24.12.10

KIDS CRAFT - DIY SNOW GLOBE

A couple of weeks ago, Goose had a friend over after school and they were looking for an "activity" to do. Goose whipped out an old 'Mister Maker' book and they all made snow domes.

I was surprised at how easy it was!
Simply put some plasticine in the lid of a jar, stick a small toy or two firmly in the plasticine, fill jar with water and glitter and put lid back on to jar and you have your very own snow dome!
I have seen them made by adding a little glycerine as well, but ours worked well enough without it.

That very night I happened to come across this post with the idea of putting a gift card, along with a small decoration, inside a snow globe.* I thought it was a great way of snazzing up a gift that could potentially be a little boring! I am imagining too a toy goat next to a toy tree in a snow globe when giving one of these charity gifts.**

So there are now a few people receiving one of these on Christmas Day...


For more simple kids craft ideas, you might like to check out our kids craft page here.




* They did test the gift cards out after a week and they still worked, but they did suggest not to leave the gift card in the water for any longer than a week!

** If you've never heard of these charity gifts, you really must check them out! This year we are giving a toilet to someone...not quite sure how I'll make that one into a snow globe yet... ADDITION DEC 2011 - We made them this year!  Check them out in this post.

23.12.10

EASY PEASY CHRISSIE WINNERS

These two extremely quick and easy recipes (along with my trusty shortbread) have been my "go-tos" this Christmas season! They could not be more simple or more delicious!

CHOC ROYAL CHRISTMAS PUDDINGS

1 packet Chocolate Royal biscuits
white chocolate melts
jaffas
mint leaves

Dip biscuits in white chocolate or spread on top (please don't look too closely at mine...) to look like custard on a pudding. Pop a jaffa on the top along with some sliced mint leaves to make it look like a piece of holly on the top.  Make sure your chocolate is not too hot, or the jaffas and leaves will just slide right off!

P.S. Not a good idea to keep them in the fridge as the jaffas can start to fade & turn white.

So simple & quick to do, even the kids can join in with the making of this festive treat. Also makes a lovely gift.




I have never been a fan of rocky road, but this one changed my view completely! My friend Lauren gave me some of this recently & I just had to get the recipe - now I just can't get enough! Everyone loves it! Thanks Lauren!

LAUREN'S ROCKY ROAD




200g block of dark chocolate
1 pkt of marshmallows
2 turkish delight bars
1/2 cup desiccated coconut - toasted
1 large handful of unsalted peanuts.


Halve each marshmallow and cut up the turkish delight into small squares.
Mix with coconut & nuts.
Melt chocolate and mix well with all ingredients until all ingredients are well coated.
Spread out in a lamington tin and refrigerate until set.
Cut up into chunks.

P.S. If you're feeling guilty that festive Christmassy food seems to be sooooo bad for the waistline, check these Santa crackers out!

Just for something to do (you need those things during the school holidays...) Goose tried some of these quesedilla snowflakes for lunch yesterday which may or may not have looked just like the ones in the picture....


22.12.10

THE TRUE MEANING...

As we count down these last days until Christmas and as Santa seems to permeate more and more of the media and hype of Christmas and the original Christmas Story seems to get lost in the fog, I have been pondering about the meaning behind all of this craziness and feeling like I would have liked to have included it a little more in all of the crafty things & other activities that we've been doing over the past weeks.

I guess we did go to a Carols night and every day in our advent calendar* we are reading a little more of the first Christmas Story.

The other day I came across this adorable little story told by kids of the very first Christmas on Simoney's blog. I'm sure she wouldn't mind me sharing it also. Watch it with your kids - it's just adorable.

Do you have any traditions to help you remember the very first Christmas at your house? Seriously I'd like some ideas!




* Goose & I made this advent calendar a few years ago, back when I only had one child and seemed to have more time to put fun and creative (non-chocolate) things inside & time to actually follow through with the activities on a daily basis. Goose actually made most of the envelopes herself and she was only 3.5 yrs old at the time so it can't be too hard and it has actually managed to stand the test of time so far. The idea (including a how-to) once again comes from my favorite - Kids Craft Weekly. She has some great and simple advent ideas, including some very creative ideas for what to put inside.

21.12.10

DIY BONBONS {AKA Christmas crackers}


Last night was the last of my weekly craft nights for the month of December. It has been such a good way to ensure that I fitted in the crafty things that I wanted to fit in this year. Chatting with friends doing their own crafty things with some sweet treats and a glass of wine is something I really enjoy.

Last night Goose joined us (school holidays & all) and we made bon-bons (or christmas crackers as they are known in other parts of the world). We have making our own bon-bons for Christmas dinner for as long as I can remember.

We save toilet rolls for the month prior and put different goodies inside every year. In previous years we've included bible verses, stickers, novelty gifts, activity sheet, scratchies, bubbles, stickers, the possibilities are endless...

You always need a 'snap' which they sell at Riot Art or Spotlight). This year we went for some christmas glitter sprinkly things (that I picked up at the Reject Shop for $2), a corny Christmas 'Dad' joke, a tissue paper crown, a gourmet chocolate and a little activity.

The little activity this year is a bundle of 10 toothpicks and 10 mini marshmallows (all those pink ones that we didn't use here) to be used to construct a mini tower at the table. The tallest tower, that stays up, gets a prize.

The above photo was taken a few years ago when we did the same activity with my family. We are having Christmas lunch with my husband's family this year.

This activity idea was completely stolen from the talented Amber Carvan from Kids Craft Weekly. She has many fun and creative Christmas cracker ideas, ideal for making with preschoolers (or older) children, in her printable PDF 'Christmas Craft'. For only $6US I highly recommend purchasing, particularly as you receive it straight away!

Here is a tutorial that she wrote on how to make her 'crazy hat crackers' - I think we'll try that next year.

If you use fake cherries to decorate your bon-bons, just remember to tell young children that they are not lollypops before they take a bite into them...

Do you make bonbons? What do you put inside?

20.12.10

FREE CHRISTMAS PRINTABLES


You probably know by now that I have quite a love for printable things. This Christmas, although I haven't had too much of a chance to look, I've come across these great free printable gift tags if you are needing something to adorn your Christmas gifts. Especially good for those of us who may just be into the last minute thing and who only seem to find time at 11pm at night to actually do some of this kind of thing when the shops are all closed anyway!

Here are some that I thought were pretty cool & stylish:
gift tags - plus many more on this site

This new site that I recently discovered has lots and lots!

One day soon I'll sit down and learn how to make my own.

Try printing on sticker paper instead of card for something different - I just buy the Avery brand from Officeworks. Or, as Anna suggests, you could use an iron-on transfer and print it onto a stocking or t-shirt. I have no idea how to do it, but I'd like to give it a go.



15.12.10

COCOA IN A JAR...

One of the things we have been making for neighbours and friends for Christmas this year is 'Cocoa in a Jar'. I'm quite into the 'jar' at the moment. This activity may in fact remind you of my ever favorite soup in a jar.

I found this idea here at one of my favorite printable party destinations.

It even comes with free printable gift tags and instructions!

It tastes divine too!
We had to make some first for ourselves, just to see if it tasted OK of course! Using a candy cane as a stirrer and leaving it in the mug...mmm... even better. I am a bit of sucker for hot chocolate.

You can vary the amounts to suit your jar size and add whatever ingredients you like, but mine has:

1/2 cup milk powder
1/2 cup cocoa powder (the unsweetened kind)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup chocolate chips
2 crushed candy canes
enough green & white mini marshmallows to fill the jar

The recipient just mixes it all together, puts a spoonful or two in a mug and just adds hot water.

Enjoy!


WORDLESS WEDNESDAY


14.12.10

KIDS CHRISTMAS CRAFT: {Reindeer Food}

If you have a school aged child, you'll know the deal where the kids like to give out a Christmas card to everyone in their class. Goose, as always, wanted to join in the fun again this year. Remembering last years excitement over making handmade cards which was promptly followed by the reluctance (of the drawing blood from a stone kind), to actually writing 'Merry Christmas love Goose' 24 times, I thought I'd try something different this year...

A few years ago we lived in Alice Springs and at Christmas time that year the clown doctors at Alice Springs hospital (where my husband worked at the time) gave out bags of reindeer food with a simple message inside. Every year since a family tradition has developed and we have left food out for the reindeer.
Combining these concepts and a quick trip around the internet we had a Christmas card replacement idea ....

We mixed some quick oats with some glitter in a large bowl then put a few spoonfuls into each small plastic bag. We printed some red and white stripes* onto card, cut a rectangle shape, folded the card in half and stapled it onto the top of the bag. We then used some free printable reindeer tags from here printed onto sticker paper.


We printed the following poem** onto sticker paper and stuck it on the back:

Sprinkle on the lawn at night

The moon will make it sparkle bright

As Santa's reindeer fly and roam

This will guide them to your home.
24 all done for school friends and a few extras for other friends. All happy and over in no time at all. Doing the activity outside also meant for quicker clean up!
This is something that even the 2 and 3 year old siblings could join in with as well. We even took the excess bits and pieces to playgroup this morning and had it as the craft activity. It worked really well.

Here's hoping every parent in the class sees the fun and doesn't hate me for sending home such potential mess makers! I did tell her she had to hand them out at the end of school....... fingers crossed...

Addition - I have just found these free printable bag toppers for reindeer food - gorgeous! Use these and it's even easier!

Addition no 2 - you can see the reindeer food that we made in the following years here, along with some other fun reindeer class gifts.

For more Christmas craft ideas you can pop over to our Kids Craft Ideas page ...
http://froggooseandbear.blogspot.com.au/p/kids-craft.html



* we used printable paper from this party pack but you could use this free one which is similar.
** nabbed from a thousand places all over the internet. Not sure of original author. If you know please let me know so that I can credit them.

13.12.10

CRAFT IN THE CRAZINESS

I think I would like to rename the 'silly season' the 'insanity season'. My life is a little crazy and overwhelming at the best of times, but then add the coming of Christmas and it nearly sends me under. Obviously I have not had a lot of time to blog my friends, but I have been missing it so much that I had to make time to come and share just a few of the Christmas crafty things we've been doing over the last few weeks.
I really don't have time to do be doing these things and even had a minor meltdown a couple of weeks ago almost deciding to have nothing handmade at Christmas including no advent calendar, but after sleeping on it I awoke realising that I just couldn't do it. After all it's these things that I remember holding most of the excitement of Christmas for me and I just couldn't bear not doing just a few things with my own kids. Mind you - ultra easy versions of things that kids can join in on too. Sometimes you just need to make the time to do the things that you love to keep sane and these things in themselves can help rejuvenate you. Not to mention that when you are looking after kids, unfortunately folding clothes and washing dishes doesn't always cut the mustard.

I'm a little behind with Christmas. I'm a little over reading others blogs hearing how they have finished their Christmas shopping. Me - nowhere near! But I'm sure I'll get there eventually.
These Christmas cards, modelled by the gorgeous Frog, were last years idea that didn't quite eventuate but this year, to make sure that they did happen, I organised a craft night at my house every Monday night in December (you are most welcome to join me) to make myself allow the time. A bit of fabric ironed on to card while chatting over a glass of wine - perfect.

My cards certainly aren't perfect, but if you'd like to buy Christmas cards that are perfect and perfectly handmade, Melinda makes perfect fabric covered cards much better than the ones that I made. She even has 20% off her stock until Friday!

How are you going this Christmas - feeling the pressure or loving the ride?


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