So… we are now into November, although the unseasonably warm weather – even here in the North-East of England – makes this difficult to believe. There are indications in the shops that the festive season is approaching (“Christmas is coming and the geese are getting fat…”).
If you like to make some of the Christmas decorations yourself, then now is the perfect week to start: you have plenty of time. In our house, for years we have had two Christmas trees. Both are artificial and green (in both senses of the word), but have rather ugly stands, which in previous years I have covered with a circle of scrap fabric with a hole cut in the middle. No more! I have designed a cover for the Christmas tree stands that support each tree and there is a pattern available in my Etsy shop ‘Amanda Jane Textiles’ (just click the button at the bottom of the page to go to the shop).
The Christmas tree in our sitting room is the traditional one, with predominantly red, green, cream and gold ornaments on, including some lovely old glass baubles which have remained intact from my own childhood and other, precious hand-made items. The second tree is a modern one with mainly white, silver and pale blue decorations and which include some I have been given recently by friends and family. I therefore made up the pattern in two different colourways.
Here is the one for the ‘traditional’ tree:
It’s in twelve sections with a gap (so it will go easily round the upright section of the stand). The sections are machine quilted with a metallic thread.Three of the sections are embellished with hand-quilting and the addition of sequins. The inside edge is bound with one of the fabrics and the outside one with bias binding. It fastens with five buttons and button loops. A pattern piece is provided, along with easy-to-follow step by step instructions including a colour photo of each step.
And here is the ‘modern’ one:
It’s becoming quite a frequent occurrence for me to pop to the Post Office and I am extremely thankful that there is still a local one available, just a short walk away, run by a helpful postmaster. It’s exciting to think that the beautiful hand-embroidered vintage textiles that I collect, launder and then sell in my Etsy shop (Amanda Jane Textiles) are being sent all over the world. This little gem went off to Texas!
Unlike mass-produced items, there is only one of each of these lovely things available. So for a really individual Christmas present, do take a look.
As to festive birds, I had hoped to include a photograph in this post of a very free-range chicken, as in a completely roaming one who scuttles in a very unlikely way across the car-park of the Radisson Blu Hotel in Durham where I go to swim. The chicken inevitably appears when I come back to the car having swum, but always when I am without a camera, so the photo will have to wait. All through the summer there was an equally random cockerel who strutted about in our street, frequently perching on the back walls of the properties which give onto the back lane. It did make for some rather early wake-up calls, when he crowed at first light, but he hasn’t been heard for a while, so maybe he has moved on to pastures new. Different kinds of fowl then, but no fat geese.