BLOG: BRING ON CHRISTMAS... OH THE NOSTALGIA
It’s time – the Christmas music is turned up loud (first choice is always Mantovani Christmas), I’ve lugged the decorations out of storage and today’s the day; the tree(s) are going up. I just love Christmas and while I don’t have masses of outdoor decorations inside our house at Christmas time it looks like a Christmas ‘bomb’ has hit.
I get a thrill each year unpacking decorations that I’ve collected carefully over the years - and I have some beautiful ones, including the gorgeous Caroline Mitchell ones that we sell, but the decorations I love the most are the ones family have made – I have salt dough angels and Santas that my sisters created years ago ( I carefully pack them away with lots of silica gel sachets every year).
One of those sisters also made two rather voluptuous ladies in their Christmas fancies which make me smile every time I unpack them because they’re over the top poor taste. Cherished by me is a salt dough angel my nephew made a long time ago for his mother - she wouldn't put it on her tree so I gave it a home - every year it get a favoured spot on the tree. Another treasure is a ‘singing’ angel made by one of my girls when she was little and a gold glittered cross made from bread tags, also made by one of our kids quite a while ago. How cute (and old) is the little gold pine cone on its fraying bias hanger.
I have others decorations the kids have made when they were young and they’re super precious as are decorations made for them by important people in their life (the little felt mice for example) – all have become an part of the fabric that makes up Christmas for our family.
And we are always keen to make new memories. Last year my youngest daughter and I found a recipe on Pinterest for ‘Porcelain Dough’. Into the kitchen - we made the dough (not as plain sailing as made out in the recipe), cut out heart and star shapes, stamped names and decorative bits on them for all the family and baked them – they are kind of cool.
Just this year one of my creative sisters made me a decorative tree and because it’s so gorgeous and relatively easy to put together I’m going to tell you how she made it, though it is probably self evident from the photograph
For my tree she used left over decking timber that was approximately 9 cm wide and 3 cm deep. Following is what she did.
- Cut 11 lengths of timber in graduating sizes. The largest is 36 cm long, the next 3 cm shorter, the one following that 3 cm shorter again and so on until all 11 pieces are cut – the 11th piece measures 6cm wide.
- Cut another scrap of wood for the trunk of the tree – the one on mine measures 13 cm long x 5 cm high x 7 cm deep.
- Nail the tree together using long galvanised nails in areas where the ascending layer will cover the nail heads.
- Paint a wash of colour over the wood with whatever colour you want for the overall look. Mine is washed with white. Others she made for my two other sisters are washed red and green respectively. Let the paint dry.
- Smudge and rub black on edges and wash a bit along the length of each piece of timber. While the black paint is out paint a wash of black over the ‘trunk’ of the tree. Let dry.
- Using a packet of coordinating scrap-booking paper in your chosen colour cut out 11 strips of paper to paste along the front of each piece joining the paper if necessary. Make the paper strips the same depth of each piece of wood but 1 cm shorter each end lengthwise. Glue to wood using PVA glue.
- Find a generous length of beautiful Christmas ribbon that has wired edges so you can shape it.
- Tie around the tree making a double bow at the top and leaving long ends trailing. Pull the bows into a nice shape and curls the ends.
- And you’re done – place somewhere you can appreciate it and where it won’t damage anything if it topples because mine is heavy.
For some more creative inspiration from that clever sister she also embellishes letters like ‘Noel’ etc - this one below ‘Xmas’ is on her mantlepiece. So get out the paint and the glitter and the ribbon and start making some lovely Christmas pieces to charm you in the years to come.