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It’s really only about four weeks to go until Christmas!  I love Christmas, love the idea of it, love the traditions, love the thought of sharing it with a child old enough to appreciate the magic of it.  But like many people, I find it can be a daunting and stressful time, and alot of build-up to a bit of an anti-climax.  I find it’s really necessary to work hard enough at Christmas to keep the dream alive, but not so hard that it’s no fun.

So a pre-emptive strike is in order. 

First, the cards:  ideally quirkily handmade incorporating children’s artwork, yet still stylish, and enclosing a photo of the children ….. well, not this year.  I designed them online with the only decent cute photo featuring all three children and had them delivered.  They’re not too bad, and probably more economical than making a card and having photos printed to enclose.  And the relatives will love them.

Next, the wrapping paper.  I had bought up a few rolls of brown paper in the past when I’d seen it reduced, and decided that printing shapes on it would be a good activity for Rex and I.  I just used children’s acrylic paint and kitchen sponges cut into star and triangle shapes to stamp with.  It worked well, as you could get several impressions with one paint-covered sponge, and Rex really enjoyed it. (He was singing “I like yellow” as he stamped!).  We printed a whole roll in red, yellow,orange and browny colours.  I thought some dyed raffia would be good to trim the parcels, but I think I may try and use up all the red and yellow ribbon I have saved up to recycle in my overflowing ribbon box.  Though I really love Ali’s wrapping and link to these!

Of course, gifts are required.  Lists were made and there has been a bit of online shopping, mainly books and kid’s things, and of course the odd gift for me too….   It’s now necessary to not only provide gifts for three children, but also gifts from them to each other.  And Santa gifts, and creche Santa gifts …    I think that there will not be much in the way of hand-made gifts, too hard this year.  Except for another Shetland Triangle for my Mum.

Decorations.  Well, a case of make-do with what we have, with the addition of replacing non-functional fairy lights.  Last year, as illustrated rather poorly below, we made these, and may do so again (yellows again being the suggested colourway).  Though I am sorely tempted to make these, and these.  Crochet or knitted decorations really appeal to me.

And then there will be food, but as I’m not hosting any major meals, this can be kept simple, and thought about at a later date. 

Hope you get the chance to enjoy your festive preparations…

For more Hot and Not guidance, visit Loobylu

poppies collage

HOT   NOT
     
The weather   The weather (too hot)
     
Poppies for remembrance   To be totally obvious (but it goes with the poppies), War
     
Fresh peaches on my muesli and yoghurt, and breakfast outside in the cool of the morning   Not managing to buy a house on the weekend (sob)
     
Slipping back into work without too much drama.  Sadly, it’s like I’ve never been away in some ways.   Getting up at 6.30.  Driving in heavy traffic for an hour to get to work.
     
Getting a babysitter, leaving the house without children, eating Indian food and seeing a movie!   The children, unused to it, don’t like us getting a babysitter and leaving the house.  (But they survived)
     
If this keeps up, dinner here is on the cards!   Our good friends moving back to Sydney in a few weeks … sob
     
Thinking about Christmas and doing a bit of on-line shopping for gifts, and planning crafty activities   Thinking about Christmas … only how many days away?
     
Home-made icy poles, strawberries and watermelon   A proper breakfast (as far as young R is concerned)

buzz 001a

Also really hot is the garage (literally), and drawing on the ground, and of course, Buzz Lightyear.

spring 013a

I seem to be thinking of things to blog about faster than I can make time to blog, so there is a bit of a backlog of the trivial stuff of my life to share.

Some lovely gifts – well, I bought the dragonfly hair/shawl pins myself from Etsy.  I’ve found it hard to find shawl pins I like, and not being a button person, I’m keen on using them to fasten cardigans as well as shawls.  These are a good length (most hair sticks are too long generally to use as shawl pins), and will work with chunkier or holier knits.  As they are horn, they are nice and light.

The fabulous cuff is a gift from a friend just returned from New York, and is made from a vinyl record!  It’s by this maker and I love it, it fits so well.  Mr. Foxy wants to try a pin and paper cone to find out what record it was!

And I was lucky to receive more goodies from the Bendigo Woollen Mills Users Group Op Shop swap.  Despite moving house at the time, Kylie managed some great op shop finds.  The Bendigo yarn is a 4ply cotton in a lovely colour I’m unfamiliar with, orchid.  The vintage pillow cases will make great dresses for the girls. 

spring 001a

Most exciting of all for me are the vintage patterns.  A fabulous 1950’s New Idea knitting special and a rare 1940’s pattern book.  I especially love these patterns.  Thanks Kylie!

40s collage

In knitting news I did finish the Shetland Triangle shawl in time for my aunt’s 80th birthday party (a preview features on my new header), and I have just started on a project for the girls, but I’ll save these for another post …

party1 collage

On the weekend we had an afternoon tea party for the twins.  We delighted in sunshine, smiles, friends, bubbles, giggles, nibbles, chatter, cake and more cake.   And cruel and unusual treatment of 12 inch fashion dolls.

party2 collage

(Thanks, Michelle, for taking the doll/cake massacre photo!)

Flickr Favorites

Grandma Twinkle Garland

Grandma Bunting

standing ovation



pears green

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