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tis the season…

hello 2010!

What’s on our fridge – ‘If God used Sticky Notes’ daily calendar

Christmas highlights

Sharing the holiday with good friends we’ve made over the course of this year;

Attending Christmas Eve church service with Mish and subsequently, witnessing her baptism on Sunday 27 December; both of us were pretty much overwhelmed that day… I have to say it has been such an awesome experience for me to be a part of Mish’s faith journey – you go, girl!

Having Noddy in our family (CS felt that the earlier picture of Noddy was too close-up so here’s Noddy from a different angle!)

Seeing the look on CS’ face when he opened his present from me- a spider catcher! Yes, you read it right. There’s really such a thing, an Australian invention in fact!

Of course, Christmas isn’t what it is without all the festive food. For our Christmas Day breakfast, I prepared prosciutto wrapped baked egg, toasted sourdough bread with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, roasted tomatoes with basil; avocado salad with bleuberry vinaigrette and choice of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice or brewed ice tea…

For our Christmas Day dinner, we decided to try baking our own Christmas ham this year. After scoring the ham with cloves, we basted it with blueberry jam, brown sugar and Dijon mustard sauce, and baked it 2 hours in the oven. I must say it was a commendable effort for a first time attempt. The ham was accompanied by mashed sweet potato, salad and sparkling white shiraz (courtesy of CS’ boss);

And for the first time, we decided to brave it out by going to the Boxing Day sales. The best bargain of the day had to be CS’ purchase of a snorkelling set which was discounted to about $40!

hi, my name is Noddy

and I was born last Saturday 19 December. I was handcrafted by a man who loves his wife very much and wanted to surprise her for Christmas. You see, the man’s wife had recently picked up sewing and bought some sewing patterns for stuffed animals. But she never got down to doing it ‘cos as you know, it’s the festive season so she was busying about with all the festivities.

Seeing how the wife is always making stuff for people, the man decided to make something for her himself. He took out her sewing patterns for stuffed animals and decided to make me, a giraffe. It was not easy, I tell you. He didn’t succeed the first time; had bought the wrong kind of fabric apparently. Thank God he didn’t give up or I wouldn’t be here telling you my birth story! In the end, he took a denim fabric given by a girlfriend of his wife (thanks, Zoe!) and kept his fingers crossed that his wife wouldn’t know. (She didn’t cos remember I told you how she was busy with all the festivities?)

I must say my birthing process was pretty labour intensive. See these buttons on me? That took almost half a day to sew! But the man persevered. He even had to go on Youtube to watch some teaching videos when he ran into difficulties. Despite all these, I could feel the man’s excitement as he sewed me up bit by bit. I could see him smiling away every now and then; perhaps he was imagining the look on his wife’s face when he gave me to her.

Finally, after days of working behind the wife’s back (he had 2 days off work, you see), I was completed last Saturday. The man was so excited about surprising the wife he couldn’t wait till Christmas. So when she returned home from an engagement party, a conversation like that took place:

Man: So, don’t you want to know what I got you for Christmas?

Wife: But it’s not Christmas yet…

Man: Oh, I’m just afraid you may stumble into it when you are in the house….

Wife: Oh, you mean it’s already in the house somewhere?

Man: Why don’t you go find it?

I was eventually found on the bedside table of their guest bedroom. My most vivid memory was a shriek from the wife followed by her uncontrollable laughter. She couldn’t believe that her husband had made me just for her. ‘Best Christmas present ever!’ was what she said to him. I felt really loved then. That night, I slept in the couple’s room and had my first sweet dream. I guess this is what they mean by ‘feels like home’.

P/S: I later discovered that the wife also loves taking photograph, lots of them in fact. Yesterday morning, she took me out to the dining table and started taking pictures of me from all angles. I felt like a stuffed toy model!

glimpses of Christmas around the house

This Christmas is an extra special one for us since it is the first Christmas in our little nest. For a long while, I was undecided about getting our old tree out from storage and decorating it. Finally, I decided against it. Somehow, the idea of having an artificial tree wasn’t as appealing to me as it was before. Nonetheless, something has to be done in order to get into the festive mood of the season!

But I gave myself a challenge – to recycle all our existing ornaments and not buy new ones. So I went on a ‘hunting and gathering’ trip and looked for twigs that I could use…These were what I made from them:

Centrepiece for our dining table; the personalized ceramic star was the only Christmas decorative thing I’ve bought…

Centrepiece for our outdoor dining table; all ornaments were bought from IKEA in previous years…

Outside – Twiggy wreath on our front door…

Inside – On the little ledge beside our front door…

Presents corner!

P/S: I am a guest blogger on Mish’s blog today writing about ‘a handmade life’, go check it out.

homemade Christmas

Every Christmas, I try to make some of my gifts and cards instead of buying everything from the mall. It’s my way of reminding myself not to get too caught up with, unfortunately, the materialistic aspect of this festive season. I realized I’ve wrapped up some of my presents before I could photograph them but here are the rest I’ve made so far…

A hand-cut poster in a gorgeous timber frame scoured from opshop – for Zoe and Nico

I love it whenever CS gets roped into my crafting adventure as well! Here he’s using our latest tool purchase – a heavy duty staple gun!

A cork board backed with flannel cloth and animals cut out from felt cloth which…

I can imagine this little guy having a good time with it!

And finally, I’ve made something from my sewing exploits – stuffed alphabet letters for little Edward and Kezia..

I am also making a couple of these button necklaces as gifts; I really like my latest haul of  “vintagey buttons”  I bought at the opshop weeks ago!

Challenge: This Christmas, how about making 1 or 2 handmade gifts instead of buying all your presents from the shops?

love packages

Look what came through in the mail for me yesterday…and did you notice what I was carrying in my hand? It’s a Starbucks paper bag which contained a Starbucks mug all the way from Portland, courtesy of Mich who just returned from her Thanksgiving trip from America.

I had a great time laughing after I opened the parcel – Liz, my longtime friend from Uni had sent me a whiskey flask as a Christmas present! She wrote: “I’m not sure whether you have been reformed since…but I seriously doubt it since you now live in a country where good wine is so readily available! So, when I saw this little gift, I thought of you. Well, it would be a useful little thing to carry around the winter months when you need a little something to lose your inhibitions and warm up!”

Thank God for friends who think of you when they travel and friends who accept you for who you are regardless!

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