Christmas 2012: the decorations, the tree, the Christmas table and a festive tale of bullet wounds.

Sophia made some little guys as Christmas decorations. The “Noth” pole kills me.

Ee gads, it’s nearly mid January and I am still posting about Christmas.

I know it’s now a distant memory for most but I did just want to share a few things from Christmas chez twirling betty before we plunge headlong into this bright and shiny new year.

We hosted Christmas lunch this year and as well as close family this year’s other invitees (who for one reason or another were far from the rest of their own families on Christmas Day) included a Swede (the nationality not the vegetable), a Ukrainian and a helicopter pilot who after a few red wines and some goading from his mate (my brother), very casually showed us the bullet wounds he received in Nigeria during the somewhat tricky extrication of a person that other people did not want taking off in a helicopter and disappearing. So yeah, you know, just the usual festive tales. What. The. Dickens?

(I bet you’d look startled too if a giant human suddenly snuck up and snapped your photo. Yep, I totally papped that reindeer).

We had a fabulous day despite the shopping, planning and preparation nearly giving me a nervous breakdown in the weeks beforehand.

The glittering, glimmering  thumb tack-laden Christmas tree made a perfect centrepiece.

And thanks to those who inquired in the comments about my poor bruised thumbs from all that pushing in-ing. I’m pleased to report the swelling has now subsided.

I’m in a gold mood at the moment.

The little blue bowl in the next shot was a Christmas gift from my most favourite young whippersnapper. I am deeply in love with it.

In a fit of madness, I made the poinsettia table runners on Christmas eve. They are just rectangles with a very rough hem and actually didn’t take too long however as a result of squeezing that little bit of making in, I was still in my underpants and a t-shirt (as you do around your own home – you know you do) about 5 seconds before our first friends began arriving for drinks.They probably wouldn’t have batted an eyelid even if I hadn’t managed to pull on presentable pants and a shirt. Hooray for really good friends.

We put our golden Christmas poos pine cone decorations on a sideboard along with some tiny (real) cones found on a relaxing ie, kid-free weekend we snuck off for just before Christmas. The ceramic bauble is from Deruta, a little hill town famous for majolica ceramics in Umbria.

The Christmas tree went in a decidedly and somewhat embarrassingly un-twirling betty direction when I took one look at our breakable Christmas decorations and just couldn’t face another month of sucking air through my teeth in horror every time the kids went near the tree. Let alone as tiny hands and fingers tried to decorate it. I just didn’t want it to be like that for them and so, short of time (promises to decorate that night had been made), I got all this year’s decos from our large, local, soulless supermarket. Yuk. But the payoff: being able to relax and the kids having a total ball, was totally worth it.

And since a girl can’t just go entirely cold turkey, I did also end up making about 12 of the white felt baubles, one of which you can see in the shot.

She needed me to use super glue to stick his jingle hat on and, forgive me, but I couldn’t resist including this: the cutest set of instructions ever.

I do hope that all of you had a safe break and have had a fabulous start to 2012. Is it going to be a spectacular year. I can feel it in me waters.

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A homemade Christmas garland and some other decorations

I had grand plans to decorate our tree entirely with handmade decorations this year but I just ran out of time. In fact, this hasn’t  been a huge year for  handmade decorations, but we have managed a few.

We made this salt-dough star garland which I am loving so much I think it might hang around for a lot longer than just this festive season.

We simply made some salt dough, cut the star shapes and baked it until hard.

While Sophia painted the stars

Olive earnestly painted her own masterpiece and parts of herself. See our tree in the background. It’s a real 7 foot pine and it smells divine.

The final touch was to give the tails some sparkle with this gorgeous icy blue glitter.

Now I look at it, this would make an equally good 4th of July garland which, since I’m an American citizen I tend to mark, if not actually celebrate. It’s got that good old red, white and blue feel about it.

My mum made this beautiful Christmas cake for us.

She found the Father Christmas decoration at a local store. I just love the jaunty way she’s positioned his feet. But my favourite bit by far is the icing ribbon beneath him with its little silver cachous.

My mum makes at least one cake like this every year. When I was little I remember carefully lifting up the thick, red satin ribbon she had tied around the base of the cake and picking off some of the royal icing to get to the layer of almond paste below. I have always been mad for marzipan and knowing there was a rich vein of it just beneath that pristine white surface proved too tempting. I don’t recall what she did when she removed the ribbon to cut up the cake to have with afternoon tea, traditionally on boxing day, but I’m pretty sure it might have involved some “thinking time” alone in my room.

Here are a few other scenes of Christmas cheer around the twirling betty house this year.

The pinecones and mushroom are beautiful and very delicate polish glass ornaments that I couldn’t resist buying this year. Although there have been quite a few jokes about polished turds, (as opposed to Polish turds, I suppose) floating around in the vicinity of these beautiful pinecones. Yes, they’re pinecones. Not Christmas poos. Because it wouldn’t matter how shiny they were, there is not much that’s festive about Number Twos.

I hope to be back with one more quick post tonight to give you a little peek into our Christmas Eve.

Handmade Christmas decorations…almost

I wanted to show you the Christmas decorations I’ve made this year.

A sweet  yarn Christmas tree.

My little felt decorations.

And last but not least here’s my woolly wreath.  Isn’t it spectacular?

I just can’t find time to fit everything in. I simply try to do too much. But I can’t heeeeelp it (she says plaintively).  I get so excited about each new project. Me and my inability to find balance are old friends. Not good friends, but old friend nonetheless.

Anyway, achieving everything on your to-do list is sooooooo 2008.

We did manage to do the Gingerbread house, though.  More on that in the next post.

PS: Sorry about the smooshed bug’s guts ?, candle wax ?, booger? little mark behind the tree in the first one.  Our house is old and full of unidentifiable stains character.