Sunday, 13 December 2015

Christmas is in the house

Yes, we have spent the last few days Christmafying the house. We were both off Thursday so after putting up the garlands along the picture rail in the dining room, and hanging the light-up features in the front windows, we dragged DS out to look for a tree.  While I can afford it, and have the manpower to haul it home, I love having a real tree. And with our tall ceilings we wanted a big one again. We tried a garden centre where the tallest one was only about five feet, then headed to a nursery we found last year. Most of his were only five or six feet but when I explained what I was looking for, he headed to the edge of the lot and pulled up a gorgeous tree which is about nine feet high and very well shaped. I think he was beginning to worry it wouldn't sell, in this country of small houses, because he asked worriedly if we had room for it. I confidently answered in the affirmative and we proceeded to haggle our way to a price we were both happy with.

I was wondering if I had been a bit over-confident when we home and set it up on the stand so it could dry out (it had been raining on the lot, of course, being England in winter).  As it dried and relaxed, the bottom got wider, and wider, until eventually we had to pull it out of the corner into the room to accommodate the five foot plus width at the bottom. So we've had to turn the dining table sideways to make room. But it looks great and has a wonderful smell to it.

On Saturday when it was dry, we put on some carols and got DS to join us for some decorating.  About five minutes after DH and I had a conversation about how nice it was that our new cat wasn't trying to climb the Christmas tree, a little white head poked out of the branches about a meter and a half in the air. Good thing we have a sturdy tree stand.

We also did our new traditional gathering of green stuff from the garden and from a footpath, to heap up foliage on our two mantles and tuck ivy behind picture frames etc. This is me in the throes of putting together arrangements of ivy, gorse and pyracantha gathered from the footpath, holly from our own tree, and eucalyptus from the garden. Plus I cut some teasel heads and sprayed them gold.

I also hung up my new Christmas wallhangings on the doors in the hallway. The lights look really cool on the Stonehenge Starry Night panel. They are all on one string connecting to a battery pack which sits in a little pocket on the back of the quilt.  You just cut holes through the quilt and poke the bulbs through.

I mentioned that I was picking fabrics from my stash to start the 'Let it Snow' quilt pattern. I have been getting a bit frustrated with my sewing room because there is nowhere to put stuff that you need to hand but aren't immediately cutting/sewing/pressing. I did a bit of lateral thinking and went out and bought the cheapest ironing board I could find (£9.99 from Argos). A little work with a hacksaw to cut off the iron rest, and I have a portable shelf that just fits in the corner next to my cutting board. Most of the fabrics I've picked are now on that where I can grab them.

So I had an enjoyable time choosing fabrics for the various components for the central panel.  I pieced the two colour background from a great 'snow' fabric (which I originally bought as a sky fabric but it looks great as snow), and cut the snowmen from a piece of white wool felt which I preshrunk. The rest of the components were traced onto Steam a Seam Lite and fused on. My Steam a Seam is a bit stale so they aren't sticking as well as they could, but well enough that I will be able to stitch them down.  It was fun to see the snowmen coming to life.

I gave up on getting the second bobbin lace star done and just posted the original one to my m-i-l in their Christmas card. I will finish the second one for our tree.  I'm just about to start the toe on my second Arne and Carlos vanilla sock, and I've ordered some more Lett Lopi to make two more pairs of Felted Slippers after a knitting friend pointed out that Deramores sell it (and it was on sale!). I've done a bit more knitting on my Rowan Summer Tweed Cardigan sleeve. And I repainted a secondhand picture frame to frame a print to hang in our hallway. I've done a bit more handquilting on the pieced cushion cover - I have to say that I'm not doing the world's greatest job, I'm very out of practice, but it looks good from a distance :)


swooze said...

Everything looks lovely. Merry Christmas!

Mairead Hardy said...

That photo of the cat in the tree made me laugh! I'm like you, I love a real tree - the most our cat will do (dare I say it?) is drink the water from the base... I've been told she shouldn't, as it's supposed to poison them but I've never had it happen to a cat yet!

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas :-)

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