Friday, 14 December 2012

Evolution of The Tree Part Two

The result of starting again is that the tree is a little bit less adorned than in previous years but I am quite enjoying the green yuletide foliage being on the exposed side. And most importantly I now love every one of the decorations on it (with the exception perhaps of my hastily crocheted "baubles" - they are fine for now but I don't love them).

So here it is, wearing what I hope is the beginning of our family collection of decorations:

The Noel star was whipped up in about 20 min on my new favourite thing in the world, my Brother SE-400, bought for me for my birthday by a group of very kind relations organised by my lovely husband. It embroiders! I know embroidery machines are not news but they are in my house and it still seems like witnessing white witchcraft watching it do its business.

These are my favourites so far in terms of the rest of the decorations:

From Rockett St George

Bought at the Cockpit Arts open studios

Another Cockpit Arts find

Of course the piece de resistance is yet to arrive. We have one of these with Bertie's name on order:

By Sioned ap Gareth via Not on the High Street

I am especially looking forward to hanging that one year after year and thinking back to this special time in all our lives.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Evolution of The Tree Part One: New Traditions

I like Christmas a lot. Like really a lot. Do you remember when you were small and you couldn't sleep on Christmas Eve for excitement? I never grew out of that. It's never been about receiving for me (well not since I was about seven when it probably was largely about Barbies). My excitement is partly about giving but also about good old fashioned magic. That thing you don't really get much of living in the modern world and even less of in London.

Having a baby has made my feelings about this time of year even stronger. Christmas has buried its way even deeper into my heart. It's now going to be about Bertie's Christmases and seeing the magic in his eyes. I can't wait for his first Christmas and all the family Christmases to come.

And it makes me want to start new traditions that can shape his anticipation in the future.

Of all the paraphernalia that goes with the most wonderful time of the year, the one that has always been of central importance to me is the tree. Even as an impoverished student it had to be real and it had to be big. Over recent years I have been building up a bigger and bigger collections of decorations to be lovingly unwrapped each year. Except...each year I have loved them a little less. And last year I looked at them and thought they really just looked plain gaudy. There was no story to any of them. They were a bit kitsch and a bit matchy and without a proper heart. This is last year's tree so you can see what I mean...

Too much teal and fuchsia pink....

So this year they are all going to new homes and I am starting afresh. From now on we will invest in one or two special decorations each year that have some meaning. I hope that Bertie will pick one out each year. That means this year the tree will mostly be dressed in what I can cobble together from my craft cupboard.

This is the (semi) naked tree - so far I have crocheted a few "baubles" and hung a couple of decorations that were gifts from friends:

This year's special decorations are on order and a star is in the making.

I am hoping over the years we will accumulate a family treasure trove of the sort that Bertie's papier mache baubles of the future will sit perfectly alongside and that when the box comes out of the attic each year we will be unwrapping memories.

Dressed tree to come....

Tuesday, 3 July 2012


So rewind to last Autumn and this is me!

Matt and I decided that we should have a few days away together to take stock before our lives changed forever so off we trotted to Wales to stay at Argoed Mill booked through Under the Thatch which was absolutely beautiful.

We had a lovely time sitting by the wood burning stove and doing basically very little!

I did manage to exercise my crochet hook bit and a baby blanket started to take shape...

We also ventured out to the Red Kite Centre to watch feeding time which was amazing and slightly Hitchcockian at the same time...

And we did a little bit of walking and drinking in the gorgeous Welsh countryside:

It seems like another life now as we knew it would. For one thing Argoed Mill has the comfiest bed in the world and we slept and slept. With sleep now a distant memory I look back on that trip with a warm glow because for all that we used to have the freedom to laze about on holiday and lie in, I wouldn't change where we are now for the world. Now holidays are about being a family and discovering everything anew through our son's eyes. It was fabulous being us two but even better being us three.

Monday, 2 July 2012


Hello! If there is anyone out there then bless you for reading. It seems I blinked in October last year and suddenly it is July.

The truth of the matter is I think that I loved being pregnant so much that I wanted to keep the experience close and I didn't have the urge to blog.

And since I "stopped being pregnant" I have been kept a little bit busy by a certain young man. Speaking of which, would you like to meet the four month old light of my life?

I am delighted to introduce Albert to you. Not the best quality pic but a quality smile I hope you will agree.

I am absolutely loving being a mum. I would be a big fat liar if I said it was without its stresses, strains and countless sleepless nights (we are just going through the joys of teething - tooth one is through, hurry up number two!) but nothing can prepare you for the overwhelming love or the fun that comes with being a family.

I have been making, doing and shopping for our lovely boy and whilst I haven't blogged I have photographed so I am now going to rewind to pregnancy and bring you up to date.

Thanks again to those still with me!