Tag Archives: Christmas decoration

why I might stick to fabric


Our hand-built pots and handmade Christmas decorations: Youngest Aunt’s nicely embellished efforts on the left; my plain ones on the right. I think I’ll end up with good colour depth on my purple stars 🙂

Youngest Aunt and I recently attended a pottery workshop, which was enormous fun. It was also utterly demoralising to have youngsters throwing pots as if they’d been at it for years while we struggled. In our defence, it was a first for both of us, whereas some of the youngsters had previous experience. And sometimes, one of the advantages of youth is that it is fearless: mistakes don’t matter, because clay is malleable. Youngest Aunt and I were probably trying to get it right first time because, well, we’re aware that life doesn’t always give you second chances. You could say – and there’s no pun intended – that we are more set in our ways. I would also contend that neither of us is totally inflexible.

We hand-built a pot apiece and made some Christmas decorations. We also tried our hand at throwing a pot on the wheel. I appreciate that a greater level of experience would improve the overall artistic experience, but at this stage my reaction is that I’d be better off sticking with fabric. The pots are still at the pottery because, although firing was included in the cost of the workshop, that couldn’t all be done on the same day. We will have our masterpieces in time for them to provide a Christmas giggle. And, you know, for my purple stars to be given a spot on our tree.

May all your decorations have good colour depth, too, whether they’re fabric or clay 🙂

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Posted by on December 14, 2019 in Health


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if that’s what it takes


Coffee will keep you going!

In the large office where I work, folk occasionally decide they just can’t be bothered coming to work. While I genuinely appreciate the necessity for mental health days, which is how I’d describe that sort of leave, and I would like to have that luxury, I doubt if such an attitude is in my DNA. More importantly, it’s the sort of behaviour that would swiftly relegate us to the poorhouse.

So there’s one distinct downside to the present day gig economy: while being told at every turn to look after our mental health, increasing numbers of us are in precarious employment, which means that many of us frequently turn up to work when perhaps we shouldn’t. And sometimes, it simply means that too few of us carry far too much workload because, well, the work still has to meet deadlines. Yeah, right.

You will, I am sure, appreciate why I described a recent whole-of-staff wellbeing day as a deeply cynical exercise. The best wellbeing gesture might be to give everyone the day off on full pay, or to make all those contract positions permanent: you know, to treat your staff as if you really valued them and wanted to look after them. It won’t happen, I know. And people voted for this government!

In any case, I turned over the calendar this morning. It’s now December; officially silly season. Our family is already so overwhelmed by conflicting engagements that we’ve decided we may have to send Dr B to represent us at one cultural event, because YoungB and I will be at other – separate – events. Having a lifestyle takes a lot of effort. Right?!

As to getting in the spirit more broadly, well… Is there a tree? Yeah, nah. Advent calendar? Yeah, nah, and that’s been the case since the new, larger TV was installed, because it’s so low that there’s now nowhere to hang the calendar. Door wreath? Uuh, that would also be a no.

Will those things happen? Some of them might. It’s a pity the Advent calendar no longer works, because that was something easy and instantly festive. I will drag out the door wreath and tree, and slowly prepare some festive bits and pieces. Eldest Aunt is the one most likely to grizzle about their absence, and she will once again join us for Christmas. You can see why that calls for more effort than I might usually make: whinging adults are enough to sour anyone’s seasonal cheer!

But there’s always coffee to keep things in perspective. Photo is a macchiato – just one of several, I admit – downed during a long catch-up with cousins in town yesterday. We had a thoroughly enjoyable few hours, reminiscing and forward-planning at about the same rate as food and coffees went down.

May your days be filled with similarly good beverages 🙂

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Posted by on December 1, 2019 in Musing


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maybe just another?


Forever trumpeting above the rushing crowds

Teamwork makes the dream work. Sharing is caring. We speak in platitudes to improve our attitudes. Click, drag, drop; do it till YOU drop.

Yeah, nah. It’s just been busy beyond belief and, like most workplaces these days, we have few full-timers. Throw in the occasional day of anyone away on sick leave and you begin to see that the last-thing-on-Friday hysterics are, well, not so much hysterical as the new normal.

But up there on their parapet, the trumpeters are silently celebrating. Let the braying begin 🙂


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Posted by on November 16, 2019 in Health


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an old FO

Some readers might recall that I made bunting for Middle Aunt and Uncle’s Christmas present in 2011. Due to technical problems and because I hadn’t photographed it in action prior to sending it off to its recipients, I only blogged about it referentially. Here’s a photo of some of it in action in 2012.

Helping to decorate Middle Aunt's outdoor eating area

Helping to decorate Middle Aunt’s outdoor eating area

I made 48 such flags – two string of 24 each – and they’re double-sided, so that whichever way you hang them, there’s a pattern. The bias tape I used to connect them was made from some old fabric I’d had lying around for quite a while (and from which I’d made boardies for YoungB when he was at primary school). I used Colette Patterns’ tutorial for making continuous bias.

I made a string of these for Eldest Nephew as well, though his used different fabric and I made the mistake of choosing one fabric with a one-way design. I used it both ways, anyway, and made sure that the direction alternated so that it looked deliberate. Well, it was! He hasn’t complained. (Maybe he’s too scared to do so but in reality, I doubt if he’s even noticed.)

Right, well, back to current crafting. Yeah, not much progress on any of that! But I’m sure there will be eventually. I hope you’re managing to churn out project after project.

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Posted by on January 6, 2013 in Sewing


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apparently that was the weekend

Last week was, as you might expect at this time of year, busy with a lot of hearings (quick, must get it done before Christmas) and home has been a bit nuts too. I did, however, make a point of heading down to Vic Sq one lunchtime to check out the yarn bombing. Here’s a link to the City of Adelaide’s Facebook album. No, you can’t see anything of mine in any of the photos but that doesn’t matter. I found my items and they fitted right in with everyone else’s.

WordPress and I are having a bit of a stand-off about photos at present. Mostly I can’t get them to work. Sorry, about that, I’ll keep trying. But in the meantime, that link will show you VR all decked out in special Christmas finery, of which I’m sure she’d approve.

Sunday afternoon when I went out, I found my self thinking (for the first time this season, despite some warm temperatures early) that summer has finally arrived. Given that, I was pleased to have spent a few hours putting away my winter woolies. That required making some new lavender bags. They weren’t fancy, merely a handful of mix tossed into old stockings I’d cut up. I did, however, make a real one for YoungB’s undies drawer because I was well overdue to replace several I’d borrowed.

The annual Toy Run took place on Sunday too, so Dr B and YoungB headed out on their motorbikes for that. Because I then had the house to myself for a while I was able to decorate our Christmas tree. I’m not much good at it, to be quite truthful. I couldn’t honestly say I don’t have an artistic bone in my body because if that were so, I’d never have been much chop as a performer. Simply, my artistry and creativity don’t extend to decorations.

Dr B complimented me for the tree. His take on it is that, if he were in charge, there’d be no tree because he wouldn’t get around to it (not necessarily because he’s closely related to Ebenezer Scrooge). It’s been a decorative couple of weeks, you might say, and I’m now getting a bit desperate about the amount of work I want to get done before all the guests start arriving. Help! Are you having the same dilemmas or are you just one of those really, really organised people? Whichever you consider yourself, good luck with getting all the festive season stuff completed in time.

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Posted by on December 11, 2012 in Crochet, Knitting, Sewing


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no such thing as too many roses

I crocheted roses over the weekend, to throw onto a wreath intended to replace the old tinsel-wrapped wire coathanger that’s been our front-door decoration for many Christmases. I can’t remember when I first encountered this wonderful tutorial – but it was some time ago, possibly the first year Esther shared it on her blog – and was utterly enchanted by the notion of doing something similar. I’m sure you’ve realised by now that I tend to take ideas and run with them. The results aren’t always brilliant but I think my version of this has turned out quite nicely. I’d intended to make it larger than it is but the larger foam rings had sold out, so a little one had to do; and it does do quite a good job, don’t you think?

IRL the colours are warmer

IRL the colours are warmer

I did a fair bit of tweaking and about three complete remakes in terms of placement (I pinned everything in place before deciding on final placement). I asked Dr B to judge whether the colour balance was right – after all, he’s the only one in the family not afflicted by acritochromacy – and I checked it with YoungB as well because he has a better eye for balance than I have. They both liked it and when I eventually hung it on the door, Dr B was kind enough to say that it looked very nice. (He also agreed that it was a vast improvement on the coathanger.) And why didn’t I use any leaves? I can crochet well enough to manage their complexity, but they are more time consuming than roses. Time being in short supply, and green yarn being in even shorter supply, surprisingly enough, I decided that I’d use just roses. So that’s what I did, used a lot of roses, varying in colour and size (depending on what yarn I could find in my leftovers basket). I should have wrapped my foam ring with another layer of yarn, but it’s passable as it is because the yarn is thick.

So that’s one bit of Christmas crafting done and life seems to be throwing obstacles in the way of other achievement. What gets done gets done and what doesn’t means buying a box of special seeds or nice teabags, I think! How are you going with your Christmas crafting?


Posted by on December 3, 2012 in Crochet


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