There Be Bears Everywhere!

Once again I get caught up in the flurry and rush of daily life (and Christmas festivities) and find myself neglecting this blog. If I make any resolutions at all this year it will be to get better at posting here. It's not like I have a lack of things to post about. I have been very busy!

Today's post I wanted to show you a bit of the decorations in downtown Strasbourg for the holidays. It was a very beautiful and I really enjoyed going there. We made several visits the last few weeks. One thing I noticed that i just really loved is their use of polar bears in their christmas decorations. It is very popular here and I think the effect is adorable!

There were trees and banners everywhere

and lots of windows to peek into

carousels and Christmas booths galore.

Strasbourg is truly a wonderful city to visit. I also did a post over on the Handmade in Europe Guild blog about my visit to the Strasbourg Christmas Market. Lots of pictures of their wonderful wares. It was such a fun visit! Be sure and drop over there and check them out.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and I am wishing everyone a peaceful and prosperous New Year!

Much Love, Diane

Redecorating the Living Room

Since we moved here we haven't been happy with our livingroom. The dining room and living room are actually one long L shaped room and it never seemed to be set up properly. So the last few months D and I have brainstormed how to make the room flow better and make it so we used it more. I spend a lot of time in my studio and he at his computer. We just weren't comfortable in the living room.
So we completely rearranged things two weeks ago. I can't believe the difference in there now. We switched the dining room into the living room area and it made everything better. I decided that with the change we needed new curtains, lots of pillows and a table runner. I went right to work on them. I want this finished by next week when the family arrives so it will look nice and be comfy for Christmas.

I dug around in my shelves full of clothes to be used in projects. (I try to reuse and recycle every chance I get) I came up with an old pair of jeans, several black tshirts and an old velvet shirt that already had part of it used in something else.

These I will be using to make a coffee table runner. I have it all planned and well into halfway completed for the two wrap sections. I hope to finish this by the end of the week. I have a trade going with a wonderful felting artist who is creating a table runner for the dinigroom table to match everything. I am excitedly waiting for it to arrive!

I also dyed yards of this beautiful colorway to make curtains. They sit here patiently waiting for me to sew them. I am making simple panels that I will tie with black scarves. I think this fabric is gorgoeus enough that it will look perfect like that.

And last but not least I have a few yards of this. I will be covering several pillows with this to toss about the room. I am considering some saffron pillows also but haven't decided. The room is decorated in blacks, whites, reds and golds so I think these items will really bring a nice finishing touch to the room. I can't wait till it's done!

I promise once I get it finished I will post pics for you all!

The Northern Winds Blow

I bought a winter coat last month. I havent really had one since I came here. Mainly relying on my lovely wool cape and a jacket underneath. I found something in the style I wanted and a price I could afford but it wasn't very warm. I decided that instead of continuing to search for another coat that I liked that I would buy this one and add some extra lining. After all, I have tons of old sweatshirts and such in the studio just waiting to be used for something useful. So I spent a few evenings this week working on my coat. I cut up a nice thick sweatshirt and pined it to the inside of my coat and then took bits from another sweatshirt to fill in the blanks. I stitched it all in by hand and found it very enjoyable. I know I could have just taken the satin lining out and apart and made new pieces to sew togethr on the machine and then slapped it back in. It would have worked but would I have had the satisfaction I got from this project? I dont think so. I just enjoy the neat stitches, the way it all joins together and knowing the job is well done. Will anyone ever see it now? No. But I know its there :)

Winter Flowers

Outside here it is a winter wonderland. So freezy cold and nice fluffy snow everywhere.
Inside is another story though. I was marvelling at my pretty flowers today

The fuchsia is just blooming away, bringing such bright and cheery color to the room.

The rose has a bud on it! I know this is a bad photo but you can still see it there. Soon I will have a rose too!

Even the rosemary is blooming

But what was the most surprising was this: Under my plant table was the pot with the hyacinth bulbs. I didn't even realize we had brought it in, since it is supposed to be hibernating. Look what has happened...fat little blooms nestled inside of those leaves, I do hope they pop out of there. The smell coming from inside there is heavenly though. What a treat!