Competitive crafting

Let’s get it out there: I read a lot of craft blogs. I’d been skirting round the fringes of the craft blog world for a while and then the addiction really kicked in when I was looking for wedding decoration ideas. There are currently nine in my bookmarks – and those are just the ones I check in with daily. I may have been known to experience whole mornings disappear down a wormhole of links to bloggers writing about making fabric activity books to keep their kids occupied in church (despite my neither have kids nor attending church). Goodness knows what would happen if I got on Pinterest…

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This year, having moved into our very own home a month ago and not being especially enamoured of the “eat two enormous meals” aspect of splitting Christmas Day between two families, I said we’d host Christmas lunch. Fine, good, everyone happy, all volunteering to bring food and drink so less pressure on us.

Then I wondered how to decorate.

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Possibly you’re not so much of a craft blog afficionado, so understand this: Christmas is a big time of year for craft bloggers. In fact, once you consider Halloween and Thanksgiving (neither of which we celebrate here in Australia) and New Year’s, the whole latter part of the year offers one giant, ever-changing opportunity to DIY elaborate, immaculate, oh-so-stylish decorations.

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I found myself on the last spare day before Christmas in a sixth shop in search of the perfect white tablecloth when I realised perhaps I’d become a little bit competitive. I’d unknowingly set a standard based on these strangers, these stylish women with seemingly all the time in the world, these bloggers that no one coming to my lunch read. Everything needed to be perfect, styled, instagramable. (Interestingly, I was fairly unconcerned about the food – it was going to be tasty, coming from trusted cookbooks.)

Strange what your reading habits do to you.

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In the end I embraced the crafty competitiveness but didn’t let striving for perfection get in the way of a good time, good food and family. We had last year’s Christmas tree (inspired by one spotted on Etsy), last year’s bunting, sparkly napkins with home-sewn, semi-dodgy hems (but I was grateful for my man’s ironing assistance nonetheless), Donna Hay’s super easy fruitcake truffles, a bauble-and-coathanger wreath, and crackers made by my mother. And the perfect white tablecloth.

Plus, a jolly good time.

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