Friday, 11 December 2009

Kirstie Allsopp eat your heart out!!

For the past few days I have been watching Kirstie Allsopp's (of Location, Location fame) new Christmas show called Kirstie's Homemade Christmas.  Basically she is outfitting her Devon home with homemade goods and presents by visiting a number of artisans who are teaching how to sew, make wreaths, make chutney, blow glass, make soap, decorate cakes, sew a teddy bear...etc. etc. etc.

In general the program is very Christmassy and Kirstie explains the processes she is going through in classic Kirstie manner.  What I can't stand, and it just has driven me crazy, is that she presents the program as a way to cut costs.  But nonetheless she has inspired me to DECORATE!

David and I trekked out last night in the cold and the dark to buy our Christmas tree.  What an adventure! As I've said before I have first hand experience in Christmas tree selection...but nothing prepared me for the heap of trees chilling at the local garden centre. 

After unwrapping a number of cut trees to determine straightnes and girth we finally settled on a Normand Fir (apparently doesn't drop its needles....) and carried it home!! I helped carrying I promise! We put it up almost immediately....sorry Dad, there was no way I was going to let the branches "fall down" was in the door and up up up!!!!

We haven't bought any decorations yet, the few we have already I brought from Toronto (cause I couldn't pass them up) and we are still in debate over what decorations to purchase.  We can't decide if we should theme our baubles or just hodgepodge them.  But...Luckily....David's mum has a heap of decorations she isn't using this year and has offered for us to go and root through them....I think that is what we will do (especially as the shop's stock is dwindling!).

Today has been all about the DECORATION of a different sort...When we got the tree home it completely took over the dining room.  We don't have a large dining room by any stretch of the imagination and with the tree it was more like a tree room and less like a dining room.

But never fear! Brilliant David to the RESCUE!!

CHOP CHOP CHOP off went the bottom three branches and taaadaaaaaa a perfect conical tree!!!

So those three boughs hanging out under the tree lounged there last night and then came under attack by me today! Using David's trusty swiss army knife I sawed those suckkas up and used some garden twine and....taaaadaaaaaaa

two gorgeous wreaths! The Large one is now hanging in the dining room on our bare wall, and the smaller wreath on the right is happily freezing outside beside the door.  Fir boughs and ribbon! What more could a girl ask for?

I just couldn't stop after making those two gorgeous wreaths, I had had had to stay Christmassy...and so I turned my hand to icing the gingerbread men and hearts I made last week.  I didn't want to make Royal Icing (with egg whites) but I found a recipe online that called for corn syrup instead (I guess it gives a bit more hold than just icing sugar and milk, not to mention GLOSS).  The only thing with using corn or golden syrup is that the icing takes on a slight yellow a few drops of red food colouring later....

I need to tidy up before David gets home from work...LOTS of needles to sweep up and I am sure that I will find a few in odd places over the next couple of weeks, not to mention months!


  1. It all turned out so nice; congratulations!you are talented! I haven't had a real tree in years; a lot of work when I had 4 kids running around.

  2. Rita- thank you so much for your lovely comments! I can imagine having 4 kids would make Christmas pretty hectic! I needed a real tree this year, at least, to remind me of home and COLD CANADA!