Happy Yule everyone - it's starts getting lighter from now on. 'Tis the season to be jolly.... and we jolly well were last night! V hosted Christmas drinks with a few nearest and dearest. We had a few glasses of wine, Christmas crackers and nibbles, while Mr. Middle B took control of the music situation. This soon descended into anarchy that involved a lot more wine and some ridiculous dancing. The lads left at about 1am ('Have all the heterosexual men gone home?!') at which point the really cheesy tunes came on - cue much more drunken singing to Celine Dion and Mariah Carey and a lot more silly dancing and general drunkenness. I got to bed about 3.30am - thank goodness it was my last day at work.
This morning, on less than 5 hours sleep (and, dare I say it, a mild hangover), Middle B and I met up to go into London for our Christmas-before-Christmas. We were trying to get to the Icecreamists for ice cream and cocktails (and maybe ice cream cocktails) but we walked around Covent Garden a few times, checked the website and facebook (oh the joys of smart phones) and tried to find it but alas! it was nowhere to be found! We were quite disappointed. We did find a giant reindeer though, so all was not lost.
We did a bit of Christmas shopping (in one of the shops one of the workers was leaving her job so we got caught in a shopwide sing-along, in another an elderly lady helped me when I couldn't decide on a present for Fairy Princess Daddy) and then went off to find The Primrose Bakery. We are slowly working our way through Tea and Cake London. The bakery is tiny so we had a light lunch in a near by cafe and saved our cupcakes for later. (One was Christmas cake and the other was cinnamon. Yum!)
We looked at the paper shop, the Moomin shop and the market through the day and I got pretty wet dashing in and out of shops. Both of us were feeling pretty slow, we had to take our time and let people dodge around us. We also popped into a very large travel bookshop (oh bliss! oh joy!) and I managed not to buy anything (If I had started I don't think I'd have stopped. I did write down a few titles to hunt down at a later date). We had a wander to Leicester Square and went for coffee in a really teeny cafe (the baristas kept having little play fights behind the counter) and exchanged presents.
I made Middle B a dress, a Butterick 3513 (from the 90s I think...). This is the basic design but I added a belt and pockets later. I only got the fabric through from Spoonflower the other day so it was a tight squeeze but I managed to get it all done in time. I reckon all in all it took about 15 hours maybe (that includes messing up the zip and having to do it again!). So Middle B has the slightly dubious accolade of having the first ever dress I have made all on my own with no outside assistance!
I made some pockets with the help of this tutorial from A Fashionable Stitch
And yes, that is willow pattern fabric! Really! I will put up more photos of Middle B in the dress when I have them. The strip at the bottom is the design that you get round the rim of willow pattern china plates. I suggested that I make her a little bobble hat or a fascinator and then she could dress up as a tea pot for Halloween. She suggested she wear a knitted cardie as well and then it would look like a tea cosy. Genius!
Middle B's present was absolutely awesome: she has signed us both up to participate in The Ampersand Project - we both have a little canvas to make an art work about ampersands or the concept of 'and'. We need to have it arrive to New York by 15th Feb so we have time to think and potter and figure out what we both feel like doing. The idea is that we all paint a canvas, send it off to be exhibited and then when the exhibition is over we each get someone else's piece of art. The art will be digitised so we'll be able to view everyone else's pieces even if we can't make it to the exhibit in person. It is an utterly wonderful Christmas present for many reasons - we both get to create things, we will most likely hang out together while creating them and it is all based around ampersands which are my favourite punctuation mark. I'm really looking forward to this project!
We ate our cupcakes in St. Pancras station waiting for the train to take us home, we were tired but happy. It's been a lovely couple of days. It really is looking a lot like Christmas now.