Friday, December 23, 2011

Tout simplement…Merry Christmas

Wishing you all
Some good humour
(Bruce, the French snow man)

simple pleasures

and a splash of colour

This festive season. 

Joyeux Noël
See you after a good deal of food I don't really need :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Joy to the World!

If you wander around La Rivière with me, 
you are likely to find tiny glimpses of 

 hidden in the most unlikely places. 
I find them peeking out at me when I least expect it!
I wandered through the door last week to find that Chickpea,
my darling eldest daughter,
had thoughtfully tidied my wooden letterpress blocks for me

Sometimes it's great to be a messmonster myself.
I wouldn't have thought to put them away like that ;-)
Then Pokemon, 
came to the conclusion that the letters that spell

also mean FLY (VOLE) in French.
(I take that as meaning let your heart fly)

And Libellule has been busy documenting our family efforts to
'make' this Christmas

a 'hands on' team affair.
Full of laughter and surprises to discover.

Since the successful and surprisingly joyful passage of
the Inspecteur de l'Education Nationale
during which I was deemed fit to continue educating my 3 messmonsters
(Luckily they attended school long enough before hand to learn to answer questions politely ;-)
we have been celebrating.
I have all but abandoned my own artistic endeavours in favour of joining the messies to
bake shortbread, make candles

in favourite fleamarket finds...

and help Pokemon string pinecone garlands

So my brushes are down until the New Year
YUp! I'm letting it all hang out (literally with the food I keep ingurgitating)
 and getting in some real world, messy, Family Joy like this:

Candle making (pink pot) in the middle of getting a roast chook in the oven 
One still needs to feed the starving elves as they are busy at work...

(Yes it does still have its head - Welcome to France)

 If you forget your skewers, use what you can to keep your wick up ;-)

More joy - thy perfect house and garden shall be reserved for 2012. Having the studio is a godsend, but I admit to missing the creative mayhem reserved for a household that tries to do everything, and too much, at once.  If you don't mind a little mess as you drink your champagne, you are welcome to drop by, stand at the bench and get your hands grubby with us.
We hereby guarantee:
Loudly sung Christmas carols,
 at least one glass bottle of sparkly liquid 
the comforting aroma of Christmas goodies as they waft through the house
Not one square centimetre of anything that remotely resembles tidy
here at La Rivière.
Until the night before Christmas ...
Joy to you all
My Mama arrives from Aussie on Monday.
Goodness knows when you may next hear from me then ;-)

Love to all 
PS: Saw this and it made me ponder.  

"I hear that in many places something has happened to Christmas; that it is changing from a time of merriment and carefree gaiety to a holiday which is filled with tedium; that many people dread the day and the obligation to give Christmas presents is a nightmare to weary, bored souls; that the children of enlightened parents no longer believe in Santa Claus; that all in all, the effort to be happy and have pleasure makes many honest hearts grow dark with despair instead of beaming with good will and cheerfulness."
- Julia Peterkin
A Plantation Christmas
Pokemon believes with all his heart in Santa - which doesn't stop him being the most mischievious of imps at times… I like him believing in Santa. The day he doesn't - which will most likely be next year, we will be recycling cheer and good will into a year long affair, terminating in a huge treasure hunt for the most 'special' but inconsequential gifts on Christmas Day
My soul would wither if there weren't a little fantasy and magic in every Christmas
Your thoughts?

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 :)