Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Inspiration

**Warning** - This is very photo heavy, also I talk through my hat quite a bit and well it's all about Christmas, curmudgeons look away now! I have a box, a box of Christmassy goodness. Something I can delve into for ideas, it's all in there gifts, decorations and food. 

I've tried to include years where possible, so you can get some context of when these became popular.

The Tree!
Yes, this is an actual Christmas tree! More impressive than the twig tree or the length of paper stuck on your wall with a tree shape drawn on it, believe me. (2004)
Love purple! My sister describes these matching trees as "soulless", I don't know I quite like a matching tree myself.

Blue, my other colour choice.
More blue...

And yet more blue....can't just be me who likes it?

You might have noticed the God's Eyes decorations on the tree above, the one on the left in this picture is one I made well over 20 years ago, actually longer I think. So they can't be hard to make can they?

Other Decorations...
As a knitter, this instantly appealed to me, I do have a wreath shape floating about and no shortage of yarn.

I fell in love with this at first sight, a little bit naff perhaps. (2001)
When planning this Christmas (2012) we debated about simply making foods we really, really like or going with a theme, the themes mooted were Indian or Asian. It's been officially decided that 2013 will be Asian or more precisely a Very Westernised Asian theme.

I knew before Asian Studies that fortune cookies were a Western idea. Having done a unit in Asian Studies and History unit looking at some of early European forays and communication around the world I came away feeling prior to all this I had been very ignorant and also a tiny bit racist.

Also I am beginning to suspect that Asian look or style I have coveted and admired my whole life is perhaps more of a Western construct than something truly Asian.
I can think of two things that were probably the points of ignition for this and they both happened about the same time. One was Monkey Magic, the second was one of the girl's in my class, her family were hosting a Japanese girl.
The Japanese girl was coming into class a couple of times, she wore the kimono and the sash (an obi?), we made paper cherry blossoms and learned a cherry blossom dance which we performed at school assembly. I'm sure there may have been more, but that was Grade 2, some of the other information has been lost in the mists of time or in the alcohol I've drunk in the intervening years.

Red and white candy canes = Christmas for me.

Nativity set with Vietnamese hats - As an nonreligious woman I feel a bit of a charlatan even contemplating religious decorations, but I just love this! (Oxfam 2012)
Maybe next year If I'm feeling uber crafty I'll sew some of these up. I love the high heeled boots they have a very Victorian/Goth/Steam punk vibe to them. (2003)
The Table...

Did I mention how much I like candy canes? And peppermint candy in general?

It's not that I'm obsessed with red and white candy you understand.

Alright you got me. I am.
I love this, I suspect the cat would as well. (2002)

Love at first sight when I saw this table setting. (2001)
Now the article refers to this setting as Contemporary Christmas and it's blurb reads "The Christmas table can be sleek and modern, with a Zen-like elegance, and still be festive."
And get this, the Style Idea - Collect flowers and team with dried pods, twigs painted silver, unusual pieces of bark and d

Um, I'm down with the flowers, they actually look like something my parents have in their garden. Twigs painted silver? Maybe not. Dried pods and unusual pieces of bark? Bit too arty for my tastes. Driftwood? Don't live near a beach and if I'm honest I am not touching anything that's been drifting in the local river.

I think what I loved about this setting is it leapt out at me as being Asian.
The dishes are square and "jade" green, the reedy woven looking place mates. You see? Kind of what I was talking about with the fortune cookies wreath.

Edible Centerpieces
I know what your all thinking, more edible decorations? Really more? How many do you need woman?

Caramel Popcorn Tree - I adore caramel popcorn!

Sushi! I love veg sushi, so I was excited by this. And probably also the healthiest edible decoration of the bunch.

Chocolate Gingerbread House, every year I tell myself I'll make a Gingerbread House. Now there's a chocolate one.

How's this for a very Aussie Gingerbread House? Very cool.

Chocolate Crackle Tree - My sister's idea of heaven.

Chocolate Noodle Christmas Tree - You know like the "Spiders" mixture??? I love those things.

What have we established? I love blue and purple, Westernised Asia, edible decorations and yes sugar is my crack.