Come visit with me as I stitch and craft my way from one Christmas to the next - I like to have Christmas projects close by me all year. I have a particular fondness for Santas and Angels. If you have the time, leave a comment so I know you've visited.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Here are the last of the downstairs pics

My house has a slightly odd layout.  The entry is on the middle level of the house.  From the entry, you go down to the loungreoom, study and laundry.  This year I have decrated the stairs with trees and a few other bits and pieces. It's really hard to get a good shot of the stairs.  This was the best I could do.


 The Santa is a rescue-Santa.  I found him in a very dirty condition at a garage sale.  He used to sit on the bar of a club, till the bartender got sick of his antics (he laughs vigorously and says 'Merry Christmas' or 'Happy New Year' when the button on his feet is pressed).  So I bought him home, gave him and his clothes a good wash, and found him a spot in my Christmas house.

Here are some of my reindeers (another accidental collection):

At the bottom of the stairs

and at the top (entry level)

And here are my baskets of take-home gifts for Christmas visitors.  Children choose from the basket on the stool, and also get a Christmas cracker; adults choose from the middle basket.

And DP's advent calendar - one gift a day from December 1 (tomorrow!)
 and I choose a gift each day from my Advent basket.
Here's a pic of my Santa Reunion - from memory, it was a Dimensions chart.  I added the title.  It hangs above my TV.  It was one of my favourites to stitch - so many Santas!
And one final pic - my very favourite Santa masks,  These are cardboard face-masks, complete with holes for the eyes (I had to put black paper behind the holes when I put the masks on a white wall, otherwise it looks freaky!)  I bought these masks over 20 years ago at a craft fair, and I just love Santa's face.

And that finishes the tour of the bottom level of the house.  The middle level is coming next time.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

WIPocalypse report, November

It doesn't seem a month since the last WIPocalypse report, but I guess it must be - can't argue with the moon!  It's been a slow stitching month for me.  I have made some progress on my niece's wedding sampler, but not as much as I would have liked.  I had to take a 2 week break from stitching to decorate my house for Christmas, and that slowed progress considerably.  Here's where I'm up to now:

At least you can now see the heart taking shape.  The fabric is actually antique white, not the pretty blue in the pic.   I've given up on the aim of having it framed for my niece's wedding in early January, but I still hope to have the Sampler finished by then, and I will have it framed for her when the framer returns to work in late January after his Christmas break.

That's all the stitching progress for this month.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I couldn't leave the lounge-room

without showing you my HAED Jolly Old Fellow on the wall:

Doesn't he look like he belongs there!  The Santa doll sitting on the ottoman beneath JOF is an old favourite.  I'm not telling how long I've had him, but he did move here to this house with me in 1988 ...

The next photo isn't so flattering for JOF, but it does catch my Miss Maddie emerging from her little nook near my stitching chair - at floor level at right back.  She has a little bed there, between my recliner and the 3 seater lounge.  Mostly she sits on the end of my recliner, but occasionally she likes to stretch out in her bed.


And continuing round the lounge room:

L&L's Gift of Joy and Christmas Peace, and Vermillion's Portrait of Santa hang above the lounge.  The hanging display box on the left has little Santas in it.

and another two of my favourites - Santa and Mrs Claus knitted for me many years ago by an old friend.

That just about finishes the bottom floor of the house, except for the stairwell, which I will show next time.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Santas and Snowpeople ...

 These snowpeople are lined up on the windowsill of my downstairs loo.

and on the wall of the loo:

These jolly Santas hang in the doorway between the loo and the laundry.

and these are the laundry Santas.

This Santa welcomes you if you come into the house through the back door.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Santa Bells and Candles

My Santa candles,  and candle-holders:

If a Santa candle ever makes its way into my house I will have it forever - there is no way I could ever burn a Santa!  It's also extremely unlikely that I would buy a Santa candle myself, but I have been given a few, and now they are part of my Christmas each year, and I have come to enjoy having them around.  I have bought most of the candle-holders myself over the years, and I often light candles in them on Christmas Eve. 

And here are my Santa bells:
And on the right of the picture, on the black trunk, are my Christmas playing cards, puzzle blocks and select Christmas toys (for looking at rather than for playing).

In my loungeroom I also have an accidental collection of nutcrackers.  I won the biggest one many years ago in a raffle, and that started my collection.  I like old (vintage) nutcrackers, and can't resist one if I see it for sale.  Most of them have seeen better days, but for me that just adds to their charm.  The tiny nutcrackers lined up on the doorframe at the back are just gorgeous.  I bought them for just $2 in a box of old Christmas things from a second-hand shop many years ago.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Moving through the house ...

Here are some lounge-room pictures.

Before Christmas the area at the bottom of the stairs looked like this:

and now it is much more colourful:

The Christmas tree is one of my favourites.  It's from the 1950s, and consists of green wire 'bottle-brush' branches which fit into a wooden central pole.  I remember my family having one just like this in the late 1950s.  I found this one in a country town garage sale about 15 yrs ago and bought it for the princely sum of $2.  This is the tree I place my gifts under.  The two baskets on the right in the top pic hold take-home gifts for children and adult Christmas visitors.  The two paper Santa masks on the wall are favourites (I do have quite a few favourites!) that I found at a craft show almost 20 years ago.
Moving round the room, I have a collection of small Santas in a CD storage unit, and next to it  the shelves on the white desk hold my collection of trinket boxes. 



I particcularly love my Santas on the top of the white desk on the right - they are all different, most given to me as gifts, and all have their own characters.

and another particular favourite is the small collection of Santa brooches and badges (in the brown frames on the desk below).

There's more to see in the lounge room, but I'll have to leave that for another day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Children's Corner

There are no children living in my house, but I do get a lot of children visiting in December ech year.  The Christmas decorations are mostly hands-off, so I set up a corner with the Christmas things that the children can play with  - soft toys, puzzles, books, etc.  During a child's visit, these things are usually spread all over the lounge-room floor, not packed neatly in piles as they are here!

Starting at the door from the lounge room, the only thing the children can't play with on this box is the clock. 

and everything here can move out for play

One of my old favourites - given to me by my late mother in the early 1980s.  I think of her every time I see this one.

and finally, the Christmas books and puzzles.

Christmas has begun at my house

I know that for many people it seems way too early to start decorating for Christmas, but I like to get an early start, as it takes me a good two weeks to get my decorations done, and I like to have them all up and ready for my Christmas visitors by December 1.  I love my Christmas treasures, and  like to enjoy them for as long as I can.  Since I like to have my house back to normal by New Years Day, my Christmas things start getting packed away on Christmas Day.

I'm going to take you on a tour of my Christmas house, room by room over the next month.This year I started decorating on the bottom level of the house - which consists of my lounge room, study, and laundry.   So tonight I'll start with the study, or at least half of the study.  The study is one of the two rooms I decorate that has very few Santas.  Most of my Santas are in the lounge and dining rooms.
 Here's the view of the study from the lounge-room doorway.  On the wall to the left is my Baltimore Quilt Album Sampler stitched as a round robin in 2004.  It is the only framed piece in my house that stays in the same place all year - every other piece is either packed away and replaced by a Christmas piece, or moves to another room at Christmas.

and a close-up of my snowpeople.  The snowpeople are one of my accidental collections, but I have grown very fond of them over the past few years as the group has grown.

This is one of my favourite little collections - my Santa pens and pencils, which I keep in a gorgeous Santa mug purchased in Macys in San Francisco way back in 1994.  Some of the pens are 16 years old.
and here are treasures made for me by my nieces Ciara (the painted Santa) and Aislinn (the two cross stitched greetings).


 Here are two old favourites - Santa & Mrs Claus made out of plastic bleach bottles (not by me).  They have been part of my Christmas since 1988, when I bought them from the maker at a local market.
This is one of my favourite masks - this one is made of papier mache.  I've had it for close to 20 years, but it's still a favourite.
That's as far as I can show you right now.  The study also has the Children's Corner, but I'll have to leave that for another day.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Anne at was kind enough to give me this award.  I am quite excited to get it, as it indicates that Anne considers my blog to be a nice one to visit.  Thank you. Anne.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

He's home from the framer ...

and hanging on my lounge room wall, waiting for Christmas.  I think he looks spectacular - but maybe I'm biased ...

He is, of course, my  HAED Jolly Old Fellow.  He represents 19 solid months of stitching anguish over the past 4+ years!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Baltimore Rose Sampler is on the lap-frame

I'd like to say I'm making good progress, but in fact progress has been slow.  Here's where I am this evening:
The fabric is actually an off-white, not the pretty blue in the picture!  I'm happy with the purple colour scheme, and in fact I prefer it to the original charted pinks..  I have played around with the large flower - I just couldn't come to terms with stitching it as charted, so I omitted the green stitches and the green backstitching on the petals, and I softened the colours in the outside petals (believe it or not!).  I'm still not in love with the large flowers.  There are six in the design, so I've decided to proceed until I've stitched at least another one, then decide whether to keep them in or not.  Apart from the large flowers, I really like the design.  I'm back-stitching as I go, because I really couldn't face all that back-stitching at the end.

This isn't getting any stitching done, so I'm turning off the computer and heading back to my stitching chair.