my folks are safely back in their nest in snowy old blighty, after we had the most loveliest of fortnights spent doing exactly what i said we would do, knitting, crocheting, reading, eating and plenty of pottling around the area.
Mossy Shed is in full on gleeful mode, lights are hanging outside along with some fabby clusters of greenery upon the fence. my man kindly 'gathered and placed' them as per my instructions in cold temps on Thanksgiving afternoon.
Our #4 then commented the next day
"you know those branchy things dad put up apparently for decoration? you do know it just looks like a ton of branches have fallen off the tree and landed on the fence and we haven't bothered to clear it up"
i am thinking someone needs to find a pair of rose colored spectacles in his stocking this year.
this is the year i am totally embracing a more traditional look for our Christmas, i think it something to do with Our #1 coming home for the holidays. i dared to start counting after Thanksgiving and now i am down to 13 days to go before i will be standing at the airport gate waiting. by the time i see her it will have been 122 days since we last hugged, i am pretty chuffed at how well i have survived, allowing myself only one breakdown where i rushed from the kitchen to the computer and scrawled on her Face Book wall something along the lines of "just cutting up carrots for dinner and suddenly i can hardly breath from being overcome by how much i miss you". i think one public breakdown is allowable in four months.
the mantle piece is all decked out and for the first time ever, since first visiting Mossy Shed, i think i like it. i find our fire surround on the 'way over sized' side of things and therefore never quite know what to do with it, painting it all white and filling it with logs from the yard has helped.
this year i am looking for a little joy and a little peace (plus quiet) so when i found some knitted letters in Anthropologie whilst pottling with my folks it all came together. one long string of lace and with some bakers twine i spent a merry hour or so hanging gleeful bits and bobs along its length. the twigs in the large lacey jar (once home to pickled artichokes i found lurking in the fridge) was inspired by Country Living's (uk edition) December issue, my mother bought with her. i could practically smell the mulled wine coming off the pages as i flicked through page after page of gleeful goodness.
the J.O.Y letters i cut out from a red vintage thrift store dress and stitched them onto pages from an old book, (an angel in the corner by monica dickens, thinking it most suited to the season) i have no doubt, this would make for a lovely garland with all sorts of gleeful words strung together. a few forsaken little souls, including Joe from last year's nativity scene and Voila!
i think by now you can see i am on a total 'deck the halls' roll here in Mossy Shed. i fished out my lovely little wood & wool tree from last year made by the lovely peachy Ingrid. her little wooden green trees are truly delightful and if one doesn't have room for a tree then i do think they are the perfect solution. this year (after a terribly crappity crap effort last year) i am most delighted with my little tree's decoration, once my grandmother's pesky pom-pom squirrel hopped on top, the rest fell into place.
and lastly but by no means least, i ran up a little 'easy peasy' garland for the tree this year. all you will need is a woolly sweater in cream or any color you think will match your gleeful decor. boil your sweater, i did mine quite lightly, so basically shoved it in a hot cycle with other whites so it came out boiled but still quite thin. almost as though it had gone through the wash accidentally on the wrong cycle. i snipped it into pieces and laid it flat to dry. i am super impatient so i kept checking on it and the minute it was dryish, i pounced with my scissors and cut it into lots of little rectangles around 2" x 3" (5cm x 7.5cm) or a bit smaller. no precise measurements required, just snippity snip away.
i took a few of the rectangles and with the help of Miss Ethel zoomed back and forth to make star shapes in red stitching, the rest of the pieces i left blank. this would actually be quite nice if done by hand with embroidery thread in a color once again nicely suited to your gleeful decor.
after which i gathered my rectangles into piles of 15 and slowly attached them with Miss Ethel's help, once again you could easily do this with some hand running stitch and embroidery thread. afterwards i hung them up to admire, no passing strangers passed by to invite in so they too may admire, therefore i promptly put them away until our tree was up. (which it is now, but not then)
i must tell you since making my little 'easy peasy' recycled garland i have seen similar on ETSY, so if you do not have a little sweater that needs to be boiled, nor the time to make a garland such as this but wish to have one, then just take a look on ETSY under 'garlands' or 'holiday garlands' and you will be amazed at the beautiful strings of glee, wonderful crafty folks are making for the holidays.
so there we have it, i am way ahead of the game with decorating the shed, but way behind at filling up my shop shelves. i have been beavering away non stop over the past few days, going to bed hoping the elves will visit whilst i sleep, but alas it would appear they are not coming this year. i did write sometime ago to offer them accommodation for the season but all i received was a short reply via Twitter saying
"you must be joking, we are in Australia this year. warmer climes than your shed & no orange grub insight"
so it is just down to me and Miss Ethel, along with our high hopes, next week will see the shelves stocked with wall hangings, woolly jammy jars, bark cloth sling sacks, tea towels, mini turquoise wooden clog vignettes and other goodies... all a little late for some folks with the Christmas post what it is, but in my head i keep telling myself "better late than never Tif"
she is thanking you for the lovely notes here and in her inbox whilst she was gone and is hoping all is fine and dandy in your nests, 'cause fine and dandy is nice ~ Tif