Is it just me or does anyone else have sore eyes and tired fingers from entering all the giveaways over at SewMamaSew?!

I thought I would quickly show you a little finish. I used this great tutorial by Pinwheel Ponders to make some cute paper pieced Santa decorations:

Adorable huh?! I didn't have any little bells or pom poms (clearly I need more varied supplies!) so I used some wooden beads at the end of the hat and embroidered the eyes and nose.

Another bee block feather in the post. This lovely one is from Christiane, who also sent the cutest notecard with measuring tape!! It's now on my noticeboard, love it:

She was kind enough to include some lovely scraps, some of the backing fabric she used and a super cute decoration. Thank you so much Christiane! 

Now a bit off the sewing topic...

We've had the builders round. They repointed the brickwork at the front of the house and then they came inside to work on the fireplace. 
Try to ignore the cuteness that is my son (when he was one - nearly 4 years ago!) and look at that 'modern' fireplace on the left.

It was there when we moved in and despite some visitors saying they like it, we don't! It actually broke recently anyway, which was a good excuse to get a radiator fitted in the living room, hence no need for the fire! 
It was also a hazard, those imitation rocks (???) always seemed to fall down and we had to get that vile fire guard to protect the kids...

...which is currently being used to prevent them from trying to get up the chimney to see if Santa is coming! We decided to have the fire taken out and the fireplace opened up.

What you see is the original lintel and gentle arch that was built in the 1930s. Sadly the bricks are not in the best state (they often reused bricks at that time) so it will all be plastered over but we get to keep that lovely organic shape. The hearth will be tiled and then we can move that table and the TV into that space. We have some shelving to go next to the chimney breast so hopefully we can get some toys off the floor!

I also just have to tell you how much I have been loving the smell of soot - I think it's a weird pregnancy thing because I can't get enough. I don't want to eat it mind, I just love smelling the bricks!

The plasterer and joiner are due to come later this week so I might have a finish to show you soon!