Tuesday, 30 December 2014

My Kinda Christmas

I can't believe it's all over for another year! This Christmas went by particularly fast, probably because Chris and I have been working so much. But even with a crazy schedule we still managed to squeeze in lots of festive festivness.

My favourite traditions include holiday baking, gift wrapping, decorating the home, and of course, working on homemade gifts. This year I had fun with all of them and I even made time for a little seasonal craft project. Here are some photos from our Christmas season, 2014.

As you know, I love to decorate for the season with lots of fresh plants and greenery. Nothing can compare to a home filled with evergreen sprigs and holly, or paper whites and little Cyprus evergreens, a boxwood garland or wreath, and of course, a real Christmas tree! It all smells so good! I even like the somewhat dated frosty ferns and poinsettias!  

 This year my gift wrapping was centred around handmade wrapping paper,  pretty tags and twines, and artful tree ornaments. And yes, I stuck to my old standby, kraft paper. 
 A craft project from two Christmases past. I love to find this little snow globe in the box of 'Christmas Stuff', unwrap it and find a place for it in our home.  Read the how-to post over at Under the Sycarmore.
 Don't you just love that cute little tree on the shelf? I purchased it at Ikea (for only $10) and simply put it in a paper bag and wrapped it with piece of butcher's twine.
 This year I didn't have extra time to experiment with new recipes; I went with my holiday classics, gingerbread, sugar cookies and ricotta cookies with cream cheese icing. Want to make these delightful snowflake sugar cookies? They're super easy! Read my blog post with recipe, here. 

My holiday craft for 2014! I made this paper wreath, it's a wonderful project that I found over at Craft Hunter. Click here to read the how-to. I can't believe I haven't done more paper crafting! Simple materials, amazing results! I'm obsessed!
My homemade caramels. I made two batches this year, and they turned out very well.
Read the recipe and original blog post here.
A few pictures of the old toolbox that I refinished for Chris. I got it at a junk shop for $30! It was a fairly straight forward refinishing project (I just stripped off the old paint splatters, sanded it well, applied wood stain, and finished it with a coat of Minwax finishing paste wax. The handle got a fresh coat of black spray paint and my dad was able to buff the old brass hardware on his buffing wheel). Overall, I think it turned out beautifully, and it will be a good storage option for Chris' collection of hand tools.
Oh and what did Chris get me for Christmas, you ask? Well, just a vintage diamond ring with a flower setting (a jewelry item that I've been pining after for years)! yay.

This holiday season was truly wonderful and very unique. Chris actually had to work on Christmas day, and although it shook up our traditions, we still had a lovely Christmas morning with my family at my parent's house, and we still found a hundred little ways to celebrate. Even with our demanding holiday work schedule, we made sure to take the time to make Christmas, Christmas. In the end, I felt a sort of return on all the hours I spent wrapping and baking and preparing gifts. Those tasks were where I found all the holiday magic that I remember from childhood.

Normally I wouldn't blog about the Christmas gifts that I received, but I wanted to put up a photo of a very special gift. My dad gave me this antique music box from the mid 1800's. He did the refinishing (he normally refinishes, repairs and rebuilds old phonographs) and he had some of his friends in the antique music community help him with the mechanics. Not only does it play perfectly well, but you can see the shiny brass mechanisms moving as it plays. It really is just like new! A remarkable gift indeed. Thank you, Dad!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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