Saturday, 19 November 2011

Wreaths and Angel Wings

What if we stripped the Christmas Season of all the hoopla and the nonsense and just stuck with the wonder and the innocence, wouldn't that be so much better?! Could we possibly manage that do you think? Well at least we can try and hold the focus & see what we can get away with.
 When we went to visit Matt recently, I took a magazine or two with me as I had come across a Donna Hay "Christmas" & some others, at a fair for 20c (who cares that they are last years). I love these cute pictures of childish delight.
 And I especially loved this simple little wreath. Happily, Matthew said "I've got one of those on my watch list!" (Trade Me) and so we bought it the very next day and had it sent to me here in Hastings.
 Perfect for the job!
 We had such a great time doing the rounds of the Kapiti Op Shops together. This little Margaret Tarrant, The Story of Christmas, was sitting on the counter at the Hospice shop with a few other books. Don't you hate that when you see something lovely or interesting but someone else has found it first! But I got brave & asked nicely if the other lady would by any chance allow me to buy this wee book? She very kindly agreed so I gave her more for it since she was so sweet.
 The illustrations are delightful.
 When I got home & my cake rack duly arrived I made this wreath.
 Nope it's not all neat & even but too bad! I quite like the green satin ribbon. I had a roll in my ribbon box that I'd bought somewhere for a $1 so I was also being economical.
 I used gingerbons inside each roll..they're wonderful, made with lots of real ginger by Buderim of Australia & available through New World here.
 I just had to share this cute idea that I came across on Pinterest although the source is Country Living .com Such a dear little way to make an advent calendar.
 I also found a couple of recipes for a Christmas simmer jar. Slices of lemon, lime, orange, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves & I added cardamom & star anise then you just add water & simmer on the stove to scent the house with tantalising festive aromas. The mixture can be used over & over until it loses it's scent. What would you put in this to create the scents of Christmas? I'm not sure if this is the right combination, although it certainly smells festively inclined. You can find other instructions here and the inspiration & source of the picture below here.

 I am still experimenting. I made another jar full & have popped it in the fridge to see how well it lasts before I make a label & give some away. Cute pressie for neighbours & teachers & thank you very muches.
 I love it when the pomegranates arrive here, even if they do come all the way from California! I like to try & buy things from Trade Aid as much as possible around this time so I was delighted to come across this hemp twine. The new Good mag is out. Love the emphasis on handmade gift & craft ideas & the article on foraging is great too. We keep saying that we need to make an urban harvest map but haven't managed to do it just yet.
 Yes my wonderful vintage find was indeed a singer sewing machine with knee peddle & in great working order. The stitching is way superior to my modern Bernina. Thanks to my mother attentions, the bobbin compartment is now free of dust & other wadded up accumulations.
 Doesn't thread up in quite the same fashion as the bernina but I think I've got that sorted now.

 Best not to drop it on the toes when moving it from place to weighs a ton!
 I love the shiny singer badge don't you?
 I am enjoying the longer days & hopped on my bike & went to the park this evening. Nothing strenuous you understand, just a meander around. There's a new water play area that stays active til late. It seems to be working out really well. The kids love it.
 It took me a long time to discover the source of a particularly gorgeous scent each November. If you ever come across a cabbage tree in flower, do stop & sniff,
 the scent is heavenly, even if the tree itself looks kind of unassuming.
I loved this Christmas pharmacy window out in Havelock North. 
 All white & silver & ethereal & festive.
 Of course angels always need wings, especially at Christmas. Angels together with Christmas tend to spell Good News.
Hope that you are able to keep a happy, simple focus this week & not become too overwhelmed with the demands & busy-ness of the season.
Lovely to see you.


  1. What a beautiful post! The Christmas ideas here are so simple yet so effective. The matchbox advent, the unusual wreaths, just divine! The image at the top of the little one is too cute for words. Christmas should always be like this! xx

  2. What a beautiful, inspiring post - gorgeously photographed too. You've put plenty of ideas into my head for Christmas and I have to say your Singer is beautiful - and so well kept!

    Jem xXx

  3. How festive your post is, the wreath you made is reallly different and homely and you have given lots of inspiration on a budget. Thanks.

  4. How festive your post is, the wreath you made is reallly different and homely and you have given lots of inspiration on a budget. Thanks.

  5. Beautiful post Catherine, love the Christmas ideas.

    Your Singer is lovely. I have some pictures on my Sewing Machine page of threading the machines. I also did a new post yesterday of a lovely new lady that joined my collection :-)

  6. I don't know if you have dated it, but it is a 99K from 1927 :-) I lovely machine indeed.

  7. Oh Catherine, this is such an inspiring post - thank you!You've well and truly got me into the spirit of seeking out Christmassy
    I have to post my parcel to far off lands by Friday as that's the last day for 'economy' post!!!
    Your old Singer looks amazing - they were built to last several life times!
    Thank you for popping in for a cuppa - it was lovely to see you and hear all your 'thrifting' news!

  8. Thank you for sharing all those lovely ideas.

    It was strange, but nice to hear you're enjoying your longer nights, while I'm sitting surrounded by candles, enjoying our shorter nights!

  9. I love those old Singer sewing machines and yours looks like a beauty. I love your wreath too.
    Anne xx

  10. Good evening from France.

    Yes, Catherine; simplicity and purity are the key words here and certainly apply more and more to our family's ethics.

    Your post is wonderful AS ALWAYS!

    And be still my heart: that sewing machine is divine!

    I wish I could be sharing Christmas with you; it looks like we enjoy the same things ;-)

  11. I must agree with the others. This was a beautiful and inspiring post.
    Over the summer I came into ownership of two vintage singer machines, one built into a table. It had belonged to the grandmother of people I went to high school with and works quite well.
    Of course I do not have her sewing talent, but I can day dream.

  12. I let out a big 'hah' when i saw that advent calender-I've made one for my daughter from instructions from an old copy of womens weekly -it's taken me all year to find trinkets small enough to fit in all the drawers!
    I like your christmas wreath; I look forward to seeing more of your christmas decos x

  13. I'm trying to make the run up to Christmas simple this year, I tend to get abit CROSS with the whole thing which I don't really like feeling, it is the mass hysteria that takes place and all the hype. So this year I have made some changes, have spoken to the kids and eldest said, that sounds great Mum, I have a good feeling about Christmas this year. made me feel all emotional. I love your homemade wreath your house looks lovely, and thank you for lot's of inspiration on simplicity! xx

  14. Oh, everything is so lovely over here!
    Yes, I'm so HAPPY you'll be joining me for A Childlike Christmas! You'll have the sweetest posts, I know!

  15. Ooooooo you have got me all excited for Christmas. Love the wreath.


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