Wednesday, 30 November 2011

In which Madame Muriel unchains herself from the bookshelf and looks forward to Advent

Another exciting week (and a bit) here in sunny Suffolk.  I went to a protest afternoon last week.  Actually it was entitled "An Afternoon of Tea and Cakes to Support our Library" so the chains were uncalled for.  The libraries in this country are all under threats due to the cost cutting exercises going on and my hostess's local branch in particular as it is small and situated in a lovely old building which needs maintenance.  The powers-that-be would much rather sell the land and make all the old ladies and young children travel miles into town to get their books.

Unfortunately for the powers-that-be the local community are rather vocal and have raised their voices (and their tea-cups) to say "No ifs, no buts, no public service cuts".  The National organisation The Women's Institute are right behind the library service with their Love You Library campaign so my hostess and her good friend Pauline arranged this afternoon of support to spread the word - Your Library Needs You.  It's such a fun campaign to join, all you need to do is join your local library and borrow books - simples (as that annoying meerkat says!).  No chains are necessary!

Here is a picture of the rather lovely building:

Isn't it wonderful?  It was such a thrill for me to meet some national treasures in the form of the WI ladies.  They are well-known for cake baking, crafts and naked calendars.  I'm not so sure about the last one but my hostess assures me it is true.  There is a musical too apparently.

We are fast approaching December and today my hostess climbed into the loft to retrieve the advent calendar.  Here I am with it:

Each day has a little book with a different story or poems on the Christmas theme.  If you click and squint you will see there are excerpts from Little Women and Wind in the Willows plus many more classic stories.

There is also this second Advent Calendar, countdown to consumerism!  This is a Lego Star Wars calendar with a Lego figure or item each day until Christmas Eve.  The larger boy does like his Lego.

He has another calendar at his Grandparents, usually on a traditional Nativity theme.  The child is "cherished" apparently.  Not "spoiled" because he is charming and not ruined at all.  But "cherished".  This is according to his doting grandparents.  Hah!  In my day you got an orange and ha-porth of nuts in your stocking.  Which was a stocking off your legs, not a felt and embroidered extravaganza with your name on it.  Hah again.

My hostess has been busy mailing out cards and prizes this week, single handedly keeping the Postal Service going.  She was delighted to hear they have started arriving and seeing her stitched cards popping up on other people's blogs is making her squeal with excitement.  Here is the card she stitched for Rachael for winning the Doll's House 100 Followers' Giveaway:

 The motif is from World of Cross Stitching magazine and is stitched on 40 count Newcastle over 1.  The coin is a 2p piece and shows the stitched area is only an inch wide.  As the Giveaway prize was the Doll's House chart my hostess wanted something small scale to send but baulked at the 48 count silk gauze this year.  Maybe next year...

And here is the card sent to Shannon, this one was stitched on 36 count over 2:

Finally my hostess asks me to remind you all that Advent starts tomorrow and her online Advent Calendar post will be visible dated 24th December so it stays on top of the blog.  There are some places left, just send my hostess an email and she will send you a date.  All you have to do is post a stitched picture of something festive on your date and maybe a Christmas custom special to your country or your family.


Christine said...

Why Madame, you are quite the militant with your protesting, but it is a most excellent cause.

The stitched cards are fabulous and I'm so glad my (17 yr old!) daughter didn't see the lego advent...

cucki said...

i can see madam is having so much fun..sweet lady she is..
i love all the stitched card so much..very sweet..
love for you..hugs xx

Anne said...

Lovely cards you made!! So talented Jo!! And I understand the advent calendar thing now.

Dani - tkdchick said...

What beautiful Christmas cards!