Rochester Christmas Market & Dickens Festival

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The most important thing to report on is that I shot the Trump target straight in the mouth and won a snowman. The single most important moment of the day.

I earned bragging rights for the next, say, 50 years.

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If you want to feel Christmassy…

It was cold. That’s true. Not many others were braving the weather to visit this corner of the world. The wind was forcing them to wrap their scarfs tighter and their glove covered hands were well and truly hibernating in their pockets.

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The Needles, that’s where they were visiting. She had never heard of them, and to be honest, they didn’t look like how she imagined, but that bit’s not important.

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Unexpectedly, before the landmark, they walked into an amusement village. A bricked street with wooden, shabby small shops each side, all closed, of course. It was cold. 

Her step slowed, the wind quietened but her surroundings felt alive.

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She heard a Christmas song, already half way through. It must have been playing the whole time but it was only just noticed. She looked around and saw little speakers at the top of each shop. All of them turning cream and weathered, playing a classic.

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She could see into the deserted shops at the trinkets and sweets. Little glimpses of a world but frozen in place like photographs.

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She stopped. 

Everything seemed right. 

She felt like the world had stopped, for just one second.

A little glance at peace.

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Something had changed in her. She took a step forward and the world started again. She could hear the wind, the sea slapping The Needles, her Dad calling her to hurry up but no longer the music.

She smiled.

Nothing would be the same.

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I once visited The Isle of Wight for the first time near Christmas time. I must have been 16, or there abouts, so parts of this memory is hazy and I think I filled in the grey parts with my imagination.

I have written about it before too, which seems strange I’m obsessed with this imagery in my brain considering there’s a less colourful truth and, most importantly, nothing happened. It’s one of those things I have never shared but plays out in my mind.

The imagery I made up has just stuck with me.

I’ve Googled The Needles since and it doesn’t look like this. Nope. Over the years this idea has transformed into something it isn’t, and definitely inspired by The Polar Express.

Everything should be inspired by The Polar Express.

These photos were taken in Rochester at 5pm. This is the closest to the idea in my mind and I felt ever so Christmassy.

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Mission: pine cones

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I can happily report that the weather has finally gotten nippy. Why some hate this I’ll never know. As long as I’m wrapped up warm I love it as much I love every season.

I needed more pine cones. Yes, needed. What a sentence. James suggested trying a local woods because we both didn’t have a scooby on where there would be an abundance of pine trees. We lucked out.

They weren’t easy to come by, we had to search for them under the fallen leaves, and when I say we it was mainly James. As you can tell, I was taking photos. What can I say?! It’s a hobby.

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I’ve mentioned my bad memory on my blog before but it’s hard for that to come across in words. I could just be saying it or, even worse, I could be saying it in hopes someone would be like no you don’t! Well, well, well, it’s not for an ego boost, I have photographic evidence of it.

I was taking photos of leaves – you know, hobby – and when I got home and looked through them I took photos of the same leaves when walking into the woods and walking out. The same exact ones, I can tell by a red berry next to them. Even the composition is the same. Might not be a big deal, you may be thinking, well have a look at the ground…

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On the way out, along with wasting my time looking at the same leaves, we witnessed two squirrels running around up in the tree tops. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a squirrel make a noise before, without realising, but fun fact of the day – it was exactly like The Sword in the Stone. Who else thought that was just a fun/confusingwhenyoureachild part of the film?

Then a few strides ahead we saw about 15 parakeets going mental.  It was definitely a bust up, and before you ask, of course we made little voices for them. Barry and Sandra were having a domestic. He’s the jealous type.

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Anyway, mission accomplished.

And what’s a blog post without showing my little brother?! (He helped me wash them) (Anything is fun when you’re four).

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My two homemade goodies

 

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Already thinking of Christmas?! I hear you ask. I’m always thinking about Christmas. I answer.

I have two more items added to my etsy shop, From Miles.

An acorn cap ball bauble, and bleached pine cones napkin rings. Both not the easiest to read or say. Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

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I have more to list to my shop but seeing as I share my life, surprise surprise (say that with Cilla Black’s voice), this is part of my life. More specifically, part of my last week.

And want to know a secret, because we like to keep it real on this blog? This background for the cones is from a Lush box.

Crafts with nature is my favourite. 

A few bits and bobs on my end of the internet

Happy Monday! 

(We can pretend Monday’s are happy right?)

Today I thought I’d share a few bits that are on or will be going in my shops, From Miles, on either my etsy or ebay accounts.

(etsy has the bits I make, and ebay has my finds)

Go have a stalk if you would like to see what I’ve been up to, we are curious beings after all.

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Thanks for having a read and a look!

Charity and Small Business Gift Tag – Free Download

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This coming Christmas is a different one is so many way. I’m not going to list it all, you’re welcome, but for the sake of this post actually making sense I will reveal one. All (if possible) presents I will be buying will be bought from a charity shop, or the money donated to charity, or from a small business.

It makes so much sense! I don’t know why I haven’t done it before.

The idea only came to me because my partner isn’t a fan of Christmas because of the consumerism. Which I agree with, and would try to explain that it isn’t about the presents;

‘Maybe Christmas, he thought… doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps… means a little bit more!’ The Grinch

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But yeah, I see what he was saying. Although the Grinch worked that out, a lot of other people haven’t. The only answer when dating a girl who is obsessed with all things Christmas is to stick to your own morals and ideals, you don’t need to get wrapped up (oh the pun) in the present buying. It’s just stress and it feels weird. For me and I’m sure a lot of people, Christmas is about thanking those you love and a celebration for the past year. I want to get those I love a little something to show my appreciation – that’s it. For a added bonus, I get a kick from making my own presents and cards – and in this case, gift tags.

I’ve made my own gift tags. Yes I have. I want people to know where they came from, it gives me a warm feeling. Not in a ‘I’M A GREAT PERSON AND I WANT YOU ALL TO KNOW AND PRAISE ME!’ way, because it did just occur to me that it sounds like I’m boasting and shitting on everyone else’s ideals. More in a ‘this is what Christmas means to me’ way. I just need to add as well that the gifts from etsy are generally so cute and personal, and oh my God so exciting when they come through the post and you unwrap it to see how they’ve packaged it.

So, why presents from these places and not a ‘normal’ shop? It just seems mad to think that we all go to the same huge businesses that don’t benefit the little man, and I’m not going to go into it but I think we are all aware of where the products are made and the all negatives. I can’t personally dive into it right now, for my mental health exploding for the, I don’t know, 12th time today (?), because I still do shop at these places so even if I don’t support it, I’m supporting it.. My brain. Ouch.

My brother argued with me that these big businesses have thousands of employees to pay – I even work for a big business – so it could have a negative impact on all those people. My family like to debate, I should add. Just because I don’t completely agree with it doesn’t mean others don’t. These big businesses are going to make their money. While their employees get paid £7 an hour. It’s okay for me to not buy from these companies.

I do urge you to buy a few gifts from the little man this Christmas, it means a lot more to them and it feels good.

If you would like to download my homemade gift tags click on the link below. I printed mine onto recycled card stock.

Download – charity, small business gift tag

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Just in case you were wondering if it is more difficult finding and buying gifts this way, I have found it easier surprisingly. Thanks for reading! This is the part where I serenade you with a Christmas song as you walk away…

Adding Little Things To The Christmas Dining Table

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For me, and I assume most other people, it’s the little things that make moments special. The things that aren’t really noticed or appreciated. They’re almost ignored, to the point when you think ‘why hasn’t anyone pointed this out’, but subliminally it’s burnt into their brain to create the cherry on top of the cake. Like, imagine visiting your Grandparents and not seeing the old nicknack’s on the shelve. Or seeing Santa but not in his grotto surrounded by presents or elf’s or all things cute, but in an empty shed, sitting on a plastic picnic chair. Why is Santa in a shed you ask, I’m not quite sure, ask him yourself, but you get the idea. It’s all about the atmosphere, and how to add it to subliminally to make the day just a little bit more special. Today I will show you two easy table decorations that I have used and you could use for the Christmas dinner table – wine necklaces and Santa napkin holders.

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I haven’t seen wine necklaces in real life, maybe it isn’t an English thing. It does seem a little bit douchy, but I wanted to be that person. Everything good about Christmas is obnoxious though so whatever (I just search ‘obnoxious’ in Urban Dictionary and it says ‘the kind of people u wanna shoot in the head…’ haha yeah).

stampsI used the same wooden discs as my antique style baubles, and stained them as I explained in the post. I really like the light stain so I wanted to use the technique again. I drew around the disc onto card and stamped the message I wanted onto the card (the reason ‘eat’ and ‘merry’ have green ink over the blue was because I wanted to re stamp it, and I could have started again, but then the other words may not have been where I wanted them to be. I don’t know, I may or may not recommend stamping over what you’ve stamped already..)

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I cut out the stamped words using a craft knife, not very carefully unfortunately, I blame the Baileys. Wow, drinking and playing with knifes? No no, I wasn’t drunk, but as soon as I have a sip I relax and think ‘yeah, that’ll do.’

I held the card up to the light and taped the wooden disc to the back. Next I used my sliver metallic spray (it isn’t Christmas until you use sliver or gold spray), and in a ventilated area sprayed over the words. Once it dried I used a silver glitter paint and painted a few coats around the edge, and used my finger to drag it into the middle. I then used my hot glue gun to stick a silver elastic ribbon to the back. And it was done!

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It’s always important to encourage to eat, drink and be merry, just in case they forget.

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I first made these Santa napkin holders when I was twelve or maybe even younger. This is one of the originals I made that my Mum has kept all these years. It’s made out of paper, and when it wasn’t flattened it stood up just as well as these new ones I made, and obviously were made a lot quicker so if you are stuck for time I recommend paper. But.. look at that face, I could never beat that.

IMG_0922 1These renovated Santa napkins are made out of white faux fur and googly eyes. I cut each beard to a similar shape as before and used the hot glue gun to stick the eyes in place and then the long pieces together. I was surprised the hot glue gun didn’t melt the eyes, I took a risk but it worked out well. I also had to make sure to cut off any extra material as it is a lot heavier than paper.

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I opened it up so it was like a cone, folded the bottom under, then plopped it down onto the table without much thought, so it would keep a more natural shape.

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They’re mental, I like mental.

Another idea that I have also done for a Christmas meal – instead of having place cards, I bought everyone a Christmas chocolate that was associated to them. So for my older sister I bought a One Direction Chocolate bar, her boyfriend had something Star Wars, my older brother had something Marvel and my Mum an owl (not that she actually likes them, just a private joke). I didn’t have to write anyone’s name down, they knew which one was theirs.

Over and out, Emily x