I have to say out of all the projects we did for this years theme,Churchmouse Yarn & Tea, this is my favorite. I guess because it came out just as I pictured in my head. I wanted to do a table-top village bit something with real plants and moss. Plus remember no glitter, fake trees or plastic building. This is what I did.
I took a large, very heavy silver tray and lined it with heavy plastic.
Then I dug up some dirt from my raised beds (I had to watch for earth worms. I did NOT want them on my village :-O)
I collected from my garden lots of moss and small plant starts. I found laurel, holly and wild violet. I mound the dirt up around the plants. Also more dirt in the back, so those buildings would be higher than the ones in the front. I covered everything in fresh moss (again watching for bugs and worms as I pulled off sheets of moss from my old stone walls).
I borrowed my mothers charming little houses and all the sheep from our 2 nativity sets. Poor baby Jesus does not have any sheep this year. Evey day I give the whole thing a good spritzing down of water and a little extra water for the plants. It have been a week and I think it will last for the next week until Christmas.
PS, I went to water my village yesterday, as I do every day and noticed the violet is blooming. How cool is that!!
Since our Christmas theme has a Scottish feel, I used that to inspire our Christmas dinner. This is a great menu too because many of the dish (or part of the dish) can be made ahead of time. I will be poaching the salmon ahead, making the custard and herb cheese, as well at the dill sauce a day or two before.
For Christmas morning I am planning on making scotch eggs, fruit and cheese platter, scrambled eggs (we like our pastured eggs), whiskey bacon, sour cherry/lemon zest scones. And who knows what else.
For Christmas Eve, we are going a totally different direction. Tamales, taco salad, beer/bacon drunk beans, cabbage salad w/ lime/cream dressing. All the cookies and candies we have made or have been given. Plus Christmas sangria!!
Last year Churchmouse yarn shop had wonderful paper and tartan plaid cones filled with balls of yarn. We wanted to recreate these. Normally we make a wreath for this mirror but a garland worked better.
First we made cones from roofing paper (I LOVE this stuff. Everyone should own a roll of it). Then covered it with plaid fabric, velvet ribbon and old mother-of-pearl buttons.
The only change we made was to added pine and holly from our garden. I actually pinned each cone to the ribbon with a straight pin. I found it easiest to arrange the cones on the ribbon and you cannot see the pins. I am really happy how this garland turned out!!
As we made a list of what we wanted make for our Churchmouse theme, we had to make felted gingermen (here is the ravelry page for the pattern). You knit a round, then felt it and creat a fabric of sorts that you use to make you gingermen/woman! These were fun to make. Cutting them out I would say was the hardest part.
We also hung tea bags, which I have to say look really cool at night with the twinkle lights making them glow. We tore tartan plaid fabric into strips and ties them on for bows. Lastly we used left over cones (which I will share about next) as tree toppers. These trees turned out really sweet!
Our theme this year is ... TaaaDaaa, A Churchmouse Christmas! Which will probably does not mean much to many of you ;-) On Bainbridge Island is the most charming yarn and tea shop ever. This is the kind of store you walk in and all cares fall off of you. The kind of store you wish would rent you a cot in the corner for the weekend. Full of beautiful wool yarns, Emma Bridgewater ceramics, French linen for embroidery and needlepoint, Smith tea, transferware, English antiques and much more. We are forever inspired by Churchmouse and decided to make it our Christmas theme this year.
We assembled a list of what we thought encompassed the shop. Along with past years ideas from the shops Christmas decor this is what we came up with.
Tartan plaid, in soft muted shades of brown, moss green, red, blue and black
antique silver and chrystal
deer antlers, transferware, English china
live greenery, plants and white flowers
wool and knitted items (we threw in antique crochet too, as in trying to use what we already had).
(no glitter, bright colors, plastic, wire rimmed ribbon. Only real stuff)
Today I am sharing our whisky/port bar for it was the first thing we set up. Last year the Churchmouse had a beautiful Christmas window display. There was an antique English table with chrystal decanters of whiskey (well we are guessing it was whiskey ;-) I pulled out my beige crochet tablecloth made by my great grandmother and ran a length of wool fabric as a runner. Stole bits and bobs from the bar in the library. Cut some greens and add some bone spoons. Just before Christmas, I will cut some holly from our holly tree. Even though there is very little red and a lot of brown, it still feels quite festive. Next I will share the little trees and our gingermen we made!
ps. sorry for the quality of photos. It has been so black and rainy. Makes it hard to get good photos. If the sun comes out. I will share better ones!!
I confess I am a Christmas girl. I love everything about it, the good and the bad. I hear all about the commercialization and pressure of Christmas. And it is true but I think it is about what one focuses on, where we put our eyes. I encourage all of us to focus on the joy, the love, the little things that makes Christmas so special: candy canes, a child's excitement, fresh holly, twinkle lights, the birth of Christ.
Ones health is very important. Having goals and keeping them is crucial but there are days when ones need to just let go and splurge a bit. Have that slice of cake (or pizza). Really, truly, enjoy it. And if you truly for your health cannot have a slice of cake, then redefine what cake is to you. The point is take a day off now and then, just enjoy. Even if it is not good for your health because it will be good for your soul and that is still a good thing l!
Every Thanksgiving I make a small gift for each of my guess, as a reminder of that year. This years gift is wood spoons. I have painted them red and stamped them with the saying "stir up thankfulness". In the past I have made acorn cross, bronzed pine cones, paper feather, book apple and cups. I think I will add a tag so each person can write what they are thankful for this year.
You will need wooden or bamboo spoons with a flat handle. Acrylic paint, painter tape, alphabet stamps and a stamp pad. You could paint over the stamped side of the spoon with some kind of sealer, I did not.
Start by taping off the spoon, so you can paint the back and sides of the spoon. I found I only needed one coat of paint and then just a touch up in spots. Also I filled the hole with a little ball of painters tape. Tip, if you get paint on areas of the spoon you do not want, I found it easy to sand off with fine grit sandpaper.
Finally stamp out your saying. I suggest you practice a few times on paper first but do not go for perfection. This is a heartfelt token to remind one of their blessings and that is what counts.
ps. even though I checked the spelling, you can see I misspelled thankfulness. Sighhhh but yet perfect because that is me. Dyslexic, misspelling me!