Christmas crafting (Part 1)

4th December

When I look around my home at Christmas time I begin to realise where I get my 'craftiness' from; I am surrounded by a talented family and our home is adorned with items that have been lovingly made.  Being inspired by someone is a true gift, having watched my grandmother and then mother for years making clothes, cakes, gifts and silly fun things has rubbed off onto me, following people's blogs, joining different craft groups or spotting something in a book, it doesn't matter what or where it comes from but the desire to create can become very additive.  If I can give that to someone, it will warm my heart.

Norway is full of Nisse at Christmas time
In Norway at this time of year and in my home also, you will find many different Nisse.  Nisse? What is that?  A Nisse is a household spirit in Norwegian folklore, who was there to care for and look after the farm.  They were renowned for working hard and doing a better job than humans.  However lore has it that they were temperamental creatures and could turn against the farmer and family if not looked after properly.  It was therefore a must that the Nisse was given grøt (a rice pudding dish ~ post to follow on this on 24 December/Jul aften) on Christmas Eve, to keep him happy and the farm prosperous. 

Made from toilet roll and old jumpers,
easy to replicate.

Over the years the collection of Nisse have grown, mostly home crafted but a few bought ones too.  Some of the Nisse are easy for beginners to make, others require a little more skill.  All come with their own character and features.  When beginning to make a Nisse, you never really know how he or occasionally she will turn out.  Will he be jolly, will he be surly, I expect it is a little like doll and teddy bear making.

I loved making the 2D shape Nisse family, the idea being that they represented us.  It was like being back at primary school, paper, pencil, glue and bits and pieces.  Sometimes I keep them as a family and other times each one is on our respective bedroom doors.  I am greedy though and prefer it best when all four sit on my bedroom door!

3D Nisse girls made out of card and paper with
fabric glued on, pipe cleaners for the arms.
2D Nisse family on my bedroom door. 

The pine cone Nisse were great fun and very simple to make alongside with children.  We are lucky enough to be able to walk outside and within ten minutes to collect pine cones from the ground, add some hazelnuts, an inked on face and some glued together red felt and you have yourself some pine cone Nisse, they look so cute!  Even just these two here seem to have their own individuality!  Hide some amongst your nut bowl.

Even plant pots cannot hide in my house during the festive season.  I cut down some hazel branches from the garden on a slant, painted them with white gloss paint, allowed them to dry and added on the facial detail, the woggly eyes made for more fun than painted on eyes.  Stick them in the plant pot for a very festive look!

Below left,  I used an old pair of my daughter's school tights as the inspiration for this draught excluder, obviously the door is not shut and therefore he is not doing a good job at present, neither is he complete yet!  Think he would be better with a red waistcoat and some trousers and maybe a small bell on each of his pointed shoes, something else I need to 'get round' to doing.  Are you like me and have many things to do in a short space of time?  I took inspiration here from build a bear and gave him a felt heart on his top.

The porch Nisse logs have their own story to tell.  I cannot remember where the idea came from but I asked my mother's friend who owns a forest in Norway if he could cut me some logs with a slant on one end, I tried to tell him what I wanted them for, but he thought me strange, however, three logs with slants arrived at mamma's house.  I was soon to leave for England and had reached my weight limit in the suitcase, so I became laden down with heavy hand luggage.  Needless to say, the shadows of these three logs with slanted ends caused somewhat of chaos at the airport in Norway.  Out they came, you should have been there watching me trying to explain what I was doing taking these logs out of Norway to the UK.  I think they thought I was mad, and so mad that it might be feasible what I was suggesting to do with them was really the truth, that they let me go!  And very glad I am too, I love my porch Nisse, they are such a jolly sight on returning home to be greeted by them.

The above Nisse are our family's original set that I can remember from my childhood home.  Mamma kindly gave them to me years ago and they take pride of place in our home over the Advent season.  Knitted wearing  traditional stripes.  So many of the Nisse's are seen with stripy socks or even long caps.
Mor and Far (mother and father) Nisse in traditional pattern cardigans.  The Norwegians really know how to knit.  Even on national TV they are showing knitting in real time, from shearing a sheep and to completing a knitted jumper, in what they call 'slow TV'.  I know what my husband would say of this!  See below link.

This final photograph is one I have 'borrowed' from mamma, just to show you that all my 'craftiness' really does stem from her.  These are her Nisse that she has made, (notice one of my porch log Nisse in the background!)

Within both our households we have many more home made decorations that I hope to share with you in the coming days.

Thank you to everyone for reading and all your lovely comments both on here and on face book, it truly is warming, but especial thanks to mamma, my inspiration x

PS  Have heard murmurings between the children that it is time to start making the Christmas presents.  Looks like I do not need to prompt them, will keep you posted!


  1. Have just caught up with yesterday AND today - what a treat! I love your writing style, images and content!! Its almost making me feel as though I like Christmas which for the past few years has just felt like one more thing I have to do...and an expensive one too!! I always made presents as a child - not on your scale but for a few "oldies" - grandmothers and great aunts really. I really enjoyed crafting with the kids when they were younger and have several Christmas tree ornaments to show for it. But that's another thing that seems to have gone with the years and additional commitments which is a shame..maybe this year?????

    1. Small steps Beth, choose one littel thing to do that you otherwise would not have ans work upn from that for next year. Glad you are enjoying my eclectic life!

  2. You have made your home beautiful. I particularly love the Mor and Far Nisse. Did you knit their tiny clothes?

    1. Thank you, I do love this time of year. My husband has been away all week and have warned him it might be Christmas in our household when he returns! All home knitted! Some years ago now though x

  3. Pleased that some of "mine nisser" made it to your blog.


I will always read all comments and will try to reply but it may take me a couple of days, do please pop back and lets get a conversation going...