December 8, 2016
“O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree . . .”
In lieu of a real Christmas tree this year, I’ve created a couple of hand-crafted, scrappy trees from materials at hand. I used a broken, misshapen garden trellis as the base for a rustic tree. One string of lights and a few favorite ornaments, and it transformed into a magical spot of holiday cheer.
I’ve always loved paper crafts, so I created a tree of paper snowflakes. Just cut a bunch of snowflakes of assorted sizes, stack them from large to small on a wooden dowel (I used a pencil), and top with an old earring.
December 25, 2013
“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”
— Calvin Coolidge
Just a few holiday touches at my house. Merry Christmas!
December 13, 2013
“Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home!”
— Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers
This year instead of a live tree, I decorated a rustic, weathered wooden trellis. Strung with lights, a paper star garland, and a few favorite ornaments, its A-shape resembles a real evergreen tree, don’t you think?
December 17, 2012
“It comes every year and will go on forever. And along with Christmas belong the keepsakes and the customs. Those humble, everyday things a mother clings to, and ponders, like Mary in the secret spaces of her heart.”
— Marjorie Holmes
“To perceive Christmas through its wrappings becomes more difficult with every year.”
— E. B. White
“Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas . . . perhaps . . . means a little bit more.”
— Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The largest part of my Christmas doesn’t come from a store. My keepsakes are handmade, for the most part. And yes, they are humble, like this paper cut Scandinavian horse ornament I made this year from instructions I found in Mollie Makes Christmas: Living and Loving a Handmade Holiday.
Or my traditional holiday wreath, made from rosemary sprigs from my garden. For me, simple is best.
December 6, 2012
“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”
— Charles Dickens
“I sometimes think we expect too much of Christmas Day. We try to crowd into it the long arrears of kindliness and humanity of the whole year. As for me, I like to take my Christmas a little at a time, all through the year. And thus I drift along into the holidays – let them overtake me unexpectedly – waking up some fine morning and suddenly saying to myself: ‘Why, this is Christmas Day!'”
— David Grayson
I like the idea of parceling out the special treats of the Christmas season over the entire year, but especially during these final days leading up to Christmas Day itself. I will take each Christmas-y moment as it comes, and try to attend to its unique colors, sounds, and scents.
Here are a few moments I captured with my camera at Swansons Nursery in Seattle, still early in this year’s holiday season.
December 25, 2010
Merry Christmas from my house to yours!
December 23, 2010
I found the instructions for making these folded paper star ornaments on the December 8th post of the Craftynest blog (www.craftynest.com). I love how they look and plan to make many more. Here’s how I made mine:
Using the pattern I downloaded from the Craftynest blog, I cut out 10 stars from some pretty red speckled paper I had on hand.
Then I folded each paper star in half. (After I folded them, I realized that the Craftynest instructions said to fold in half on the points. Ooops. It turned out that my mistake didn’t really matter.)
Next I stacked all 10 paper stars together and sewed down the center fold line.
Because my folds were in the gutter rather than point-to-point, I was able to just tie ribbon around my stars, covering the sewing. (At Craftynest, they sewed the ribbon on.)
When you open up the leaves of the star, it makes a beautiful symmetrical ornament.