Christmas 2012

In previous years - especially since having kids we have found Christmas to be pretty stressy, especially since my husband has had major deadlines at work around the same time. So this last festive season in 2012 consisted of us trying to keep it simple whilst trying to stick with the things we love to do.

We like to get a real tree, shop for the kids gifts together, attend carols for children on Christmas Eve, make a few decorations, bake ginger bread with friends and eat some cherries and other summer fruit (we are in Sydney after all). With kids you tend to do lots of fun things, for example we do Christmas craft at a friends house and playgroup Christmas party complete with farm animals!

It was fun to visit the Christmas windows in the city and visit the Swarovski Crystal tree at the Queen Victoria Building. It is totally magical!

We ended up with 17 people in the house on Christmas night and yep, I was cooking. I tried to keep it simple and prepare ahead of time so I could enjoy the day as well.

Christmas activites

My friend from Mother's group held a Christmas craft party for the kids, so I decided to make some gingerbread men with E to take to the party. I must admit I find it hard to relax and let him get too messy while cooking and crafting, I am too much of a control freak and my husband hates mess too. The recipe is a great one from Donna Hay's Modern Classics 2. I want to use this recipe to make a gingerbread house because it made a nice sturdy gingerbread.

She read a book about the Christmas story, we sang Silent Night and we did some craft activities like these star pictures using bits of paper stuck on vellum with a star frame around it. When you stick it on the window it looks really pretty with the light shining through it.

My Creative Space - High Tea

Last weekend I hosted a high tea celebration for my sister who is getting married this weekend. Actually it was more of a brunch because more sparkling wine was consumed than tea. The frustrated stylist in me had so much fun putting this table together! I was road testing the cake stands that we had made for the wedding cupcakes. They are made using thrifted plates and glasses. The homemade flavoured marshmallows are from a local Patisserie called Sweetness. The birds I am currently making for a mobile which will go in the nursery. The bird pattern is from Spool sewing.

I didn't get photos of the food once it was all in place but you get the idea. We had Strawberries, Baklava, marshmallows, Orange and Cranberry Oat cookies, Golden syrup slice (vegan), mini quiches, cucumber sandwiches (some with avocado, swiss cheese or salmon), cherry cheese cake, cranberry brownies and chilli chocolate muffins.

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My Creative Space - Magazine files

I so enjoyed the most recent issue of Frankie mag that I decided it was high time I decorated my Ikea "Knuff" magazine files!

This is how to cover a magazine file...

1. First paint the front with off white acrylic paint. You could skip this step, but I like to see a little white around the edges when I sand back the paper.

2. Cut a piece of your chosen paper to the size of the front part of the file, make it slightly bigger than the file so you can sand the edges back.

3. When the paint is dry, put a coat of Mod Podge glue over the top. Quickly paint a coat of glue on the back of your paper and stick to the still wet front of your magazine file.

4. Using a craft knife cut an x (cross) in the circle of the hole, pushing the paper in to the inside (be careful not to damage the file or paper surrounding).

5. When the glue has dried, sand the edges around the rectangle of the file using a sanding block so that the excess paper is removed. Push backwards as you do this so it makes a clean line.

6. Rip a piece of sandpaper and do the same inside the hole.

7. Use sealer to varnish over the paper to protect it from getting grubby. When I varnished over some of the papers it changed the colours a little, so you may want to test the varnish on a scrap of the same paper first.

Next I might cover some storage drawers...

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