Monday, October 23, 2006

60-something days

The other day I wandered onto a blog with a big banner announcing
'65 days to Christmas!'

Now, before you groan because you really didn't want to know that, I'll tell you that
  1. I just love Christmas, and we really go for it at our house.................. but................
  2. I absolutely hate the September-October-November 'festive' frenzy that sets cash tills playing Jingle Bells and perky elves popping up being teeth-gnashingly jolly when all I want is to buy a newspaper.
  3. I have always loved Christmas here because you can do it in your own time (December's good for me.) and your own way, be that a video and a packet of turkey flavoured crisps or the whole carolsingingmassattendingpantomimecheering-roastgoosestuffingtreedecoratngfairylightpopping-stockingfillingcrackerpullingQueenupstanding-JamesBondwatchingDelboychortling- thing.

Buuuuut I love a home-made Christmas, and that's something you can't pull off at 11pm on Christmas Eve. (And that's the voice of experience: deadlines are not my strong point!)

I love to bake, but I only do it at Christmas, so one of our family traditions is mis-shapen and interestingly textured biscuits. They taste good, and they all get eaten, but I usually buy Spinney's mincepies when friends come round....

I love decorating with the accumulated treasures of years, such as the glitter-and-foil star that Habibibaba made at nursery school 16 years ago; the salt-dough mobile he made 15 years ago (Good stuff, salt-dough.!); the one special ornament we'd go out and choose together each year (preferably at THE One, so as to combine it with a cake-testing mission), the daintily plump pirouetting fairy that recalls our pantomime fairies of 2000-1; and the glorious glass and feather confection Mme Cyn gave us two years ago.

And I get endless pleasure from making Christmas angels for the tree - oh - and everywhere! I started making dolls four or five years ago, starting with simple patterns that lent themselves to adaptation, progressed to Christmas angels for my far-distant parents, brothers, sisters and nephews, and on to more complex patterns.

So if anyone else wants to play, (on the basis that if I can do it, anyone can!) here's what I've done from magazines and books. (Ahhh... so that's where she's going with this........)

The November issues of women's general interest and craft magazines frequently feature an angel pattern. If you want to make a doll that will survive being played with, you may find pattern books in the craft section of a Magrudy's branch; but in my experience the upper floor of Book Corner on Al Diyafah Street is the place to go: pull down a book, pull up a stool, and whether you're looking for recipes or craft guide, I defy you to leave empty-handed!

This is from DOLL magazine, Issue 44, June 2001. I bought it from the ground-floor bookshop in Jumeirah Centre, which probably has the broadest range of magazines anywhere. Another very good shop is Dar Al Hikmah on Al Diyafah Street, near Haagen-Dasz. (sp?) DOLL is for collectors as well as makers.

Definitely not intimidating. If you click on the images, they'll scale up so that you can print them.

I'll put my adaptations in the next entry, just in case Blogger falls over partway through uploading the photos!


Mme Cyn said...

Oooh, clever MamaDuck! The best way to get more ornaments is to remember the ones you got before...

MamaDuck said...

Uhuh, and my favourite present was a three-month Art & Culture (ok, Food) road trip across Europe in an open top classic Mercedes SL2, at the end of which I got to keep the Merc..... and the Hugh Wotsit look-alike driver with the big heart and bigger expense account.

Cooeeeeee..... anyone listening?.... er... apart from Habibi, that is....=D