Back by popular demand is the blog’s Christmas gift guide. B-Y J-I-N-G-L-E B-E-L-L-S – I hear you cry! The blog’s very own Christmas Fairy has flown from the top of the tree to make light of your Christmas shopping. Dangerous, I grant you, with Panda our beardy mini schnauzer on patrol amongst the presents…
Put your feet up
But let’s face it, no Christmas fairy tale is truly complete without an element of jeopardy? It’s time now though to relax, put your feet up and have a glass of something lovely! There are ideas for everyone, including experiences that don’t cost a penny to the homemade and handcrafted:
Panda is lying in wait behind the tree in her bid to catch the fairy … Christmas present ideas for all
A few years ago the V&A saved the contents of the Theatre museum in Covent Garden when it closed due to lack of funds. The collection is now free to see and covers many aspects of the history of theatre and the performing arts. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. Make a gift of the outing and enjoy a lovely lunch with friends or family in the V&A café. Photo: Charis White
Rare 1950s silk scarf with ballet design zipped 60 cm cushion, backed with black and white gingham cotton and edged with black jumbo ric rac. £60 plus £7.95 p&p. White Vintage Shop.
Woollen throws, £60, Tom Lane as seen at The House & Garden Spirit of Christmas Fair in November.
If you are short of time, Biscuiteers have a luxury tin of Nutcracker ballet biscuits, £35. I have also been wowed by the cookie cutters that Lakeland have produced this Christmas and think a homemade gift is always special and lovely to do with children. Swan 6.5 cm, £1.99, Nutcracker soldier 18.5 cm, £9.99, Ballerina 12.5 cm, £2.99 and 11 cm ballerina, £2.99
The Little Christmas Fair at The Barn at Lark Rise, Lambdens Hill, Beenham, Reading, RG7 5LG is the perfect country venue to get you in the mood for Christmas. Beautifully displayed gifts by the lovely and very friendly Lois Pinnock with Rebecca Engels. Next open from 10 – 4 pm on 7th & 8th December. Tea, coffee and homemade cakes all day.
Decorative antiques, textiles, handmade gifts and festive baubles displayed by Lois Pinnock at The Barn at Lark Rise, Lambdens Hill, Beenham, Reading, RG7 5LG. Next open from 10 – 4 pm on 7th & 8th December.
Decorative antiques, textiles, handmade gifts and festive baubles (12 cm dia pink vintage style baubles, £5.95 each). Displayed by Lois Pinnock at The Barn at Lark Rise, Lambdens Hill, Beenham, Reading, RG7 5LG. Next open from 10 – 4 pm on 7th & 8th December.
Vintage French quilt 2. 3m x 2 m, £145 (many other beautiful textiles including French napkins, cushions and teatowels) by Rebecca Aix Home at The Little Christmas Fair 2018. Decorative antiques, textiles, handmade gifts and festive baubles. Displayed by Lois Pinnock at The Barn at Lark Rise, Lambdens Hill, Beenham, Reading, RG7 5LG. Next open from 10 – 4 pm on 7th & 8th December.
Perfect for Christmas drinks. Great colours and precise workmanship. Set of 2 beaded coasters, £15. A Small Shop in Africa.
You can never go wrong with a pair of posh socks as a gift at Christmas! Reef Knots get the blog’s sock spot this year with their fab cotton stripeys, £13.50.
Men’s leather/woven elasticated belt complete with gor-jus gift box. Other colours available. £39, Reef Knots. Seen at House & Garden Spirit of Christmas Fair in November.
Love these lined two tone – easy to pop up (flex in a wind without breaking) umbrellas. They come complete with smart sheath for storage. £75, Barnvard & James. Seen at The House & Garden Spirit of Christmas Fair in November.
Antique silver teaspoons, engraved with initials, the perfect stocking filler from £20, Fisher London antiques.
19th Century glass handblown Nailsea (made in the Somerset factory) flask, 1830 – 1880, £110, from a selection at Fisher London Antiques.
Blue and White zipped accent cushion in Romo coral fabric, 40 x 30 cm with white linen reverse. £35 plus £4.95 p&p. White Vintage Shop
New box set of 3 Savon De Marseille soaps wrapped with handprinted designer wallpaper and pink grosgrain ribbon. £15, White Vintage Shop.
60 x 40 cm zipped cushion made from 1950s ballet design woven curtain material. Edged with pale pink ric rac with reverse in ballet shoe pink silk satin. A ballet lover or collector’s piece. £65 plus £7.95 p&p. White Vintage Shop.
Panda enlists the help of felted schnauzer cousin David (right) and his mate Beryl the basset (left) in order to catch the blog Christmas Tree fairy … £30 each from a selection of hounds at Amica Felt. This pack were found hanging out at the Spirit of Christmas House & Garden Fair in November.
Stylish as a necklace but designed with this practical use in mind. Just loved! Made by Lesley, a stylish English lady who has lived in Uganda for several years. Lesley creates luxury homeware and jewellery from upcycled Ankole cow horns which farmers normally burn as waste. £75 East African Trading Company. Found at House & Garden Spirit of Christmas Fair in November.
Salcombe-based Will Bees Bespoke have some very covetable personalised bags and luggage such as this yellow waterproof tarpaulin ‘Tarp Case’, £29.
More upcycle Ankole horn, this time from Kenya and filled with candles. Really v smart. £40 from A Small Shop In Africa – seen at House & Garden Fair in November.
This year’s most humorous product design award goes to Pet Hates Toys spotted by the genius buying done at Bucklebury Trading’s The Corner Shop, Woollhampton. These are dog toys (though perhaps not just for dogs!) which include Jeremy Corbyn, Theresa May (complete with her leopard print shoes) and Boris Johnson. Can you guess where the squeaker is positioned … and which one is currently outselling the others? Boris! £16.50 each.
If, like Theresa May, you have a penchant for leopard print and this season’s fashion and interiors trend, then you will love these scarves. Great price at £10.95, The Corner Shop, Woolhampton, Berkshire.
Sequin embroidered beetle cotton bag with black and white striped (long) handles and reverse. £17.50, from a selection at The Corner Shop, Woolhampton, Berkshire
Spotted these beautiful glazed jugs, £40 each by Joanna Oliver Ceramics at Cuxham Christmas Market in Oxfordshire. Joanna’s sister is Kate Garwood Ceramics from Shiplake in Oxon – who I have also featured on the blog!
This is the magical descriptive image that PR Georgie Pridden commissioned artist Christopher Brown to become the invitation for her 2018 Christmas Fair at Newburgh Priory in North Yorkshire (29th November to 1st December). Voted by House & Garden magazine as one of the top 10 pop up shops, fairs and markets this Christmas.
Glamorous plumed horse lampshade designs by renowned print maker Christopher Brown who was once Edward Bawden’s assistant. £150, £175 each as seen at Newburgh Priory Christmas Fair.
Beautifully hand carved wooden yarn bowls for the knitter in your life made in Northumberland by Turned Studios £25, £35 each. Unlike ceramic versions, if dropped, they don’t break. As seen at Newburgh Priory Christmas Fair.
Surely this might just squeeze into a stocking? Vintage newly upholstered slipper chair with button back in mohair velvet and vintage linen. Note CUTE white casters too… £450, Covelli Tennant as seen at Newburgh Priory Christmas Fair
Kitty Mackenzie has found the answer to simultaneously keeping warm and glamorous with her handmade range of luxury Scottish woollen and cashmere scarves. They are structured enough to create great shape whilst keeping you cosy and warm with soft cashmere. £94. As seen at Newburgh Priory Christmas Fair.
So lovely to meet textile designer Annie Shrive (who’s fabric I mentioned in the Arts & Crafts blog earlier in the year). These are her gor-jus oblong cushions she designs in Lincolnshire. £35 each. Email Annie as these may not be on her website. As seen at Newburgh Priory Christmas Fair.
Annie Shrive’s lino cut print Chrismtas cards, £5 for 5. Email Annie as they may not be on her website. As seen at Newburgh Priory Christmas Fair.
A selection of vintage ceramics, teacosies and coasters printed with vintage textile prints as well as two lamps complete with handmade sari lampshades. Covelli Tennant as seen at The Newburgh Priory Christmas Fair. Giving
Shelter make it nice and easy for you to donate and to make a difference. One year, as a family, we all bought each other Christmas presents from charity shops which was a lot of fun – the teenage nephews did surprisingly well at this. It made us feel good, didn’t break the bank (see Martin Lewis’s thought-provoking blog) and the money went to good causes. It’s a wrap
I am a great believer in recycling wrapping paper and reusing ribbons be it from comics, newspapers, magazines or ends of wallpaper rolls.
Christmas presents wrapped with ends of wallpaper rolls and fresh evergreen foliage. Photo and styling: Charis White Thank you
I hope that’s got you in the festive mood and given you some ideas? If you have enjoyed the blog, please don’t forget to follow and share the blog if you aren’t already – it’s the no cost present that just keeps on giving! Just press the blue ‘Follow’ button either at the beginning or end of a post to receive email alerts of future posts. With many thanks, Charis x
Panda foxed again as she fails to catch the blog Christmas Fairy! Woof.