It's taken an enormous effort of will, but I haven't officially put up any Christmas decorations yet. I've been itching to ... but, so, far I've more or less held the line. There have been a few purchases made with the holidays in mind, and I have been busy making decorations for our Christmas tree.
The weather here has been grey and miserable - so, the Wonder Dog and I have reined in our wanderings and stayed close to home. One day we oven-dried some orange slices to make these decorations, which glow warm and orangey with a twinkling fairy light behind them. You can read my post on how to make them here: Dried Orange Slice Decorations.
And then we made a few cinnamon parcels, using the same rustic-looking hemp string and ribbon, to compliment the orange slices on the tree.
You can read my post about the cinnamon here: Cinnamon Stick Decorations.
Together they create a timeless old world look. Using the same ribbon for both helps to tie the overall design together.
I like to keep things simple and not too commercial. I hate acres and acres of plastic and tinsel, so there'll be lots of homemade alternatives, and paper chains. I've bought some lovely, ready-cut papers and not-so-messy glue dots so that Emi can get busy and have a go at engineering some decorations too. I chose my words carefully these days. With judicious use of a verb like engineer, which sounds nice and heavy and grown-up and masculine it's amazing what I can talk the little chap into doing.
Christmas came a little bit early on Monday as I took delivery of my new handbag camera, a Canon SX60 HS. I'm really pleased with it. If you're interested, you can read my review here: SX 60 HS Review.
The Wonder Dog and I took it out and about during the sunny interludes, which were few and far between, but it did a lovely job of capturing the autumn tints in all their colourful glory.
With all the mild weather, autumn seems to be holding onto her foliage well past the normal threshold for winter - not that I'm complaining.
The Wonder Dog had his photograph taken more times than he would have liked to. In the end he went and hid under the kitchen table, where I'm sure he knew the light was terrible. He's smart like that, the Wonder Dog.
I tried some still-life compositions of the chaos that is my desk. It's amazing: I have a huge desk, but somehow it's always a struggle to find space on there to do anything. It's kind of like Dr Who's TARDIS, only it operates in reverse.
Today I'm off with a chum to the Black Friday sales. I can't say that I've noticed Black Friday before. I know it's a huge thing in the States, where people get through Thanksgiving and then turn their minds to how few shopping days remain until Christmas. As we don't celebrate Thanksgiving it's never really featured, but I guess with these hard economic times the retailers are having to try every trick in the book to shift their merchandise.
I'm not the world's most enthusiastic shopper, so I know that I'm going to come home feeling exhausted. I've made a big pot of roasted winter vegetable soup, which I'll serve up to the troops with some nice fresh bread. Hopefully it will get everyone fed without too much further effort on my part. You can find my recipe here: the very best roast vegetable soup. It's a real corker of a soup!
Anyway I'd better push off and put my best foot forward as those bargains won't buy themselves.
All the best for a splendid weekend,