A simple, Swedish Christmas

Hands up if you are decorating for Christmas with a curious toddler or pet in tow?

I turned around the other day and my little boy actually had a tree light bulb in his mouth. Yikes. So our tree is now looking particularly stylish with the lights weaved through the upper branches only. Ahem. However, he is forgiven because he has brought home from nursery his own craft pieces for the tree which we just love. Plus how can you not forgive a two year old in a fetching Christmas jumper?

IMG_0145.JPG

He has just started talking and the way he tries to say Christmas tree is so loveable.

Anyway, we are not at home this year for the big event. We are off up North to spend it with my in laws so I haven’t gone crazy on the decorating. Coupled with the fact that we have just moved into a rental for 12 months until we decide where we want to settle in our new town of Shrewsbury. And you know what rentals are like for their rules and restrictions. Yawn.

Saying that, I still want it to look festive and you can check out my Instagram feed to see what I am doing as I am not finished yet!

I cannot wait to have a place of our own again. And when I do, come Christmas, I’ll be taking a lead from Helena Shem. Helena lives in Sundsvall, Sweden and you can find her blog here.

Just look at this beautiful front door and porch. I love the double wreath and mini potted Christmas trees.

IMG_0136-0.JPG

IMG_0138-0.JPG

IMG_0151.JPG

IMG_0153.JPG

I love the way she has dressed the porch with greenery. It reminds me of my Dad who every year gathers armfuls of holly, pine and mistletoe – often as late as Christmas Eve – for my Mum to add a festive touch to our farmhouse. It makes the whole house smell so good.

There’s no place for Christmas commercial gimmicks in Helena’s home either. And, let’s face it, you can’t really go wrong with some simple, winter greenery, a lovely tree and candlelight…

IMG_0147.JPG

IMG_0149.JPG

IMG_0152.JPG

Doesn’t that glittery corner look inviting with its chandelier, sheepskin and wooden background? I would love to curl up there with a good book!

DIY advent calendar

IMG_0133-0.JPG

Yes, yes I know. I am oh so horribly late with the old advent calendar blogpost. But I do have a good excuse.

I have moved house! Remember I told you we were moving from Cardiff to Shrewsbury? Well we have done it! But more about all of that in another post and on to the advent calendar.

I cannot take any credit for this DIY project. My attentions have been focused on the move and keeping our toddler settled and happy through the whole process! So I have turned to my sister (who runs Made by Marketing – unashamed plug) who is rather handy with a needle, thread and a pile of patchwork squares.

Over to Elizabeth…

This year, I decided to craft an advent calendar – I thought it would be a good way to use up some leftover fabrics I had knocking around and a way for me to get quietly excited about Christmas.

I found the pattern in issue 13 of Love Patchwork and Quilting Magazine and it is by the ever-creative Helen Philipps.

I took Helen’s lead and decided to mix red and green scrap fabrics, regardless of whether they had a festive theme or not. And then mixed in a few specials.

IMG_0130.JPG

The dates are ink stamped which was also part of the appeal for me. The idea is that it doesn’t look too exact which is never a problem with my sewing!!

IMG_0121.JPG

I have filled the pockets with mini baubles and – every now and again – a candy cane or Christmas decoration makes an appearance. Best of all, we will be using the calendar to do our own take on the Christmas book countdown. Each day, there will be a book title to unfold and a large pile of stories will accumulate over the month.

IMG_0132.JPG

For the last few weeks, I have been secretly squirreling away any books we have relating to snow, penguins, presents ( you get the drift) and also stocking up on a few new/ secondhand titles. Our resident story monster will be in heaven!