Sneak Peak to Christmas 2020 Countdown

I am planning my December posts and trying to get myself a little more organised than usual as always the rush leading up to Christmas can be hectic enough.  I am so hoping that you will join me on the Christmas countdown and perhaps let friends and family who may also be interested have the link to this blog.  More the merrier I say.  

And to that effect, I thought I would show you a sneak peak of some of the things I will be sharing with you in December.  This is not everything of course.  For instance the seven biscuits of Christmas will not be made until December begins for example.  But below is just a flavour of some of my Christmas joy.

I look forward to welcoming you along...

There will be yarny things to make...

Other types of craft for the non knitter or crocheter...

A few drinks ideas and recipes coming your way, all with the classic Nordic twist...

The inevitable baking with spices and often nuts, but don't worry for those with allergies There will be lots for you too...

Ideas for local independent purchasing...

The odd quirky styling ideas...

And of course lots of Norwegian warmth and happiness to spread from me to you...

A Scandinavian Carnival

Fastelaven ~ A Scandinavian Carnival

A bit late to the party but I finally made my fastelavaen ris. What is THAT?  I hear you ask, well let
Fastelaven ris
me explain.

All across the world in many different countries, one comes across carnival and all its frivolity and jolliness, I have encountered such wonderful parades across the world through our sailing adventures, some quite scary in feel and others just full of joy.  In Scandinavia, in northern Europe, there is much more restraint, although it was not always such.

Rumour has it that in days gone by in Denmark that a black cat was placed in a barrel and then the barrel was flogged by fastelaven ris until it broke and the poor black cat scarpered away.  Thus it felt taking any bad luck away from the village or town.  Luckily, that tradition is long gone, if ever it really existed and was to be replaced by children waking their parents up early morning on the Sunday before Shrove Tuesday with their homemade fastelaven ris.  This too is now a tradition that most cannot remember happening to be replaced by my mother's generation buying and putting fastelaven ris in a vase on their dining room table.

I recall growing up not really understanding the tradition behind having fastenlaven ris on our table but loving it nonetheless.  Mamma bringing in twigs and branches from outside and then fastening colourful feathers on the bare branches filled me with happiness at the joy of the colour in this otherwise colourless time of year.  Gradually over the coming days and weeks, the twigs themselves came to life with their own buds forming and leaves emerging, a sure sign that outside spring would be following soon behind and we return to a season full of hope.

Lent may have already begun but it is not too late to go outside grab yourselves some twigs and branches and place them in a vase of water and watch as the leaves begin to emerge, I love doing this and have done every year I've had my own home.  Some years, as this year, I have needed more colour in my life and have added the colourful feathers and have true fastelaven ris in my home too.

Easy to make, grab yourself some colourful feathers from your local hobby store, use some thin wire and fasten them to your twigs.  Fun for both adults and children alike and adds just that bit of quirky colourful fun, now to watch the leaves grow...

Twigs and branches from the garden and
store-bought coloured feathers and thin wire is all you need

Attach the feather anywhere on the branch,
can be near the end of even in the middle

Feather added ion the middle section of the twig

Fastelaven ris adds an extra splash of colour at this time of year onto the home

Fastelaven ris

Christmas 2019

December 22nd

From my home to yours wishing you a very Merry Christmas. 

I'll try to post again tonight or tomorrow 


Christmas birds

December 21st

Scrap yarn bird
As a child, we had a few homemade decorations on the Christmas tree, one being a bird made out of
yarn, that mamma had made when she was a child.  She said they had several on their tree and it, along with an angel she made as a little girl, were precious decorations.  Over the years, the bird has disappeared and I was only reminded of it this year when an online tutorial was brought to my attention.  Link to it is at the bottom of this post.  I knew having seen the tutorial that I needed to make a Christmas robin and bring back some of my childhood memories.

These are great quick projects to make in company with adults or children and if I had more time, I know I would have made lots for the tree this year. Got a spare half an hour, then you too could make one of these...

Full tutorial on the link at the end, here are just my photos to give you an idea how to make a scrap yarn bird.

Cut out two pieces of card

Wrap yarn around until you have at least 1cm width of yarn in each colour

Cut just one end, hold tight, so the yarn
does not fall all over the place

Tie each one in the centre

Place the 12cm yarn on top of the 10cm breast coloured yarn

Fold each on half

Take a small new piece of matching yarn for each colour

Tie each as close to the centre as possible

Lay the final colour on top

Scrunch up half an A4 sheet,
his will be the bulk of the bird's body.

Bring together all the loose ends of each
colour section to cover the scrunched paper

Tie tightly  and trim the ends neatly

Make a beak out card

Add some black beads for eyes

Enjoy your bird

As our tree is not yet up, I have added
the robin to the centre of the door wreath

Lovely homemade addition to the wreath

I am sure if we were to make lots of these each one would look different and have their own characters.  Maybe I may suggest to the troops over Christmas that we each make one to put on the tree and give them their own names too!

 For the full tutorial:  Birds

  Hope you have a productive weekend 

Christmas Stars

December 20th
Red spells Christmas to me
but then I am traditional. 
These yarn stars would look
fabulous in any colour

I'm a sucker for a quick make and result and especially if I have the material already in the house. And I'm a sucker too for online video tutorials both for inspiration and ideas and quick self-teaching techniques.  Have you ever learnt from watching a youtube video?  It is true you often have to sift through several truly badly filmed and complicated rubbish to land on 'the one' that will help you but I still find it a worthwhile exercise.  And this is how I landed upon today's Christmas make.  These stars would make excellent crafting sessions with children and I plan on roping in both the small ones and the teenagers over the Christmas holidays to make an entire constellation. 

The link at the bottom of this post  includes a free template
or this star, I transferred it onto the back of an old do not bend envelope

The video shows you how to attach beads to the points
but as I only had pom pom ribbon, I used that instead

Tape the beginning of your yarn onto the centre of the star

Begin winding the yarn around the base of two of the points of the star

Once you have wound up to where the two points separate
move across to the next two, do not cut the yarn just continue winding

Continue winding each section, on the back, there will be a bit of
crisscrossing and not quite so nat at this stage, but that can be sorted at the end

When all base star point s are covered in yarn, I began to wind up
the star point to the tip and then back down again towards the body
of the star, thus creating a very padded a full star.

As you near the end of covering the entire star in yarn, try to be a bit
more careful with the back of it and wind it so that both sides
look as neat as possible.  Hang up and admire!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas is just around the corner in our home

Video tutorial and star template can be found here:   Christmas Stars

  Have you made any decorations for Christmas?