Sunday, 11 December 2011

Healing Christmas by Vintage

I'm quite sure that, that doesn't make any sense at all, but have you noticed how many people seem to be flapping about, either stressed by the pressure and expectations of the season or glum & bogged down by lack of be-botheredness, as they can't seem to get past the commercial dullardry (mm I just made that up) that increasingly abounds. I am delighted to say, that since I am a non-perfectionist and a just have a fiddle around, sort of girl, that the vintage approach to Christmas spiriting has been most refreshing indeed, even healing. I've been doing just what I can, when I am able to, while pausing to consider the season we are in; the scents that bring me joy & mark the season so well. I found a little cluster of cookie cutters (darn, I've turned into an American..we actually call them biscuits here!) & amidst that little conflab I discovered the outline of a single wise man. He hasn't made any biscuits yet but he seems to be happy to just hang around for a bit in the mean time.
You'll notice our nativity has two babies..if you don't know why you'd best pop through here & read the story of The Two Babies. We also have a zebra (since Rob was born in Kenya & a Maori angel because she wanted a turn.

 My raspberries are so delicious I am eating them for breakfast every morning & leaving them in strategic places from time to time so they can be admired & sampled; others are making it in small pots to the freezer, safely tucked away for another time.
 I seem to be making an awful mess as I go & feel compelled to shuffle things around rather a lot.
 Since our David is coming home for Christmas & he is a violinist this lovely angelic musician seemed like the perfect decoration for here.
 I rather like this cotton seersucker gingham so I made a few hearts for this little tree.
 I wasn't sure that I would actually get around to making the fragrant fire starters that I had seen on Pinterest, but I think that they worked quite well.
 I used half an old egg carton, 3 small pinecones, star anise, a cinnamon stick or two, some previously dried bay twigs, natural twine & newspaper (well, obviously). I have since glued some star anise on the top. I bought the wax fire starters on special a while ago & thought the combination might work quite well kerosene added!
 I have been taking careful note of the scents of our season & have found that there a lot of white fragrant flowers out just now, like this intoxicating chinese star jasmine. While many of you are anticipating snow & putting gardens to bed, I have to say, that I have had soooo much to do in the garden that I am not too disappointed that summer hasn't burst forth with any real fervency just yet. Everything seems to have gone mental & demands attention all at once. A lovely but unruly plot, much like it's owner, I'm quite sure.
 I looked up at the pots in my court yard yesterday & loved the dreamy feel of a summer meadow. If you've never bitten in to a green coriander seed do try one next time you see one..they are the most remarkable flavour burst that you have ever come across. Fun sprinkled (lightly) through a potato salad.
 I found myself some shears (as in for shearing sheep) last week for $3. They are brilliant for clipping topiary & at last I found a perfect use for the old hairdressing cape that has been waiting in the cupboard with great expectation. It has that shut up old caravan plastic aroma to it, so although Rob wouldn't complain at the roses around his neck the smell is a little musty for the delicate task of hair cutting.
 My lovely organics people at the Farmers' Market have planted 16 different kinds of courgettes. These are just the beginning.
 Wasn't this a great idea, immature figs on the counter at Madisons in Napier last week
 I have found the perfect possie to dry rose the sun in the back of my brilliantly.
 When we stayed at Violet Annie's Cottage on Monday we popped up to the big house for a cuppa. Gaye was doing Christmas with all the panache that only she can bring to the task. Isn't this old, rescued wooden kindy train just a delight!
 I made a small vintagey arrangement on the back porch over the weekend. I bought the little play oven on Trade Me a little while ago. It's so cute!
 The wind got up a bit today & at one stage I looked down the street & saw a copper beech branch lying on the foot path just down the road. Oh, thought I, oh, I could use that & scarpered down to retrieve it. Who said I had to have a pine tree?

 The Graphics Fairy just posted this lovely picture today..she's so kind, freely giving away so many lovely images.
Well, my friends, so lovely to see you. I hope that you might find a little vintage Christmas healing yourself this week. Please do pop back on Wednesday as I will be posting the most precious Christmas story video you have ever seen. Produced by a group of families & individuals form St Paul's Church. You truly won't want to miss it. Even Rob has watched it 10 times already! See you on Wednesday. 


  1. I love your gorgeous vintage Christmas! And the tale of the two Christmas babies was lovely also. Aww, I just wanted to reach my arms through the story and hug the child (take home, add to our family, you know...)

    I LOVE those yellow courgettes. Well, not that I've tried yellow ones before, or even seen them, but our Lily Bug is crazy about anything yellow including food so I think she'd gobble them down whole, uncooked and most likely without even chewing, knowing the way she eats...

    *is totally rambling*

    Fantastic 'Christmas tree' too. That reminds me, we haven't put up our tree yet as I just KNOW that there's nowhere safe in the house where Guy Smiley won't get to it and pull it all down on top of him. So I'm thinking maybe we should decorate one of our mannequins in tinsel and baubles! Ooh, I might just suggest that to the family now...

    Have a great week! :)

  2. Wow, what a lovely vintage Christmas your going to have, love the colours. I just fiddle with Christmas too, dont like too much order with the decs. Julie xxx

  3. WOW so much goodness in one post! I love it all. Those raspberries look delicious!

  4. Oh, it is ALWAYS delightful to scroll through your findings, Catherine!
    I like the sheep clippers and the plant hair cut!

  5. What a lot of lovely things going on in your garden, very pretty decorations too. Have a wonderful Christmas.

  6. Raspberries in August- it's like snow in August from nanny McPhee. Do you love nanny McPhee? I'm quite, quite sure that you do. Looking forward to Wednesday- still "mulling" over the two babies...

  7. Yes, so many great ideas! Right off I noticed particularly the little bowl of star anise, and I am going to put some out on display myself right now. You've made me realize that they are too pretty to keep in a cupboard!

  8. It's such a delight to stop off at your blog dear Catherine!!!

    There's always so much going on!
    You have the most observant eye - what a find the copper beech branch was - a perfect tree indeed!
    I will keep my eye out for some shearing shears too, they're perfect for little hedges - tho Auckland's probably not the best place to find them, but I'll stay optimistic!!!

    Joyeux Noel


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