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Handmade (not by me) Santa

Handmade (not by me) Santa

It is December 16th and I am feeling a wee bit behind with my Christmas preparations.  The kids have been doing really well with their swimming and Irish dancing, which has kept me busy.  Yes, indeed, I am trying to make excuses/figure out why I am so behind this year!  I had been hoping for an extra week to somehow work its way into my schedule, but alas that has not happened.  So it is time to really get going!  Maybe it isn’t as bad as I think it is.  Sure, I have the Christmas cake baked!

baked Christmas cake (traditional fruit cake)

baked Christmas cake (traditional fruit cake)

The batter tasted delicious!

The batter tasted delicious!

Beer soaked fruit

Beer soaked fruit

Wrap that baking pan! 2 layers parchment on the bottom and insides, along with w layers of brown paper on the bottom and outside!

Wrap that baking pan! 2 layers parchment on the bottom and insides, along with 2 layers of brown paper on the bottom and outside!

I actually tried to get out of making the Christmas cake this year.  I asked the family if we could just skip it.  All but the littlest one said “no way!”.  I do like it when they enjoy what I make, so it was a nice affirmation that my time is not wasted.  But given that it takes 4 & 1/2 hours to bake, you kinda need time!

Today I finished making our outdoor wreath.  Never mind the fact that I usually have it hanging up the first or second week of December.  Between my friends Margaret & Fred, I was given the most fabulous greens to use:  eucalyptus, holly with loads of berries, and different evergreens.  I love making our wreath, especially when it smells so fresh!  Our kitty Hobbes had great fun attacking the greens which were obviously quite dangerous sitting in the black bag…

Hobbes helping with the greens.

Hobbes helping with the greens.

the greens

the greens sitting atop the iron wreath frame

loads of berries!

loads of berries!

This eucalyptus smells lovely!

This eucalyptus smells lovely!

I must get the name of this pretty plant.

These lovely dark leaves are from a Pittosporum  called “Tom Thumb”.

Our finished wreath.

Our finished wreath (waiting to be hung outside…)

I didn’t take pictures along the way.  I really just wanted to get it finished. I first placed everything on my cast iron wreath frame (which was graciously made for us by Fred!). This way I was able to make sure everything was evenly distributed. Then I used floral wire to tie on the bunches of greens.  I went with a simple red bow for garland.  My sister-in-law gave me some fabulous outdoor ribbon and it really worked well on the wreath. (Thank you Gail!)

Making my Christmas wreath 2013

Making my Christmas wreath 2013

I did a quick search on the internet for a video on making bows.  I thought the result wasn’t too bad!  I think it is best to have wire rimmed ribbon for making bows.

Lots of different textures in this wreath.

Lots of different textures in this wreath.

I love working with different greens!

I love working with different greens!

Finished Christmas wreath

Finished Christmas wreath

What do you think of this new item I bought?  It is a large red and white Christmas ball.  I like it (that is why I bought it!), but the family isn’t so sure about it.

New addition this year. (Huge) Red Christmas ball.

New addition this year. (Huge) Red Christmas ball.

Large Christmas ball.

Large Christmas ball.

But there is still so much more to do!  I have to run!  I hope all of your preparations are going well!

Merry Christmas 🙂
Dana

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