Friday, 13 December 2013

Santa Swap, Christmas Tree & a Bit of Nostalgia

On Wednesday afternoon I received my Santa Sack parcel from my lovely swap buddy Lynda.  Our Swap Mamma will be announcing the opening date on Monday, but we ARE allowed to open the postal satchel when it arrives.  Mine had a simply gorgeous tote in it packed with 6 gifts.  I have been an obedient little bunny and put mine under the tree (after having a little squish & fiddle of course), but I must say I have to avert my eyes from the tree when I go past in case my resolve breaks down.  LOL
The tote is a deep pink with a tiny spot. 

 And a cute little tag with "No Peeking" stitched on it.
It is lined with a pale grey print featuring little red reindeers.

The arrival of this parcel precipitated the decoration of the Christmas tree.  We have a plastic one.  We battled with that as we neither of us like the man made trees, but I hate seeing the poor dead trees wilting on the kerbside a couple of weeks after Christmas waiting to be picked up in the green waste.  So we decided on a plastic one, and I am glad as there are now about 20 less dead trees in this world.
I have a little bundle of ancient decorations which graced the tree when I was a small wee thing.  They are tattered and old and actually rather ugly - but I love them.  They go on our tree every year, and each year I play with them and think of childhood Christmases as they go up.

They would absolutely have been on this tree.   
That's my boyfriend Lex & I in front, Mum behind me my Uncle Michael, the tiny lady hiding in the background is Toddy  from up the road, my surrogate granny, my Aunty Tulia (Mum's sister) beside her, & my cousin Dima on my right.  Dad was the photographer - no self timers in those days!  Christmas Eve 1967 in our front room.  This photo is terrible, but believe me the original is worse.  I have enhanced this quite a bit.  Do you have any photos of family Christmases as a child?
This little trio of Santas also brings me much joy.  Also tattered and home made, my lovely daughter & I made them at about 35 years ago, when she was a small girl. 

They are made from little plastic orange juice bottles painted red, with ping pong balls for heads, felt hats, cotton wool beards, pipe cleaner arms & they are holding hessian bags filled with tiny presents.  I just can't chuck out the wonderful memories of the two of us working on them.  Now my daughter continues the tradition and makes decorations with her three girls.
Do you have Christmas decorations you had as a child?  Or ones you made with your kids?  Leave me a comment and tell me the story.  I would love to hear about that.
So here is the tree today, with my Santa Sack parcels waiting patiently, and me not so patiently.
There is a story and a memory with pretty much all of the decorations.  Many of them are hand made, and have either been given to me by friends over the years, or have been made by myself or my daughter.  There is a little tribe of tiny angels with crazy "bad hair day" hair.  A friend called Kathy who now lives in Singapore taught me how to make these about 10 years ago.  Over the years I have given them to all and sundry, taught the girls at Friday Quilters how to make them and even managed to make some for myself. 

My Friday Quilters friend Joan was making these trees as gifts about 3 years ago and was kind enough to share the pattern.  I've made at least three, but have given them all away (bad planning eh?).  This one is the one I made for my daughter, which I pinched long enough to take a photo.
And this wall hanging started out as a pattern in a magazine, but somehow got altered beyond recognition.  I love the end result.

Is your tree up yet?
Today was the Friday Quilters Christmas lunch at Joanne's.  It was a fabulous day, loads of laughter, chatter, yummy food and a Kris Kringle.  We carried on the tradition of having someone present something interesting so Joyce was our tutor for a beaded ornament for the tree.  There is a tutorial for a similar item here.  It was great fun, but I managed to get into a complete and utter tangle, and that was before the champers at lunch time!  I am planning to unpick (unbead??) and start again.
The mess happened just a few minutes after this photo was taken:
By the way.  The necklace I'm wearing was made by my mother-in-law who was an avid beader until a couple of years ago.  At the ripe old age of 91 I think she could be forgiven for laying down her beading needle, don't you think? 
Til next time..... Keep on stitching. 

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