Category Archives: Celebrations

Easter Basket

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Little R’s Easter Basket included:

A jar of bubble mixture and a wand.

Dried mango and dried cranberries, thanks for my mother for the idea of dried fruit as treats.

A felt easter egg with a tiny chick inside. I made this egg yesterday, quite last-minute, following these instructions. I wasn’t quite happy with the way I cut the opening but it was really easy and fun to make and I will definitely be making a bunch for nest year! (I might even do some now.) I think I will probably make a straight slit and experiment with a ribbon tied around the egg. And an egg like this could hide all sorts of surprises.

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A bird’s nest with three tiny little chocolate eggs inside. Little R’s first candy. It took her a while to figure out they were for eating and then she was somewhat alarmingly keen. I knew that would happen. But the eggs just looked so perfect in the nest. It reminded me of when I was a kid and found one on the sidewalk. I took it home and nestled it inside a plush jewellery box under a bright lamp, convinced it was a real egg and might hatch…

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“Bird eggs in there!”

Happy Easter!

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Filed under Celebrations, food

Chocolate Bunny Slippers

A pair of bunny slippers for my little nephew. Just in time, I hope, for Easter. The yarn I had to use was a chocolate-brown so I decided to make the eyes in a confectionary yellow and blue style. I’m not convinced that these with fit, or stay on, but it’s more of a notional gift anyway.

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I have knitted some non-bunny slippers in a similar style and was going to just make up some ears, but then I found this pattern and decided to go with it. I used 4.5mm needles and worsted yarn, and the design is fairly stretchy so they do look as though they could accommodate a range of sizes. They also look like they would be quite happy nestled in an Easter Basket.

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Filed under Celebrations, knitting, making

Valentine Crafting

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Yesterday we had a small crafting “party” for some of Little R’s friends. (smaller even than we had hoped, due to illness) Little R is fortunate to have a number of “big kid” friends so I thought this would be a good opportunity to do something for them. Plus, it gave me a chance to come up with something for older children which is nice for a change. I do so love just sitting around a table and making things together. Little R participated happily and was also very interested in watching the others.

We made these wood sewing card valentines out of shingles. Originally I was going to do a printing activity with the shingles but when G saw the inked up wood he suggested that the kids would probably also just like keeping the wood which, I then remembered, is true. So I thought I’d go in that direction and just decorate the wood. (Maybe avoiding the mess of printing was a wise move.) I pre-drilled the holes in heart formation because I was anticipating a larger crew, but it would also be fun to drill according to each child’s design. We decorated them with markers and pencil crayons and then stitched them up. I enjoyed this and see potential in exploring this further, so I’m glad there’s a stack of shingles in the barn!

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And then there was snack and heart cookies and strawberries dipped in chocolate and pink juice. What more does a Valentine Party need??

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Filed under art with children, Celebrations, making

Dobbin the Rocking Horse

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Just wanted to tell you about the rocking horse G and I made for Little R this Christmas. Well, G built it and I think he did an amazing job. He found a design online, but changed  head to look more real and less like a cartoon. My part was the paint job, and hair. I looked at lots of rocking horses to get ideas for the face. I started with an eye, added the nose and then hummed and hawed a lot about a bridle. In the end I decided to add one, for a bit of colour, and I’m glad I did. The original design simply called for a painted mane, but we really wanted a “real” one made of wool. I used staples to attach both mane and tail in chunks. This wasn’t a technique I found anybody describing but it worked really well. When the mane lies on one side or other of the neck, it totally covers the staples.

It was lovely to work together on a project like this. A real joint effort, but with each of us having a part to play. We were right down to the line, too, staying up late to make sure we could get a coat of paint or finish on in time for it to dry in time for our next opportunity to work on it.

We were both really excited for Little R to see the rocking horse, and her reaction was most gratifying. We went a little “paparazzi” on the moment, with photos and video camera. Christmas night found us huddled round the video camera , replaying her reaction and grinning.

Dobbin is a very well-loved horse.

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Filed under Celebrations, making

Snow Labyrinth

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I woke up this morning with the desire to make a labyrinth in the snow. Not sure where it came from, but there it was. And so, after breakfast, and after stuffing Little R into her snow suit, we headed out to make one. I printed off a design to follow, which was helpful since most of the labyrinths I found marked out the walls,  and when you are walking in the snow it is better to follow something that traces out the path to avoid confusion. Mine is a little wobbly but not too bad for a first attempt. Next time I will make the paths a little further apart, and maybe wide enough for a shovel.

As I looked for some designs online, I read what other people have written about walking labyrinths and something that kind of stuck with me was the idea of “walking with intention”.  The phrase seems to conjure up images of a straight line to your destination, but in association with a windy labyrinth “intention” suddenly means something else entirely. I need to walk a few more labyrinths before I feel qualified to wax lyrical about them, but I feel intrigued.

Making the labyrinth this morning was one of those rare occasions when a whim strikes me and I fairly immediately carry it out. Doesn’t happen a lot, but it’s a nice way to start the New Year.

Happy New Year, lovely people. Head out into that fresh snow and walk with intention.

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Filed under Celebrations, gardening, making

Toadstools

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And these are the decorations I made this year. Little cornstarch clay toadstools. I think what I love best about these is the way they attach to the branches instead of hang. This was achieved by glueing some wire into a little hole at the base. This step was a little problematic. I think any glue would hold, but of course you have to twist the wire to attach the toadstools to the branch, which will potentially put stress on the bond. Anyway, I hope it holds, and if the do give up after a while, it should be fairly simple to glue them back on.

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Little R’s Ornaments

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Made with cornstarch clay and watercolour. She eagerly participated in every step; mixing the clay, rolling and cutting, adding texture and painting. I think we need to make some more! It was such fun to introduce her to the tradition of handmade gifts

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Filed under art with children, Celebrations, with the baby