Back when we were living in Switzerland, I'd inevitably be sat at my desk at this time of the year suffering from a severe case of post-Christmas blues. A little bit miserable, a little bit homesick, and quite a bit plumper than the weeks before due to excess consumption of chocolat chaud from Sprüngli over the festive period (you must never go to Switzerland and not try it but be warned, no other will ever compare and you will live a lifetime of hot chocolate disappointment).
But, January 6 would always be a rather cheerful day in the midst of this doom and gloom. Why? Because of the opportunity to be king for a day! We'd momentarily forget about our healthkicks, ignore our straining waistbands, and elbow each other out of the way to get our hands on a piece of cake that could offer up a crown ... a tiny crown baked in to one of the pieces that would declare the 'finder' King for the day and hand them the power to rule over the office for twenty-four hours (not really, but I did try).
We don't seem to celebrate Three Kings Day, or Epiphany, very much in the UK. I think we all tend to know it as Twelfth Night or the day we traditionally take down our Christmas decorations. However, despite not being religious, I'm not one to pass up the opportunity of cake, or the chance to boss everyone around for the day, so this year, I've added it to our calendar.
With little time to bake at the moment, no local shops offering a similar cake/bun to the one we used to buy in Zürich, and two young boys likely to have a complete and utter meltdown if one were to be crowned and not the other, it's meant that I've had to look for a slight workaround.
A few days prior to Christmas, a stunning piece of fabric arrived perfectly parcelled at my door with a challenge from homewares specialist, Christy, to do something crafty with it. The Paradise fabric, with its exotic, tropical print (which I totally adore and now want to put on my walls) is from fabric and wallcovering specialist, Harlequin, and is part of a collaboration to bring some of their famous prints to the world of luxury towels.
With its jewel tones and hint at distant shores, I thought I'd put it (and my sewing machine) to work and see if I could create a fun, festive and flamboyant scene for a special Three Kings Day brunch.
Now, my sewing skills aren't exactly wonderful and this project was only my second using a sewing machine. It could quite easily have gone horribly wrong but it turned out better than I could have imagined. I made a very simple table runner by measuring one that I already have and then cutting out and hemming the fabric. And then I made four napkins following the same simple method. Feeling a bit more confidant, I remembered a post that I'd bookmarked from Brick Dust & Glitter about making fabric crowns. Emily's instructions are so clear so it was super simple even for a complete novice like me to follow and I made my boys two crowns. Two whole crowns! One each! Having never used a sewing machine before September!
We cheated slightly and had our Three Kings Day brunch at the weekend ... a leisurely hour at the dining table without having to rush off to school (oh, the pain of the school run after two weeks of mornings spent in pyjamas!!). Cinnamon swirls, fizzy apple juice, and crowns atop the little dudes' heads ... there are far worse ways to spend a dreary January morning. But no, I didn't let them boss Paul and I around for the day (there's only so much Hot Wheels I'll agree to play).
A huge thanks to Christy for sending me the gorgeous fabric to play with and also for the set of the matching towels. They now have a happy home in my bathroom (replacing my previous towels which were also from Christy, as it happens). You can admire the whole range of Christy Harlequin towels here. The ones that I have are the Paradise Flamingo and they're fabulous.