Sunday, 24 December 2017

24.12. Merry Christmas!

What makes a Christmas for You? We all have our own kind of Christmas. Christmas is a time of traditions both old and new. Some traditions have passed through generations and some have been made only last Christmas. More will be created this Christmas. I only keep the ones that feel good. I think there is no point hanging on traditions that feel like a burden. One of my latest addings to Christmas traditions is Christmas walk that I will be doing third time this year. Before Christmas sauna I will take a walk, admire Christmas lights on yards and windows, maybe pass few Santa Clauses in their cars, watch great river that is coated with ice, take one or two running steps to keep warm and finally come home to see the Snowman and Christmas Peace Declaration from TV. 

Some years ago I understood that I can cook what ever I like for Christmas and ever since Christmas table has been full of all kinds of treats I love. Yesterday I spent all day cooking and baking. I tried new recipes and got the first taste of Christmas 2017. Best part is today evening when I get to go to the fridge  and take little bit of this and that, sweet and savory and continue watching TV or reading a book. 

I won't put too many activities to one day as there are many festive days ahead during this two week holiday season. Some day I will watch old black and white movies for a whole day. Most days I will spend reading. Also I would like to try if I can still skate. 

After all Christmas is yours and your nearest and dearest and you can spend it as you see it is best. There is no right or wrong way. 

I wish you peaceful, relaxing, glittering, tasty and all in all Wonderful Christmas time where ever you are my friend! <3

Merry Christmas! Hyvää Joulua! God Jul!


Saturday, 23 December 2017

23.12. One Night Till Christmas

Tomorrow when we wake up it will be Christmas! This evening I will eat some my favorite treats, Christmas tarts, gingerbreads and cocoa dates. I have still some presents to pack and it has been my Christmas tradition to listen to the radio over the midnight, look snowy views from the window and pack the presents. This is actually one of the best moments in Christmas, when the big celebration is almost here: Angel chime keeps a small sound. All fairy lights are on and glittering. Neighbors are cooking and baking, there is a wonderful scent in the corridor that comes from Christmas treats. Few spruce needles are on the walking route, someone has just carried a tree home. 

Friday, 22 December 2017

22.12. Winter wears a furry coat

Snow is actually warm element and brings light to the dark days. If there is no snow cold temperatures feel even colder. Snow isolates coldness. Sometimes when you look snow on a sunny day you can see how snow even looks like a fur. 

Now that there are just few days til Christmas it is good to take a walk in the nature. In Finland we believe that even forest animals celebrate Christmas. Children's stories tell how natural enemies of the forest spend time together as friends when it is this special time of the year. 

Hot chocolate and sandwiches make the trip to the wintry nature even more special. A small evening walk is also a great way to relax when you keep the pace down and look around carefully how familiar forest turns into magical winter wonderland.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

21.12. Christmas Flower

Flowers are essential in every festive season. Because Christmas is in the middle of winter flowers feel even more luxurious than usual. Amaryllis and hyacinth are my top two flowers at Christmas. I put hyacinths all over the apartment to get the lovely Christmassy scent everywhere. Amaryllis is more like centerpiece and today I show you nature inspired way to style amaryllis.

You will need:

Amaryllis and soil
Flowerpot that has patina
Lichen (from flower or crafts store)
Drift wood

How to:

Step 1. Put soil to the pot and place the amaryllis firmly to it.

Step 2. Cover the soil with lichen and place the driftwood piece to it like it would be in the forest.

Arrangement will be ready when the flower opens. Amaryllis usually blooms long so you can enjoy the arrangement for the entire holiday season. 

Tip: You could make more arrangements like this to for example terracotta pots that have patina and use hyacinths in some of the pots. These arrangements would look stylish in a long dinner table at Christmas and New Year's Eve.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

20.12. How To Fold Christmas Tarts

Christmas tarts are a part of Finnish Christmas table like gingerbreads and cinnamonrolls. This treat is quick to make in the middle of  Christmas hustle. It is rare nowadays to make the puff pastry self because it takes so much time and stores have got ready to use pastry in freezer. It is easy to pick a package and concentrate to the main thing: enjoying good coffee and warm from the oven tarts.

You will need:

Package of puffpastry
Icing sugar

How to: See the picture how to cut and fold the pastry to stars, flowers, angels and moons. Put marmalade on top and bake according to the package. To the moon add the marmalade before folding and use water to secure that the pocket stays close when baking. Decorate with icing sugar.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

19.12. Festive Sequin Text

Joulu means Christmas in Finnish and the whole month December is called Joulukuu, Christmas month. Beautiful silver text decorates the wall together with wooden wreath. Gold and silver tones somehow belong to Christmas. Sequins bring festive bling that matches surprisingly well to traditional colors and natural materials.

You will need:

Sequin fabric
Cardboard box

How to:

Step 1. Write 23 cm tall letters to cardboard you get from the box. Cut out the letters.

Step 2. Glue letters to sequin fabric and let dry.

Step 3. Cut out sequined letters and attach to a wall with tape or pins.

Monday, 18 December 2017

18.12. Painted Star Napkins

These napkins were inspired by a star model I made for the mug coaster the day before. Inspiration can be found everywhere when you look closely forms and materials. You can use napkins in a table setting creatively for example as small tablecloths or breadbasket clothes. 

You will need:

Grey linen
Sewing yarn
White fabricpaint
Cardboard paper
Small brush

How to:

Step 1. Cut 35 cm * 35 cm pieces from linen, fold the seams and sew.

Step 2. Draw a star model. Draw 6,5 cm and 2,5 cm circles, smaller inside the bigger one. Divide the circles to 16 sectors that have a 20 degree angle. Connect the points moving from inner circle to outer circle and back. Cut out the model.

Step 3. Draw the star to the linen. Draw the inner circle to the star with the compass, draw also the lines between points.

Step 4. Use small brush to paint the star according to lines. Let dry. Iron the paint to the fabric (usually advised to iron through baking sheet).

Sunday, 17 December 2017

17.12. Wooden Wreath

Happy Third Advent Sunday! This big wreath is great for decorating an empty space on a wall. Welcoming wreaths are an essential part of Christmas decorations. I like to have many wreaths around the house during the Christmas season. Good places are doors, walls and windows. This wooden wreath proves that stunning effect can be achieved with few ingredients. I  chose big 3,5 cm wooden beads to have a bold look.

You will need:

50 wooden beads 3,5 cm
Two metal hoops
Faux spruce branches
Cotton yarn
Hot glue gun
Strong wire cutters

How to:

Step 1. Open metal hoops with wire cutters and put the beads in.

Step 2. To close a hoop use hot glue that you put inside a bead and move the bead to the seam. Put more glue around the hole.

Step 3. Attach hoops together with cotton yarn. Decorate small empty gap between beads and hoops with ribbon and faux spruce branches.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

16.12. Felt Star Mug Coasters

If you are familiar with the Creative Night Shift philosophy you might know that when ever it is possible I try to use recycled materials. For me it is impossible to put away beautiful material, even though I wouldn't be sure how I am going to use it. Today's DIY Felt Star Mug Coaster are made of a woolen pullover that was ruined in wash. Over a year ago I made these quilted sitting pads using ruined pullovers. I still had that material left so I came up with this idea to make mug coasters.

You will need:

Woolen pullover that has felted
Sewing yarn
Sewing machine
Cardboard paper

How to:

Step 1. Draw the star model to a cardboard paper. Draw two circles with compass smaller inside the bigger. Bigger one's radius 7,5 cm, smaller one's 3,5 cm. Divide the circle to  12 sectors with a 30 degree angle. Now draw the star connecting points from every inner circle point to outer circle and back to inner circle. Cut out the model.

Step 2. Cut two stars from felt using the model. Sew stars together.

Step 3. Decorate the star with beads. Make more coasters with the same method.

Friday, 15 December 2017

15.12. Snowball Christmas Tree Lights

Happy Friday! We have been crafting together for 14 posts already. Has it been fun? Now it is time for 15th post which means only 10 ten days left til Christmas. It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas here don't you think? Christmas tree has gotten three kinds of new ornaments and window looks like it is ready to take any winter storm that might occur these midwinter days. We have made cute fairylights with sticker paper. Today I share a tip how to make these organic shape lights to finish the nature inspired Christmas tree. On my opinion these white lights would also be stunning as a bunch, it would look like a modern design light. I might use these fairylights after Christmas too because these are so stylish. Best part in this DIY is as always the fact that you can choose to make the lights in any color you want!

You will need:

Led fairylights that do not heat
Small water balloons
White tissuepaper (or any color/pattern tissuepaper you want to use)
Liquid glue
Small brush

How to:

Step 1. Blow the water balloons. 

Step 2. Cut tissuepaper to small pieces. Mix few drops of water to two tablespoons of glue (you can make more when you need).

Step 3. Then decoupage tissuepaper to the balloon. Apply a bit of gluemix to the balloon and place tissuepaper pieces to it. Put about 5 layers of paper all over the balloon. Don't put tissuepaper pieces to rows. It is better if the pieces cross together. When all 5 layers are on their place brush gluemix on top of all. Let dry properly. Make all balloons similarly. 

Step 4. When the balloons are dry make a hole to the water balloon, let it go empty and stretch it out. Decoupage gently two paper pieces to cover the hole in the paper balloon. Let dry. 

Step 5. Make a small hole to the paper balloon and press to a ledlight. 

Thursday, 14 December 2017

14.12. Himmeli Diamond

Series of nature inspired Christmas tree ornaments continues today with a traditional himmeli ornament. It is amazing how beautiful ornaments you can make with the most humble of materials, straws. You could use plastic straws too if you want to make a colorful version. Himmeli diamonds would make an interesting mobile to a window but I used these to decorate the Christmas tree with driftwood and marble ornaments we made few days ago.

You will need:

Wooden beads
Strong cotton yarn (small and medium)
Long thin needle

How to:

Step 1. Soak the straws is warm water 2 hours before cutting. For one diamond cut 8 pieces of each size: a. 9,5 cm, b. 6 cm, c. 4 cm.

Step 2. Take long yarn and needle. Thread in straws a,b,b,a and tie. 

Step 3. Then tie in all a & b pairs. One by one.

Step 4. Then tie in  c straws between the points where a & b straws meet. Finish the yarn and decorate himmeli with beads. Attach a loop from a bit thicker cotton yarn or decorative yarn.