for New Years Eve!

A little over a month ago I came across a lovely new blog called Make Mine Mini by blogger Norma in Australia. I happened to become the first follower of her blog. Norma emailed me because she wanted to send me a little gift, as a thank you for being the first follower. Needless to say I was very happily surprised by her gesture.

After a few weeks (and only after Norma -and I as well- had a huge shock over the Australian postal charges) an envelope from Australia was dropped through my letterbox. Norma had made me a lovely gift, here's what was in it:

A box full of little goodies...

...of old letters and photo's, perfect for my bedroom scene.

Some beautiful old letters and an old photograph. The young soldier in uniform is actually Norma's uncle (her mother's brother) who went to war, survived and lived to an old age.

A favourite book, which has been read over and over again.

On the lid of the box of keepsakes is a photo of Norma's mother's toys, the original photo was hand coloured. The black and white photo in the box is a tiny copy of Norma's blog header, depicting her mother amidst all of her toys in 1918!

For a better, bigger view, please click on the photo's!
O, Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your branches green delight us!

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
You give us so much pleasure!

Your boughs so green in summertime
Stay bravely green in wintertime.

Reminding me on Christmas Day
To think of you and then be gay.

For every year the Christmas tree,
Brings to us all both joy and glee.

Each bough doth hold its tiny light,
That makes each toy to sparkle bright.

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Thy candles shine out brightly!
As I am trying to get into the mood to do some Christmas decorating (I always find it very difficult to switch from St. Nicholas straight to Christmas), I came across this lovely picture (below) on architect design™.

Wouldn't that just be the perfect tree for a miniaturist? Of course we could use any miniature we would like, I could just see my tree with lots of little pieces of furniture.... The only drawback I see is time. I've been working on my house for some six years now and it's not ever nearly finished. Using miniatures in my tree probably would make me want to put up my Christmas decorations earlier, but I'm afraid my Christmas tree would look very bare for many years to come....

Photo used with permission from architect design™
Today I can show you the St. Nicholas gift I made for my Swap partner Ineke, as she has finally discovered I was her secret Santa. I started by making her a large chest to hold laundry, but soon realised my mistake: I had forgotten about one of the rules of the Sint Swap...the gift has to be sent in an envelope. Postal rules dictate that an envelope can have a maximum thickness of 3,2 cm (= 1.2 inches). Oops! The chest would not fit through the letterbox so I had to think of something else, something flatter.

This is what I came up with: a folding drying rack copied from an antique one and a little box with some fine linen. Of course I had to use Ineke's favourite colour blue.

I'd also like to show you the miniature street scene my 10 year old son made (with a little bit of help from his mom) as a 'surprise' for the St. Nicholas party at his school. At his school, the bigger kids (who don't believe in the Saint any more) draw a name and have to buy a little gift for one of their classmates. They then have to make a 'surprise' and write a poem to accompany the gift. A 'surprise' is another part of the St. Nicholas tradition in Holland where the gift is disguised or hidden inside something you make yourself. To make the 'surprises' half the population in Holland is busily crafting the week before St. Nicholas. Of course this is all done in secret.

The gift hiding in this 'surprise' was a Lego street cleaner from the Lego City range.

This morning when I went into the kitchen to make some tea, I found that the lights were not working. Luckily St. Nicholas gave me a toolchest just a few days ago, so out it came.

I took out some of the things I thought I might need, like a pencil and maybe some screws,

a screwdriver of course,

and a hammer always comes in handy too.

After some delicate procedures using my new tools (and finding the bulb actually had fallen out of the fitting) I managed to get the lights working again.

Thank you St. Nicholas (Annemieke) for this great toolchest!