Friday, 23 December 2011

A Handmade Christmas and the Simple Things

I finished two of the Julekuler (Christmas balls). One yesterday
and one this evening.

These two will be hostess gifts at a party we're attending on Christmas Eve. The white on a red background looks much better than red on a white background. I have designed a couple more myself based on Selbu patterns. Hopefully, I'll be able to whip up one or two tomorrow; perhaps with the year on one of the 4 sides. I can see how one can get quite taken with knitting them. They only take a couple of hours each.

I used to put tons of ornaments on my Christmas tree and many decorations throughout the house. I went through a rather lengthy Peanuts phase (30 years or so) where my tree almost exclusively had Hallmark Peanuts ornaments on it. I sold almost all of the ornaments on eBay in about 1994 and with the cash that was generated, Skip and I had a lovely get-away weekend cross-border shopping. Since then, there has been an evolution to using handmade ornaments almost exclusively.

I have also simplified my decorating. Now one can actually see green areas between the ornaments.

Before I became obsessed with knitting, I was an avid cross-stitcher.

I also did a bit of quilting
and a few years back, I crocheted a whole bunch of snowflake ornaments.
This mini-sock was knit from leftover yarn from the first sock I ever knit.
The old world Santa was a kit stitched on 32 count Aida cloth and the Canada goose stocking dates from 1993. That year I stitched about a dozen of the stocking ornaments.

The candy cane ornament was a Mary Maxim kit.
The clock is from the Leisure Arts "Timeless Ornaments"  book. The sweater is from other scrap yarn.
The green and pink ornament on the left (badly photographed) is a dated one from  Hallmark this year and says "Close-Knit Sisters 2011". I received it from a sorority sister and long-time friend, Lorna. If you want one and wait a bit, you might even be able to buy it on sale as dated ornaments are often deeply discounted after Christmas.
My tree topper is a commercially purchased Hallmark stuffed snowman. The kitty cat angel ornament is from the 1984, my first Christmas with my first cat (named Stanley) when I was an adult. The snowman is one of those tart tin kits. I also stitched quite a few of those festive mitten ornaments one year.
The martini glass is new this year - a gift from a long-time friend and sorority sister, Sue. The black, open-toed, strappy shoe ornament was also from Lorna. To the right of it is a clear globe ornament with our wedding picture in it.
Each year, I put fewer and fewer decorations out. I'm liking the simplicity. And it takes a lot less time to put stuff away after the holidays. It also makes me realize that I'm turning more and more into my mother. Eeeek!

Christmas is a secular event in our home - a time of the year where we take time to visit and celebrate our relationships with various groups of friends and family.  Just sitting, sharing a meal or treats, and chatting (and knitting - tee hee) is such a nice respite from all the rushing around buying gifts. It's a time to reflect on all the wonderful things we enjoy in our lives and to really note how fortunate Skip and I are. I try to take time to be aware of how content I am at this point of my life. Skip and I really try to 'live in the moment' and take as many opportunities for fun that come our way.  We will continue to do so as long as we are physically able. It can all change in an instant so for now our motto is carpe diem - sieze the day.


  1. I agree with your motto Geri. You and Skip definitely live up to it!
    Merry Christmas :-)

  2. I love your "gift" ornaments and i LOVE all the sweet ones on your tree! All those memories are delightful, just as a tree should be!! Happy Holidays to you!!!

  3. Wow! A wonderful Ghristmas tree :))