It’s Christmas-central here at Wee Birdy, and as most of you know, I adore this time of the year and I’ve always embraced the festive season with great gusto. I’ve loved sharing all my festive wee finds with you over the past few weeks and compiling all my gift guides, but today I thought I’d invite you around to my place and show you how I’ve been getting ready for Christmas.
And to give me a kick-start, the lovely folks from Freedom gifted me with a voucher to help me deck the halls. Excitement! I really love Freedom and have spent many an hour wandering the aisles of their amazing decorating section, never failing to uncover all sorts of lovely wee finds (and it’s far more extensive in-store than online, which also adds to the excitement factor).
I wanted to create a simple but effective table setting for Christmas entertaining this year, using my collection of vintage mercury glass baubles as the inspiration (see photo above). At Freedom I found a beautiful festive silver table runner ($19.95) with a set of four matching silver napkins ($14.95), which added a great textural base for my setting. For dinnerware I used Freedom’s Fino M3 Coupe Dinner Set ($89); a sleek and minimalist everyday set that goes beautifully with my streamlined Georg Jensen AJ cutlery.
We were in desperate need of new glasses that actually matched, so I bought six Fizzy Highball tumblers (great value at $1.95 each), which provided a textural balance to my collection of Riedel stemware. This was further enhanced by Freedom’s set of three crystal glass tapered candleholders ($29.95). The centrepiece of fresh rosemary in my Georg Jensen Ilse vase added a green festive touch (and smelled great, too), and I decorated the table with nuts and pods in an assortment of George Jensen and Stelton polished stainless steel serving bowls.
I also experimented with a splash of colour, swapping the mercury glass ornaments for brightly coloured Quality Street chocolates and my collection of vintage glass Christmas decorations. Which look do you prefer?
I love creating little winter wonderland vignettes for my coffee table each year – but with a toddler in the house I’ve moved it to the sideboard! Here I’ve used Freedom’s fabulous glass belljars (Maisey Cake Stand with Dome Lid, 31cm, $14.95 and Maisey Cake Stand with Dome Lid, 33.5cm, $34.95) to make miniature winter forest scenes.
I used Maldon salt flakes (the best fake snow) and some tiny vintage Christmas cake decorations and my collection of little woodland deers to create my winter wonderlands. I really love this little tableaux and the glass belljars look great on my antique silver tray.
Our living room colour scheme is usually grey, yellow and white, so I swapped our yellow print cushions for these plump and beautifully textural red “Freeway” cushions from Freedom ($39.95). I think they really bring out the texture of the fabric in my vintage armchairs, and they also match the Scandi red and white knit stockings hanging in our fireplace.
One of my favourite childhood Christmas traditions was reading our collection of Christmas books (Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas and Father Christmas Goes on Holiday are my all-time favourites) throughout December.
I’ve continued the tradition with my son, and I was thrilled to stumble upon Freedom’s natural caprii tote with handles ($89), which is big and sturdy enough to house our growing collection. Best of all, we can use it as handy toy storage after I’ve put away the Christmas books.
Christmas always brings a raft of visiting rellies and friends, and as the contents of our linen closet has seen better days, we invested in some smart new guest towels. I bought Freedom’s generously-sized Sanctuary bath sheets (mine are in platinum, $34.95 each), which are super-luxe and perfect for guests.
We love entertaining guests on our balcony, but the unfortunate drawback is that you have to walk through our (often dishevelled) bedroom to get to it. So with a plethora of people dropping in over the next few weeks, it was time for a mini bedroom makeover.
Cue Freedom’s Henson white queen quilt cover set, $149, which features a glorious pin-tuck pattern which not only adds interest and texture to a white duvet cover, but it will never need ironing and always look good – no matter how creased it may be. Genius for time-poor parents! It also goes well with my beloved Rachel Castle yellow polka dot pillowslips, which add a pop of colour to our room.
We already had Freedom’s fabulous yellow spindle side table, which goes fabulously with the vintage saucer chairs on our balcony. But we needed some kind of decorating element to tie these disparate pieces together, and I found the solution with Freedom’s Mix n Match red cushion ($29.95) and the matching red Cera citronella candlepot ($16.95). The birds-on-a-wire frame is also from Freedom, and I’ve used it to display our Christmas cards this year.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this wee festive tour around my place! How are you getting ready for Christmas this year?
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post but I was provided with a Freedom Gift Voucher – and of course I went over my budget, which I paid for myself.
Photography by Lucas Boyd.
So much choice, so little time! I’m not quite sure how it happened but suddenly the countdown is on for Christmas and everyone is madly ticking off their to-do lists. If you’re looking for some festive new stockings, look no further. I’ve scoured the best online designers and retailers for the most beautiful Christmas stockings, and edited it down to my Top 20.
Here they are:
1. Fox Christmas Stocking in yellow by Allenbrite Studio’s Etsy shop, US$25.
2. Freckle Christmas stocking by Little Lamb in red, AU$49 from Lark.
3. Scandi Christmas Stocking by birdyhome, US$22.59 from Not on the High Street.
4. Embroidered linen mix Christmas stocking , AU$69.95 from David Jones.
5. Cath Kidston Christmas deer stocking, £14 from John Lewis.
6. Ball cuff stocking, AU$75 from Papier D’Amour.
7. Petal Christmas stocking by Little Lamb in Turquoise, AU$49 from Lark.
8. Red ticking personalised stocking, AU$60 from Papier D’Amour.
9. Freckle Christmas stocking by Little Lamb in grey, AU$49 from Lark.
10. Marimekko Raanu Christmas Stocking, AU$59 from Funkis.
11. Gisela Graham red Santa Christmas stocking, £10.95 from Liberty.
12. Cody Foster woven striped Christmas stocking, £59.95 from Selfridges.
13. Gisela Graham Gingerbread Man stocking, £10.95 from Liberty.
14. Circus-inspired Christmas stocking by Rocket and Bear, $19.63 from Not on the High Street.
15. Red wool star stocking, £59.95 from Liberty.
16. Karl Lagerfeld Christmas stocking, £200 from Selfridges.
17. Gisela Graham red satin embroidered stocking, £14.95 from Liberty.
18. Personalised Christmas stocking by Charlotte Cot Blankets, $64.64 from Not on the High Street.
19. Gisela Graham snowman and snowflake stocking, £10.95 from Liberty.
20. Retro Rudolph Christmas stocking in peacock blue, US$25 from Allenbrite Studio’s Etsy shop.
Click here for more nice Christmas stockings.
And click here for my edit of the 20 Best Crackers for 2012.
According to Instagram, my week looked like this:
- I went to the beach – again! That makes it two weekends in a row. Must be a record for me.
- I attended my first ever Kids Business Bloggers Brunch – and found some quick and easy Christmas crafts from Spotlight. (Quick and easy being key words for me.) I’m on my way to Spotlight this afternoon!
- I also met the girls from Brown Sugar at the Bloggers Brunch, who gifted me a beautiful coral striped scarf, which went fabulously with my coral Dinosaur Designs bangle and Tom Ford lipstick in Wild Ginger.
- I’m still loving Sydney’s magnificent show of jacarandas this year. Front lawns and footpaths everywhere are awash with jacaranda confetti. And the sight of backlit jacarandas in the warm glow of the late afternoon sun is one of my favourite Sydney sights. It means summer is just around the corner.
- I went to an excellent Blog Photography Workshop to brush up on my DSLR skills. Hosted by the fabulous Little Paper Trees (check out her blog now) and led by lifestyle photographer Emma Scamell, we covered an incredible amount of skills in just one wee day. The workshop was held in the studios of one of my favourite Sydney shops, Little Paper Lane, so it was a day filled with lots of laughs, creativity and neon. It’s a very neon Christmas this year at Little Paper Lane – check out the riot of colour in their window displays!
- If you’re in Sydney and you need some Christmas present inspiration, make the trip to Little Paper Lane in Mona Vale. Or check out their superb online shop. I dare you to resist pulling out your credit card! I shopped up a storm, and stocked up on Washi tapes, ribbons, an awesome extra-large alphabetical stamp set and neon gift cards. So lovely.
- I also met a very cute duckling (it had just hatched in my friend’s home incubator!)
- I found the sweetest-smelling baby pineapples from the organic grocer in Avalon.
- I stopped by The Boatshed in Palm Beach for some ice-cream. They always have the most magnificent displays of fresh fruit and flowers.
- I took out 10 minutes to watch the Melbourne Cup, and decided to make a last-minute bet. Should have stayed at home.
- I took delivery of a very sweet box filled with Chupa-Chups, and the latest candy-inspired collection of lip gloss, nail polish and eye-shadows from L’Oreal Paris.
- I met the guys from Rust-oleum at the Bloggers Brunch and discovered a brand new world of magic paint and spray paints. I’ve got to get a can of their white matte spraypaint which gives your average jam jar a beautiful white ceramic-like finish. Genius.
Phew, what a week. Did I mention that I also launched a brand new craft tutorials website, Crafttuts+? More on that very soon!
Tell me, what did you get up to? You can follow me on Instagram here. I’d love to see your Instagram pics, too!
p.s. I made 2000 ‘likes’ on Facebook! Hooray! Thanks everyone for following me. X
This week I’ll be bringing you my pick of the best gifts, cards and decorations that you need to order now to make sure your goodies arrive in time for Christmas. The vast majority of these things are handmade and many sellers on Etsy are so inundated with orders that they’re already calling last orders. In fact one Etsy seller, who makes the best hand-knitted and personalised fair isle stockings is already taking orders for Christmas 2013. Wowzers. So if you spot something you like, for goodness sake, don’t dilly-dally, snap it up!
I love these simple and graphic Christmas stockings by Etsy seller RikRak, which uses ‘ecospun’ felt made from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. The stockings are available in 60 different colour combinations, from the minimalist cream stockings with green trees to retro jewel-tones embellished with rick-rack.
The personalised stockings are particularly lovely, and with prices starting at US$12 they’re also very good value. Rikrak is taking customised orders until November 19 or until her schedule is filled.
It’s been a busy week here at the Wee Birdy nest. I’ve been reading my favourite childhood Christmas books to Harry (can you spot the Raymond Briggs and Dick Bruna?), putting the finishing touches on the tree and decorating the house with Australian summer flowers (the brilliant red blossoms of the Flowering Gum and Christmas Bush look a treat in my vintage Bitossi and Holmegaard vases). Then there has been all the festive eating: my Mum’s stained glass Christmas Cake, the zingiest pineapple, lemon and mint frappe from Cafe Mint in Surry Hills, and a special Christmas afternoon tea at Patisse (the very pretty Bouche de Noel was decorated with fresh flowers and tiny red meringue mushrooms).
What’s been happening at your place? Are you ready for Christmas?