HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Just a very quick message to wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2011.

I had it all planned: a lovely vintage New Year's postcard I had all ready to scan, a blog background and header set... then it all went pear-shaped. The !&**£% computer died again. Luckily, I have done a backup or I'd really be sunk (more on this later).

So you'll just have to content yourselves with my heartfelt Happy New Year message!

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

My Guardian Angels are sending you love, health, wealth and happiness for Christmas and the New Year.
Just a quick post to wish you all a very Happy Christmas!

MY CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS

Deck the halls - or in our case, a corner...
Forgot to show off the photos of this year's Christmas tree! 

The corner behind the tree
From the left, swinging round that corner - the top of the bookcase. The picture is my father, circa 1910, handtinted and oil on board. Wasn't he sweet? Hope you are also admiring that new wallpaper I mentioned back in the Summer.
The tree in all its glory
Swinging round to the right - note the Santa Claus lights on top of the mirror and the snowmen, tinsel, baubles and lights inside the fire. Also the twigs with lights to the right. Nothing exceeds like excess, and you GOTTA have tinsel!
Closeup of the top of the tree - we have a Santa instead of an angel (because I couldn't find one that 'spoke' to me)

How could I forget about posting these the minute I finished decorating the tree? Flu. Bad flu. Ladies' Flu - waaaay worse than Man Flu, because we still have to stagger round cooking, cleaning etc. Anyway, I got those decorations up the 1st of the month - and just realised they are still sitting in a folder on the computer, un-admired, un-bragged about.

'Bokeh' tree, Christmas 2009
You can see the difference a decent camera makes. My old one, bless it, was never the same after Peter dropped it... it only took 9 pictures then I had to download them before it would take any more. An experience guaranteed to reduce me to a foul-mouthed raving harridan in a matter of seconds - I have enough trouble trying to focus pix correctly as it is (the new camera has a downloadable pdf of instructions, not an instruction book - 135 pages! So who's going to scroll through that lot?)

So I flatter myself this out-of-focus pic (the best of the bunch, incidentally) gives that wonderful 'bokeh' effect. But it's actually just a very rubbish picture.

I also think this year's decorations are way better, although it's the same basic set-up as this is the only corner the tree can go in! The main differences are... go on, spot the difference (NO prizes as I'm telling you the answers) is an extra bookcase on the left, and a fireplace to the right of the tree. Also, I bundled up a white cloth under the tree to cover that awful metal stand.

So there you are!

PINK SATURDAY - ON THE 4TH WEEK OF CHRISTMAS...

It's the 4th week of Christmas! I'm so excited - I love, love, love Christmas and all the hustle and bustle in the run-up to the Big Day. 

SILENT SNOW - copyright Susie Jefferson
Here in London we had a freak snowstorm - all clear around 10.00am - then I forced myself away from the computer to make a coffee, looked out the window, and voila! About 2 inches of snow! (the computer is nowhere near a window, and I simply didn't notice).

Hence this wintry background, using two wonderful photographs (with permission) by Jamie at Art-e-ology.

If you'd like to use my background, just copy all the code below and insert into an html widget right in your blog. This one is 950px and suitable for a 3-column blog, a wide 2-colum blog, the new Designer templates and also some of the freebie WordPress ones (eg: Bueno).
<style type="text/css">
body {background-image: url("http://i659.photobucket.com/albums/uu313/1stFloorFlatComputery/3a1ed415.jpg"); background-position: center; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-attachment: fixed; }
</style>
<div id="tag" style="position:absolute; left:0px; top:50px; z-index:50; width:150px; height:30px;">
<a href="http://1stfloorflatblogology.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">
<img border="0" src="http://i659.photobucket.com/albums/uu313/1stFloorFlatComputery/9061ddc2.png"/>
</a></div>
HEADER
SILENT SNOW png image - copyright Susie Jefferson
http://i659.photobucket.com/albums/uu313/1stFloorFlatComputery/9da4bad8.png
The header is a png file as it has a transparent background with a drop shadow, so for best results use the code below rather than left-click for the full size, and right-click to copy to your computer. If you want to add your own text, download the png and add text using your favourite graphics programme. MERGE the layers (don't flatten) and save as a png before reloading, or you'll end up with a white background instead of a transparent one.

EMAIL BUTTON
Here's a seasonal email button I made - and here's the post with full instructions on how to add your own address etc.


Finally, please visit Beverly at How Sweet the Sound to see all the other wonderful Pink Saturday posts!

PINK SATURDAY - THE 3rd WEEK OF CHRISTMAS...

Victorian Christmas - copyright Susie Jefferson
Another freebie blog background and header set for you!

This will work with the new templates, the old templates, any 3-col or wide 2-col blog. Just copy all the code and insert into an html widget in your blog. This will also work with some of the freebie WordPress templates, eg: Bueno.
<style type="text/css">
body {background-image: url("http://i659.photobucket.com/albums/uu313/1stFloorFlatComputery/02d604e8.jpg"); background-position: center; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-attachment: fixed; }
</style>
<div id="tag" style="position:absolute; left:0px; top:50px; z-index:50; width:150px; height:30px;">
<a href="http://1stfloorflatblogology.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">
<img border="0" src="http://i659.photobucket.com/albums/uu313/1stFloorFlatComputery/9061ddc2.png"/>
</a></div>

HEADER

Victorian Christmas - copyright Susie Jefferson
Left-click to bring up to full size, then right-click to copy to your computer. Add text using any graphics programme (don't forget to flatten when finished, and save as a jpg). Or use the code below. Don't click to resize, and if you need to centre the header, just use my tutorial.

MY FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS MOVIE

This week on Pink Saturday, the theme is Favourite Christmas Movies. Mine is perhaps a lesser-known one: The Lemondrop Kid, starring Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell.





Bob is a gambler and a con artist, needing to raise some money FAST - so invents The Old Dolls' Home, a charity and residence for old dolls (little old ladies to you and me). It's brilliant. The BBC repeated this annually for around 5 years or so (this is around 20 years ago, mind) and it had me laughing every single time. This is the film that featured the song 'Silver Bells' for the very first time!

You can still get it on Amazon as one of five films in the Bob Hope Collection and I would imagine it's out there somewhere to hire as well.  Here's a review, giving the full plot.

pink saturday

Finally, please visit Beverly at How Sweet the Sound to see all the other wonderful Pink Saturday posts!

VERSOIX ICE STORM - PIX

On the news tonight - The Perfect Storm in Scotland - an ice storm! 

I don't have photos of it (no doubt there will be some in the newspapers tomorrow) so here are some incredible pix of an ice storm in Versoix, Switzerland, around 2 years ago.

















I have NO IDEA whose copyright these photos are - so if they are yours, please tell me so I can add attribution and copyright information.

These wouldn't be out of place in a science fiction film! Spooky but incredibly beautiful. In fact, it's rather like the film The Day After Tomorrow. Except these are real!

At the moment, Scotland is looking very like this - yet here in London, although very cold, there's not even a speck of ice (at the moment....)

CHRISTMAS SHELF EDGING & COFFEE FILTER WREATH TUTORIALS

Kitchen lights - bet Peter won't be happy about the nail holes in the shelf edge!
Closeup - note I actually strung all the little baubles. Talk about fiddly!
Sometimes I just can't leave well enough alone, so decided to put some Christmas lights in the kitchen this year.

I'm actually yearning for lit-up chilli peppers or something food related, but not being willing to spend around £30 ($50) for one string of only 10 lights, these had to do instead. Plus a few extra danglies I happened to have spare - they just wouldn't fit on the tree!

PUNCHED SHELF EDGING

Copyright Susie Jefferson for Blade Rubber Stamps

This pic shows a shelf liner edging I did as part of a tutorial I wrote for Blade Rubber Stamps - just scrapbooking paper cut into strips, then joined up into one long length - and two punches. Easy peasy - and quick! So you might like to have a go at that one. Full instructions are here.

Seeing the pix again, I wish I'd done this first, then added the lights. Too late now!

COFFEE FILTER WREATH

Copyright HappyDotMom
Just found this! Isn't it fabulous? It's a polystyrene base and a ton of COFFEE FILTERS! Love it, love it, love it!

Go here to see the full tutorial by Lilly at HappyDotMom.

I think I'd have to meddle though... surely there's room somewhere for a set of lights as well? Even if it's just teeny little LED ones? Or maybe just a teensy spot of glitter.... (sorry, sometimes I just can't help myself...)

FABULOUS CREPE PAPER TREE TUTORIALS

Copyright Karina Guirre at Creative Chaos
Don't know about you all out there - but I NEED these trees! I intend dotting them on every available windowsill.

Copyright Karina Guirre at Creative Chaos
 Here are two very different styles: choose your favourite. I especially like Karina's tutorial on Creative Chaos as you don't even need a special cone (although you do, preferably need a sewing machine for the crepe paper - though I'm pretty sure I've seen it for sale already pre-gathered) as she makes her cones from ordinary A4 paper. Yes, I can see how this could become an obsession....

Coyright Cindy for Joli Paquet
This one's by Cindy for Joli Paquet - no sewing involved, just a glue gun. And a bit of pleating. So easy! No special skills required as long as you keep your fingers out of the glue! A totally different look, more casual and colourful - I bet this would be a total wow on the table at children's parties!

Copyright Karine Guirre at Creative Chaos
Even more with gathered crepe paper - so many ideas, so little time....

Stunning, whichever style you choose!

PINK SATURDAY - ON THE 2nd WEEK OF CHRISTMAS...

Vintage Snowman background - copyright Susie Jefferson
I always love Pink Saturdays, although now we're in the depths of a freak early Winter, I guess it should be White Saturday - so here's a new freebie Christmassy background and header set for you.

A sweet little vintage background for wide 2-col or 3-col blogs, this will work with Minima (old Editor) and Watermark (new Template Designer) plus some of the WordPress freebie templates.

Copy all the code into an html/widget box:
<style type="text/css">
body {background-image: url("http://i659.photobucket.com/albums/uu313/1stFloorFlatComputery/bd781ea0.jpg"); background-position: center; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-attachment: fixed; }
</style>
<div id="tag" style="position:absolute; left:0px; top:50px; z-index:50; width:150px; height:30px;">
<a href="http://1stfloorflatblogology.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">
<img border="0" src="http://i659.photobucket.com/albums/uu313/1stFloorFlatComputery/9061ddc2.png"/>
</a></div>
HEADER
Vintage Snowman header - copyright Susie Jefferson
Here's the matching header - as it's a rectangle and saved as a jpg, it's your choice if you'd like to left-click to bring up to full size then right-click to copy it and add your own text in your favourite digital programme, or load from the code below
http://i659.photobucket.com/albums/uu313/1stFloorFlatComputery/38b32207.jpg

The header is 950px wide, so try saving without clicking the 'size to fit blog' option first, and if it's too big then reload it, clicking the option this time.

TIPS:
  • If loading the header using my code, just make sure you wait long enough for the image to load. You should see it in the preview pane BEFORE you click 'Save.
  • If you feel your text is too far to one side, or you use the default Blogger text and it looks too high up, then use my tutorial to adjust.
RECIPE CARDS

Beverly at How Sweet The Sound has suggested Christmas recipes as this week's theme, so here are some recipe cards. Left-click to bring up to the full size, and right-click to copy to your computer.

Fabric Leaf recipe card - copyright Susie Jefferson
Tartan recipe card - copyright Susie Jefferson
Vintage Snow recipe card - copyright Susie Jefferson
These are a new thing I thought I'd try: they measure 4 in x 6 in. (I'd appreciate a comment as to whether they download at the correct size, like they are supposed to). One for quilters and fabric artists, one country/shabby chic style and one vintage one. As they are a standard photo paper (and postcard) size, you could print them out and pop a photo of the dish on the back! If anyone does this, I'd love to see it.

Here is the link for my Lethal Sherry Trifle, if anyone would like it. It's highly alcoholic but tastes wonderful!

pink saturday

Finally, please visit Beverly at How Sweet the Sound to see all the other wonderful Pink Saturday posts!

TWO FABULOUS CHRISTMAS DECORATION TUTORIALS

Here are TWO fabulous tutorials for anyone who likes handmade Christmas decorations.

Copyright Sandy Babb at Quill Cottage blog
Copyright Sandy Babb at Quill Cottage blog
Copyright Sandy Babb at Quill Cottage blog
The first tutorial is by Sandy at Quill Cottage - so go there for full instructions (very detailed: lots of step by step photos, you can't go wrong!) Sandy has also posted a link to another tutorial (below)  which I've also listed here just in case you miss it...

Copyright Karoline at Cherished Vintage blog
Copyright Karoline at Cherished Vintage blog
This one is so easy I can't believe it! (although you have to have the kind of brain to think of these things first - which I don't, lol). By Karoline at Cherished Vintage, again there are great step-by-step photographs and it's a fabulous project. I can see this in transparency film, glitter papers....

I just ADORE Christmas, and everything about it! I put up our tree yesterday, so we get full benefit right through to 12th Night (6 January). Sigh....