I love to decorate our study for Christmas. This is the room where I teach piano, and so it's nice to decorate for the sake of my students, but it's also the room with the lovely old sideboard and clock that belonged to Steve's grandparents, and it's a dark and cosy room. This year I've gone a bit over the top with old silver, china, urns, bells, baubles, pinecones and fake pine branches
(that have conveniently fallen off our ancient Christmas tree over the years).
This is how the room was when I finished with it on Monday.
Since then I've added and made a little more :-) perhaps to be seen in a later post.
On Saturday night we came home from a family lunch,
to put up the Christmas Tree.
But, oh no, one of the sets of tree lights didn't work!
I rushed out to Kmart to buy some new lights, because Saturday night
was the only good night to put up the tree for some time.
We've had our lights for quite a few years now, they are the old kind,
and of course the only lights to be found now are LED lights. Kmart only had
cool white lights, so I bought them and hoped for the best.
The new lights are bright, and sparkly, but I was disappointed.
Our ornaments are red, gold, white and cream, and the very blue cool lights just weren't doing it for me.
I tried to be content with them. Because people all over the world are suffering all sorts of hardships and I'm fussing about Christmas tree lights.... but every time I looked at the tree, the lights bothered me.
So today I shopped again, in the daytime, this time at Target. Oh joy, I found warm white lights, 100 on a string, and on special! Tonight Emily and I extricated the cool white lights from under the hundreds of ornaments and beads (no easy task) and put the warm white ones on instead.
So much better (don't you think?)
And we've ended up with more lights, which I always wanted. The whole tree seems lighter.
The white of these lights ties in much better with our ornaments, and gives a sort of golden glow.
So I'm one happy girl.
Now I'm wondering what to do with the cool white light, perhaps something for outdoors or upstairs ...
I think they would be great with a blue or turquoise colour scheme, and with silver.
Perhaps I'll even find a new home for them.
It's late here, and it's been a hot day. Christmas beetles are kamakazi-ing around the room.
It's just started to rain, quite heavily now. I've spent some of today making the house Christmassy, and the rest teaching and rehearsing music - my recorder class is playing at the school carols night tomorrow; I had some recorder and piano students come for lessons, and tonight I rehearsed with a cellist who I'm accompanying for an exam on Saturday. Tomorrow friends are coming for lunch.
I've been completely hooked on dies lately. The Memory Box dies are way too much fun and I've found myself back at the craft shop quite a few times lately, buying a few each time. Then I rush home and roll them through my Big Shot, trying them with my other dies and stamps, and dreaming up possibilities.
This is a little scene I made for a baby gift. The frame was just a few dollars, from the Reject Shop, so it's an inexpensive but unique gift (I tell myself, justifying my growing collection of dies ...)
Here it is before I put the glass in.
I think could make bunny and bird scenes all day ..
Having Hikaru stay with us for five nights in the last week was one of the best things we ever did.
She was the sweetest, most lovely and throughtful guest one could want. Sometimes communication was difficult, conversations went slowly, but we still understood each other. It was good for this quiet family to have a temporary addition to our family, and to make her stay as positive as possible. Emily slept on a stretcher bed in Laura's room, and it all worked out well. Hikaru loved being in Emily's pretty bedroom.
We played lots of games, and even got out the boomwhackers for one fun night's entertainment. Hikaru jumped into everything with enthusiasm. There were three afternoons of shopping, and Hikaru also came along to youth group, iceskating and church, as well as our picnic. There were about a million photos taken, these were all Hikaru's iphone pics, (yey for her selfie stick!). We had dinner out on Tuesday night (where Hikaru could enjoy more Aussie beef, despite the distractions of Australia vs Japan soccer in the background, how ironic) and enjoyed meals together at home the other nights - more steaks, burritos, and satay chicken, while we tried not to overload our guest with questions.
Come Wednesday afternoon, there was a school BBQ, followed by many, many hugs and tears as we said goodbye, and she boarded a bus with her friends from Okinawa. When we came home afterwards, everything reminded us of her. Will we ever play Rat-a-Tat Cat again without remembering her? We're thankful for instagram and email to keep in touch.
The lovely Hikaru from Okinawa has joined our family for 5 nights, on a homestay organised with our school. She arrived in blazing 40deg heat on Friday, but by late Saturday afternoon, when we were free for a picnic, it was a breezy 22deg and lower, with no sunlight in sight. Nevertheless, we dragged her to a typical Aussie picnic at Brooklyn, to enjoy some cold dinner by the water, surrounded by marauding brush turkeys, play a card game and go for a walk. She seemed to survive her first picnic, and there was plenty to see, from pelicans to rock formations to slightly inebriated fishermen.
And it was so good to see that despite our two different cultures, we still have so much in common, things that really bind humanity, despite the language barrier or age differences.