Sometimes I can't help thinking of that line from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe: "it's always winter, but never Christmas". Living in the southern hemisphere where winter is June, July and August, it can be a long, dreary time with no festivities to break it up. Luckily in New Zealand we do have a midwinter festival: Matariki.
Also known as the Maori New Year, Matariki celebrates the reappearance of the Pleiades constellation in our skies, which heralds the coming of spring. It's time to get together with friends and family, celebrate the harvest and have a nice meal, and also time to plan your garden for the coming season and determine how your crops will grow.
There are many ways to celebrate Matariki. I chose to make some golden star decorations - seven of them, for the seven stars in the Pleiades constellation (also known as the Seven Sisters).
I made my stars by stamping and gold embossing onto clear heatproof acetate. Then I cut the star shape out with scissors, leaving a gap of about 1 mm because I found the embossing could flake off if bent. I added sparkle with some stick on rhinestones, and pierced a hole at the top for a thread (more embossing flaked off at this point, which annoyed me but I didn't have a punch tiny enough so had to use a pin). Then I threaded on some beads for more sparkle.
I hung the stars off my flower garland which is currently adorning this corner. They sway and catch the breeze, and reflect the sunlight - a small reminder that the days are now growing longer.
(Please ignore the giant crack in the wall - it's where our hot water cylinder tried to jump out.)
This was posted as a part of Hazel Dene's Winter Wednesdays series... for more ideas to celebrate winter, see this post!