed with a boy either side and began to read, magic emerged from the pages.

For those who do not know the story, It's written in the iconic ryming style of Dr S. It tells the story of a happy town of Who's who are busying themselves getting ready for Christmas. up on the top of the mountain that towers above the town lived a grinch... not a particually nice fella. Kind of messy and with an attitude that puts Ebeneezer Scrooge to shame.
The grinch you see had no happiness in his life and couldn't stand the thought that anyone else could be happy.

The night before Christmas he sneaked down the mountainside and went into every who house taking their turkeys, treees and presents. With his sleigh fully laden he climbed the mountain and chucked the whole lot down the other side. Then thinking his dasterdly plan had gone well, he climbed into bed.

But what was that noise coming up the hill? The grinch woke up and listened.......

"But this... this sound wasn't sad. Why... this sound sounded glad. Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small, was singing, without any presents at all! He hadn't stopped Christmas from coming, it came! Somehow or other, it came just the same. "

"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?"

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Gloria ~ Michael W Smith

No Christmas is complete with out Michael W Smiths amazing piece Gloria .... Enjoy while watching this eclectic collection of thought provoking images!

What Christmas means to me ~ Sudslaw

"For me, Christmas is the one time of year when families come together, differences are forgotten, and people on the periphery of our hectic lives are remembered with a thought, a card or a call. "

Sudslaw is a soap company based in the Peak district. Specialising in organic products, they create soaps, bath and skin products.
You can see their beautiful products including a festive range of soaps here

sadly their images are all protected so I am unable to show you!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

There's No Place Like Home - The Carpenters

What Christmas means to me ~ Jane

In the run up to Christmas I have been asking some of my internet friends what Christmas means to them ... over the posts in the run up to Christmas I'll be sharing their responses with you.

Starting the ball rolling is Jane (Greannancrafts) ...

"Looking around the Christmas table, and feeling sad about all the people who are no longer there - my Father, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles - but rejoicing in the people who have taken their places, sons, daughter in laws and Grandchildren.Christmas is for families"

Rose Geranium luxury hamper gift pack

Jane is a soap and cosmetic product creator. You can find lots more leautiful gift baskets, soaps, lotions and balms at her online shop
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