Tag Archives: Christmas

A Very Cowley Christmas with Cowley Manor

christmas tree image

cowleymanor_full_logo_rev-5One of the signs that Christmas is around the corner is the annual charity fashion and shopping event held in November at the fabulous Cowley Manor near Cheltenham.


This year the event is being held on Wednesday 25th November 2015 from 6pm – Midnight when the whole of Cowley Manor is transformed into a boutique shopping venue with each of the hotel bedrooms being taken over by various sellers and businesses.

Garden Room 2

Showcasing …

We have a cosy feel to the show this year with luxurious silks and sumptuous knits and a decadent food hall filled with gourmet delights, from wine tasting and artisan chocolate to cocktail masterclasses and much more.  Perfume counters, antique fine jewellery and inspired beauty sparkle are sure to get everyone in the spirit of things, alongside gorgeous Christmas wrap, crackers and floristry… there’s really no place like A Very Cowley Christmas!





Not only is this is a great chance to do a spot of Christmas shopping and catch up with friends but it is also one of the few chances you can have to wander around this amazing hotel and if you are anything like me, enjoy having a nose around some of the finest hotel rooms in the Cotswolds!

Exceptional Room Best Room (2)

This year the charity that is being supported is Winston’s Wish the leading child bereavement charity in the UK which was founded in Gloucestershire in 1992.


General admission tickets are £5 in advance or £7.50 on the door, with all proceeds donated to Winston’s Wish Children’s Bereavement Charity.

Tickets to ‘A Fashionably Late Feast’ at 10pm with 3 courses and a fashion show – £45 per person.

To book, email tickets@cowleymanor.com or call +44 (0)1242 870 900.

Information and images courtesy of Silver Ball PR

Christmas arrives at our cottage

I love Christmas, or rather I love Christmas decorations and getting the house feeling all ‘Christmassy’. This is our first Christmas in this cottage and not living above the pub, so I am really excited as now have the room to do all the ideas I have been pinning away on Pintrest!  Our Christmas celebrations were kicked off this year by a Celebration of Christmas Festival held in our village with lots of craft stalls, carol singers, mulled wine and Father Christmas (aka my husband) arriving on the back of a game cart!!! One of my friends and I had a stall selling wreaths she had made and I had been busy making candles and soap. We were bowled over by how popular our crafts were and it was definitely something I plan to do again soon.

Crafts in Lower Swell

Since then I have become a little obsessed with wreaths and have made a few for the house since the obsession started. I bought a Pom Pom maker and have been frantically wrapping wool after seeing some great Pom Pom ideas on Pintrest.


  Pom Poms on a wreath    stars on wooden wreath    DSC_0020

I also made the stars to go on the wooden wreath from air hardening clay in white. There were a few trials at this but I was really pleased with my final effort.

I also found these bargain folksy style decorations in Wilkinson’s last week which I hung on the mantelpiece in our dining room and combined them with the red paper star lights we already had. They really reminded me of Hungarian Folk Art that was in my

great-grandmother’s house when we were growing up.

red stars

Finally our tree! I was really strict about all our decorations being red/white based on there this year, but luckily most of our existing decorations were already red or white so it wasn’t too hard. I also put a lot of the clay stars I made onto raffia string in red and hung them all over the tree. Also if you look closely you may just see my star garland that I posted about a few weeks ago.

Me add three

Easy & Simple Christmas Garland

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It’s been a busy week here with Christmas preparations. I have spent far too much time on Pintrest creating a board full of lovely Christmas décor ideas.


I have been getting G’s nativity costume together which I will post about later but in the meantime I thought I would share this really easy idea for a Christmas garland. Personally I am not a fan of tinsel on trees and have been trying to think of an alternative. After seeing this great little gadget on Amazon I came up with the following idea.

Using an old paperback (I am a sucker for buying second hand books from charity shops that I flick through then sit on a shelf for ages – so had plenty lying around!) rip out the pages and for ease I cut them in half. Simply grab your star punch/cutter and start punching away. Create yourself a healthy looking pile of paper stars.

PicMonkey Collage1

Now the therapeutic part begins. I like this bit best as you can sit and do this whilst watching tv. (I sat and did one whilst G was having his supper one evening and we had a great chat about Christmas) Grab some cotton thread, I used red as I had lots and felt it was a festive shade that looked nice with the paper. DON’T cut the thread, keep it on the reel but thread your needle and start threading the stars onto the thread. I found that by not cutting the thread you can decide how long or short you want your garland once you are in the swing of threading the stars on.

PicMonkey Collage2

How you group your stars is up to you. I played around a bit with them, you could have them really packed tight, although this looks effective I decided life was too short to go for this look! I have opted for spreading out the stars a bit so you can see the shape and outline of the star to full effect.

PicMonkey Collage3

To finish off I pushed the stars together and then wound the thread around a piece of card to avoid knots and tangles and when I am ready to use the garland I will just spread the stars back out along the thread and the idea is to use them instead of tinsel on our tree. There are lots of ways you could use these and although a little time consuming a really cheap way to personalise your decorations this year.

Me add three

I have added this post onto The Christmas Countdown from Me Add Three, pop over to see some other great Christmas ideas!

Getting Ready for Christmas

getting ready for Christmas is as much fun for me as the day itself. As I start my new job in January I have a bit more time on my hands and have decided to get a bit more crafty this year having been inspired by some of the really get craft blogs out there and my Pintrest obsession. Also our village is holding a Festival of Christmas Celebration at the end of November and I signed up to a stall with one of my VERY creative besties so I had a goal too. If you are local to the Cotswolds it will be a great event and a very festive way to kick off your Christmas celebrations.


I wanted to create something that was not expensive to make or purchase that people would really like to buy and came up with soaps and candles. I researched soap making and bought one of the fab Kirstie Allsopp kits from Hobbycraft as this wasn’t a craft I was familiar with.


After one batch I was hooked and have had to really curb my making efforts so I am not left with hundreds of unused soaps. I have also made some candles with Christmas-sy scented oils in tins and the lovely type you see in elegant old china cups that you see going for a fortune all over the place. Fingers crossed these all sell otherwise my gift giving this year will end up with my Dad receiving rose-scented soaps!


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I also bought myself a set of Pom Pom makers which I have had great fun with after seeing some great ideas on Pintrest.

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Making Pom Poms has become a type of therapy and luckily I have discovered a great way to use them up. I have attempted to make the fairy garland as a gift for a friend’s daughter.  After purchasing a wreath for £2.99 from B & M Homestore I used these Pintrest images as inspiration and ta dah I was pretty please with my efforts. What do you think?


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