Christmas Around My Home – the last post for 2014

Christmas, table setting, hessian, white, naturalWhat a wonderful year 2014 has been! I will be taking a blog break until the new year, but i wanted to quickly say thank you to everyone who has encouraged and supported me throughout 2014. When i look back over the past year, i can honestly say that i can not remember a time when i was happier. The fresh new start at our property, Melancholy Hill, certainly set the tone for the rest of the year. unique christmas tree ribbonThe guesthouse has been a smashing success this year and with a few bookings already for 2015, i know the next year will be the same. Messages of thanks and happiness fill my guest book at RedAgape Guesthouse and i am so pleased to be able to share the beauty of Millthorpe with others.
DAS air dry clayI have had so many new opportunities to further improve my photography, styling and writing over the last 12months. Thank you to those who have trusted me to produce good work, despite my lack of formal qualifications. The experience i have gained over the last year has been priceless.
gift wrappingI have so much gratitude for a year of reasonably good health….something i NEVER take for granted. I am also extremely grateful for the good health of all those i hold dear. I hope this continues in 2015.
Christmas, table setting, natural,This year i have finally been able to feel some resolution about losing my mother last year. I think of her everyday and I’m grateful for the pain because it makes me determined to fill every moment with as much happiness and joy as i can muster.
clay stars for christmasI have loved watching three very special people, my children, grow a little more into totally inspiring human beings. They are so kind, thoughtful, bright and pure. I wish Mum could see how they’ve grown. I am unbelievably proud of them and everything they do.
Marble, wood, Christmas, white clayI have crossed paths with so many like minded people this year, who have encouraged me to follow my dreams and believe in myself a little more. It is so refreshing to be surrounded by creative and inspiring people who want me to succeed. Thank you to those people – you know who you are. xoxox
Christmas, table setting, decorating, stylingI also want to say goodbye to Ruby. Our dog of 15yrs was diagnosed with cancer on Saturday and sadly we had to put her to sleep. There were lots of tears on Saturday but we are consoled by the fact she has lived a long life and isn’t suffering anymore. The last year she spent at Melancholy Hill was probably her happiest too.
Christmas outdoorsFinally, Merry Christmas and a Happy new year to my readers. I am looking forward with great anticipation to 2015 – i have so much planned!!!

DIY Christmas Wreath – Ribbon Poinsettias

christmas craft - poinsettia ribbons

Making your own Christmas wreath is a great craft project to help celebrate the festive season. This tutorial is for a christmas wreath made from ribbon poinsettias. These ribbon poinsettias are easy to make and look beautiful when made from glossy satin ribbon. Here’s what you will need –

  • satin ribbon – 5cm wide
  • floristry wire
  • scissors
  • a wreath base – of whatever material you like
  • a hot glue gun
  • embellishments – bells, bead (optional)

christmas craftFor each ribbon poinsettia you will need to cut three strips of ribbon approximately 15cm long. christmas craftCut the ends of the ribbon to form points – you will need to do this for both ends. christmas craftFold each strip of ribbon like a concertina: fold in half and then fold the outer edges in opposite directions. Your ribbon should look like a bow tie (see the image above)ribbon poinsettiasAs you fold each strip thread them onto a pin to hold them in place until you are ready to secure them with wire.
christmas craftTake a piece of wire, also 15cm long and fold over so it resembles a hair pin.
christmas craftPut the wire over the centre of the three strips of ribbon and twist a couple of times at the back to make it secure. You can now remove the pin.
ribbon poinsettiasCross over your wires – this is the hardest part. If you look at the image above you can see the wire is attached in three different directions: one straight across (the first step of attaching the wire) and two in diagonally opposite directions. To make your first diagonal, take one of the ends of the wire from the back, separate your ‘petals’ and take the wire up through one pair of divided petals and down through the opposite pair of divided petals. Take the second end of the wire from the back and repeat the same steps on the opposite side. With both wire ends now at the back, give them a final couple of twists to make your flower secure. You can now play with your petals until you have achieved a look that you are happy with. christmas craftIf you want to add beads or bells to the centre of your ribbon flower, simply add the embellishment at the wiring step.

christmas craftThe rest of the ribbon is completed in the same way as the plain ribbon flowers.
diy Christmas ribbon wreathI made a lot of ribbon flowers in a short amount of time – enough for two wreaths. It is up to you how you choose to attach your ribbon poinsettias to make a wreath. I added my ribbon flowers to a gold wire hoop using my hot gue gun. A similar method could be used regardless of what you choose for your wreath base.

DIY christmas wreathHere are my two Christmas wreaths hanging in our rumpus room.
DIY christmas wreathAnd there’s no reason you can’t make these in other colours and use them as gift toppers or hair bows. Join me on Instagram for other Christmas craft activities.

Pom Pom Christmas Tree

branches in a vintage bottleI really wish i could take the credit for this super easy and fun Christmas tree made from sticks and pom poms. Unfortunately, i can’t and i must give credit where credit is due.  I found the idea on interest here –

pom pom branches for christmas

Click the image for the link

All you need is some pom poms, branches or twigs, a vase and a hot glue gun. Too easy! stick christmas treepom pom christmas tree

For more Christmas craft and styling ideas you can visit my Christmas Pinterest Boardchristmas branches

 

Easy Christmas Craft – White Clay Tags

Marble, wood, Christmas, white clayIf you are looking for a cheap and easy Christmas craft project, these air dry, white clay tags are quick and fun to make. Like all of my favourite craft projects, these tags are simple, affordable and look great. All you need for this Christmas project is – DAS air dry clay (i bought mine from office works), christmas cookie cutters, a straw, a rolling pin and your choice of thread or ribbon to decorate them. DAS air dry clay christmas ornamentsI used some old X-ray films as a mat for rolling out the clay and drying the tags. They work well as the clay doesn’t stick to the surface and they clean up really easily. So, if you have some old X-ray film around, i can highly recommend using it as a mat for this project. clay ornaments and tagsOpen your packet of clay and break off about a third. I like to work with a third at a time because it’s easier to handle and the clay is less likely to dry out if you can work with it quickly. It will look a little grey initially, but don’t worry, once it is dry it will turn white. Roll out your clay until it is nice and smooth on both sides. You don’t want to see any lines or bumps in the clay, or your tags may crack and break as they dry. I like my tags to be about 1/2 a cm thick. Once you are happy that your surface is smooth, press the cookie cutter into the clay until it cuts all the way through. white clay ornaments christmasPush the straw into the clay, twist and pull out the centre, leaving a clean hole for you to thread your string or ribbon through later. DIY air dry clay ornamentsLeave them to dry for up to four days. As they dry you can see them turning a lighter and brighter shade of white. You will know when they are dry when there are no more grey patches left on either the front or the back of the tag. clay stars for christmasHere are some of my finished tags, threaded with jute string. Ribbon or bakers twine looks quite effective too. DIY clay tagsAnd don’t they look great hanging off our stick Christmas tree. My family and i made this tree from sticks that have fallen on our property. It was a great family bonding activity and I LOVE how it turned out. The clay tags compliment the rough sticks perfectly. DAS air dry clayThese tags can be used to decorate Christmas gifts too. The recipients name can be written on the clay once it is dry, or even stamped into the wet clay to leave an impression. whitechristmasaustralianstyleI will be making a batch of these every year to attach to gifts. I may even get a bit more adventurous next year with paint and stamping, but for this Christmas i’m loving the chalky, matt finish of the plain clay tags. It really is starting to look a lot like Christmas around my home. easy christmas craft