hand made Christmas

Of sparkling things and fripperies

Christmas tree in a bauble

This post comes with a warning that it contains words such as festive, baubles and Christmas. If you feel that any talk of Christmas is premature, then you may want to look away from your screen. I completely understand. Just as I appear to have a separate compartment in my stomach that inevitably has room for a pudding (no matter how filling the main course) so my brain seems to be divided into a part that organises the business side of Christmas throughout the year while the bit that plans Christmas meals, gift buying or decorating the house doesn’t function until mid-December. If you embrace all that is festive and have already started gift shopping and planning the colour scheme for your Christmas tree, then read on.

This year, all that is Christmassy seems to be kicking off later than last year. I’d like to think it’s because people have come to their senses and don’t want to start their festive celebrations until we’re well into December, but I suspect it has more to do with a sunny autumn and the way the dates fall this year.

Christmas star
On the farm, we’ve already delivered our first commercial Christmas trees for photo shoots, exhibitions and shopping events. The grain store has been emptied, swept and made into the Christmas Tree Barn ready for December.

In The Barley Barn, the last few weeks have been spent assembling display tables, digging out props, opening a mountain of cardboard boxes and setting out the Christmas decorations to transform the minimalist space used for meetings and printmaking classes to a glittering abundance of shimmering glass, shiny baubles and twinkling lights.

One of the main themes for Christmas 2016 is Hand-Made. Alongside craft kits and retro paper chains  we’re stocking clear ‘fill your own’ baubles, which Ruth and I have already had fun with.

Nordman fir Christmas tree in bauble

For hanging on the tree they can be filled with glitter confetti and sparkles. Sugar or salt can be used for a snowy landscape or, if you have a steady hand, a metallic pen or glitter glue can be used to make patterns or writing. Simplest of all is to snip off a piece of Christmas tree or slip in a pretty feather.

wooden beads in Christmas bauble
We also thought they’d make great little presents. A bauble filled with wooden beads to make a necklace.

Dried lavender and rose petals in clear bauble
Dried lavender and rose petals that could be used afterwards in sachets for the wardrobe.

coriander seeds in clear bauble
We collected seeds from the coriander plants in the garden and used a funnel to pour them into a bauble so they can be sown next spring.

Buttons, ribbons, wishes written on strip of paper, Christmas spices, pins and needles, hot drinking chocolate mix, sweets, mini pompoms … it’s an endless list so long as it can be poked through the neck of the bauble.

How about you? Too early to be thinking about such fripperies or have you already started?




20 thoughts on “Of sparkling things and fripperies

  1. anna warren portfolio says:

    This year we have an offspring-free Christmas, so will be at the beach in Tasmania, so I am not thinking about Christmas at all, except making a few cards and finding early presents, but I LOVE your baubles. What a great idea, so flexible. Lovely for presents too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. fergie51 says:

    Love those glass balls. I refuse to think about Chrissy before December, apart from making the puddings. I did make the comment tonight that it is sad that I used to absolutely love Christmas and now I just can’t be bothered with the whole thing. Family is now spread too far and wide to get together and that was what we focussed on.


  3. thelandroverownerswife says:

    Love the baubles.

    A few weeks ago, the Mudlets and I went pine cone gathering. We left them to dry out and fully open. Now the girls have painted them in a craft glue/water mix into which I poured a generous quantity of fine gold glitter and they’ve dried clear but very, very sparkly. Going to add some gold thread for hanging loops and add little Christmas fabric bows and metal Christmas themed charms. They want to try sell them at the Christmas Market in a couple of weeks for 10p to 30p each ☺


  4. weebluemixer says:

    I love handmade xmas gifts and decorations. So much better than store bought and you know the giver has really thought about your gift and put time and effort into it. The baubles are a fab idea, Think my nephews would love making some of these probably filled with sweets or lego!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. nandie in sydney says:

    Yes I am wrapping madly for 9 grandbabies and 3 children and their partners plus a few drop-in friends. 30 for lunch around the pool, prayers for a hot Christmas Day but the pork ,turkey, ham plus trimmings will be hot and the pudding steamed on the day. We are all mad, should have seafood and salads but somehow tradition is paramount. The whole fuss of the day brings family together (5 from Canada), we all love it. Gifts, the tree from Sydney markets, decorations, special cooking…just the effort of loving family and giving thanks; I am very grateful.


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