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.
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.
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.
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 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,