Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Simple Christmas Craft

Before I start showing you some pics of christmassy things I have been making, I want to acknowledge that my last few posts have been rather miserable. Not very me at all and not very joyful, especially at this time, one of joy, love, peace and hope. I've had everything but christmas on my mind lately, and it's not helped me to feel festive and even realise how soon christmas is. Funerals, dentist appointments, colds and just normal life has thrown me. I still have a memorial to attend, still have dentist appointments, and normal life goes on, but I had to make a decision to be positive and de-stress. With the help of wonderful people, I am making this time a more positive one for me. And it's like I never left, Ive been crafting all week, opshopping for gifts and getting rather excited. Mince pies have been baked and tonight is the start of many christmas dinner parties, and I am excited. I will also mention a huge thankyou to Percy for having early nights, and hubby for having a couple of music nights, which has left me to watch what I want and set up my craft stations with no one to bother or distract me!!! So yep!

One night this week, I decided to make some paper fairy lights. I used small doilys and used my stash of quality streets wrappers from last years christmas (a family favourite). I simply placed the wrapper on a doily, and pinched the centre and twisted, which left a pretty, colourful thing, which I am calling a fairy light.

I then just threaded some thread in a needle and went through the back twisted part so I could hang them up. These might just stay up all year, or maybe not, we will see.

Ive also been loving colouring at the moment. Maybe cos it therapeutic and relaxing. I thrifted a pack of vintage christmas cards which you then colour, so Ive been busy doing that, with Orange is the new black in the background...quite perfect!

Did I mention the fairy lights were made while watching Zoolander!

I also made this very simple garland. I cut out cardboard christmas images from an old box I found, attached thread to them and hung them above my door. I like it.

Mince Pies have been baked and all eaten..made with homemade spelt pastry and homemade filling, they were good!

We also attended the Scandinavian Christmas Bazaar on the weekend with wonderful friends. It's become an annual tradition, not only celebrating christmas in Scandinavian style, but celebrating a birthday of my Norwegian friend, so a great day all round. This is what I made her, perhaps an idea for a christmas gift you could make..

A embroidery hoop with the best hankie Ive ever seen, a felt ball necklace and rolls of handmade fabric tape

The next few pics are of my house at the moment decorated..

our wreath I made from vintage christmas paper which you can buy here

christmas lights in my kitchen

paper bunting made with the vintage christmas paper hanging in our lounge window

an assortment of handmade, opshopped or gifted decorations on our tree. it looks better at night with the lights on

cute candles all in a row, and more bunting sitting on our fireless fireplace

my favourite of all the vintage christmas paper!

Ive loved seeing what fellow bloggers have been doing around their homes to celebrate christmas. Have you been making or doing much? 

See you soon, and thanks again for reading this blog,

Taz xx

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Why do you love Christmas?

This is a question I asked a few friends last night. Christmas is well and truly here, the count down to Christmas day is happening, menus are being planned, parties are being had, shopping is being done, making things, decorating etc. But why do YOU love it? What is it about Christmas that makes you do all these things? It is just cos everyone else is? Is it cos that's how you've always done it since you were a child? When Christmas day hits, whats on your mind? What are you counting down for during this advent period? I'm asking you, as I have no idea myself! It hit me last night that I love the decorating, the making, finding wonderful gifts, the meals, the baking, the community lunches. I love handing over a gift I'm excited about and I love receiving something I know someone else is excited about. But none of that has anything to do with Christmas does it? Or is that Christmas? I want to start finding my own love for Christmas based on what I believe, on what I think the significance of this time is, I want Christmas day to hit me in a way it hasn't before. What am I counting down for? Lunch..i eat lunch, Im already part of a church community during the week, family gathering..again, this is a regular occurrence. I love giving, which besides on a birthday isn't something that really happens, so that's good. But why am I giving? What is all this about? I've loved Christmas since I can remember. But as I no longer get the excitement and joy of seeing my stocking fill up half way through the night, and as leaving mince pies and carrot sticks out doesn't mean anything to me now besides, what I waste, I could be eating that, i'm trying to figure out my own, new, love for something that I do think is special, and that is a birth of a baby. However it happened, however he was conceived, and how ever you/I feel about this baby, a birth is a celebration. And i guess the difference between this birth and that of any other, is what you believe. For me, I do believe in Jesus and what his life looked like, and id like to think he was a baby born into the world like you and me. And as I love to hang bunting, plan a menu, and shop for Percys, mums, sister, brothers, friends birthdays and celebrate them, I feel that's why I love Christmas. I'm ok with celebrating involving food,decorating and gift giving. This is how we celebrate. But i don't think i've ever experienced a Christmas where i've really thought about why we are doing this. Don't worry, i've not been living under a rock my whole life, I know that Christmas is about baby Jesus. i've read it, seen plays, the local carols remind us of the story, church on christmas day reminds of the story but that doesn't mean it means anything to you. I want to find it for me, not just cos i get told it by someone else. I've been feeling lost, like just why are we doing all this? Id love to know why you love Christmas. I guess, as i write this, i think i've found it. I think i answered my own question. a birth is a celebration of life. regardless of what a person does with their lives, and if you even believe it, a life is a life. Maybe Christmas is just a birthday party? I wont sing happy birthday, but if I look at what we are actually celebrating, then yes, I will celebrate. As i recently learnt of the death of a person in my community who for me,also lived a life like no other, I celebrate Christmas day as a thank you for his life too.

I think ive been feeling bad that christmas doesn't really matter to me. Ive not been fake over the years pretending to like it, I do. But ive never really had a reason why besides 'its christmas'. My count down is now this. I dont really know the birth date of Jesus, but as i do celebrate his life, I will do so on christmas day. I will enjoy eating and singing carols. I will enjoy handing over a gift, with love to someone I love. I will reflect and be thankful for the birth of a child. I know this all sounds so obvious, like thats exactly what everyone else does, well I haven't, i haven't really got it or really cared. I haven't really felt the significance for myself, ive just gone along with everyone else. But I plan for this year to be different. And maybe I need to learn that its also ok for it to not mean anything at all. That maybe just the family traditions, memories, the festive-ness bring me joy, and thats ok.

Please share why you love christmas. What does it mean to you? And if it means nothing, and your ok with that, please let me know. I'd love to know how people are feeling but remembering this is a joyful time, however its spent and what ever we believe.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Oh sugar!

Sorry for the non chrismassy post...
I've just returned from my 4th dentist appointment in a month. Im feeling exchausted after this last one. My body was so damn tense, and as usual, I did not numb up as they expected so I felt more than I would have liked. I'm feeling mentally drained too. I put so much thought into whats best for my body. I chose a holistic dentist, I chose to get a root canal removed and I thought getting these extra fillings they found was a good idea, getting my teeth back on track and finally move on from the dentist. But, today, he showed me my xrays and explained that some of the holes I have, are less than a year old. I wanted to cry. I'd totally understand if it was from my childhood or bad teenage years, but Ive made such an effort in the way I care for my health and my oral health over the past couple of years. Im blogging this, as the internet does not help when it comes to what I should do, but instead, your opinions, experience and perhaps, things you've been taught might help me. My dentist said there is one solution, NO MORE SUGAR. I felt like screaming, as Ive cut out sugar so much. We dont even have it in the house. No juice, no dried fruit, I dont drink soft drinks. We dont have sauces or jams and sweet foods I make completely from scratch with rice malt syrup, which I thought was safe for teeth. I do have fresh fruit, but I have one or maybe sometimes two pieces a day.

Ok, so some truth, I do eat sugar sometimes. Often when we meet with friends for dinner I will have some dessert, or with family, or the odd tea and cake date out, but I dont think I eat more than anyone else. I know I eat far less. The way my teeth are NOT coping with the little sugar I have is concerning me. Im also confused about the fact that the dentist suggested buying a slurpie (icy sweet drink) to help with the inflammed gums....hold on, I thought I can't have sugar!!!???

More truth, we dont use flouride toothpaste and we drink filtered water. Our choice for our famiy. But I am aware, that flouride is fantastic for teeth, and this is where I am torn. Eat sugar, flouride will combat it. Dont use flouride, then ditch sugar. Both options are hard and Im needing help.
I take full responsibility for this, but surley Im not alone. Am I the only one with so many teeth issues?? What do you do? Do you eat sugar? Have you cut down on sugar? Why? What advice does your dentist give you. Do you go to the dentist?

I don't really know the point in this post other than I'd love a bit of a discussion. Are dentists just there to take my money filling every cavity even if its not a concern (probably not, as him telling me to ditch sugar is a big deal for all the companies out there serving me sugar)? Is sugar terrible for teeth? How does flouride make all the difference and what did people do before flouride was put in water and toothpaste? Gah, I feel like the teeth I have at the moment deserve to be with a 70 old sugarholic, not a 26 year old woman who thought she was doing ok and is tired from researching only to find Ive got to return to the dentist 2 two more times and stop consuming the one thing I hardly consume anyway. Does this mean everyone around me who eats as much or more sugar than me is a ticking time bomb for teeth misery, or is the flouride giving you permission to eat it and for it to not do any harm? Or do my teeth deal with food differently to yours? I feel this is going to be a never ending battle.

If you have nothing to say, and are as confused as me...I understand!!!

The images above are of a display at Federation Square. Everything is piped with buttercream icing. The carpets, food, cushions, blankets, pictures, flowers. All but the furniture. It smelt incredibly sweet and delicious..of course!!