The girls and I have been working hard to finish up our holiday makings. Finally, we mailed all of our packages and yesterday the girls gave their teachers gifts. Phew!
I was a bit disappointed that I hadn't left myself enough time to have a photo book made for the girls' great-grandma. Instead, I printed pictures of the girls and stuck them into a photo album. The girls had so much fun drawing pictures and writing memories for their great-grandma. It is such a sweet little book of their drawings, carefully made words and memories. I much prefer it to a printed book!
And, in case you need more holiday making inspiration for these last 4 days before we give... Here are gifts we have made in previous years.
Flower Seed Packets (project for Design Mom)
On cold winter days like today I much prefer to make a nice, hot cup of tea and roll candles with my girls than brave the masses at a big box store.
How is your holiday making/shopping coming along?
I LOVE crafty books. I buy them. I read them. I devour them. I dream of writing them.
Here are my top picks to buy all the crafty people on your list.
Definitely at the top of my list - Show Me a Story* by Emily Neuburger is an award-winning book that encourages children to create with their hands and minds. My top pick for kids of all ages. You can read my review here.
A great resource by one of my favourite bloggers, Kate Lilley of Minieco. Eco-Friendly Crafting for Kids gives simple crafts that young kids and their grown-ups can do in an afternoon and mostly with household objects. My top pick for a crafty preschooler and their crafty mum. Read my full review here.
Sewing for Children by Emma Hardy, has been around for a while and is still one of my favorite go-to books. The projects are really sweet and my girls love to pick projects to sew. My top pick for anyone who want to teach their kids to sew.
Joel Henriques book, Made to Play, inspires both parents to be their child's toymaker. The book covers sewing, woodworking, metalworking, and drawing. The projects are modern, clever, and really neat. My top pick for family fun.
Handmade Home for Children by Sania Pell is a lovely book of beautiful projects for parents to make for their children. The projects are so simple and so pretty that you want to make them all. My top pick for creative mums.
Weekend Handmade is more of a lifestyle book that will turn your weekends into a beautiful yet unpretentious, really fun and very hip time to share with your favourite people. My top pick for your single girl-friends and newlyweds.
Quirky, silly, do-able, and perfect for your cat-loving crafty friends. Crafting with Cat Hair* is a sweet book of projects to make with your cat. This book makes me giggle every time I look at it. My top pick for all the crazy cat ladies in your life.
*Please note - while I was not compensated for these reviews, Quirk Books and Storey Publishing did provide me with free review copy of the books.
This week is all about making pretty presents for our lovely little people...
And, because life sometimes gets in the way of creating gifts, you can buy paper play kit and inspire your kids to create. Written by my bloggy friend and New York Times bestselling illustrator, Heather Cahoon, paper play kit is a book brimming with creative playthings to cut out and make, create, and build.
If you have a fun gift idea, please add a link in the comment section so we can all have a look!
1. Buy a bottle of Jack Daniel's, or another pretty bottle of booze.
2. Have a fun night with friends and drink all the booze.
3. Buy a bottle of liquid soap - choose the fanciest pump you can find.
4. Pour soap into Jack bottle and screw on the pump.
Okay, I didn't drink all the Jack, I bought a flask and filled it with Jack Daniel's. And now I also have a present for my sister-in-law's fiancé. Welcome to Tennessee!
Please Note: I bought Caldrea soap from Target (it was in the kitchen section, not with the soaps). From what I can tell, the pump thread is a universal size, but you have to be careful to get a pump that does not bulge out at the spring as it will not fit in the bottle neck.
Crikey - 3 weeks? That's right folks and my girls remind me each and every day that Christmas is nearly here.
There are so many beautiful crafts on Pinterest this week, I'm having a hard time getting off the computer to start making things.
I love how the holidays fall at the end of the year and in winter. For me it is a time to look inward, reflect on our year, and document. This is why I love using photos in Christmas decorating. I like to have a sprinkling of Christmas memories throughout the house.
I made these Christmas tree photo holders, which were featured on Bloesem Kids, last year.
Each pretty tree, decorated by Nola and Kira, is supported by a matchbox and contains a little accordion book of pictures and fun facts. As I am particularly sensitive to my girls (identical twins) being viewed as individuals, I made each girl their own tiny book which is all about them.
*Colored card stock
*Decorations - felt balls, stickers, or glittery glue
Step 1: Place the matchbox on the cardstock and draw a triangle for the tree – make sure the tree is big enough to hide the matchbox! If you are making lots of trees, make a pattern to draw around.
Step 2: Cut out the triangles and decorate. We used colored felt balls, but you could use stickers or glittery glue.
Step 3: Cut a piece of pretty paper to cover the matchbox. Attach the box to the back of the tree.
Step 4: Cut a piece of card stock to the height of the matchbox and 6 times as long as the box. Score and fold the card to create an accordion book.
Step 5: Personalize the accordion book with pictures, drawings or fun information about the year. Attach to the inside of the matchbox.
Every year I like to make a little photo ornament with the girls. Simple handmade ornaments serve as a reminder of my girls each year and are perfect for slipping into Christmas cards. I made these decorations, which were featured on Bloesem Kids, 2 years ago...
Turn an old paper bag into pretty holiday keepsakes to hang on your tree or slip into Christmas cards. The brown paper is a welcome relief from all the glittery goodness, and the photo will keep memories of Christmas past alive.
What you’ll need:
*Double-Sided Photo Stickers
Step 2: Cut around the inside and outside of the frame.
Step 3: Attach the frame to the photo and cut the picture around the outside of the frame.
Step 4: Cut another paper bag circle for the back of the ornament (if the paper has a design on it, attach the design to the inside of the frame so the plain side is facing out). Record the date on the back of the ornament.
Step 5: Cut the ribbon to size and twist it to make a loop. Insert the loop between the photo and ornament back, attach with the double-sided tape.
With this recycled greeting, you’ll be spreading holiday cheer for your loved ones and the earth.
The pictures of the girls were taken by Spencer Combs.
How are your holiday plans coming along? This weekend we cleaned out our hallway closet and got our spare bedroom - previously known as 'the dumping ground' - ready for my sister's Christmas visit.
I was so very proud of Nola and Kira who generously donated many old and beloved toys to those less fortunate. Speaking of new traditions, donating old toys has become part of our holiday routine. The girls are in charge of their toys - they choose what to donate and we never try to push them into donating something they are not ready to part with. I am constantly amazed, moved, and so very inspired by these girls willingness to give.
A super-quick craft:
To make a colorful toy box for donated toys, lace pretty ribbon through the holes of a plastic tote.
I look forward to a fun week of holiday making with you... this week I'll be highlighting crafts of Christmas past. See you tomorrow!