Christmas House Tour 2012 Day 2: the big tree

Last Christmas I mentioned to my darling daughter that I rather thought 2012 might well be the last year for the main tree.

I bought this six footer at Tarshay in 1999, after decades of real trees that we would get at one of those Christmas Tree Farms where they cut them for you and charge by the foot. We’d drag ’em home, set up the bucket of wet sand, and while I revelled in the real pine scent, two of my three offspring would spend several days with streaming eyes and struggling for breath. Hence the Target tree.

Each year it has gotten a little bit more raggedy, and there have been more cat-chewed bits of fake pine on the carpet but it still looked pretty good … I thought … until it came to trying to get a decent photograph for last year’s blog, and that was when I knew its time had pretty much come.018

Although now that I look at that photo, it’s still pretty … pretty. In my mind it was a lot more raggedy than this.

So, I was planning on a bit of tree replacement for next Christmas [ not a lot in the way of post Chrissie sales round Castlemaine ] and then a couple of weeks ago, Target put their trees out on a really good reduction so I now have a lovely new seven footer.

Decorating it was interesting. like … well … it’s a foot taller. It should need more ornaments, right?

So why do I have a half a big box left over?

and the answer is …028

that the new tree has more branches with fuller foliage so it just seemed to call for a lighter hand.

I haven’t used any of the strings of beads, stars, faux pearls that have been on the big tree in previous years, and most of the plastic and glass baubles that used to form the understory just weren’t needed.

It has my favourite antique looking mercury glassĀ  and frankly fake acrylic icicles

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a few crochet snowflakes that I couldn’t find room for in the kitchen.

This is the one I’m making for myself and gifts this year.[ free pattern – and many many more – at Snowcatcher’s blog ]

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and other pieces of glass

This year I added a couple of packs of tiny blue jingle bells, and I cut up 4 boxes of matching blue bead garland into short strands for draping on the ends of branches.

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My cousin Katti says that this tree is very restrained. I hope it’s also elegant cos that was kinda where I was heading with it.

At least Suki approves011

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Quilt Trek: The Next Generation

This was the scene in my lounge room sewing room this morning: next Christmas’s quilt in potentia on the design wall, being tinkered with occasionally in between bouts of current shawl knitting.

that was until Miss Nat [ The Girl’s BFF and bridesmaid ] arrived from Melbourne with her sewing machine and her ever burgeoning stash of fabric … to which was added the several metres that we had picked up during the week on her behalf.

My quilt bits were relocated and Nat’s quilt #1 went up [ followed later by bits of quilt #2 which I seem to have failed to document thus far ]

Nadie spent some time plying her one of her current handspun creations, and once that was done, switched to working on an ‘X Bag’ pattern that we picked up at Maldon a couple of weeks ago. I’ll leave it to Nadie to detail her spinning exploits on her own blog later.

MissC decided that her role was to make sure the bag pieces didn’t try to escape

and firmly resisted any and all attempts to move her

until it was established that she would make a lovely pincushion, at which point she bowed to the inevitable and settled down on the version I’d made earlier in the week. I know I haven’t shown mine yet but I promise I will once I can get it out from under the cat [ denim and cat print … what a surprise ]

with and without feline and canine assistance Nadie finished off her bag after tea with a vintage 1950s button as the perfect accent

Tomorrow is our February Sit-and-Sew / Stitch&Bitch / UFO [ unfinished objects ] Day, – which is why Miss Natty’s up here for the weekend and we’re expecting several friends of a fibre-y persuasion to arrive late morning with mountains of yarn and/or fabric … and food … so another great day in the offing.

You know, I’ve just read what I’ve written, and really, I’ve totally failed to give you an adequate impression of just wonderful it is to be able to pass the love of some of my favourite things on to the next generation … but Captain Jean-Luc Picard would understand.