Monthly Archives: November 2011

Christmas Craft Fun – Christmas Lanterns

christmas paper lanternsI imagine you think we must have reached the end of our Christmas papercraft inspiration, fear not, it’s only just beginning! Today’s fun was creating Christmas lanterns to hang up anjd decorate your home this Christmas.

String them in a line and hang across your hallway to welcome visitors or in the windows to share the beauty with the outside world.

What you need for your paper Christmas lantern: Continue reading

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Homemade Christmas Gifts – Apple and Cranberry Chutney

Following on from our fabulous chocolate truffle Christmas gift recipe, we’ve been busy in the kitchen whipping up some tasty Apple and Cranberry Chutney.  It goes perfectly with cheese and cold meat so makes the perfect homemade gift which can be opened and enjoyed on Boxing Day.

Your Christmas Chutney IngredientsHomemade Christmas Chutney:

  • 1kg cooking apples, peeled and chopped
  • 500g eating apples, peeled and chopped
  • 450g onions, sliced
  • 50g fresh root ginger, finely chopped
  • 1tsp peppercorns
  • 500g granulated sugar
  • 250ml cider vinegar
  • 500g cranberries

How to make your Christmas Chutney:

  1. Put all the ingredients except the cranberries in a large saucepan
  2. Gently heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Bring to the boil and reduce heat
  4. Simmer for about 50 mins stirring regularly until the apples and onions are soft and the mixture is thickened.
  5. Add the cranberries and cook for another 10 mins or until the cranberries are softened but not burst.
  6. Spoon the mixture into jars and seal.
  7. Keep in a cool dark place until time to wrap up.
  8. Once open keep chilled.

Our little ones loved designing gift tags to attach to the jars with ribbons or why not package up with some nice cheese? Either way, it’s a great gift for food lovers and we’re sure it won’t last long into the New Year!

A little tip old jam, pickle and chutney jars are perfect for this. Start collecting them now to use for next year’s homemade Christmas gifts. Then just cover with a square of material and tie with ribbon for a perfect, homemade festive gift.

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Christmas Craft Fun – Nativity Pegs & Spoons

wooden peg and spoon nativityWhat a fabulous way to spend a late November afternoon. As you will have realised by now, we are counting down the days to advent to count down the days to Christmas. Almost every craft, drawing and painting game we play is Christmas related but today was extra special fun.

We performed our own little nativity play – twice –

What you need:

  • Spoons
  • Pegs
  • Craft bits and bobs – buttons, wool, paper, felt, straws and more
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • A captive audience

What to do: Continue reading

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Christmas Craft Fun – Christmas Angels

christmas angel papercraftOnce again we’ve been preparing our home for Christmas and this time we decided to create an angel or ten to decorate our shelves, window ledges and fireplaces.

They’re really easy to make which is great but it does mean you can quickly end up with a flight (the actual name for a group of angels, I looked it up) of angels.

They’re great fun for 2 year olds and 10 year olds alike (though your 2 year old will most definitely need a lot of assistance to make sure there isn’t a wonky fairy in the flight!).

What you need for your your angel:

  • paper (relatively stiff)
  • scissors
  • a compass, circular things to draw round or a stead circle drawing hand
  • pens, glitter, Continue reading
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Christmas Lights Night

Christmas Lights Turn On WitneyWe know Christmas has been creeping up on us but tonight it well and truly arrived in our town. We spent the evening in the town centre waiting for it to be illuminated, knowing it would last until the last mince pie has been eaten and Father Christmas and his reindeer have settled down for their New Year rest.

If you have the chance to go and see your local Christmas lights being turned on, don’t stay in like scrooge. We had a lot of fun wandering around the stalls (making money for local schools and charities), eating pig roast rolls and drinking warm ribena. We saw a 9 foot real life Christmas fairy and her Christmas tree friend (did you know fairies high five? We found out tonight – much to the delight of our 5 year old companion), real life reindeer – disappointingly with their stable trailor next to them rather than their sleigh, a Father Christmas ice sculpture and a steam engine!

But wait – who turned the lights on I hear you ask. Well, we had the town rector, the mayor and a man in a suit. AND!!!! For those of you that also had Christmas light nights tonight and thought Continue reading

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Autumn Toadstools

toadstools autumnWe had a visit to a local adventure playground today and, excitement of excitements, stumbled over some toadstools in the wicker maze. We then spent a good 20 minutes hunting around for more. We found a lot!

Keep an eye out while you’re out and about to see whether you can spot any. Remember to be quiet though – we weren’t and scared the fairies away before we got a chance to see them!

We are almost sure however we saw the green hat of a leprechaun out the corner of our eye running round the corner of the maze – we’re keeping an eye out for the treasure that’s now rightfully ours!

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Paint Your Own Snowman Fun

paint your own snowman nesting dollWinter is almost here. We had our first proper frost this morning – our car appreciated it so little that it decided not to work without mechanical assistance!

With a bit of a white frosting across the grass we decided it would be a great time to flaunt one of our lovely winter products. Our little paint your own snowman gift set promises to be a good hour or two of winter craft fun. All our nesting doll gifts are very popular and we love this winter version. It comes with it’s own paint brush, paints and goggly eyes. The nesting dolls are all marked up with face, scarf and buttons, all you need to do is add a child with a brush.

Visit our snowman nesting doll gift set page for more information on creating a Christmas decoration that will last for many Christmases to come.

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Christmas Craft Fun – Snowflakes

craft snowflakesOur plan over the coming weeks is to remind you of the fun crafty things you used to do as a child so you can share the fun with your children.

Christmas is such an exciting time of the year for children. I have given our home over to children’s craft for the next month or so. We already have Christmas pictures on the walls and snowflakes on the windows. In a few weeks I think we’ll have a full grotto.

Do you remember folding paper, cutting shapes and creating snowflakes? There’s something really exciting about opening up the paper once it’s all cut up to see what shape the snowflake will be. I promise, it’s just as much fun now – give it a try!

What you need – easy:
Continue reading

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Children In Need

We love a good family and friends get together and Children in Need is a great excuse for one. Children In Need

On Friday we’ll be spending all day having spotty fun baking and buying spotty cakes at school, paying to wear spotty clothes, eating spotty food and watching lots of funny fundraising events.

Then everyone will be staying up past bedtime to watch the television centre fun. We’ll be dining on spotty pizza (see recipe below), spotty smarties on ice cream and spotty fairy cakes (fairy cakes with anything dotty – chocolate drops, buttons, smarties, jelly tots etc etc etc).

On top of our spotty dining, our attire will consist of spotty tshirts, spotty jumpers, spotty material turned into headbands, spotty material turned into leg ties, spotty material turned into scarfs, spotty material turned into Continue reading

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Christmas Inspiration Afternoon Out

We were at a loose end today so went on a little trip to a couple of local garden centres to have a look at their Christmas decorations and gifts. We’re really starting to feel that Christmas spirit creeping in so looking around the Christmas gifts, lights, decorations, and displays is a lot of fun and gets the Christmas craft ideas flowing.

We had a look around the displays first to get us well into the Christmas mood. We discussed what it would be like to live in the model Christmas village, we all agreed it would be pretty special.

christmas model fairgroundchristmas model villagechristmas village decorationschristmas model village

Then we looked at decorations and decided which we might like to have one day (I emphasise the “one day” as Continue reading

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