Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ho Ho Ho (and He He He)

I confess, I wasn’t feeling Christmassy. An accumulated decade of European Christmases has spoiled me with the smells of mulled wine and clementines and roasting chestnuts. My first white Christmas, my first-ever experience of snow, was spent with a gorgeous Dutch pal and I can still remember the sound of it: such a breathtaking quiet. An early morning still, splintered by squeals of pure, exhilarated, snowballed delight.

Yesterday, I was one of those first determined souls at a shopping centre purchasing Christmassy music and since then, Bing and Doris and Frank and the Myrtleandeunice’s have been serenading the long-suffering neighbours, singing about white Christmases in far off lands.

The Middle explained to the youngest, the story of the birth of Jesus, while all three kids selected fabrics for their Christmas stockings. The youngest was so inspired by the Middle’s story, she was prompted to use fabric pens to draw a crowd of people at the cinema.


By the time we’d belted out Good King Wenceslas, this Mum had decided she’d bitten off more than she could sew but hung in there through dodgy machine tension and three broken needles and considered putting a real sewing machine on her Christmas list. Then decided, actually, she really just wants to knit.

All three stockings were prompted and loosely based on Denyse Schmidt’s free pattern. They were easy peasy to throw together but with three barracking kids, I was keen to finish. The quality of workmanship is, frankly, appalling. At one point I was standing up and sewing in order to achieve simultaneous bias binding production. Yep, you read that correctly. Only once have I achieved a more impressive multi-tasking feat, back in the days of breastfeeding.

This morning I woke to this sort of scene.

Turns out the quilted stockings make a wonderful half alternative to a pair of slippers.

And don’t you just love it when you gift a pressie that is so, so right? Don’t you just love it when you receive one? It’s tricky to photograph, but it’s one of Kirst’s brilliant baubles. Mine contains a tiny screenprinting squeegee made from felt. The ink is red, there are printed ‘t’s. He he he.

I’m off to mull some wine, to wrap a few pressies, to sing with Bing, plot our part of a feast, go take a peek at some Christmas lights and grin at the countdowns and excitement. I’m going to inhale it all and love that a Christmas downunder means family and backyard cricket and summer evenings and barbecues and the sound of cicadas. Because that’s what I missed when I lived in wintry Europe.

To all you lovelies who pop by for a visit, to those of you who let me know what you think, who make me laugh (and sometimes weep), to the kindred spirits who so unexpectedly have become my friends – to all of you – I wish you a safe holiday season, filled with every kind of joy and fabulous.



Unknown said...

Enjoy your Christmas and have a happy and safe new year !
Yes I just read that from a Christmas card but you know I mean well , lol !

Tas said...

I do know what you mean. I have spent 2 "white" Christmases. One in 1987 and one in 2001. Yet I still yearn for the snow, the candle-lit short days, the traditions, everything that comes with the cold. But maybe if I left home, I would also miss the warm Christmases with cold seafood, barbies and crisp white wine. Love the stocking socks :)

Jodie said...

and we wish all that and more to you and yours and say thanks for all the great laughs, and crafts, and thinks that you have shared with us in 2010.
I have ordered the EXTRA giant jumbo popcorn for 2011. I'll be here in the front row.





you are a good egg.

I'm keeping you !

Unknown said...

I'm so glad mine isn't the only kid who takes his beautifully handmade stocking and puts it on his foot and tells me it's a 'boot'.

Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year and make sure to let us know if the Middle makes some loo roll bon bons!

librarygirl said...

Merry Christmas!

posie blogs Jennie McClelland said...

Merry Christmas awesome girl, i'm making stockings on Friday, just for fun, but once my 4 get a wiff that i'm making something for them, they cheer me on with helpful hollarbacks like "when will it be finished" it's inspiring!! Love Posie

Mrs Smith said...

Merry and Bright Christmas to you and yours, Tania! Thanks for another year of beautiful blog posts.

Stomper Girl said...

Happy Christmas gorgeous girl. Thanks for all the laughs and inspiration xx

Andi said...

Happy happy to you and yours!!
You are ACE!!! (Try not to forget that!)
Andi x

Cindy said...

God, I love those chicklets of yours, they are so ace aren't they. Happy chrissy and celebrations, I got some Bing goodness tonight too so we can have a sing off.
Love you, love your space in the world, love your creations ... yay for 2011.

Nikki said...

I must say, Bing and Deano et al have been crooning out the xmas classics over this way, too. Mulled wine a-brewin'.....

I'm thinking of seafood and summer fruits here.... but kinda missing the dark-at-4pm-and-all-a-twinkle-with-xmas-lights crispy cold nights.

Happiest of jolly old xmases to you, Mrs!

emma @ frog, goose and bear said...

Merry Christmas to you too - it's been an absolute pleasure to read a blog so humurous, creative, down to earth and honest to boot (he, he, that was a pun...) MIght just pop over and check out that mulled wine recipe! We went to the Boulevard Christmas lights on Friday night & the two year old is still talking about the talking Santa.

Needled Mom said...

I'm glad that you hung in there on the stockings....a great project for all!!

Merry Christmas to you and your family.

A Peppermint Penguin said...

A Happy Everything You Could Wish For and Nothing You Wouldn't to you and yours!

Fabulous photos as always.


mel @ loved handmade said...

Merry Christmas to you too, Tania! Your stockings/slippers are great, what a funny little bunch! Enjoy your famiily & wishing you a wonderful holiday season! X

Kylie said...

I don't know where to start - it's all so gorgeous! Loads of dodgy sewing-action going on here too ;) but your stockings/bedsocks look fantastic from here. I am mucho impressed with your Tania-appropriate bauble... wow! What a wonderful special pressie. Have a most wonderful Christmas Mrs to you and the fam :) Kx

p.s. trying really hard not to think about how we were in Europe this time last year!! Trying REALLLY hard!

Leah said...

He he my kids do the stocking on the foot thing. We were at ivanhoe lights last night. It was crazy, packed and people everywhere. Have a relaxing Christmas x

Fer said...

Awww... *sniffle* It's been an absolute joy following your blog, you've always been able to bring a smile to my face, and a chuckle or two.

Have a super wonderful Christmas, it looks pretty special so far! ♥ ♥

Suse said...


Looking forward to more of the same in 2011.

Unknown said...

Amazed that you have found the time to make up such beautiful things around this crazy holiday rush stuff. "and a bit jealous" :P..I did find a few gifts that are perfect fits for their recipients and it just tickles me silly...Merry Christmas to you and yours :)

zofia said...

lovely stockings!
Enjoy the break, break out that mulled wine and relax!
I look forward to reading you again next year. xx

Jesse said...

Have a wonderful Christmas! Hope you have beautiful warm evenings, and not too hot days.

Di said...

Wishing all the very best to you and yours for xmas and the year ahead. Hope we get to craft in company again some time.
Hope Santa does have the right sized stocking stuffers for your most excellent, fun stockings ;)
Ace bauble too!

Cath @ chunkychooky said...

the small one is all about christmas carols this year and we found a really bad CD of carols which is painful. Personally, I agree with you, if I am going to listen ot them I want Dean Martin etc singing them.

have a great one T,
Big kisses xx

TK said...

I am absolutely smitten with the half slippers you made for your three - totally awesome job I say, multi-tasking and all - have a super fab Aussie Christmas....psst - don't tell anyone BUT I secretly kind of wish I was with my sister in snowy London but hey....can't have everything I want!!! TK xx

Caroline said...

Lucky its and Aussie Christmas for you because then you would have had to make double the stockings to keep all six little feet warm! Have a great Christmassy weekend.

Megan.K. said...

Those half-slippers are fun! Good on you and your little merry myrtles.
Loved visiting here throughout 2010, will be back for more in 2011.
Have a great holiday Tania.

Victoria said...

We lived in the UK for 5 years before Ella was born and I still remember the first year back here, how bright and unchristmasy things felt. I'm used to it again now of course, some 7 years later, but still the romance of cold, dark afternoons, mulled wine, the smell of gingerbread, real trees, great Christmas tv - there's something very very appealing.

Have a lovely one.

Cathy {tinniegirl} said...

Wishing you and yours the best kind of Christmas.

I loved what you said about snow having a sound. It's so true. I lived in Colorado for six months once and I still remember the sound of that blanket of stillness. Just superb.

The stockings are gorgeous.


june at noon said...

Love those stockings! My smalls call them "socks," which I suppose makes sense. They haven't tried them on yet, but I imagine that's only a matter of time. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

yardage girl said...

Merry christmas to you and your family - have a brill time of it!

Mokcarthy said...

Just idly searching (with a huge pile of work papers to deal with before being somewhat free to go home to family and start on the house) for melbourne craft blogs (I have to find some volunteers, and that's going to be my approach this time) when I saw your post from Wednesday, and was just delighted with the morning photo. It was kind of a familiar disbelief. Of course that's what they would do with them. Why didn't I know that?

quirky granola girl said...

Merry Christmas (belated) to you! I've been listening to my Christmas Crooners mix on Pandora for *five* weeks now! The little one really has me in the holiday spirit.

I'd share the snow with you if I could. We've got plenty to go sledding in tomorrow (if the 18 month old can get over his irrational fear of the sled).

Sally said...

Love your stockings! Fantastic... three broken needles would have been awfully frustrating though.
Love the bauble from Kirsty too... lucky you.
(I feel a little sorry for your neighbours!)

Kaylovesvintage said...

one day I will go to see my family in Australia and have christmas in the sun...