A few days ago I was on the phone to my dad, organising our Christmas Eve get-together. He asked if he could bring two friends, Japanese students here studying English. ‘Sure,’ I said.
After I hung up the phone, I realised it would be nice to have a small gift under the tree for each to unwrap. If I were being sensible, I would have just popped out to the shops and bought two boxes of chocolates, but I was not being sensible, so I decided to make something instead. (As if in the lead-up to Christmas I did not have enough else to do!)
I think I really just wanted any excuse to make some Christmas ornaments from Lark Crafts’ gorgeous Fa La La La Felt book.
Not being able to decide between two projects in the book, partridges and bells, I made one of each for each girl.
I could only use materials from my stash. Even at my silliest, I knew further shopping time was unrealistic. I started looking through my oddments of felt, fabrics, embroidery threads, buttons and ribbons for combinations that would work. I had wanted to make one green and one red, but my green ribbon stash is non-existent so I chose red and blue instead.
While looking for buttons, I got distracted. All of my buttons were mixed together in one Dora the Explorer metal lunchbox. Trying to find buttons of one colour was tricky, so I grabbed my collection of empty jam jars and reorganised them. The Dora the Explorer tin remains the home of all the self-cover buttons and the buttons that I probably should not use in craft projects as they are spares for my clothes.
I made a bell and a partridge in each colour combination. I have been trying to remember the Japanese word for partridge. All I can think of is kiji, which is pheasant. (This is not such a daft memory test when you realise I lived in Japan for more than three years.)
Finally, here are some gratuitous shots of my handiwork before I quickly wrapped them up and put them under the tree ready for tonight’s Christmas Eve dinner.
It is now just after midday on Christmas Eve. I think I am in the Christmas calm, the lull when I can sit down with a cup of tea before I start preparing Christmas dinner. If I have found time to finish these ornaments and post this, I must have everything organised, right?
I have been up since the crack of dawn and was out buying vegetables at 7 am. The house is clean. The gifts are wrapped. I have cleaned the fridge and then stuffed it full of everything needed for two Christmas dinners, one tonight and another tomorrow. The fridge door even shuts! All that is left to do is cook and set the table.
I wish everyone a very merry (and calm) Christmas.