Friday, November 29, 2013

Can Christmas be simple?

I hauled the tree out today, dusted off the decorations - and BAM, just like that, my clear, clean, serene home suddenly felt out.of.control.

I've always been quite restrained when it comes to Christmas decorating. I don't have loads of knick-knacks that are brought out just for the month of December. I don't change tea-towels or dinner services. I have only one tree, and I stick to a simple colour palette.

This year though, I'm challenging myself to pare it back even more: a simply decorated tree, a single dining table vignette, and twinkly lights (of course). That's all. It's enough.

I love this time of year, I do. I love the carols, the twinkling lights, the festive cheer. So that's what I'm focusing on. Gifts this year will be simple, home-made where possible (and practical), and I will do my best to choose quality over quantity, needs over wants, and experiences over things.

I want my boys to learn that the real magic of Christmas is in its spirit: the way people slow down, smile more, are more aware, practice charity, find joy in giving, and appreciate one another.

I think last year I started getting it right. I loved this simple table I set for our traditional Christmas Eve family get-together.

And I can't wait for tonight.  Decorating the tree is always so special for me. I put on some carols, pour a glass of champagne and adore every minute of it.

(I'm going early [we are a 1st of  December family usually], but if I don't do it tonight, it won't get done until the end of next week, and that would be a travesty.)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


"A portrait of my boys, once a week, every week, in 2013"

We went on an afternoon trip to the Science Centre. It was great fun, but I think the journey there was the highlight for them. They had a certain swagger. I think they felt very grown up walking down to the arts precinct. And they look it too. My babies are real little boys now.

Hame. Balancing on a retaining wall. My heart was in my mouth.

Roc. It looks like a quiet moment of contemplation, but actually, it was just a lucky shot. This kid never stops. Every photo I have of him lately is a blur.

I've missed a couple of weeks. The photos are there, but I've been having trouble downloading them. I'll catch up soon.

Friday, November 8, 2013

How to make a hat

Time. You need time. Carve it out from wherever you can.

A bucket. Scalding hot water. Old gloves, a parasisal hood, some sinnamay and a packet of dye. Silk taffeta. Antique brass French flower making tools. Some yarn. A needle. An iron. A hat block. Elbow grease.

And yet more time.

Add champagne.