From the beginning of December I start getting all excited about Christmas. I would start the frenzy earlier, but I don’t think Mr Flora’s Patch would be able to cope with a longer Christmas fantasy world. From the 1st of December though, it’s fair game. The tree goes up (it’s a fake one because I decided when I was little that watching a tree die- even a tree all decorated and full of fairy lights- doesn’t ever make feel cheery), strings of lights appear all over the house and under the front porch in the various shapes of stars, snowflakes, flowers and colourful acorns. This last one sounds a bit random but the colours on that one are really intense, it’s beautiful. I also adorn the front door with a wreath.
This year I made my own. The base is a willow wreath that I bought ready-made. It has a strong metal frame behind the willow that should keep the whole thing in place for years. I tore some pieces of Liberty fabric from my scrap pile, which felt like I was committing a crime. Such a beautiful fabric to just shred… But I like the untidy, fringy edges it creates. I tied these ribbon pieces randomly to the willow.
The bird is made of felt. I did some appliqué on the wings and the head markings (I took my inspiration from a partridge, because of the Christmas song “Partridge in a pear tree”), also in Liberty fabric. I painted a partridge in watercolour and copied my painting for the bird design. For the first one I used tiny black buttons for the eyes but for the second one I used teddy bear safety eyes. I stuffed the bird, which sounds macabre, and used a blanket stitch all around. Then I took my rabbit Penelope for a walk in the back garden and together we collected some sticks from the birch tree. Well, I collected, she nibbled. She really likes birch. Branch, leaves, catkins, she would eat the whole tree if I let her. And if the tree hadn’t grown to an unreasonable 25 metres high (It grew from a seed that a sparrow had pooped into a terracotta pot in the patio!).
Back to the partridge… I sewed a ribbon to the back of its neck, sewed its underbelly to a stick and secured it to the centre of the wreath. I used another ribbon directly above the hanging bird to tie the wreath to the letterbox on the front door.
I hope you have a go at making yours. If you don’t have the time, I have listed a couple for sale in my Etsy shop here: Flora’s Patch