Handmade Ornaments – Cashmere and Herb Heart.

Just after A Good Man and I got married, we moved into a tiny little apartment and I set about decorating it with great enthusiasm. My first space as a married woman! Alas, I soon realized that the worn, hand-me-down couch we had inherited from my grandmother, the mismatched dishes we had ended up with in the kitchen and the stark white formica dining room table we had somehow acquired were just NOT working for me. Crestfallen, I collapsed on the floor in a heap of disappointment. “Mom,” I lamented, “I want that gorgeous ‘white’ look… a comfy white sofa, dreamy muslin curtains and REAL art on the walls!”
“Oh, Donni,” she replied in her calm, all-knowing, way. “You don’t just ‘get‘ that look, you ‘acquire‘ it. It is a lifelong journey… you find treasures along the way that belong with you. You find things that have a story, things that bring your home character. A piece of art that you buy because you need to fill a space is half the piece of art you buy because it speaks to your heart. It takes many, many years to make a beautiful home. You are at the beginning of this journey.”

I think of these wise words at Christmas time. It is my great desire to have a Christmas tree that is trimmed only in meaningful, handmade, ornaments. I adore the little stick star ornament that Kitty made when she was 3, the white porcelain acorn we found at last years Winter Faire and the sweet walnut babies we all made together. These sweet treasures tell the story of our family, they all hold special memories to smile over and repeat, year after year. But… being of the ‘instant gratification’ generation, I have to consciously stop myself from WANTING the whole tree to be covered in these special decorations, NOW! I have to remind myself of my mom’s wise words that treasures like these take a lifetime to find. We are collecting them slowly, each year adding a few more to our tree. Once again, I bring my focus back to the belief that the joy is in the journey.

Kitty made our first little handmade Christmas tree treasure this morning. A hand sewn cashmere heart ornament, stuffed with wool, dried lavender and chamomile. It smells delightful.

handmade waldorf christmas tree decoration ornament
First, we felted an old torn cashmere sweater. Here is a link to info on how to felt a sweater.

We dried it in the dryer.

Then, with scissors, we cut out two identical hearts about the size of the palms of our hands.

how to make a waldorf Christmas ornament
Kitty chose a pretty pink thread to sew the two hearts together. As she is new at sewing, it was a task of great concentration and wonderful accomplishment. Here is a post on a little trick I discovered to help Kitty learn how to sew.

a handmade cashmere waldorf Christmas tree ornament
We left the last inch of the heart edge unsewn so that we could stuff it with soft wool before sewing it closed. We laid out a small handful of wool and put a pinch of dried lavender and a dash of dried chamomile flowers in its center.

We wrapped the herbs up in the wool…

Stuffed the wool into the cashmere heart and sewed the heart closed.

Our Waldorf handmade christmas ornament
We attached a little of the pink from which to hang our heart and our first Christmas tree treasure of 2010 is hanging sweetly from Kitty’s bed, the lavender and Chamomile aromas giving her happy and dreamy sleep, awaiting it’s special place on our Christmas tree.

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Blessings and magic,


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16 Responses

  1. Words I needed to hear – especially after purchasing our last house! It does take time – and the more time it takes the more meaningful it all is.

    The catalogs are coming in left and right and they were making me a “wanter”!!!! I am putting them straight into the recycling bin.

    I still want things….

    Namaste, Nicole

  2. We can learn so much from our mothers and grandmothers. Donni our christmas tree is just like that, we only have a few decorations that we have made through the years and a few very special pieces of furniture. It’s the journey, the experience of life that makes us who we are. Beautiful post. Your children are growing so fast and so beautiful. Sweet little boy sleeping on the floor.

  3. First I wept with recognition at the wishing to have it ALL now and how nearly 20 years in to my own married life I am beginning to see the wisdom of those words and then I melted with delight at the photos of your daugther’s creation.

    I think my five year old and I might just manage something like that.

    Thank you for a timely, thoughtful and eloquent blog post.

  4. that’s beautiful! I love christmas trees, and christmas ornaments. We make a few different styles every year. My goal is to have too many. How’s that for over consumption!

  5. Yes, it’s so hard to be patient as we make our house into a home, little bit by little bit! This is a sweet ornament. :)
    My 3-year-old is wanting to learn to sew. She really wanted to “sew a real shirt” today! Any suggestions? :)

  6. I remember spending lots of time during my first year here (in my first house) trying to make it ‘home’, I think I needed your mums advice.
    I have a few special Christmas ornaments with memories and look forward to more to come in years to come. Your words inspire me so:)

  7. I’ve been making red wool heart ornaments for our tree (and for gifts) but I didn’t think to put scented herbs in them – now I will try some that way. I have some rose-scented geranium leaves I could use too. Thanks for the inspiration.

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