Thursday, 18 December 2014


It has been wildly busy recently, work is crazy and of course weekends are all about Christmas. These photos should have made several posts but there never seemed to be a moment to write and publish.
I am longing for the quiet,slow days of the holidays when family will be at the centre of everything I do. Craft projects will get done, Christmas baking smells will fill the house and there will be a daily fire drawing us all to its warmth. Together for a week we will enjoy these small things and know that it is this togetherness that is at the centre of the holiday. Nothing else matters.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Bedtime reading.

I have recently added this to our collection of Christmas books. It is a story I have known for years and am so enjoying visiting it again. Dylan has such poetry in his writing and it begs to be read aloud, preferably by a roaring fire as the snow softly falls outside. One can only dream...

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Simple Christmas Wrapping.

I have started to wrap a few presents. I love to wrap and planning my theme is one of my favourite things to do in the lead up to Christmas. I am using brown paper yet again but this year am coupling this with black tissue paper as well. Black ribbon or black and white butcher's string brings in a contrast and of course a touch of nature is needed to finish it all off.
These lovelies are now winging their way to Canada - to a brand new baby and her gorgeous parents. The memory of Christmases spent with with a brand new baby just makes me smile so much; they're the special ones.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

The Scent of Christmas

One of the things as that makes Christmas special for me are the scents that abound at this time of year. Pine, orange, cinnamon, rosemary and beeswax are all the smells I associate with Christmas. Last weekend I bought myself a couple of treats, 'Winter' pot pourri, from the White Company and Red Cedar Oil from one of my favourite Oxford shops, 'Objects of Use'.
The 'Winter' scent has brings back memories of a dear friend and the pot pourri is both beautiful and has filled my front room with the essence of Christmas. My favourite purchase is the oil however. It is the purest smell of wood; like standing in a woodshed. I love it more than I can say.
Also on the table is rosemary. I have a massive bush of rosemary at the front of my house and I use it all the time in the house. I love rosemary for its beautiful smell and the way it looks, it is an especially deep, rich green and the soft grey of the stem is just gorgeous. It has a place in my home all year round.
Finally I have made a decision to burn bees wax candles this year - they are supposed to clean the air as well as imparting that beautiful honey scent. 
What scents do you associate with Christmas?

Monday, 1 December 2014

Advent Calendar

For years (at least 17) we have used the same mass produced pocket advent calendar. The children loved it - sentimental characters that they are - but for the last few years I have hated it. I have also been watching with envy lovely folks like Lou make the most wonderful advent calendars. Beware of traditions - you get to live with them for a LONG time...Anyway this year I have rebelled and I have made our advent calendar. Despite a few grumbles I am happy to report that the children have given it the thumbs up and I am forgiven.

The basis of the calendar was a stick and some greenery. I was very keen to add the dimension of scent so I chose herbs along with the fir and ivy to decorate with.

Once everything was firmly tied down with my trusty garden twine I wound some lights through the green. You can never have too many fairy lights at this time of year....

My original idea was to include several decorations in the calendar but actually I changed my mind about that and only a single deer made it onto the final version. he looked at home amongst all the vegetation!

 The chocolate is hidden in the small envelopes attached by wooden clothes pegs or simple paper clips.

Natural colours for a naturally themed Christmas. This calendar reflects how I want this Christmas to look - natural, simple and utilitarian. I spent £1 on the envelopes - everything else I had or foraged.