Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Playing (with) the right cards… A Christmas tutorial of sorts guaranteed to appease even the most upset MiL

Once upon a time my messmonsters were given a lovely pack of 7 Families that had belonged to my Mother in Law when she was a child.  Unfortunately, the cards had been placed under an evil curse that would force some of them to be separated from the pack; lost forever in the great Bermuda Triangle formed between MiL's House, the Car Ride and Our House. To this day they have never been seen again.

The spoilt Messmonsters, of course, were completely unperturbed by the disappearance of several of their dearest grandmother's beloved cards. Yours truly however, was horrified! An evil curse? At La Rivière? What was to become of our reputation of being 'La Maison du Bonheur?'

I searched for ages for those lost cards. Crying in vain against the din of noisy messmonsters,  I delved repeatedly into all the nooks and crannies I usually reserve in desperation for socks that have gone AWOL. To no avail. I had to admit that the evil curse had vanquished our household and that my next Christmas dinner was likely to be little more than stale bread with raw garlic and water as the others revelled in Sauternes and Foie Gras. 

Oh Cruel Fate.
Oh endless shivering in my boots. 
Unless ...

All this getting up for some peace at 5.30am has finally paid off.

I had, what could only be called, for a Blond, a BRAINWAVE!

What if those gorgeous vintage cards were 'repurposed' or 'upcycled' (love that word) into an assortment of garlands to colour the Messmonsters' rooms. Would that get me at least a sip of Sauternes at my MiL's table this Christmas Eve? 

I'll let you know in the New Year. In the mean time, I spent all last Thursday evening punching holes into every cursed pack of cards I could find, including MiL's childhood favourites. A trusty hole punch for a side kick and some Divine Twine or other thin cord and you're off and running with a splash of colour for your Christmas tree, your kids' rooms… your garden shed…

This has invariably led on to a string of other 'garland' ideas for the bits and pieces of children's toys I find lying about the house arranged  in interesting places but can't bear to throw away… Did someone say de-clutter?

It gets worse! This month has been Pinterest month for us. Having spent an inordinate amount of time collecting photos of amazing and tempting tutorials, we have set out to actually create one item per day. I never actually got around to finishing my own Advent calendar, but the Messies made theirs, along with candle recipes in old cups, snowflake cut outs, moss painting and home made decorations. The adventure continues and seeing as I've been organised enough to take photos for once, you'll be getting a bit of an update as to how each tutorial has worked out for us over the coming weeks.

Happy Christmas preparations possums. 
Looking forward to catching up over the next couple of weeks :)


  1. I think this brilliant! Very clever...and you actually see them instead of hiding in a box.
    (I am going to do this with the constant stream of Christmas cards)
    How are you Ange? I hope all is well with you and your fam.
    Homeschooling still? I have had a heck of a year(better now) back to blogging again...miss you all.
    Again thanks for this great tip...I might even do this with Gabriels drawings...with a little red/white bakers twine...I'll by hole punching away till midnight.

  2. Bonjour Ange. Remember me ? I am Kimberly's French teacher (and neighbor.) I follow your blog too. Loved this post. I have so many versions of "Les 7 Familles!" You have inspired me to do something with them... then again that is a popular game with most of my students [including Kim] and they may not be too happy if I did that! ;-) Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  3. You are a genius. That is all :)

  4. What a great idea Ange.....a lovely way to display an heirloom that has lost some of it's parts ( so to speak !!)
    When our dad died we found our most loved ( and well-worn) pack of Happy Families. My sisters favourite, Mrs. Rabbit, had turned down corners so that she would know which one it was !!
    Looking forward to more of your ingenious garlands.

  5. What a brain wave, and how charming. May I send you half of my household effects for you to make garlands of as well, while I bask in wide open space?

  6. Such a great idea Ange, and you can enjoy this garland all year round. I've recently bought some old Happy Families packs myself. They're hilarious and some are very politically incorrect. Maybe this is one little idea I could try with them? Hope MiL approves of your creativity. xx

  7. P.S forgot to say that my gorgeous angels are up and hanging on the tree - well actually it's only a branch - but this is why the angels were even more important to find! xx

  8. From the post title I thought you had drawn some new cards to replace the lost ones.(Baby Brother chewed the 9 of Clubs and Big Sister did a make-over with a spare Joker!)
    But this idea looks to be more fun.
    Happy Christmas to you and yours, Ange.
    (with Sauterne!)

  9. Oh this is the sweetest idea. Now you can admire all their vintage beauty everyday. x

  10. That is a super great idea to keep the cards living on....
    a project a day...what an idea!!!

  11. I love this so much! Clever you finding a way to keep such precious treasures in use, and even better that they will now be on display!

  12. What a wonderful and clever post Ange. Love the way you've written this story and what you actually ended up doing with the cards. Just great. Look forward to seeing what you end up making on your plan to complete new projects. Even if you don't get to make one every day- even one a month would be a great accomplishment in my book. Happiest of holidays! xo

  13. Those are so adorable! And I love the idea of stringing them up like that.


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