20 December 2010

This weekend

This weekend I got to grips with Christmas! You wouldn't think so to look at the photo above, would you? This is my entrance hallway looking out to the front garden - lovely, luscious, tropical greenery! Delightful, it is indeed, but it can be a tad difficult to feel the festive spirit in the heat and humidity of Malaysia! However, I'm just back from Singapore where the streets are brightly lit with decorations and the Christmas rush is in full swing (sorry no pics - forgot my camera!) and I felt inspired to make an a start on Christmas, chez nous! First stop on Saturday, was Ikea, for a real tree :) Not to be, unfortunately. I was so disappointed to find that the only good trees to be had were about 20 feet tall, whilst smaller ones had clearly seen better days in Sweden. I came away with just three Pointsettia plants instead!

Not to worry, I had another idea for the Christmas tree! We hauled a potted fir tree in from the terrace and I set to work! My decorating style is traditional - no colour coordinated, contemporary purple or blue trees for me! Though I do admire chic designer trees I have collected so many individual decorations over the years that my tree has to be an ecelctic mix of glass stars and snowflakes, silver bells and red baubles and lots of handmade pieces - I love to unwrap all the quirky decorations every year - each has its own story to tell!

I bought this little fellow in Sweden 30 years ago!

One year I made little teddies from Fimo clay.

One of a pair of golden metal birds, also from Sweden.

I set a clove scented candle in this glass holder and surrounded it with a twig wreath decorated with berries, pine cones, silk hellebores and aromatic cinnamon sticks,

and used some really flamboyant red flowers and berries for this piece.

I found this little silver reindeer this year and thought he looked perfect with a tray of gilded apples and pears.

Last, but definitely not least, this is one of my most precious ornaments! I remember my father taking me shopping for this sweet little blue angel when I was about 5 or 6 years old!

With the decorations done I headed to the kitchen to do some baking! Christmas just isn't Christmas without some sweet mince pies!

Ready for the oven, marked with a little Xmas tree design.

Golden brown and almost ready to eat..

just a final dusting of icing sugar ... delicious!

Bob gets a carefully supervised visit to tree!

I've also been making little books as gifts - this one is 'A little book of Malaysian Birds'

I printed some of my bird illustrations onto watercolour paper and made a little accordion book.

Now I'm feeling a bit more Christmassy!


  1. OMG! OMG!

    caroline, that golden bird and golden nest pulled my heartstrings, but then came that little mousie in her flowing green skirt: OMG! you have rendered me far away from my chores and demands!!!

    and then: the bird books you are creating. my goodness caroline. no worries about your tree or holiday spirit.

    and thank you thank you for sharing it with me and all of us here. always, so so glad to be friends.


  2. I love all of your holiday touches!! That silver stag looks regal among the gilded fruit and pine cones. And that tree looks marvelous!! See, it was there all along ;)

    How sweet to have an ornament from your childhood.
    And oh my, your bird book came out gorgeous!! You are quite the talented one missy ;)

    Tha happiest of holidays to you and yours!


  3. Wow Caroline!!!
    It all looks gorgeous and festive.
    I was in Singapore not so long ago . In november and I have a picture of the white tree in front of the ion shopping mall.
    That tree is a real succes and you probably can put it back after use. What a green action.

    Enjoy the holidays!♥

  4. I am like you in that I put up all sorts of ornaments on my tree. Each ornament tells a story or gives me a feeling of Christmas. I love your little teddy bears. I have been playing with sculpty clay lately. You have given me some inspriations. OOOoooooo that bird book is to die for. Be still my heart. It looks like you are ready for Christmas. I hope your cat leaves the Christmas tree alone.

  5. Gorgeous bird book, Caroline! Oh wow, top notch as always. And your decorations are beautiful and nostalgic. I love that. I really love your wee Miss Mouse and the silver stag.

    Save a little pie for me. YUM!

  6. Ohmygoodness....I am not a Christmas girl as you know, however I am deeply touched, moved, by the sweetness of your decorations. I was going to say the little clay bear was the most sweet until I kept looking and then could not pick a favorite from all the ornaments and stories attached. So beautiful, so meaningful...delightful, oh oh oh
    enjoy enjoy en joy!!! and thanks for sharing.
    your book of birds sings to me too!
    Happy happy Christmas...who says you need snow?

  7. You look like you are ready for the big fat guy all dressed in red. What beautiful decorations and I had to smile where there was a supervised visit to the tree:) My cat TEARS our tree APART...but we take it all in stride...we fooled him this year though,,,we put the tree out in the sunroom so he cannot take his frustrations on it when we are not around. He sits at the door STARING at it:)
    Your accordian bird book is fabulous.

  8. Beautiful to see your home Caroline, Very Happy Christmas to you. Love your book too.

  9. So what are you doing in your spare time? Your ambition is off the scale! You are the BEST christmas elf to be sure! LOVE love your birds and stamps and everything! Beautiful post, beautiful life- love!

  10. Your tree looks gorgeous Caroline and your collection of decorations very beautiful and varied. I must say that I adore that silver deer though. If I had seen that I would have been obliged to buy it too. Bob looks a bit reluctant. Jack always wrecks ours. I always used to enjoy fresh trees but one year we decided to buy a really nice artificial tree and I never regretted it.

    Have a wonderful Christmas and I hope 2011 is brilliant for you and your family.

  11. Oh Caroline, your Christmas decorations are gorgeous, love the cute teddy bear you made, the pies are definitely delicious! Love most the little bird book, I'm impressed with all your works done for this festive season!

  12. Whoever got that little book of birds, had a great Christmas :) Beautiful Christmas preparations too.
    I sometimes think that an expat Christmas in Asia is more festive than at home. I remember wonderful Christmas food and decorations in Hong Kong.

  13. Hi,
    I was googling around and I stumbled on your blog. Totally love the little book of Malaysian Birds. I was wondering, do you have any plan of selling those? Would love to have a copy for myself :-D


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