Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A little bit of magic

It is a sad truth that when in Florida I have at some point, needed a little pick me up expedition. Holly Golightly may have thought that nothing very bad could happen to you at Tiffany's but in Orlando, nothing sad can happen to you at Disney.

My favourite part is the Boardwalk - it's usually a lot quieter than Downtown Disney as it has fewer shops and instead it's a wonderful promenade around the lake in a very New England style. If I ever go back I'm determined that we should stay at the Boardwalk, and not just for the hot tub in a pirate ship wreck!

This is the view from the far side all lit up for the evening:
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And we watched the fireworks from Epcot from the bridge and the pedaling piano played wonderful jazz.
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The boardwalk also plays host to a couple of sideshow magicians who, because this is Disney, are fantastic. It's not just the way that they do the tricks, it's the banter and showmanship that go with it. We turned up to one just as a ten year old had volunteered to help out with a multiplying bunny rabbit trick, but the star of the show was her little sister - all blond curls and blue eyes, aged maybe 3 or 4.

She sat with the other children on the deck in front of us and as the showman started his patter a little voice broke in:

"That's my sister!" and a little while later, "I've got a monkey. Look at my monkey, I'm going to give it to my Dad!" and she got up to show it to the magician. Without pausing he looked at her, admired the monkey and delivered the immortal line:

"You just haven't had enough sugar today have you sweetheart!"

All was calm until the next trick where our magician explained that the new volunteer would have to jump from the fourth story window and be caught by another eight year old. He explained how if it went wrong his hapless assistant's insides would be outside, her arms and legs would be broken, the full blood and guts patter. And with a truly horrified expression our little blond friend hurriedly stood up and scuttled away from the point at which he was indicating, exclaiming:

"Well, I don't wanna see that!"

You couldn't make it up.

My second favourite Disney place is the golf course - not the big proper golf courses, but that classic staple of an Englishman's holiday - mini golf.
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We seem to have a habit of playing mini golf at night so I have very few photos of the courses themselves but this holiday we played WinterSummerland (the summer side):

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Fantasia - which has wonderful music and a spooky cavern; and where both H and Beth lost their golf balls in the water features on more than one occasion!

And the winter side of WinterSummerland on our last afternoon. And it was here that my finest hour occurred. For a brief moment (Saturday 6 December 2008), I was on the leader board:

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Ousting Tim of Wisconsin who had entered his score of 38 only moments before. Sorry Tim.

My memorial trophy was chosen and awarded by H:

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Apparently he was struck by the resemblance to me on a real golf course!

In Christmas news, I have finished my advent calendar:

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What do you mean "But Carie, it's December 16th" (or at least it was the day I finished it). Finished is finished and H has had great fun catching up on the days. We will gloss over the fact that I bought this panel in March (or possibly February) and concentrate instead on the need for the perfect backing fabric:

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I got this in Walmart in Florida and I love it unreservedly. I mean, what's not to like:

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The panel itself came with cut out pockets to sew on, with box pleats between the pockets in the lines running across the tree. To finish it I cut batting and the backing fabric to roughly the same shape and put them in a sandwich of front and back facing each other and batting on the back. Once I had sewed around the edges (all bar a little turning space) using my walking foot, I cropped the edges and the corners and turned the whole thing the right way out and slip stitched the turning closed.

It has very minimal quilting, just around the outer border and the two trees for stability in a wonderful red-green variegated thread so that you can see the Christmas tree shape on the back.

The hanging loops were not part of the pattern and were simply two tubes of stash fabric with a vaguely Christmassy theme folded in half lengthways and pinned into the top edge before sewing. The only tricky thing is remembering to get the loops on the inside of the seam so that the end up on the outside of the calendar.

All in all I consider this a most successful make, even if we haven't quite worked out where or how to hang it up!


  1. I have a similar panel I bought from John Lewis a while ago, mine is a shop scene. We have cheap and nasty wooden panel doors so fasten it with drawing pins to the door to the understairs cupboard. The only thing I do wrong (every year) is to put it away with the decorations so it's never down from the loft in time to go up.

    Congratulations on the golf by the way, who would have thought?

  2. I love your advent calendar. Very pretty.


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