Sunday, 1 January 2012

Christmas vignettes

So its New Years day. No resolutions for me, too much pressure ; ) Just hoping to ease in to this brand new year with a little grace and remember to breathe a little more. In my line of work just time itself, looking ahead at any future time is an exciting prospect as it represents the possibility and potential for more art-making and for new learning, that being one of my deepest joys. 
Speaking of learning, I got an order for a Nativity Donkey just before Christmas...Requests like these I find daunting, but I'm up for a creative challenge. It always amazed me when I worked as a painter how people presumed that meant you could, and would paint anything. I've found the same with feltmaking. So when a potential customer sees your work then asks you to make a specific thing for them, how can you say no..? They believe you can do it, so that must mean you can, right?! Up until these past few weeks I'd no desire nor idea how to go about the process of making a four-legged creature in felt. But I'm beginning to figure it out : ) I've learned that with all such things, you've just got to get on with it. You start by taking a single wisp of wool in your hands..

 I seem to have mixed feelings when it comes to this time of year somehow. I guess my resistance to the commercialism and consumerism is part of it. Although I'm not religious, I do believe in the need and the potential for a warm spiritual aspect to this time of year, in a quiet understated way. And that's all I can try and create simply in my own home and family.
 As it's my busiest time of year for work, I miss the sweet, atmospheric lead-up to the day and sometimes I regret that. Luckily though, living in such a rural area it's easy to avoid the madness, I don't make it in to the cities so we get to bypass that part. 
What I did love this year was the making of Christmas decorations with the children in the last couple of handwork lessons of the term. And I value the reuniting of my family. How our children love those days and nights spent with their cousins again!
 We were all together this year, all eighteen of us spanning three generations gathered in my parent's house for five days. Very grateful for the mild weather and clear roads. I didn't sit behind the wheel of a car the whole time. Feeling very allergic to being in the car at the moment. As we live quite a distance from the school community, the driving is intense and I'm relishing the break from it.

The joy of waking up without the gruelling early morning ring of the alarm clock! I left my computer behind, and set my mobile phone aside. We don't have a television at home so it was fun to watch some films with the gang late at night, and feast!
 I cherished the opportunity in the evenings to work on some projects, in front of my father's roaring open fire.
When I was younger I would spend ages figuring out what clothes to pack for a trip, now that's easy but I spend a lot of time packing a handwork bag! Filling it with all the possible threads, needles and other bits I might need to work on different small projects while on the road. Inevitably, I get far less time to work on these things in reality. But not so this time! I packed several small projects that needed finishing off, this is never my favourite part ; ) and a crochet pattern to make (sharing this in an upcoming post) I got through them all, a first for me and satisfying.

 I had fun the previous days making presents for loved ones. I put small bags of materials together for the older set of my sibling's lovely children..

Little easy to make for, no?

I'd really recommend this idea of gifting a crafting kit that you can easily put together, and having a couple of  fun ideas for what can be made from the contents. Contrary to what people may think I reckon a crafting session is still a major draw for any children, in spite of any screens that may compete for their time and attention. These little Christmas trees are an ideal way to use up all your scraps of wool felt which I always keep, no matter how small! I happenend upon this this tutorial on Julia Crossland's blog. I made some changes to the method for cutting the circles, had the children do it all by eye. We made these in school too. 

I reckon you can put pretty much anything together with glue. But I'm interested in what you can make with children, what they can make, without using the stuff. Kids of all ages get such a kick out of realising they can stitch. I was so impressed with our gang, my nephews and niece made a wonderful job of these...

And I loved what my Mom and sis did with her Child of Christmas : ) 

I'll be back here on Wednesday for Yarn Along and after that with more seasonal pieces to share.
The very happiest new year to you and thank you for reading. M


  1. dear mia,
    i don't know where to start. everything is so beautiful, but your donkey made me gasp, as did the child of christmas. oh my goodness. you are so talented, just completly inspiring.
    happy new year to you and yours, and many blessings in twenty ten.

    p.s. is that you in the photo? :)

  2. i forgot to say the childrens trees are adorable!! i have to remember these for next year. thank you for sharing.

  3. Your holiday time reads as so very warm and comfortable- just as it should be! It sounds like a wonderful celebration! So delightful to see all your holiday makings- The tress are such a great idea, and I LOVE your little dolls in their crocheted baskets. They look so held and loved within their wooly coccoons. They are perfect! I'd love to order one from you, actually (or a trade?:)! With three older sons, I need these small lovelies, sometimes! Wishing you a peaceful, joy filled colourful, creative New Year!

  4. Hey Lori ann and Fiona! Delighted to see you here and to read your lovely words. And yes Lori ann, that's me with my lovely nephew, thanks so for all your warm wishes.
    Thanks to you too Fiona, I'd be honoured to do a trade with you. I'll be in touch.
    I so enjoy both of your wonderful blogs lassies x

  5. Your Christmas does indeed sound wonderful Mia. How lovely to get together with all the family for 5 whole days. I have wonderful memories of Christmas with my parents and Grandparents, singing round the piano. Yours will always remember their time with their cousins and crafting with 'Aunt Mia' or Mum! I love those Christmas trees, what a great idea. Jack would love to make those - next Christmas. The donkey is a triumph and I'm sure it was well received.

  6. So many wonderful with the children....and the child of Christmas wool babies are very sweet...we also made trees like that with my sister and her girls!

  7. What beautiful treasurers, and your donkey is delightful. cheers Marie

  8. Love that donkey, and if I could have had that Christmas Child as a kid--ohhh! Your site is beautiful.

    My name's Mia, too...