Sunday, 24 November 2013

Christmas build up...

The Christmas momentum has already started at work, with Saturday being really busy, and we've not even hit December yet!
I have to admit Christmas is my least favourite time of year, which I know makes me sound very baa humbug, but its only because of having worked in retail for so long. I miss out on so many of the fun things, i'd love to bake goodies, and decorate the flat festively and take the time to make personal gifts. But unfortunately the season to me means major stress, very long hours and being so tired... And now stores are forced to open on boxing day too, i'm not in a fit state to enjoy the day...
This week I got the opportunity for a trip to London for a merchandising meeting.

This included a trip around the top stores to look at their windows and in-store displays, how they had tackled Christmas and to see if there were any trends.
This was a very enjoyable trip and a great insight. We started in Harrods,

and their luxurious rooms and ostentatious goods, which included a quarter of a million pound table.
Their windows were spectacular, with a locomotive steam engine in the first window, and all following ones were set up like the carriages for travelling away for the season.

Their Xmas store was a little disappointing, as in it didn't have the same luxurious feel. It was bright  and festive though.
After a stop off at the V&A museum store we just had to check out Selfridges especially the infamous window displays.

They had big over-sized objects, surrounded by miniatures, which was very effective.

Inside, their displays were very bright and fresh and clean looking.

Then it was off round Bond Street to the top end stores.

A common thread used by large departments and small individual stores was the use of technology  and using projected images, which were very effective.
Lastly we went to Fortnum & Masons. I don't think i've been there before and I was impressed and enthralled.
It felt very homely all through, and festive in a sophisticated way.

And when I entered the Christmas store it made, even me, feel the magic of the season. I oohed and aaahed my way round. It made you feel quite emotional.

The details, the colour co-ordination, the soft music, the beautiful wrapping.

All areas of the store looked inviting, they even managed to make vegetable displays look beautiful.

All in all, a very enjoyable work day....

Back at home, in between the working hours, I've continued with the mini stockings. Just a couple more I think, before then adding the little hooks and transferring them into a garland.

Also, I have started another project. This, for a change, is just for me...
I had purchased this yarn back at the Knitting and Stitch show, I couldn't resist the beautiful multi-colours.

Now that the days are getting chilly, and I certainly feel the icy winds when standing around at bus stops, I felt a cowl was definitely required.

Nothing fancy was needed, as I didn't want to detract from the colour.
So I just used double crochet and chain stitches.

I'm loving how this is looking already, so I can't wait to finish...


  1. Love the Cowl! And, thanks for the "Quickie-Store-Catalogue"! - Although, those Snowmen-esque Heads are just a tad creepy.. [just saying] -- Anyway, consider me as a Fellow-Humbugger! From Labour Day to Halloween, it's just a mad rush to get the "Craft Show" stuff DONE. Then *try* to sell the Stuff... And now, that's it's over, "Christmas" actually feels anti-climatic. Meanwhile, crappy weather is making an appearance and now I have to get back to the "Family" prep-work for Christmas... it never stops... A quiet Tropical BEACH is looking mighty tempting about now... [screw the Eggnog! I need a Mojito!]

  2. A very enjoyable tour of London. Although I live quite near I very rarely go up to town. I love the cowl wool. Lovely colours.

  3. You are beginning to make me homesick. This is my first Christmas away from London and it looks so fabulous at Christmas! Thanks for sharing the pictures :)

  4. Thank you for sharing your lovely pictures of the Christmas displays in London stores, its amazing the lengths they go to isn't it, they're probably planning next year's already! :)

    Your little stockings are going to look soooo cute hanging on a garland, i look forward to seeing it when its complete. Great that you've been making something for yourself too - you'll be needing that lovely cowl this winter according the the weather forecast! x

  5. It's lovely to see how all the different store are getting Christmassy, it sounds like you had a fabulous but very busy day.

  6. Wow I really enjoyed your trip around the stores of London. Your stocking are really cute and I love the yarn your using for your cowl. What make is it.
    Ali x