2012 in review

3 Jan

2012 turned out to be quite an interesting and productive year for me. It was the year that I started this blog which has inspired me in so many ways.

My top 5 posts from 2012 reflect the great year that we had in this country.

Olympic torch craft

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Garden xylophone

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London bus cardboard box craft

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Stained glass nativity

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And finally my Rainbow gnomes which proved so popular that I set up Pocket Treasures Facebook page selling these and other similar items.

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I don’t really know what 2013 will hold for me and my family but I look forward to finding out.

Nativity play set

21 Dec

I love nativity scenes and I love making things so it made perfect sense to create my own set which the children could play with and act out the story of the first Christmas.

I actually made this a couple of months ago and have since made three more sets for other people. I figured I should really blog about it before Christmas is over for another year.

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Each figure is made with a wooden peg doll. The palm trees are filled with rice at the bottom so that they stand alone. The stable is also a box which all items can be stored in and the star at the top is attached with Velcro. I wanted everything to be moveable so that it could be probably played with.

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This is the set I made for my mum complete with a woolly sheep!

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Merry Christmas everyone!

Season calendar gift

21 Dec

A quick and easy gift for children to make and give to grandparents is a calendar.

I wanted our calendar to be appropriate for the whole year so decided to represent each season with a tree. I cut out a simple tree shape which I used to draw around. Once we had 4 trees drawn on appropriate coloured paper The Limpet got to work finger printing.

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For spring we did pink blossom; summer was green leaves; autumn red, brown and orange leaves. And we finished with snow for winter.

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I added the calendar at the bottom and some coloured string to hang it up with. I think the grandparents will be very pleased.

Christmas pudding garland

9 Dec

This cute little garland was made to add a bit of festive fun to The Limpet’s room.

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It is made with one of my favourite and most used craft item – paper plates. I got The Limpet to paint five plates blown and then add black finger painted spots.

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It took a while to dry so in the meantime I cut out 5 white icing shapes from some fabric and 10 holly leaves. Everything else about this craft was done by my 3 year old.

When they were dry I punched holes in the top of each and threaded through a gold gift ribbon. Then The Limpet got to work sticking it all together. We used red pompoms for the holly berries and stuck them down with a blob of fabric glue.

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They certainly brighter up her room.

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Stained glass nativity picture

5 Dec

Today’s Christmas activity was to create a stained glass picture. We love creating these types of artwork. Last Christmas we did stain glass stars and just recently we did stain glass leaves with autumnal coloured tissue paper.

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This year I wanted to create a nativity scene. I googled some images to get a few ideas and then sketched out my design. When I was happy with the picture I drew it again this time on done black card and cut it out.

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I then stuck it straight on to some contact paper and The Limpet and I decided on the best colours from our stash of tissue paper. She enjoyed ripping strips of tissue paper and then sticking them all down.

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She was also very keen to help trim off the edges at the end – I reluctantly let her!

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She was very proud of her work and keen to test out the effect on the window.

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I also think it looks pretty amazing and was actually relatively easy to make.

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Star Father Christmas

5 Dec

Our latest activity on the advent activity tree was to make a Father Christmas decoration.

I had made something similar many years ago when I worked as a nursery nurse. I think that time round I had used a longer star and managed to fit in some buttons on his tummy. I had also cut out a belt which they stuck on. This time I let The Limpet draw most of the features as she has suddenly become very good at drawing.

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I cut out a large star from red card and a semi circle in pink for the face. Once she had drawn the face on and stuck it down she then added a cotton wool beard and some more for the hat. She then finished it off with black gloves, boots and a belt.

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Advent calendars

2 Dec

This year I seem to have gone advent crazy. We actually have eight advent calendars in our house of one sort or another.

Firstly we have the advent activity tree.

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Then we have a magnetic nativity scene which I’ve had since before we even had children. It’s looking a bit sparse at the moment but everyday a person or item from the nativity arrives to fill it up.

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This year I also bought the story of Christmas advent book after recommendations from the fabulous The Imagination Tree.

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Then The Limpet has her own advent calendar containing a small gift each day. I made it last year for her and its made from toilet rolls stapled together at the end and then wrapped in Christmas paper and numbered.

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This year I’ve also made The Gannet his own one – he was too young last year. I’ve made his out of all his old socks. It looks quite cute and is a great little reminder of his growth though the last year.

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My husband then decided that they needed a conventional chocolate advent calendar each. And the last calendar is a countdown one which we made at toddlers. So that’s eight in total!

Advent activity tree

30 Nov

After seeing many advent activity ideas on pinterest I decided I’d try it out myself this year. I thought that it would be good to have planned activities to make myself a bit more organised this year.

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Many of the activities are craft projects such as making Christmas cards, gift tags, calendars etc. I’ve also listed Christmas parties that I know we’ll be attending and my daughters nativity play. Many of the other activities are the usual ones you see listed like decorate tree, watch Christmas film with popcorn, write letter to Father Christmas, see Christmas lights etc. Some activities that are specific to my family include decorate the church Christmas tree, church nativity service and family advent dinner. The monsters helped me to decorate a card for each day by potato printing a star on to each one.

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I then numbered them and wrote the activity on the back. I got some twigs from the garden and spray painted them gold.

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Hopefully I won’t find it too difficult to stick to doing each activity on the nominated day.

Peg soldiers

22 Nov

My latest creation involving little peg people are these smart looking soldiers.

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I have made them specially to sell at a Christmas fair this weekend although I secretly hope none sell so I can give them to my kids. I will also be taking along some rainbow gnomes and nativity sets.

Hopefully some more soldiers will soon be joining my rainbow gnomes and other items for sale via my Facebook page Pocket Treasures Please pop over and like my page.

Remembrance poppy craft

8 Nov

This week at our toddler group the craft activity was poppies for remembrance Sunday.

Because we have about 60 children attending I have to keep it fairly simple. Most of my crafts so far seem to involve a paper plate. This time I cut 2 curvy triangles out of the sides of a paper plate to create a very simple poppy shape. I provided cut up squares of red tissue paper and crate paper and a circle of black card for the centre.

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I set up this activity first for my own children. The Limpet placed her red squares in a very methodical way.

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I love seeing the differences in my kids creations, I think both turned out really well.

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