Saturday, December 19, 2009

Seasons Greetings

I'm popping in briefly to apologize for the lack of posts for such a very long time. A lot has happened in the last six months and I'm only just starting to get back on top of things.

I'm head down, and finishing a book so this won't be a long blog. I just thought I'd share some of my "between scenes" activities — the fiddly fun stuff I do with my fingers while my brain is dreaming up the next scene in the book. And at this time of the year it's decorations and ornaments.

I love Christmas. I normally have a real Christmas tree — mostly a seedling or a branch from the pine trees that my dad planted many years ago. I don't care about falling needles,
I love the smell of fresh-cut pine sap and to me, Christmas isn't the same without it. But those trees are a 90 minute drive away and I'm slaving over a hot book and can't afford the time. I know I could buy one, but this year in particular I'm feeling a bit sentimental and if I can't have Dad's pine trees, I don't want any, and I'm working all through Christmas anyway, so I'm going minimalist.

On a recent dog-walk beside the creek, I picked up some lovely fallen eucalyptus twigs and sprayed them with chrome paint, which comes out shinier than silver spray paint. And on them I've hung home made paper ornaments.

Now I'm no origami guru -- I've never even made one paper crane, let alone a thousand. But trust me, these are easy. And made with beautiful paper and a couple of beads they look stunning, even if I do say so myself.

The beautiful colored bells are made with 5 inch square Japanese orgami paper and are amazingly easy except for the last tricky bit, which takes a little fiddling until you get it — it's easy after the first time. You can see someone making it here on youtube, but she rushes the fiddly end part, so go to Ann Martin's wonderful blog which shows the fiddly part best. I added a few beads and an occasional tassel to mine. I've also made some tiny bells, too, as you can see from the pic on the left.
Some people hang them the other way up, which gives you a variety of shapes.

Then there are these beautiful pinecone mobiles, which are so easy -- just cut and thread along with some beads, then hang and watch them catch each little breeze. I made this with good quality textured wrapping paper, but the first one I made with photocopy paper and it's lovely, too.

I loved this little wreath. I like tiny things, so this is half the size of the pattern here. I used white note paper and the lining of a very
pretty envelope for an alternate pattern.

If you're snowed in and have kids to entertain, I blogged about crafts last year on Word Wenches (and will do again this year) so click here if you want more fun and easy things to make.

All the best for the holiday season — stay safe and happy, and may the new year bring peace and safety for all.