December Wordplay

I’ve finally stitched the final wordplay for my Anthea Calendar book. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, I could think of lots of words or phrases, but most of them were Christmas rather than December, I managed to think of a few non Christmas ones to balance it.

The design for December was poinsettias and hellebores, or Christmas roses, together with holly and mistletoe. It’s lovely and bright and feels Christmassy…

Poinsettias are not my favourite plant but the always remind me of my mum as she always bought one for Christmas. I have quite a few hellebores in my garden, mostly lenten roses which flower in the spring, though I do have one little Christmas rose which is still trying to flower despite the snow we had last week.

We don’t get snow like we used to do and although a white Christmas sounds lovely it does cause chaos. As a child I remember snow being on the ground for weeks on end, these days it’s usually gone in a couple of days. We had a heavy snowfall last week, the garden looked very pretty and luckily I didn’t have to go anywhere.

I always associate the smell of gingerbread with December, I used to make about twenty gingerbread houses to sell so the house was filled with the lovely smell of gingerbread for most of December.

I think Christingle services started in the 1970’s, partially as a fund-raiser for the Church of England’s Childrens Society. I find them very moving, all the children are given a Christingle, which is an orange (to represent the world) with a candle stuck in the top (Light of Christ), four pieces of dried fruit or sweets on cocktail sticks (can’t remember if thats fruits of the world or seasons!) and a red ribbon round the middle (blood of Christ). At the end of the service all the Christingles are lit and the children stand in a circle around the church, making a circle of candle-light. The main lights are turned off and everyone sings Away in a Manger. It makes me cry every time!!

For a quote for December I was tempted by some of the morning after the storm quotes which Laura shared on her blog, it has been such a stormy year…

Every storm runs out of rain, just like every dark night turns into day. -Gary Allan

In the end I decided to go for happy memories instead. I grew up at the bottom of a cul-de-sac and it seemed that every Christmas Eve the Salvation Army band would come to the Grove and stand outside our house to play carols as they went door to door with a collecting tin. I would stand on the doorstep with my mum and dad and sister to listen. We could request any carol and I always requested O Little Town of Bethlehem.

During winter we have a lot less birds visiting our garden, many will go off to warmer climes, I think other just go further into the woodland nearby. The little wren was seen quite a few times hopping round the undergrowth. They’re tiny little birds though they do have a very loud song.

I do like the twinkly fairy lights of Christmas, they used to be limited to the tree, but now we hang them everywhere, inside and out. It does make the place look cheerful. I often use holly and ivy to make a display for our back door, I used to use it for my Advent ring, but now I’m trying to avid oasis I just use artificial or dried things instead, with a few fairy light stoo of course…

21st December is the shortest day here in the UK, it doesn’t get light until about 8.30 and it starts getting dark at about 3.30, it’shard when you work somewhere that doesn’t have any windows like I do as you arrive in the dark and go home in the dark! Vitamin D deficiency from lack of sunlight is quite a problem here. At least once the shortest day is past we know the days are getting longer and spring is on it’s way.

So, here is my December wordplay…

I’ve enjoyed stitching these wordplays, it’s not turned out as I anticipated with weddings, holidays and lots of fun things, I don’t think any of us could have foreseen last year, but I think it will be interesting to look back on. I am planning to write a little notebook to slip inside my fabric book explaining my thoughts and the quotes I’ve included each month, I think otherwise in a few years time I may wonder what I was thinking of!!

Here’s all twelve together…

All I need to do now is stitch them all together with the flower pages to make my book.

About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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11 Responses to December Wordplay

  1. CurlsnSkirls says:

    What a lovely collection of pages and memories, Margaret!
    A brighter memory of the past year.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. claire93 says:

    absolutely brilliant! those pages are going to make for a beautiful fabric book!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. tialys says:

    What a fabulous book these wordplays will make. I love the idea of it and your background information.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Katie B says:

    These cross stitches are beautiful, what a fabulous idea of handcraft and memories to cherish.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sharon says:

    I really enjoyed your posting this morning. Perfect way to start my day.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Laura says:

    I love your wordplay stitcheries, Margaret! The memories are fun to read about. I did not know about Christingles, and it sounds beautiful! This will be a fantastic book when you finish it!

    Thank you for the shout out, too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Prue Batten says:

    You are so skilled at creating word-memories, Margaret and I think it lifts the embroidery right up. The viewer becomes involved straight away, rather than just viewing impassively and moving on. They digest the words and think a little bit more about what a month means to them. I love it!!!! I’ve always loved words in art, words in artist’s books, words in fabric books. Big applause from my end.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Laura says:

    Great stitching! I enjoyed reading your post.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. kathyreeves says:

    This is a creative way to journal the year, this will be a remembrance of a very different year!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Loraine says:

    Absolutely beautiful! X

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Amanda says:

    I think it’s all the better for being done though such a year! Well done on such lovely work.

    Liked by 1 person

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