This is it... it is officially the month of Christmas. Have you put up your tree and Christmas decorations yet? If you’ve been ticking off things on your Christmas checklist you have probably already mailed out your cards, finished handmade gifts and hopefully well underway with your Christmas shopping.
I’m so pleased that I have completed all my shopping and now only have one handmade December birthday gift to make. My cards are done, Christmas letters written, house decorated and now it is time to enjoy the season. Already the social calendar is filling up, which is always fun and now in our house we are enjoying Christmas baking.
Being organised has meant that I can avoid the mayhem at the shopping centres and concentrate on other fun activities. Last week was my daughter’s school formal, which as anyone with daughters knows, involves alot of preparation – nails, hair, make-up, limos etc. I don’t think she’d mind me sharing a photo or two.
Our ‘Princess Jess’ looked beautiful and had an amazing time with her friends – oh to be this young and carefree again!!
Anyhoo, back to our Christmas merriment; today I have a free downloadable ‘Letter to Santa’ for the little, and perhaps not so little ones.
Click here to download.
So what’s on your wish list for 2010? I only wished for one thing and a little elf has already whispered in my ear to say it is ready and wrapped... I must have been a good girl this year [giggle].
Today I thought I’d share with you some festive tips to make the season more organised.
· Write a checklist in order of things to do and cross them off as you do them. Not only will you feel blissfully organised, you will also feel a sense of achievement with every item you cross off your list.
· Plan ahead. Prepare as much as possible in advance. Many things can be made ahead, then refrigerated or even frozen.
· If you are planning to make a boiled pudding, don’t forget to buy some calico and string and make sure you have a pot large enough to boil the pudding in.
· Christmas is a time for people dropping in. To avoid potential embarrassment, make sure you have plenty of goodies on hand, such as slices, biscuits, nuts, cakes or chocolates. If you are making food gifts like jams or truffles, make a couple extra for those unexpected guests who arrive with a present.
· Order turkeys or hams and other unusual food items well in advance so you don’t miss out.
· Buy non-perishable food items early on to avoid frustrating delays at the supermarket. Make detailed shopping lists and delegate if possible. Perhaps most importantly, don’t turn down offers of help!
· Buy wine, sparkling wine, beer and soft drinks well ahead, keeping an eye out for specials in the days and weeks leading up to Christmas.
· Make ice cubes from fruit juices for additional festive colour and flavour in your drinks and punches.
· Make your own tablecloths. Hem long lengths of Christmas fabric and trim with tassels or fringing for a festive look. While you are at it... what about matching napkins?
· Put together your own Christmas hampers. Small packets of biscuits, jams and chocolate make lovely personal gifts, especially when you have taken care to choose your friends favourites. Wrap them in clear or coloured cellophane and tie with ribbons.
· Christmas cakes and puddings make great gifts too, and look wonderful when packaged.
· Start thinking about table decorations and making napkin rings/place settings.
I’m thrilled that so many people have embraced the ‘Putting the homemade and home baked back into the Holidays’ theme of Simply Christmas. I love reading your emails, seeing your photos and visiting everyone’s blogs. A few people have mentioned that work and home commitments have prevented them from completing their homemade project list and that’s okay. There are certainly other handmade options where you can buy original items, support small businesses and the arts community at the same time. Try local markets and online shopping like Etsy and Madeit or take a wander through blogland for some last minute Christmas shopping.
I discussed buying handmade with this week’s sponsor,
Michelle from Paper Tree Design and this is what she had to say:
Kerry: How long have you been selling your handmade paper products?
Michelle: I have always been creative, whether it be designing interiors for our own renovations, or simply creating my own artwork. After the birth of our second child I went back to studying interior design but didn’t feel completely fulfilled. In March this year a friend suggested I put some of my designs on madeit and etsy, and it went from there.
Kerry: Where do you get your inspiration?
Michelle: It sounds like such a cliché, but I find inspiration absolutely everywhere and anywhere. As most of my products are made from recycled material, I find great inspiration in stores such as Reverse Garbage. I also make regular trips to my local op shops and often find great inspiration between the dusty pages of an old children’s book. I carry a note pad and pen with me everywhere to jot ideas down, as you never know when inspiration will strike!
Kerry: Where do you sell your products?
Michelle: I currently sell my products through madeit, bluecaravan, and etsy. Some of my products are in retail stores, and I also sell regularly at the BrisStyle Indie Markets.
Kerry: Where do you like to buy handmade etc.?
Michelle: Along with buying on madit, bluecaravan, and etsy. I love to shop locally at the BrisStyle Indie Markets, and in stores such as Nook in West End.
Each of Michelle’s designs are meticulously hand cut from exquisitely illustrated 1950's/60's/70's books. Most of these books are sourced from op-shops and, having been loved by others, are often damaged in some way. Her art brings stories to life setting free beautiful illustrations that may otherwise remain shelved and unread. You can buy her artwork here (Etsy), here (Madeit), here (Blue Caravan) and here (Bris-style Markets).
To find out more about Michelle’s the latest artwork you can pay her a visit at her blog The Paper Tree Design.
Michelle has packaged up a selection of her beautiful Christmas party pegs, Christmas cards, a garland and a set of Christmas magnets for this week’s Friday Giveaway.
And the winner is Anne-Lise at Rag, tag, Bobtail (Norway) who left this comment on Monday’s post:
Lovely tree! The custom here is decorating the tree Christmas eve! Although many are now more relaxed about that, we usually just decorate a little for Advent - a star in the window, Christmas curtains in the kitchen are typical.
When we had a cat, we had to fasten the tree to the wall with rope :)
The winner of last Wednesday’s Giveaway of 3 beautiful tea towels gifted by Simone at Beach Vintage is
Anne C of Ringwood North, Victoria.
Gosh that was a long post today. There are lots of exciting things in store for you next week, including yummy recipes, a great tutorial, and later in the week I’ll be asking you to share photos of ‘Your Christmas Home’ for a blogland link up. Won’t that be exciting to see everyone’s Christmas decorating? So folks, get out your camera’s and start shooting now.
Wishing you all a festive weekend,
Hugs ~ Kerryanne