Saturday 10 December 2011

Getting my Christmas skates on

I am so far behind with anything Christmassy this year, I think all my energy and attention went into having a student with me over the past couple of weeks and playing catch up with my actual work and then of course all the time and energy I put into the interview for my new job. This week also saw the beginnings of the 3 Christmas dinner's I'm going to this year before the end of next week, secret Santa buying and's all too much!

I am a simple girl with plain principles, Christmas is about my joy in the birth of Jesus Christ my Saviour rather than all the extra commercial fluff. I'm not a bah humbug girl though and do indulge in getting festive and decking the halls with holly... I live with a very enthusiastic 11 year old what more can I say :0)

Do you like my first 2 photo's? I mentioned in my last post that I was going with a couple of friends to a festive florist feast last Tuesday night. I have never considered floral decorations and it was fun to see what he made, all these amazing funky decorations, wreaths and bouquets. It was fascinating for some-one like me who doesn't own an oasis! I liked the idea of digging out a space in a lemon for a tea-light candle, popping a kebab stick in the other end and then sticking it into the oasis. 

More than anything it gave me great pleasure to see that the nursery where he got all his flowers / greenery from (Lime Cross Nursery) provided fair trade Protea's the National Flower of my beautiful home country South Africa. I was especially pleased when my raffle ticket at the end was pulled out and I won the arrangement in the 2nd photo with 2 Protea's in it and shrubbery, holly and lovely berries I had plans for...

Back in the Summer a friend made me something from one of her Wisteria's she was chopping back and I have waited patiently for the festive season to arrive to use it.

Yes you have probably guessed it, I decided for the first time ever to make a Christmas Wreath for our front door. Andy wasn't too sure about this idea, I think he associates a wreath with funerals... Having grown up in sunny SA we never had a wreath and 9 times out of 10 we would be in a tent camping at Christmas doing this...

So, with this being my 15th Christmas in the UK I decided it was high time to be inspired by the wreath's around the neighbourhood and make one of my own. Alice and I got busy making this morning and this is what it turned out like.

I'm thinking it looks quite sweet especially with the fact that this has cost me the princely sum of £2.75 to make. 

 Do you like my little ric-rac soldier boy? I found him for 10p in a Charity Shop and the ric rac my lovely mum sent to me from SA. The ivy leaves and berries here are pretend ones that I picked up at a craft fair for 50p. I've never bought pretend leaves and berries before and used to be such a snob about these but age has chilled me out somewhat, thank goodness!

Three sparkly baubles 10p in a Charity shop were sewn onto the red ribbon which was the most expensive being £1.70 from a local haberdashery shop.

As you can see I used bits and bobs from the floral arrangement I won and hope these stay healthy/green until Christmas day. I think if we have crazy windy rainy weather like we did on Thursday I will have to bring it in. 

Andy seems to have changed his mind which I'm pleased with and hopefully this can say Merry Christmas to all passer's by from us in our wee house. 

I must also say a sweet thank you to Helen from Handbags by Helen for her lovely Christmas Charity Swap I received in the post at the end of the week. The idea came from Lakota and her great blog 
Faith Hope and Charity Shopping. Thanks so much Lakota for organising this, good fun having a little gifts come through the pos before Christmas. Poor Helen is having to put up with my inefficiency and is only going to receive my parcel on Monday. Thanks for being so patient Helen! We have had great fun making the paper chains and squeezing the cheeky monkey's tummy xox

Other than that our beautiful Alice has been eager beaver in putting up her pink Woolworths tree we bought for her about 5 years ago. Poor child is desperate for us to get our home tree up... hopefully this week or next weekend.

I did however make some more festive decorating attempts last night with my twiggy tree I use for Christmas and Easter and it felt good and cosy to put together.

I hope you are having fun making / putting up your decorations this festive season. Sending you warm wishes this chilly weekend and cool breezes if you are having beautiful hot sunnyshine weather xox


  1. Love your wreath Penelope , the 2 of you did a brilliant job !! I'm also loving the toilet roll Rudolph :0) He's very sweet .
    Jacquie x

  2. I'm a BIG fan of wreaths for Christmas, yours has come out brilliantly. I'd attempt to make a live greenery one if I could find any holly (although your fake stuff looks pretty good, I'm still fussy) although I have got a bauble one I made and a paper one which come out every year.

    Glad you enjoyed the swap - I only just sent my parcel off on Friday so don't worry!

  3. Your wreath is wonderful, the wee solider really finishes it off nicely :)

  4. I love those proteas - made me feel just a bit homesick (just a bit) for a few seconds. And I had to laugh at your beach Christmas photo - aren't SA Christmases just the cat's whiskers? Eating a full on roast lunch til you are stuffed then flopping down next to a swimming pool and alternately snoozing in the sun and rolling into the water to cool down! Our family always had Boxing Day at the beach. Lovely. Miss that.

    Your wreath is very pretty - mine, that I made last year - is pathetic. Must try and jazz it up a bit. And your twiggy tree is fab. That robin looks right at home.

  5. Thanks, the cool breezes came through- much appreciated! :)
    your wreath is super cute and I love all those floral arrangements, in particular the lemon candle!!

  6. ¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨. *
    ¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨ **
    ****o***♥**o***o***♥ *

    todo lindo!

  7. The wreath is lovely, well done you, pretty and thrifty :D

    You may feel as if you need to get your skates on, but compared to me you're going great guns ... so far we have one sprig of knitted mistletoe hanging from a twiggy wreath on the chimney breast. Which is half the decking of halls it sounds as the wreath lives there all year and I merely change the ribbon bow with the passing seasons (or I'm supposed to, it's still wearing it's summer attire!).

  8. A wreath - that's what I need to do today.

    Thanks for the reminder - best get 'my' skates on.

    Nina x

  9. Loving your wreath Penelope! I can relate to a hot sunny christmas at the beach, that is what we are doing this year, and most years really! Isn't it funny that even though we Southern Hemisphere dwellers never have snow at Christmas, "white christmasses" are the norm rather than bikinis and jandals and BBQs! 15 years in the UK, wowee, you are well used to it by now!
    Have an ace week XXX

  10. What a wonderful Christmasy post. Your photos are so clear......xx

  11. Gosh you are really into the Christmas spirit now. Beautiful prize you won and your front door wreath is beautiful. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  12. Wow! It's all looking beautifully festive. I love your wreath. I've been sooo busy I bought one at the farmers market but it's so heavy I can't hang it on the door! How lovely that you won an arrangement with Proteas, they are such an amazing flower.
    I'm trying hard to catch up, off to the kitchen to make sausage rolls now! Lots of love,
    Penny xxx

  13. I adore your naturally beautiful decorations, you have put them together so prettily. Thank you for all the lovely ideas.

  14. Doh, may have just deleted my last message - or you may get this twice - who knows?
    Just wanted to let you know my parcel has arrived - fab wrapping idea! We're off to Scotland for Christmas on Wednesday so i'm taking it with me! Am looking forward to blogging about it in the NY. Have a lovely festive time.