Saturday, 9 November 2013

Christmas preparation is underway!

This year it has worked out that we will be celebrating Christmas as the four of us, rather than the large groups of extended family which we are used to. DD and I have started planning - unsurprisingly there will be quite a simple homemade feel to our festivities. I was planning to make a lot of the presents myself; but time has run away with me. Maybe next year??

These are our achievements so far! The very flat parcels at the back are actually Christmas cards. We have made all our Christmas cards for the past three years and the design is getting progressively simpler. Our first design involved punching, stamping, glitter glue...never again! These were very easy to produce as DD had us organised into a production line and kept us in order.

The square pieces of card are going to be bunting. They are made from a pack of cards that have been hanging around for years. For some reason I keep forgetting to use them, so this year we are going to hang them up.

The cracker at the bottom is my first attempt at a homemade cracker! I got my idea from "Homemaker" magazine. (DH bought me a subscription for my birthday. No more guilt as I surreptitiously slip one into my shopping trolley.) However, the basic idea is very clearly explained in this blog here. Not a toilet roll in sight! My cracker is a lot simpler than Torie Jayne's; no pattern punches for me, thank you very much. I will probably stick some patterned paper around the middle of the finished articles. Now I just need to decide on the contents! I am thinking chocolate at the moment...

The red and gold theme of the different decorations is entirely coincidental. I am not that coordinated as a rule. Christmas is about the birth of a baby, family and love and NOT a beautifully decorated house!

Monday, 4 November 2013

Feeling proud...

I have been quite overwhelmed by all the positive comments and support shown to me since my last post on Autistic Spectrum Disorder within my family. As you can imagine, it has been quite a tricky time for DS. He knows he is being assessed for ASD, but it is a long process and in the meantime he is unsure what it all means for him. Part of the syndrome can be "obsessions", and at the moment DS is massively into wildlife photography. During the summer he entered a couple of local competitions, but we heard nothing.

Last week was the half term holiday for us, and I took both children to Warnham nature reserve, (see post here). DD spotted it first; not a lesser spotted woodpecker or a buzzard, (although we did see both of those), but one of DS's photos on the coffee shop wall! He was one of the runners up in the junior category of their competition! We all jumped up and down with the excitement, to the bemusement of the nature lovers trying to drink their coffee in peace.

This is the photo in question - it is of a bush cricket and was actually taken by Ardingly reservoir:

We really enjoyed our walk around the reserve and DS took a few more photos:

A Peacock butterfly making the most of the autumn sunshine
Common darter dragonfly
I am a very proud mum, and the success has lifted DS. He is now planning more competition entries!