It’s the time of the year when we start talking about presents… expecially as two of our children have their birthdays in November, so by the time we’re done with presents and partyplans etc, it’s nearly time for advent calendars and all the christmas
stress fun to begin. Every year I decide to give really personal gifts and preferably make most of them myself as well as remember to post a family letter with all the cards that I’ll send out in the beginning of the month (!) erm, usually I fail at most of the above and we end up staying up late on the last day of November wrapping a gazillion little advent calendar gifts, the christmas cards are sent out AFTER christmas and the family christmas letter ends up being a family new years letter and only gets sent out to half of the family, as I never get around to translating it (half the family is Danish and half is English). This year I’m planning on being slightly less ambitious in an attempt to make failure a little less likely! I do want to send out cards, but I think they’ll be done as a family home evening activity in November and there will be no christmas family letter, but just possibly a post on the family blog (a rare occurance in itself!) around that time. Advent calendars will be just that… four presents for each child -one each on the four Sundays of advent rather than 72 smaller ones! (Just thinking about finding and wrapping that many makes my palms sweaty!)
As for the christmas presents, I still like the idea of making a few myself. There are some really good ideas around on the internet. Here’s one by Jesicca from Running with scissors that I really like (and which my boys would love):
The tutorial is here on Tatertots and jello. Aren’t they cute?!
My Playdogh recipe as promised. It provided hours of fun (read peace;-b) and on Saturday, when we needed a screwdriver for the weird screws on our patio roof, I used a bit of the home-made clay to make an imprint that I took to the shop, in order to get the right screwdriver, how’s that for a versatile material:-)
1 cup (250 ml) plain flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
1 cup water with food colouring in
1 teaspoon vanilla (to make it smell nice, can be omitted)
Put all the ingredients into a large saucepan and stir over a medium heat until it comes together and starts to form a ball. Allow to cool, then knead until smooth and PLAY!
I find the best way to get the pans clean, is to soak them in water for half an hour or longer. After that the playdogh can be rinsed right off.
Update: I meant to add that here in Denmark, you CAN get cream of tartar… it’s called Vinsyre. I never thought you could and imported a tub from England now and then. But then the rest of you are probably smarter than me and knew all along…
It’s the last day of school before the Danish “Autumn holiday” begins and right on cue the lawn was all sparkly and frosty when we got up this morning and judging by the temperatures as the kids left for school, those snowsuits will be in use before the end of next wekk brrrr. I can’t believe that earlier this week, I was folding up summer dresses and shorts that the kids wore just last week!
But in spite of the low temperatures, the sun is out, making everything look beautiful and the autumn coloured leaves are glowing. My husband has to work next week, so we’ll probably be staying home most of the week. That of course calls for lots of fun crafts and activities and actually I can’t wait. My children are aged 20 months, 6 and 8, and there is one girl and two boys, so the crafts have to be quite varied. Also they have to be -you guessed it -cheap or free! Some of the activities on my mental list for next week are:
- Home made play dogh (I have a great recipe, I’ll have to share it on here)
- Fimo clay (Polymer Clay) Utensils (a favourite of my older kids’)
- cooked, dyed pasta (a big portion poured into a large tray… great for little fingers to squash and explore and it doesn’t matter if a bit gets eaten… I bet the older ones won’t be able to stay away once the little on gets stuck in!)
- Dancing in the living room (EVERYBODY loves that!)
- going on a trip to collect conkers and making things with them
- buying the largest pumkins we can find and carving them freehand
- fishing for starfish (there were tons of them down by the harbour the other day, when we walked past)
Bring on any kind of weather, we’ve already stocked up on hot chocolate and snow suits.
I knew posting would be sparse over the Summer, but happily, I’ve been finishing some projects (and I was beginning to think I only ever started them…). Nothing beats the feeling of finishing something, right?
I finished my son’s wardrobe doors the other day. He needed a wardrobe and we had a really old one we’d pulled out of my daughter’s room when we moved in. We’d stored it in the garage ever since and the door was discoloured and not very nice. He wanted a Star Wars themed bedroom, so I thought I’d paint a Star Wars motif on the doors. This is how they turned out (sorry, iphone pics again…) Once we hang the doors, I’ll post a better picture and also a tutorial in case someone else wants to paint a really big picture in a kids’ bedroom or just some tips on painting furniture.
This is the main door:
-and this is the top box. I over-lapped the image, to tie the two together. I finished off by giving both a coat of clear varnish as they are in the room of a six yeal old and are likely to take a beating…
I love making little projects with my kids and my kids love it too. But don’t you find that if you look for inspiration online, most of the things you’ll find are for girls? Well I’d love to be directed towards some good sites for boys’ crafts, because my son loves a good project. Anyway at the moment he’s at home with the flu and today, inevitably, he started getting bored and missing his school mates. I’d noticed that he’d picked up this stick that splits into two (surely there’s a word for that…) and so I suggested we make a catapult (slingshot). It took about two minutes. My son cut out a piece of leather and a piece of elastic. I sewed two little darts in the leather and attached it to the elastic and then we tied it on the stick.
It provided oodles of fun practising and luckily we realised that aiming away from our neighbors house and windows might prove a good idea, before we did too much damage;-)
Can you tell from his eyes he’s poorly:-(