I am documenting the year with monthly photographs of my kitchen table. Capturing the jumble that accumulates here, at the heart of the kitchen, is also a way to record some of the domestic stories of our family life.
On the December table, the colours are muted. In lieu of flowers, a garland of Clematis Vitalba (Old Man’s Beard). I just adore the fluffy seeds of this wild clematis, which scramble over every local hedgerow at this time of year, star-like and gossamer. The littlest and I have been out foraging for it, pulling it from the hedge-tops in long tendrils. I added a cluster of seedeads to the ivy wreath that I made for the front door, and wove the rest into simple twisted garlands like this one, to adorn the mantel and hang from the interior doors.
The sweet little dove comes from a gem of a vintage shop in Bristol’s Montpelier, La Belle Boutique. I discovered this treasure trove whilst out on a wander with my dear friend Lou. After a coffee, and a trip to Licata’s Italian delicatessen for Pannettone, we found ourselves in Naomi’s gorgeous shop, coveting pretty much everything! I managed to restrict myself to just this one pale beauty.
Each year, I add one or two Christmas decorations to our collection. The dove is this year’s, along with this ethereal handmade angel, which I bought from a local gallery. It’s fairly traded, and made from parts of a banana tree, which only added to its considerable charm. I’ve hung this angelic piper from the dresser.
Black coffee today to keep me awake whilst I tie up loose ends of work, I’m sipping it from an utterly beautiful handmade mug made by amazing ceramicist Sarah Jerath. A few weeks ago, some of my creative bloggy friends, Emma, Sara and Hannah, spent the day at Sarah’s studio, learning pottery skills from Sarah and silver clay techniques from Emma. I was invited, but distance and timing conspired to prevent me from going, to my bitter disappointment. A few weeks later, though, a parcel arrived, filled with beautiful things that those wonderful women had made for me: the mug, the beautiful organic form spoon, a bowl, some Christmas decorations… The ceramics thrilled me, but more than that, the kind gesture touched me, and I shall treasure them for both these reasons.
Finally, on the December table, a copy of the loveliest book that there can be to read at this time of year, Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales. Whilst I do read it to the children, it’s for myself that I read it again and again, savouring every last lyrical word of it (and wishing just a little for a white Christmas!)
Taupe, white, cream and brown :: the December 2015 table