Posts Tagged Christmas

Let The Festivities Begin

Remember a week or so ago when I was fretting that Mr. Tialys wouldn’t make it home because of various strikes and disruptions in the U.K. and France (but mostly in France).

I had run out of cut logs for the log burner, never used a chainsaw and not sure I want to start now.

I’d also got a Christmas tree outside but needed it bringing in and set up ready for decoration – it’s quite a big one.

Well, as you can see, he made it home but I was worried that, when he went back to the U.K., he would have difficulty getting back to France again because of the aforementioned strikes, demonstrations and general mayhem going on here at the moment.

Little did I think to worry about a drone (or drones) closing down Gatwick Airport for more than a day and causing travel chaos for thousands of people trying to get home to their families for Christmas.

There’s always something.  Last year the French air traffic controllers were randomly on strike.  Next year I’m going to insist he comes home a week early and stay here for the duration – I can’t stand the stress.

After rebooking himself and Mlle Tialys the Elder on a flight out of Heathrow (at vast expense) to make sure of arriving home in time for the festivities, including the now traditional dressing up of the dogs in festive manner, all is well,

Everybody’s here and we can relax.

I hope you are all able to be with the ones you want to be with this Christmas.


x x x



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The Bells, The Bells….

I’ve just returned from taking my parents to the airport after their week-long Christmas visit.

My dad’s a fidgety type.  He is never happier than when he is fiddling about with something mechanical – I should say ‘fixing’ rather than ‘fiddling about’ but he tends not to have a 100% success rate and, as he’s not listening……..    

I always worry he will get bored when he visits.  My mum is fine – we catch up on the gossip, she brings her knitting, she reads, she gets waited on hand and foot, as is her right,  but my dad always looks as if he is missing his own armchair and his man shed back in the U.K.

I have found the perfect solution.  I find and buy all the non-working vintage clocks in a 50 mile radius, give him free access to Mr. Tialys’ shed and the can of WD40 and he’s like a pig in the proverbial poo.  Then, if he manages to fix any of them, I can put them in my shop.  Everyone’s a winner!

Well, actually, Mr. Tialys, my Mum and the two Madamoiselles Tialys might not consider themselves winners as they have had to listen to the sound of very loud alarm bells going off all week as the clocks have been on test.  My Dad, of course, is almost stone deaf so this has not been a bother to him.

Still, it was Christmas and you need bells at Christmas.  I hope you had a Christmas with bells on too.

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Let’s Play Games

Are the family still all at home in that limbo between Christmas and New Year?  When you’ve had enough of the telly and all your electronic games are charging up, it’s the perfect time for getting out the traditional board games or the Bingo balls and having a good, old fashioned family argument over Monopoly or Scrabble.
Houdini House is obviously thinking along the same lines as he was inspired, by my vintage candlesticks no less, to make this great treasury based on the game of Cluedo.

‘CLUEDO’ by HoudiniHouse

The Reverend Green in the library with the candlestick….

peacock feather tail feather…


Pair of Ornate Vintage Frenc…


Vintage Photo of Woman Shoot…


Antique French country schoo…


antique Stillson Walworth Bo…


muffin tin


vintage jump rope with woode…


1891 Mounted Photo of Revere…


vintage composition doll wit…


3pc Antique Glass Optical Le…


13 Vintage used Library Book…


Victoria Terminus – Neo Vict…


mid 19 century gorgeous orna…




Vintage Black and White Phot…


Clock key necklace of antiqu…


Generated using Treasury HTML code generator by Whale Shark Websites.

Whatever games you’re playing, I hope you are having a wonderful time with family and friends and I wish you a Happy New Year.

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‘Tis The Night Before Christmas……

…..and, feeling slightly hung over from overindulging with some friends last night, I still need to wrap the presents. 

However, I can still find the time and inclination to treat my poor animals like the playthings of an idle hour and perform the annual ritual of photogaphing them in santa hats – I’m easily pleased!

But, most importantly, I’d like to wish everybody that is a regular or sometime reader of my blog a really, really, happy Christmas and a healthy, happy and peaceful 2011.  Thank you for your company and your comments!

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Because I Can

‘L’Egoiste’ by tialys

I fancied curating a list with just my own items – not the done thing on Etsy I know – but this one is just for my blog!

Festive Miniature Hoop for Y…


Noel – 3D Crackled Letters


The Key To My Little French …


Gorgeous Glossy Vintage Styl…


Tree Ornaments – Scandinavia…


Scandinavian Style Love Bird…


Fat and Fabulous Button – Ow…


French Linen Trim – Red Runn…


Les Boutons


OOAK Handmade Padded Linen E…


Vintage French Linen and Lav…


Scandinavian Style Lavender …


French Lavender and Linen La…


House Shaped Fabric Etui Box…


Fabric Tubby – Scandinavian …


Soft, Hand-Knitted Circular …



Plus – I really love playing with this new treasury tool I’ve found.


Generated using Treasury HTML code generator by Whale Shark Websites.

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‘It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas’…….tra, la, la, la

On the 3rd August the Daily Mail reported on Selfridges  ‘Those on a last-minute trip to grab some sun-cream yesterday were shocked to find Santa’s grotto on arrival at the Oxford Street store, with children dressed in their summer clothes encouraged to visit Father Christmas.’  Harrods followed not long afterward and apparently Selfridges have said that they can foresee a time when they will be selling Christmas items all year round.  Heaven forfend. 

When we first moved to France 5 years ago I was delighted that they didn’t anticipate Christmas until the beginning of December.  The fact that they then forget to take the decorations down until around May we will gloss over.  Unfortunately, in the last couple of years, some of the chain stores have succumbed to whatever pressure it is – can it really be the public? – to introduce tinselly, shiny, glittery items to their shelves in October.  It’s the thin end of the wedge.  However, I can report that, up until last year,  it was possible to shop for food right up until Christmas Eve without having to plan it like some sort of military operation and without having to stand in queues so long that, in the U.K., they had to employ people specifically to hand out conciliatory chocolates to the desperate.    

Having said all that, I have started to see the first glimpses of festive products on Etsy and, what’s worse, I have bought some of them.  I have bought  supplies with which to make my own Christmas goodies this year, some for us and some for the shop and  have been thinking of ideas for things to make.  It’s  weird having to root through the decorations that were packed away only 7 months ago so that you can stage a photo shoot for a festive item.  I imagine it must be like that for the staff in shops such as Selfridges – how they must detest all the Christmas records that come out every year – I think they must just train themselves to ignore them otherwise they would surely go mad.   I remember last year being a bit fed up with it all by the time the actual day arrived so, this year, I shall try to remain a bit detached  until at least the end of November – although I have made these………











Happy August!






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What Comes After Valentine’s Day – Is it Easter?

After a non-eventful Valentine’s Day today – in other words my husband forgot to get me a card – my creative thoughts turn to the next event on the calendar (as well as how best to punish him over the next couple of weeks).  

Easter Chicks - Fabric Tubby

Last Christmas was only the second  time I had ever created things specifically for sale at a certain time of year and the first time I had buyers in other countries.  Usually 10 days is the average posting time between France and the U.S., Canada and Australia and an average estimate is usually fine.  However, if you have people wanting their items in time for Christmas, it’s not really enough to say, ‘ it might arrive on time’, they need assurance  so you have to allow quite a bit more time for delivery than you normally would.  That means you have to start getting Christmas items up for sale by the middle of October, at the latest. so buyers have time to look and reflect and, if they want to buy, be confident that the item will arrive in time.  I found my sales diminished by the end of November as U.S. buyers started to panic about delivery times.

Anyway, by the time Christmas itself arrived, I had a weird sense that I was all ‘Christmassed’ out.  A little bit like being over exposed to the shops when they start filling the shelves with festive products at the end of September, I got seasonal fatigue and it sort of took the gloss off for me.  However, if you are any sort of artist, artisan or craftsperson, Christmas is the busiest time so, if you want a boost for your sales, it has to be done! 

Which brings me to Easter.  My thoughts are now turning to fluffy chicks and bunnies and, of course chocolate.  Not being in the U.K. anymore, I don’t have such ready access to Cadbury Creme Eggs, otherwise I would have filled these tubbies  with them and taken the photographs  just before they were devoured by teens deprived of their chocolate heritage.  Anyway, I’ve had to make do with big fat hens’ eggs supplied by my girls in the garden – Nugget, Mary Hen, Black Beauty and Dark Sun(!) – so, imagine these miraculously turned to chocolate and you get the idea.


 I expect my husband will be buying me LOTS of chocolate for Easter.

Fabric Tubby for Easter

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I remember when I first moved to France seeing lots of trees with huge bird nests in the topmost branches.  Then I realised that they were enormous clumps of mistletoe. 

At the top of my garden there is a small tree that has a clump  growing low enough  for me to examine (and photograph).  I don’t know why I find it fascinating but I remember, in the U.K., seeing dried up, tired sprigs of mistletoe for sale at Christmas so seeing it growing and looking so fresh is great although, of course, I know it’s a parasite so I don’t suppose the tree is as happy.  Nice to have my own, private supply for hanging over the door though!

Mistletoe in my Garden


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Hooray – A Tubby on the Front Page


I knew I fell in love with this reindeer fabric for a reason – it got me on the front page – hooray!  Plus, it sold! 


A Tubby on the Front Page

I’ve made some in other fabrics which I also like a lot so, we’ll see.  There’s just something about the Scandinavian look at Christmas that a lot of people like though so who am I to disagree.  Luckily I bought quite a bit as I was going to make table runners but these are more fun to make.

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Ooer! I’ve Come Over All Christmassy.

Reversible Table Runner for the Festive Season

Reversible Table Runner for the Festive Season


I love this reindeer print and, amazingly, I bought it locally (although I think it’s Spanish).  I thought it would be cool to make it  reversible, mostly because  I wanted to see a nice long stretch of those fabulous  reindeer.  Off to buy some more of it this afternoon before it all gets snapped up by other locals starved of fabric buying opportunities.

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