Thursday, 26 December 2013

Happy Christmas and farewell to my blog

I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas. I know my kids were super excited.

Thanks everyone who has followed my blog in 2012 and 2013, commented on our crafts and offered tips and tricks. I've really enjoyed the excuse to try all sorts of crafts and share our successes and failures.

However, with all the other things scheduled in our household in 2014 I've decided to say farewell to my blog.

Of course we'll keep up our art and craft activities but just won't be blogging about them.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Christmas crepe paper banners

Following on from the Halloween crepe paper banners we made in October, we thought we'd try out some Christmas banners. We bought some red and green crepe paper.

We like the Santa hats and Xmas trees the best but also experimented with heart shapes and candy canes.

Basically just take the crepe paper out of the packet and cut off a portion. Design your shape then cut it out. Make sure you have enough of each shape connected to each other on the sides to keep the chain strong when you stretch it out.

For the Santa Hats we added cotton wool balls with glue ...

... and a "Merry Christmas" stamp on each hat.

Actually I think I like the simplicity of the shiny green trees the most.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Christmas crafting with a handful of materials

You don't need many materials to have fun making Christmas crafts. We made some red and green play dough and had fun cutting out shapes and sticking in beads.

We used the play dough recipe over at The Imagination Tree.

Jasmine also made a lovely Christmas tree collage using scrapbook paper on cardboard.

These are both excellent activities for a rainy day or could be offered as play date activities.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Simple Christmas Tree Decorations

We've been enjoying making simple decorations for the Christmas tree. Pipe cleaners and beads have been particularly popular. The kids have experimented with all sorts of shapes including rings, rain drops and candy canes.

We've also tried threading using a hole puncher to make holes in different shapes. This is a particularly good activity for those not yet capable of proper sewing with a needle and thread in fabric.


Monday, 25 November 2013

Striped paper Xmas trees

I've seen a few different versions of striped paper Xmas trees on Pinterest. With all the piles of scrapbook paper in my cupboard, I just had to give this a go with my daughter. It was very easy to set up. Basically I just cut out strips of different coloured papers. Jasmine then trimmed them to make the different levels of the Xmas tree and stuck them on a large background paper.

I think they would make great cards.

Or just something cheerful and Chrismassy for the wall ...

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Santa's house

The kids and I embarked on a box collecting mission this week with the aim of making a Xmas village. We found all sorts of different sized boxes and put them in a pile in our playroom. Somewhere along the way, the kids decided they would prefer to make Santa's house than a village.

In addition to boxes, we used Quicksticks silver tape, coloured paper, stickers, foil and some Xmas decorations. The kids had a fabulous time and were distracted from the horrible rainy weather.

The kids even made a bridge and used some Xmas coasters for stepping stones. I'm not sure it would meet an architect's standards on beauty or structural quality but most importantly the kids love it.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Brown paper advent calendar

I saw a homemade advent calendar on Pinterest recently with star shapes cut out of brown paper. We decided to make something similar. Instead of using the star shape we used our Xmas cookie cutters to make angel, tree, flower and gingerbread man shapes.

I traced the shapes and cut them out. Jasmine then helped me write the numbers 1 to 10 and stick on some string.We used baker's twine in red and white and pink and white.

I wasn't sure where to hang our numbers for our 10 day count down to Xmas. We could have used a ribbon or a coat hanger but since we have a lovely wire card holder in our kitchen we decided to hang the numbers there.

When we get closer to Xmas (still a while to go I know) we will cut down the shapes one by one until there are none left and Xmas has arrived. Yay!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Artkive - digital storage for artwork

Now that Halloween festivities and my kids' birthday party have been and gone I can do a bit of sorting and tidying before the surge of Xmas crafts and other activities are upon us.

My kids share a room so that we can have a spare room to use for playing, crafting and storage but for some reason we still seem to end up with "stuff" all over the place. I can never find anything when I need though I must say I am quite good at finding things today that I needed yesterday. Is this something that happens to all of us? Or just me?

My kids have a drawer each in our spare room cupboard for their Kindergarten artworks but this is rapidly filling up. So you can imagine my excitement when I was recommended a mobile app for storing kids art digitally called Artkive-

I downloaded the Artkive App for free via the App store. It is really easy to use. I take photos of the kids artwork with my iPhone or iPad and then artkive them into different albums. So far I have just created two kindergarten albums - one for each child. You can give each artwork a title, date and description if you like.

Maybe at the end of the year I will print off a book. This could make a fun gift for someone. It will certainly be a neat way of storing their fabulous first drawings.

I highly recommend this App.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Halloween crepe paper decorations

If you're looking for a simple Halloween decoration I highly recommend these crepe paper pumpkins. We had yellow crepe paper handy so used that but of course orange would look even better.

Step 1 - take the folded crepe paper out of the packet and draw your pumpkin outline on the front sheet.

Step 2 - cut out the shape and open up to see a string of pumpkins.

Step 3 - draw faces on each pumpkin using a black marker pen.

 Too easy! Jasmine also requested a string of hearts with our red crepe paper.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

DIY Halloween costumes

We thought we'd make our own costumes for Halloween this year. For Alex, he requested a skeleton so I used a white t-shirt crayon to sketch one on a black t-shirt. He'll wear this t-shirt with some skeleton print pants made by his talented grandma.

For Jasmine who doesn't like anything scary, we decided she could dress as a "treat" while she wanders the neighbourhood chanting "trick or treat". We settled on a packet of Smarties. We used pencils and cardboard to create her outfit. I drew the tricky bits and Jasmine did the colouring.

In order to make the blue background, we used pencil shavings and grated pencil lead and smudged them with our hands.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Halloween jelly snake swamp

As a special treat in the lead up to Halloween we made a jelly snake swamp for dessert. It's a bit gruesome but the sugary goodness makes up for the ick factor.

We used two packets of green jelly crystals, crushed cookies and a packet of jelly snakes.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Halloween ghosts

We're getting into the ghostly spirit of Halloween this year with some simple ghosts made of styrofoam balls and cheese cloth.

We had three different sized styrofoam balls from Spotlight to choose from. We chose smaller balls in the end as they were lighter and could be easily hung with a simple eye screw and string.

Cutting the cheescloth was a bit of a guessing game I must admit .... We did two layers of about 1.5 metres for each ghost.

We like our cute, friendly twin ghosts.