Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Handmade Christmas

Lately I have been stitching Christmas. The shepherds in the fields.....

.... three crowns for my little kings and queen.....

....Mary, Joseph, and an admittedly lumpy and oversized donkey (well, I had to shrink him in the washing machine...)

...tree decorations. The pink bird was stitched by my five year-old son....

....three kings from the Orient....

... and here's my husband's beautiful contribution - a gorgeous wooden stable.

Mary and Joseph are journeying around the house until Christmas Eve, the kings are waiting in their castle (constructed from wooden blocks by my children), and the shepherd is tending his flock in a little felt field.

Today I have been dyeing pieces cut from an old silk sheet which I'm attempting to stitch into cloaks for the children, to go with their crowns. Husband chopped down a pine tree (he regards this as environmental assistance because apparently these trees are a pest here in Tasmania) and brought it home on the back of the ute. The children almost exploded with excitement before helping us decorate it with all the beautiful handmade things we've been gathering and making. I wrapped a little piece of tinsel round some of the branches but it actually spoilt it, so I've hung said tinsel along the edge of the mantelpiece above the fireplace, together with my eldest's fingerknitted Christmas strings. The paper angels from Lark are singing along the shelf, and the tin Santa we brought from London is standing in the middle of them all.

Making Christmas.... probably the best way I've ever done it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Anniversary...

We've been living in Tasmania's beautiful Huon Valley for a whole year now. During that time we've discovered beautiful beaches, amazing old growth forests, magical caves, waterfalls, rainforest, mountains, quaint little country towns (which would definitely be known as villages if they were in England), and the paradisiacal Bruny Island. We've made some gorgeous friends with lovely people, and woven ourselves into the wonderful community centred on our school. Our veggie garden is bursting at the seams, our garden is rambling with flowers, and the rain is keeping everything green and growing. We've even started fixing up the children's cubby house, so they'll have their very own summer hideout.

After a year in Tasmania, we are so happy we made the decision to flee the heat and concrete of the city, and finally I am happier than ever that I crossed the world in the hope of a better life. I am grateful to say I have found it, and the best affirmation of that is watching my children run through the grass at home, chase the waves at the beach, delight in the wildlife all around them, and enjoy the friendships and the community we have found here. Their sparkling eyes, rosy cheeks, tangled hair and grazed knees say it all....!