Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas!

Yesterday (the day before Christmas Eve), we did some embroidery but had our tables cleared by 3.30, the blinds were down and we were out of the door and into our Christmas Holidays - Hurrah! To celebrate we all went to The Bluebell, a fabulous little pub that is just up the road from Sumptuosity Towers and a firm favourite with me and John. We have swapped Christmas presents and because I know how naughty the Sumptuosity Fairies are, I put their presents into cardboard boxes (there are always plenty in the Studio!) and then wrapped them up with tissue and ribbon. This means that they will not be able to guess what their presents are until they open them on Christmas morning. Mind you this didn't stop Alanna (Banana) having a good try! It is just as well the presents that we bought her aren't glass...

The Sumptuosity Christmas Dinner was last Wednesday and absolutely super. We all loved being at the Treasurer's House and the National Trust staff did us proud, the service was great and the food was lovely - just ask Sophie!

We have had lots of lovely Christmas cards at Sumptuosity Towers - some were addressed to the Barleycorn Three (the old days when it was just me, Barbara and John) and so I must make sure that next year everyone knows that we have expanded and are (currently) the Barleycorn Five! Alanna said that we were multiplying just like on the Gremlins film! I wonder if this means that we shouldn't be fed after midnight???

Which reminds me, a certain someone addressed her Christmas card to include the 'staff held hostage at Sumptuosity Towers' - I dispute this and want everyone to know that I have let the Fairies go home for long as they are all back the earlier on Boxing day..... (only joking honest...bah humbug!)

Today, was the first day off that John and me have had for quite a well (Christmas orders have kept us busy!!!) and so we have been busy shopping for the last of the food and a couple of last minute Christmas presents. As we unpacked the car I thought for a brief moment that John had bought me a bunch of flowers until I looked more closely and saw that it was just the way that he was carrying the Brussel Sprouts Stalk! We have also been finishing off the cleaning and tidying of the house. It is all done and dusted and we are relaxing with a glass of wine and awaiting the arrival of Barbara with Mummsie and Eddie (our big brother).

3 B.T.'s

1: Sophie and Alanna trying to feel through the packaging of their Christmas presents.
2: I did a new design as a request from Father Tim (Jones) for Sunflowers. He loved the work and purchased a Mirror, brooch and a bookmark. I was so pleased with them that they will become new designs for 2010.
3: I have received a lovely email from a lady in 'remotest' Arizona thanking me for my choice of book that was sent to her as part of LibraryThing's 'SantaThing' (basically a bookish form of Secret Santa). My parcel has arrived but as I am a good girl I won't know what it is until tomorrow morning....

So it just gives me time to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Sumptuous New Year!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells

We are now definitely on the countdown to Christmas - especially the Sumptuosity Christmas dinner and Sophie (true to form) has mentioned it at least once a day. However, we are all food obsessed, as Alanna and I both noted how we could all turn practically any conversation back into one about food! I am definitely sure that it is the cold weather that does it...

We have been super busy in our new shop/gallery space and were delighted when our friend Nicola could manage to bring in some more of her lovely tea-towels and peg bags (they are so nice that even I have considered being more domestic in order to buy them for ourselves). We sold two of the tea-towels and a peg bag last Friday and I had only just put them on display, I am sure that the rest will go before Christmas. Nicola told us that she had stayed up until one -0-clock in the morning in order to finish off the items and get them to us as soon as possible! Life as a designer-maker isn't all glamour...

3 B.T.'s

1: John was washing up in the Studio when he called me over to the sink. One of the glasses had a large soap bubble over the entire mouth of the glass and was domed with a swirling pattern like the weather clouds on Earth when seen from space. It was so pretty that looked at it for what seemed like ages until John said "I just get my camera..." and yes you guessed it.. it popped.
2: While walking past the new building at York St.John University on our way to the Studio, John and I spied a Pigeon walking ON TOP OF a row of Pigeon spikes and then squeeze behind some more Pigeon spikes in order to get into a gap behind some panelling. I am not fond of Pigeons to say the least (you should see the mess the little ******* make in my courtyard) but you have to be impressed by it's SAS style manoeuvres.
3: While in the Studio today (Sunday afternoon) I saw Sophie and a bunch of Angels walk past the window. Don't worry I haven't been over doing it with the Shiraz - Sophie has been doing some voluntary walk with 'Space 109' and was an official helper of the stilt-walking Angels... I wish I had got my camera!

Bye for now

Love Ruthie xx

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Deck the Halls with boughs of Holly...

All the Sumptuosity Fairies are in a very festive mood, especially when we hear Christmas carols on the radio (we sometimes let John have Classic FM on instead of our beloved Radio Four). I don't know if it is the time of the year, namely that it is so cold outside but one of our main topics of conversation is food. Or at least it is one that we most often return to! Sophie (who is the size of a Sparrow) is probably the worst offender for this and currently it is about this year's Sumptuosity Christmas dinner. This year we are treating the Fairies to a traditional Christmas dinner at the Treasurer's House in York. This is a beautiful National Trust house in the centre of York (just behind the Minster) and according to one of the managers (who Barbara and I met at an exhibition at Stone Soup) it will all look fabulously Christmasy - hence the title of this blog being 'Deck the Halls...'. At least once a day Sophie says how much she is looking forward to this dinner, as well as telling us about the Christmas dinner she will be having at her sister's house. I don't know how she stays so tiny!

Tinsel and Christmas lights are up in the windows of Sumptuosity Towers and this year I have put a countdown of the number of shopping days left before Christmas. Barbara purchased a pack of small Fluorescent card shapes and hand wrote a number on each piece of card, which we then blu-tacked to the window in a meandering pattern. Each morning when I open the blinds I remove another fluorescent shape from the window and thus show the people walking past that time is ticking away. This has worked very well as a display as it does grab people's attention, especially as the day's before Christmas become fewer and fewer! Mind you it also serves as a reminder to myself that I need to get a wriggle on with my own Christmas shopping, food shopping, Christmas card writing (and posting), tidying the house before visitors arrive and of course keeping all the embroidery going here at Sumptuosity Towers for website orders, trade orders and all the lovely people who visit us in the Studio.

3 B.T.'s

1: We got a postcard at the Studio this week from Mummsie who has been on a Tinsel and Turkey holiday with Barbara. It was addressed to 'Dr Ruth & Co'.
2: I have been writing my Christmas card list and it has been lovely to think about friends new and old around the country.
3: Every morning when John and I walk to the Studio we pass a garden that has a bird table, bushes and a really thick privet hedge, the birds love it and there are always a gang of very chirpy Sparrows making there presence known.

Bye for now
love Ruth xx