Christmas 2014: Part 2

Christmas is almost upon us! Three moreMichelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 13
sleeps! Is everyone getting excited? Are you looking forward to a few days off work? Or are you looking forward to a few quiet days after Christmas?

I am getting excited. I am not sure how much time I will get off work, but I won’t be working full time do not worry! It will be a good chance to catch up on some things, knock some jobs off my list and hopefully start the new year afresh! Assuming “the boss” (my hubbie!) doesn’t come up with any brain waves! I’ll have to keep himMichelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 14 liquored up and hopefully the cricket will keep him occupied! I am also looking forward to a few quiet days. I have been trying to catch up with as many friends as possible before Christmas, among other work/home/cake duties, so it will be good to have a few days home without any dates/appointments!

I didn’t get to do everything I wanted to this month, unfortunately I had a cold last week (I dislike colds during summer very much!),Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 15 had a couple of skin allergies earlier in the month (little blisters on your fingers makes it hard to write and impossible to do cake things!!). But I believe I have almost finished my Christmas shopping – just two more small things! And I have made 4 cakes and have another 5 in the making! So I do not think I am doing too bad :)

I have still been sharing something Christmasy every day on Facebook and am up to 22 out of 25! I thought I would blog about them now in case I go into a chocolate coma on Christmas Day and cannot finish my 25 days of Christmas!

As you know I love all things fantasy and I have added a couple of Christmas related creatures to my collection the past couple of years. Last year I was admiring lots of mermaids made by Mermaids Dreaming by Kotton Valley Dolls on Facebook. I happened to be online one day when they showed these amazing Rudolphs that were going to be available for sale very soon. I loved them, especially the one I was so very lucky to buy! He reminds me of Mr Tumnus, the faun from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe portrayed by James McAvoy. He fits in the palm of my hand and did I say that I loved him very much? He’s adorable!Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 16

I’m not sure if I have spoken about Supernatural that much, except maybe in my Scruffy vs Clean Cut blog post. When I first heard of Supernatural I had either just finished, or was just finishing watching all the Charmed episodes. When my sister mentioned this new show I was like “that sounds like a boy version of Charmed” and wasn’t interested. I even saw Dean as a guest on an evening talk show (might have been Good News Week) and thought he looked too cute to fight supernatural beings. I can’t remember how I actually started watching Supernatural, I think my sister had to tell me about it again and I listened to her this time and then I was hooked! And as much as I love Charmed, Sam and Dean are so much better! Makes Charmed look like child’s play! So I love Supernatural, just in case I wasn’t clear.

Now I do not think I have spoken too much about my love of puppets, Jim Henson and Brian Froud yet. I grew up watching Sesame Street and the The Muppet Show, and loved Fraggle Rock when it was on. And of course there were amazing puppets used in The Labyrinth. So I love puppets and consider them pretty much fantasy creatures, but I never considered owning one until a friend bought a puppet at FAO Schwarz – must-see toy store in New York! He owned a puppet! And I wanted one (being the big kid I am!). Unfortunately you can’t order the puppets on-line so that was out of the question, and then I couldn’t even decide what puppet I wanted. Did I want Kermit the Frog, or a Fraggle or something else? My interest in puppets grew again when I saw Avenue Q –  puppets definitely could be for adults! hehe Then when we went to DragonCon in Atlanta I saw a lady with a self-made Fraggle. Boy I really wanted a puppet!!

Last year at Supanova I Cursed Creations Supanova 2014was walking around all the stores with my sister, niece and nephew. We saw a store called Cursed Creations that had puppets! My eyes must have lit up because the lovely lady behind the desk asked if I was into puppets, I said no but I was interested in them. My sister and I had a look at the puppets and I saw Dean from Supernatural and thought he was cool, but Sam has always been my favourite. I also thought Edward and Bella from Twilight were pretty cool (top right in the photo), but I definitely didn’t like Twilight as much as Supernatural. While I was walking around Supanova later on I went onto Facebook and liked Cursed Creations Facebook page and looked through their photos. It was then that I noticed there had been a Sam puppet too but he had already sold by the time I found the store! It was then I decided I “needed” those two puppets – a Sam and a Dean! They were the perfect puppets for me. Unfortunately Dean had sold by the time I had made up my mind, but after a quick Facebook message I was told they were definitely make a Sam and Dean for me! (Puppets from Supanova 2014 photo sourced from https://www.facebook.com/CursedCreations).

So guess who I got for Christmas? Sam and Dean puppets! Here is my first photo of them! I am still waiting for a good hair day before I take any selfies with them! I have also been a little too busy this December and haven’t put our Christmas tree up, so I made one with GIMP! I love my Sam and Dean very much – they are perfect!Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 17

Before I show another fantasy purchase, here are a few more photos of my Christmas so far this year including a photo of an Australian Christmas Tree (Nuytsia floribunda)and an Australian Christmas Spider (Austracantha minax). I wanted to share these for my non-Australia readers and they are both such unique species! Whenever I see a Christmas Tree I smile knowing Christmas is near! I haven’t seen a Christmas Spider for about 14 years, but definitely love seeing them when I do. They always have different colours on them and they are definitely not a spider you squish! They are too pretty and they never seem to get in your way.

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Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 19Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 20

Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 21

My other purchase last year was from the talented Natasha Morgan. I also follow Natasha on Facebook and also enjoy reading her blog. Last year she made lots of peg dolls, which are about 12cm tall and the dolls are made on wooden pegs, and when I saw Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts from A Christmas Carol I just had to have them. I must admit that the Ghost of Christmas Present isn’t what Natasha intended her to be, but Natasha’s version had already been purchased and I wanted a complete set and the red and white doll just reminded me of Christmas. I think Natasha did an amazing job and the Ghost of Christmas Past is beautiful – I cannot believe how detailed she is considering how small she is. I take my hat off to people who can sew! I watched The Muppet Christmas Carol on the weekend and their Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come was also a grim reaper.

Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 22

I thought this might be a shorter post, but I guess I got excited talking about Christmas, fauns, and puppets! I hope you have enjoyed the next 10 days of Michelle’s Labyrinth Christmas. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year (although I might write a post before then!). Please be safe and don’t drink and drive!

 Merry Christmas!

 On the Thirteenth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a some home-made fruit cakes.

On the Fourteenth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a trip to an Aussie beach. 

On the Fifteenth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a cupcake stack with a reindeer.  [Made in 2013 in cake decorating class.]

 On the Sixteenth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a sleeping Rudolph faun.  [Made by Mermaids Dreaming by Kotton Valley Dolls.]

On the Seventeenth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me Sam and Dean puppets.  [Made by Cursed Creations]

On the Eighteenth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a lots of wrapping paper.  [And the wrapping paper tube was enjoyed by Hamlet and Macbeth!]

On the Nineteenth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a Secret Santa gift at work.

On the Twentieth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me an Australian Christmas Tree and Australia Christmas Spider.

On the Twenty-first day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me Christmas cakes in the making. [Work-in-progress cakes!]

On the Twenty-second day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me Scrooge and the ghosts from A Christmas Carol. [Made by Natasha Morgan]

Christmas Cake Decorating Class 2013

I think I mentioned I didn’t doMichelle's Labyrinth Christmas the last term of cake decorating class this year, which I was very disappointed about because I enjoyed last year’s Christmas term so much. And here is why!

For the first two weeks we made lots of and lots of decorations for a Christmas Tree and a couple of other Christmas cakes. The third week we made a couple of reindeer that I totally adore and I hope to make a couple more this year. On the fourth week we made these two cupcake stacks. There is a piece of dowel attached to the cake board that the cupcakes are stacked on.

Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas

I really liked the cupcake stacks! And as you can see I even did a bit of piping. I took the stacks to ‘Craft with Friends’ at the church and all the ladies liked them. I made a point of saying I was going to keep the reindeer, but little did I know that was short-lived. After craft I left the reindeer and the cupcake boards on our kitchen table for a few days. On the Saturday night we went out for a few hours and unfortunately my puppies have a taste for fondant and a taste for wood! They had eaten my reindeer and the dowel on the cake boards! I was pretty upset, but that wasn’t where it ended, I had left an unopened 24 pack of toilet rolls on the shelf and toilet paper was strewn all over the living area! The house was complete havoc!! But thankfully a reindeer each was enough and I found the small Christmas tree from the blue cupcake stack outside, so at least they didn’t eat too much to make themselves ill. The puppies were a bit down the next day and I am not sure if that was because I was grumpy, or if they were coming down from a sugar high!

In class we then got to make our Christmas Trees! Most of the class made a tree trunk for the tree to sit on, but I had offered to make the Christmas cake that year for ‘Craft with Friends’ final day so I needed a bigger cake. After making the blue cupcakes above I had a picture in my head of how I wanted the base cake to look like – like a snowy hill! Here’s a couple of photos from class last year. As you can see all of our trees are a little different and I love that. We each have our own flair!

Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas

I know you have seen this tree before, but I hadn’t really written about it. The actual tree is decorated on Styrofoam (there was no way I was going to bake an actual tree cake and I am not sure if my oven is even tall enough). So I got to use the tree again for Boxing Day and this time I made a tree trunk for it! I still have the tree so I might pull it out again.

I also wanted to show you a close up of the small reindeer head on the Christmas tree. I thought it was ingenious – the parts have been stuck to an upside gingerbread man!

Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas

We also made the Christmas cake push pops and a Christmas bauble cake (see links if you missed them). I have no idea how we fit so much into one term!

I plan to make 5 more Christmas cakes in the next week! So watch out for a few more Christmas posts! And I am really really looking forward to cake decorating class next year!

Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas

 

 

 

Christmas 2014: Part 1

Christmas to me is all aboutMichelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 1 family and friends and spending time together. I love the happy excited kids looking forward to the arrival of Santa Claus. I love the music, food, decorations and general merriment around this time of year. I know there is also a bit of stress this time of year as we’re all busy wrapping up (not just presents) things at work before the public holidays and maybe even some Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 2extra time off! The shops are busy (crazy!), but there is always this great vibe! Some magic in the air!

This year to get me into the spirit sooner I decided to post a photo on Facebook about what Christmas means to me from the 1st December until the 25th. Most of the photos so far have been about something Christmasy that happened thatMichelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 3 day, or something I saw (or a cake I’ve made!). To describe the photos I started making my descriptions sound like the Christmas carol The Twelve Days of Christmas – one of my favourite childhood Christmas carols. (Whenever I think of “Five Golden Rings” I hear Goofy’s voice from our A Disney Christmas LP! And then I have a giggle when I recall Donald Duck stealing Goofy’s line later in the song. I do have a feeling my Dad started to groan a little bit when we wanted that LP played… again! Thankfully I now have it on CD and can listen to it as much as my heart desires!!)

When I was younger I did question if the Twelve Days of Christmas started onMichelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 4 Christmas Day or ended on Christmas Day. I think I hoped they ended on Christmas Day, because that meant your true love gave you presents earlier! The other day I learnt that the Twelve Days of Christmas actually starts on Christmas Day and ends on a Christian feast day called Epiphany (January 6th) or Twelfth Night (which is not just a Shakespearean play!) on the evening of January the 5th marking the coming of the Epiphany and concluding the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 5Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 6

I also learnt what ‘Advent’ means – have you ever wondered what Advent Calendar means? I have never thought to query that word, when I was younger it was more about the pictures and the chocolates! So I looked it up and advent means “a coming into place, view, or being; arrival” and Advent (with a Capital A) means “the coming of Christ into the world.” Apparently I am incorrect to say my Christmas photos are the 1 to 25 days of Christmas, they are the 1 to 25 days of Advent.

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I have mentioned before I am not a religious person and I respect people who are. I also respect that Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, however people have been celebrating Christmas in various ways since the Middle Ages. I read on Wikipedia that in 1843 when “Charles Dickens wrote the novel A Christmas Carol it helped revive the “spirit” of Christmas and seasonal merriment. It played a major role in portraying Christmas as a holiday emphasizing family, goodwill, and compassion… Dickens sought to construct Christmas as a family-centered festival of generosity, in contrast to the community-based and church-centered observations.” And this is what Christmas means to me!

Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 9

So my 25 days of Christmas (not Advent because I am not waiting for anything to arrive because I am celebrating Christmas now) is about what Christmas means to me, to revive my Christmas spirit and to hopefully increase the excitement and merriment to those around me! I am enjoying the Christmas season so far and have caught up with some old friends already, been to a couple of Christmas parties, given some Christmas presents, and sung (poorly) some Christmas carols! So I hope I do not offend anyone but here are the first 12 days of my 25 day Christmas this year.

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On the First day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a Couple of Penguins Sledding. [2012 Christmas Cake]

On the Second day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a Gingerbread Man. [2013 Christmas Cake]

On the Third day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me Cake Push Pops. [Made in 2013 in cake decorating class.]

On the Fourth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a Santa Penguin. [Hamlet’s favourite Christmas toy!]

On the Fifth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me Two Rudolph Reindeer. [That were eaten by Hamlet and Macbeth last year – without permission!]

On the Sixth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me Lovely Catch-ups with Friends. [Picture shows place mat at Miss Mauds.]

On the Seventh day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a Handmade Christmas Card.

On the Eighth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me Mixed Fruit in Brandy. [Watch this space to see what I make this year!]

On the Ninth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me Santa Bandanas! [Pups’ bandanas were made by DeeziBeez]

On the Tenth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a Burswood Christmas Tree! [Hubbie and I celebrated our 17th anniversary on the 10th December!]

On the Eleventh day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a Fondant Christmas Tree! [2013 Christmas Cake]

On the Twelfth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a Rudolph Christmas Cake! [A cake I made for a friend for his Christmas pressie].

Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 12

I hope you are enjoying your Christmas / Advent / December so far! And remember… You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town! 

 

 

 

 

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