Winter Delights

It’s winter here in the UK. The car was frozen over last week, temperatures have plummeted to zero (celsius) and I’ve broken out the scarf, hat and gloves more than once this week. Unlike most of my friends and family, I love winter. Even though in Manchester, where I live, the weather is less like on the stereotypical snowy Christmas card and more like constant rain. Even though I may not see a sunny day for weeks at a time, I love winter.

The reasons why I love winter are plentiful. For one thing, I am an avid knitter, and there’s no better excuse to cast on than freezing cold days! For me, knitting is also the perfect pastime to while away the gloomy evenings while snuggling up on the sofa with my husband. At the moment I’m knitting Christmas gifts – I won’t tell you what they are or I’ll spoil the surprise, but I hope the recipients will love them!

Not only do I love knitting woolly accessories, I adore wearing them too. That’s why I’ve been enjoying the chilly days this week – it’s given me a great excuse to layer up an array of vintage hats, crocheted scarves and toasty mittens. What better way to show off gorgeous handknits and raise the profile of the handmade movement?

I also love winter because that wonderful holiday Christmas falls smack bang in the middle of it! From the end of the summer, I look forward to Christmas because it means ten days’ holiday, spending time with my family and friends, and excellent food, courtesy of my dad. This year, I’m also trying to buy mostly handmade gifts and I’ve already got some amazing presents for my family!

When I was about 10 years old, it actually snowed on Christmas Day – really snowed, enough for sledding. My parents live right next to the beach, and we had so much fun sledding down the sand dunes! It doesn’t really snow very often here in the UK but every day during winter I wake up hoping that there will be a beautiful white blanket outside when I open the curtains (although I hate scraping ice off the car!).

So, I’m really excited that winter has arrived, even if it’s a little bit early this year. Although I expect that in February, I’ll be waiting most impatiently for spring to arrive!

Image credits, top to bottom:
HidenSeek
Dollyknits
Zukas
Ialbert
AnnasEmporium
WallEnvyArt

Mineral Concealer

mineral makeup concealer midas

Concealer is not one of those glittery makeup products that draw me in, like colored lip balms. Instead it is necessarily near to flesh color, but not really, and is best when invisible on the skin. It’s that item that you really need when you need it. And the rest of the time don’t give it very much thought.

I haven’t had much luck with concealers in the past. I have found the creams and sticks to be heavy and appear bright against the skin, the liquids to be ineffective, and the powders to cake. And the last thing I want when I haven’t slept is to call attention to the circles under my eyes. It’s hardly a lifter of the spirit.

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Yummy

About this stunning bracelet by juiceglass
This bracelet took a lot of time and joy in the making. Created with my own lampwork beads, jade stone, bits of seashell and sterling wire, it is a unique piece. A little girly, a little earthy, a little beachy!

Three pillow shaped lampwork beads are the bright center of the design. Each is flanked by seashell caps, which also are paired with glowing chips of jade stone on dangles. Sections of hand forged sterling wire create links between the lampwork beads, and the entire piece is clasped with a hand forged clasp, compete with a jade stone briolette dangle wrapped in more sterling wire. The entire piece was tumble hardened for hours, then given a rustic patina for an aged, finished look. Entire bracelet is a little over 7.5″ long.

All glass beads are made by me in Bullseye glass, a local glass company, and cleaned in harvested rainwater. All beads are digitally annealed for strength and durability.