My very own handmade Christmas Tree skirt – I drafted the pattern, cut & sewed on a Sunday arvo.
I know…everyone is all urrrrrggggghhhhh about Christmas but if you know me you know that I totally LOVE Christmas time. There is a period of about two weeks which feels like it’s the party to celebrate the end of a full & busy year. It’s the twinkly lights (ooh how I love the fairy lights) and decorations, most people are on holidays and it’s warm (hey..it’s Australia!!!) and and and.
Our tree when it was alive and producing valuable oxygen and before we cut it down so we could stick tinsel on it.
Everyone can bitch all they like but I really enjoy sitting down with friends and family at this time and having a drink and nice food to eat. I love decorating the tree and the excitement from my kids when Finnegan the Elf returns to our house (link to all his previous antics over the years…esp handy to all those people who want their elf to get a few ideas!!).
The kids version of what a tree looks like when it’s decorated..cough
(insert my O.C.D. right here – yes the tree has been fixed since this pic was taken)
This year has been bittersweet for me, The good stuff…I turned 40 and started my very own business which I am enjoying so much. It’s so exciting packing the orders and posting them, an amazing sense of achievement for me. I also have a stockist and Martinis and Slippers are now listed on Vintage Pip’s website (more to come in other blog post on that!!).
The shitty stuff…My beloved cat Indy died in June. My beautiful 9 year old Burmese boy was my first ‘grown up’ pet and we got him before the kids and after our first year living in our newly purchased home. I still find myself crying because he isn’t around for cuddles and for a long time going to bed a night was a challenge without my little mouse to hug.
I referred to him as my ‘new fur’ in this pic. We hugged like this all the time…silly moushy.
Because some cats like to roll around the jumpaline!
It’s all those little rituals that I miss – his annoying & constant meowing after I would finish a shower – all because he wanted to put his cat funk all over me again. Him licking/bathing himself at 3am right near my face and waking me up and I would have to yell STOP IT INDY and then he would stop for 5 seconds and then continue cleaning himself…sigh. Breakfast v1, v2, v3 and then him sleeping on my side of the bed for the whole day.
This is how we would snuggle at night.
We plan on getting a new pet but not for a few more months, it’s a slow process that we aren’t rushing into. We know what pet we want next and I really can’t wait until that time comes.
Onwards and upwards!
I also had my very first market stall. I was shitting myself the whole day…it was waaaaaay outside of my comfort zone and I knew I could do it but…akhgakljfhsdlfgjhsadfkhsdfjshadd.
Cheeky trial run at home!
I did a trial run the weekend before and everything looked pretty good and setting up was quick and then I learnt that I can also be an awesome mute!! ha ha…I had my friend Fleur, who suggested I do the market in the first place with me the whole time and she was just bloody brilliant. I was certainly a lot more confident & comfortable with her around to help.
Here is my table BEFORE shot.
The AFTER shot…all set up!
My goal for the market was to: 1. learn the ropes – how to do a market stall etc.
2. Sell 5 brooches.
I did it!!!
I am happy to say that I sold double that and in a 3 hour period at a school twilight market with not many retro, vintage, rockabilly people there I was very happy with that result. I plan on doing another market but not until early next year and probably at a classic car show…because I like looking at classic cars!!!
Here are 73 Elf on the Shelf ideas that we have used with our elf over the past 3 years. We got & named our elf Finnegan The Elf in 2011 and he has been a source of much fun & laughs from my kids each day during December since.
Finnegan The Elf arriving in 2011.
Sliding down a ribbon to the Christmas tree is fun!
I will admit it is tricky thinking of new Elf on the Shelf ideas to surprise the kids and the pressure each night to do something bothers me slightly, there have been nights when I am absolutely buggered (buggered = Aussie slang for tired!) and have jumped into bed only to realise I need to do something with Finnegan The Elf.
Finnegan The Elf has turned the milk green
Two years ago I bought a note book and started planning what Finnegan The Elf would do each night but sometimes the idea doesn’t work as well as I thought it would and I have to come up with something else on the spot.
Finnegan The Elf meeting with Blaine the Surfer Dude.
This year we are expecting Finnegan The Elf to return to our house on December 1st and the kids know this means CHOCOLATE. He also gives the kids a book each during December which is a Christmas themed book – I know they get presents on Christmas Day but I love that my kids read and if I could give them new books every day I would.
Riding the rocking horse, pretending it’s a reindeer.
So here are the pictures of all the antics that Finnegan The Elf got up to during previous years that I am sharing for anyone who needs any Elf on the Shelf ideas. I have a Facebook page for Finnegan The Elf that you can follow to see what he gets up to over December this year and if you have any ideas of things I can do…please let me know!!
Finnegan The Elf with a message for Oliver.
A small gift of lollies.
Hmm Finnegan The Elf…busted in the act.
Holding the toilet paper in his hand. Reading to the other toys.
Rice bubble angel.
Drawing pictures under the Christmas Tree.
Having a quick shower.
Hanging out with Thomas & Friends.
Fishing into a bowl of blue jelly.
A bad note from Santa after Oliver misbehaved.
Just hanging around.
It’s way too warm in Melbourne, Australia for an Elf from the North Pole.
Captured by the Smurfs.
Oh no…how is Finnegan The Elf going to get out of this?
Surrounded by Smurfs.
There is even a King Smurf.
4 More sleeps.
When planking was all the rage…Finnegan The Elf planked on the Christmas Tree.
A true work of art!
It’s Christmas Eve.
Just hanging around to watch the fun on Christmas Day 2011 (Finnegan The Elf chooses to stay one extra day).
Christmas 2012 we saw Finnegan The Elf arrive after a huge storm hit Melbourne the previous day. We were worried about how he would get here but fortunately he arrived safely, although he was a bit stuck and needed help getting out.
Finnegan The Elf arrived via a balloon but with all the high winds he got stuck in the tree out the front.
This was a subtle reminder to get cracking on the Christmas decorating.
Finnegan The Elf met with Snow White for coffee.
Marshmallows in cups – to look like the real thing.
Who is that sneaking around in the background?
Finnegan The Elf was invited to a house party.
A dolls house party!
Oliver found them the next morning.
Roasting marshmallows by the fireplace on a cold ‘Summer’ night
(we get freaky cold weather in Melbourne, Australia even though it’s Summer).
Finnegan The Elf gave the kids Christmas books.
Finnegan The Elf went on a picnic with the other toys by the Christmas Tree.
Having a picnic.
Hanging out in a hammock.
Easiest job in the world.
This is the life!
A bit of a weightlifting competition with Blaine The Surfer Dude.
He isn’t as strong as Finnegan The Elf.
Snow White cheering for Finnegan The Elf.
Snow White watching Finnegan The Elf..hmmm!
Finnegan The Elf had a night out on the town – He went to an Argentinean restaurant.
He had wine…
He had empanadas… Steak & salad…
More red wine…
Then it was time for cocktails…this was a gingerbread cocktail.
And more cocktails…
And a very rough start to the day…the kids found him like this.
Finnegan The Elf hanging from the Christmas lights with a note…
A special note for Oliver, giving him permission to hold Finnegan The Elf.
More books for the kids.
Finnegan The Elf had a visit from a friend but with all this heat he just didn’t last all that long.
Oh Finnegan The Elf was sooo upset.
The kids found him outside riding a bike.
Floating in an ice bath (packing foam in the bath with the bath water coloured blue with food colouring).
The kids found a note…
and some arrows…
leading around the garden.
They eventually found Finnegan The Elf out the front with some treats.
Finnegan The Elf made breakfast.
Blaine the Surfer Dude invited Finnegan The Elf to a card game…
These are Finnegan The Elf’s cards.
OHH…someone is cheating…BLAINE THE SURFER DUDE IS CHEATING!!!
What’s this…the Surfer dude villian…what is he up to?
He has tied Snow White to the tracks…but where is Finnegan The Elf?
Oh No…he is tied upside down, hanging from the fairy lights.
But where there are fairy lights there are also FAIRIES!!
Finnegan The Elf was able to get free…
Will Finnegan The Elf free Snow White before the Polar Express arrives?
YESSS!!! and Snow White is very grateful to Finnegan The Elf for saving her life from the speeding train.
A bit of time away camping together is what they did next.
(Battery operated fairy lights with red cellophane and then surrounded by small twigs.)
The kids found Finnegan The Elf in front of the computer the next day.
After pinning his pictures to Pinterest , he updated his Facebook page…if you want to follow Finnegan The Elf click HERE
Making sure his pictures of his camping date with Snow White were uploaded…
Then it was time to skype with the Boss…Santa Claus
So much work, so little time but Finnegan The Elf left a small treat for the kids – little chocolates.
What’s this…sneaky Finnegan The Elf with my lippy.
And it’s was my nose that got ‘Rudolph’d’
A recipe for Magic Reindeer Food.
This is my Christmas planning book – all the things Finnegan The Elf gets up to, cocktails, Christmas menu planning, recipes and it’s even been scribbled on by one of the kids!
Finnegan The Elf arrived via a post bag on December 1st 2013. The door bell rang and we opened the door and the kids picked up the package.
An Elf that arrives with gifts is a very welcome Elf. Finnegan The Elf arrived with a letter & some goodies for us.
Finnegan The Elf with a letter from Santa.
The Santa letter up close.
Finnegan The Elf just hanging out on the tree with a few of the other toys.
Finnegan The Elf tried to make breakfast for the kids. With macaroni, lentils, milo & a biscuit stuck in the middle.
Finnegan needs to work on his food styling…actually the whole recipe looks awful!!
Lime cordial for breakfast…ahhh?!?!
It’s a date…with Snow White.
Watching a Christmas favourite at the drive-ins.
Oh no, Finnegan The Elf made lunch for Oliver to take to Kinder.
Oliver really wasn’t impressed with this packed lunch.
Arielle was not happy with Finnegan The Elf. His attempt at making breakfast previously resulted in a very sad child. This is the apology letter.
What is Finnegan The Elf giggling about?
The kids undies all over the tree.
Finnegan The Elf has hidden some gifts for the kids around the house. Wonder what they could be?
BOOKS! You can never have too many books!
Both kids were really excited with their new books.
Finnegan The Elf has mucked around with the milk again!
Finnegan The Elf has set up a little Santa & his Reindeer display.
Swinging on a swing, that is hanging from the tinsel & fairy lights.
Another one of the Elf on the Shelf ideas that are floating around Pinterest.
Clever Elf on the Shelf – they can bake gingerbread houses too!
Finnegan The Elf was very busy getting the gingerbread house ready for the kids to start sticking lollies on to.
Finnegan The Elf was toilet training and yeah….perhaps he is a little dehydrated with such green coloured wee.
All the toys at a Christmas concert watching Santa sing ‘Jingle Bell Rock’.
We found Finnegan The Elf outside on a rug, waiting with a note & a little paper bag.
The note from Finnegan The Elf.
The kids planting the seeds before bedtime.
Sure enough, the very next morning our seeds had grown into candy canes.
Oh no…our poor Finnegan The Elf came down with a cold. He spent the day in bed.
Finnegan The Elf with notes for the kids.
A beautiful note from Finnegan The Elf to Oliver on his last day of Kinder.
It’s hard work being an Elf on the Shelf.
Finnegan The Elf taking it easy during the busiest time of the year for an Elf on the Shelf.
A reminder from Finnegan The Elf.
Finnegan The Elf is caught climbing up the Christmas lights.
Oh my…we had heaps of fun this night…perhaps the video would explain better.
Finnegan The Elf spending a bit of time with Snow White up where it’s much cooler.
This is where we are starting to run low on ideas. The kids still thought it was funny.
Finnegan The Elf always asks Santa if he can spend Christmas Day with us. This time he had a very important job to do. At the end of Christmas Day before Arielle went to bed, she gave Finnegan The Elf her dummy “to give to the new babies”. Finnegan The Elf was going to give Arielle’s dummy to Santa so he could give it to the new babies and she had to pass it over to him. We were really proud of her handing over what was essentially her comfort blanket to Finnegan The Elf.
Finnegan The Elf left on December 25 2013 and now we eagerly await his arrival on December 1 2014. The kids are so excited and are counting down the sleeps until he arrives. I just hope he can top some of the past tricks he has done.
When everyone else is bitching about the decorations in the shops, I am secretly squealing on the inside.
When the stores start putting up their Christmas decorations & Christmas trees in their stores I am like a little child full of excitement.
When the stores are playing Christmas music over and over…I am singing along (or I take my headphones and play my own playlist of Christmas music).
Naturally I have amassed a heap of Christmas decorations – yes I have lights on the outside of our home. Yes I play Christmas music & yes…I bake.
I bake a gingerbread house every year, I bake fruit cake, I bake christmas cookies (choc chip & cranberry!!), I roast turkey, & bake a ham. I do it and I love doing it. Although this year I am not doing the full spread – that’s another post.
So this is a pic of my collection of Christmas baking/cook books. Heaps upon heaps of magazines all dated December & a collection from over the past 10 yrs if not more. I think I did do a cull about 8yrs ago but kept much loved recipes and condensed them into a binder.
Every year I read them all. I flick through them and get tons of inspiration from them and try new things and put on about 5kgs.
I love Christmas! and I don’t care if everyone hates on it.
Alex aka ‘Miss Candy Cane’. <<<see that….that’s my pinup girl name as mentioned at the end of this post…of course my pinup name is Christmas themed!!!
Wow…November & December was just a little crazy for us. End of Kinder for my little man, Birthday Parties, Christmas Parties, Farewell Parties and throw in some pretty hardcore respiratory infections, gastro & the odd snotty nose and there you have our the final months of 2013 for me & mine.
Honestly, I am dog tired. I have never been so sick for so long and it’s been months (see that ‘s’ at the end of that word..eeek) since I have been to the gym. I love the gym, it’s my special place for stress release and it makes me a happier person when I get to kick the shit out of the punching bag or lift weights and having not done that for 2 months is starting to get to me. Come January my only excuse for not doing any form of exercise will be death.
So I plan on seeing out the rest of the year / week just eating (gorging even) and drinking and chilling with my people. A visit to the beach, maybe a bit of a tidy of our garden and then fingers crossed we can do something special to see in the New Year and then Jan 2nd I am on the bike again – literally on my bike!! Can’t wait.
I was spoilt for Christmas and I am actually wearing (although no full length pics…sorry!) one of my gifts. A fabulous strapless dress I got on sale from Peta Pledger. The dress is called ‘Lucky Diamonds’ in red and white stripe with the most gorgeous little nautical buttons on the bust! (I think they have one left in size 8!!!)
I wish you all had a fabulous Christmas and nothing but good health, lots of wealth & much happiness for 2014. Happy New Year!
It was Christmas Day and I had to have a few silly shots!!!