Merry Christmas everyone.
Since we celebrate Christmas on the 24th over here, the whole family gathering and gift giving is already over and I am looking forward to a blissfull day of curling up on the couch with a cup of tea and the cats, reading blogs and flipping through my new books (how beautiful is “Made by Hand” from Lena Corwin!?).
Have a good one!
I was so determined not to get caught up in the holiday rush this year, to bake cookies every sunday, to visit christmas markets and enjoy advent.
Yeah, that didn’t happen. It was a stressful time at work and the days just rushed by in a whirlwind, leaving me feeling completely tuckered out.
Yesterday was the last day at work and I am slowly starting to exhale and relax. I’m looking forward to the next few days, spending time with friends and family, going to the cinema, taking it slow and resting.
We did manage to bake one batch of cookies during the month and since I’m restricting myself to one item of sweets or chocolate a day (more on that soon), they’ve lasted us quite a while!
I got some orders in my Etsy shop and managed to send christmas cards to my portrait customers this year, so early mornings were spent packaging and shipping.
We had a christmas party at work, which was great fun.
The theme was “The night before Christmas – Pajama party” and the costumes were such fun! I serged together a blue jersey dress really quickly (as in, I didn’t even finish the hems) using the Grainline Scout pattern and went as starry sky.
I also started knitting my first ever cardigan! Well, I took about a month to decide on the yarn and then 2 weeks to knit a test swatch (got it right the first time, thank goodness) and finally cast on yesterday.
You’ll have seen these photos on Instagram if you follow me there. Looking forward to digging out my “real” camera again in the quieter days to come.
Have a wonderful, relaxing weekend!
Advent wreaths are tradition here in Germany and are usually very colorful and most of all green. I posted a glimpse of the one my mom gave us last year here. The idea is to light a candle each sunday before christmas for 4 weeks, so when the fourth candle is lit it will be christmas.
This year I wanted to make our own advent wreath and make it very simple and elegant and scandinavian inspired. I put a lot of thought into it (my work colleagues will tell you I spent all lunch breaks for weeks pondering on the colors and decorations of this wreath) and in the end nearly everything about it is DIY.
I first thought of buying a wooden ring, but couldn’t find one I liked, so I made my own using willow twigs collected in the woods.
It’s easier than it looks and secured with wire holds up really well.
Next were the ornaments. I knew I wanted beeswax candles, so stitched red felt ornaments sounded right and I was itching to do a bit of handstitching anyway.
The candle holders were only available in silver and gold, so we (meaning the boyfriend) simply spraypainted them white.
It turned out just the way I hoped and I love our handmade wreath which we will be using for years!
I really wanted to sew a nice dress for christmas this year and I had been eyeing that pretty navy cotton velvet for a while online (did I mention my navy blue phase? I promise the next thing I make will be a different color!). So when the Burdastyle Cowl Dress was on sale one day, I snatched it up and went to work…the Sunday before christmas!
I didn’t even make a muslin but I really like how it turned out. It’s definitely the most elegant thing I have ever made and own!
I was in such a hurry to finish it that the hem is a bit twisted (it’s a handstitched blind hem), so I’ll need to redo that before I wear it the next time. Although I like it a lot I’ll probably not wear it very often, I just don’t often attend events where I would not feel completely overdressed wearing this!
I didn’t change anything except the back zipper…I really don’t like back zippers so I put one in the side seam instead. Handpicked again, definitely my preferred method of inserting zippers! The side seam zipper makes the dress pretty hard to put on though.
All in all, a pretty simple dress and I have plans to make a sleeveless summer version from the pattern some time. The velvet was nice to work with, but even though I finished the seams with zigzagging it still loses a lot of fluff. This got me to make myself the christmas present I’ve been thinking about for some time….I got myself a serger!!!
I still can’t believe I bought it, after eyeing this model for about a year. I’m finally accepting that this sewing clothing thing is not just a phase for me. I’m really, really excited about learning to use it. It came threaded but of course when I wanted to try it one thread broke…the one that is most difficult to thread in again. So the boyfriend and I spend some time pouring over the manual yesterday (I really couldn’t have done it without his help) and I cried a little and thought about sending it back, but we finally managed to re-thread it and it works, yay 🙂 I’m very excited to try this out on future garments and especially with jersey.
We are enjoying a few much needed days of quiet moments mingled with visits to friends and family and making plans for the new year.
Can’t wait to show you my christmas dress (which I finished about 5 minutes before it was time to go for christmas dinner) and since I have a luxurius seven days of daylight hours ahead of me I’m confident I’ll even manage to take photos of it soon.
Until then, listening to my favourite christmas song over and over.
Merry christmas, I hope you are all having a wonderful time.
Making time to put up some simple and natural decorations.
I loved these rosemary wreaths on Pinterest and they were very easy to make. We had everything we needed for them on hand, even using up some thin wire that came with frames we bought from Ikea ages ago.
Love this page with different recipes for room fresheners. We made a pot with oranges, cloves, cinnamon and ginger and it really does make a room smell heavenly.
My mom gave us this huge advent wreath she bought at a charity event. I think these wreaths are unique to Germany. They have four candles, one for each of the four advent sundays before christmas, so we get to light one more candle each week. We don’t usually have this because of the cats but so far they have been very good about not eating it. Mind you, the twinkly lights didn’t last more than a weekend before they took them down.
It snowed all day yesterday so outside our windows it’s winter wonderland right now. I’m torn between loving it and worrying because I don’t like driving in snow and I have a photoshoot tomorrow. The cats are pretty unsure about it as well.
Oh boy, christmas really came too fast this year!
I worked up until yesterday, but we squeezed a last minute batch of christmas cookies in anyway.
We didn’t do much decorating (the cats took down any we tried to put up) but we got lots of chocolate and goodies at work. One freebie was this baby christmas tree that we got sent and which my colleagues saved for me, knowing I would love it. It came with instructions to pot it and keep it on the balcony and it even came with tiny christmas ornaments. What a beautiful idea to give as a company christmas present instead of sending out junk that will get thrown out immediately!
I’m hoping it’ll be big enough to keep as a small potted tree on the table next christmas and the years after that.
I wish you all a wonderful and restful time with your family and friends.
My work has an elaborate theme christmas party each year, something for everyone to look forward to throughout the year. This year the motto was “Casino” and there were some great costumes. I only took a handful of photos, since the venue was very dark, but here’s a glimpse of the atmosphere.
With the christmas markets already open and cookie baking just a weekend or two away we’re getting excited about christmas around here.
I love getting to the main station after work and smell roasted almonds and other goodies. We’ve been doing some minimal decorating around here (which the cats took down again during the night naturally). Since I gave pretty much all our old decorations away during the pre- and post-moving decluttering frenzy we’re keeping it simple. A couple of twinkly lights, clove-covered oranges and lots of beeswax candles.
Somehow before christmas it all gets a bit rushed, scheduling christmas market trips and dinners with friends and family and several last minute photoshoots. Add that I’m working on an idea for 2012 which I’m super excited about but can’t really say more on right now. I’m spending every free minute (not many unfortunately) on research and planning and I hope to be able to let you all know more some time next year 🙂
Until then I’ll try to get some nice christmas market shots for you all in December, so I don’t have to make do with house cat and barn cat photos for all posts until christmas.
Oh, and I know you’re all waiting for pictures of our new apartment and they’re coming, promise! We’re waiting for some rugs we ordered and need to find and make a couple of things before the rooms are all “done” and I can show them off 🙂