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, December 16, 2022

Gifted Gorgeousness Report for December

15th December -  it's time for the final Gifted Gorgeousness report for 2022. GG is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching.

 I have just a few things to show this month. I stitched and framed a birth sampler for my youngest greatnephew. I used the same Clare Crompton dinosaur alphabet that I used in the birth samplers I made for his older brother and first cousin.

I also made a few more Christmas ornaments. The large wreath is a Clare Cromoton design; the teddy was an old DMC freebie; the Santa stocking is adapted from Kooler's Littlest Stocking design; and the two small wreaths are adapted from designs in an old Pat Wade leaflet called (I think) Christmas Collection II.

I have now finished all my gift stitching for 2022, and I have sorted out my floss and fabric ready for 2023.  

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Advent Blog Hop - December 11

 Here in Australia we have reached December 11, though I know in many places it's still December 10.  Nevertheless, here is my contribution to the Advent Blog Hop for the December 11 door.  The Advent Blog Hop is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching.  This blog hop is the one I enjoy most each year. Anyone who knows me will understand why.   I am a great fan of Christmas  and I do attempt to keep Christmas alive in my house all year.  This year Jo has given us two tasks: to show something Christmas or winter related, and to discuss Christmas meal 'afters'.

I have lots of my Christmas craft projects which I could show, and all of them are currently on display in the house. There are dozens of framed Christmas cross stitches, literally hundreds of beaded angels, a smaller number of painted Santas, some crocheted angels, a few Christmas trees,  and dozens of stitched ornaments.  On a whim I have rejected all of those, and selected some wreaths I have made over the years.

This is the first wreath I made, many years ago. I wasn't planning to make a wreath.  My task at the time was to reorganise my craft room. In the process I found an old cane wreath base, the foliage from a discarded artificial Christmas tree, and a box of very old Christmas baubles, many of which had lost their hangers. On the spur of the moment I decided to put them all together and with the help of a hot glue gun that is exactly what I did. This wreath is about 60 cm (2ft) in diameter. At present it is hanging in the back stairwell (from kitchen level to laundry).

The next wreath is currently hanging at the top of the main stairs. It is larger than the first wreath I made, about 75 cm (2'6") in diameter. My motivation for making this wreath was to reduce the amount of pre-loved Christmas baubles I had collected. I used an old cane wreath for the base.

My third wreath is my favourite, and my latest. I made it to hang near my angels  and used an old  heart shaped wreath base I found at a garage sale, and baubles from my collection. It is currently hanging in my loungeroom, near my Angel tree. It is the smallest of the wreaths I have made, and measures about 45cm (18") at its longest point.

When it comes to Christmas  'afters', it's complicated.  For us, Christmas is in summer, and it's usual to have temperatures hovering around 40 deg C (over 100 deg F). While some (mainly older) people do the full cooked Christmas meal thing, the majority (including my extended family), will opt for seafood, cold meats, and salads for Christmas lunch, which in our family would usually be served around 2pm.  When it comes to 'afters', it's anything goes.  

My contribution is always gingerbread babies. I usually bake 4 or 5 batches in December, and each batch makes about 140 gingerbreads, which I package up in bags and tins for distribution to family and friends.  I  also make a double  batch of hazlenut biscotti because my youngest sister loves them. 

Usually the 'afters' would appear 2 or 3 hours after Christmas lunch finished and often would be the last food of the day.  Our Christmas sweets table will always offer warm Christmas Pudding (made each year by my Irish-born brother-in-law using his late mother's recipe) served with a choice of brandy custard, vanilla custard, icecream and whipped cream;  a large bowl of sherry trifle (layered sherry drizzled cake, chopped jelly, custard, fruit & whipped cream) made to my late mother's recipe; shortbread, biscotti, and gingerbread biscuits; and a large fresh tropical fruit platter. It sounds like a lot of food, and it is, but we have quite a large extended family, and there are always lots of leftovers, which get packaged up and sent home with family groups.

Merry Christmas!