the end of November

wall hanging christmas tree

With the end of November in sight, is it too early to mention (in barely a whisper) Christmas? Have you already started to plan?

I freely admit that I have a bit of a “bah humbug” attitude to Christmas until about the 21st December. Hitting the shortest day seems reason for celebration and suddenly I enter the festive spirit and a Christmas tree is dragged in from the field, holly and ivy are cut down and brought inside while the decorations are hauled down from the topmost shelf and put up around the house. This enthusiasm lasts until New Year’s Day when I need a clean start to the year and all the decorations are taken down.

But this year, in an act of unprecedented forward planning on a very grey and wet weekend (hence the rather dismal photos) and buoyed by the success of the hanging tree we made for displaying baubles in the Barley Barn,  I made a twiggy Christmas tree to hang up in December onto which I could attach a decoration each day, rather like an Advent calendar.

Should you want to make one too, they’re very easy.

make a twiggy christmas tree

Cut your twigs into graduated lengths.

make a twig christmas tree

Rather than faff around measuring everything, I made a guide using duplo and laid the branches out.

make a hanging christmas tree

Take a length of twine almost 5 times as long as your intended tree. At the halfway mark, attach the string to a curtain ring. and sellotape the ring onto the duplo block to keep it in place at the top of the tree. Now just tie your branches together. As you can see, I used a rubber and pieces of card to wedge the smallest branches so that they didn’t move about. The string needs to be taut if you want the tree to hang straight. I’m no expert on knots, so I used what I think could be a clove hitch, which allowed me to jiggle the branches up or down a little when it was finished to make sure they were straightish.

rope ladder christmas tree

Hang the tree by the curtain ring and decide if you want to trim off the strings from the bottom or dangle something on them. Maybe you have a large bead or decoration you could hang from the centre of the bottom branch to make a trunk.

wigh christmas trees with lightsadd a star and string up some lights

a christmas tree from twigs

attach some decorations




I was so pleased with my twiggy tree that I took it out to the barn to show off to Ruth. Big mistake. She sold it. So now my dilemma is, do I make another twiggy Christmas tree …


christmas decorations


… or shall I just pin up a decoration each day?

Or maybe I’ll just wait until the twenty-first of December until I adorn the walls.

inspired by …

black bryony berries S

… vivid colours in the hedgerows. The black bryony twists its way through the bare branches of hedges with its ropes of brilliant red berries glistening like jewels. Alas, the berries are poisonous and not to be picked for jams and jellies but they brighten up a walk on a grey overcast day.

Over the summer Ruth and I made S shapes around the farm from flowers, leaves, fruit, branches and stones that we laid out on paths or in the fields and called temporary land art. I’m not sure if anyone else noticed them, other than the dogs who cocked their legs over the large stones, but we had fun. Paired with ivy growing by the old unused gateway to the garden, the black bryony berries were ideal for a November S for Slamseys.

What’s inspired you this week?


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